The animation is beautiful in this sad and tender story. A film that feels both modern and traditional, Child of Kamiari Month is a heartbreaking tale of a girl dealing with grief. The film admirably tackles Kanna's loss head-on and provides a decent-size adventure that allows her to face her fears, learn, heal, overcome, and grow. However, while the adventure is full of fascinating creatures and gods, difficult challenges and conflicts, and supportive companions and friends, the heavy nature of the main theme -- death of a loved one and grief -- might be too sad for some viewers. Also, the pace is quite slow at times, and the film often takes its time exploring flashbacks and dreams.
But this meditation on the grief of a child is, in a way, quite brave. It never veers from its primary subject matter, even while Kanna runs all over Japan collecting magical food from various gods. The beauty of this is that by always keeping its message in clear sight, this worthwhile film manages to keep its central metaphor, which is running (as in the sport), organically tied to its theme. So, this narrative works not merely as two stories (girl loses mother/family life, girl goes on adventure/god life) running side by side, if you will, but rather as two stories running together as one.