Japan's iconic naughty little boy in a monster-horror situation far away from home
Crayon Shin-Chan needs no introduction in many parts of the world. Almost like Doraemon, it is a very popular classic Japanese manga series-cum-anime created by the late Yoshito Usui. It may look like it's a children's comic but it actually follows the humourously perverted but innocent and adorable five-year-old boy named Shinnosuke Nohara (voiced by Akiko Yajima), or simply called Shin-chan like the title, in his adventures with his middle-class family, dog and his close friends.
Shin-chan's father Hiroshi Nohara (Keiji Fujiwara) is finally promoted as a manager but his assignment is in Mexico where his company wants him to secure an import deal for a rare tasty Dragon Fruit-like buds of cactuses from a small town called Madakueruyobaka. So Shin-chan actually moves away from his home and had to say goodbye to all his friends there. I'm not sure if it's the music or my long-time attachment to the characters, but these brief farewell moments really hit me emotionally. In Mexico, the family somehow manages to learn the language effortlessly (but the dialogues are still in Japanese) despite their difficulties to truly adapt. Drawing inspiration from classics like The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), the story then becomes a monster movie when all the cactus plants come to life and started going around devouring people. Shin-chan and his family with a few new Mexican characters must work together to survive from the terrifying situation.
I grew up reading the manga but was never interested in watching the anime as it was dubbed in my country's language and most likely had many scenes or dialogues altered due to censorship. With that being said, this is sort of the first time I've seen a Shin-chan anime and I absolutely enjoyed it despite its own cliches, lack of originality and genuine moral value. Shin-chan and his usual outrageously nonsensical behaviour, shameless perversion and accidental heroism are always going to laughter.
It was nostalgic, heartwarming and almost thoroughly hilarious. There are a few moments where the director or writer were too caught up or serious with the whole monster-horror premise where the characters of the genre typically find themselves stuck in a shop or a room for a while wondering how to escape from or deal with the huge man-eating creatures, like Tremors (1990) and The Mist (2007), for example, which features different strangers with their own personalities -- courageous one, strong one, weak one, smart one, hot babe, coward and villain, but thankfully no religious one.
Malaysia censorship: Nothing seems to be censored like how the BM version of the manga did. However, the smaller English and Malay subtitles are extremely hard to read. It's changes quick and the stroke/shadow are too thin.
Second opinion: My girlfriend enjoyed it as well, saying that it's very funny with memorable moments.
Verdict: A jolly good time, especially for those who hasn't seen any Shin-Chan work for a while.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Based on: "Crayon Shin-chan" manga series by Yoshito Usui
Country / Language: Japan / Japanese
Genre: Comedy, anime
Running Time: 104 minutes
Director: Masakazu Hashimoto
Screenwriter: Ueno Kimiko
Cast: Akiko Yajima, Keiji Fujiwara, Miki Narahashi
Malaysia Release Date: 20 August 2015 (GSC International Screens only)
Local Distributor: GSC Movies
Production: (no info)
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