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Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarou Anime Cover

Score: 8.46/10

Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarou

Eng Title : Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

Alt Title : Let's Decorate the Promised Flowers in the Morning of Farewells, SayoAsa

JP Title : さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう

Year : 2018

Genre : Drama, Fantasy

Season :

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 1/1

Duration : 1 hr. 55 min.

Studios : P.A. Works

Synopsis

Maquia is a member of a special race called the Iorph—mystical beings who can live for hundreds of years and remain separate from the lives and daily troubles of mankind. However, Maquia has always felt lonely despite being surrounded by her people, as she was orphaned from a young age. She daydreams about the outside world, but dares not travel from her home due to the warnings of the clan's chief. One day however, the outside world finds her, as the power-hungry kingdom of Mezarte invades her homeland. They already have what is left of the giant dragons, the Renato, under their control, and now their king wishes to add the immortality of the Iorph to his bloodline. The humans and their Renato ravage the Iorph homeland and kill most of its inhabitants. Caught in the midst of the attack, Maquia is carried off by one of the Renato that has gone berserk. It soon dies, and she is left deserted in a forest far from home, now truly alone save for the cries of a single baby off in the distance. Maquia finds the baby in a destroyed village and decides to raise him as her own, naming him Ariel. Although she knows nothing of the human world, how to raise a child that ages much faster than her, or how to live with the smoldering loneliness inside, she is determined to make it all work somehow. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Seeing many of these 10/10 reviews and people saying they cried shocked me. I wondered if we had even seen the same movie. I, and seemly many who left the theatre did not leave angry; but we certainly were not raving about it being a masterpiece either. And in the whole theatre, only a single person cried. I overheard many conversations after the movie of it being “okay” and “a lot of stuff didn’t make sense” and a few more criticisms. And I agree with them, this movie is no masterpiece. However, it is not bad either. So, here is my review

Story:5/10
Firstly, I find the plot to be all over the place, and it never seems to have enough time to focus on each ‘arc’ of the story. Due to this, we see a few time jumps that aren’t explained and many many many coincidences throughout this animation. So many coincidences it’s actually ridiculous. So many unexplainable coincidences made it seem pretty silly many times throughout the film. The best example would be when Maquia one night disappears, and then the next thing we know she’s getting her hair cut in some random room and then next thing we know she’s heading an invasion of some sort. Like, wtf just happened? I have a general idea, but wow. There is literally no explanation other than she vanishes and then bam shes back again so you’re left to put together the pieces. And, of course, the fact that in a massive metropolis city she manages to ‘stumble across’ every main character multiple times across the entire movie. “The Clan of the Separated”? Yeah right… This for me dampered many scenes that would have otherwise been fairly heartwarming or sad. The overall plot isn’t a bad one. It’s actually a very interesting concept that I feel was just simply not done right. Or, maybe needed 2 parts and more time to do it correctly.

Art: 7/10
Animation wise it wasn’t bad. Certainly wasn’t great either. A few scenes looked quite silly but those were few and far apart. Was up and down throughout the film and sometimes is quite plain and boring but decided on a 7. Overall, not many complaints here.

Sound 7/10:
Here I had no complaints. No song really stuck out and made me really think about it deeper but all the songs seemed to match their scenes and OST was well done. No issues here

Characters: 6/10
Characters were pretty good. Clear development was seen in our two main characters which was nice to see. However, many other characters who seemed like they had importance, or could have had importance were simply forgotten about which was very disappointing. The biggest of which is the Army General Izol who swore to atone for his sins to Leila who was seen after that for maybe less than 5 seconds. In addition, the drunk man whom we never learn much of anything about whi randomly appears to save the day or just simply out of nowhere could have been done a lot better too.

In conclusion, it was a Weak 7. The movie was decently enjoyable but was literally coincidences the animation. Had a good concept with potential but didn’t live up to it. However, still created a movie that was appealing and a decently enjoyable watch if you don’t think too much about it.

Let's start with the obvious: Yes I did give this movie a bold 10/10. I wasn't sure how to feel about it so I watched it twice in cinemas in Japan with a one week cool-off period in between both viewing. Honestly, the first time it simply blew me away and stayed in my head non stop for like 3-4 days. This is a heavy statement but it is indeed one of the best animated movies I've ever watched. The second watching was in order to try to find flaws and to focus a bit more on small details of the plot and the music. Let's structure a bit the mess in my head, here goes: Story: Well, Mari Okada all right. She is known for her emotional stories and this one indeed enters the category just fiiiine! The movie feels very long in a good way: The story, the world and places, the character development, the sub plots... All these elements adds up and fill the ensemble to the brim giving the impression to have lived and discovered a lot with the characters ; and that is one of the main strenghts here. Everything is well rounded and the difference of pace in the various plot elements do not leave any space to get bored. There is a well-balanced mix of emotional moments, intense action and everyday life organized in a non generic narrative structure, which I find very refreshing. The theme developped is that of the relationship between mother and child. It is not a very common subject developped in detail and I really enjoyed the depth and various angles the movie takes to treat the subject. Art: Here, we have a very prestigious staff making characters and backgrounds. For the characters, Akihiko Yoshida character designer on Final Fantasy and Granblue Fantasy did a great job in creating the various types of characters. Even with the adaptation done for animation, you still see his strong influence, especially on the astounding work done on the clothes that are very stylish, diverse and inspired. The resulting chara design is very simple and round on the faces which can be a bit unsettling at the beggining but very cute nonetheless. About the background: the most prestigious animators of PA Works created incredible places helping to create a very rich world to discover. It is without a doubt the most impressive visual aspect on my end. To conclude this section, the CGI: globally well done and integrated, some rare sequences stand out too much but it isn't much of a problem in my opinion. Sound: Kenji Kawai is quite recognizable as a composer and you get that very easily here with the usual sound and instruments used. Nonetheless it is a very inspired soundtrack that come and goes with some very insistant themes that really shape the movie and the emotions. Also very well paced and used. Character: I am not gonna go in too much detail here because I don't wanna spoil the story but once again the characters are very well made, the vast majority of them are very logical in their motives, development and thought processes. The whole focus of the movie is obviously Maquia and Erial (or Ariel whatever) and their relashionship. So much so that you may feel that some secondary characters / subplots are not developped enough... Well it is indeed an argument but remember: It is the story of Maquia and Erial, so it is good the movie doesn't dwelve too much in various directions. Enjoyment + conclusion: Well I suppose this is clear enough already! I very deeply enjoyed this movie that awed me and obsessed me for days on end. It has a compelling story with a not so common theme in a fantasy setting including memorable scenes and very well developped characters with whom you grow fond of very quickly. It gets very emotional towards the end, all thanks to that very well paced development and evolution throughout the film. Beware, it is indeed a tear jerker and both times the whole room was crying at the end. Also, in case it isn't clear enough already, this is not a family oriented movie, it is geared towards adults and some themes and element are quite dark and mature. I've been trying to find flaws but putting aside very minor stuff, I don't see any major problems. Add to that the overwhelming impact of all the goodness I developed above and you get a masterpiece to be remembered. Hence the 10/10. Not everybody is gonna like it the way I did but if you are okay with emotional stories and fantasy, please give Sayoasa a go without hesitation and you won't be disappointed.

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