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.
It was OK. The art was beautiful, animation and art style was unique but fitting. Characters were a bit bland in personality and their dialogues were not that impressive. The movie sounded like it wanted to be intellectual and philosophical but whatever message it had was lost on me. Also her mom being a drunk, and her relationship with her parents wasn't really delved into too much. It feels like they were broken up for literally no reason, and alcohol was just thrown in there but somehow mom magically got over it. Also the teacher only punishing her instead of her bully is nonsensical. Sora also tried to act like Kaworu from Evangelion for some reason but it just came off as cringe. There's also weird intimate scenes mixed in there. This entire thing is a mess. A pretty looking one lol. Not worth 2 hours imo. Kenshi Yonezu's Spirit of the Sea makes up for the gaping disappointment this was.
You should watch it. The story may not appeal to everyone, however the art is really beautiful and i'm sure you will be impressed. The story is quite confusing, especially if you havn't read the manga. But it touches on some really interesting topics and I personally liked it. The writing/pacing? could have been better though. Animation is just....stunning. Really detailed with a lot of movement. The background art is so beautiful, as well as the character designes. Ending song by Yonezu Kenshi. Joe Hisashi is the composer, need I say more?
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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