Dead dogs are sad.
That’s the main lesson I learnt from this epic tale of polar exploration. That, and the fact that everyone in Japan in the 1950s was noble and strong.
Cynicism aside, I did enjoy this. The true story of Japan’s attempt to rebuild some pride and stake a claim for a scientific base in the Antarctic was solid enough. It definitely seemed to be tailor made for Japanese TV, with everyone looking windswept and interesting as they battle the elements. And the star of the show was the location. The wide open vistas of the frozen wastes were put to good use, and looked great, even if they did make the CGI parts look a bit obvious.
And call me sappy, but I thought the scene when Kuramochi returned to the base and looked for the dogs’ remains one by one was quite touching. And the story often dips into sentimentality, even for a story as heart-warming as this. The cut-aways to the dogs’ adventures during that year were a bit silly to be honest. And as with all stories based on truth, I can’t enjoy it completely since I always wonder if a particular bit is true or added in for dramatic effect.