A Letter To Momo – Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book Review

Posted By yonghow on July 9th, 2012

A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book

A Letter To Momo is Hiroyuki Okiura’s first film after a long break of 12 years, since his directorial debut Jin-roh : The Wolf Brigade. It follows the the life of a 13 year old girl Momo, who, after the death of her father due to a work related incident, moves from Tokyo to her mother’s hometown of Shio. As Momo struggles to adapt to the sudden changes in her life on the remote island, she encounters a trio of supernatural beings…

I very seldom purchase art books of films I’ve yet to see, ( having missed the theatrical screening of this film while in Tokyo and am still kicking myself ) but I did so for this because I trust Hiroyuki-san’s artistic vision to create a fantastic piece of animation, and also because I wanted to get the word out on his films as I feel they really deserve more attention, just like Jin-roh.

A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book

The art book covers the various disciplines of the animation making process, including story and layout boards, character sheets, select genga and image boards and background art plates. In terms of volume it’s not as comprehensive as say, the art of Ghibli series, but unfortunately this is probably the only art book we’ll be seeing for the film.

Visually, A Letter To Momo retains many of the distinct look we saw in Jinroh – the character design, a duty shared by both the director and Ando Masashi ( another anime heavyweight  with a ton of fantastic credit to his name ); the desaturated, almost pastel color palette; and a very simple and minimal cell shading look for the characters. All these work together to give A Letter To Momo a visually distinctive look amongst other anime films.

A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book

(above and below) A sizeable collection of character sheets for the lead and secondary characters.

A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book

(above) Select genga sheets and ( below ) background art plates.

A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book

( below ) Select panels of image boards by the director himself. I really love the gentle watercolor look, just like some of Tatsuyuki Tanaka’s works.

A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book
A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book

If you’re a cinema operator or film festival organizer, please, consider picking up A Letter To Momo for screening. ( For an in depth review of the film, please go here. ) In the meantime, this book should satisfy those who want a further glimpse behind the art of the film.

“Hiroyuki Okiura’s A Letter From Momo “ art book details :

Dimensions – 25.6 x 18.2 x 1.2 cm
Soft cover, 112 pages
Color/B&W, in Japanese

A Letter To Momo - Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book Amazon Japan Buy Link

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3 Responses to “A Letter To Momo – Hiroyuki Okiura Art Book Review”

alua

I really love that first picture. So beautiful.

Generally, the art in A Letter to Momo is just gorgeous and I really appreciated how distinct – both visually and in terms of their personal characteristics – the three yōkai were. They could have easily ended up indistinguishable or at least very similar, but they are not at all!

I hope you get to see the film soon!

yonghow

alua – I too was captivated by that picture, so I chose it for the title image. I’m hoping our local film society can arrange for a screening of the film, maybe even ask Hiroyuki-san to grace the event !

Chances are slim, but we’ll see. :]

alua

Funnily enough that picture is from a scene that I felt was somewhat redundant (although I did think it was beautifully done, also it’s final animated form).

If worst comes to worst you’ll have to watch it on DVD but it is the sort of film that’s just wonderful on the big screen.

Hope you get lucky!