For the review of the film “Her Blue Sky” or “Sora no Aosa o Shiru Hito yo” , the contributors to the Otaku Journal ikarifseiei and CTian gave their respective reviews, which can be listened to through the article below.
ikarifseiei: When Teen and Adult Drama Goes Well
After Mari Okada made Ano Hana , which was accepted by many anime lovers for successfully making the audience cry because of the words “Menma, mitsuketta!!!!” , he immediately emerged as one of the most famous figures in the anime world , especially in the field of story writing. After finishing at Ano Hana , he was involved in various kinds of anime , from anime that tells about wounds , anime about a collection of missing children whose stories are unclear , to making Gundam Seed with more muscle, oil, and blood in it .
But not all of his works after Ano Hana run smoothly in terms of stories, there are many series or films that have been smooth at the beginning but the execution at the end becomes normal or even gets worse. After Maquia succeeded in bringing Mari Okada to a mellow and humanist drama story line with a fantasy wrap, now she wants to repeat it again with the film Her Blue Sky or in Japanese, Sora no Aosa o Shiru Hito yo .
In Her Blue Sky, Okada plays almost the same tricks as Ano Hana starting from the color, storyline, plot, character design, even to the background of the place which makes this film seem to be in the same location as Ano Hana and Kokosabe ( Her Blue Sky, Ano. Hana , and Kokosabe are set in the Japanese city of Chichibu which is the birthplace of Okada).
However, there is a difference between Ano Hana and this film, Her Blue Sky plays in the realm of a more mature story with a fantasy approach and light storytelling. The drama that appears in Her Blue Sky really attacks the fundamentals of the audience at the age of 20-35 years where “regrets in the past” become a problem that can make viewers in this age range feel attacked because this subject is getting bigger with age.
The drama in this film is special because even though the topic it presents is quite basic for a more mature audience, Okada wraps it in the spirit of youth and all its volatility. Therefore, the appearance of Aoi who is still in high school as the main character feels very fitting because Aoi makes the tone of this film less heavy. Aoi’s demeanor as a teenager in general succeeded in getting the audience to accept the light premise of the story before being led to a more complex and drama-filled theme.
The advantage of Her Blue Sky is that it does not force the audience to immediately feel the drama at the beginning and continues to disguise the fantasy element until the end of the story. The fantasy in this film is also not entirely fantasy, there is a very strong human element and makes sense to be accepted because it looks so vague that it makes the boundaries between drama and fantasy seem blurry.
Her Blue Sky is not treated like an anime work with various cliches like anime dramas, on the contrary, this film is a film with very strong elements of human drama and is reflected in the reactions of various characters who act according to what would happen if in the real world it happened. If the fantasy element is removed, Her Blue Sky is still going well as a drama film that will make the audience cry.
In Her Blue Sky , the trio of Okada, Nagai, and Tanaka who once made Ano Hana managed to recreate the success of the anime and make a real difference with Ano Hana. Her Blue Sky managed to mix problems from two worlds, namely the world of teenagers and adults with a very touching execution without having to force the audience to be immediately touched by the story and lead it with an easy-to-understand theme first.
Her Blue Sky is a film that makes the young audience think not to make something into a regret and attacks the old audience to look back in time with the main concept of this film “ would you in the past be happy with your current condition? “, and if the old audience feels attacked by the concept then this film has managed to become a good drama story.