WARNING: The next accommodates spoilers for Kids of the Sea, obtainable on Netflix.
Kids of the Sea is a troublesome movie to grasp. Directed by Ayumu Watanabe and tailored from Daisuke Igarashi’s five-volume manga, the movie is streaming in the USA on Netflix, which means a brand new viewers has the chance to be intrigued, dazzled and finally bamboozled by Watanabe’s psychedelic antics. Far and away probably the most complicated a part of the movie is the climax, whereby Ruka (the protagonist) is absorbed right into a maelstrom of intergalactic sea life and spat out the opposite finish with the attitude change of a lifetime. As a visible spectacle, it is excellent. As a story, it is nigh incomprehensible.
This is not the kind of film that may be unpacked with any ease or objectivity, however this is a proof that may hopefully make the final forty minutes a bit of simpler to course of.
Kids of the Sea: A Thematic Abstract
Earlier than entering into what really occurs, it is useful to contemplate the movie’s core ideas. Usually vocalized by Anglade, Kids of the Sea is concerned about a sort of microcosm-macrocosm relationship. Basically, the thought is that the half (the microcosm) displays the entire (the macrocosm). That is an esoteric mannequin for exploring the place of people within the cosmos. It flows into the concept an individual is not only a part of the universe, however the universe itself.
It is easy to see how this concept invitations the sort of freeform, transcendent expertise conveyed by the movie’s climax. Certainly, in what Watanabe reveals was not directly impressed by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Area Odyssey, the “festival” of Kids of the Sea washes over the viewer like an enormous wave of existential weirdness. It is a dissociating expertise, saturated with summary dialogue and kaleidoscopic visuals. There is not any disgrace in feeling disorientated — prefer it or not, that is what Watanabe goes for.
Kids of the Sea’s Competition Is a Watery Huge Bang
The competition brings every little thing collectively and births it anew; consider it as a watery Huge Bang. It is too grand and elegant for anybody to correctly wrap the heads round, however it appears to be a kind of celebration of being. Central to the occasion are Umi and Sora, who’re mysterious, spectral, seafaring missionaries. They do not totally perceive their position, spending a lot of the film being pulled alongside by the present of destiny.
As Sora loses his bodily type, he selects a human to be the “guest,” who takes the meteorite (consider this as a seed) to the stomach of a humpback whale. Umi (consider him because the egg) takes the meteorite from the visitor and “fertilizes” the universe. Ruka is the visitor. Sora entrusts this position by feeding Ruka the meteorite, and this plunges her into the acid journey of a lifetime.
What Really Occurs within the Ending of Kids of the Sea?
That is the place all of it will get unusual and up for interpretation, so there isn’t any one-size-fits-all clarification for what goes down. Ruka is swallowed by a whale. She experiences a flood of reminiscences and galactic symbolism and meets the shadowy determine of Sora. Together with the viewer, she is given a selection: shut her eyes and settle for that her job is completed, or problem herself to decipher the approaching insanity. Ruka embraces the competition, experiencing ego-death as she remarks, “Am I the universe?” Calling again to this microcosm-macrocosm enterprise: sure, she is.
Coming out of nowhere, Umi takes the meteorite from Ruka, who tries to cease him from swallowing it. She experiences a flood of his reminiscences, Umi shrinks all the way down to a baby, and Ruka inserts the meteorite into his mouth. Combining the meteorite (the seed) with Umi (the egg) concludes the competition — rebirth full. When it is all mentioned and executed, Ruka wakes within the ocean, and Umi and Sora lose their bodily type. As unusual because it all is, that is Ruka’s coming-of-age story. Even when she does not perceive every little thing, she grows as an individual.
It is unlikely Ruka will see Umi and Sora ever once more. Nevertheless, she understands that they’re related by the world round her, which is why she feels their presence whereas standing on the seaside within the after-credits scene. Following on from this concept, it might be simpler to consider Umi and Sora as the ocean and sky themselves, as their names translate. They’re at all times there with Ruka (who, once more, interprets to earth), even when they do not have a human physique. In any case, every little thing within the movie is a part of one grand, interconnected narrative. Issues are totally different, and but they’re precisely the identical. As Carl Sagan says, individuals are “star stuff”. Human, animal, sea, sky, stars—they’re all one with one another.
Kids of the Sea is so much to absorb. Love or hate the ending, Watanabe pours every little thing into it, ensuring the climactic occasions are wealthy with symbolism for anybody loopy sufficient to search for it, and swimming with sufficient beautiful visuals to appease these simply alongside for the journey. The movie reduce fairly a bit from the manga, so these wanting a less-disjointed, slower-moving Kids of the Sea will discover it within the supply materials.