Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror

I decided to pick up Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror after reading some glowing reviews. I also checked out the video previews online and it really looked like a fun family movie. It didn’t help that Amazon was offering the Blu-ray/DVD combo at $13.72 either.

Here is the summary ripped from the web:

16-year-old Haruka is on a mission to find her mirror — a precious childhood gift from her late mother that has disappeared. On her search, she follows a strange foxlike creature to Oblivion Island, a mystical world overflowing with once-cherished items taken from their neglectful owners. Trouble follows Haruka and her new friend Teo at every turn as they contend with the island’s overbearing ruler, who will stop at nothing to use the mirror for his own sinister plan!

********** SPOILERS ALERTS *********


What a wonderfully colorful world Oblivion Island is. Talk about one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is taken to the extreme here. Now we all know where that other damn sock went to. I loved how they mixed stuff you would find into homes and vehicles. The interaction between Haruka and Teo was very cute and similar to any new relationship noting how they are from totally different cultures.

Being able to see life from the view of the mirror was an interesting concept. It is like Alice looking from the other side of the mirror and watching her life. The fact that mirrors could animate things was really interesting as well. I guess the mirrors over time have a ‘soul’ which helps to create life. I looks like all those crazy people are right that they steal your souls. You would just need to place a mirror or piece into an inanimate object for it to come to life.

The bonus stuff is well worth the look as well. I especially liked the review of the different Fox Folklore in Japan in the various regions. It did though at times seem to drag a bit. You also get a view of them making Hashima Island aka Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) and Oblivion Island Sister locations and the films ‘Good Blessing/Fortune’ ceremony at a shrine.


You mean to tell me that Teo didn’t see her under the steps – seriously, was he that oblivious. I feel the story, though entertaining was missing some other aspects. I think more could have been done to give us a better background on the ‘Baron’ and the other inhabitants of the Island. We see that he has some ‘friends’ that seem to pick on him, but we never understand the underlying reasons (except that he gets poor stuff).

It does have some fast paced scenes which are too fast in my view. So much is going on so quickly, that you can’t get a sense of what is happening. With the colorful backgrounds of the building and some fast moving action, your senses get lost. I will be watching this again to catch some of it in more detail (not just because my downstairs neighbor was too loud at this particular time).

Are these suppose to be fox-like creatures? They widely ranged in different sizes and looks, so I was not sure. I felt like I was watching a bunch of Piglets with pointy ears running around. Also, what is up with that ‘Dark and Sinister’ place where all the mirrors go? They are very hostile, but in the end, team up to take back all the mirrors thanks to the toy Lamb ~ Cotton. He was so scared of the place in the first place, but somehow goes back there and talks the residents into fighting alongside him against the Baron – HOW??

 It is by far a great anime and very entertaining for all ages. You can feel for Haruka with the loss of her Mother and then dealing with Father not being home much. You feel a sense of abandonment in the beginning and feel relief when she is reunited with her lost objects. I just wish there was some more filler information in reference to the characters on the ‘other side’.
 OVERALL GRADE: B – though the movie was entertaining and colorful, I feel that I was missing part of the story somehow.

KEEP or THROW ~ Well, since I purchased it, I have to keep it. But as a family film it is definitely a KEEP!


What do you think of this Full Length Movie?


  1. The setting is kind of Final Fantasy to me and frankly the drawing style does appeal to me. An overall B is quite a good rating which mean I might consider watching.

    1. My whole family really enjoyed it, but I just wish there was more background stories for some of the characters.


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