I received Okko’s Inn for this review/feature. Opinions expressed are my own.
Kitaro Kosaka’s stunning anime feature Okko’s Inn from the famed studio Madhouse will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download on July 2, 2019 from GKIDS and Shout! Factory. Nominated for the 2019 Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, the film comes to home video following its nationwide theatrical release earlier this April.
After losing her parents in a car accident, Okko goes to live in the countryside with her grandmother, who runs a traditional inn near an ancient spring said to have healing waters. Okko soon discovers there are spirits living there only she can see – welcoming ghosts who keep her company, play games and help her navigate her new environment. Okko strives to be a gracious host, and this is soon put to the test by a string of challenging guests with different stories. But ultimately Okko discovers that dedicating herself to others becomes the key to taking care of herself, in this beautiful tale from Kitaro Kosaka, who was a key animator on numerous classic films at the venerable Studio Ghibli.
- Interview with the Director
- Interview with Seiran Kobayashi (Okko)
- Q&A with Director and Producers at Japanese Premiere
Fun Time: 95 Minutes
Okko’s Inn is a powerful coming-of-age drama depicting powerful messages about believing in yourself and being of service to others through its memorable characters and gorgeous animation. Because the topic of death is central to the story it is suggested Okko‘s Inn is for ages 9+. Big Sis is 10 years old and she watched this movie with me and even though it has some very sad scenes she loved every minute of it. Even if you have never watched an anime movie I highly suggest giving this one a try. It is enjoyable to watch a movie that is out of your comfort zone and even though it is dubbed in English it does not take away from the story at all. Okko‘s Inn delivers a rare ghost story that will make you laugh and cry as your heart is tugged back and forth as Okko is forced to grow up too soon because of her parent’s sudden death.