Fireworks (Premiere Event) (NR)

Program 105 min. July 3, 2018
By Sherilyn Connelly
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 becomes clear with 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 lust after her, shy Norimichi (Masaki Suda) and the more extroverted Yusuke (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 up-skirt shots, though it does finally address the age-old question of the best angle for viewing fireworks. The answer may not interest you.
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