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Momotarô: Umi no shinpei (1945)

This animated film--Japan's first--was a propaganda piece made to show the Japanese public how the Japanese military had achieved such decisive victories in the South Pacific. It tells the ... See full summary »

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This animated film--Japan's first--was a propaganda piece made to show the Japanese public how the Japanese military had achieved such decisive victories in the South Pacific. It tells the story of young Japanese boys from their school days to their joining the army and fighting against Japan's "enemies" and shows how the animals in the jungle--meant to symbolize the residents of the Asian countries the Japanese conquered--welcomed the Japanese army's "liberating" them from their western masters. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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12 March 1945 (Japan)  »

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Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors  »

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1.37 : 1
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Begun in 1942, not completed and released until 1945. See more »

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Follows Momotaro no umiwashi (1943) See more »

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An early Japanese animation masterpiece
11 December 2001 | by (Kyoto, Japan) – See all my reviews

This is film was not a "first" in any strict sense. It was the second feature-length animated film made in Japan. The first was made by the same director in 1943, and featured the same character, the brave and powerful "Peach Boy" of Japanese folklore. But this film was far better than Seo's earlier effort, and, although it was a box office flop (It was made for children, but Japan's urban children had all been evacuated to the countryside at the time!), it was enormously influential, and inspired the young cartoonist/ physician TEZUKA Osamu to become an animator. Like it predecessor, it is a war propaganda film, and for that reason is both disturbing and laughable, but Seo must be given credit for his masterful direction and animation. The title, by the way, translates as "Peach Boy: Divine Warrior of the Sea." A final aside: Seo was an apprentice of MASAOKA Kenzô, who created the brilliant Kumo to chuurippu ("The Spider and the Tulip") in 1943.


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