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Maquia: When The Promised Flower Blooms
Maquia: When the
Blooms is a fantasy-epic which explores the otherworldly and
fantastical universe inhabited by the lorph: immortal beings capable
of living beyond any normal measures of time known to man. This anime
film marks the feature-length anime debut for the acclaimed anime
creative Mari Okada (A Lull by the Sea).
From the beginning of the
anime unfolds rapidly with an action-oriented spectacle as the lorph
must protect themselves from the impending invasion of the Mezarte,
who seek to find a way to control and take the immortality of the
lorph away. Chaos ensues as the lorph do everything they can to
defend themselves and their land from invasion.
Once the main storyline
focus, the fundamental thematic balance becomes much
clearer: this is a story which is about the love which connects
families (most especially the connection between a mother and son).
Erial (Miyu Irino) is a young orphaned boy who becomes adopted by the
sweet-natured lorph Maquia (Manaka Iwami). The film explores their
life's journeys together over a long span of time (exploring the
character's intertwined lives from Erial's childhood through
In addition to the rich
behind the story, the film's greatest strength is unquestionably the
stunning animation which showcases acclaimed anime studio P.A. Works
in fine form. Moving from beautifully animated series,
writer/director Mari Okada (A Lull by the Sea)
in this language of cinema. Many scenes are so sophisticated with the
artwork that one sense the clear dedication and wizardry of the
animators to bring the story to life.
The music score composed by
Kawaii (Ghost in the Shell) is another force to be
with as so many sequences are given life by the music. Kawaii is one
of the best composers in anime and this is another noteworthy effort
by the gifted composer. With an electric mix of instrumentation to
eloquent cues befitting the more dramatic scenes, Kawaii again proves
cinematography by Satoshi
Namiki (Another style="font-style: normal;">) and
art direction by Kazuki Higashiji ( style="font-weight: normal;">Paprika style="font-style: normal;">)
and Tomoaki Okada (Wolf's Rain style="font-style: normal;">)
also go hand-in-hand with the animation. The art directors help to
form something unique. This truly is a distinctive anime work within
an industry sometimes known for its easily accepted repetitive nature
and frequent lack of originality. It takes great talent like Okada to
shake things up and remind anime fans why we love the medium in the
first place: the classical animation, the beautiful backdrops, and
the stories which stay us with well beyond the frame.
style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">
Maquia: When the Promised
arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded presentation in
the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen. This is a
lush looking transfer which does a strong job of presenting the
animation. The colors are vibrant and impressive. This is a
first-rate HD presentation that will satisfy anime fans.
with both English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentations,
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms has
audio tracks. The surround sound field is surprisingly immersive and
vital with great use of the rear surrounds and strong, crisp
reproduction of the score. Dialogue is also easy to understand and
perfectly clear with this lossless 24 bit presentation.
subtitles are provided for original Japanese presentation. English
SDH subtitles (for the deaf and hard of hearing) are also provided.
style="font-style: normal;"> style="font-weight: normal;"> style="font-style: italic;">Featurette
(22 min.) is an impressive behind the scenes making of documentary
the production process for color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;">Maquia:
When the Promised Flower Blooms color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;">.
Anyone with an interest in the process of P.A. Works as a studio and
the collaborative nature of filmmaking will find this an insightful
piece. In Japanese with English subtitles.
style="font-style: normal;"> style="font-weight: normal;">Trailers
for style="font-weight: normal;">Maquia:
When the Promised Flower Blooms color="#222222"> style="font-weight: normal;">
the Promised Flower Blooms is an effective and engaging anime
film with stunning animation, strong storytelling, and memorable
characters. For anime fans who are also fans of other productions
done by P.A. Works it's a worthwhile film. It's one which should
connect with audiences. The Blu-ray release has strong technical
merits and an engaging making-of documentary which was quite
insightful and enjoyable as well.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.