Screens Lyon – Animation – “Luck smiles Madame Nikuko” by Ayumu Watanabe: like mother, like daughter? by Vincent Raymond Petit Bulletin Lyon

Animation / The animated record enters the adolescence of Kikurin and his happy mother with a thousand flaws, Nikuko, an impressive chef who is strangely like Kikurin who is smart and filiform. A masterpiece of sensitivity and humor that elegantly recounts the long life of a woman and woman, the differences and above all unconditional love. find the family!


After being dumped by several dirty men abusing his jovial turnip, circle Nikuko landed with his daughter Kikurin in a small fishing village where he performed wonders in the kitchen between in two embarrassing situations for his daughter. Meanwhile, she grows up and is interested in Ninomiya, a teenager her age who suffers from strange nervous tics.

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Willing to lengthen, sometimes misleading their content (I want to eat your pancreasfor example, unlike a cannibalistic horror story, but all a tearful melody (Hannibal Lecter) or otherwise a confusing informative platitude (Joseph, the tiger and the fish ; Hana and Alice lead the investigation), many titles toanime seem to be attempts aimed at sorting out insiders.

But those who dare to go ahead with an almost unattractive storefront often find themselves heavily rewarded. Luckily Mrs. smiled. Nikuko is one of those unexpected gems whose shimmer captivates you and whose poetic intelligence takes you from the first second to the last note of the credits.

read also: Mamoru Hosoda, the visit of a master

crossing borders

like his most famous countrymen Miyazaki (obviously quoted since Nikuko is compared to Totoro) or hosoda, Ayumu Watanabe puts himself here at the height of a teenager to dissect the problems inherent in the passage from one world to another: the one, relatively carefree and open to the imagination of childhood, the the adult universe is burdened with constraints, choices and concessions. Because she lives with a mother whose character is mostly pure, Kikurin is more mature in her head than her classmates, even if her body has not yet crossed the door of virginity.

In addition, it is one of the greatest benefits of this film that it awakens without error moderation the question of rules, as Red alert by Domee Shi recently that animation works are less intimidating than cinema when it comes to filming true when talking about organic topics and femininity? Mrs. Nikuko The theme of liberation within the school microcosm is also discussed, and the psychological violence that results from it, as well as the uniqueness of some children: the lone Ninomiya, with her grins, acts here as the prince charming of the story that Kikurin releases (a little) of his bad luck and the contact in which he frees himself from some of the crowd’s reflexes.

Oscillating with strange linfra intimate, this collective photo is sometimes reminiscent of Isao Takahata’s The Yamada Family (which is no small compliment), interspersed with hilarious little interludes where Nikuko is seen in chibi-meat style with premium tender meat. The beauty of the graphics and the variety of emotions they provide is enough to make Mrs. Nikuko nice movie; but it is more than this strange rupture that affects the account beyond half the unexpected rupture that gives the whole story a new perspective as JSA by Park Chan-Wook. It’s hard, at the end of this chronicle, not to leave the characters with a dry eye.

Benefited from a vf as successful as vo, Luckily Mrs. smiled. Nikuko see each other again with the same joy; we bet they will improve over time to reach grand cru status. There is no reason to delay discovering it on the big screen!

★★★★★ Luckily Mrs. smiled. Nikuko
A film by Ayumu Watanabe (Jap, 1h37) with the voices (vo) of Cocomi
, Taken by Shinobu, Izumi Ishii

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