As the credits rolled after the last scene, I put my hands into my face, closed my eyes, and just uttered the words “Holy Moly!” so many times.
That was my overall reaction to the experience that is Hello World, an Japanese anime movie by Tomohiko Ito, known as the director behind the anime adaptations of Erased, Silver Spoon’s first season, and the Sword Art Online anime franchise, including the full-length film Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale.
The movie’s premise is set in the year 2027, when Kyoto became the beneficiary of a government project seeking to preserve the city’s architecture through the use of drones. High-school bookworm Naomi Katagaki, who is shown in the film as an aloof and fairly indifferent student, sees a crow steal his book, leading him to meet a hooded figure.
The person behind the hood, claiming to be him from 10 years in the future, urges him change the course of time for the sake of their own shared future together and with his future date, Ruri.
Admittedly, I did not know any details about the movie before watching it except for the fact that it was directed by Ito, and based from his works, he really treats the subject of the future carefully and with ample research.
Having watched Ordinal Scale twice now, I saw how Ito and Reki Kawahara executed perfectly the movie despite the popular franchise being the most divisive among anime fans.
I mostly expected a very traditional futuristic plot as I was watching the film, but as it went along, I felt a bit of a chill, especially during those scenes that show Naomi and Ruri in romantic moments.
Ito also effectively shows how the future can interconnect the emotions of people, something that is not really tackled upon among movies of this genre. It will make you not only get emotional, but would also make you think after watching the film.
The animation from Graphinica is so complex yet beautifully executed, without the usual boxy vibe of 3D anime. Their animation, especially during those moments when Naomi went to the future, was a bit trippy but not nausea-inducing. It was a real edge-of-your-seat experience.
The soundtrack has the elements of those from other anime movies like your name. and Weathering With You, but it somehow fails to catch on with the overall essence of the film.
Lest I give away too many plot hints about it (which is why I urge you to watch this while its still showing), Hello World is not your typical anime movie.
If Weathering With You gave you all the emotional roller coaster that is centered among rains, Hello World is more into our future, and how the future will affect our life and our being, and how our actions can affect it.
Love can move mountains, but can also move time and can also move cities, and that is what Naomi and Ruri wants to show us in the film.
And also, as a final note, I am not one for a good ‘ole movie comparison, but Hello World trumps Doctor Strange—Benedict Cumberbatch has got nothing on Naomi Katagaki.
If you missed its screening in cinemas, you can watch Hello World at Cinema Centinario in Maginhawa Street, Quezon City from November 18-24! For more details and reservations, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/PHCinema100.
Hello World is distributed locally by Pioneer Films, For the latest updates, please like their anime-centric page at facebook.com/animemoviesphilippines.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect the views of Anime Pilipinas, its members, partners, and colleagues. If you have comments or reactions, please email at [email protected].