May 10, 2007

My Beautiful Girl Mari

Mari Iyagi is a Korean film about a young boy who is going through a period of time where people are coming and going outside of his control. He finds a "sheep-girl" that becomes an alternate reality for him, allowing him to escape to a simple and beautiful world. While there is a lot to be said about the depth and emotional meaning carried by this anime's story, what I really enjoyed about it is its artisitic quality. To me, that was its most valuable aspect.

The film has a very interesting and unique artistic style to it. The environments are incredibly detailed, although not in terms of realism but rather in terms of existence. That's not exactly clear, but what I mean is so much effort was put into building out the landscapes and buildings and trees and grass, on a grand scale. As the characters move around, they are going into new places and each place has individual blades of grass and pieces of this or that all over the place. Things are not glossed over by painting large swathes of a single color.

Plus, it seems like everything was done in CG with a cel shader that I've not seen used anywhere else. Surfaces are actually flat, like you might see in a two-dimensional rendering done in a vector drawing program. (There's a subtle plug for Adobe in the opening sequence.) I really liked the look, and found it very pleasing to watch.

The art by itself is complimented by an exceptional score and foley work. You will want better quality audio gear to appreciate it, and surround sound. I could easily see people picking up soundtracks of this film because the individual tracks are excellent. I do think, though, that to fully appreciate the music you either need to be remembering the scenes associated with the music or watching the animation sequences while you listen.

Posted by josuah at May 10, 2007 7:38 AM UTC+00:00

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