A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Different Japanese mythological creatures, deities, and gods appear throughout.
It's OK to feel sad and grief. Winning and being the best aren't that important. Sometimes you have to put the needs of others before your own. Good friends can come from anywhere.
Positive Role Models
Kanna and her companions are compassionate, courageous. They persevere through obstacles and challenges, all while showing great communication and teamwork. Kanna's father is always present and trying his best.
Incorporates Japanese culture, history, tradition, mythology. Characters are Japanese, and the lead is a 12-year-old girl.
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Violence & Scariness
A girl loses her mother and often remembers moments with her. Scenes of her mother in a hospital bed, at her funeral, and as a fake monster version of herself. Some demons, gods, and creatures are very large and may be scary for some viewers. A shadow-like monster shows up randomly and brings scary music. A girl trips and falls, scraping her knee. A mother drops a glass while falling over. In a dream, a girl falls from a great height.
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Language includes "stupid" and "shut up!"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Child of Kamiari Month is a Japanese animated movie about a normal 12-year-old girl who loves to run. Sadly, though, her mother recently passed away, and since then, Kanna hasn't really felt like running. This is partly because her mother also loved to run, but also because Kanna blames herself for not being "strong enough." There are heavy themes throughout, but also strong positive themes of friendship, perseverance, courage, and gratitude. Featuring Japanese mythological creatures, deities, and gods, diverse locations, backgrounds, and environments, as well as creative challenges, mysteries, and enemies, this tender adventure has some violence, moments of peril and threat, a theme of bereavement, and some injury detail. Kanna often remembers moments with her mother. There are also scenes of her mother in a hospital bed, at her funeral, and appearing as a fake monster version of herself. Some of the demons, gods, and creatures are very large and may be scary for some viewers. For example, a large dragon god has a deep and booming voice and often yells, and a shadow-like monster often appears and brings with it scary music. Mild language includes "stupid" and "shut up!" To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The animation is beautiful in this sad and tender story. A film that feels both modern and traditional, Child of Kamiari Month is a heartbreaking tale of a girl dealing with grief. The film admirably tackles Kanna's loss head-on and provides a decent-size adventure that allows her to face her fears, learn, heal, overcome, and grow. However, while the adventure is full of fascinating creatures and gods, difficult challenges and conflicts, and supportive companions and friends, the heavy nature of the main theme -- death of a loved one and grief -- might be too sad for some viewers. Also, the pace is quite slow at times, and the film often takes its time exploring flashbacks and dreams.
But this meditation on the grief of a child is, in a way, quite brave. It never veers from its primary subject matter, even while Kanna runs all over Japan collecting magical food from various gods. The beauty of this is that by always keeping its message in clear sight, this worthwhile film manages to keep its central metaphor, which is running (as in the sport), organically tied to its theme. So, this narrative works not merely as two stories (girl loses mother/family life, girl goes on adventure/god life) running side by side, if you will, but rather as two stories running together as one.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.