Coming to Blu-ray from GKids and SHOUT! Factory comes the look at a young girls life changing with “Okko’s Inn.”
After losing her parents in a car accident, Okko (Seiran Kobayashi) must go live with her grandmother Mineko and other family. It is immediate that she is a city girl as the local bugs and lizards are something that cause her panic. What Okko can’t explain to the others is that she sees a ghost in the house and is surprised to learn who the ghost truly is!
Mineko also run the inn and once the young boy ghost Uribo gets Okko to admit to wanting to help at the inn, grandmother puts her in a kimono and the training begins. She finds a bell and doesn’t realize she has released the food stealing ghost named Suzuki. Grandmother also announces that Okko will be starting at the local school. She meets Matsuki who is very standoffish and classmates call her ‘Frilly Pink’ and their meeting doesn’t go very well.
But the class embraces Okko very quickly and good thing too because she doesn’t want them to know she’s seen another ghost. On her way home from school she meets a father and sick son who need a place to stay. After the boy Akane gets upset and yells at Okko, it is her grandmother that must intervene to teach her to be kind to the guests.
Okko finds a way to make the ghosts she is meeting help around the Inn. They aren’t happy about it but it’s a way for them to stay with Okko. When grandmother tells her to check on guests Ms. Glory Suiryo, Okko discovers that she is a fortune teller! She tries to talk to Matsuki about it but she only wants to make Okko feel bad.
Glory and Okko become friends and decide to go on a shopping spree together. On the drive Okko remembers the day about her parents and the ghost friends help her through it. After a day of shopping together, Okko discovers that Akane’s father was a writer and did a review of their inn! It was such a success that now the inn is crowded with people who want to meet her.
Matsuki is upset with Okko thinking she doesn’t take her dancing seriously. That’s when she explains that both of their dances is how the girls will be taking over their family’s respective inn’s. Uribo also learns that there may come a time when Okko doesn’t see all of her friends anymore.
Arriving at the Inn is the Kise family and their little boy name Shota. The problem is Shota’s father is having problems with the food their inn is serving. Okko realizes that she needs help from the most unlikely of places — Matsuki herself. The surprising thing is that Shota’s father loves the food.
That is when Okko realizes who Shota’s father is that she must come to terms with the path her life has taken. It is the good friends she has made along the way as well as those who have watched over her that has her seeing a bright future.
SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite “Long Way North” and the epic fantasy “Beauty And The Beast.” Also their own original horror film, “Fender Bender,” gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer go to www.shoutfactory.com.
GKIDS brings award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. The company has received ten Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations, including “The Secret of Kells,” “A Cat in Paris,” “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” and “The Breadwinner.” GKIDS is also a distributor for Studio Ghibli films including, “Spirited Away,” “Princess Monokie” and many more. To learn more about GKIDS go to www.gkids.com.
The Blu-ray’s special features include “Interview with the Director,” “Interview with Seiran Kobayashi (Okko),” “Question & Answer with Director and Producers at Japanese Premier” and “Trailers.”
“Okko’s Inn” is absolutely delightful in every way! The story is that of a girl who loses her parents but also understands the importance of friendship, family, love, loyalty and surprises she never saw coming.
The animation is stunning and beautiful which adds such richness to the story that is being told. This is a story that is relatable in its telling on so many levels which means that although sad at moments, it is those around Okko that help her reclaim her the life she so richly deserves.
“The waters of the Harunoya springs are a gift from the gods; they welcome everyone and heal everyone.” What a lesson it is for us all to learn!
In the end — all are welcome here!