THE BOY AND THE HERON – A Review by John Strange
I have to preface my review with this proviso: I am not a fan of Japanese Manga. I don’t dislike it, I have just never gotten into it.
The Boy and The Heron is set in Japan during World War II. The story is well drawn in the manga style and is interesting to watch. The characters are interesting though I did not understand a few of the relationships.
The story has sci-fi and mystical undertones that take young Mahito Maki (voiced by Soma Santoki) into another world built by his granduncle. He is led or at least accompanied by The Grey Heron (voiced by Masaki Suda).
The story is deep. Many filmgoers may not enjoy the complexity and the subtitles involved in following the plot. I wish I could say that I was able to keep up with the story, but I know that I dozed off at least three times.
This one is a well-made example of the genre, but I have to say that while I liked what I saw/read, it is a bit convoluted and may be difficult to follow for non-manga fans. Based on comments I heard from others who attended my advanced screening, they loved the film. Me? It was good but not my cup of tea.
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Cast: Soma Santoki, Maki Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki, AIMYON, Yoshino Kimura, Takuya Kimura, Keiko Takeshita, Jun Fubuki, Sawako Agawa, Karen Takizawa, Shinobu Otake, Jun Kunimura, Kaoru Kobayashi, Shohei Hino
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some violent content/bloody images and smoking)
Selig Rating: 4 Stars
Runtime: 124 Min.
Release Date: 12/08/2023
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Language: Japanese (with English Subtitles)
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…
1 Star – Total waste of time.