Bubble – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Bubble – Heart of Anti-Gravity: An Anime Tale

What is it that makes us feel the awe of imagination.  Is it the unknown of splendor or unexpectedness of circumstance.  No matter what it is, it is a moment that will becomes a genuine treat.  In this review I look at the latest anime film from Netflix.  With a medium known for its imagination, this film breathes warmth within creativity.  Even as familiarity becomes a staple in its foundation, Bubble showcases the heart of a timeless adventure.

The story takes place five years after an unexpected event with bubbles destroy Tokyo.  With the city abandoned, Hibiki (voiced by Jun Shison) embarks on a journey to learn the truth about himself in this new world.  When it comes to anime, there is a balancing act to build outlandish concepts within the likeness of familiarity.  It becomes a delicate thread, but the key is to use the drop-in method and allowing the world to slowly build outward.  This film is no exception to that rule.  In the beginning the audience is thrusted into a generalization of the situation and characters through action sequences and expositional narration.  You learn that since the bubble incident, teams partake in Parkour races in Tokyo.  After a spastic and colorful display of the medium, we are introduced to Hibiki, a young man who stays conspicuous but helps on runs with team Blue Blazes.  Through unforeseen circumstances, he encounters a mysterious young girl, Uta (voiced by Emi Lo).  As Uta is integrated into the team, the film begins to build outward by layering the dynamic between Uta and Hibiki.  As they do daily runs, revelations come to light about the unique situation that happened five years ago.  As layers are lifted, the journey moves between adventure and coming-of-age elements to add an emotional layer to Hibiki and Uta’s connection.  The allure of their relationship grounds the fantastical elements within an evolving story of fragility, purpose and growth. 

As their team comes into conflict with others, Hibiki begins to learn more about Uta and her past.  This evolution of human connection lifts the creativity of the medium within familiar tropes of fantasy.  By adding that genuine touch of experience, it brings heart to the unexplained phenomenon.  As certain memories come full circle, it leads into a finale that mixes the action, operatic score and colorful animation with an emotional weight of personal sacrifice.  Everything builds towards a heartfelt climax that is predictable but meaningful.  Bubble is a film that takes the sporadic detail (of the medium) to create a genuine tale of a familiar adventure.  If you are a fan on anime, fantasy or coming-of-age films check it out.  It is a Netflix Original, but it would have been fun to see it on the big screen. 

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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