Children of the Sea

Alt title: Kaijuu no Kodomo

Movie (1 ep x 111 min)
3.572 out of 5 from 1,527 votes
Rank #4,762
Children of the Sea

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does. Ruka's dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans' fish.

Source: Viz

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Before I begin, I want to make note that I went to see Children of the Sea in theaters, on the big screen. I feel like this was the easiest way to fully appreciate the powerful animation and sound of this movie. The music was not as important in this movie as its sound effects and design, which matched with the animation beautifully. The ONLY reason why the animation is not a 10 is because I did not like the design of the characters. Many of the characters looked somewhat surreal or ugly. While this should be expected and even acceptible of an artsy film like Children of the Sea, there are other films by Satoshi Kon or Studio Ghibli that have found ways to make characters ugly; but in a charming way. This was more an artistic, stylized design choice, which I can't fully fault them on. What I CAN harp about is the character writing and story. I get that the two boys were possibly mermen; but the movie does very little to make its story understable to its viewers. The only parts of stories that make sense are the exposition dumps that we receive from other characters. It feels kind of like 2001: A Space Odyssey, in that the movie likely comes with a BUNCH of written side text, which you are supposed to read before you comprehend what you are watching. While I tend to respect artsy films, I do not want to do background reading prior to a movie in order to understand it. Many movies can effectively use body language and themes to portray a plot without a narrative. This movie is too surreal in its imagery to do that. The main characters are also very dull. Each one feels like it is assigned two or three modes of emotion and that is it. Each of them is either too dense or too broody to actually TALK to each other for more than a few sentences at a time, often relying on side characters to share most of the narrative. This only makes the movie more confusing. Overall, the imagery was fascinating; but I would not watch this movie ever again. Not even at a friends house, for background music. 4/10 total, because of the lovely music and animation. 1.5 stars, due to the displeasure of watching it. 

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