The Wonderland came in a rush out of nowhere. The limited release of this movie only in subtitled format seemed like a rush to be put out. Our good friends over at Eleven Arts put the movie in theaters and we had to go check it out. Feb 2, we visited our local theater to see this anime project.
The movie is based on the novel by Sachiko Kashiwaba and the script for the movie was written by Miho Maruo. Maruo the very accomplished screenplay and scriptwriter has worked on projects such as Peach Girl, School Rumble, Hamtaro, and episodes of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Which makes this film a beautiful perfect film for the ladies.
The director of the film is the one and only Keiichi Hara. The great director also has writing and art credits to his name. He knows his work and field from top to bottom A to Z. Hara has directed many Shin Chan projects over the years and other art styles close to this format. Hara then decided to spread his wings further with great films such as Summer Days with Coo, Colorful, and Miss Hokusai.
Aya Suzuki is a great 2D animator that has worked on great projects including the latest one in Disney’s live-action Aladdin. New to the animation and art department for anime is Ilya Kuvshinov. There’s not much big-time work under his belt. He is working on the new Ghost in the Shell project the very CG SAC_2045. The verdict is still out on him and his work.
There are only a few main characters in this film with the leading character being 16 years old Akane. One of the most beautiful names in Japanese and anime. Akane is voiced by actress Mayu Matsuoka, Chii-Anne Watanabe, Pipo-Nao Toyama, Zan Gu-Keiji Fujiwara, and Hipokuratesu-Masachika Ichimura.
The story begins with Akane’s birthday coming up and significantly her 16 birthday. It is very symbolic of a young woman coming of age. Akane is told to pick up her birthday gift that her mother bought her from a friend’s shop. It’s here that the film takes on a magical adventure and Akane learns she’s a descendant of the “Green Goddess.” The Green Goddess is known to assist or save this parallel earth called Wonderland every 600 years.
The story of the film is like most other magical female other world stories. It immediately put us in the mind of Spirited Away. That’s not bad but it’s not good either, because Spirited Away is a God Tier film. The art in the film is good and the animation is good too.
It’s a solid film throughout we just wish there was more depth to it. It’s great for someone that doesn’t have a vast library of anime movies under their belt. Straight to DVD would have been a better fit for this film. Seasoned anime fans will take this as an, “Okay.”
We give it a 2 out of 5…