The Film (2/5)
The Life of Budori Gusuko had been sitting lonely on my stack of "to review" films for a few weeks before I picked it up. I noticed it actually looked sort of interesting, and then I read the back, and noticed a singular name "Kenji Miyazawa". Needless to say the association with Miyazawa's work, specifically Night of the Galactic Railroad. This put the film from a theoretical watch to an immediate watch, and the Blu-ray was in my player within 30 seconds.
The film follows the titular Budori Gusuko who lives with his family in a remote forest region. Their lives are great simple, and happy until blight takes the region, his family dies, and he leaves to find away to get his sister back. His life is a struggle, and he takes a number of jobs that are difficult until he finds one with a "Volcano Department" which give him the opportunity to study the things that caused the weather to change, and his region to suffer. This gives him the drive to continue his work.
This film is really all over the place. The beginning is sad, but the animation has a quality that can draw the viewer in. After that it is both terminally sad, and all over the place as if a direction for the film cannot simply be chosen. The main character Budori Gusuko has a mission, and yet he seems dull and lifeless in executing that mission. The really only thing I can give this movie overall is that it is beautiful to watch, and even that is something I can only suggest for a single viewing.
The Life of Budori Gusuko is presented by Sentai in a 1:78:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer that looks quite nice. The Blu-ray has nice detail and excellent color reproduction and really nothing to complain about.
Audio is handled by 2 tracks DTS-HD MA 5.1 in both Japanese and English. Both tracks sound quite decent, and handle dialogue, score, and background ambiance quiet well.
Being a Galactic Railroad fan, I wanted to LOVE this. Unfortunately, my feelings were just the opposite. The Blu-ray from Sentai looked great, but that's all I can say. If you can rent it or stream it do that.