“In This Corner of the World” is a Must See and a Must Read

Back in 2014, I had the chance to attend Otakon with some mates from college. One of the guest of honor for the year was Sunao Katabuchi, a name I recognized only because of the Kickstarter for Mai Mai Miracle earlier that year. At Otakon were some concept artworks for his next project, In This Corner of the World. At the time, I hadn't really known the background behind the story, but it looked like a very promising film, one definitely deserving of its successful crowdfunding in Japan.

However, it was a project I would mostly forget about until it came up again earlier this year while I was watching NHK in the morning.

Picture Post: NHK this morning. I approve of this choice for closeup. #anime #crowdfunding

Immediately, my interest was rekindled upon hearing it was rather successful in Japan. I wouldn't have to wait too long to catch wind of its US release, both subtitled and dubbed. I only saw both versions once, but it was one of only two films I saw this year I strongly considered seeing again (the other film, of course, was Your Name.)

If you have any interest in the events of World War II, In This Corner of the World is a title I'd highly recommend, both the movie and the manga. Coming of age stories are nothing new to the world of anime, but I can think of few titles set during a time of war (Grave of the Fireflies being an obvious one.) Needless to say, In This Corner of the World is not a happy story. There are some humorous parts for sure (the main character having her head constantly in the cloud helps a lot), but it ultimately a very serious, factually accurate story about war.

If the historical background isn't of that much interest to you, I would suggest the film. It mostly follows the manga and is beautifully illustrated. Have a box of tissues ready for the later half of the film.

If the events of the war are of more interest, go for the manga. At $28, it is a fair bit more than the Blu-ray, but the manga does have several editor's notes with facts (if annoyingly placed along the side of pages) and has several parts not present in the film.

Personally, I would recommend watching the film for the story first, then reading the manga for the parts left out from the film and for all of the facts throughout the book, even if I would rather see them as footnotes or collected in an appendix at the end.

Regardless, In This Corner of the World is a fantastic title, one worth adding to your collection, and worth a read and/or watch at the very least.

In This Corner of the World
by Fumiyo Kouno
Trade Paperback

Note: Should you purchase the manga from Powells, I do make a small commision in the form of a store credit. This credit enables me to continue growing my manga collection. You are also supporting a local Portland business, which happens to be the largest independent bookstore in the world.