Graphic Novel (Film) Review 355/365: Fireworks

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or hit up #GN365 on Twitter.

Hey, all!  I have some cool things coming your way in July as I end my quest of 365 blog posts in a row.  I appreciate you for reading.  11 posts to go!

Someone asked me if I thought that reviewing a film is an easy way out of reviewing a book.  I will say this.  It helps to break things up, but watching a film usually takes more time than reading a graphic novel, and not having direct access to the product while reviewing is tough.  Most of the time, if it’s a new film that I’m reviewing, there’s not rewinding or stopping the film to take note of what I find interesting.  And yes, I pay to go to the movies.  I do not pirate my films, so my reviews of new films are from theater experiences.

Speaking of which, today I went to a Fathom Event at Marcus theaters to see my first Anime film on the big screen!

Title: Fireworks, Should We See It From The Side Or The Bottom 

Author(s): Shunji Iwai, and Hitoshi Ône

Publisher: SHAFT (2017)

Age Rating: 13+

I have a good friend that runs a youth group at a local church, and when I can, I help out a little.  Today, he took a few kids to see this film, and I got an invite.  Having not much exposure to stand-alone Anime films, and having the afternoon free, I jumped at the chance.

The film was OK.  The plot wasn’t anything special.  And there were lots of questions left unanswered.  But what I enjoyed about the film was the art direction.  There is something very unique about the Japanese animation style.  Put up against American animated films, we can see a world of difference; this film had at least three-four distinct animation styles, and they were all beautiful.  I think that’s my biggest take-away from this film: I want to show an Anime film in my Film & Literature course and have the students discuss the major differences between American and Japanese animation styles.

Will I show Fireworks?  I could.  It’s school appropriate all the way down to middle school, but I think it would confuse my students.  Heck, it confused me.  I think I need to find a more solid film to show that is just as complex in its art/animation but has a more direct, cohesive story.

So I might not be the biggest fan of this film, but I’m grateful that it inspired me to branch out and show an Anime film this coming semester.  And if you’ve been following me, it goes along with my quest to open up my students to more cultural experiences as well, so it’s a win-win!  I know this experience has me excited to watch a bunch more Anime films!

Happy viewing!

Eric

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