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Poll: Kaijuu no Kodomo Episode 1 Discussion


#1
Oct 14, 2019 7:40 PM

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THIS IS AN ANIME ONLY DISCUSSION POST. DO NOT DISCUSS THE MANGA BEYOND THIS EPISODE.
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Attended the UK premiere of this film at Scotland Loves Anime in Glasgow.

It is... a strange one, for sure. Visually stunning, with some great sakuga, and a brilliant Joe Hisaishi score. Some of the cinematography also had a little bit of an Malick meets Ikuhara vibe. However, it is perhaps a little overly ambitious for its running time, with it really trying to tackle so many ideas and concepts. It’s one of those films that does feel like that it is trying to cram 5 volumes of a manga into 2 hours. This means that, although the pacing is relatively slow, it also feels very rushed, making it feel both disjointed and haphazard. Also, alot of the side characters could have been cut out to make it feel more focused. An interesting watch, at least for the technical elements, but underdeveloped characters and erratic, messy storytelling, make Children of the Sea very disappointing. In addition to being hard to recommend, anime newbies should stay clear from this film with a ten foot barge pole.

Also, the post credits scene is totally Shinzo Abe propaganda. He's all about improving that birthrate, even if it means that cartoons have be effected.
 
#2
Oct 19, 2019 6:48 PM
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I’m at the North American premiere listening to the director and CGI animator discuss the movie, and hopefully some questions will be answered because although it was a very pretty movie with a great blend of hand-drawn animation and CGI, the story itself was really way of over head and intense.
 
#3
Oct 22, 2019 3:29 PM

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Agree mostly with the other sentiments of the plot/pacing problems. Bit too big for its boots film with otherwise gorgeous visuals and score. Having said that, I definitely feel like the climax was quite the resplendent approximation on the incomprehensible complexity of the universe and the wonder of emergence.

That one scene with the sperm-penetrates-egg symbolism being played out with two kids at the centre had me squick a little though, not gonna lie.
 
 
#4
Nov 16, 2019 7:54 AM
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Very mediocre is all I can say. The animation was top notch in fact one of the best in an anime I could say but story wise idk what they were trying to do or convey it was very very confusing and they were pretty damn confident with that length lol cause I felt the movie was dragged to an unimaginable point.

Also anyone who's here from the japanese film festival in Chennai?
 
#5
Nov 16, 2019 9:06 PM

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What can I say? The art style it's one of his kind, visually tripping and weird as hell the story was interesting but it went down in the last half hour.
No tomo malas decisiones, me gusta apoyar causas perdidas.
Disfruté Mayoiga, Ou-sama Game, Evil or Live, Mirai Nikki y Arifureta. Así de jodido está mi gusto en anime, y estoy bien pinche orgulloso de ello.


 
#6
Dec 2, 2019 1:14 PM

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The art was beautiful but the story was a bit boring, a bit interesting and a bit confusing. The ending part, around the last half of an hour, was very confusing. The OST were decent, nothing special, but one was pretty good. I was expecting more but it was ok.
 
 
#7
Dec 14, 2019 5:24 AM
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Have not seen yet but for those who have, is there a noticeable amount of use of CGi in this movie? This studio used quite a lot for the Berserk movies I’ve noticed
 
#8
Dec 14, 2019 5:43 AM

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@DevilYoungboy

There is some CG, and when it is noticeable, it does become a bit jarring. There's one shot with a character walking against a CG tracking background that looked a bit strange.

I'm writing a review on the film to present a more critical perspective on it.
 
#9
Dec 14, 2019 7:52 PM
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Klonoa7H said:
@DevilYoungboy

There is some CG, and when it is noticeable, it does become a bit jarring. There's one shot with a character walking against a CG tracking background that looked a bit strange.

I'm writing a review on the film to present a more critical perspective on it.


Is it just minimal or a large noticeable amount?
 
Dec 14, 2019 8:07 PM

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@DevilYoungboy Depends on the scene. I’d say it’s more noticeable in certain parts, including a night time shot of the ocean where the water does look very CG.

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-09-25/production-employee-claims-studio-4c-owes-for-unpaid-overtime/.151489
Apparently there was alot of abuse of labour in the production of the film, leading to many animators not getting paid.
 
Dec 20, 2019 2:23 PM

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I recognize that this movie won’t be for everyone, but after catching it at a film festival it’s probably one of my all time favorite anime’s. They really make a point to weave the natural world so well that I’d call the setting a main character in its own right. also, getting to see the kids play behind the scenes of the aquarium was almost like watching them run around a secrete world too.

I came in already having read the manga, but I brought along two friends with me who have never heard of it before and they didn’t struggle with the plot. I do think you need to be able to pick up fast that this story is purposefully trying to be open to interpretation. Much like the sea, there’s so much we don’t understand. That’s a little pretentious to be fair, and honestly maybe the film festival atmosphere helped my friends go in expecting something more artsy and philosophical. The movie is an experience.

The characters were all fascinating, and i really liked a few of the changes they made from the manga to the movie. It felt a little more cohesive to have her parents more involved in the story for example. On the other hand, some characters felt really purposeless and random after having their roles reduced for the adaption. Furthermore, while it never would have fit into the movie well at all, I did miss having the stories from different indigenous cultures around the world explaining their encounters with sea children.

All in all, the the movie was beautiful as it was unique. The metaphysical aspects will annoy some, but the movie still deserves a lot of love and praise.
Modified by samspot8r8s, Dec 20, 2019 2:32 PM
 
Jan 15, 2020 6:49 AM

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Boi this movie doesn't have a single torrent online yet. When is the BD releasing?
 
Jan 15, 2020 6:52 AM

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@Manyaa_- In a few weeks. It is licensed by GKids.
 
Jan 16, 2020 9:00 PM

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bruh this literally kino the anime. such a high tier work on audiovisual spectrum, a spectacle so vivid and filled with energy, yet in terms of story it feels kinda pretentious and poorly written

@DevilYoungboy there's a bunch of cg backgrounds, cars and fish models at times, they either blend well or not so. i've clipped two moments that combine cg bgs with some dynamic camera


Modified by uninstallthegame, Jan 16, 2020 9:05 PM
 
 
Jan 19, 2020 9:44 AM
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Saw this movie at a film festival
The animation was beyond amazing
I would rewatch it on the big screen again if I could
 
Jan 25, 2020 2:17 AM

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Visually greater than I expected, great homage to the manga.

Skipping some details of the first volumes and almost the entirety of volumes 3 and 4 make the highs of the movie lose some of its thematic impact, and I'd argue some of what they skipped was both what I liked the most (Ruka's mother backstory and her connection to her through the sea, the side stories...) and the least of the manga (in general the fact that they go a little too overboard with science talk), so watching the movie was rather a mixed bag. But after some thought I think they skipped too much and I'd rather recommend this movie as an accompanying piece to the manga. I don't think it stands in its own too well, and it might come a bit too confusing and rushed from the moment she gets the meteorite (end of volume 2) to the ending itself in the highs of the 5th vol.
 
Jan 29, 2020 8:15 AM

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https://theanimationcompendium.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/children-of-the-sea-review-2019-ayumu-watanabe/ A review I wrote on Children of the Sea that explores what worked and didn't work about the movie, as I felt providing a more critical perspective and address alot of it's issues.
 
Jan 31, 2020 12:12 PM

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Unowen said:
Visually greater than I expected, great homage to the manga.

Skipping some details of the first volumes and almost the entirety of volumes 3 and 4 make the highs of the movie lose some of its thematic impact, and I'd argue some of what they skipped was both what I liked the most (Ruka's mother backstory and her connection to her through the sea, the side stories...) and the least of the manga (in general the fact that they go a little too overboard with science talk), so watching the movie was rather a mixed bag. But after some thought I think they skipped too much and I'd rather recommend this movie as an accompanying piece to the manga. I don't think it stands in its own too well, and it might come a bit too confusing and rushed from the moment she gets the meteorite (end of volume 2) to the ending itself in the highs of the 5th vol.


Unowen, can you tell me at which points of the movie i should pause and go to read what they skipped?
Example → Time: 50:20 -> Manga: "X" Volume (if u can, include chapter number)
 
Jan 31, 2020 12:53 PM

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tottobennington said:
Unowen, can you tell me at which points of the movie i should pause and go to read what they skipped?
Example → Time: 50:20 -> Manga: "X" Volume (if u can, include chapter number)

You can't watch the movie yet.
 
 
Jan 31, 2020 1:01 PM

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revengerofdeath said:
tottobennington said:
Unowen, can you tell me at which points of the movie i should pause and go to read what they skipped?
Example → Time: 50:20 -> Manga: "X" Volume (if u can, include chapter number)

You can't watch the movie yet.
BDs are out since 2 days ago, so it will be available online soon. I watched it on the cinema though.

tottobennington said:
Unowen said:
Visually greater than I expected, great homage to the manga.

Skipping some details of the first volumes and almost the entirety of volumes 3 and 4 make the highs of the movie lose some of its thematic impact, and I'd argue some of what they skipped was both what I liked the most (Ruka's mother backstory and her connection to her through the sea, the side stories...) and the least of the manga (in general the fact that they go a little too overboard with science talk), so watching the movie was rather a mixed bag. But after some thought I think they skipped too much and I'd rather recommend this movie as an accompanying piece to the manga. I don't think it stands in its own too well, and it might come a bit too confusing and rushed from the moment she gets the meteorite (end of volume 2) to the ending itself in the highs of the 5th vol.


Unowen, can you tell me at which points of the movie i should pause and go to read what they skipped?
Example → Time: 50:20 -> Manga: "X" Volume (if u can, include chapter number)
That's not doable because it's not like they skipped a certain thing in 2 very specific parts of the movie. You'd have to pause the movie 10 times and that wouldn't make sense.

They skipped sidestories that are scattered all over the place, they changed the events in some parts (like how the girl meets the boy in the first place, or how the mother looks for her at the end), and most notably skipped almost the entirety of volumes 3 and 4.

So if you want to start with the movie I'd rather recommend watching it entirely and then if you're still interested in the bigger picture just skim through the first volumes since you'll notice right away the parts that are the same as in the movie.
 
Feb 20, 2020 7:33 PM
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I dont know what the fuck was happening by the end but I liked it!
 
 
Feb 20, 2020 11:38 PM

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Well it was good until it went full Darling in the Franxx. That shit was so random with galaxies and stuff. It felt pointless and wasn’t even properly explained

6/10 because of sakuga
 
Feb 21, 2020 10:06 PM
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One of those shows like Life the Universe and Everything which takes itself too seriously and spouts profundities about the nature of existence with every breath
 
Feb 22, 2020 11:32 PM

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Xenocrisi said:
Well it was good until it went full Darling in the Franxx. That shit was so random with galaxies and stuff. It felt pointless and wasn’t even properly explained

6/10 because of sakuga

it's really unfortunate that the movie had to cut great part of the manga, even the explanations, but simplyifing things, its most based on cultural myths about the origin of the world, and some of them have a similarity: grand part says that in the beginning there was only water, the primal water, and the primal man came out of her, who late become the world where us live
with this you can correlationate some things so the ending can become more clear

they weren't just kids who lived with dugongs, they were something much bigger that comes down to the origin of the world, but unfortunately the lack of development of things in the movie caused a huge misinterpretation
 
Mar 4, 2020 7:27 PM

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I can honestly ignore all the storytelling of this world and just admire what the concept of "animation" can mean and demonstrate.

 
Mar 6, 2020 6:12 AM

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I have to admit that I was disappointed. I agree with everyone else that the story was a mess. It is yet again one of those movies that look visually stunning but terrible storytelling. A bit like Big Fish and Begonia. The story was all over the place.
 
Mar 6, 2020 6:16 AM

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DevilYoungboy said:
Have not seen yet but for those who have, is there a noticeable amount of use of CGi in this movie? This studio used quite a lot for the Berserk movies I’ve noticed


Yep. Definitely CGI. Didn't like that but the animation. Is still beautiful. It still cannot save this mess of a movie.
 
Mar 27, 2020 9:17 PM

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It was visually wild - intense detail, endless motion tracking, gorgeous color pallet, stunning cinematography.
But the plot went nowhere - extended too long yet also ended too suddenly. The characters and their interpersonal relationships were not developed.
That universe segment dragged on so long I was falling asleep. There is no subtlety in the imagery.
 
 
Apr 11, 2020 10:30 AM

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Reminded me of Bakemono no Ko, because of how the ending has nothing to do with the beginning of the movie. Other than that it was really beautiful visually.
 
Apr 20, 2020 3:56 PM

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Surely the most beautiful movie produced in who knows how many years, I was blown away by the unique designs, animation and music. It's no wonder when you look up the staff. However, the story felt pretty weak and left me wanting more. Many jump cuts, rushed meetings with characters (like Ruka and Jim, she kinda just visited him out of nowhere, lol), unclear relationships between them (same for background stories), messed up message and so on. Tried to be pretty philosophical in the second half, though it wasn't very successful. I'd rather watch an adventure story about exploring the ocean life or something like that.
Now that I've read the comments and reviews I am disappointed even more, I feel that I should've read the manga first to get the full story; somehow, I thought that it was short enough to receive a complete adaptation, and went for the movie. I guess I'll try the manga now.
 
May 31, 2020 9:42 PM

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This movie certainly was a lot different and more impressive than I thought going into it, from the art to the story it was beautifully amazing how all the pieces fell into the right slots.

Quite an unique movie and experience if you ask me, but I really enjoyed it, the vibrance of this movie was also amazing to watch on an oled TV, it just was mind blowing with all the details and ost that they matched perfectly!

Really impressed by it in general I must say.
 
Jun 7, 2020 3:33 PM

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As everyone said, this movie is a gorgeous piece of art, but the story felt disjointed. I'll have to check out the manga.
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Jun 8, 2020 8:41 PM
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It was a visual feast, but I don’t really get what Ruka learned after that experience inside the whale. I did get the one where the mom and dad “pollinated the flower” and it resulted in the newborn in the post credit scene lol.
 
 
Jun 20, 2020 7:20 AM

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Graphic and momento every part in this cinema was really great. What I was asking about is the plot. Not all but every movie I watched which have a great visual always didn't make the story well as it's graphical. I fully drowned with this graphic, the best animated that I ever seen (imo). From sea to the galaxy and back to the sea. Everything is connected in life. I would give this 9/10.
 
Sep 16, 2020 9:45 PM
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It was OK. The art was beautiful, animation and art style was unique but fitting. Characters were a bit bland in personality and their dialogues were not that impressive. The movie sounded like it wanted to be intellectual and philosophical but whatever message it had was lost on me. Also her mom being a drunk, and her relationship with her parents wasn't really delved into too much. It feels like they were broken up for literally no reason, and alcohol was just thrown in there but somehow mom magically got over it. Also the teacher only punishing her instead of her bully is nonsensical. Sora also tried to act like Kaworu from Evangelion for some reason but it just came off as cringe. There's also weird intimate scenes mixed in there. This entire thing is a mess. A pretty looking one lol. Not worth 2 hours imo. Kenshi Yonezu's Spirit of the Sea makes up for the gaping disappointment this was.
 
Sep 18, 2020 1:43 PM

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I'll echo most of what everyone else is saying. The art is beautiful, I could personally take or leave the character designs but I can appreciate the style of them.

But the story was just not interesting at all. I kinda expected this to be more like A Letter To Momo, a drama about real life human struggles with fantastical intervention to help the main lead come to terms with her lot in life etc. I thought the drama of the family was honestly more interesting then any of the actual plot this film has to tell. That there was the story that really connects us as Humans. A struggle most of us can relate too.

Instead we got some high concept philosophical nonsense about...well honestly I'm not 100% sure...like about the history of the universe and our place in it? The lesson being that we aren't as important or as intelligent as we think we are on the grand scale and these children of the sea, the birthing of some sort of universe or life and for some reason every marine animal on earth is in on this being a thing and similarly they all come to consume it? The message being should we understand this totally not real and confusing thing then we might be all the better for it and truly appreciate life and all that it is and maybe we'd all stop destroying the world? I don't know it's not like this message really lands in any way is it?

As @Rokuchi points out I don't understand what Ruka ultimately learns from this experience really. I mean everything works out after the fact but nothing is actually confronted in the end. Outside of maybe she learnt that life is finite and she should embrace the world she has and the time she has on it? I guess. Her mum going from drunk to completely normal without any inbetween makes me question what the point of that all really was.

I don't know. As I said I think there is potential for a nice fantasy drama in a similar vein to A Letter To Momo or something but in the end this is just a little to up it's own arse so to speak for my liking. Whatever the true message was I clearly didn't get it and I don't think whatever that message is was worth telling in such a grand way. The best films keep things simple in some form. If you have a message for the viewer you should probably make sure they can understand it at least in some way and at the very least reading through these comments makes me think the film fails at doing that.

Anyway enough rambling from me. It was pretty but I ultimately didn't get it. In terms of story impact this film would get a 4-5/10 but the animation was quite stunning so I'll give it a 6/10
Modified by BlaizeV, Sep 18, 2020 1:47 PM
 
Oct 10, 2020 2:23 PM
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To me it had more of a meaning of struggling with self-worth, listening others and how to live her life.

Her parents were close to divorce and she didn't want stay home. Perhaps she was afraid that she caused the situation and had guilt for it.

Anyways, she was getting picked in school for being different, short, and she was very aware of that. She tried to fight back but her voice was not heard: teacher ignored her very early in film and instead said go home which wasn't either a place where she wanted to be (it's even worse when you think how the teacher knew she was getting bullied and yet she ignored although she doesn't know this).

No one was helping her when she wanted someone to listen her, LISTEN. Humans were unable to listen nor communicate 100% of their feeling as it was said in the movie. You could see this for example just by watching her parents being unable to say the words that needed to be said: they hated seeing the other suffering or self harming so they couldn't see each other while both still loved one another deep down anyways.

So the sea (Umi) listened her because she wanted to be listened or found. Then 80% of the movie happens and she hears the sea and finally can show all her feelings for the sea. She sees new life being born and life dying and understands something that we are all just living creatures who have a limited time in the world and it's the memories that fill our life. The ascension or what ever you may call it was her realization that perhaps she wasn't terrible worthless person after all.

Finally her parents find her and she finally understands that she's perfect the way she is after all and she can live the life the way she wants and it's her monogatari.

The end
 
 
Nov 8, 2020 2:53 PM

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I first saw heard of this movie on twitter, seeing some gifs of it immediately made me want to go see the film in theatres when it finally came out because it just looked to be the most visually stunning anime out there. Of course, due to the Coronavirus, the showings got cancelled and as far as I'm aware, the theatres selling the property so watching anime movies is down for, so I just bought it on the hopes that it'll at least satisfy my visual expectations.

And yeah, this movie is totally worth watching for the visual experience alone. There are some walking/running shots with CGI environments that just present a jarring clash of visuals that's not very pleasant, and some of the character designs are flat-out ugly but besides that, the movie lived up to my expectations in that department. So many beautiful and astounding visuals segments, whenever the rain would turn into the creatures of the sea, any of the swimming scenes, the entire acid trip of the lengthy climax, to even more quiet scenes like the Sea Sparkle, this is a gorgeous film and may just be the best looking anime feature I've ever seen.

Unfortunately the movie falls flat elsewhere. Well, the OST and voice acting was good, but in terms of story and character it didn't really work. At the end of the movie Ruka pretty much sums up my feelings, "I didn't understand anything", the aforementioned acid trip climax, I just didn't really get what was going on. It looked cool at least, but I wasn't emotional invested in the conflict of the meteorite piece and Umi because I wasn't entirely grasping the scenario. At first it really confused me how Ruka went from fighting Umi for it before just deciding to give it to him, though I think I get it now that she just didn't want to lose him which is why she fought him at first but then realized he needed it. I think a lot of the movie had to do with her kind of finding her own voice. Jmunski touches on it about that this film had to do with self-worth, and I agree with that and the need to be listened too but also the ability to express herself is something that's equally important. She doesn't really explain her side in the beginning of the film, just like one line and a few asides to herself and nor does she really saying to her mother, outside of just I'm going out. And of course, this is tied directly to not being listened to, which is why Umi was important but I think in terms of what Ruka learned, maybe it comes across to that.

But it's not much considering the amount of plot. It felt a bit disjointed and too many elements of it were brought up but barely explored to really have any meaningful connection to me. Like her family as the prime example, especially the mother. It's definitely an element of the movie that I understand the dynamic of them, but it comes across feeling like a footnote rather than something more substantially involved because it's so barely touched upon. A similar thing would be those guys Jim was working with who wanted to like view the festival or something and were kind of painted as bad guys sort of? Considering the whole protect them thing, they definitely came across as such but they ended up factoring in so minimally to the plot and the conclusion that I sort of scratch my head to what purpose they actually served. Granted, those scenes I found to be the least interesting so I'm glad that didn't end up integral to anything but that does make them feel a bit more of a waste.

I'm sure these are issues that come from adapting a complete manga. It seems like two whole volumes of the manga were skipped according to Unowen. I can't say I cared much for what was here to check out the manga but maybe one day I'll check it out and I can enjoy the series for more than just the visual spectacle. For now, I'd still recommend Children of the Sea on the strength of it's animation alone, it's just mostly the only thing I'm recommending it for. 6/10.
 
Nov 23, 2020 6:32 AM
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ClaudioLai2000 said:
I can honestly ignore all the storytelling of this world and just admire what the concept of "animation" can mean and demonstrate.

I feel your opinion. I rewatch the movie 2 times just for the animation.
 
Dec 8, 2020 8:58 PM
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Like many here, my final impression of the movie for the 2nd time is that it's style over substance really. Good lord, imagine watching the 1st time without any subtitles, didn't understand a thing in the last 40 minutes honestly. With subtitles, it's a little better but still kind of difficult to follow.

However, the animation standard was out of this world and I would go as far to recommending this to people just for its searing quality.

I'll be honest, I really wanted to appreciate the self-worth struggle and whatnot but the plot just didn't give me enough.

As such, going to have to settle with a 6/10 here.
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Feb 3, 1:33 PM

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I have no idea what happened but I enjoyed it anyway. Feels legit like I just watched everything and nothing at the same time, cuz there was a lot there, and I understand precisely none of it. Art was fire tho
 
Mar 5, 6:15 AM

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The art is the only thing that I liked about this anime. The story made me think, "is this what people see when they do drugs?"

So yeah, that's about it.


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Mar 5, 6:59 PM

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Near the end, when Ruka says "i don't understand anything"...i felt that.

For real, i have no idea what to make of this movie lol. Not sure if i even liked it or not, so i guess i'm just gonna have to leave it unrated *shrug*

Great visuals, though.

EDIT: I've caught myself thinking about this movie quite a lot after having watched it, and upon reflecting on it a bit further, i think i'm starting to grasp some of its themes and what it was going for a little better now. Though it's an undeniably beautiful audiovisual spectacle, i do still feel that the obtuse narrative and characterization were major downsides that made it hard for me to get invested in the story overall.

So, i'm just gonna settle for giving it a 6/10 (it's closer to a 7 than a 5, though).
Modified by Stygian_Prisoner, Mar 6, 11:47 AM
Mystical Eggplant Nagato Yuki says: "Be not afraid, my child, for i bring naught but nutritious blessings upon you."
 
Jun 2, 2:22 PM

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If you feel a deep connection with this movie or the sea itself please message me.
 
 
Jun 15, 10:21 PM

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I just got back from a live screening at a local theater.

First off, the visuals are absolutely stunning. Any moment where there's motion going on is magnificent. There's a lot of details going on in every animated scene, and I love the work put into doing traditional animation in combination with CG to bring out the best of both. My favorite moments were any shots that were huge in scale, such as when Ruka was swept up in whales or was swallowed whole.

I feel bad that this was a Hisaishi soundtrack. In the post-credit interview, the Director Watanabe stated that the intention was to maintain subtlety to emphasis atmosphere and/or silence. However, the soundtrack ended up getting drowned out during any other scene, either by the overwhelming visuals, the characters yelling, or booming sound effects.

The characters were rather monotone, speaking in large, overarching prose. Though, I felt, in many ways, they kept repeating the same lines, but in different manners. In essence, they're questioning the universe, but they're also questioning questions about the universe. They spend scene after scene pondering existence, then in the next breath offhandedly lament humanity's futile struggle to understand the universe, as if they stood apart from humanity as pitying observers.

A core theme of Children of the Sea is the pursuit of knowledge, although it comes down to the desire to comprehend the universe. At the end, the universe exists within us, and we exist within the universe, all in a huge cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. In other words, that one island episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Or perhaps Life of Pi. It could also closely resemble Masaaki Yuasa's film Mind Game. Or, as another comparison, the climax reminded me starkly of the third act of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

As an experience, Children of the Sea is visual splendor, and honestly, I feel the film would have been better without any dialogue. The intention of the film, as per the director interview, was to have the audience ponder over the film's meaning, creating their own individual interpretations. However, the film itself heavily spells out its themes, reinforcing them with constant birth and death metaphors before verbally confirming all its themes. According to the film, the great mystery of the universe lies in the conception of life, and all meaning therein is unfathomable by human minds. To the film's credit at least, it acknowledges that such pursuits are fine in and of themselves, as while they're meaningless, they're not actively doing any harm (unlike the heavy-handed treatment of those naval officers).

To say the pursuit of knowledge is meaningless is saying effort to understand the world around us is meaningless. The film at least tries to say that the meaning behinds words can be transmitted in ways other than words, although it doesn't make much effort to try and speak in the first place. The relationship between space and deep-sea exploration lies in great unknowns, located far beyond humanity's physically reach. This is then metaphorically lined up with exploring each other's feelings and emotions, trying to bridge communication with each other.

By the film's end, its conclusion could be summed up with:

"Learning and understanding is meaningless, but that's okay; there may or may not be a meaning to everything, but we can at least acknowledge that we don't know anything, and instead appreciate existence for what it is.

Unless you're in it for the money, then screw you."

In all, I don't regret watching Children of the Sea, if just for the visual experience. However, I've seen other works tackle similar themes, either in simpler or more abstract and obtuse manners, and in varying levels of success. I can't say I agree with Children of the Sea's method of presenting those themes, but much like it's views on humanity's fruitless endeavors, it at least tried.

EDIT: Oh yeah, before I forget, this is one of the few times I've seen a Filipino character in an anime. Props for that.
Modified by Shocked, Jun 15, 11:06 PM
 
Jun 16, 9:32 PM

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Certainly a very interesting movie, if I had to pick a word to describe it, I'd say it was abstract. I went to a showing near me yesterday but forgot to post here.

First of all, the movie was visually stunning. Incredible artwork, so much life, charm and expression in the animation. Ton of incredible cinematography, rich detail and animation in every little thing, absolutely mesmerizing from a visual perspective. The final sequence from the Ruka and the whale to the end was absolutely surreal and visceral. Huge props to the animation team for combining traditional animation and CG.

I think the movie does well to portray it's themes on the whole but struggles in trying to showcase them within the context of the characters to the point that the main narrative feels muddled almost making no sense but I do think there is value in the movie as a whole.

Throughout the movie, it tries to ask the main question of "Where did we come from?" and "Where are we going?". I think the movie as a whole serves as a reminder to the mystery of life, the pursuit of the unknown. They showcase it by contrasting the size and expanse of life from the tiny insects to the large aquatic life and even the extraterrestrial phenomenon and of course the children of the sea. There is joy to be found in understanding the intricacies and subtleties of life but at the same time it's disheartening to know that in the grand scheme of the universe our individual lives are essentially insignificant. If so, what then is the point of our struggles? The universe moves ever onward regardless of our own decisions.

I feel like the film tries to lead us towards understanding this problem through the characters who struggle with the same thing, being unable to understand existence as it is. The cycle of life moves ever onwards in ways that none of us can understand despite our best efforts in trying to solve it. They seem to touch on the subject of being unable to communicate our instinctive understanding of these subjects by contrasting it to the whale. There are subjects we understand by instinct but fail to ever put into words and perhaps that fact adds to our inability to solve this problem.

However, I felt the movie ultimately tried to answer these problem by painting a picture of perspective. That when you change your perspective, answers that you couldn't see before become visible. I think through the visceral scenes at the end the were trying to paint a picture that despite all our inability to solve the mystery of life, there is meaning in it by our very nature to pursue a meaning. We are able to take action and pursue meaning through our own will and there in it lies the true meaning of life. Perhaps at the end we'll feel like we understood nothing, perhaps there was no point to it but maybe the ability to think that in the first place is worth a greater value.

I feel like the movie was trying to be the next End of Evangelion or something but unfortunately they lacked the story build up and character narrative to really drive home what they are trying to say and ultimately left everything open to interpretation.

Ultimately, Where did we come from? Where are we going? I don't know where I came from but I will decide where I'm going.

7/10
 
Jun 20, 7:19 PM

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I thought I was having a fever dream somewhere towards the end there. Have no idea what happened, but it sure was pretty.
 
Jun 22, 3:15 AM

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I really thought the old lady would be evil for some reason but I guess I shouldn't judge a book by its cover. The sea festival really looked like some weird fever dream. Good movie with its visually stunning animation and unique, symbolic heavy plot altough I'm not too sure I understood everything.
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