What is going on?! Starring Uchiage Hanabi

It all started when my fiance and I went into a nerd store at the mall. We were looking through their anime DVD collection and we found an interesting movie called: Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?

Once we got back home, she wanted to watch it. So, that’s what we did.

Main Characters – Norimichi and Nazuna

Synopsis

Norimichi Shimada and his friends have sparked a heated debate that has divided them. If they see fireworks from the side, are they still round, or are they flat? The group forges a plan to settle the debate at the summer’s fireworks display. They’ll head out to the lighthouse and be able to see them perfectly from the side.

Things soon don’t go according to plan for Norimichi when he discovers that a classmate, Nazuna Oikawa, was planning to run away. He is frozen and conflicted as the girl is pulled away by her mother; however, everything changes when he throws a peculiar orb as hard as he can.

The Story

The story is pretty forward, right? A group of school kids plan to go on a little adventure to settle a debate that they’re having.

The main group of friends in Uchiage Hanabi

That’s when the curveball comes in with the girl, Nazuna. You figure out pretty quickly that Norimichi’s friend likes her, since he openly talks about it. Soon after that, you figure out that Norimichi likes her as well.

The drama of her being dragged away by her mother is where the story takes a flip and throws you for a loop. Norimichi is stunned, not knowing what to do. In anger, he throws an orb, which Nasuna had found previously. Next thing he knows, he has gone, apparently, back in time to a point which he regretted: losing the swimming race, and losing the chance to take Nazuna to see the fireworks.

So…it’s a time travel thingy? Strap in, cause it gets even more weird.

The orb being thrown by Norimichi

Norimichi knows his friend likes Nasuna, so he tries his best to escape with her without him knowing…which doesn’t go well; he sees them. Anyway, they end up at a train station. It’s here, once again, that Nasuna’s mother shows up and takes her away. Also, everything just sort of glosses over the fact that a grown man punched a child in the face.

Now we get to do the fun orb thingy again! This time, his regret is not getting on the train to get away from her parents.

You can see a theme here, right? Regret, throw orb, repeat, correct.

The orb being dropped

Except, things start getting odd. You, as the viewer, start to realize that, maybe, this orb thing isn’t turning back time, but creating different realities. Toward the end of the movie, Norimichi even acknowledges that something is off. As the viewer, we know something’s off cause the fireworks look all weird.

Then, just as suddenly as it all starts, it all ends. My fiance and I literally sat on the couch as it ended going, “What the heck just happened?”

A shattering ending

Maybe we aren’t clever enough to get the analogies or subliminal meanings, who knows.

From what we can gather…the orb creates realities based off what the person wants, or so we think. This is more apparent in the last scene of the movie where each character is seeing a different “reality” that reflected what that character wanted.

All in all. It left us confused.

So are they like…dead? Or what? What was that final scene in the classroom all about? Why did Nasuna’s dead father have the orb in his hand? Why is there random singing?!

The Animation

Train over water

Clearly the bright spot in the confusing story was the animation. This movie was absolutely stunning. I didn’t know that I could be so captivated by simple things such as a windmill or a flight of stairs.

Beautiful staircase

The animation whenever the train goes on its own path over the ocean is incredible as well. I have to say, the animation is what kept us going, even after we got more and more confused with the story.

Of course…there was that one scene where they completely changed to a weird CGI effect that just looked plain awful.

Odd, CGI-ish animation change

Conclusion

I would find it very hard to recommend this movie to anyone just because I’m still not really sure what the heck was going on.

What started out as a cute, slice of life and romance movie morphed into some odd, supernatural stuff that I just didn’t understand. It was interesting, and beautiful, that’s for sure.

Thanks for reading!

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