Early Reviews Praise Shunji Iwai's 'Fireworks' Anime Film

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

Uchiage Hanabi, Shita Kara Miru ka? Yoko Kara Miru ka? (Fireworks, Should We See It From the Side or the Bottom?), the anime film adaptation of director Shunji Iwai's 1993 live-action drama of the same name, is finally complete and ready to open in theaters across Japan on August 18. Some people such as film critics and journalists, however, were able to view the film in advance. The reviews are in, and the film's reception is looking good so far.

Film and music journalist Koremasa Uno said the film doesn't feel like a work from Iwai or Hitoshi Ōne, the scriptwriter. Rather, it feels more like the anime of the studio creating it, Shaft, and its producer, Genki Kawamura. Uno also praised Suzu Hirose and Masaki Suda in the lead roles of Nazuna and Norimichi, respectively.

Film writer Tatsuya Masutō said that the expectations surrounding the film did not disappoint, and the anime could be better than the original live-action drama. He noted that the anime is more than just a remake, and the 90-minute run time compared to the 50-minute original helps add to the content.

Other people who saw the film described it as not feeling like an anime and being an emotional experience.

Ōne (live-action Bakuman., Moteki) is writing the film's script, and Nobuyuki Takeuchi (key animator on Spirited Away, Penguindrum, Bakemonogatari) is directing the film at studio SHAFT. Akiyuki Simbo (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Nisekoi) is serving as chief director. Akio Watanabe (Nisemonogatari, Bakemonogatari) is designing the characters, and Satoru Kousaki (Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Wandering Son) is composing the music. Iwai is credited with the original work.

Kenshi Yonezu and female rap singer DAOKO are performing the theme song "Uchiage Hanabi." DAOKO is also performing a cover of the original drama's theme song "Forever Friends" for the film. Iwai will direct a music video for DAOKO's cover filmed at locations from the original drama.

Ōne's script will add modern elements to Iwai's original story. The film is set on one day during summer vacation, and follows a group of boys who try to view a fireworks display from the town lighthouse to see if they look round or flat when viewed from the side. Meanwhile, one of the boys, Norimichi, receives an invitation from his crush Nazuna to run away with her.

Including Japan, the film will be distributed in 110 countries and regions.

[Via Yaraon!]

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