Does It Pop?–‘Bubble’ Reviewed

by Tito W. James


Breathtaking action sequences compete with an underwhelming romance.

While not the masterpiece most were hoping for,  Bubble still floats.


Bubble is a Netflix original anime directed by Tetsuro Araki (Attack on Titan, Death Note) with an original story written by Gen Urobuchi (Fate Zero, Magical Girl Madoka), character designs by Takeshi Obata (Death Note), and music by Hiroyuki Sawano (Promare, Kill La Kill). The story is set in Tokyo, after bubbles that broke the laws of gravity rained down upon the world. We follow two teenagers who must use parkour to navigate the lost city in search of a sound only they can hear.

Bubble‘s premise has striking similarities to Weathering With You. Both are set in a hauntingly beautiful version of Japan and follow the relationship of two teenagers juxtaposed with supernatural weather phenomena. Where Bubble shines is in its character and world design. Each of the character designs bursts with personality and style. The parkour sequences across a dilapidated Tokyo are breathtaking and make for the most memorable moments in the film. The addition of rival factions of free-running teens adds a unique flavor to the post-disaster aesthetic that we’ve never seen before.

Where Bubble falters is in its romance between the boy loner, Hibiki and the mysterious girl, Uta. While each character is appealing in their own right, their lack of verbal communication makes it hard to invest in their relationship. The first two thirds of Bubble make for a solid fantastical adventure but the final act lacks the emotional punch it was clearly going for.

On its own, Bubble is a solid modern fairytale that’s sure to please viewers and could provide an accessible entry point to those unfamiliar with anime. However, when compared with other recent films and the past work of the all-star creative team, fans could be left wanting more.

Bubble is now streaming on Netflix.

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