When we are young it is sometimes hard to face up to what we are feeling as things beyond our control change. Sometimes we put on metaphorical masks to hide from the truth and to show the world we are fine. What if that metaphorical mask became real, and allowed you to be in the safe arms of your crush?
Miyo is a bright young girl going through the motions of her parents split. She becomes fixated on a boy from school, Hinode, and he becomes the avatar for her joy and happiness. She does not shy away from expressing her adoration for him, to the point of making herself look like a fool at school. Although she is naturally a bubbly and energetic girl, she just cranks it up to 100 when she is around him.
Miyo arrives at a crossroads in her life, she can continue to chase after Hinode with little success or wear a magical cat mask that turns her into the cat Hinode has become fond of. If a mystical, humanoid cat sold you on this idea, you might run for the hills. However, Miyo is a young and impressionable young girl still figuring out her emotions— this just totally makes sense to her.
The film written by Mari Okada and directed by Junichi Sato and Tomotaka Shibayama, is reminiscent of the films of Studio Ghibli, these exaggerated fantastical premises that shed light on every day and ordinary problems. Our protagonist makes a deal that she will probably regret, but it is necessary for her growth as a person. The animation style lends itself beautifully to the premise which is equal parts mesmerising and detailed. The detail is what sells the whole thing, a trademark of any good Japanese anime.
A Whisker Away is a delightful adventure with a ton of heart and soul. Our sympathetic protagonists are easy to engage with and root for. The animation is breathtaking, with a light and airy feel that will be sure to leave you in awe.
A Whisker Away will be available to stream on Netflix from June 18th
by Ferdosa Abdi