If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli‘s creations, prepare yourselves. Netflix’s newest anime film Bubble is as equally beautiful to experience for yourself. From the gorgeous art style to an entrancing soundtrack, Bubble has what it takes to be an award winning animated film. With other projects under their belts such as Empire of Corpses and Pokémon: The Power of Us, Wit Studio is no stranger to creating animated masterpieces that are a feast for the eyes.
Bubble is the story of a strange phenomenon that takes place in Tokyo, Japan. Bubbles began descending down onto the city while breaking the laws of gravity, seemingly harmless until an explosion causes the city to be destroyed and abandoned by its citizens. Now taken over by orphans, the kids compete in a parkour competition for basic resources such as food and water, etc. Using the dilapidated buildings as their playground, the teams make their way across the destroyed city to get to the flag at the finish line. One competitor, Hibiki, has the ability and the talent to use the bubbles floating around to get to where he needs to go faster than everyone else. One night he hears a mysterious song playing and decides to find it, only to fall into the water and nearly drown. A strange girl saves his life and quickly becomes attached to his hip. He names her Uta, meaning “song”. She begins to show a unique connection to the bubbles and shares his ability to hear the music coming from them.
Naturally and as always, I have to praise the animation and art team for this visually stunning film. Everything just pops (no joke intended) and it truly is a feast for the eyes. The color palette during the day looks and feels very organic mixed with subtle pastels that mix beautifully with the action happening in the foreground. Everything is bright and magical. Not comparing it to Studio Ghibli but Wit Studio has their own unique style that stands out and apart from Ghibli, giving Bubble a refreshing design. As for the animation, I absolutely love how the parkour animation was handled. The movement was fluid and seemingly flawless as the characters jumped and flipped around their environment. I also love how the animation for Uta was created. Since she is essentially a bubble in the form of a human, there are subtle touches to her character that are reminiscent of a bubble. For example, her hair floats around aimlessly when she’s standing still which is a detail that I’m in love with. The animation and art team should be proud of what they accomplished.
Of course with almost every anime, the music needs praise as well. The intro to the film is an epic start that definitely got me excited to see what it was all about. The intro is then followed up with beautiful instrumentals throughout the film coupled with the hauntingly captivating vocals that Uta sings. I always say a movie isn’t a movie without music and I stand by that, especially here. The soundtrack is phenomenal. Chef’s kiss if you will.
Regardless if you’re into anime or not, this film is one anyone can sit down with by themselves or enjoy with the entire family. I have no qualms or complaints for this film as I thoroughly enjoyed it. From start to finish, it’s a heartwarming, emotional ride that’s guaranteed to make you feel good when the credits start rolling.
Bubble is available to stream on Netflix, April 28.