Today I took my daughter to see the new Tamagotchi Movie: The Happiest Story in the Universe. Spoilers follow from what I can remember!
The movie begins at Tama School, as the children await the arrival of the flying library. The Tamagotchi are talking about what type of book they would like to read this time. Mametchi says that he wants a book that will make him a famous researcher. Nearby, a new character tells Mametchi "That's so childish!" Chamametchi recognized him as a transfer student in her class, Kikichi. Mametchi said "Oh, so you've never seen the flying library before!" Mametchi explained that the flying library contains special books that children can be magically be transported into, and become the main character of the story. Suddenly, Kikichi hears the sound of a horn, though nobody else can hear it. Kikichi jumps to the top of Tama School and says, "It's coming!" Still nobody can see it, but finally the ship of the flying library can be made out, as the Otogichi Siblings bring the boat down into the land, and the children rush into the boat to live out their fantasies.
The opening credits (along with the intro music from the original Tamagotchi movie) play along as the Tamagotchi live out their various fantasies. Chamametchi flies on a magic carpet; Mametchi relaxes in an ocean on his special transportation device; Memetchi meets the prince of her dreams, only to have Makiko come and try to take him away; Kuchipatchi is in a land of treats, eating everything in sight. The credits end with Kikichi alone on a deserted island, staring blankly at the sky.
After the Tamagotchi children leave the boat and it returns to the sky,
Kikichi alone hears a voice that says "Help me!" Kikichi tells the others that he heard this voice, but Memetchi says "I didn't hear anything! You must be mistaken!" Kikichi gets angry and says that he knows what he heard. Mametchi tells Kikichi that he's sure that he knows what he heard, and that if he hears it again to please let him know.
Afterwards, we cut to Mametchi, Kuchipatchi, Memetchi, and Chamametchi talking about their experiences. Makiko comes UP to Memetchi and tells her next time, she'll win the prince. As they are walking and arguing with each other, from a house high above, Kikichi throws two banana peels and causes both Memetchi and Makiko to fall. Kikichi comes down and laughs, saying "it's your fault for not looking where you were going!" Mametchi asks if Kikichi had a fun time, but said that it didn't interest him at all. Chamametchi said the books made her so happy that she wanted to share her happiness with others. These words sparked an idea in Mametchi's head, and he rushed home to follow up on his idea.
A montage follows of several of Mametchi's failed attempts to complete his creation. Finally, Mametchi finally thinks he has it, and his friends come to watch. But a serious of unlikely events, kicked off by a Kuchipatchi sneeze, ends up altering the experiment. After a big explosion, a small figure lies in the middle of the room. When it awakens, the creature, a pinkish-white character with wings and hearts on his body tells Mametchi "thank you for inventing me!" Mametchi was surprised, as he did not expect his creature to look this way or even talk. He finally explained to his friends to purpose of this invention: this creature had the ability to absorb the feelings of happiness of those around him. Furthermore, he could use these feelings on people who were not happy, thus making them happy. In this way, he could share happiness around the world, making everyone. To this end, Mametchi decided to name his invention "Happyhappichi".
The characters were downstairs celebrating Mametchi's invention and Happyhappichi's birth, when they saw the news program on the creation of a new shopping/amusement megapark called "Celebria". They all mentioned that they wanted to go soon. Meanwhile, in a penthouse building within Celebria, Kikichi was eating an extravagent meal by himself. He took a bite and said "I'm done. Maybe I'll watch some TV." He went into his room and turned on his enormous TV. He saw an interview show with the man and woman who owned Celebria (Kikichi's parents) They talked about their reason for creating Celebria as a place where all Tamagotchi could come and be happy. In a sad voice Kikichi said "There's nothing good on." and turned off the television, and sadly looked out of his giant window as fireworks and amusement surrounded him.
Happyhappichi goes off to make people happy. When Flasko Sensei becomes depressed after another failed experiment, Happyhappichi sprinkles his happiness, and the teacher cheers up, saying one setback isn't going to get him down. When Ojichi and Otokichi get into a fight, Happyhappichi sprinkles some happiness and they soon make up. All around town, everyone begins thanking Mametchi for his great invention.
The families of Mametchi, Memetchi, and Kuchipatchi go out together for a day of fun at Celebria. After lots of good times, they run into Kikichi. Kikichi is sad and not in a good mood, so Mametchi tries to have Happyhappichi make him happy. Kikichi gets angry and says "Leave me alone!" and runs away. Mametchi and friends run after Kikichi. Kikichi escapes them several times, but they keep running after him. Kikichi yells "Why are you running after me!?" Mametchi says "Because you're running away!". They finally trap an exhausted Kikichi in a high place, and Happyhappichi sprinkles his magic. But Kikichi does not become happy. He is about to try again when Kikichi yells "Forcing people to be happy is such a nuisance! Don't come by me anymore!" Kikichi finally escapes for good, leaving everyone depressed.
The next day, Flasko Sensei again has another failed experiment, but laughs it off saying "It's OK, I'll just have Happyhappichi give me another hit of happiness and everything will be alright!" After school, Ojichi and Otokichi stop Mametchi and say "We're fighting! Bring Happyhappichi to us!" Chamametchi says "When you're fighting, you're supposed to apologize and make up!" Otokichi says "We need Happyhappichi so we don't have to apologize!" A sad Mametchi comes to realize that Happyhappichi is actually making everyone less happy, and tells him not to make anyone else happy for awhile.
Back at school, the flying library has returned for another visit. While the other children are looking for books, Kikichi is just hiding and feeling depressed. But once again, he hears the voice that says "Help me!" While Kikichi is looking, Happyhappichi feels great unhappiness somewhere nearby, and begs Mametchi to let him help. Mametchi and friends agree to at least follow Happyhappichi to find the source. Kikichi and Mametchi and friends bump into each other, and right then a book falls down at their feet. The book is "The Happiest Story in the World", and Kikichi and Happyhappichi confirm this as the source. Against Kikichi's will, they all go inside of the book.
Mametchi notices that, unlike other books where they immediately assume the role of the main character, this time they are simply themselves. While the characters are exploring the land, Mametchi narrates the story: "Once upon a time, a man named Happy lived with his dog Lucky. Given that his name was Happy, he was determined to become the happiest man in the world, so he left his home and everything else behind to fulfill his quest. He became the richest man in the world, but he still wasn't the happiest man in the world. He became a great hero, but he still wasn't the happiest man in the world. He became the greatest magician in the world, but he still wasn't the happiest man in the world."
Just then the characters found someone in the story. Mametchi said, "You're Happy, aren't you! We've come to help you!" Happy said "I didn't ask for any help. I'm busy, leave me alone" and ran away. They followed Happy around the book, going through several strange doors. At the end of the last door, the characters all found themselves back in the exact same place they had left before. They searched again and found a depressed Happy looking around. Mametchi said "Please, let us help you!" But Happy said "I don't want your help! Leave me alone!" Happy's words touched Kikichi very deeply, because it seemed very close to his own feelings. Just then the school bell sounded, and the characters had to leave the book. Kikichi didn't want to leave, but Mametchi said "We'll talk to Otogichi, maybe he'll know what to do." But while Mametchi was talking, Kikichi snuck out of the boat with the book.
Back at his home, Kikichi was having a flashback to a younger time. The children were talking about the festival tomorrow, but Kikichi could hear the nearby tree saying that it was going to rain tomorrow. When Kikichi told the other children that the tree told him it was going to rain, they all made fun of him, saying things like "Why are you saying such horrible things? You are a liar and a terrible person!" Kikichi couldn't wait any longer, and opened up the book and went inside.
As soon as Kikichi entered the book, a tornado of whirling paper erupted from within, engulfing the Celebria complex. Those tamagotchi who became caught up in the chaos were rendered two dimensional, like a page of a book (this imagery was a little disconcerting, as the giant tower covered in a billowy smoke like substance actually reminded me of the horror of 9/11) At Mametchi's house, the family saw the news report of what was happening at Celebria, and immediately worried about Kikichi.
Many people gathered around the Mame Labratories to discuss the problem, including Otogichi and Mametchi's friends. MameHakase explained the situation; it appears that in this book, the last page had been torn away. As Happy's adventure could not come to an end, he kept returning to the start of the story, and after thousands and thousands of attempts to finish it, the book had become unstable, to the point where it was now affecting the real world. The only way they could fix the book was for Otogichi's to write a new ending with the magic crayon. Mametchi and friends say that they will go back inside the book to save Kikichi. PapaMametchi forbids them to do so, but Mametchi explains that only children can go inside the books, and so only they can save Kikichi. Otogichi also pleads to let them come with him, and PapaMametchi finally relents.
Meanwhile, inside the book, Kikichi is talking with Happy. Happy explains that he has spent so long searching for the world's greatest happiness, but that every time he feels he is about to get it, he is returned to the beginning of the story. He cries "this is supposed to be the world's happiest story, but it is the world's unhappiest story!" Kikichi asks him if Happy is the one who was saying "Help me!", but Happy says that he did not say that.
Otogichi, his sister, Mametchi, Memetchi, Kuchipatchi, and Chamametchi enter the book in the flying boat, and they arrive to see the book world disintegrating all around them. They finally find Kikichi and Happy, and Otogichi explains that they have to complete the story, but that only Happy could do it. Happy thinks long and hard, and says "I will find the world's largest banana orchard, one where I can eat bananas for ever and never use them up!" Otogichi's sister uses the magic crayon to create the new ending, and Happy rushes to eat the bananas. But soon, the bananas disappear, and Otogichi says "I'm sorry, that is not the correct ending to this story." Happy tries again saying, "I want to marry the most beautiful princess in the world!" Otogichi's sister creates a beautiful palace in the distance, but it too soon disappears.
Happy thinks of many other things, but decides that none of them would be enough to make him the happiest person in the world. He is about to give up, but the others say that they will help him think. Mametchi says that he is happy when he makes a new invention. Memetchi says she is happy when her curl comes out just right. Kuchipatchi says he is happy when he gets a lot of food. Kikichi said he was happy when he came to school in the morning and someone says to him "Good morning." This seems to have an impact on Happy, and he starts to think. But at this point much of the world starts to fall apart, and Otogichi's sister loses her crayon at it falls away from sight. Without the crayon there is no hope of completing the story, so they try to escape in the ship. But Happy will not leave with them, saying that he is the main character, and he must remain in the book. And Mametchi refuses to leave, saying that "unless everyone is happy, there can't be any real happiness."
Suddenly Happyhappichi tells Mametchi "My happy energy is full. Please let me try to make Happy happy." Mametchi agrees, and Happyhappichi flies and releases full happy power on Happy. Dozens of Tamagotchi memories of happiness flood around Happy, and in the process he thinks back to his dog Lucky. "I wonder what happened to him...I was happy before I ever left on this quest."
Suddenly Happy called out, "Finally, I know what I need. But it is too late." Just then Kikichi caught sight of the crayon on a far away scrap of land and said, "No it's not too late!" and took off to jump after the crayon. Kikichi was able to reach the crayon, but eventually the scrap of land supporting it fell away and Kikichi fell. Happyhappichi flew over to him, but Kikichi was too heavy and could only slow their fall slightly. In desperation, Mametchi and Memetchi called to Kuchipatchi and said "We need you!" While Kuchipatchi said "Huh? (da chi)", Mametchi and Memetchi grabbed Kuchipatchi by the legs and swung him around like a lasso. Soon Kuchipatchi stretched like a piece of taffy, and connected to a far away piece of land just in time to catch Kikichi, who slid down Kuchipatchi like a slide to safety.
With the crayon in hand, Happy told his ending: "I want to go back to life as it was before I began my quest." Otogichi's sister created a door, and as the rest of the world was falling apart around them, Happy worked up the courage to open the door. "Please, please, please, let this be what I have been looking for for so long."
Finally, Happy opened the door, and the world around them was rebuilt into the land that it once was. In the real world, the whirling book tornado swirled back into the book, and the tamagotchi rendered two-dimensional returned to normal. As Happy looked on in wonder, from his house emerged his old dog Lucky, and Happy and Lucky embraced. Kikichi heard a voice that said "Thank you", and he looked at Lucky and thought, "so you're the one who was calling me!"
Suddenly, they looked and saw Happyhappichi collapsed in the field. Although he looked to be dead, Happyhappichi groggily opened his eyes. Mametchi explained that Happyhappichi had almost used up all of his happiness, and that without it he would die. But Happyhappichi got up and feebly flew over to Kikichi, sprinkling what little happiness he had remaining, saying "I promised I would make you happy Kikichi, and I will keep trying until I do so." Kikichi thought back to the horrible words he had said to Happyhappichi before and broke down crying. Mametchi said that they needed happiness, but with Happyhappichi on the verge of dying, nobody felt any happiness.
Just then, Happy and Lucky approached them. "You saved me, now it is my turn to save you." He picked up Happyhappichi and told him "I am the happiest man in the world. Because my happiness. Though for a second it looked like it was too late, eventually the happiness reached Happyhappichi, and he was saved.
The tamagotchi characters returned to the real world to find the Tamagotchi in celebration. Kikitchi was greated by his mother and father, who said "We worked so hard to create a place where everyone could be happy, yet we forgot about the most important person of all. I promise we will make more time for you from now on!" A now happy Kikichi introduced his parents to his new friends.
The ending music played over a montage of still shots of Happy and Lucky living together, and the Tamagotchi cleaning up their world and having more fun at Celebria. One of the last scenes were pictures inside of Mametchi's house, featuring a very brief glipse of the Tampopo character from the first movie.