Title of the 1999 anime movie from Studio Ghibli (English title: My Neighbours, the Yamadas). It is based on a manga of the same name by Hisaichi Ishii. The manga is a four panel strip which tells short, funny stories set in the daily life of the Yamadas, a normal Japanese family.

The movie is total unlike the other Ghibli movies (especially its immediate predecessor Princess Mononoke) in its animation and storytelling style. The character designs are very much like the manga, i.e. stylized instead of lifelike and realistic. The entire animation style is totally unlike other anime and looks more like watercolors than normal cel artwork. This was made possible by using computers.

The plot is also unusual in that there is none, at least not a single, big one. Instead, the film consists of dozens of independant mini-stories, sometimes loosely connected and often less than a minute in length.

Because Yamada-kun was so different from what people had come to expect from a Ghibli movie, it wasn't very successful in the cinemas, and anime fans paid it little attention, even though the Japanese DVD actually comes with English subtitles.

I think it's rather sad that such a great movie (and it is great) is ignored just because it diverts from the norm.

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