TIFF Next Wave 2020: Our Review of ‘Children Of The Sea’

TIFF Next Wave 2020: Our Review of ‘Children Of The Sea’

Animation allows for us to go to some interesting places that we otherwise couldn’t…

In Children of the Sea we meet Ruka; when she was younger she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish.

The honest to goodness magic that comes out of movies from GKIDS is the unequivocal sense of wonder that we get while watching stories that are actually trying to make a statement rather than just be a fun story.  That’s what Children of the Sea is in spades.

Director Ayumu Watanabe’s stunning adaptation of the prize-winning manga by Daisuke Igarashi is one of those films that needs to be seen on as big of a screen as humanly possible.  With some sweeping vistas and stellar underwater sequences we get the feel of something from another world that still maintains a very grounded and real world message about the state of our oceans.

Sure the kids in it look a little weird, but it also makes them all exceptionally relatable as we learn why these kids are getting these calls from the ocean that only they know about.

Children of the Sea is the kind of film that is indicative of Japanese anime.  It’s strong and beautiful storytelling with an honest message that audiences of all age can really grasp on to.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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