Anime Review: Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (2021) by Ayumu Watanabe

“35 years and all worn out”

Following the impressive “Children of the Sea”, the golden group of Ayumu Watanabe and Studio 4ºC, when additional concentrate on a college girl, Kikuko, while this time she is attending elementary even though her mother, the titular Nikuko, is an even larger component of the image (pun intended). 

“Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko” is screening at SDAFF Spring Showcase

Nikuko, whose name implies some thing on the lines of ‘meat child’, has settled in a seaside town with her daughter, Kikuko, following a series of relationships with males who either exploited or abandoned her, or even each, as the impressive, initial montage eloquently presents. She operates in the neighborhood tavern, even though her daughter, on the cusp of adolescence, attends the neighborhood elementary, with all the ‘romance and the politics’ that come with the age becoming in complete blossom. The two of them, even so, could not be additional unique, as Nikuko is significant, loud and immature even though Kikuko, modest, cute, fairly, shy, and mature for her age, a notion that sometimes brings friction amongst the two. As the very first snows are coming, the circumstance becomes additional complex. 

Ayumu Watanabe directs a film that starts with the mother as the key character, but quickly modifications to the young girl, in a choice which I felt could be the opposite, considering the fact that the anime titles that concentrate on men and women of comparable age are in abundance. Nonetheless, this is just my opinion, and the title really operates very effectively, focusing on the previous of Nikuko, for the most component, and the present of Kikuko, along with the clear antithesis involving the two, which type the pretty attractive key components of the narrative. Concerning the young girl, her partnership with a neighborhood boy, Ninomiya, who is an professional in carrying out faces, a treat he only keeps for her, and a dilemma with regards to which of two rival college “gangs” she will commit lunchtime with emerge as each adorable and funny, and indicative of college life and its problems. 

A third element in the title revolves about meals, with the neighborhood (amongst other individuals) cuisine, becoming an intense point concentrate, with the drawing and even the animation (the way Nikuko bends her loafs of bread with honey will absolutely remain on thoughts) highlighting the perform accomplished by Studio 4ºC, with the prowess also extending to character movement. Additionally, this notion is also exactly where an additional essential, secondary character emerges from, with mentor-like, leading chef Sassan, becoming amongst the most likable presences in the film. In common, the character design and style by Kenichi Konishi is an additional of the fantastic elements of the film, considering the fact that the majority of men and women are drawn in a retro style, even though Kikuko’s is additional modern day, with the antithesis permitting the latter to stand out nicely. The identical prowess applies to the background, with the intense particulars adding to general playful realism that dominates the style right here. 

Lastly, the drama that ultimately requires spot close to the finish, by way of an substantial flashback and its repercussions, operates very effectively for the narrative, adding additional depth to it and a comment about what constitutes a loved ones, and basically functioning as a sort of catharsis for each the protagonists, and the viewer. 

“Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko” is an additional fantastic title by Studio 4ºC and Ayumu Watanabe, which is bound to satisfy all fans of the modern day style of mainstream anime films, as it was formed by Studio Ghibli (some references really seem in this film as well, as in the featured image). 

TagsAyumu Watanabe Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase Studio 4°C

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