Junkers Come Here – movie

Girl and dog in room
Hiromi and Junkers
Junkers Come Here, 100 mins, 1994, dir. Junichi Sato, prod. Bandai.
Eleven-year-old Hiromi is a Japanese schoolgirl from a well-to-do Japanese family. She lives in an upmarket home, complete with housekeeper and a live-in tutor. Her parents, a director of commercials and a top executive, work long hours and are often absent. Hiromi’s most constant companion is a cute schnauzer dog called Junkers, whom she thinks can talk to her. Her parents’ marriage is breaking down because they rarely see each other. Both of them think that Hiromi, a smart and precocious child, will cope with this well, but only Junkers and the tutor can see how lonely and upset Hiromi is.
This much overlooked movie is some distance in style from the usual anime comedy. It gently explores the effect of parental absence from the child’s point of view. The tutor finds himself acting as a substitute Dad, while also being an object of love interest for the maid. It’s attractively animated and the script is good, the direction giving it more of a live-action feel than is common in anime. It achieves the rare feat of being funny, while also dealing seriously with serious matters. The animation is attractive and the character designs are Oriental, which makes a refreshing change from the big-eyes so prevalent in anime. Far more than just another anime for anime fans, this is a movie that any parents should watch with their kids. The visuals too are as good as anything from the Studio Ghibli stable. Highly recommended.