A modern retelling of the original “Little Mermaid Story” by the Grimm Brothers, “Bubble” tells the story of star-crossed lovers, Uta and Hibiki, who meet under unexpected circumstances. Directed by Tetsuro Araki and written by Gen Urobuchi, the animated film seems to capture the hearts of many with its stunning visuals after its initial release on February 10th, 2022. Netflix premiered the show recently on April 28th, 2022.
Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Five years ago, a truly phenomenal tragedy befell the entire world. Bubbles started to drop from the sky as rain, yet their form remained even after hitting the ground. However, tragedy struck when the bubbles created a vortex and suddenly burst all around the world. Tokyo had a bubble dome over it where explosions and vortexes continued, making it impossible for it to maintain its status as Japan’s capital. Even after the phenomenon had stopped throughout the world, Tokyo remained the same. Children who had survived the blasts and had no place to go, entered the dome and played a game of Battlekour, risking their lives. They continued to remain in the deserted city to provide their lives with meaning. Similarly, a team that went by the name Blue Blazes was famous for their parkour techniques, which won them supplies to stay in the city. Hibiki, Kai, Usagi, and Isozaki meet their new teammate, Uta, after she rescues Hibiki from a vortex that had formed under the ocean near a tower. She then meets Makoto and Shin, who take care of the team members. Makoto was here on a scientific field study about the gravitational anomaly that surrounded Tokyo. They all lived on a discarded ship that Kai insisted on fixing. During a battle with the Undertakers, however, Uta loses an arm and hides it from everybody. She leaves after getting to know Hibiki and living with his family, when her sister calls for her. Hibiki goes after Uta to rescue her, but he gets rescued instead. Uta dissolves into bubbles, and the phenomenon leaves the city of Tokyo and returns its gravitational force back to how it was five years ago. Construction work ensues while the bubbles remain all around the world as droplets of water instead of causing chaos.
After “Attack on Titan,” Tetsuro Araki, inspired by the anime, created a stunning visual masterpiece with a storyline resembling the original story of “Little Mermaid” by the Grimm Brothers. He added a little spice to the storyline and mixed it with sci-fi. A different plot that seemed to be less explored by other creators, Araki added parkour to the sci-fi element to make the story unique. The soundtrack was designed by Hiroyuki Sawano and voiced by everybody’s favorite E Ve. Tetsuro Araki’s film has a lot to offer, with the burst of a cosmic color palette as the leading visuals and an extraterrestrial soundtrack sealing the deal. With an ethereal design, the film is sure to be a treat for people dabbling in visual aesthetics all around the world.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Battlekour And The Different Teams
Battlekour is a type of parkour where matches take place between different teams. Only five members may participate during the matches, and they have to avoid falling into the sea. If they fall, they are disqualified. The advantage they have is the gravitational anomaly that the dome surrounding Tokyo has in effect. The stray bubbles provide a trampoline push for the teams to use. Hibiki is the only one to use these bubbles as a means to win the competitions. There are mainly four teams that regularly compete with each other for different necessary items. Each team has to rush over the victory point where a flag is hoisted. They can either take the set path or make their own way across, while the other teams, standby members, and caretakers bet on the outcomes. The members push through to grab this flag to announce their victory. Whoever grabs the flag first wins. The teams can also use special items provided by sponsors if they have any to boost their skills and garner an easy win. The teams are the Blue Blazes, Denki Ninjas, Mad Lobsters, and the Undertakers. Hibiki, Kai, Uta, Isozuke, and Usagi are part of the Blue Blazes team.
The Tiff With The Undertakers
The Morticians or the Undertakers, are a team that usually uploads their gameplay on YouTube to garner sponsors. These sponsors allow them to use different special gadgets like the boots they wear. The boots work as a flyboard, shooting air or water that gives a push and helps the wearer jump higher. They use this to dominate the Mad Lobsters, giving them a crushing defeat. They set their target on Blue Blazes later and wanted their ship as a trophy. They snuck into the ship and kidnapped Makoto, who was researching a shift in gravity that had occurred right after Uta’s arrival. During her brainstorming sessions, the Morticians grabbed her and challenged the Blue Blazes to a duel. The Blue Blazes accepted it and got ready to fight. During the course of the battle, however, the morticians continuously led them to the vortex to either kill them or disqualify them. The force of the vortex was trying to suck them in, but Uta found a way out of it. Hibiki followed her after Kai gave him the push he needed to make it out of the vortex. He himself found a way out, and while Hibiki and Uta went for the flag, Kai sought to distract the Morticians. With stunning synchronization, Hibiki and Uta made their way out and won the match.
‘Bubble’ Ending Explained: What Is Uta? Did She Really Die?
Uta first arrived in Tokyo in human form after she saved Hibiki during his fall from the tower. She was mesmerized by his life and therefore fell in love with her surroundings. She wanted to be beside Hibiki, which had influenced her decision to change into the human form in the first place. She joined their team and regularly practiced her moves with them. Hibiki taught her new moves as well as other necessary things. He even took her to his secret place and showed her his favorite flowers. Up to this point, it was peaceful for Uta. Things began to go south after the match with the Undertakers. Uta lost her arm while saving Hibiki and giving him the boost to reach the flag. Her arm had turned into bubbles. While pondering over her arm that night, after they had won, Uta’s sister seemed to call her back to their place. Hibiki got her out of the reverie, but the bubbles seemed to behave abnormally since then. The gravitational force matched the force that prevailed. Five years back, just before the explosions took place, All the teams gathered on the ship, ready to set sail out of Tokyo, when Uta decided she needed to stop the bubbles from harming them anymore, and she was determined to go back. She had already entered the vortex and was about to turn back to her previous form when Hibiki, with the help of his friends, reached the tower, which was the beginning point of the explosions, to find Uta. However, the negative bubbles seemed to attack Hibiki because he had unknowingly angered them. It is then discovered that Uta had actually saved Hibiki five years back, and, similarly, like the Little Mermaid, she came back to visit him again. She was made up of bubbles, and these bubbles had the capacity to experience human emotions that had made her fall in love with him.
Hibiki reached the vortex and made the last jump to save Uta from being taken away from him, yet he was hit by the angry bubbles and could not succeed. This is when Uta took notice of him and refused to go back. She rushed to save him, even though she knew that she would turn into bubbles in the process. She helped save Hibiki and, in the process, turned back into bubbles. Hibiki was heartbroken over losing her.
After Uta turned back to her original form, Tokyo returned to its original state, and the bubble dome disappeared. Construction renewed, and people returned back to their homes. The teams continued on with their matches, and a small bubble followed Hibiki around to cheer him through his rounds. This little bubble was Uta. Probably, Uta did not die like the Little Mermaid, but rather she disintegrated back to her original bubble form. The bubbles did remain all over the world; however, they seem to turn to water droplets when touched and never cause chaos again.
Of course, there is a darker meaning behind the story; the world had set itself right just after Uta disintegrated. The chaos had merely started after she came in touch with Hibiki and saved him from the explosion. The dome was only created over Tokyo, where Hibiki lived. All these factors seemingly point out that the love of Uta and Hibiki was an anomaly which should not exist. Therefore, the bubbles and the other natural or external factors took it upon themselves to erase the anomaly from existence. Though, on a lighter note, they did allow Uta to stay beside Hibiki as a bubble.
“Bubble” is a 2022 Animated Action film directed by Tetsuro Araki.