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Anime Profile: My Neighbors the Yamadas

USA Info
Japanese Info
My Neighbors the Yamadas Houhokekyo Tonari no Yamada-kun(ホーホケキョ となりの山田くん) My Neighbors the Yamadas
1 movie 1 movie
August 16, 2005 July 17, 1999
Buena Vista Studio Ghibli
  Hisaichi Ishii
  Isao Takahata
Comedy Comedy
View Image Gallery View Image Gallery
Kikuchi(Noboru's classmate) Kikuchi(Noboru's classmate)
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Matsuko Yamada Matsuko Yamada
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Ms. Fujiwara(Nonoko's teacher) Ms. Fujiwara(Nonoko's teacher)
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Noboru Yamada Noboru Yamada
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-- more listed below -- -- more listed below --

Last I checked, this anime was available on DVD at Amazon and The Right Stuf.

Anime Characters: My Neighbors the Yamadas

English Name
Japanese Name
English Name
Japanese Name
Kikuchi(Noboru's classmate) Kikuchi(Noboru's classmate) Nonoko Yamada Nonoko Yamada
Matsuko Yamada Matsuko Yamada Shige Yamada Shige Yamada
Ms. Fujiwara(Nonoko's teacher) Ms. Fujiwara(Nonoko's teacher) Takashi Yamada Takashi Yamada
Noboru Yamada Noboru Yamada    

Anime Description: My Neighbors the Yamadas

My Neighbors the YamadasMy Neighbors the Yamadas is a far cry from the typical anime film that we've all come to know. First off, the visual style is completely different from standard anime. There is no cell-style here, it just looks pretty much like a comic strip come to animated life... which is convenient considering My Neighbors the Yamadas started out as a newspaper comic strip. Although the animation was all done with computers, it really appears as if it were made completely from hand drawn pencil sketches with watercolors. Only the occasional sweeping camera angels give hint that this work of art actually exists in a 3D computer environment. I though the bobsled ride down the wedding cake was especially well done.

My Neighbors the YamadasThe next difference between this film and regular anime movies is the way it flows. Again, it is laid out like a comic strip come to animated life, which fits perfectly with the visual style. There is no overall story or plot here, just a lot of little mini-stories about the Yamada family, and the style works very well. It is also convenient if you just want to watch a little bit at a time. Since this movie was based on a comic strip, the overall tone is that of comedy, and some of the scenes are truly hilarious, like the remote control battle between the two parents that plays out like a martial arts competition. I'm sure every review you read will have some mention of that scene, which is probably the funniest thing in the whole film.

My Neighbors the YamadasThis film may be a comedy, but that doesn't mean that every scene is written to be funny. Like any film, there is variety here. Some portions are romantic, some are relaxing, and some are even nerve-wracking, like when the family accidentally leaves their third-grade daughter at the mall, or when the father goes out to confront a group of loud, obnoxious punks. Mostly, though, the scenes and skits are about just the little things in life, such as what's for dinner or a forgotten umbrella. What's cool is that all of the scenes entertaining, no matter what emotions they may be invoking at the time.

My Neighbors the YamadasThe Yamada family consists of six members. Takashi, the husband and father, is a middle-aged man with a run-of-the-mill job providing a perfectly normal middle-class life. Matsuko, the wife and mother, is a full-time housewife. As such, she stays at home and takes care of the household chores while looking after the kids. Noboru, their son, is currently in junior high, and is just your average, non-excelling student who is always being pestered to study harder. Nonoko, their daughter, is the youngest member of the family. She is currently in third grade, and often speaks very loudly. Shige, Matsuko's mother, also lives with the family. She helps out with the chores and shopping, and constantly reminds them that she owns the land on which their house is built. Pochi, their lazy dog, rounds out the family.

My Neighbors the YamadasSeeing how the US version was produced by Disney, the dubbing is excellent. All the voices fit their characters perfectly, and all the acting seems to be dead on with the Japanese version, showing that they really took their time and did it right. The end result is a great movie that would make a nice addition to anyone's anime collection. Not only will it keep both adults and kids entertained the entire way through, but it can be enjoyed in little snippets for when time is short or you just don't feel like sitting though a whole movie. Also included on the DVD is a behind the scenes with the voice actors, and some original storyboards for comparison with the final film.

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