"What happened." ~ Me at the end this short film.
I walked into this with high hopes and with the first act of the movie shaping up to be something amazing that soared even higher. Once the final arc of the short film kicked in I was speechless. I literally had no words to describe what was occurring on my screen. Well let me save this for the "enjoyment" section.
[PART 1: STORY]
We, the viewers, follow Hinata, I think, as he tries to confess his love to his crush, Shigure. It's simple but it works. I kind of was confused why the movie was switching
from a grounded style to a metaphorical style like it was something to be proud of. I think it removes the realism the first half of the short film tries to portray. The ending is such a missed opportunity that if given this project I would have done things different from the half way point onwards. If you found this emotionally impacting I am happy that you did, but I for one could not find it this way.
SIDE NOTE: The very end makes it seem like their encounter was sort in his head which would make the second half lose all of its problems, but sadly they never directly tell the viewer if this is true or not. If I am wrong about this then this short film would easily be a solid 7 or an 8.
[PART 2: ART & ANIMATION]
This is easily the strongest part about the whole experience. Unlike the story that is being told the animation and the music stay consistently good for the most part. This short has a Ghibli/Disney feel, just like what most of what Studio Colorido has done in the past. The art and animation are extremely fluid and expressive for the duration of the film. You could say that it was as fluid as riding a canoe down the Colorado River and when you were riding this canoe a tree branch known as the plot knocks you off making you drown. Sure the water known as the presentation was a joy to the eye, but the story it was telling was no where near the quality of the water. One thing of note is that the CG Train didn't look bad and I must thank the people at ColorDorito for a pretty train instead of a poop one you would usually get in modern day animation.
[PART 3: CHARACTERS]
We have a main male character who is very easy to relate with and get behind. We have his crush, Shigure, whose past is shrouded in mystery. This movie is short and skims over their relationship because of the duration of the experience. I guess they were good for what we got.
I shall end this by saying that this was easily one of the biggest disappointments I've had the displeasure of viewing in a long while. The movie may look good but the story was so detached from any reality that I thought the main character was going to told to pick a pill at the end of the movie. The one I would have picked was to change the ending of this movie. I detest this for squandering its potential and making it something worthy of my hatred after such a strong start. I wouldn't give this movie a recommendation unless you wanted to watch a spectacle in which I could point you to other movies and series that do this much better. For other things to watch besides this that are of the same vain, 5 Centimeters per Second; a love story that acts more closely to the first half of this than the second half, and The Wind Rises, a Ghibli film in which it kind of feels parts of this were cut and pasted from this movie because of how breathtaking some of the shots are.
TL;DR A wasted idea with good production to back it up. Pass and go watch something better.