‘Drifting Home’ Ending, Explained: Did Kosuke, Natsume & Their Friends Finally Reach Home?


“Drifting Home” is an “early coming of age” movie that helps Kosuke, and Natsume put aside their differences and listen to each other. It is a movie that celebrates friendship and family and teaches a life lesson to all of the characters. Directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, the movie is an odd twist of sci-fi and slice of life that will hit the feel of any viewer. This is a recommended watch. This movie is laden with great animation that makes it different from other Netflix Original uptakes.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Drifting Home’ Plotline: What Is The Film About?

The story begins with Natsume grieving the loss of Grandpa Yasuji, Kosuke’s grandfather. Kosuke and Natsume converse with each other; however, it ends up in a fight that transmits over to their school life as well. Kosuke then gets dragged into a plan made by Taishi and Yuzuru to visit the haunted apartments of 112, where Kosuke and Natsume stayed. In the apartment, they come across Natsume sleeping. They bicker among each other while Reina and Shuri join them a little later. While playing around on the roof of the apartment, they are suddenly whisked away to the ocean, where they remain stranded in the apartment without another apartment in sight. They meet a new character, Noppo, who seems to be the reason for their transcendental location. They patiently wait to return to their homes while encountering dilapidated buildings floating on the ocean with them. After Noppo arrives at his destination, he says goodbye to the kids, and then they are transported back to their homes. It appears to be a strange dream. However, the pictures in the camera prove otherwise. Natsume and Kosuke put aside their differences and became friends again.

Strains In The Relationship Between Kosuke And Natsume

Natsume and Kosuke were best friends when they were kids. After Natsume’s parents were separated, she found a home at Kosuke’s apartment, and Grandpa Yasuji was like a father to her, who loved and cared for her like his own. Kosuke and Natsume had a fight, and Yasuji had sent Kosuke to apologize to Natsume for his harsh words, while Yasuji passed away. That day marked the beginning of a strained relationship between these two. Kosuke did not like how Natsume maintained a facade that implied calm acceptance. Even when he was terrible to her, her facade did not break, which made him feel terrible at himself. He did not intentionally want to hurt Natsume. He knew what she was going through. However, his anger at himself for not being able to help her escalated and hurt her instead. Natsume, on the other hand, thought that she was intruding into Kosuke’s family and always held herself accountable for Kosube not being able to say a last goodbye to his grandfather. Due to her own family breaking apart, the trauma resulted in her believing that she was the reason why all families associated with her broke up. She felt that she would never be loved again, and Yasuji’s death hit her terribly. She was unable to move on from the dilapidated apartment due to the memories it had.

How Did Noppo Bring Them To The Ocean? What Happened To Him?

Natsume’s abandonment issues made her unable to leave the desolate apartment, where she also meets Noppo. At first glance, Noppo seems to be a normal kid, but he is actually the apartment’s spirit who keeps Natsume company and is saddened by her suffering. Natsume suffers in silence in the apartment as she is unable to move on. Natsume’s sorrows make her attached to the apartment and also distance her from Kosuke and her other friends. Kosuke understands Natsume but is unable to help her. Noppo sets out on a mission to help them reunite and communicate with each other so that they can return to their happy states. Noppo’s wish whisks Kosuke, Natsume, Reina, Shuri, Taishi, and Yuzuru away on an adventure to the ocean, where their apartment is stranded with no other life form in sight.

Noppo reveals that he is the apartment’s spirit and has been there since its construction. He has witnessed the beginning as well as the end of many families. Natsume and Kosuke’s families stuck with him the most. Their laughter and happiness made Noppo look over their family and become Natsume’s guardian angel. In the ocean, Natsume and Kosuke are made to realize each other, which helps them communicate. Noppo realized his call, and after he achieved his task of reuniting Natsume and Kosuke, his task ended, and he was then allowed to move on. He finally met other spirits who had arrived at their land to move on from the real world, and he bid the others adieu and sent them back home.

‘Drifting Home’ Ending Explained: Did Kosuke, Natsume, and Their Friends Finally Reach Home?

After being whisked away to the ocean and being stranded in the apartment in the middle of nowhere, the kids put their differences aside. Reina found herself growing up and caring immensely for her best friend, Shuri. Natsume and Kosuke had a heart-to-heart while all of them together designed their rafts to find food and shelter on other dilapidated buildings drifting their way. Most buildings were designed as a memory that Natsume had and were a way of making her understand, accept, and move on from the trauma that she had. Natsume opened up to her friends and accepted them as her own, and she could finally get out of her constructed facade. She realized that she should not hold herself accountable for her family’s breakup as well as for Yasuji’s death. Natsume could forgive herself and accept Kosuke’s friendship and his support. Natsume finds her facade breaking and also lets her enjoy her childhood. Due to Noppo and his wish, Natsume got her childhood back and also her friends. After Noppo departed from the tangible world and returned to his spiritual world, he helped them get back to their world. The kids returned back to their world with the help of Noppo’s powers and reunited with their families after an exhausting journey. Natsume returns to her mother with the promise of also being a part of Kosuke’s family. Natsume and Kosuke go back to Kosuke’s apartment to relive the memories and the place they thought was a dream, only to get tangible evidence from the photos on the camera Yasuji and Natsume gifted Kosuke.

“Drifting Home” is a 2022 Animated Adventure film directed by Hiroyasu Ishida.

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Alokananda Sen
Alokananda Sen
Alokananda Sen holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has a keen interest in graphic designing, reading, and photography. Her insatiable appetite for cinema and pop culture enticed her to work as a content writer. She is currently pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma focused in Animation & VFX to explore a new dimension in her career.

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