Reviews

An Attack on Titan director made Netflix’s parkour fantasy Bubble into a true oddity

Most of Netflix’s original animated film narration bubble It is centered around a group of young radicals who participate in the team-based parkour game “Tokyo Battle Cool” based on flag-taking in the sunken ruins of a big city.Like Hans Christian Andersen’s apocalyptic riffs Little mermaidthat is A strange and deliberately stupid approach to transliteration I played almost completely straight. Judd Apatow should not be confused with the Netflix original, which is easily forgotten. Torn, bubble He is compassionate and even meditative. But unfortunately, his best ideas are swept away by a wave of mid-shaped ideas.

It will happen in Tokyo in the future. Tokyo is largely submerged after a strange “natural” disaster that characters call “bubble fall.” bubble (Government Attack on Titan When Iron Castle Hat“Tetsuro Araki” follows the encounter with an introverted young man named Hibiki with Uta, a mysterious girl who may have something to do with this apocalyptic event, and after the magical floating bubbles are left behind.

Hibiki and his friends and rivals are at risk of being expelled by authorities, despite occupying a flooded and abandoned town. Old world doctrine sticks to what remains. bubble It may be worth digging a little deeper, especially considering the last repair note. Instead, it focuses on that fairy tale story and returns to the narrative cliché: a young man separated from the world around him knows nothing about this world, but still lets him live it. Meet a mysterious girl who urges you. .. .. (Old story: A boy who falls in love and meets a soulful bubble dressed like a Japanese pop idol.) The classic fantasy romance between boys and girls is so fascinating that Uta Is part of Hibikino’s “Blue Flame” “Learn how to live with the Parker team, but return to something very familiar. bubble We sell the most interesting story angles.

Photo: Netflix

The incompetence of cinema in building the world does not help. Details of this quiet and isolated post-balloon fall of Tokyo and its people are also conveyed through heavy commentary that turned out to be awkward timing: viewers look at the city for quite some time and then confess to the city. Learn about the condition of. But even though most of the casts they support aren’t fully realized people and are just prototypes, their various radical male undercuts and partially cornfield hair are nevertheless affectionate. I am.

Plot hits are forgotten, but platform-like settings are interesting. The free flow of the character shines the most obvious feature of Araki’s direction. Zooming and navigating in a digital environment, and an incredibly cool first-person perspective that closely resembles the immersive video games they offer. This movie isn’t a tribute to the excitement of the platformers, but it’s hard not to think of them as a hibiki puzzle as they find new and unexpected paths and stop.

It’s really interesting that Gen Urobuchi, Naoko Sato and Renji Oki chose parkour to differentiate their style. Little mermaid Anime riffs inspired by other stories like Hayao Miyazaki Pony Or Masaaki Yuasa Read on the wall.. But it’s Araki’s previous directorial work, especially Attack on Titan ―――― As the camera chases water droplets and the rooftop, the character sprints through the gaps in the city and jumps with a refreshing sense of dizziness.

However, this movie always reminds the audience of the story’s inspiration.or Pony When read Draw your own creative path, bubbleThe song literally goes back Little mermaid A story that plays a role in shaping his decision. There is a tragic and self-fulfilling prophecy about her relationship with this story. Born in an altruistic role, he felt an obligation to fulfill instead of living a real life. But like many other aspects of the story, this element feels a bit undercooked.

In the animated movie

Photo: Netflix

Again, Gen Urobuchi, Sato, and Oki make every effort to ensure that this theme is not overlooked by the audience. The character actually reads the fairy tale into a song. It has some internality, but most of it is defined by Andersen’s text because it expresses what Andersen feels. The unnamed mermaid writer over-explains the more obvious part of the story, but some important things like a group of ominous masked free runners re-entering the teenage “Batrecourt” many times. Leaves an amazing thread in the air. Moreover, it disappears vaguely with little explanation. Unintentionally cheerful in the end because we couldn’t identify the main threat to the movie-the idea of ​​a “bad” bubble doesn’t land and essentially interferes with wearing super water shoes on the feet. Free runners will not land either. As a result, it’s an action that remains in memory above all else.

There is a real visual poem bubbleBut so is his series on finding spirals in nature. This infinite pattern is demonstrated by the light shining on the wheels of a spinning bicycle. (One of the few bubble Reminding moment Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann‘Similar attachment. ) From the same angle bubblePsychedelic and metaphysical affairs stand out from the more mundane action sequence, as the film connects nature and the universe through songs. Such moments result in vibrant, almost hallucinogenic colors, especially when compared to Araki’s previous work, defined by rust, metal and blood.

This downtime is especially great as the movie plots begin to align the character with the surrounding natural world and cut through the rest of the flora and fauna in quiet moments. Harmonizing the hibiki fight against agoraphobia and her comfort in such a scene, the story is the best at these moments and the overwhelming noise of past urban life is a natural hypnotic. Compare with the rhythmic sound. When that character piece comes to the forefront, all the elements of the film (post-apocalyptic drama, fantasy romance, extreme sports) blend seamlessly.

Mysterious masked bubble villain with a single giant red eye on his mask

Photo: Netflix

Hibiki and Uta use their athletic ability to find a place for themselves in the freedom far from the limits of dead cities and streets. The movie track match begins as a competition between rival teenage gangsters, and Hibiki and Uta liken them to dance. The depiction of the main couple in motion is impressive, but the close-up pictorial details of the character’s face are also impressive. In a meditative moment with less exercise, the purpose of the film to tell a slightly tragic and fleeting love story becomes clearer. He’s caught up in a moment of silence in the chaos of the movie, so the rest looks very blurry when compared, so it’s hard not to cry.

bubble When it comes to the psychology of the protagonist, it’s better than the dramatically ineffective threat of raging magic bubbles. When he’s not dealing with the ridiculous “Tokyo Battle Cool” rivals, he reveals more about the cast. And no matter how intangible the idea, the ending of the movie is beautiful. A great animated movie about learning parkour by The Little Mermaid. The dedication to the anime tradition of adapting letters in a completely unexpected direction must mean something.

bubble Currently streaming on Netflix.


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An Attack on Titan director made Netflix’s parkour fantasy Bubble into a true oddity

Much of the narrative of Netflix’s original anime movie Bubble revolves around a group of radical young people who take part in “Tokyo Battlekour,” a team parkour game of capture-the-flag set amid the submerged ruins of a metropolis. As a post-apocalyptic riff on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, it’s an outlandish, willfully silly approach to literary adaptation played almost completely straight. Not to be mistaken with Judd Apatow’s immediately forgettable Netflix original The Bubble, Bubble is tender, even meditative. But its best ideas are sadly swept away amid a wave of half-formed ones.
Taking place in a future Tokyo that’s now mostly underwater as the result of a strange “natural” disaster characters call the “bubble fall,” Bubble (directed by Attack on Titan and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ Tetsurō Araki) follows an introverted young man named Hibiki as he encounters a mysterious girl, Uta, who may have a connection to that apocalyptic event and the magic floating bubbles left lingering in its wake.
Even in occupying a flooded and abandoned city, Hibiki and his friends and rivals run the risk of being evicted by the authorities — the dogmas of the old world cling to what little remains. Bubble could stand to explore that in a little more depth, especially considering the restorative note of the ending. Instead, it focuses on its fairy-tale retelling, falling back on narrative cliché: A young man, disconnected from the world around him, meets a mysterious young girl who knows nothing about that world, but still pushes him to live in it more fully. (It’s a tale as old as time: a boy meeting and falling in love with a sentient bubble who dresses like a Japanese pop idol.) The classic coming-of-age, boy-meets-girl fantasy romance is charming enough, and so is Uta learning about the way of life for Hibiki’s “Blue Blazes” parkour team. But by falling back on something so familiar, Bubble sells its most interesting story angles short.

Image: Netflix
The clumsiness of the film’s world-building doesn’t help. The details of this quiet, isolated post-bubble fall Tokyo and its denizens are delivered through heavy-handed exposition that also proves awkwardly timed: Viewers learn about the state of the city in a monologue after already seeing it pretty comprehensively. But the undercuts and partially cornrowed hair of its various radical dudes are endearing regardless, even if most of the supporting cast remain as simple archetypes rather than fully realized people.
While the plot beats can be forgettable, the platformer-esque set-pieces are engaging. The characters’ freerunning let the most overt hallmarks of Araki’s direction shine through — the zooming and swooping through digital environments and the incredibly cool first-person perspectives that often feel video-gamey in the immersion they provide. While the film isn’t exactly an homage to the thrill of platformers, it’s hard not to think of them as Hibiki puzzles through finding new and unexpected routes and footholds.
It’s honestly funny that writers Gen Urobuchi, Naoko Sato, and Renji Ōki chose parkour to differentiate their Little Mermaid riff from other anime inspired by the story, like Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo or Masaaki Yuasa’s Lu Over The Wall. But it’s a choice in keeping with Araki’s previous directorial work — particularly Attack on Titan — as the characters dash and leap through city spaces, with a thrilling sense of vertigo in the way the camera follows them over drops and across rooftops.
But the film also constantly reminds the audience of its story inspiration. Where Ponyo and Lu chart their own creative courses, in Bubble, Uta literally refers back to the original Little Mermaid story as playing a role in shaping her decision-making. There’s a tragic, self-fulfilling prophecy to her engagement with that story. She was born into a sacrificial role that she feels duty-bound to fulfill, rather than living an actual life. But like so many other aspects of the story, that one element feels a little undercooked.

Image: Netflix
Again, Urobuchi, Sato, and Ōki make absolutely sure this theme doesn’t pass viewers by. One character actually reads the fairy tale to Uta. She has some interiority, but a lot of it is defined by Andersen’s text, as she relays how she feels like Andersen’s unnamed mermaid. The writers overexplain the story’s most obvious parts while leaving several crucial and baffling threads dangling — like the ominous, masked group of freerunners who repeatedly intrude on the teens’ “Battlekour,” then unceremoniously disappear with little explanation. The film’s failure to establish its main threats ends up feeling unintentionally funny — the idea of “evil” bubbles doesn’t land, and neither do those interfering freerunners, who essentially wear supersoakers on their feet. As a result, it’s mostly the action that sticks in the memory.
There’s some genuine visual poetry to Bubble, though, such as its sequence about finding spirals in the natural world. That eternal pattern is illustrated through a shimmer of light in a spinning bike wheel. (It’s one of a few Bubble moments that recall Gurren Lagann’s similar obsession.) In the same respect, Bubble’s flirtations with psychedelia and the metaphysical stand out from its more earthbound action sequences, as the film conjoins nature and the cosmos through song. Such moments bring in vivid, almost hallucinogenic color, especially compared to Araki’s previous works, defined by rust, metal, and blood.
That downtime is nice, especially as the film’s editing begins to place the characters in tune with the natural world around them, cutting in quiet moments to flora and whatever fauna remains. The story is at its best in these moments, as it reconciles Hibiki’s struggle with agoraphobia and his comfort amid such scenes, contrasting the overwhelming noise of past city life with the hypnotic, rhythmic sounds of nature. When this character study is pushed more to the forefront, all the film’s elements dovetail perfectly — the post-apocalypse drama, the fantasy romance, and the extreme sports.

Image: Netflix
Hibiki and Uta use their athleticism to find a place for themselves in a city that would otherwise be dead, and to find freedom away from the confines of the streets. While the film’s parkour matches begin as competitions between rival teen gangs, Hibiki and Uta make them resemble a dance instead. The depiction of the primary couple in motion is striking, but so is the painterly detail of the close-ups on characters’ faces. In the less kinetic, more meditative moments, the film’s aim in telling a somewhat tragic, ephemeral love story feels clearest. It’s captured in glimpses of serenity amid the film’s chaos, so it’s hard not to mourn that the rest feels so unfocused by comparison.
Bubble is at its best when it’s dealing with its main character’s psychology, rather than the dramatically inert threat of angry magic bubbles. It illuminates more about its cast when it isn’t dealing with its ridiculous “Tokyo Battlekour” rivalries. And the film’s conclusion is beautiful, no matter how unformed the ideas behind it are. It’s a handsomely animated film where the Little Mermaid learns parkour. That commitment to the anime tradition of taking literary adaptations in completely unexpected directions has got to count for something.
Bubble is streaming on Netflix now.

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