- Jennifer Green
This anime film has an emotional story of human connection at its core that helps keep it interesting beyond the nonstop action, some intentionally grating characters, and an apocalyptic setting. Bubble's animators have created a disturbing world where buildings have collapsed, Tokyo has flooded, and random structures float in the air. It's the perfect setting for the orphaned misfits to practice their parkour.
Their feats are deliberately far-fetched, and the mutual taunting gets tiresome, but it's nonetheless exciting to watch them leap and twirl in the air. The bubbles are also almost hypnotic in their mysterious beauty.
The traits that make Hibiki unique among his peers are unveiled slowly as his relationship with the enigmatic Uta deepens. The connection between these two special characters is heightened with scenes played in slow motion and long pauses where they stare into each other's spherical eyes, effectively building up to an emotional scene of Uta's disappearance.
Viewers can find messages about climate change, war, planetary catastrophes, and eventual renewal, though the archive images spliced in to try to hit these messages home weren't necessary.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.