A Sunken Tokyo
May 16, 2022
Anime is a highly competitive medium nowadays. Previously, stories like Your Name were able to thrive because of their godly animation, but now that’s nothing special. Bubbles is a post-apocalyptic tale that twists the legendary story of the Little Mermaid into a nice fantasy, romance story. The movie boasts an interesting premise, but still never rises up above the rest.
The story takes place in Tokyo, ravaged by gravity destroying bubbles. Japan’s capital becomes an outlawed ruin inhabited by many young people who grew up with no family. The city is a battleground for teams of free runners who parkour on the fantastical remains of Tokyo. The setting for Bubbles is easily my favorite part of it. The flooded Tokyo filled with floating debris makes for an awe-striking landscape and is displayed greatly. Making parkour the focus allows for a nice focus on the environment and creates some unique sequences.
Bubbles was made by the acclaimed Wit Studios. Wit Studio does a good job showing off the characters and setting through breathtaking sakuga animation. The animation does pretty much nothing wrong, but definitely lacks impact. Creating visually perfect animation doesn’t mean as much nowadays, especially with the animation that comes from Demon Slayer. The style that Bubbles has is more generic and lacks impact.
The part of the movie that I fell off from the most was the main cast. I don’t watch much romance stuff so I don’t know what’s typically done in it, but I do know some about it. The main pair, Hibiki and Uta, lack a lot of memorability for me. The cast Kaguya-Sama shows off their personalities in a more interesting way and makes characters I’ll actually remember. I would’ve enjoyed the characters more in a fantasy story, but even still I think the characters here were the movie’s weakest link.
Overall, Bubbles is a good movie that’s pretty much only held back by the current high standards of anime. Three years ago, this movie definitely could’ve been much, but as of now, it’s originality isn’t enough to carry it to the top. Watching it isn’t really necessary with better movies out there like Your Name or any Ghibli film, but if you’ve been over-saturated with anime’s sameness, this could be a nice break.