Movie: Children of the Sea

Over the weekend I caught the Japanese animated film, Children of the Sea (2019).

What's it about: Ruka, a petulant child, dreads her summer holidays because she has no friends. At the aquarium where her dad works, she encounters two boys that were raised by dugongs. Ruka then embarks on a watery trip of a lifetime.

The film deals with themes like the cosmic realm and birth. While not completely comprehensible to me, the animation was breathtakingly gorgeous.

Enjoy dynamic scenes of ocean creatures and absolutely stunning landscapes. The quality of visuals and details are off the charts! If I'm not wrong, there's a mix of 2D and CG work in this film. 

I loved the composition and colour scheme of this moody, rainy scene so much.

I also quite liked the art style. The eyes of the characters are old school and charming.

Beautiful animation and amazing 'bullet' perspective work too!

Ridiculously gorgeous palette and skies.

Lovely streets of Japan. The vibrant reds and greens will always remind me of Spirited Away.

Had to include this scene - the little boy figurine holding the ice cream is too cute. 

Towards the end, the visuals reach a spectacular crescendo. I think it is all the more beautiful especially since these new images from space were recently released. It really drives home the message of how beautiful, important yet inconsequential we are in the universe.

Plot wise, there's a lot of mystery but little resolution. Instead we are invited to share in the emotional ups and downs of Ruka in this coming-of-age movie. Character development is average even though there were two hours to flesh things out. There was simply too much other material (like the overarching mystery) overshadowing the characters. I would say that the film truly shines in the visual department. 

Overall, it's a decent film to be enjoyed if you do not care too much for plot or characters. Maybe the development is better in manga or easier to cultivate in an anime series rather than a one off movie. 

Next up, I'll probably watch Bubble (2022). Somehow I only saw the trailer but didn't realise that it was already out. Oh well. Better late than never?

Also, I'm really looking forward to catching the next big animated film (Suzume no Tojimari) on the big screen. Animated Japanese film aesthetics are truly my favourite!