After the massive success that was Your Name, I figured it wouldn’t be long before we received a change in anime films. Your Name was beautiful yet simultaneously tragic with its plot that broke and warmed the hearts of millions around the globe. It makes sense that some would try to imitate it and attempt to strike gold. Fireworks was a movie I have seen advertised in the U.S. far more than Your Name was promoted. Most likely because the animation studio Shaft and the producer of Your Name thought they struck gold with this title, but how did they measure up?
Best friends Norimichi and Yusuke have a crush on a beautiful girl named Nazuna. After a swimming race with her, Yusuke wins and she asks him to go with her to the fireworks. Being pleased by her request only lasts so long as he avoids meeting her at the designated time and instead plans to hang out with his friends. This causes Norimichi to spend some time with Nazuna, who also planned to run away from home though it isn’t long before she is pulled away by her mother. In his anger and frustration, Norimichi throws a beautiful object and time seems to restart.
Shaft is behind beautiful anime like Bakemonogatari, in fact Nazuna looks a lot like Hitogi Senjogahara of the Bakemonogatari series. With this in mind, Fireworks should have been a lot than just a beautiful, pretentious mess.
The movie doesn’t make much sense at all even by the time the credits roll. Norimichi’s reset of time offers glimpses into the real reason Nazuna wanted to run away from home but there’s no cohesive reason behind it. Perhaps a few theories I have could be proven if I watch it a second time but I’m very close to regretting seeing it in the first place. Especially considering the fact that Yusuke started this whole mess to begin with. If he had not avoided Nazuna, maybe none of the events would have happened. Furthermore the amount of sexually suggestive content in this movie throws off the whole tone. How can you build a strong romantic, fantasy movie with constant breast cup jokes but then again, I have to remember Shaft is behind Bakemonogatari; A series that doesn’t shy away from aggressive sexual imagery and if I think upon it harder, also can be pretentious but at least manages to be somewhat enjoyable.
If you have the chance to see Your Name watch it again over and over before ever seeing Fireworks. Don’t even check it out on DVD/Blu-ray either unless maybe you’re into beautiful art with movie plots that could have been executed so much better than what was delivered.
Rating: 4 out of 10