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Gotou ni Naritai is one of those obscure anime that's overlooked by most yet liked by many people who watched it. Essentially, the movie is a drama about Ritsuko - a girl born with a bad leg who enters elementary school and gets bullied by the classmates because of her difference. Yet as the plot goes on, the heroine gradually improves her walk, gains confidence and makes friends with her peers. Eventually, she even starts doing short runs, and her goal becomes to participate in a relay race 5x100 (hence the movie's title) that takes place on school sports day.Now, this anime isn't something you would normally call outstanding: the character designs are somewhat ugly, the overall quality of artwork is fairly poor, and the dramatic moments that happen in the movie may feel cheesy and even forced at times. Nevertheless, the anime somehow remains very impressive on the emotional level: I just couldn't help but sympathize with Ritsuko and everything happening to her. Part of the reason may be the topic itself: while there're quite a number of series that feature handicapped protagonists, like Fullmetal Alchemist, Kara no Kyoukai, Mushishi and Texhnolyze, there're very few shows that are dedicated entirely to that problem and tell a story of an ordinary person dealing with it in a real world. This factor alone makes the movie more than your average tearjerker, as it turns out memorable in its own way. Besides, the protagonist is a cute girl who dreams about running, jumping and making friends with other kids, and she gets some simple yet real development which also helps you relate to her & the whole situation. The two main bullies receive their share of development as well: not only it makes them more than mere plot devices but also unveils some of the most common reasons for childish cruelty like envy and lack of parental attention.Overall, I enjoyed the movie despite the obvious flaws it has, and those who aren't too picky about aesthetics & technical qualities and look for some really heartwarming drama should also give it a try.
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