Daria Gamliel for Cinetalk.net
The serialized manga by artist Nagabe has finally made it to the big screen. The Girl From the Other Side has been rather faithfully reinterpreted by Yutaro Kubo and Satomi Maiya. In a land where the balance between good and evil is constantly in question, lives a cursed Other. Seemingly suffering from amnesia the longer the curse continues, he no longer even remembers his own name.
After finding an angelic little girl named Shiva, the two hide out in a dusty abandoned house. Shiva is not afraid of his strange appearance, and nicknames him Teacher. The orphaned girl is playful and cute but Teacher cannot be in physical contact with her, lest he spread his curse. Even so, the pair form an interesting intimate bond not unlike father and daughter.
But strange creatures keep trying to tell Teacher something important. They allude to his lost memories and to the fact that he doesn’t understand what Shiva really is.
The selective color palette and the painterly style reflect the original manga’s artwork. The drawings “boil” like traditional 2D animation used to before the influx of 3D technology. It is a sight for sore eyes among the sea of plastified, de-humanized contemporary animation with its too-perfect lines and flat colors. At times The Girl From the Other Side resembles a visual poem with a hint of the eeriness of Aesop’s Fables. It is at once sad but sweet, and speaks of the connection between darkness and light. There can’t be one without the other.
A Cinetalk favorite at this year’s festival!
The Girl From the Other Side – previously screened.