Archive for June 14th, 2012

As the 21st century approaches, a new 20th-century museum (fans of the 20th Century Boys trilogy will recognise a well known statue here) has opened in town, for the adults to relive their childhood. Shinnosuke and his parents have gone there. However, the owners of the museum seem to have other ulterior plans for it. They want the future to stop and return back to the past. Disappointment with how things are now in the present, they have created a 70’s world which they think is far better. Soon after visiting, the adults start to behave strangely, and one morning, they abandon their children for the 20th-century museum. Shinnosuke, along with his friends, must now rescue his parents and stop the world from returning to the 20th century before they get captured.

This is my first exposure to Crayon Shin-Chan which has been causing controversy in Japan over the years especially with parents. The anime has been shown on Japanese TV screens since 1992. Shin-chan is a 5 year old boy who lives with his baby sister, dog and parents and is famous for his use of inappropriate language and behaviour. This is the 9th movie out of 20 that has been released so far. They are usually released each year in cinemas on or around the same day in mid April without fail. The anime series regularly comes up as one of the programmes that Japanese parents complain about the most due to what Shin-chan does like taking his pants down regularly or talking and showing his penis which he calls ‘Mr Elephant’. I watched this movie as readers of Kinema Junpo has voted it to be in their Top 200 Movies list for this year. I’m not too sure whether the anime series is geared more towards kids, adults or both? The first thing you’ll notice if you’ve never seen Crayon Shin-Chan before is how crudely drawn the main characters are. It might take time to get adjusted to it but with a great story who cares about how it looks. Basically the creators behind Shin-chan isn’t trying to make this movie or the anime series look like a work of art. I liked the humour of the movie very much with a lot of visual gags, parodies of old Japanese TV series which I’d never heard about and some toilet humour. I laughed a lot during the movie. There’s also a social commentary message thrown into the plot as well about living for today and not think too much about the good old days of the past.

Shin-chan is quite a character. Many have said he is like the Japanese equivalent of Bart Simpson which is far from the truth. He’s nothing like him. His foul mouth antics and rude behaviour, skirt chasing just like his father and double entendres is what endears him to so many people in Japan. A typical example of the humour you’ll find is when Shin-chan nearly falls off a replica Tokyo Tower in the 20th century museum and blurts out that his testicles shrank back. He is also seen urinating onto a moving car! A little bit crude perhaps but funny nevertheless.

Overall I had a great time watching this movie and I will certainly take a look at more of Shin-chan’s adventures. It’s a lot of fun and it would be silly for people to not see this movie because the animation is not up to their high standards. If you want something like that you can always go and watch the Ghibli movies. For those that want some funny comedy that will put a smile on your face – Shin-chan will certainly do that. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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