A Letter to Momo is one of Anime Limited’s best releases, and one of the most fantastical and engrossing animated films I’ve seen.
A Letter to Momo is a feel-good, beautiful and brilliant movie that revolves around Momo, a young girl who’s moved from Tokyo to the Seto Inland Sea along with her mother, after her fathers passing away at sea. Momo struggles with her new home, finding new friends and, worst of all, three Yokai who are inhabiting her home and disturbing Momo’s everyday life. Momo finds a letter from her father with only the words ‘Dear Momo’ written on it, and so she wonders what her father wanted to say whilst working towards living her life and growing up. It’s heartwarming and kept me captivated in its 2 hour running time. I got plenty of chills and may have cried once or twice.
Production I.G are at the top of their game with A Letter to Momo as this film is spectacular and beautiful, and by far one of the greatest things I’ve seen in motion. It’s very Ghibli-esque with a likeable cast, emotional and drama-intense scenes, comedy and wonder being rolled into one amazing package. Boasting a strong story and stellar pacing, A Letter to Momo doesn’t only stand as one of Anime Limited’s best licenses to date, but as one of the best animated movies released in the West. I’m aware that this is a big claim to make but A Letter to Momo wholly deserves it – it’s truly phenomenal.
A Letter to Momo is absolutely beautiful with bright, warming colours, fluid, clean and detailed animation and a variety of things happening on-screen to keep you interested. I adore the character design (Momo’s mother Ikuko is simply gorgeous) and the various Yokai are creative and reflect the supernatural creatures of Japanese folklore well – my knowledge of this topic isn’t great, but I’m definitely interested in learning more having seen A Letter to Momo. Emotions are etched into the characters and their actions to help make them believeable, and watching Ikuko try to encourage Momo to talk to a group of neighbourhood children as she becomes silent and shies away is something that I’m sure more than a few of us can relate to – it’s a magical story interweaved with personal and grounded topics, and it blends together effortlessly. I may sound like a broken record, but A Letter to Momo is one of I.G Production’s finest works and it’s something I’m finding myself often thinking about and I’m already itching to watch again.
A Letter to Momo has both Japanese and English voice tracks available and, as I usually do, I opted for the English Dub and was more than impressed by it. I’m not very familiar with many of the voice-actors and actresses but I’d happily listen to them again and again because there isn’t a role here that wasn’t perfectly cast. They’re full of emotion and energy, and it was a delight to listen to them breathe life into these brilliant characters. The official soundtrack is mostly peaceful and relaxing to listen to mixed in with many folk-style tunes, and I could easily chill out and sleep to it.
I highly recommend A Letter to Momo as a film that can be enjoyed by yourself or with loved ones, and it makes for a perfect family film. I knew I was going to enjoy it but not to the extent that I did, and I’m so happy that Anime Limited licensed it because not having this film release in the West would be an injustice to all anime fans. I.G Production go from strength to strength and with A Letter to Momo they’ve created one of their most wonderful and amazing films that deserves to be amongst the top of their library. This has become one of my favourite animated movies and I hope that when and if you get a chance to watch it, it can become one of yours too because it’s truly outstanding.
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