Sakasama no Patema is a film that took my breath away. From the moment I became immersed in the world its absolutely stunning art created, my attention was held and my expectations completely surpassed. To me, this is a film about the divide the fear of the unknown creates between us, a metaphor for the way we are separated by the way we, as a collective, cope with that fear, and compassion, friendship and empathy.
Story: 9/10 (Great)
The story of Patema Inverted follows a unique take on the theme of "Us and Them" - it takes place in a future in which a botched experiment causes a good deal of the population and "invert" and "fall into the sky", as if for only some people and things the law of gravity has changed. The story is set a while after this, when those who are inverted have set up a colony underground, and those who live above ground are forbidden to look at the sky and have it drilled into them their whole lives that it is divine will that the evil people in the world should fall into the sky. The story centers around the events that happen when Patema, the princess of the underground colony, meets someone from above ground, and the events that follow.
Despite the fact that a lot goes unexplained in the film, and the rather 'out-there' premise, the plot is nonetheless very uniquely portrayed, realistic and well written. The only reason it wasn't a 10/10 for me was the fact that I would have liked to have known more about the background of the world - however, I can see why there wasn't time to explain this convincingly in the movie without making a bunch of characters have infodump conversations that add nothing to the plot and exist purely to inform the viewer, since the story takes place over only the course of a couple of days. For what was shown, it was a really interesting idea that was pulled together by stellar writing and directing.
Art: 10/10 (outstanding)
Even if you don't watch this film for the story or the characters, I feel like even just watching it to simply admire the beautiful artwork that is typical of Yoshiura Yasuhiro's works is worthwhile. The setting/backgrounds were breathtaking and the animation was beautifully fluid and realistic; in a film with this kind of premise in which movement is central to the plot, there was a lot of room for the art to shine (which it undeniably did).
Sound: 7/10 (good)
The OST for this film was nothing really spectacular that stood out to me - it was about what you might expect for an average drama film. Some might think of the OST more favorably than me, but I feel that had it had a more atmospheric soundtrack the movie would have been a more evocative work than it already is. That being said, the OST did not detract from the impact and quality of the film whatsoever - it was just nothing memorable.
Character: 8/10 (very good)
For the short amount of time that occurs in "real time" in the film, there was a good amount of realistic character development. I definitely felt myself rooting for the protagonists on the edge of my seat. They might not have been the most unique characters in the world, but they were certainly endearing and engaging and related to eachother in a realistic and evocative way.
Enjoyment: 10/10 (outstanding)
This movie left me completely satisfied. The premise caught my attention, the art was something to behold all the way through, the characters were lovable, and despite the serious nature of what occurred in the plot, there were moments of humour that added a lovely touch to the overall experience.
Overall: 9/10 (great)
I truly had to think long and hard about whether I was going to rate Sakasama no Patema a 10/10, because it ticked just about every box for me. While there are some parts of it that are obviously incomplete, Patema Inverted is a masterpiece in the way it is a sensory experience in my opinion. Though I usually prefer anime with much darker atmosphere, this film was a breath of fresh air, and I would enthusiastically recommend it to just about anyone.