Fiction tales usually throw round actual statistics, utilizing them to border the stakes or mould viewers expectations. For occasion, Netflix’s latest anime film, Children of the Sea, mentions early on that humanity has but to discover 95 percent of the ocean. This is a well-liked statistic for tales: Movies like Masaaki Yuasa’s Lu Over the Wall use it to justify introducing mythological creatures from the ocean, characterizing the uncharted sea depths as a supply of worry or potential surprise.
It’s definitely simple to worry the unknown. Children of the Sea asks viewers to fall in love with the unknown, and consequently, with the ocean. Director Ayumu Watanabe (Space Brothers) needs the ocean to clean over his viewers, enveloping their whole being. He doesn’t current the water as any completely different from an individual, or a grain of sand. The movie suggests we’re all simply tiny specks within the vastness of the universe — and presents that as a comforting message. In this story, taken from Daisuke Igarashi’s manga sequence, the whole lot is linked. The sea must be admired and explored as a result of it’s a big a part of ourselves.
Children of the Sea expertly prepares its message from the beginning. The movie opens at an aquarium the place the protagonist, Ruka, is entranced by a faculty of fish following her actions. It’s a quick, great encounter that units up the remainder of the movie. Aquatic life is depicted in a painterly vogue, harking back to impressionist artwork. STUDIO4°C’s animation ensures that each scene that includes even a droplet of liquid is completely beautiful.
The film portrays water in such a panoramic approach that it’s troublesome to not get drawn in. Every gil, dorsal fin, and flipper feels so vividly drawn that it’s like being within the precise ocean. As the movie progresses, the underwater scenes develop in complexity, highlighting the ocean’s pure magnificence. But these scenes really feel earned relatively than overwhelming, as if the complete movie has been constructing as much as the unification of the ocean and the viewers.
Backing the surroundings is an equally spectacular rating by longtime Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi. Like the surroundings, Hisaishi’s rating evokes curiosity. There’s additionally a sure quietness to it, contrasting with the movie’s many speedily swimming fish. At its finest, Children of the Sea steadily envelops viewers with curiosity, drive, and quietness. It’s a sensory live performance.
Children of the Sea’s precise narrative feels shallow in comparison with the opposite parts. Ruka is a caustic younger woman whose father helps run an aquarium. On a wet day, Ruka meets a younger boy named Umi within the aquarium. Allegedly, Umi and his foster brother Sora have been raised by dugongs. Due to this unusual upbringing, they’ve spent a lot of their life underwater, which has considerably shortened their lifespan.
The three kids have a supernatural connection to the ocean, drawing them to journey into deeper waters. This ultimately lets them work together with a set of ocean life. This voyage is all nicely and good, however there’s little cause to look after it. The three leads really feel like tour guides and viewers surrogates, relatively than compelling characters. That dynamic extends to the supporting solid, who spend a lot of their display screen time praising the ocean’s wonders.
All three leads are forgettable, and screenwriters Daisuke Igarashi and Hanasaki Kino don’t appear to know methods to deal with them. By the ultimate act, the trio’s presence is additional muddled, because the movie begins to additional favor vivid imagery and the connection to the ocean over their story improvement, making the motion a bit troublesome to parse.
All three of them are meant as viewers avatars, connecting to nature and realizing that humanity is part of it. The movie takes the stance that each particular person, animal and water droplet are each a tiny a part of the universe, and a mirrored image of the entire universe. This duality is intriguing sufficient to make the movie price watching, however there’s no cause why these explicit characters wanted to be current to convey it.
Nevertheless, Children of the Sea is a beautiful movie that shouldn’t be missed. While the narrative is shallow, its visible and philosophical choices hit the mark. At its finest, the film steadily envelops viewers with curiosity, drive, and an ineffable magnificence. And its heat messaging is a consolation, even in an unlimited and complex universe.