Akko-chan: The Movie
Dir. Yasuhiro Kawamura, 2012, 120 min.
Akko-chan: The Movie is based on Fujio Akatsuka’s classic “magical girl” manga Himitsu no Akko-chan, which has been broadcast as an animated TV series three times in the past. To mark the comic’s 50th anniversary, has been adapted into a live-action movie for the first time.
By gazing into an enchanted compact, given to her by the Spirit of Mirrors, and chanting the magic words tekumakumayakon, ten-year-old Akko can transform into anything she wants. The live-action movie gives the story a modern twist, while allowing the spirit of the original work to shine through.
When Akko transforms into her 22-year-old self, a chance meeting with Naoto, a manager at a cosmetics company, lands her a part-time job. Naoto’s section is about to be shut down, so Akko earnestly does her very best to help him, coming up with childlike ideas and making the most of her magical transforming ability. Lead actress Haruka Ayase vibrantly inhabits this difficult role, creating a relatable heroine by peppering the film with schoolgirl-like expressions and reactions.
Lively images, fun action scenes colored with excitement and slapstick, and a novel viewpoint that refreshingly satirizes corporate tactics are blended into a movie bursting with fashionable and chic taste, sweeping us away into a feel-good world that “could have been done before but never had.”
Trailer (Japanese only):