My Oni Girl (2024) Movie Review – A lighthearted anime that weaves philosophy into a fun adventure

A lighthearted anime that weaves philosophy into a fun adventure

Anime films will always have a special place in the hearts of film lovers for their adventurous storylines, visually delightful animation and sense of nostalgia. And the same reception can be expected for Netflix’s My Oni Girl, helmed by the makers of Drifting Home, A Whisker Away and the iconic Ghibli film, Spirited Away.

A little over 100 minutes, My Oni Girl is a fantasy adventure following Hiiragi Yatsuse and Tsumugi, an oni demon. Hiiragi is a kind-hearted high schooler who also happens to be a pushover.

And as luck would have it, he runs into Tsumugi who needs his help finding her mother whose last-known location is the far-away Hie Shrine. In only their pyjamas, they hitchhike their way through the country and meet all kinds of people. If that wasn’t enough, they are targeted by Snow Gods who feed off people who suppress their true feelings like Hiiragi.

The characters are also all pretty sweet, relatable and human. We have Hiiragi who is kind and helpful but he cannot say no. As for Tsumugi, she is stubborn and quick to judge. But as they go on their misadventures, they experience character growth. Hiiragi goes from being a pushover to standing up for himself. As for Tsumugi, she finally gets a purpose in life and does her best to sympathise with others. 

My Oni Girl’s structure is quite cleverly done as well. The first half of the movie fleshes out the characters and their dilemmas. This pays off in the second half with the big showdown as Tsumugi and Hiiragi apply everything they have learned. This makes the movie crisp, to the point and keeps viewers engaged. All the clues and setups finally make sense as the main conflict is finally explained. 

As for the aesthetics, anime movies never seem to let us down. We get a melodic soundtrack that sets the mood for a whimsy adventure along with a scenic backdrop. There’s also something about 2D Japanese animation that just makes it a joy to watch. The food as usual is so delicious, we wish we could grab it through the screen.

Meanwhile, The smooth and vibrant animation captures the characters’ expressions well. Oh, and the landscape is so gorgeous that even when there are filler scenes, viewers are bound to revel in them. If there is one thing we can count on, it is the backdrop in anime movies.

But to be honest, there is nothing new about My Oni Girl. The mom angle is quite fresh in our memory from a similar plot line in Suzume while we have seen such main character dynamics in Your Name. But one can argue that there are only so many novel stories before we have to recycle them in different ways.

And this is where My Oni Girl thrives, with relatable and flawed characters who go on otherworldly adventures to save the world. The animation is just the cherry on top as we get a lighthearted film with a standard philosophical message expected from anime films.

Read More: My Oni Girl Ending Explained

Feel free to check out more of our movie reviews here!

  • Verdict - 7/10

Leave a comment