Alt title: Uchiage Hanabi, Shita Kara Miru ka? Yo Kara Miru ka?

Movie (1 ep x 90 min)
3.113 out of 5 from 3,508 votes
Rank #13,158

Shy Norimichi and fast-talking Yusuke, are goo-goo-eyed over the same elusive classmate, Nazuna. But Nazuna, unhappy over her mother's decision to remarry and leave their countryside town, plans to run away and has secretly chosen Norimichi to accompany her. When things don't go as planned, Norimichi discovers that a glowing multi-color ball found in the sea has the power to reset the clock and give them a second chance to be together. But each reset adds new complications and takes them farther and farther away from the real world - until they risk losing sight of reality altogether.

Source: GKids

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If they made The Girl Who Lept Through Time out of the discarded animation cells from one of the lesser Monogatari seasons, Fireworks would be the result. Apologies for the spoiler by implication, there, but this one aspect of the plot needs to be revealed to potential viewers up front to adequately advise (warn?) them about what they are getting themselves into: this is a time travel story. Of sorts. It’s a romance, also of sorts, but the time travel element is what makes the plot the plot. Not that you will discover this until a third of the movie has gone by, and you have questioned why something with so many hints of sweet (if not terribly unique) love story is so frightfully dull and, crucially, averse to getting to the part with the love story. The reason, of course, is the need to establish a baseline from which the subsequent iterations of the same events will deviate as our protagonist tries to adjust things down the path of his preference. Not that you particularly care, of course, because the protagonist and the immediate supporting cast are different shades of beige--and not even particularly worthwhile shades of beige. There is no time granted to giving them depth, let alone even simple surface traits to fill in around ourselves as we learn who they are by what they do throughout the movie. Nazuna, our female lead, is perhaps the only one with a hint of complexity about her, but her sheer functionality as the excuse for what transpires blots out that potential and makes her immediately less memorable than the tertiary male classmates used to pad out the C-plot, in that, at the very least, they are recognizably repetitive in how they respond to literally everything. And it isn’t particularly interesting to look at, either. Fireworks is both too long and too short, caught between wanting to tell a tale of diverging realities in pursuit of love, and a simple story about the impulsiveness and exhilaration of youthful romance. Either story has potential (especially, the latter), but neither aspect is given its due, resulting in a 90-minute mashup of two tenuously connected ideas that is more high concept than highly conceived. It’s dull. It’s uneven. It’s the wrong kind of weird. And, ultimately, it isn’t worth the time--no matter which way you look at it.

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