Mizu no Tabibito: Samurai Kids (1996)

Countries - Japan  |  
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Veteran director Nobuhiko Obayashi directs this children's fantasy about a wacky travails of a pint-sized samurai. When a lonely young lad named Satoru (Ryo Yoshida) fishes around in a polluted stream for his errant baseball, he pulls out an aging water sprite warrior who goes by the name of Suminoe Sukunahiko (Tsutomu Yamazaki). The supernatural samurai is ailing after sucking up too much polluted water. If he doesn't reach the sea soon, he will never be reborn. Satoru takes the sword-wielding imp home and puts him in his desk drawer. There, Sukunahiko has to adapt to a new domestic geography with new dangers. At one point he slashes a cockroach in two; at another he has a disastrous encounter with an electric knife; and in still another, he is almost carried away by a raven. Taking refuge from his short-tempered mother (Jun Fubuki), his distant father (Ittoku Kishibe), and sister (Ayumi Ito), Satoru and his Lilliputian samurai become fast friends. Later, when Satoru is imperiled by a rockslide, Suminahiko -- riding the family cat -- comes to the rescue.