by Chris MaGee
Back in January when news came out about Riko Narumi's upcoming starring role in "Shodo Girls", the story of a girl who goes into a "performance calligraphy" competition, we knew that the film probably wasn't going to stray too far from the saccharine, feel good template of films like "Swing Girls" and "Hula Girls". Little did we know just how saccharine director Ryuichi Inomata would take the whole project. Now with the release of the trailer for "Shodo Girls" (being released in Japanese theatres in May) we get an overload of folksy humour, hyper-sentimental soundtrack, and enough "Gambatte yo!" spirit to choke even the most forgiving viewer. It's too bad really, given that the first time I personally saw Riko Narumi was in her impressive performance as a piano prodigy opposite Ken'ichi Matsuyama in "Shindo", a film that could have followed in the same template of "Shodo Girls" but thankfully didn't.
To get double your daily requirement of sugar sweetness head over to Nippon Cinema where Kevin Ouellette has the full trailer posted.
Japan's Animation DVD Ranking, February 13-19
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