In many respects, this movie isn’t so much a single, continuous narrative as it is a collection of short stories centered around Akino and her adventures at the department store. In the last act of the movie, everything does come together slightly, but the main focus of the film is on the creative experience of working in the service business.
Akino has significantly more duties as a concierge than any one of the individual store staffers. In other words, a concierge acts as the department store’s overall troubleshooter. On the one hand, this may imply assisting others by using the data provided by clients together with their extensive understanding of all the amenities the enormous structure has to provide to locate the ideal present. On the other hand, it can necessitate intervening to diffuse uncomfortable or confrontational circumstances, ideally in a way that leaves no client disappointed.
Considering how difficult it would be for anyone to meet this standard, Akino’s occasional slip-up doesn’t help. She also struggles to interpret the nonverbal clues of the different animal clients, attempting to determine who needs assistance before they are even requested. Additionally, dealing with so many non-human clients presents a size issue since, if she’s not paying attention, she could physically tread on some of them.
Despite having a difficult beginning, Akino is one of those persons who genuinely wants to assist others. This is why she is working there, not just to get paid. She will stop at nothing to make sure that someone is content and happy since she truly enjoys seeing that happen. Although this is definitely a commendable quality of her personality, she occasionally gets into problems because of it. She occasionally makes unfulfilled promises or goes too far in her attempts to win people over. Whether her energy compensates for her other problems or if, in the end, she is more of a burden than a help is the central topic of the movie.
For those who have worked in the service sector, this film is quite relatable, and for those who have not, it is incredibly enlightening. Akino’s interactions with the creatures she aids have been largely good, but it is only one aspect of the story. Akino also has to cope with a nightmare customer who goes too far with the adage “the customer is always right” and a pair who exhibit a little too much PDA (despite frequent warnings). Even with the comedic twist this movie puts on it, I’m sure many will be able to relate to her having an intrusive, micromanaging manager who is always watching her and ready to jump into action anytime she makes even the smallest mistake.
Each of the vignettes centers on a distinct animal client and their issues. These are adorable and entertaining; they deal with issues like finding love, reuniting with family, and coping with the loss of departed loved ones. Furthermore, since many of the species depicted are extinct—and largely due to human activity—there is a strong message of animal conservation throughout.
The Concierge is a beautifully animated movie in terms of visuals. The majority of the time, the simplistic and sparsely drawn character designs come to life because to the expressive and flowing animation. In the meantime, the department store is meticulously designed in almost every way, giving guests the impression that it is the enchanting, upscale establishment that it is meant to be. Though it never quite sticks out, the music is generally upbeat and fits the mood of the movie nicely.
All things considered, The Concierge offers a humorous perspective on working in the service sector. It brings it all together with a collection of short stories about animals you’ve probably never heard of, showcasing the best and worst in both patrons and salespeople. Even though it’s not particularly innovative, it’s nevertheless the ideal kind of movie to watch with your family or to unwind on a calm afternoon.