‘Baburu‘ is a Japanese animated futuristic romantic film that is known as ‘Bubble‘ in English. The movie is directed by Tetsurō Araki and written by Gen Urobuchi for Wit Studio. It had its initial release at the Berlin International Film Festival and would make its way to North America on Netflix.
Sometime in the future, strange bubbles fall from outer space, causing havoc on Earth, but soon Tokyo gets encased in a giant bubble dome and the bubbles seem to move there, flooding the city. With the city evacuated, it has become a haven for outsiders. Hibiki (Zach Aguilar) is on a parkour team called the Blue Blazes, competing for supplies in Tokyo. He has sensory overload and wears headphones to drown out the noise, except for a strange song he hears coming from Tokyo Tower. One night, he goes there, but gets caught in a gravity well and nearly drowns. He is saved by a mysterious girl named Uta (Emi Lo) who has a beautiful singing voice (Riria). Uta endears herself to the Blue Blazes including a scientist housing them named Makoto (Erica Lindbeck) who tells her the fairy tale of “The Little Mermaid.” When Makoto gets kidnapped by the high-tech parkour team the Undertakers, the Blue Blazes are called to action with Uta helping, but she senses that the bubbles are growing more intense.
This is a beautiful and stunning movie. Right off the bat, you could tell that Wit Studio pulled no punches with the animation. The character designs are brilliant and that goes for the backgrounds as well. It is so incredible and truly shows the talent behind the animators. This is also true of the music composed by Hiroyuki Sawano. The film’s score and soundtrack are a delight to the ears and only add to the layers.
I was also pulled into the story. It takes many cues from the original fairy tale version of “The Little Mermaid,” albeit with a futuristic approach. As Hibiki grows from a jaded orphan who lost his family when Tokyo flooded, he comes to feel love again when Uta comes into his life. It was a cool journey because we also get to Uta learn what it is to be human.
A lot of movies show the dark side of humanity and the plot definitely has this, but it is more of a celebration of the good in humans. It discusses the cycle of chaos and how life springs from that and it comes together. I appreciated that and its dismissal of nihilism in favor of hope.
Bottom line, Bubble is a visually stunning film that shows the hope of humanity within its plot. It is an incredible movie and one that you will not regret watching.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some foul language, Frightening images
FAVORITE QUOTE: I heard a song.
Check out the trailer below:
This review is based on the dubbed version from Netflix.
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