"Be Careful What You Wish"
FIREWORKS is an animated fantasy from Japan about a teenage boy who discovers a magical, reality-bending way to be near the girl he loves.
The movie opens on the day of a city firework festival. Everyone wants a date to go watch the lights in the sky. Schoolgirl Nazuna wanders the beach in the morning before class the day of the festival and sees something shiny in the water. She picks up a small glowing ball, and its beauty draws her to it. Nearby, her classmate Norimichi watches her every move, but denies his feelings for her to his friend, Yûsuke. Their friends begin to debate whether fireworks are flat or round when they explode in the sky. They decide to all meet at a high point in the city for the show so that they can get a better view.
Later, when Norimichi and Yûsuke are on pool cleaning duty, they see Nazuna lounging beside the pool. When they decide to race each other, she joins in on the fun. While racing, the shiny ball that was found earlier falls into the water. It distracts Norimichi, causing him to hit his foot while swimming. Suddenly, Yûsuke has won and Nazuna asks him to go with her to the firework festival instead of Norimichi.
Norimichi goes to Yûsuke’s house to see his friend’s father about his hurt foot and finds Nazuna there. He knows that Yûsuke isn’t coming, and he tells her so. Upset, she decides to head to the train station to run away. Norimichi is so unhappy with the way things are happening that he angrily throws the shiny ball against a wall, wishing for an alternate reality.
Suddenly, everything has changed. What Norimichi wished for has come true. Time has reversed, and Nazuna actually asked him to the festival, and they are going together to the train station. Now, she’s asking him to run away with her. Nazuna is upset her mother is marrying for a third time and wishes to escape her home life. However, right when the train arrives, Nazuna’s mother finds her and takes her away.
Now knowing the power that the magical ball possesses, Norimichi begins to use it to create the reality that he wishes. However, with every new change, the world is transforming into a strange universe, one that’s unfamiliar to him. Even though the happiness feels good in the moment, he knows it can’t stay that way forever.
FIREWORKS comes off as somewhat of a disappointment to anime viewers and lovers everywhere. Although it is a cute story about young lovers, it’s not enough to keep the audience’s attention wholly from beginning to end. The animation, graphics and effects are nothing short of beautiful, but they seem to be the movie’s primary focus. Consequently, the storyline is lacking and staying interested can seem like a task.
Besides these elements, FIREWORKS exhibits quite a bit of questionable content. The children in the movie curse multiple times, make inappropriate comments about their teacher and deliberately disobey authorities. This movie also follows a Romantic worldview where the characters pursue their infatuation with each other above all else, following their desire to be together. The movie contains some occult elements as well, with a mystical ball that controls time and space with the wish of its holder.
FIREWORKS might seem like a family movie, but is in reality excessive.
FIREWORKS is an animated fantasy from Japan. The story follows a young girl in Japan named Nazuna, who finds a shiny ball in the water on the beach and decides to run away from home. Her schoolmate, Norimichi, has a huge crush on her and follows her every move. However, when Nazuna asks someone else to watch the city firework show with her, he finds the ball and angrily throws it at the wall. Throwing the ball magically reverses the past, and Norimichi gets what he wished. However, the more he changes what happens, the further the world around him becomes from reality.
FIREWORKS would typically appeal to lovers of Japanese anime, but the story moves in a rather uninteresting way, with more artistic effects than dramatic events happening. It’s a cute tale, but not much to keep viewers highly invested. FIREWORKS also has a strong Romantic worldview with occult elements throughout, plus some foul language and sexual comments. In addition, the teenage characters are disrespectful and disobedient. FIREWORKS may be disguised as a family movie, but is in reality excessive.