At the 2019 Japan Film Festival, I got to see Children of the Sea and the impressions it made made me decide that this is the best anime I’ve ever seen. If you want to watch movies, I recommend having a projector for viewing on a large screen instead of a small one, which will reduce the effect the movie offers.
“Kaijuu no Kodomo” (Children of the Sea Beast) is based on the 5-volume manga of the same name Daisuke Igarashi Made from 2005 to 2011. He owns a bold art style, many details and creative storytelling. While his works are often viewed as being too far-fetched, it can hardly be classified as a traditional fantasy; instead, Igarashi Inspired by folklore and nature combined with surrealism and spiritual themes to create a style comparable to that of films of Hayao Miyazaki. Veteran author Urasawa Naoki each shared that Igarashi is “the best drawing manga author right now.”
In 2019, the series was adapted into an anime by Ayumu Watanabe directed and produced by Studio 4 ° C popular. The film won the Best Animation category of the Mainichi Film Awards and Japan Media Arts Festival. Besides, the soundtrack is also performed by the master behind many of Ghibli’s works Joe Hisaishi, as well as the ending theme song presented by Kenshi Yonezu.
With the participation of Studio 4 ° CThe 2-hour anime series has followed Igarashi’s supposedly detailed drawing. By applying a variety of CGI techniques combined with traditional hand-drawn styles, the film opens up a huge oceanic universe filled with majestic marine creatures and picturesque frames. Frame by frame gives the viewer as if they are looking at moving oil paintings. The character lines are so carefully drawn and detailed that we can see the stars sparkling in the eyes of each person.
The main character in the anime tells the story of a little girl Ruka, a female student has just been kicked out of the school handball team for a conflict with another member. In addition to being angry with her mother, she went to the aquarium where her father worked. Here, she meets two boys Umi and Sora The mystery is very good at diving in the sea. At the same time, the high seas appear constant mysterious events such as the disappearance of fishes in the ocean along with a comet shining in the sky, signaling an upcoming “festival”. All three teenagers have some connection to a series of supernatural phenomena at sea, so they began to find an answer to that mystery.
Despite being cut off quite a bit from the manga, the anime version still maintains the Japanese spirituality of the ocean well. Igarashi have learned to put in. The abstract notions about man with nature and reincarnation are all throughout the story line. Viewers like us can only feel those ambiguities and come up with various assumptions about the ending that the film has left.
The message of the movie
* Note that the plot below will reveal many important details of the movie.
In particular, the main character is the little girl Ruka, a schoolgirl with strong and stubborn personality. Disagreement with her friends at school and not getting along with her family partly left her in a position left behind and thought that no one could understand her. However, the meeting Umi and Sora helped her open up and learn more about space and oceans. Throughout the movie, a teenage girl’s journey to find herself, the events of her journey help her find where she belongs. She also understood that keeping her emotions secret only made herself more isolated.
Right from the names of the two boys Umi (Sea) and Sora (The sky) also makes the viewer somewhat guess the author’s intention in describing the intimate and inseparable relationship of the sea and the sky. The two children’s unclear origins are also referring to the existence of the ocean and sky, no one knows when they started. Each supporting character also has different thoughts about nature to patch human relationships and the environment they live in. Message of Igarashi that is, man wants to be closer to the ocean to understand it, but at the same time protect it.
Besides the story of the journey of the three characters, the work also shows the battle between two groups of scientists. A group of righteous and nature-loving scientists who want to protect the sea and sky are Jim and Anglade. The other group were the ones who had conducted experiments on my body Umi and Sora. Their cruel experiments haven’t shown much in the anime compared to the manga. Thereby, the work also directly criticizes the research and exploitation activities that harm nature.
And finally, the confusing ending with metaphorical images of reincarnation. It can be said that all of the film’s techniques are the most magnificent investment for this complete end. Boy photo Umi vanishing into stars in the ocean made his death more beautiful than ever. This symbolizes the notion that everything from living things to matter on this planet was once just dust left over from a dead star. And at the end of the movie, the picture of the mother Ruka gave birth to a son with a very similar skin color Umi, Even if you do not say it directly, viewers also feel the same Umi has been reincarnated in another life.
Conclusion: As shared about the movie from the beginning, Kodomo no Kaijuu is an abstract film with many layers of meaning. For people who want a movie that is clear and easy to understand, it may not feel good. However, whatever you expect from the movie, I’m sure it takes a while for us to think about what it means after watching it.
Editor: Navi Nguyen