There are many beloved coming-of-age tales on this planet of anime, from Your Name to Weathering With You to Fireworks. How does the newest Netflix film stack up in opposition to these beloved properties?
The Gist: Kosuke Kumagai (Bryce Papenbrook) and Natsume Touchi (Cassandra Morris) grew up dwelling within the Kamonomiya condo advanced, an older set of buildings jokingly known as the now “haunted” residences in a small Japanese city. They did every thing collectively rising up, however now they’ve gotten older they usually’ve drifted aside, moved into separate, new condo buildings, and infrequently converse anymore. There’s an unstated rigidity between the 2 that everybody round them notices, and their pals attempt to invite them to do issues collectively, which Kosuke declines.
When their shared group of pals ask them to go on a seek for the “ghost” within the outdated residences, the pair bump into Natsume’s unusual new buddy Noppo (Elliot Fletcher), who says he used to reside within the buildings. The children quickly discover themselves exploring the buildings, tensions working excessive because the advanced feelings between Kosuke and Natsume come to a head. As a sudden downpour begins, the pair and their pals expertise one thing weird: they out of the blue get up to being adrift within the ocean on high of their condo advanced.
Together, the youngsters should work to determine a plan for survival, all whereas Kosuke and Natsume are pressured to come back to phrases with their damaged friendship, saying goodbye to the lives they as soon as knew. That means unraveling the thriller of the unusual Noppo, airing the grievances between Kosuke and Natsume, and rising up a bit whereas determining how one can unpack everybody’s shared trauma dwelling in an space that’s been modified by forces each inside and outside.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: Though way more bloated and fewer compelling than its brethren, Drifting Home will instantly recall recollections of stronger tales, like Your Name, Weathering With You, or Fireworks.
Performance Worth Watching: Alex Cazares, who many anime viewers might acknowledge from her current function as Rebecca in Cyberpunk 2077: Edgerunners, does an ideal job as Taishi Koiwai, the cocky but skittish buddy that decides to ask Kosuke and Natsume to go “ghost looking” within the first place. She introduced a wild, chaotic vitality to Rebecca, and imbues Taishi with that very same vitality, as if the 2 characters have been a part of the identical coin.
Memorable Dialogue: “Stay out of my life! We’ve bought nothing to do with one another!” An offended Kosuke calls for to know why Natsume has his grandfather’s digital camera, assuming she stole it. This altercation results in a scary second the place Natsume loses her footing and nearly falls earlier than Kosuke grabs her, however she falls on the final minute in a pivotal turning level for his or her relationship and the movie going ahead.
Sex and Skin: Absolutely none to talk of.
Our Take: Drifting Home has an attention-grabbing premise that’s buried underneath about an additional hour of drama and world constructing. It takes a couple of half hour to get to a degree the place you actually begin to care about these children’ plight, and it’s purposefully obtuse to start with about what’s going on between its two leads. While it makes an attempt to weave a poignant but delicate story, it takes far too lengthy to ascertain an attention-grabbing sufficient story that hooks you lengthy sufficient to make the hours fly by. Instead, there’s so little motion and a lot dialogue about each single factor that occurs that it feels as if the film’s runtime has lengthened by about half an hour each time you search for.
The manner it stands, the condo buildings and the “drifting at sea” plotline aren’t particularly partaking, the battle between our two leads isn’t as dramatic as we’re result in imagine, and the beautiful animation isn’t put to good use. We’re caught taking a look at darkish hallways and residences, the identical pictures of the youngsters, and rain with turbulent seas time and again. It’s drab. The environment is bland. The twists are predictable. There simply isn’t a lot to get enthusiastic about right here.
Our Call: SKIP IT. As far as coming-of-age anime movies go, there are much better choices that don’t drag on as a lot as Drifting Home does. It plods on at a snail’s tempo with sweeping pictures of residences and dilapidated buildings, then dedicates a half hour to establishing relationships between a gaggle of pals that by no means fairly really feel like characters value backing. By the time the movie reveals the issue at hand past drama between kids, you’ve began watching the clock. If you’re on a quest to see the entire family-friendly anime movies on the market this may very well be value it, however in any other case you must fly via the Ghibli catalog as a substitute.
Brittany Vincent has been protecting video video games and tech for over a decade for publications like G4, Popular Science, Playboy, Variety, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, GameSpot, and extra. When she’s not writing or gaming, she’s gathering retro consoles and tech. Follow her on Twitter: @MolotovCupcake.