Oscar Andersson’s review published on Letterboxd:
If we accepted that we're all the same, there would be peace.
Even at death's door, Obayashi's love for the craft never falters. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, he not only manages to make his long time dream project in Hanagatami, which would have been a fitting closing chapter for him as a director, he has enough energy and spirit to muster up a final film in Labyrinth of Cinema.
Even in the final year of his life, his creativity and vision is still as unique, experimental and hypnotizing as it was back when he hit it big in the 70s. Growing up in the presence of war, and witnessing events that can never be forgotten, most of his work touches on his experiences with WW2, and his ultimate movie is of course no different, extending his anti war trilogy into an anti war quadrology. Changing up the format somewhat with incorporating the medium of cinema, and it's role in telling stories of the past, and immortalizing them for generations to come, with the ultimate end goal of changing the world for better.
In order for us to achieve world peace, there are many things our hands can turn to
The childlike, naive bluntness Obayashi's messaging really hits hard, and he is practically screaming it out for the audience to hear. It might be simplistic to say war bad, love good, but theres beauty in the simplicity and at its core, there isn't more to it than that. Be good.
It would be nice if everyone in the universe was family
Rest in peace Obayashi,