A Letter to Momo is unquestionably lovely to look at, but viewers may not be able to shake the feeling that they’ve seen much of it before, and done better.
Stream A Letter to Momo
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Writer-director Hiroyuki Okiura, however, does not match the high expectations for story and design set by other Japanese animators.
Overall, Okiura stays very focused on Momo’s emotional journey, which is smart. It’s not as fantastical as “Spirited Away” or many other films about children who encounter the supernatural upon being forced to deal with death, as Momo always stays front and center. The final moments of her journey out of despair are powerfully emotional.
Enveloped in a sweetness that buffers the depths of its emotions, Hiroyuki Okiura’s A Letter to Momo explores the stains of loss and regret on a personality too young to articulate them.
Physical beauty and fearless adventure, silly comedy and sensitive emotions, filmmaker Hiroyuki Okiura brings a facility for all of them to the table.
A comic adventure that suffers from a dearth of both laughs and thrills.
The story distinguishes itself from other anime offerings through its attention to both visual and emotional realism.
Though it touches on the usual themes of youthful innocence and imagination challenged by misfortune, and on occasion achieves moments of supremely subtle, sublimely exquisite detail, “Momo” strains when it comes to evoking whimsy and magic.
The bickering goblins make a boffo comedy team, and while there's a recurring fart joke, it borders on classy. That's the power of good anime.
It offers a realistic portrayal of Momo's emotional state, but this comes at the expense of a deeper exploration into both the story's lush supernatural landscape and its inhabitants.