Released last summer, Children of the Sea is an animated adaptation of the award winning manga by the same name and it will make its way onto a Blu-ray + DVD combo by Shout Factory on September 1st, 2020! We got ahold of the bundle early and went through all the bonus content to bring you the scoop regarding the feature itself as well as everything else that comes with the bundle! Let’s dive in!
Kaijuu no Kodomo (Children of the Sea)
- Genre : Drama, Mystery, Seinen, Supernatural
- Airing Date : Date: June 2019
- Studio : Studio 4°C
When Ruka was a kid, she saw a “ghost” in the water at the aquarium where her dad worked. Years later, after getting in trouble at school for fighting back a bully, Ruka is suddenly drawn toward the aquarium—which she hasn’t visited in quite some time—and she meets two mysterious boys, Umi and Sora, who were raised by dugongs and are being studied by her father and the scientists at the aquarium because of their particular physical constitution and their connection to a mythical oceanic “festival” that seems imminent and is of utmost scientific importance.
Umi and Sora are not normal and both feel sick if away from the water too long. They seem to be ill and fading away and, according to the scientists’ research they have a limited time left, but when they’re in the water playing with Ruka and showing her their world, they seem like they have all the energy in the world!
Umi and Sora hear songs coming from the sea, just like Ruka hears strange calls from the ocean and it all seems to be connected to a strange occurrence around the world; all the fish are disappearing from the oceans!
A couple of shooting stars mark the beginning of a legend coming to life and as the three kids get caught up in the mystery behind the sudden worldwide disappearance of the ocean's fish, they uncover cosmic connections that will change them forever. Children of the Sea takes you in a philosophical and metaphysical dive into the deep ocean of human existence, all wrapped up in a beautifully drawn and animated package.
Children of the Sea Trailer
Children of the Sea Movie Review
The immediate visual appeal of Children of the Sea is undeniable thanks to Daisuke Igarashi’s unique designs. The almost palpable strokes of the character outlines, Sora’s beautiful, deep eyes and Umi’s brown expressive ones, and the realistic yet abstract whale depictions are unlike anything we’ve seen.
The constant theme of sky and water (Sora and Umi respectively) is furthered by the bright blues and gorgeous, fluid animation whether we’re watching Ruka swimming or majestic giant whales performing a ritualistic dance. The soundtrack furthers the audience’s immersion with the whale songs, sound effects, and symphonic musical arrangements, including the ending theme "Umi no Yuurei” by Kenshi Yonezu.
Children of the Sea puts together a philosophical work of art that may take a few watches to fully understand. It starts off easy to understand and then things start moving quickly toward the abstract and metaphysical. From galactic beginnings and genetic memory to metaphors and supernatural occurrences, there is a lot going on in Children of the Sea. Think about it as a metaphysical slice of life. Those looking for an easy, feel-good slice of life movie may be turned off by all the pondering and philosophical waxing but if you just watch it for the adventure, it is just as enjoyable! Those looking for a gorgeous movie that makes them think and feel the feels will likely find it intriguing.
Children of the Sea Blu-ray + DVD Set Bonus Features
Besides the marvelous movie, the BR+DVD bundle also includes other digital goodies like interviews with the cast like Sumiko Fuji who voices the wise old Dehdeh and the young Hiiro Ishibashi who voices Umi, among others. It’s also interesting to hear from Win Morisaki (voice of Anglade, a third ocean-loving boy) who has also worked dubbing Hollywood movies!
Besides the cast, there are also interviews with director Ayumu Watanabe and Joe Hisahishi, the composer and the one responsible for the extra layer of depth the movie has—who also mentions understanding the film when watching it more than once.
A 30-minute or so collection of selected storyboards from throughout the film show us the literal outline of the film, while short videos give us a unique behind-the-scenes look into the world of Children of the Sea. A short video titled “Studio 4C Makes a Meal” has the staff gathering ingredients and preparing a lobster dinner from the movie—it’s great to see them be regular people having nerdy fun!—and “Making of the Poster” gives us an entrancing and oddly satisfying timelapse of artist Shinji Kimura creating the movie poster from beginning to end. Yet another short video walks the audience through the steps of animation that were taken for some of the movie’s animatic scenes from outlines to the fully animated, computer-generated sequences.
Other digital bonuses are the intro to the film at Animation is Film by Director Watanabe and CG Director Akimoto and an exclusive feature-length documentary about the making of the film titled “Turep - Looking for Children of the Sea” which sheds light on many of the unanswered questions one might have after watching the movie—some things may have been omitted from the original manga—and what the creators were going for as well as their own experiences through it. The documentary is an adventure all its own and definitely worth the watch.
Honey’s Anime Final Verdict
While the deep meanings and allegories may be lost on some, it can’t be denied that, as Watanabe says when introducing the film; the theme of Children of the sea is simple. It is about the mystery of life. It’s about a girl who meets two mysterious boys and their unique summer adventure and the audience coming along for the ride. It helps that it is also visually stunning and musically immersive.
Those who can appreciate thought-provoking writing, those with a philosophical inclination, and those who love animals and the ocean will especially enjoy Children of the Sea and all the insightful interviews and the documentary that add even more depth to the story as it now involves all those brought together to create it. It’s as though it was meant to be…
Children of the Sea is definitely a unique anime gem to add to your collection, especially the set with all the extra content, and especially if you are already familiar with the original work. Have you seen Children of the Sea yet? What did you think of it? If not, are you planning on getting the BR+DVD set when it comes out September 1st? Stay tuned to Honey’s Anime for more insights on the latest anime releases!