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‘Okko’s Inn’ Review: Madhouse Anime Tries to Help Little Kids Make Sense of Grief

Above all else, Kitarô Kôsaka’s “Okko’s Inn” is a warm and adorable new addition to the growing subgenre of animated children’s films about grief. The film is so colorful and kid-friendly that it’s hard to believe it’s from the same production studio responsible for the hyper-violent likes of “Ninja Scroll” and “Perfect Blue,” but this bucolic story about a little girl who moves into her grandmother’s ryokan isn’t quite as gentle as it looks.

Based on a series of Hiroko Reijo novels called “Waka Okami wa Shōgakusei!” (literally “The Young Innkeeper Is a Grade Schooler!”) — and unfolding like a Kidz Bop cover of “Spirited Away” — “Okko’s Inn” might be too shrill and erratic for most adults to enjoy all the way through, but it deals with death in a way that’s direct enough for even young children to understand. For small kids coping with big losses,

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