The Boy and the Beast Review

Mamoru Hosoda’s (Summer WarsWolf Children) newest film is hitting US shores soon, and I had an opportunity to review a screening copy of the movie before release thanks to The Fandom Post.

I won’t spoil too much of the review here, but I will say that I wasn’t much impressed with Hosoda’s latest effort. It would be a stretch to say I disliked The Boy and the Beast, but the fact that it generally left me feeling apathetic and mildly disappointed perhaps says even more than a strong feeling of antipathy would have. The Boy and the Beast isn’t an awful film; but it’s not a very good one either.

Here’s the link~

The Boy and the Beast Promo Image

4 thoughts on “The Boy and the Beast Review

  1. So it’s not very good? It’s a pity really, but I can’t say I’m too surprised:

    When I first saw the picture you posted, I was wary for two reasons. They seemed to promote the show with a picture that pretty much looks like the Summer Wars picture, only with beast men, and the “beast men” theme seems like a carry-over from Wolf Children. I simply felt that it was… Hosoda re-mixing himself? I didn’t get any interesting vibes from that. It’s sad, though, to have my suspicions confirmed. I’m sure I’ll still check it out one day, but it doesn’t help that Summer Wars, the film the promo-art reminds me most of, is my least favourite of his (being mildy entertaining, but ultimately forgettable). (Wolf Children is fantastic, and The Girl Who Leapt through Time is very good, too.)

    Also, is it just me, or does the art look surprisingly textureless for Hosoda? (I don’t have a good eye for art, so I could very well be wrong about that.)

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    • So late on replying… sorry!

      And no, it’s really not. It’s not actively bad, but it’s pretty plain and uninteresting. You’ve got it right with the “remixing” thing. And yeah, the art direction throughout the film is bland and boring, just like the actual animation. A thoroughly disappointing effort from Hosoda.

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      • Don’t worry about being late. You’ve been working on a lot of posts recently, and there’s only so much time you can spend on a blog. As surprising as that may be, real life matters, too.

        After [i]Wolf Children[/i] nearly everything he could have done would have been a drop down, so maybe a sheer drop is for the best. The next one will almost certainly trend upwards again, and it won’t have to match up to [i]Wolf Children[/i]. A buffer film, so to speak… (Trying to salvage what I can with… impeccable logic?)

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  2. I just saw the film, and while I do agree with you on the film’s narrative not working, I’d disagree on the direction. I think there were a lot of great and interesting shots in the movie, such as ones in which it appeared as if Kyuuta was almost teleporting across different parts of the screen. It was really cool. I also liked the fight direction, though the CGI background characters fell flat.

    I also really appreciated the film’s use of Freudian symbols, such as Kyuuta copying Kumatetsu’s actions, much like a child does, or how Kaede represented both a mother figure and a love interest.

    I also loved how Chico was a spiritual representation of Kyuuta’s mother. The parts that fell flat did so hard. The film felt like it was all over the place, and Jiromaru’s character arc fell flat and did so hard.

    What I wouldn’t agree with is that Kyuuta and Kumatetsu’s relationship not working. I think the audience got a good enough idea of some of the struggles Kyuuta went through, and how much of their own personalities clash. Could there have been more? Yes, I’d agree, but I think the audience got a good enough idea of what was going on.

    Overall I’d probably give the film like a 6/10, since every idea I thought really worked had another idea that was completely baffling. I also would say the film is Hosoda’s weakest work to date, but I wouldn’t agree on this film feeling like that was made of obligation. If anything, it felt too ambitious for its own good, due to the multitude of different ideas being put forth.

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