Modest Heroes 2018 – Have You Watched The Movie? Also, if yes, which story was your favorite? Review and Ranked, Spoilers Ahead


Modest Heroes is a 2018 anthology film in the realm of Japanese animation, created by Studio Ponoc. Serving as the inaugural installment in the Ponoc Short Films Theatre anthology, the movie features works written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Yoshiyuki Momose, and Akihiko Yamashita.

Now, there are three short stories, beginning with Kanini & Kanino, Life Ain’t Gonna Lose, and the last Invisible that I have watched and rated here in this blog. Also, I have shared a short portion of things liked about the narratives.

So, without any further ado let us get going with-

Modest Heroes – The 3 Narratives Reviewed and Ranked

1st – Life Ain’t Gonna Lose

Modest Heroes 2018 Source Studio Ponoc
Modest Heroes 2018 Source Studio Ponoc

Explanation: Shun Yashima, a young boy, scuffles with a life-threatening allergy to eggs since birth. His family dedicates each day to shielding Shun from any egg exposure. Special meals are a necessity at school, classmates must exercise caution to avoid accidental egg contact, and even school field trips require careful consideration due to Shun’s allergy. Meanwhile, Shun’s mother endeavors to balance her career as a dance teacher. Unfortunately, one day, in the absence of his parents, Shun unintentionally consumes egg products.

Things I Liked – Shun is a genuine modest hero who was not a quitter. He struggles to live life like his peers yet, is an exceptional human being who was born to do great things, such as make a global presence as a baseball player one day.

He is interested in his mom’s career and also pretty sincere about his baseball. He is polite and considers following whatever his mother instructs respective of food consumption. Shun is basically a good boy whom everyone would adore.

To some extent, the bond that the boy and his mother share here resembles the bond between Suske and his mother from Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo.

Very little is known about the father, the small movie is all about the mom and Shun and their days.

What I grasped about Shun is that he is tormented by the idea of leaving as in being dead. Hints are left from the beginning of the movie. Actually, some of the most prominent ones are when he watches the dead pigeon he feels confused and leaves the spot immediately. Later when he is attacked with his allergy he does his level best to live which is remarkable. He even says to his mother that he wants to get better which makes his mother more happy.

He is a strong and individualistic character who even as a kid can make an impression in the lives of adults, just like he did to me. I loved the story a lot, and I know you will love it too.

I am delighted to rate the short movie-

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

2nd – Invisible

Modest Heroes 2018 Source Studio Ponoc
Modest Heroes 2018 Source Studio Ponoc

Explanation: A man grapples with the feeling of being unnoticed by those in his surroundings. Throughout the day, everyone ignores him, and he experiences a gradual loss of his physical presence. In an unexpected turn of events, a stranger initiates a conversation with him, and suddenly, the invisible man finds himself presented with an opportunity to act as a hero.

Things I Liked – What struck me was the weight that he constantly carries with himself to stay stable on the land. When I watched him using an exercising weight while brushing his teeth in the morning, I really did not understand the whole point.

Next, the red colored cylinder which he carried to his workplace as well. However, the moment I learned that it was not an oxygen cylinder but rather a weight that he needed to attend to the humane duties to survive, it was eye-opening.

It was sad watching him go unnoticed at an endless level. However, a strange man who also seemed like an invisible man could see him. His dog was his connection to the land. He offers him food, but to me, it seemed that he was willing to help the protagonist more than only providing food.

Anyway, at last, he finds someone who watches him for who he really is. The moment he saves the baby, the atmosphere transcends to being sunny making the rain totally stop. The sudden change of weather appeared in the context as the silver lining which gave me hope that now the protagonist will be seen and there will be significant change in his life.

The narrative is very deep, I don’t think it is suitable for children because the plot might run over their heads. The profoundness of the story is impeccably described by the director which made me like the story.

I am delighted to rate the short movie-

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

3rd – Kanini & Kanino

Modest Heroes 2018 Source Studio Ponoc
Modest Heroes 2018 Source Studio Ponoc

Explanation: Kanini and Kanino, small anthropomorphic siblings of freshwater crabs, reside beneath the surface of a nearby stream. The audience is given a quick flashback showing how their life used to be. While their mother, Kaka, is away giving birth, their father, Toto, looks after them.

In an unexpected turn of events, the siblings are left on their own, prompting them to undertake a perilous quest to reunite with their father.

The entirety of their communication unfolds in fictitious language.

Things I Liked – The subtle symbolism of a crab and two younger crabs watching over Kanini and Kanino was positioned very indirectly. What I feel right now is that it was Toto along with Kanino and Kanini. I genuinely thought that those crabs were the predators.

Further, the family’s weapon of choice was crab hands which also gave the impression that it’s their acquirement after a battle, which they use now to hunt. However, it turns out that they are crabs which was quite surprising for me because I assumed that they were some underwater creatures who appeared like humans.

Anyway, the story was interesting. It showed the other side of life which is not at all a walk in the park. It also, represented that be it anywhere if you are an older sibling you have quiet responsibilities at hand to take care of.

I liked this part of the movie. It’s not only an entertaining portion but also an educational one that teaches us how freshwater crabs survive the survival game. You can definitely watch the movie with your children as well.

I am delighted to rate the short movie-

Rating: 3 out of 5.

TOTT’s Take On Modest Heroes

Well, we have three narratives in Modest Heroes and each has its unique magic. However, one thing was common in all the stories which was the topic of survival. Each of the plots shows the concept of survival uniquely and now, it’s our end to feel connected to the narratives or not.

So, what did you like about Modest Heroes? Tell me everything about your thoughts on the movie in the comment section below. Also, are we on the same page about the ranking, even though you must tell which short story you like the most?

So, this is it for today, hope to meet you all very soon for my next publication.

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