Given the unpromising material of a bestselling series of essays by a childcare expert, Ichikawa and screenwriter spouse Wada turned out this quizzical 'state of the family' comedy drama. Almost three decades before the dread Look Who's Talking series, it boasts a two-year-old narrator passing occasional comments on the foibles of mum and dad. The focus, however, is on the changing mores of parenting, as exemplified by the sharing, ever stressed modern young couple and the wise, if repressively codified traditional ways of their grandma, whose old-style house provides a welcome sanctuary (at the cost of much babycare advice) after the couple's cramped salaryman's apartment. What with its animated insert, a positively avant garde rendering of the Tokyo cityscape, all blurred pans and buzzing motorbikes, and some twisted humour at the expense of junior's tumble from an upper storey balcony, the film shows little sign of settling for the sort of comfortable commercial fare the studio must have been expecting. Fascinating, and fun too.