Success begets imitators, but the floodgates really open wide when a supernatural teenage romance becomes a blockbuster. The impact of Your Name becoming the highest-grossing anime film of all time is clear in Akiyuki Shinbô’s new anime, Fireworks. Based on a live-action 1993 television movie, Fireworks tells the story of the triangle between coquettish teenager Nazuna (voiced by Suzu Hirose) and the two schoolboys who both lust after her, shy Norimichi (Masaki Suda) and the more extroverted Yûsuke (Mamoru Miyano). Norimichi happens upon a magical glass sphere that can turn back the clock, and all manner of timey-wimey shenanigans ensue as he rewinds existence to find the right choices to win Nazuna’s favor.
Fireworks is essentially being promoted as “Remember how much you liked Your Name? Here’s something just like it from the same producer!” but it can’t help but suffer in comparison. Where Your Name’s star-crossed protagonists were fully formed characters who held equal weight in the narrative, Fireworks is very much told from the male point of view, and Nazuna seldom rises above “free-spirited object of desire.” The picture also rivals last year’s Napping Princess in terms of gratuitous upskirt shots, though it does finally address the age-old question of the best angle for viewing fireworks. The answer may not interest you.
Directed by Akiyuki Shinbô
G-Kids and Fathom Events
Playing July 3, 5, and 7, Regal Union Square, AMC Kips Bay 15, and AMC Empire 25
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 3, 2018