Ushiro no Shomen Daare

Title:Ushiro no Shomen Daare
Kayoko's Diary
Who's Left Behind?
Keywords: , , , , ,
Kayoko is a young girl in 1940, just starting first grade. She's a bit of a crybaby, which is no secret to those around her. She loves playing with friends and singing cute schoolyard chants, and occasionally having fun with her three older brothers. Her mother is pregnant, and so she looks forward to being a big sister, only partially understanding the responsibility that might bring. Meanwhile, the war effort is growing, and it`s only the natural thing to do to be patriotic and support the country...Kayoko goes so far as to contribute her favorite dolly, whose materials could help build explosives. Time passes, and as she grows older, Kayoko sees how the war has affected her life and those around her. Nothing can prepare her for 1945, however, and the bleak times that are soon to come.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

90 minute anime film released on March 9, 1991.
Animated by Mushi Productions
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 8 8 8 9 Ggultra2764 [series:2648#1552]
An all around solid historical movie, Kayoko's Diary depicts different points of World War II focused on a young Japanese girl named Kayoko that explores her life throughout the war from spending her day normally with her family to realizing the cruel reality of her country's inevitable loss to America towards the final year of the war. I guess you can think of this film as a coming of age look into Kayoko learning to mature quickly as her home country's everyday life becomes further complicated and bleak when it becomes increasingly entangled with war against the West.

The differences in mood with the movie's halves couldn't be anymore prevalent with the events that come about. The first half starts off seemingly as a lighthearted look into the everyday life of Kayoko and her family that takes place during the early years of World War II when the Axis Powers were still dominant in the war. Upon America's increased efforts in the war as one comes to see in the second half, the war starts to radically effect the everyday lives of civilians, enough so where Kayoko is forced to separate from her family and air raids from the Americans become increasingly common in the later years of the war on heavily populated areas. A shocking event, that I won't spoil here, even comes to shake the resolve of Kayoko as she finds herself forced to mature quickly throughout the film thanks to the toll that wartime puts on the civilian populace.

The movie offers up enough focus on Kayoko and her family for one to get a feel for the type of people they were and the strong belief they had in their country prevailing in the war. My only real issue with the movie was that the pacing felt quite a bit slow for parts of its first half where it caused things to drag a bit. Beyond that, there's not very much for me to pick apart with the plot and characters to Kayoko's Diary.

Overall, Kayoko's Diary made for a solid war drama focused on the harsh things to come for a young Japanese girl unaware of how the reality of war would drastically effect her life in the later years of World War II. It is certainly worth a look if you have interest in anime based on historical events.

Last updated Saturday, November 17 2012. Created Saturday, November 17 2012.

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