Kimi to, nami ni noretara (original title) / 2019 / animation, comedy, drama / 1h 34min / directed by Masaaki Yuasa / country: Japan / language: Japanese

From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Devilman Crybaby) comes a deeply emotional new film that applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery.Hinako is a surf-loving college student who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a sudden fire breaks out at her apartment building, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter, and the two soon fall in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea. Hinako is so distraught that she can no longer even look at the ocean, but one day she sings a song that reminds her of their time together, and Minato appears in the water. From then on, she can summon him in any watery surface as soon as she sings their song, but can the two really remain together forever? And what is the real reason for Minato’s sudden reappearance?

“The signature eccentricity of Yuasa’s style has made his oeuvre unusually popular among toon enthusiasts looking for films that don’t conform to the predictable tropes of Japanese animation, as evidenced by the trippy, free-form aspect of moments in “Mind Game” and “The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl,” where music was just one of the tools that set the films’ playful sequences apart . . . Weird comes with the territory in Yuasa’s work.” –Peter Debruge, Variety

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