Coco (2017)

Remember me…



IMDB : 8.8

Rotten Tomatoes : 97%


Plot & Review

Coco is a 3D animated movie produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures on November 2017. The movie took a concept from Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. It follows a story of 12 years old aspiring musician, Miguel who stucks on the land of the dead and must seek the help from his family to return to the land of the living.

Miguel’s great grandmother Imelda married a musician, but her husband left her with their daughter Coco to pursue a career in music and never came back. She banned music from her family and learnt to become a shoemaker which later became the family’s business. In the present, the 12 years old Miguel now living with her family and an elderly Coco. Miguel has a great interest in music and dreaming to become a great musician like Ernesto de la Cruz.

When his grandmother Elena broke his guitar because she knew he wanted to enter a talent show, he concludes that Ernesto is his great grandfather from the photo from his house’s ofrenda. He decides to “borrow” Ernesto’s guitar from his tomb, but instead he is cursed and transported to the land of the dead. To return to the land of the living, he must seek the blessing from his family before sunrise or he will become one of the dead. But when Imelda’s blessing requires him to abandon music, he run away from his family and seek for blessing from Ernesto instead.

While looking for Ernesto, Miguel meets the almost forgotten skeleton named Hector. They make a deal: Miguel will take back Hector’s photo to the land of the living and Hector will help Miguel to find Ernesto. Later, Hector finds out that he died because Ernesto had poisoned him when he tried to get back to his family and Miguel realizes that Hector is actually his great grandfather whose guitar and songs he had written were stolen by Ernesto. Together, with the help from the rest of his family, Miguel reveals to the world that Ernesto was a fraud which resulting Hector reconnects with Imelda again.

As the time close to sunrise, Hector’s in danger from being forgotten and disappearing. Miguel earns his blessing from Imelda without any condition and returns to the land of the living. He sings Hector’s song written for Coco and triggered her memory of Hector and thus saving Hector from disappearing, because Coco is the last living person who still remembers him. The family accepts music back into the family and Miguel reconciles with his grandmother Elena.

In my opinion, Coco was one of the best animated movie this year. It was a touching story about the importance of family wrapped in an interesting Mexican holiday theme. This movie taught us that no matter what happens, a family won’t turn its back to you and it should be the thing you treasure the most before anything.

I like how the movie was a very enjoyable journey, with a light plot twist which rather uncommon in an animated film. As the main theme is a Mexican holiday, the movie successfully deliver the unique Day of the Dead atmosphere with its particular tradition and vibrant color. It’s also packed with some ear-catching songs in both Spanish and English. But I like the full Spanish version better than the mix version.

Honestly, I couldn’t point out anything I don’t like about this movie. I love every part of it, the characters, the music, the plot, just everything. So I would recommend this movie to all of you, and if you can, watch this movie with your loved ones.

Donten ni Warau (2011)



So I just finished reading a series of manga called Donten ni Warau or Laughing Under the Clouds in English. I wondered where were I that I didn’t find this amazing series sooner, because it’s been there since 2011 and I just found it recently. But I’m still grateful that I had the chance to stumble upon this manga, because if I wasn’t I’m sure I will regret it. Thanks to MangaRock for the recommendation!

This manga is set in the 11th year of the Meiji era, where Japan was slowly changing because of the western influence and carrying swords were forbidden. But there were plenty of people who disagreed and thus the crime rates increased. The government solution was to create a prison called Gokumonjo in the middle of Lake Biwa. The protagonists, three Kumou brothers were assigned to transport the criminal through the lake to the prison. But their main job was never only transporting criminals. They had duty to prevent the rebirth of the Orochi, the legendary snake who appeared every 300 years and said to bring calamity to humankind.

At first, I thought this manga was just a series of one shot, telling the daily life of our protagonists. But at later chapters, the pieces are coming in place to create the bigger picture of the story. When I got the idea of the story, I just couldn’t stop myself from reading it until I finished. And finishing it didn’t take a long time, since it’s only 29 chapters in total. In my opinion, those numbers are just perfect, the plot wasn’t dragged with unnecessary plot and not too short either so it didn’t feel rushed at all.

The main idea itself is quite simple, but with some plot twists here and there, the story become unexpected and full of emotions. I laughed at the jokes, but I was also surprised this kind of manga could make me cry once or twice while reading through the chapters. Those element of surprises in the manga is one of the reasons why I say the story is unexpectedly very real, totally different from the other shoujo manga with the same theme.

It also has a very fitting ending, even though it’s not the kind of ending where everyone is come together and live happily ever after, but still, this kind of happy ending is fine. The manga still maintained its realistic element until the end and that’s what makes the manga even more amazing. This manga is totally one of that makes you want to read it again and again in the future.

In addition, the art was also beautifully drawn by Karakara Kemuri sensei. Her style is become one of my favorite immediately. Not to mention that almost all of her male characters are handsome (insert heart emoji here hahaha).

By the way, this manga also came up with two other series. One is Donten ni Warau Gaiden, which consists of few side stories before and after what happened at Donten ni Warau. Another one is Rengoku ni Warau, a prequel manga set in 300 years before Donten ni Warau. Go check it out, another amazing works by Kemuri sensei 🙂

Score: 9/10


Despicable Me 3 (2017)

“I have a twin brother!” – Gru


I’ve been following this animation movie franchise since the beginning, including its spinoff, so despite the bad review and ratings, it’s still become one of my must watch list this month.

Honestly this movie was below my expectation. The idea and storyline were so-so. I mean, Gru suddenly has twin brother? That’s really came from nowhere. In my opinion, compared to the previous movies, the quality of the story is going down as the sequel increases. Given the quite open ending, I think there will be a 4th movie in a few years.

As the movie is supposed to be family comedy, in my opinion it’s not as funny as the previous movies which could make the whole theater laughing out loud. This movie is funny but it’s not that funny that you want to roll on the floor and laughing so hard. The funniest part of the movie and might be the best part is still nailed by the minions army. So for entertainment only, this movie is still served its purpose. If you are looking for some animation comedy but with deeper and impactful storyline, this one is not recommended.