Set in post-apocalyptic Japan, Bubble tells the story of Hibiki and Uta and explores the themes of finding hope, connecting with someone, and the eternal cycle of creation, destruction, and recreation (or life, death, and rebirth).
This review of the Netflix anime film Bubble does not contain spoilers.
“It’s said that the world repeatedly collapses and rebuilds. Assembles, bursts, scatters, then assemble again,” one of the characters said in the new Netflix anime movie Bubble. It correlates to the basis of humanity — move forward with hope amidst all the turbulence that humans can experience. Directed by Tetsuro Araki, Bubble speaks about that hope. In post-apocalyptic Japan, when the world becomes inhabited by mysterious extra-terrestrial activity, a romance teaches us the true meaning of connection to eternity in this weird world. Tetsuro Araki, who previously directed the popular, acclaimed series Death Note, creates magic on the screen with the colorful play of the visuals blending with soothing melodious music by Hiroyuki Sawano. With that, Bubble doesn’t give any chance to take your eyes from the screen for a single second.
The story referenced the famous fairy tale from the 19th century, The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. Writer Gen Urobbuchi, Naoko Sato, and Renji Oki set it in dystopian Tokyo, where the place is drowned in water after a mysterious bubble fall phenomenon. Due to this, gravitational abnormalities occur across Tokyo, and the city becomes abandoned. Amidst this turbulence, one gifted man, Hibiki, has a fateful meeting with a mysterious girl, Uta. Romance blooms between them without knowing the impending fate awaiting them.
I will not reveal anything further about the story as there are many things one can explore from this movie that I don’t want to spoil the watching experience by giving away too much. The story is calming and loving therapy amidst the tragedy in the end. The sense of belonging somewhere and to someone makes a profound impression on the audience through its deep thematics. In my opinion, by changing the setting into a post-apocalyptic dystopian society, the makers consciously keep us reminded of the hazard we have been facing for the last two and half years (COVID-19 pandemic). People get disconnected at this time. Society is in disarray, and perhaps all are facing the existential question about the fragility of life. But humanity stands on hope. Thus, the world collapses and stands again on its feet.
Bubble tells the story of that hope, where creation, destruction, and recreation come in an eternal cycle. Thus despite coming out as a tragic story at the end, it tells us a hopeful story. Perhaps in this cruel world, that is the only thing that pushes us to move forward.
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