Film Review: Children of the Sea

Ninety-seven percent of the water on the Earth is in our oceans whilst seventy-one percent of the planet is covered in water. It is surprising then that our knowledge of the seas is so limited, at best, with eighty percent remaining unmapped. There are the obvious difficulties connected with marine exploration, but as a species we’re far more likely to look to the stars. Whether this is some perverse consequence of evolution, is unclear. In Children of the Sea, the main characters have an inherent connection with the deep.

As a child, Ruka (Mana Ashida) saw a ghost in the waters of the aquarium where her father works. Ever since, she’s been strangely drawn to the place. This is where she meets two mysterious boys, Umi (Hiiro Ishibashi) and Sora (Seishû Uragami). They were raised by dugongs, marine mammals, and hear the same curious call from the sea that she does. Whilst the adults are puzzled by a largescale disappearance of fish, the children are tugged by an invisible force.

Children of the Sea is a mesmerising and imaginative coming-of-age tale which is liberally sprinkled with fairy dust. Ayumu Watanabe’s film is sumptuously animated and accompanied by a wonderfully understated score. It’s a beautifully immersive story, with a cast of likeable characters, which is told with a lot of empathy and heart. Brimming with intrigue, Children of the Sea is a truly magical marine mystery.

Children of the Sea is available now as part of the Screen Anime monthly subscription.

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