Fireworks of Akiyuki Shinbo: a coming of age “alternative” | Review Home Video


Published on Mar 10, 2020


On Valentine's day Koch Media has proposed a distribution Lucky Red for the necklace Anime Factory: Fireworks of Akiyuki Shinbo that already from the title oozes romaticismo from every pore.

And (as often happens) is also a bildungsroman of two young men, and (as often happens) in the films of japanese anime, the theme of the supernatural goes hand in hand with the coming of age.

The genesis of the anime

Before becoming an animated film in 2017, the subject was born in 1993 thanks to two episodes of a tv series If Moshimo, a kind of Sliding Doors (1998, Peter Howitt) so of great success to be brought to the big screen in the 1995 film live action. The main theme was to entrust their lives and especially their decisions to the case, a bit as in Love me if you dare (2003, Yann Samuell). In 2017 eventually becomes an anime film written by Hitoshi Ohne and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo.

The plot

The fireworks should be watched from the bottom or the side? And, above all, are flat or round? A group of friends arranges to find the answer during the local summer festival; in the while Norimichi received the unexpected invitation to escape to the home of the classmate Nazuna, which is infatuated with her, living with her a wonderful experience by the unexpected implications. Nazuna must move to yet another marriage of her mother, and decides to make a romantic getaway together to those between two classmates – both in love with her – Yosuke and Norimichi will win a challenge of swimming in the swimming pool of the school.

Differences and themes of the anime

In addition to the revival of the soundtrack of Remedios as the song “Forever Friends”, in the anime film the age of the characters is “raised” from the elementary to the medium, making the story more of a coming of age, as compared to the live action.

A coming of age “alternative” to the presence of a mysterious marble that takes you back in time, in real parallel universes, in which the aspect of an event is to go in a different way everything that happens after that. A ball that Nazuna is on the beach (the water and horizon symbols of genesis and the sunset) and Norimichi the usa so as to be able to escape with his great love and to not be stopped by anybody, even by Yosuke.

The theme of the time-jumps brings to mind The girl who jumped through time (2006, Mamoru Hosoda), while the love story so “absolute” typical of adolescence, in which all the feelings are felt to the extreme (especially in the culture of animation in japan), is reminiscent of the protagonist couple of Your Name (the success of the 2016 Makoto Shinkai). Also visually Fireworks refers to Your Name, playing with 3D computer graphics in fireworks meta-narrative are spherical or flat?

Another theme of the film is that of the train – back in the japanese culture – here Nazuna and Norimichi are on the run love on the train towards the future, perhaps the best, certainly the load of hopes and fantasies, before clashing with the reality and the obstacles of the case – Yosuke and the companions of him, her mother – who try to stop them right at the train stations, and on the rails.

Fireworks basically asks us the viewers what we would have done if things would have gone differently? But it really makes sense to domandarselo? At the bottom you can't go really back and each of us is the result of the choices, the “right” ones, and especially those that are “wrong”.

The home edition video

Enriched by an elegant packaging with slipcover outdoor pools, and a booklet inside with interviews, behind-the-scenes, etc., entirely in Italian, and a good quality of the portfolio of audio/video, edition home video of Fireworks contains only the trailer among the extras. But reading the booklet, very nice it is as if you were witnessing the making of the film.

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