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?
Here is my plot synopsis of Children of the Sea. Ruka, a junior high school girl, is caught in a difficult family situation. Her mother, Kanako, and father, Masaaki, are seperated, with Kanako spending her days drinking heavily and Masaaki working at the local aquarium. Kanako and Masaaki have been neglecting Ruka, showing her no attention or affection. The summer break has arrived and Ruka has nowhere to go after fighting with her mother. Haunted by a memory at the aquarium, Ruka decides to visit her father and meets two mysterious boys connected to the ocean. Will Ruka be able to reconnect with her parents? Explaining this part of Children of the Sea (Sea) is important because it is the heart of the movie. Sea tries to tell two stories, one about Ruka's family problems and one about a mystery related to Earth's ocean life. When I read the synopsis used to advertise this movie, I thought this was going to be a mystery about a global event that was related to the ocean. There is a mystery with two boys related to the ocean, but that is not the most important part of the movie. What Sea is about is a child spending her summer living in a fantasy. Rather than facing the reality of her family, she becomes part of a universal mystery, one revolving around two mysterious boys, meteorites and glowing animals. Anyone living in an unstable family life can relate to wanting a fantasy to live in and to be part of a world larger than the one they live in. Sea tries to balance two stories. This is the problem that most people have with Sea. The movie has both stories without developing either stories enough. Many important scenes from the manga are included, but context needed to explain the story is missing or reduced. The supporting cast from the Ruka story and the mystery story are included, but most of their characterization is shrunk to their basic stereotype. I read the manga and have the context to understand what is going on, but people encountering this story for the first time are right to be baffled. When I first read the manga, I was not sure what the story was trying to say. After watching the movie, I understood that Sea is about a lonely girl connecting with the world in a powerful way. She learns about the connections between people and the ocean, the world and the universe, and the power of the individual and the universe. Children of the Sea is an imperfect and bold attempt to push animation to new levels of detail and emotion. The story could have been better concentrated, the characters could have been better defined, but the emotions of awe and mystery are executed well. For sheer pleasure of the animation, please watch this movie.
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