'Child of Kamiari Month' Review: Heartfelt movie with theme of loss and lore
If you've been looking for a light-hearted anime movie to check out, then 'Child of Kamiari Month' should undoubtedly be on your watchlist. Reminiscent of films such as 'Weathering With You' and 'Spirited Away', the movie tells the story of a young girl named Kanna, who is coping with the loss of her mother. But, she soon discovers the world of the gods and is tasked with a mission that once belonged to her mother. As per the synopsis of the movie, "A year after losing her mother, a little girl learns that she must journey across Japan to the annual gathering of gods in the sacred land of Izumo."
For a young Kanna, who is still dealing with the loss of her mother Yayoi, it seems almost impossible for her to go back to her everyday life. They both used to share a shared love for running. However, Kanna seemed to lack any natural talent for it, although she was passionate. When Yayoi dies on the day Kanna loses a marathon, she believes that her loss was the reason her mother died, as she was unable to win the race for her.
However, she soon uncovers that her mother was no ordinary woman but an Idaten-shin, a descendant of the gods. Yayoi was a descendent of the gods of running and had a particular task -- where each year, she would collect chiso, or banquet foods, from all the shrine and take it to the Kamihakari, which was a gathering of the gods. Kanna soon finds herself taking on her late mother's role, and while she nearly gives up plenty of times, she soon realizes that even though she can't see her mother at the end of the task, taking the journey that her mother did every year brought her closer to her in spirit.
'Child of Kamiari' does a wonderful job combining Japanese mythology with its vast landscapes of shrines. For those who've been interested in it but aren't sure where to start, this movie serves as an elementary beginners guide to understanding how each Japanese shrine is dedicated to a specific god. The musical score by Jun Ichikawa and Naoki-T is also one to watch out for, which is sure to remind viewers of Radwimps. Overall, it's a light-hearted watch that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is sure to resonate with children and adults.
'Child of Kamiari' also known as 'Kamiari no Kodomo', premieres on February 8, 2022, only on Netflix.