Kickstarter projects are all over the place, and in 2014 the platform is used for all different kinds of business purposes. I think however if this means having fans able to pool together money to get Mai Mai Miracle out in the wild, translated, it’s well worth doing.
I’m not sure if it’s well-documented, so I assume it’s not, but Mai Mai Miracle is one of those “for kids” movies that is actually for adults. It belongs in the same category as, say, Wolf Children or The Wind Rises in that I am not sure if kids can get everything out of it. Well, no, I don’t think most kids could. The whole thing seemed to be like a mistake from the beginning. The planning and development of the movie binned the movie as a for-the-family affair, mainly for kids. The story and final product, however, beame this precarious and sensitively piece that has a full-blown magical Inaka, where kids in their seats will tire and bore but the old guys will cry. It’s one of those movies that had a bad open but revenue per theater increases as the screening went on. It’s not going to be many children’s favorite, but it can win festival awards.
Furthermore, I think Mai Mai Miracle channels that Asian mid-boom feel, like how Whisper of the Heart succinctly captures the 1980s in urban sprawl Tokyo. Mai Mai just goes another 20 years back. It’s not as meticulous as Ghibli’s works, but that masterful mise en scene, the “relax” look for which animation breaths life, and the whimsical thread that carries forward the movie are just the same. What would Ben say about this ex-Telecom key figure? (By the way, he hasn’t said much about Katabuchi, at least in the posts.)
The kickstarter pegs the DVD/BD SKU at around $55. That’s typical anime pricing I suppose. I would take a step and say that it is also kickstarter pricing. And it’s [/drumroll] Aniplex pricing, coincidentally, on a per-minute basis. What is more notable is the 200-page artbook the Kickstarter is promising. It is not the standard 3000y settings and screencap artbook that you can get from Amazon or any major bookseller. It is a totally new product, which is good, because no way it would be worth $75 even after shipping.
Anyway, go back it. The movie is great if you enjoy kuukikei/Inaka style stuff. It’s great if you are East Asian and can handle a slow film. It’s great if you are an animation buff. But you already know this, don’t you? People who read my blog probably already do!
Also, this is the first UK-based kickstarter that does anime distro for R1, isn’t it.
For old time’s sake (since the only copy of my Mai Mai Miracle blog post seems to be on my desktop), here’s a link to Shii’s breakdown of Sora no Woto, which is basically a digression of the Inaka value as mapped to otaku entertainment.
And oh, the kickstarter.