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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly one of the Best!
This is truly one of the best animes I have ever watched,the intensity and emotion behind each of the characters and their actions is overwhelming at times and these emotions certainly won't fail to move any person who has had any relation to love, loss of someone important or simply just a person who has the felt the warmth of motherly love. Story is great and I like the...
Published on September 28, 2012 by Angel

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressive effort, no doubt.
"Children Who Chase Lost Voices" is a 2011 Japanese animated film directed by Makoto Shinkai, (5 Centimeters per Second). Briefly, it's a fantasy story about a parallel afterlife world within this earth and follows an exploration of that setting. Tack on a dab of young romance with some small bursts of manicured violence and there's your anime. It just didn't leave me...
Published 20 months ago by T. Hunt


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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly one of the Best!, September 28, 2012
This is truly one of the best animes I have ever watched,the intensity and emotion behind each of the characters and their actions is overwhelming at times and these emotions certainly won't fail to move any person who has had any relation to love, loss of someone important or simply just a person who has the felt the warmth of motherly love. Story is great and I like the fact that it doesn't beat around the bush but it constantly keeps focusing on the most important aspects of the movie. The development of the main character, Asuna, and her relationship to the other characters as we move forward in the movie.

The art was what was truly amazing about the anime and definitely its selling point. Nearly every scene involving the environment or the atmosphere around our characters was simply breathtaking and almost without comparison. In addition to these scenes being absolutely amazing there weren't just a few of them but this movie was filled with beautiful landscapes and sky sceneries. Especially the night skies are particularly beautiful. The sound was almost as amazing,fitted perfectly with the sceneries and the movements and expressions of the characters.

I was really entertained throughout the whole movie and it kept moving me.Great story, beautiful animation, perfectly fitting soundtracks and very enjoyable characters. Apart from a this, the movie had a lot of touching morals and enlightening views on life and death. Two very heavy subject which were handled with grace.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Children Who Chase Lost Voices, April 23, 2012
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First, I want to comment on the dvd itself. This dvd was from Malaysia. Before I ordered, I was concerned about that quality and that it might be a bootleg. I'm still not 100% sure, but it played without problems on my region 1 player. The video, audio and english subtitles were all perfect. So all-in-all I'm satisfied with the product.

Now onto the movie itself. I purchased this simply due to the fact it is a Makoto Shinkai film. I'm a big fan of his work. I wasn't disappointed. The animation is beautiful and vibrant as expected. This story is more of a "fantasy" film than some of his others. Without going into detail, it's basically about a girl who embarks on a mysterious journey with many weird, scary, dangerous, touching, happy sad events happening along the way. It's an interesting journey. Something along the lines of a Miyazaki film ala Spirited Away. Will the girl survive the perilous journey and make it home safely? Better find out for yourself.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Children Who Chase Lost Voices" is a gorgeous, touching animated film worth watching!, November 30, 2012
This review is from: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (DVD)
Makoto Shinkai, the former Falcom graphic designer, who took the anime industry by storm back in 2001 when he released his anime OVA titled "Voices of a Distant Star", which he created on his Power Mac G4 and using several software and voice acted by he and his wife Miko and music provided by his friend Tenmon.

The OVA inspired many for the fact it was independent, created on a small budget but looked significantly better than some major anime series by well-known animation studios.

Suffice to say, the person who grew up inspired by Miyazaki films was now given a chance to create more animated films and he would eventually achieve success with "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" (2004) and "5 Centimeters Per Second" (2007).

In 2011, Shinkai returned with the animated film "Children Who Chase Lost Voices ("Hoshi o Ou Kodomo") which he directed, wrote and produced.

And now the film was released in the U.S. on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sentai Filmworks.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

"Children Who Chase Lost Voices" is presented in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen and English and Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 with English subtitles

It's important to note that if you want the best picture quality for this animated film and also the best audio, there is a Blu-ray release for this animated film that will be released on the same day of the DVD.

As far as the DVD is concern, the film has the trademark of a Makoto Shinkai film. Beautiful, well-detailed clouds. Characters that almost have a Studio Ghibli look and scenery that is lush and well-detailed with animation design that is shaded, colorful but art backgrounds that are just stunning to look at.

Personally, this is one film that would look amazing via HD on Blu-ray but for DVD, picture quality is very good.

As far as the soundtrack is concerned, the audio is very good. Not only do you hear the ambiance of bugs, outdoor environments such as Asuna running on the grass and the roar of the gatekeepers and izoku, the audio is well-done through the surround channels. But no doubt, I can't help but think how much more impressive the soundtrack would be via lossless (Blu-ray). But those who purchase the DVD should be pleased by the overall soundtrack. As for voice acting, both Japanese and English soundtracks are well acted.

As for subtitles, the subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

"Children Who Chase Lost Voices" comes with the following special features:

Audio Commentary - Featuring audio commentary by Makoto Shinkai, Asuna voice actress Hisako Kanemoto and the "Hoshi o Ou Kodomo" production crew.
Interviews with the Staff and Cast - (55:40) Featuring interviews with the voice talents Hisako Kanemoto (voice of Asuna), Miyu Irino (voice of Shin/Shun), Kazuhiko Inoue (voice of Ryuji Morisaki) and filmmaker Makoto Shinkai.
A Brief Interview with Makoto Shinkai - A text based interview with the director/writer/producer Makoto Shinkai.
The Making of Children Who Chase Lost Voices - (45:18) Similar to previous Makoto Shinkai releases, a making of diary of the creation of the animated film, discussion with the cast and crew and overall making of the film.
The Works of Makoto Shinkai - (7:26) A look at Shinkai's previous work.
Japanese Promotional Video - (5:04) Japanese PV for "Hoshi o Ou Kodomo".
Japanese Teasers - (2:26)

JUDGMENT CALL:

If experience is a factor of determining a person's ability to create amazing work, with only three major films under his belt, there are still some who claim that Makoto Shinkai has many years to go to prove he is the real deal.

After watching "Children Who Chase Lost Voices", I have to differ. As filmmaker Jean Vigo had done in France, creating only three films in his career but yet his life was cut short of tuberculosis, cineaste yet consider Vigo as one of the great French filmmakers of all time.

Makoto Shinkai may have gotten into the industry through a different process than other veterans but there is no doubt that his talent is a rarity. As Shinkai was influenced by the great Hayao Miyazaki, many who have watched Shinkai's work continually grow within the last decade, can't help but be amazed of his accomplishment with three films and the growth as a director, writer and producer.

Shinkai has been a rarity in which he works with the people that he wants to work with, he creates and writes anime the way he wants to do it and so far, many people all over the world have been overjoyed by his work because its not more about creating animated films for the sake of commercialism or the sake of getting something out there to make profit for a major studio. He creates a film because of his passion for it.

Prior to watching "Children Who Chase Lost Voices", I have always felt that Shinkai's "5 Centimeters Per Second" is his true masterpiece. A gorgeous animated film that was not only heartbreaking but also beautiful and touching. It was a film about life and love that many people have experienced. Love, heartbreak but people moving on.

With his latest film "Children Who Chase Lost Voices", you can apply the same idea of love, heartbreak and people moving on but in a context of alternate worlds and one wanting to bring back a deceased loved one.

The film looks absolutely gorgeous from its animation to its art backgrounds. Each scene can be appreciated for its beauty and for anime fans, Shinkai's films are almost like a painting that you just loved to look at over and over again and sometimes after looking at it, you have a different interpretation. This is not a film that is commercial or quickly made. It was well-planned and perfectly executed.

The characters of "Children Who Chase Lost Voices" are all characters who have lost a loved one and no doubt has altered or changed their lives. Asuna, losing her father and having to grow up in order to prove to her mother that she is old enough to take care of the house while her mother works. But then seeing that side of her that wants that peace and serenity and take out this radio which reminds her of her father. It's her time of remembrance but also her time of reflection.

The two other characters outside of the protagonist are quite different. With Mr. Morisaki determined in bringing his wife back, part of us can't call him an antagonist because we know that a man who found love, lost his one true love, will do all he can to bring his love back to life if he can. It's hard to dislike a man with those intentions, but at the same time, we know that his actions are against people who live in Agartha.

For Shin, he lost his brother, but he hasn't had the time to mourn. If anything, he is conflicted of his goals to save the one girl that his brother saved, despite her being a "top-dweller". But knows that by assisting her, he himself can be banished from Agartha.

While the film may seem complex with its concept of hidden worlds, Quetzalcoatls (gatekeepers) and people who are trying to protect their land from the top-dwellers, the storyline is easy to understand.

Like previous Shinkai films, people trying to seek resolve may be disappointed. There are no easy answers to the storyline of Shinkai's films. Like in reality, things happen and people must live life by adjusting to their new environments and the new people that they are with.

I'm sure the gate is still open for more stories that involve Asuna, Shin and Mr. Morisaki but similar to "5 Centimeters Per Second", I looked at the film as we experience life with the people we love and as we get older or years pass by, some lose those people they were once close with. Fall outs of relationships or by unfortunate circumstances including death. There is no going back to the past nor is there reviving the deceased, one must move forward.

As for the DVD release of "Children Who Chase Lost Voices", as mentioned, if you want the best in video and audio, the Blu-ray is the way to go. But as for the DVD itself, the DVD looks good and fortunately the special features were put on a second DVD disc.

Overall, Makoto Shinkai once again has created a masterpiece and another film added to his oeuvre of magnificent animated films created within the last decade. "Children Who Chase Lost Voices" is a gorgeous, touching animated film worth watching, worth owning and is highly recommended!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressive effort, no doubt., April 17, 2013
This review is from: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (DVD)
"Children Who Chase Lost Voices" is a 2011 Japanese animated film directed by Makoto Shinkai, (5 Centimeters per Second). Briefly, it's a fantasy story about a parallel afterlife world within this earth and follows an exploration of that setting. Tack on a dab of young romance with some small bursts of manicured violence and there's your anime. It just didn't leave me fully satisfied.

Firstly, my wife and I watched it this evening and she remarked immediately how similar the film looked to Hiyao Miyazaki's works. Not that this is a reason to bash Shinkai's efforts - I can think of much worse directors to be compared to - but I saw the similarities as well and found it a bit of a distraction. (Especially after I'd previously defended Shinkai against the critics who panned him for mimicking Miyazaki in the past.) We'd both seen, "5 Centimeters per Second" last year and were exhilarated with its nearly perfect production. The animation was absolutely incredible and we'd hoped it the future of anime, so our scanning of upcoming titles from Makoto Shinkai was fervent. Thus, while this current work is clearly well done, it still, in my amateur opinion, was a bit of a letdown. We were looking forward to something new and, aside from some interesting, "creature" developments, that didn't happen.

Moving along, however, I think it's important to air some accolades, here. The characters are successfully written and easily adhered to. The main protagonist, Asuna, is a girl in what I'd guess to be her low teens living a quiet life in a small mountain town. Her father is deceased and her mother is a hard-working woman toiling for two. I thought Asuna in particular was beautifully drafted, a skill I also found notable in, "5 Centimeters...": Shinkai has youth on tap and offers it up flawlessly. This, to me, is his remarkable gift. He brings nostalgia to his films and this will keep me loyal to whatever he creates. And that's big.

Also, the environments are stunning. I've obviously alluded to them not standing up to the originality of his previous work, but he's still done a painstakingly wonderful job with this and deserves praise. Once the film crosses over to its underground setting, it wows. Flat out.

But when the film ended, it didn't feel whole to me. It took me on a lengthy ride through some stunning scenery but the story only fizzled at its peaks so I walked away hungry. Again, this isn't meant to detract from the amount of work and skill used to make this movie happen - it's gorgeous and well though out - but I just can't see myself ever watching it again. Replay value, for me, is paramount, and this just felt like another fantasy quest in the anime armada, albeit one of the upper shelf.

So, I can't fully recommend, "Children Who Chase Lost Voices" but I won't berate it, either. Even though I don't love what Shinkai's done here, I still recognize that he's a force to be reckoned with in this genre and I will continue to follow his career until he hits the sort of home run that interests me. And I know it's coming, I just have to wait...

Thank you for your time.

- t
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breathtaking film homage to Miyazaki ~, November 23, 2012
This review is from: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (DVD)
As many critics and reviewers have undoubtedly noticed, this film bears much similarity to many Miyazaki films, most notably Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke. The creator, Makoto Shinkai, is a self confessed Miyazaki fan and counts Castle in the Sky among his favorite animated films. So is Shinkai the new Miyazaki? If this film is any indication, then yes. And not in a way that emulates the old master, but more in keeping with the tradition of the storytelling style of film. I'll expand on this.

In 'Children' as I will call this film, we follow Asuna, a pretty average junior high age school girl in what appears to me to be the 1967 to 1973 time frame (judging by the Cobra helicopter which was built in 1967 and by the cars, hair and clothing indicative of the late 60s or early 70s). Asuna has received a radio with an odd crystal as the receiver as a memento from her father. This starts a series of events which leads to her meeting with Shun, a mysterious boy who appears to save Asuna from an Otherworld creature.

Asuna eventually discovers that Shun is from a type of 'Middle-Earth' realm known as Agartha. Her teacher, Morisaki, also describes the place as Shambhala. Research into the myth of Agartha shows that it was coined by a French occultist in the early 20th century. There is also belief by the Theosophical society that Shambhala was not the Buddhist realm of peace and happiness, but an underground system of caves under Tibet that housed demons. Shinkai apparently took these and several other stories of lore and built them into this tale. In his version the beast guardians are 'Quetzalcoatl' (reference to the Aztec and Mayan god) and they are to keep the 'Topsiders' from entering Agartha. Well, two and a half hours would be boring if we didn't see Agartha, so very early on Asuna and Morisaki enter Agartha and the viewer is treated to a visual tour de force.

The characters Asuna and Shun remind me of Sheeta and Pazu from Castle in the Sky. Shin reminds me a LOT of Ashitaka from Mononoke, even riding a steed (a horse in this film instead of a weird gazelle thing) and even to the cutting off of his hair scene. The denizens of Agartha also remind me of the people in Castle in the Sky with the Quetzalcoatl things similar to the 'gods' from Mononoke. Even Mimi reminds me a bit of the cat/squirrel from Nausicaa. But these nods to Miyazaki's films don't really seem to ideas stolen for the nature of the plot or film, instead it seems Shinkai is saying "Miyazaki, you are great and I want to put this little touch here and there since you influenced me so much." Though the similarities abound, Shinkai has made this his own film.

Shinkai loves weaving high quality computer imagery into his backgrounds. This is actually the first of his films where I felt the characters were rather simply drawn. It works well. They all have a plain appearance similar to the characters in Miyazaki films. Therefore the viewer is drawn to the gorgeous backgrounds and the story. There is a little action, but it's well integrated. The part where the helicopter came up over the cliff was pretty awesome (it's early on - no spoiler). Once the duo enters Agartha, Shinkai turns on his imagination and weaves architecture and sculptures from dozens of ancient civilizations into a believable and dramatic underworld realm.

This is only Shinkai's 3rd full length film. That's right. 3rd! Voices of a Distant Star was a short film that Shinkai made almost on his own (and which catapulted him to fame - at least in Japan and in anime circles). The Place Promised in Our Early Days was an amazing film, and I loved it so much. The next film, 5 Centimeter Per Second, was equally amazing, though much more subtle. With 'Children' I think Shinkai might have found his stride. The weaving of a beautiful story with gorgeous, fantastic imagery is so seamless. Since Miyazaki is (semi) retired, there is a void in the Japanese anime industry that I don't think Goro Miyazaki (Hiyao's son) can properly fill. Arietty was evidence of this (good - but not like the old Miyazaki stuff). Shinkai gets into the fantastic realms that Miyazaki explored with Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky, and Princess Mononoke.

This is one of the best full length anime films I have seen in years. Probably since Howl's Moving Castle. I cannot recommend this highly enough for fans of Shinkai, Miyazaki, or just wonderful and rich fantasy storytelling. Bravo!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shinkai's beautiful tribute to Miyazaki, October 21, 2013
This review is from: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (DVD)
"Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below" is filmmaker Makoto Shinkai's tribute to the great Hayao Miyazaki. Anyone who knows Studio Ghibli films will recognize the many similar images Shinkai uses throughout the film to put the viewer in mind of those wonderful movies.

One example is the way the main character, Asuna, lowers her foot hesitantly onto the first step on a huge rock cliff; the movement of her foot is almost precisely the same as Chihiro's in Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" when she is descending the huge staircase to the boiler room. Another is when Asuna awakes and looks up at the sky above her, and her cat comes up on her shoulder and she reaches up to pet it in exactly the same way as Nausicaa reaches to pet Teto, her foxsquirrel, in "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind." Viewers can hardly miss the moment when one of the heroes of "Lost Voices" reaches back with a knife to cut his hair and then proceeds to ride off with his sister looking worriedly on. If they are anything like me, in fact, they will cry in outrage, "But that's EXACTLY the same as Ashitaka does it in `Princess Mononoke'! He copied!" But I was mistaken. Upon further research, I discovered Makoto Shinkai intended all of these moments (and more that I have not listed) to be tributes to the beloved films of Miyazaki. Now that I know, I find it very fun to pick out these moments when I watch the movie.

However, these brief images that catch your eye and suspicion are almost the sole things that are "borrowed" from Miyazaki films; it is a lovely, stand-alone movie that, if you can get past the initial surprise at encountering so many references to Studio Ghibli, is well-worth watching and not merely a weaker imitation of Miyazaki's work. True, the movie's epic fantasy plot and struggle with the issue of death could also be echoes of Ghibli, as perhaps the director intended, but the issue of death is a common theme in anime, and Shinkai's take on it is just as fresh and beautiful as that of most Miyazaki films. The characters themselves are Shinkai's own and so is most of the story. Asuna is not much like Chihiro, Nausicaa, San, ect., but a fully original character who must understand and recognize her own pain and longings before she can move on to face them. I also appreciated the characterization of 12-year-old Shin, who, though he does cut his hair and ride out of his village, is not even remotely like Ashitaka or any other Studio Ghibli hero, and proves himself to be a very realistic character. He is often moody and snaps at people for seemingly no reason, which seems to me to be the most realistic thing about him: people do not always act as rationally or sensibly as they often do in movies.

In short, it's a touching story about letting go and moving on, and the animation is quite stunning. 5 stars for Makoto Shinkai's excellent film, none the less for being a tribute to someone else's work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dos of good anime!, September 8, 2013
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I have recently become an anime fan and had been looking for a feature film. Honestly, nothing beats miyazaki or a good anime series, but this film is enjoyable, with pretty art more than anything!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shinkai is A Genius, June 5, 2013
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Purchased this directly from amazon.com, it arrived expeditiously and packaged very securely as always. Shinkai strikes gold yet again in my opinion. He has once again proved that he is one of the few revolutionary visionaries left in anime. Been a fan of his since day one. If you're a Shinkai fan get it for sure, if you're not at least rent it, you're in for a treat.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Tale, December 19, 2012
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This review is from: Children Who Chase Lost Voices (DVD)
I have never once witnessed this man's work before and for that I am dearly sorry. I did however buy the manga adaption to one of his films, but anyway this one in particula Children Who Chase Lost Voices In The Deep I believe is it's full name.

To say that I enjoyed it is an understatement...It was thrilling and beautiful and had everything I look for in anime. I was captured by his gorgeous coloring and different fighting style. I fell in love with our main character, a hard working girl who lost her father long ago and now works to help her mother out. She in herself is amazing and makes me want to get up and do the dishes for my mom.

When I first bought it I bought it with the thought that this would be a kids movie, like Miyazaki. There's blood, fighting, and a little bit of gore and I was surprised but honestly it didn't bother me.

So be warned parents but still this movie is a great addition to my collection and I would reccomend it for nearly everyone.
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23 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars why did I buy this?, February 3, 2013
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I've watched most of Makoto Shinkai's stuff, from the short She and Her Cat to 5 Centimeters per Second, and I really, really wanted to like this movie. Unfortunately, just like the rest, it was a content let down. Visually appealing, yes, but the disjointed and unoriginal story line, unmemorable characters and the ending - a "that was it?" ending - left me thinking I wish I'd spent my $30 on something else. You shouldn't watch something and think "I've seen this done and done better in another movie". Say, something Hiyao Miyazaki, perhaps? Save yourself some frustrations and some money. This is not worth it.
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Children Who Chase Lost Voices
Children Who Chase Lost Voices by Makoto Shinkai (DVD - 2012)
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