From director Masaaki Yuasa comes a one-of-a-kind supernatural story that leans heavily towards romance and comedy. While this is far from his best work, it's an anime like no other, which is always nice to see.
While the concept is great, the writing is pretty mediocre. For a story about loss and trying to move on, it's biggest failure is how predictable each event is, making most of the scenes less dramatic. The comedy aspect is great, but it turned the movie more into a rom-com rather than the emotionally driven story it was aiming to be. In particular, the ending of the film is rushed and a little ridiculous. However, the relationships between the four main characters is well written.
Yuasa's style never gets old, and the aesthetic look of this film is fantastic. The color contrast between the blue of the ocean and the red of the fires is a pleasure to see. There's also a lot of focus on food, especially coffee and omelet rice, which was well animated and added to the story well.
The sound is a problem that stems from the idea of the story. The concept requires for one song to be played over and over and over and yes, over again throughout the movie. While the song "Brand New story" is a good song, hearing one song continuously for over 90 minutes is enough to drive anyone a bit insane. However, a few years from now, hearing that same song again is going to feel really nostalgic, and it's nice for one song to be able to identify so clearly with a movie.
While the characters personalities or traits aren't particularly unique, it's a cast that complements each other well. The main boy, Minato, is a hardworking firefighter that seems to be good at everything. The main girl, Hinako, is a surfer who seems to be good at absolutely nothing, other than surfing. Minato's sister, Youko, is a tsundere who seems to hate everyone. And Wasabi, another firefighter, is more reserved and looks up to Minato. While the characters seem a little bland at first, each character seems to be just a bit odd in some way, making each character in this relatively small cast very likable.
While all around this wasn't a great film, it was definitely fun to watch.