Jan 30, 2021
Most of this is my early thoughts about the film. I did not spend much time over thinking the film. I also did not watch many short anime films, so i do not have a specific standard for reviewing them. I will be judging the film based sorely on my expectations and how much did the film delivered.
And let me tell you, going in to this, I did not had any high expectations. I did not watch the original film, neither did I know anything about it`s premise and world. I knew that this was a spin-off and that it had limited budget and a small team, and that it aimed to tell a simple story with hopefully adequate characters and animation to back it up. And thankfully, it was able to meet and even exceed my expectations. It is a very beautiful, enjoyable and well put together short film, especially considering its free.

The story is not aimed to be complex or serious endeavor with any long or complex story points. It is a light hearted tale that aims to tell a simple contained story, with a joyful and serious tone. And it is necessary to have those expectations while watching this film. The story is largely contained and follows the three main characters Mint, Noah and Thomas, as they try to clean the garbage polluting the shore area. Other than the main premise, the film also spends time telling us about more larger plot points of the main series like the Santa company, which really intrigued me. The opening 5 mins of the film was the point where I was most invested in the film. It explains its world and premise with effective dialogues and beautiful art style. There was some adequate jokes that made me chuckle a bit.
But I did felt that at certain points the story was too much to the point and did not try to expand certain plot points. For example, I wished there was a more prominent story arc that better showcased Mint`s shortcomings and her over coming them, Or a better representation of and focus on the littering issue that the film is so heavily aimed at. Thankfully, the story is paced correctly and explains story points effectively. And it overall kept me entertained. It really made me want to watch the original film.

Much like the story, the characters are simple and don`t have much dept to them. But they were likable and not irritating and carried the story pretty nicely.The main characters got the most screen time, and the story was focused around getting to know them. I really like their personality and relationship, and they carry the film for me. Apart from Mint, the characters fell two-dimensional, and served more as supporting cast for her, which I think works in the film`s favor. Again, the characters were entertaining and fun and did not overstay their welcome. They fit perfectly in the story and its world.

I have not watched the original film, so I do not have the context for the story and characters. But I think it was still satisfactory and did not contain any major plot holes or missing information. You will be able to watch the film without felling the need to think or speculate much.

The animation and artwork was the best part of the film. The art-style made the world feel authentic and pleasant to look at. There overall good amount of animation. The animation was not fluent at some points and there was a two or three weird cuts, but you`ll hardly notice them.The music was also incredibly put together and added a lot to the story. These two things, more than anything else, were the main reason I enjoyed the film so much.

like I said, the recourse for this film was limited, but the creators clearly put a lot of effort in making the film. Director Kenji Itoso had a clear vision in his mind, and knew what to put in the film and how to effectively engage the audience in the film. I also think the creators were very effective in setting our expectations right. And they were very clear about what this film was about and what to expect. I think the film was well directed and executed.

Like I said, I did not watch much short films and I did not had high expectations for this film. But I still think it delivered on the key things like. There is noting absolutely great and noting horribly bad, everything is simple. But all of its different aspects come together and gives a enjoyable and fun experience. Whether you`ll like that experience or the film, largely depends on your expectations and tolerance for such things. For the most part, I had a blast watching the film. It simple yet entertaining plot and fun characters made me really happy. I may not remember the characters and the story, but I won`t forget the pleasant time I had watching this film.

Congratulation to MAL for hosting the film. And thank you to all who worked on the film. I enjoyed and loved it very much, and I plan to watch the original film.

Thanks for reading my review. Do watch the film if you think you`ll like it.
Reviewer’s Rating: 7
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