As a new semester begins in Maruko’s third grade class, new seats are being assigned. Maruko is less than ecstatic about her new seat though, because now she sits in the same row as Oono and Sugiyama, a pair of overly energetic best friends. As the year passes and the class prepares for the upcoming athletics festival, Maruko begins to develop a much greater appreciation for the two boys’ friendship.
summary by Gatts
Highs: Cute and humorous story; charming characters
Lows: Drags a bit; average animation
For those not familiar with the series, Chibi Maruko-chan is a long running children’s anime about Maruko and her life in the third grade. With its cute characters and humorous story, the anime is considered a classic by many. Chibi Maruko-chan: The Movie feels like an extended episode of the television series, but it has all the charm and humor that has made Maruko-chan such a popular and endearing character.
The film focuses primarily on two boys in Maruko’s class and their friendship. It’s a simple story about best friends, but it works very well because of the movie’s heartwarming characters. Maruko and her classmates seem very real with their childish antics and honesty, and this realism makes them all very likable and easy to connect with. Although it may be intended for children, the film is something that all audiences can enjoy. The humor is universally appealing to people of any age, and it’s surprising how funny little Maruko-chan actually is. From her funny facial expressions to her amusing commentaries, Maruko is sure to have viewers laughing the entire time.
The series has a very simplistic animation style that has been retained for the film. While it may not look terribly impressive, the simple nature of the artwork only adds to the movie’s charm. However, the quality of the animation is not much better than that seen in its television counterpart. The only other real problem with Maruko’s debut on the big screen is that the film seems a little bit too long, and there are a few moments where it begins to drag. However, these small issues don’t hamper an otherwise enjoyable movie.
If you’ve never seen any of the television series, the movie serves as good introduction to Maruko’s world. Chibi Maruko-chan: The Movie is a feel-good anime, and it’s difficult to watch without reminiscing fondly about childhood memories. It is full of lighthearted fun and is something that the whole family can enjoy.
Chibi Maruko-chan: The Movie can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.