The highly anticipated Original Net Animation from Studio Wit, Bubble, has finally arrived internationally on Netflix. With an extraordinary amount of talent and effort behind it, was the movie able to make good on its potential? Let’s find out in this review!
Bubble is a supernatural and sci-fi original movie published by Warner Bros Japan and created by Studio Wit. The project has been directed by Tetsuro Araki, an extremely prominent director known for shows like Attack on Titan and Death Note. Studio Wit has also created several other critically acclaimed and commercially successful shows and movies, such as Spy X Family, Attack on Titan, and Vinland Saga. Hiroyuki Sawano produced the music for this movie, and Satoshi Kadowaki did the character design.
– Bubble Review does not contain spoilers –
Bubble Review- The Animation and Music
Starting this review with this particular section only seems fair since this is by far the biggest strength and draw for the movie. The animation in Bubble looks positively magical at nearly moment. There are some marvellous lighting effects that adorn the screen at any given moment, and the majestic nature of this movie is almost hard to describe with words. The quality of the animation here can only be seen to be believed.
A big part of the animation in this movie was the environment set up by the plot and how conducive it was to the overall quality of the art. The beautiful bubbles all over the screen at any given moment, the crumbling Tokyo that could succumb to utter destruction in the blink of an eye, and the parkour that happened on the top of those bubbles and buildings made this anime look like the most beautiful thing in the world. The animation quality of anime movies has overall been extremely high in recent years, and this movie ranks among the best of them.
The music was a big part of the narrative, and for a good reason. Hiroyuki Sawano is a proven entity and able to draw an audience to any project just on the basis of his music, and this was no different. The music sounded out of this world as if our ears were being serenaded by angels sent by the powers above. It sounded ethereal and soothing, the kind of music that would lull you into the best sleep you’ve ever had in your life.
The opening and ending themes were also great, as Eve told us why he is the most in-demand artist in the industry right now. As sung by Uta in the movie, the insert songs were also a treat to the ears. It was the perfect cinema experience, making it even more baffling why this saw its international release as a Netflix exclusive. With Bubble, Netflix has its hands on a bunch of baskets right now, and some of them are even good, but one can’t help but wonder how good this package would have looked on the big screens.
Bubble Review- The Plot and Characters
“The story is set in Tokyo after bubbles that broke the laws of gravity rained down upon the world. Cut off from the outside world, Tokyo has become a playground for a group of young people who have lost their families, acting as a battlefield for parkour team battles as they leap from building to building.
Hibiki, a young ace known for his dangerous playstyle, makes a reckless move one day and plummets into the gravity-bending sea. His life is saved by Uta, a girl with mysterious powers. The pair then hear a unique sound audible only to them. Why did Uta appear before Hibiki? Their encounter leads to a revelation that will change the world.” – Netflix.
The world that this movie establishes is a fascinating and highly creative one. It is the kind of world which you want to see explored more and through different eyes for a lot longer than you get with it. We have already discussed how conducive it was to great animation and music, but there are a lot of narrative strengths in this world. It carries a mystique and lawlessness to it that is attractive in the best way possible. Imagine a 12, or even 24 episode anime set in the world of Bubble, and you imagine literal heaven.
The story of Hibiki and Uta isn’t a particularly unique one, as it is based heavily upon the tale of the Little Mermaid. You probably have your own opinion on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, but the story in its original form is extremely dark and sinister, as is the trend for stories by that author. The Disney version of the story is what most people are aware of, which, while being a decent movie, is not a very good adaptation. One could say that Bubble is a much better adaptation of the tale despite having less in common with both of them. It captured the spirit of the tale very well.
The narrative was cohesive if a little predictable. Stories like this one have become exceptionally common for some reason in anime, and this didn’t do anything much different. The friendship theme and found family trope were both done very well, but the antagonists felt very over the top in their nature and actions. The ending was sweet in its own way and delivered upon the layers upon layers of intrigue the movie built up over its runtime, but in the end, a feeling of wanting more from the story and the universe was hard to shake off.
The chemistry between Hibiki and Uta, the main characters, felt a little forced at times. While they were great, if a little played out, characters, what happened between the two was too quick to feel natural. There were some lovely supporting characters in the movie, including Makoto, Shin, and Usagi. Found family is always great to experience, and this wasn’t an exception. Overall, the execution of the plot could have been a little better, but what we got was perfectly fine for what it was.
Bubble was a spectacular visual experience that will satisfy all of your senses and will be an extremely satisfactory watch. The music, animation, and characters made this into a movie not worth missing out on. Watch it on Netflix!Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.