In an old mythical world, there reside spirit-like beings who oversee the natural order of the mortal realm. One of them, a young girl named Chun, has just come of age and must undergo her rite of passage by experiencing the human world for herself. While there, she gets caught in a fishing net during a storm and is rescued by a human boy.
However, the boy ends up drowning during the incident, and Chun returns to her realm full of guilt. Afterwards, she meets the Soul Keeper and decides to revive the boy in exchange for a part of her lifespan. Little does she know, meddling with the natural order of the world has severe consequences.
Da Yu Hai Tang is a story about sacrifice and redemption as Chun comes to terms with the limitations of her powers and deals with death, love, and her own emotions. She must decide if she will sacrifice everything to save the human boy or forsake her moral obligation for the order of the world.
I made an account on here just to write a review for this, since no one else has! This is such a beautiful movie. In my opinion (and I know not many will agree with me but whatever), this by far surpasses any Ghibli movies, as well as Kimi no na wa. Of course there were a few things it could have done better, but honestly, everything was too superb for me to notice many flaws at all.
Art: 10/10. Literally so gorgeous. The vibrant colors and scenery were incredibly majestic and stunning, and the whole time I felt completely immersed. Not to mention, all of
the characters were super well done. The men were really attractive, which is a plus for me, but in general -- everyone had their own little quirks about them instead of being bland and repetitive.
Animation: 9/10. I would give it a 10/10, just for being so smooth and extremely well done, but the use of cgi at some points was a bit annoying. Even so, the studio still managed to meld it together without it being too standoffish. It was unique, if anything, so I had almost no problems with it.
Story/Plot: 10/10. I might be sounding super biased, but honestly, I've never seen such a well done plot revolving around reincarnation, and the concept of life. It's perfect to me, and because I was raised around this type of belief, it really hits home to see something depicting it in such a way.
Voice acting: 8/10. There were some parts - especially towards the beginning of the movie where I was not yet used to the voices - that I felt the emotions were not being portrayed as powerfully as they should have been, and were lackluster. But overtime I was able to adapt quickly to it, and throughout the movie it almost felt like the voice actors themselves grew, as I was hearing much more depth in the tones they were taking on. I did, in particular, really enjoy Chun's older voice. Very wise sounding (as she should be, after all she went through).
Soundtrack: 10/10. I loved it. It's not too over the top, yet still very impactful. There were no scenes where I felt that the ost was out of place.
Characters Development: 8/10. I didn't see much of this with Chun, honestly. She seemed to stay the same throughout the whole movie, and I didn't feel like she grew very much. Qiu, on the other hand, went through a heck of a lot of development. He was somewhat selfish at first, caring more about what would happen to Chun than listening to what Chun herself actually wanted, and then ended up sacrificing quite a bit for her wishes nearer to the end.
Overall: Deep storyline, beautiful message, and lots and lots of much appreciated heartwarming feels. To me, it was perfect, and I will most definitely be re-watching this again.
*This review contains minor spoilers for the sake of humour*
China strikes again!
But seriously, there are more and more Chinese animations that are coming out lately and managed to capture an overseas audience which is pretty interesting to see to say the least. So we really should find a better one word representation of this because “Chinese Cartoons” is 1 word too many for my mouth. That aside, let’s actually get on with the review.
We are going to start with sound because ear-gasms are apparently a thing. The music and sound effects are really well done and are used perfectly; melding together the
art, characters and story into a piece of stunning visual entertainment. Suffice to say, without this the movie would definitely not be as spectacular as it could have been. Also the movie is dubbed in Mandarin Chinese, so if you really picky with your dubs, then you are going to miss out for sure.
The animation is great, there is no doubt about that. However, some parts of the movie is CG (like one object in one scene) which might put you off the magnificent art style and animation if you are a hardcore “ALL CG IS BAD CG” fan. Character design is also unique, since it is a fantasy film expect to see many different Chinese mythological creatures (many nekos).
You shall meet three mains: 1 male, 1 female, 1 dolphin; let gender equality reign (unfortunately no apache attack helicopters in this film, since the setting isn’t in the modern world).
Female main is called Chun (not cousins with Chun Li), and the story is told through her point of view for most part of the movie.
Male-chan is called Qiu (good luck pronouncing that), and he will be accompanying Chun in her endeavours.
Dolphin-kun is called Kun (no seriously, I’m not lying), 他 is the drive of the plot of the film, so fairly important.
Now the development of the characters is not bad, particularly Qiu undergoes monumental changes from one end of the spectrum (cheeky and selfish) to the other (selfless and super saiyan) in the name of 爱. Chun on the other hand doesn’t change very much which is not surprising if I’m honest since there really isn’t too much of her to change. Kun is a dolphin, that’s ample development.
One last thing before moving on though, the side characters do what they needed to do, none of them were there to “fill the numbers” and all of them has a particular personality associated with them. Chun’s granny is a phoenix for goodness sake!
Ah, the minor pitfall of this movie.
Generally the plot flows, with powerful themes of life, death, love, reincarnation, family, rebellion… as well as philosophical questions like how much are you willing to lose to gain a certain thing. However, some parts of the film was slightly confusing, as it would make you question “why?” or “how?” or “wait, what?” but these don’t detract you from the entire plot point and many are explained/revealed down the line, it’s just the spur of the moment confusion might put some of you off the plot a minute or two. This is coming from a person who understands Chinese to enough of an extent that don’t use the subs so the effect might vary depending on your viewing experience.
All in all though, the plot made sense in the end and it does make you question your existence.
It’s a very stunning looking piece of visual and auditory entertainment. There are only a few minor chips and dents in the plot but otherwise everything is great. It might take you a bit of time to understand everything fully but it is well worth your time to watch it.
Da Yu Hai Tang is like a Ghibli film, but instead of Japanese it’s Chinese, instead of No-Face it’s dolphins but otherwise it’s very similar to Spirited Away and explores many deep themes. So don’t be fooled by the visuals and concept, the film definitely makes you think.
yes for some the Chinese is going to throw you off a little bit but other than that the movie is on par in animation with Ghibli movies and Kimi no na wa, garden of words etc. The story was a bit weak but many supernatural storylines tend to have such effect.
ART (10/10): one word stunning. You will be totally mesmerised by the level of detailing and the vibrant colours. The amount of work put in the art is completely visible in the incredible visual sequences. At some points you can notice CGI being used but the animators did manage to meld it in quite
well so it does not appear too standoffish.
SOUNDTRACKS(10/10): not too exceptional but no where in the movie it felt like the soundtracks were not meant for the scene.
STORY(8/10): it is a supernatural movie so to some people the story might not appeal so much and to some it may look not too well prepared and structured or given proper depth to, however the plot is well developed around the idea of rebirth.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT(8/10): the lead role didn't show much of development however one of support roles had a good growth towards the end.
overall beautiful artwork, good storyline and heartwarming. Definitely recommend watching it.
Da Yu Hai Tang is an okay movie. Unfortunately, that's all that can be said about this movie and it is not one to leave a lasting impression.
The movie starts in a fantasty-like setting where we meet our main character, our main character's best friend, and the main character's family and other random people in this fantasy society. In order to fully become an adult, at the age of 16 they must undergo an arbitrary task of going to the human world as a... red fish.. and then come back after a week and then they get to be called
When the main character enters the human world, after being told by her family to avoid humans at all costs, she gets saved by a human and low and behold he ends up dying to save her, leaving his sister behind as it is implied he is her caregiver, and now the main character feels guilty.
So she finds a way by some lucky miracle to bring him back to life and the rest of the film is the journey she undertakes to try and bring him back, as she must protect him (his soul embodies a fish) as he grows until he is able to return to the human world through flight.
In general, I picked this movie because it had an interesting premise but it turned out to be a low-grade quality studio ghibli like film. The voice acting in this film is bad as characters talk quickly and don't really have much emotion to their roles. One role that stood out particularly to me was the main character's father who was seeing her off, knowing he might never see her again, and in the most monotone voice basically says "ok leave". What?
The art-style in this film ranges from decent to terrible as there are inconsistencies with the visuals due to bad implementation of CGI. There are certain scenes where something will just look "off" to you and it can really take away from the experience of watching the film.
The story itself started off with a good premise but its execution is lacking. The story uses an old trick to progress the story. "Magic". This fantasy world has no rules, or rather, the rules aren't really explained and its hard to get emotionally involved in the story when you realize that there are no real consequences to the majority of the character actions because magic can fix everything. Without spoiling too much, there are characters near the end of the film who should die but instead magic saves them in order to push for a traditional happy ending, which is disappointing.
There are also plot points that are just... confusing. For instance, the attitude of everyone in the village is that they should never go into contact with humans and the human world is bad- yet everyone throughout the film seems to believe that the human world is much better. Yet, we rarely see anyone try and escape into the human world. One of the first scenes in the movie, a major character explains how in their journey to the human world they enjoyed it- to the extent where they implied it was better than their own world. Why does it seem like no one actually leaves this "other world".
There is another point in the movie that says that you need an object from the human world in order to enter the human world and leave behind their world- but in the instances we see of people entering the human world only once is there a human world object involved. It seems like the fantasy world in this movie has made-up rules that can change when convenient because "magic" and "happiness" and "We must push forth for a happy ending at all costs, no matter how bad the writing".
Did I necessarily dislike this movie? No. That's why I give this movie a 6/10. However it is mediocre in the sense that this feels like a movie aimed at children with a premise already done before. Romantic elements in this movie seem forced due to lack of character development, which seems great for a kid's movie but should still be criticized, and characters seem very one dimensional showing little growth and performing illogical actions.
In general, you won't be missing out on much if you skip this movie.