tek's rating: ¾

Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? (not rated)
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This 2017 anime film (called "Fireworks" for short) is based on a 1993 live-action TV short film of the same name (which I haven't seen). I watched this in 2019 on the Fourth of July, just because of fireworks being in the title. Um... I'd say it's an interesting film, but kind of strange, and I really have no idea what the end means. Not to mention all the other things in the film that are left unexplained. But I'm used to the idea of anime movies not always making sense, so that didn't bother me too much. For the most part, I enjoyed the movie, just because I'm a fan of anime in general, I guess. I liked the animation (though I've read that some people didn't like the CGI aspects, which... I don't think I even noticed). Also, some of the things I read on TV Tropes about the contents of the movie I don't recall noticing at all, which makes me wonder if the version I watched on DVD was edited to make it a bit more family-friendly.

Anyway, there's a boy named Norimichi, who is very shy. He has a crush on a girl named Nazuna, though he won't admit it. His friend Yusuke, however, often talks about his own feelings for Nazuna, which he wonders whether or not he should confess to her. (I suspect part of the reason Norimichi doesn't admit his feelings was because he didn't want to complicate his friendship with Yusuke.) But this gets kind of confusing, because at a later point in the film, Yusuke denies to Norimichi that he had ever said anything about having feelings for Nazuna, and when pressed on the matter, switches to saying he was only joking about his feelings. Later still, when he sees Norimichi and Nazuna together, he immediately becomes jealous and angry at Norimichi for having "betrayed" him. (How he could expect Norimichi to have any idea what his true feelings were when he kept changing his story is beyond me.)

But I'm kind of getting ahead of myself. Um... one day, Nazuna finds a strange, marble-sized orb in the water, while staring out at the sea. That same day, in school, Norimichi and Yusuke and some of their other friends are having a random argument about whether fireworks would appear round from any vantage point, or if they might look flat from a certain perspective. They end up making a bet about it, planning to go watch an upcoming fireworks display from a high enough place they could see it from the side instead of below. (This is where the movie's title comes from, obviously, but it will also tie in with the love triangle story.)

Beyond this, I don't want to say too much. Except that... at one point, after things have gone badly, Norimichi ends up throwing Nazuna's marble thing while wondering what would have happened if an earlier event had gone differently. (The orb appears to have filaments inside it like a light bulb, which take the shape of the word "if.") And... time reverses. The event goes differently, as Norimichi had hoped, though I don't think he was fully aware, at first, that he was reliving past events. He does eventually start to realize it, though, and there will be a few more occasions throughout the film in which he uses the orb to alter the past. Because despite temporary improvements- the main one being that he and Nazuna end up spending the day together- things inevitably always go wrong again, each time in a different way. (This can involve both Yusuke's jealousy, and the fact that Nazuna is upset that her mother is about to remarry, which means they'll have to move away, which Nazuna desperately wants to avoid.)

Well... like I said, I have no idea what the end of the movie means. So I guess I couldn't spoil it even if I wanted to. I'll just say, shit gets weird. Still, it was sort of entertaining, I guess. I'm glad to have seen it.

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