Released in Japan in May 2007, the anime film is another masterpiece created by Makoto Shinkai, right after his popular chain of short stories and an anime film hit worldwide, 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007).
Unlike any other anime films, Makoto Shinkai’s focus in his works has always been the actual life cycle of human beings and its relationship with nature (sounds like ‘ecology’, huh?). So if you’re into birth and death stuff, this film is for you.
Moving on. The plot and historical/mythological references are well researched and some facts are honestly surprising that it made me look it up in the Internet. Now, I wonder if the myths presented have other versions like Roman and Greek Mythologies.
But the most interesting part that drew my full attention was the play of Shakuna Vimana (the vessel) and Quetzal Coatl (or popularly known as Quetzalcoatl) in the story and how plenty they are. When I was young, I only knew that Quetzalcoatl is one of the Mesoamerican Deities that is referred as a guardian force in the console game, Final Fantasy VIII.
It bewildered me that such god is used as a general term for gate keepers of the underworld that takes on different forms. The underworld presented in the film is one of the countries/lands underneath the surface which coexists with us and is actually one of the existing mysteries up to date. Though scientifically speaking, it is impossible. But sometimes, it’s fun to think about it.
Going back to the plot. The main characters all have character developments though there seemed to be an unexplained fact which left me hanging.
*SPOILER ALERT* For those of you who have seen the film, there’s a stone called Calvis that the people of Agartha (one of the countries/lands underneath) used to seal all entrances to their world. The main character, possess one of these stones from his late father but it was never explained why it was in his possession. Could it be that he came from the world of Agartha? And another thing, Shun from Agartha surfaced because he wanted to meet her. Why? How did he know her existence? Why her? It was never mentioned in the film and it’s bugging me!
To wrap it up, my overall rating for the film is 8.5 out of 10 considering the great animation and realistic message for all ages. I’m not really a fan of stories about parting, but I got to admit that the entire story is true to life. Everyone of us go through this phase. We meet people, build relationships with them then eventually and inevitably we grew apart.
I think it’s one of our treasures in life. All the imperfections make us appreciate everything especially the agreeable ones that though temporarily stay, leave beautiful marks within us.