Compared to the cosmically grand anime Children of the Sea, Ayumu Watanabe’s new movie is a extra intimately scaled coming-of-age story that acutely understands the embarrassment that youngsters have in direction of their dad and mom as soon as puberty hits. A rotund girl with a bubbly character, Girl Nikuko – “the Meaty Girl” – has a weak point for meals, questionable dirtbags and corny puns. Her loud night breathing rumbles by way of her modest houseboat like a mini earthquake. To her shy, scrawny daughter Kikurin, she is just too a lot.
The truth is, regardless of the title, the movie is all about Kikurin’s inner world, because the younger lady navigates friend-drama in school and her secret crush on the equally timid Ninomiya, a boy who likes to make outrageously foolish faces when nobody is watching. Reflecting the distinction between Kikurin’s bookish self-consciousness and Nikuko’s larger-than-life presence, Watanabe’s animation model is charmingly assorted. The serene coastal city is realistically rendered with winding streets and luxurious forests, whereas Girl Nikuko’s riotous facial expressions are extra cartoonishly drawn. She is certainly a pressure of nature that has taken the group by storm. Whereas Nikuko’s antics are endearing, she can be the butt of many visible gags, which suggests the movie desires to have its cake and eat it too. The infantilisation of Nikuko can really feel like an inexpensive supply of comedian reduction, but when the movie reaches its transferring conclusion, her characterisation comes off as a counterpoint to Kikurin’s rising pains.
A slice-of-life story that doesn’t shrink back from the uncomfortable messiness of relationships, Fortune Favours Girl Nikuko can be a testomony to how scrumptious meals can look in anime. The recurring sight of meat scorching on charcoal grill and french toast glistening with maple syrup makes for a severely mouth-watering visible feast.