Bubble 2022: Netflix Review: When I look back at Bubble, I’m reminded of the dazzling blue and purple kaleidoscopic display on my screen. The color in this anime is just exquisite, with numerous frames having the ability to serve as dazzling wallpapers. When combined with Hiroyuki Sawano‘s musical melody, it transports you to a whole new post-apocalyptic world. One filled with water, hued bubbles, dangerous gravity-defying activities, and touched up with human emotions.
It was the musical melody that got me eager to watch Bubble. ‘Uta’s Melody‘ has that entrancing effect, one that will capture you under its spell. This tune, which dominates proceedings and serves as the primary background score, will be remembered far more than the energetic theme song.
What is Bubble about?
A catastrophe has isolated a city. Bubbles float in and around Japan’s capital, which is covered by a gigantic…bubble. The manner in which the makers present this dome reminded me of The Simpsons Movie.
Set five years after the ‘Bubble Phenomenon‘, present-day Tokyo is a partially submerged and entirely enclosed city. Of course, people voluntarily step into it; but it is devoid of life, apart from a bunch of youngsters and a few scientists.
Your next stunning anime adventure, BUBBLE is now streaming on Netflix! pic.twitter.com/ivzaishTQe
— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) April 28, 2022
Mystified by the phenomenon, the scientists seek to explore the surroundings and the youth engage in dangerous combat races, Battlekour, (a.k.a. The Tokyo Death Games). Battlekour sheds light on a unique discipline, i.e. parkour. It is this that ensures that the film gets its sequences that keep you at the edge of your seats.
Hibiki, of Battlekour team Blue Blazers, forms the central focus in Bubble. He is a parkour ace who can hear a sound no one else can. This voice, and his belief in his abilities across the bubbles, provokes him to make the leap. Once misfortune strikes, he enters the drink and receives assistance in more than one way.
At this point, you may notice that this Wit Studio offering is an upgraded adaptation of a dark Danish fairy tale. One where sacrifice, love, and devotion shine through.
What is Good About Bubble on Netflix?
I like the fact that writer Gen Urobuchi and director Tetsuro Araki (Attack on Titan) described both the phenomenon and the game, right at the start itself.
The action sequences in this Wit Studio film make admirable use of the surroundings. You may be guilty of hitting the back button just to catch sight of the insane stunts by team Blue Blazers and Under Takers. Bubble’s theme song is quite catchy, which pumps one up for the film.
Creative action sequences and liberties with animation come to the forefront as the makers push the boundaries of parkour. The usage of ‘Uta’s Melody‘ as she maneuvers through the air above the vortex is one of the film’s best sequences. This is one of those instances you would absolutely want to re-watch, as one watch may not be believable.
The obvious love story takes center stage with a heart-wrenching line enhancing the teary eyes of the devastated on-screen character.
Bubble’s sound team makes the film enjoyable as you can observe the minute details. For instance, audiences can hear the swoosh as Hibiki, Uta, and The Blue Blazers glide through the air. One can also hear the sound of a boat in the water, showing us the attention Wit Studio paid to their offering.
Also, the animators deserve a mention here for the successful luminescent creation of the wonderland that is the bubble-filled Tokyo. The merging of purple and blue with the rays of sunlight creates a slight shimmer that can captivate audiences who tune in to watch this anime.
Unfortunately, dazzling animation, fluid graphics, and a wonderful background score may not be enough to distract you from a predictable ending.
What’s Bad about Bubble?
Avid readers, ones who have read the Danish literary fairy tale written in 1837, may lose interest in Bubble as they would have a fair idea of where this film is going. They may react like how Uta did when one character narrated Ariel’s tale to her.
Barring Hibiki and Uta, we don’t really feel invested in the other characters. Gen Urobuchi did not flesh out his characters to be more than just Blue Blazers members. There isn’t that core supporting character to enhance the journey of the main characters in a large way. They are under-used, or rather, relied on as stepping stones for the protagonist’s journey. Would you miss out on Makoto or any of the others? I certainly didn’t.
The Urobuchi and Araki duo don’t provide an in-depth take into the exploration of the galaxy, limbo, why the bubbles don’t burst, and the why behind the bubble phenomenon. Hence, Bubble remains part adventure thriller, part devastating romance, part sci-fi; but nothing entirely. A weird and fresh combination indeed, but that won’t delight certain audiences.
Verdict of Bubble on Netflix
Bubble is an anime for those who crave a visually spectacular delight. Cinephiles who wish to watch work with spectacular transitions should stream Bubble on Netflix. The fluidity of the moves from first person to a neutral observer or P.O.V. glances are top-notch.
If you read the synopsis or watch the trailer and expect a parkour battle royale, stay away from this film as you will be disappointed. A deep story is also lacking here, and if ‘content is king’, you may brush aside the glittery animation and your bubble may pop as you realize that all that glitters may not be gold for you.
Bubble is now streaming on Netflix.