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Bubble - Review

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Long (Length) Structured Animation Media Spoilers
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I was looking forward to this because of Gen Urobuchi’s name slapped onto it. Despite the variable quality of his works, they were always interesting to a degree, at least the ones I’ve seen (Psycho-Pass S1, Madoka, Fate/Zero). I believe my mind blocked out the fact that he also made those Godzilla anime films. Regardless, Bubble lacked the qualities that the aforementioned first three works had. It was instead a poor attempt of recreating a Shinkai film with a bit of Promare sprinkled in. The beginning of the film didn’t engage me itself, but I was engaged in seeing where Urobuchi would take it. I only realized towards the very end that I had been hoodwinked. I was taking the film for what it was and patiently awaiting that Urobuchi flair to enter. It never did.


Immediately noticeable is the odd 2D and 3D hybrid animation style for a number of the parkour shots. By implementing some 3D aspects they were attempting to utilize advanced camerawork to make things appear cinematic. However, it falls flat and ends up looking unnatural and off-putting.

The overall art style looks… okay. It doesn’t have any actual style to it. There are a number of close-up shots of the MC and Uta with a strangely more detailed style that stick out like a sore thumb from the rest of the visuals and it doesn’t help that style doesn’t look particularly good in the first place.

The morticians have some of the most overtly evil looking designs I’ve seen as of late. I got one look at them and I thought “Oh, these are the bad guys”. Being able to easily discern what a character represents via their design is a good thing when it invokes a feeling, but this rather invokes a thought or moreso an eye roll. The MC looks like any other MC in any other anime and the rest of the character design aren’t worth noting. Uta is cute though.


After the newer Attack on Titan seasons and Promare I was beginning to believe that Sawano had improved as a composer. My opinion on him is back at square one with his role in Bubble. He’s something like the Hans Zimmer of anime. Everyone loves his soundtracks, yet they all sound the same, and that sound isn’t one worth creating once, let alone repeatedly replicating it. The opening theme is okay, and the ending theme is surprisingly solid. It’s sung by the voice of Uta, but you aren’t able to notice because of how little Uta speaks in the film.

Plot & Characters

A significant portion of the plot just does not make sense. Things start off with a “battlekour” race with survival resources as the prize. Shortly after the initial race, we learn that the bubble itself is something of a disaster zone, but anyone can easily move in it to out of it and vice versa… so why is anyone in there? The researchers have a reason and the MC has a tragic backstory for being there… but everyone else? It’s mentioned that they’re all orphans and that is the farthest extent of any “reasoning”. Why would them being orphans make them want to live in the bubble? My best guess is to a distraction from their grief, but there’s no reason the bubble would be the best avenue for that rather than anything else.

The mortionists, a group of antagonists, are comically ill-natured. They’re supposedly live-streaming the battlekour races to the outside world as death games despite there being no death. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say there is death in these battlekour races. The bubble may be, well, a bubble, but as already mentioned there’s nothing stopping anyone from going in or out, so there’s no reason for it to be a lawless zone. Even if it was designated as a lawless zone, why wouldn’t the authorities apprehend these people once they re-enter civilization? Why wouldn’t they shut down the stream? Why wouldn’t they freeze the financial accounts the streamers are receiving advertising money from?

Uta displays eccentric behavior such as acting like a feral cat, yet she is never questioned by anyone. It is never explained why she may behave this way. She is some sort of bubble creature, but that’s never detailed to us or questioned by any of the characters either. When she touches the MC she begins to disintegrate back into bubbles (which, by the way, is also never explained) and the characters that notice this don’t think anything of it. The characters lack any sense. Uta is also the only woman there aside from Makoto, one of the researchers. If the reasoning for the racers generally being there is because they’re orphans, why aren’t there any woman orphans?

Bubble does have a few emotional highs, but they’re hardly worth noting because they fade away as fast as they come. There’s no substance to them, nothing to hold it up. Uta dissolving at the end of the film should’ve been the emotional peak of the film, but I lost all feeling by that point.


Bubble will be a sore disappointment to any Urobuchi fan expecting something that’s like any of his other works, or simply expecting something that is good.



Plot & Characters: Disliked - ⭐⭐ Dialogue: Disliked - ⭐⭐


Static Visual Design: Okay - ⭐⭐⭐ Animation: Disliked - ⭐⭐ Character Design: Okay - ⭐⭐⭐


Music: Okay - ⭐⭐⭐ Voice Acting: Okay - ⭐⭐⭐ Audio Effects:


Potential: Pacing: Okay - ⭐⭐⭐ Execution: Disliked - ⭐⭐


Reconsumability: None - ⭐ Emotional Response: Weak - ⭐⭐ Engagement: Okay - ⭐⭐⭐ Enjoyment: Okay - ⭐⭐⭐


Okay - ⭐⭐⭐


Opening & Ending Theme(s): Disliked - ⭐⭐


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