I recommend "Hinokio: Intergalactic Love" to anyone who likes a family movie, or anyone who is tired of Too Much Angst and wants a happy story. :)
I loved this movie because it is very well tied together-- there are no lose ends to speak of, but also because it explores a mature concept-- but in a way that younger people can understand, too. This is a movie that talks about death, love, forgiveness and friendship. Even "grown" people can take something out of this movie.
"Hinokio: Intergalactic Love" is a story of Satoru and his classmates. Satoru lost his mom in the same car accident that left him in a wheel chair. One year after the death of his mother, Satoru's father gives him a robot that allows him to go to school from home. In this way, Satoru can re-enter life outside his room without ever leaving it.
The conflict in this movie comes at first from Satoru being alienated in his class. He wants to make friends with the other children, but they cannot see past the robot in front of them to the little boy talking to them through it. The children will not even call the robot by Satoru's nameinstead, they refer to him as "Hinokio." Another conflict comes from Satoru's relationship with his father-- who Satoru refuses to speak to.
The story is very well woven together with the introduction of a mysterious game "Purgatory"-- a game hidden within a game (Cyber City). This game catches Satoru's interest because it is centered on the after life.
How will Satoru come to terms with his mother's death? Will he every make a connection with his friends in his class? Watch and find out. :)
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