The Infinite Zenith

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Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō (Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms): A Review and Full Recommendation

“I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” —Arwen

Maquia is a member of the Iorph, an ancient race of beings with uncommonly long life. They spend their days weaving Hibiol, cloths that chronicle their history. However, the peace is broken when Mezarte, a neighbouring kingdom, attacks: many Iorph are killed, and Maquia’s friend, Leilia, is taken captive. Maquia herself is tangled in the Hibiol and hauled into the skies when one of the Mezarte’s flying mounts, Renato, succumbs to disease and goes berserk. She crashes into a forest and comes across an ambushed caravan, where she finds a baby in the arms of his mother. Maquia decides to take the baby in, naming him Ariel, and travels to a village where a woman named Mido takes them in. Meanwhile, Mezarte’s Renato begin dying off, and the king attempts to hold onto power by introducing Iorph blood into their kingdom; Leilia is forced into an arranged marriage with the prince of Mezarte. When Maquia learns of this, she travels to Mezarte with Ariel to try and save Leilia. Their rescue is unsuccessful, and Maquia moves to Dorail, where she takes on a job as a waitress. Ariel becomes a young man. Struggling with his identity, he rejects Maquia as his mother and joins Mezarte’s armed forces. Ariel marries Dita, while Krim, frustrated by the turn of events, kidnaps Maquia and convinces the other nations to declare war on Mezarte. During the invasion, Maquia stumbles upon Dita and Ariel’s home, where she helps Dita deliver her child. Krim confronts Leilia and is shot in the process, bleeding out. Leilia later sees her daughter before flying off with Maquia and the last Renato. In his old age, Maquia visits an elderly Ariel, who had lived a full life, and watches as he peacefully dies. She cries for the pain of the loss, but also feels that there was happiness in equal measure. Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō (Let’s Decorate the Promised Flowers in the Morning of Farewells, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms in English and Sayoasa for brevity) is a P.A. Works film that was released in February of this year in Japan, marking the first original feature-length title that Mari Okada (who’d previously worked on The Anthem of the Heart) has directed.

During its run, Sayoasa explores notions of familial bonds, love and the passage of time in a high fantasy setting, making use of the Iorph’s longevity to convey the range of experiences that one might encounter in raising a child through Maquia’s perspective. Blessed with a long lifespan, Maquia’s chief, Racine, warns her about the risks of becoming attached to those with a shorter lifespan, but in spite of this warning, Maquia chooses to take in a baby and raise him as a mother would. Although initially lacking in experience, and always prone to tears, Maquia is shown to be doing her best. From happiness to sorrow, Maquia experiences the full spectrum of emotions present in life, a far cry from the static, isolated state of being the Iorph live in. Maquia learns that outside of her old world, things are constantly changing and do not stand still as she’d previously known: in raising Ariel, Maquia comes to appreciate everything from joy to despair, and that happiness can accompany pain, as well. This is contrary to Racine’s warnings early in the film, and in its presentation, Sayoasa suggests that it is precisely the coexistence of happiness and sorrow that constitute a life well-lived. While immortality (or extended life) is often considered to be a blessing when folks are asked about it, fiction often explores the idea that doing something meaningful with the time that one is given has a greater value than spending an eternity locked in tedium. J.R.R. Tolkien briefly touches on this through Arwen, who chooses a mortal life with Aragorn. Despite knowing the sorrow that Aragon’s mortality might bring her, she accepts this. By comparison, Tolkien’s Elves are portrayed as being tragic, who have become encumbered with watching life transition to death: Tolkien describes mortality as the “Gift of Men”, that a finite life and the rest following life is not a curse. To follow one’s heart in a finite life with its sorrows and joys is the path Arwen chooses. While Maquia might be confined to the realm of a long life, she will carry her experiences with her forever – the Iorph are not immortal like Tolkien’s Elves, but Maquia’s interactions with the outside world gives her a much fuller, richer experience than the status quo that she’d lived in previously.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • The Iorph’s homeland is designed to convey a sense of bygone splendour, of a once-great civilisation whose time has passed: vast crumbling structures suggest a mighty society in decline, and furthering this feeling are the Iorph themselves, who spend their days chronicling their histories in cloth without much thought towards the outside world. One of the greatest challenges I encountered for this post was cutting down the number of screenshots down to thirty: there’s so much scenery that it was difficult to pick screenshots that showcase some of the artwork in Sayoasa and those that are relevant to the narrative.

  • Maquia is an orphan and is someone who fears loneliness; the chief of their clan advises Maquia that the only way to stave off pain is to avoid seeking out attachment. While a possible answer for avoiding pain, the reality is that neither happiness nor sorrow can exist in the absence of the other. This moment indicates that the Iorph have become a passive society, choosing to avoid trouble rather than confront it. Their ways create a sense of antiquity, which in turn provides audiences with a context for Maquia and her development throughout Sayoasa.

  • Unlike Tolkien’s Elves, who remain excellent craftsmen and healers, as well as being able serve as warriors, the Ioprh seem defenseless against aggressors. When the nation of Mezarte attack, it is unsurprising that the Iorph are overwhelmed. The Mezarte bring with them dragon-like mounts called Renato: a cursory glance suggests that they are named after the Latin name “Renatus”, which is “to be born again”, and are probably named to signify the rebirth of something glorious.

  • The diseased Renato flies off into the night skies after crashing through the temple housing the Hibiol weavings. In the chaos, a distressed Maquia is hauled along for the ride. This accident sets in motion the remainder of Sayoasa, and here, one can get a sense of scale of the landscapes in Sayoasa: there are moments where things look photo-realistic, attesting to the incredible visual quality within this film.

  • When Maquia comes to, she finds an infant in a tent, and decides to take him in. My initial impressions were that this caravan was probably attacked by the Mezarte forces en route to the Iorph, but regardless of who the perpetrators were, it is the moment where Maquia meets Ariel and decides to look after him. A fair portion of Sayoasa has Maquia struggle to understand what being a mother means, although her lack of knowledge is offset by a desire to preserve life.

  • After leaving the caravan with the infant in her arms, the sun breaks over the horizon, bathing the land in a warm light. The moment is magical to Maquia, who comes to associate the scent of an infant with that of the sun. After the terror of the night, sunrise indicates a new beginning. The prominent use of of yellows and oranges in this scene creates warmth: sunrises in different contexts hold different meanings, and usually, the combination of saturation and hues serve to communicate to audiences what that sunrise is meant to evoke.

  • Wandering through the countryside, Maquia eventually finds a cottage and meets Mido, who takes them in. She eventually names the infant Ariel, a Hebrew name meaning “Lion of God”. While a male name, English-speakers have used it as a female name, as well. Mido has two other children, Lang and Deol, who initially regard Maquia and Ariel as little more than a curiosity. However, as Maquia spends more time with Mido, Lang and Deol come to regard Maquia and Ariel as family, as well.

  • The passage of time in Sayoasa is quite ambiguous: were it not for a change in setting and Ariel’s aging, it would be quite difficult to tell the passage of time. The passage of time in The Fellowship of The Ring is something that Peter Jackson modified in his adaptation, being set in a much shorter time period. Tolkien originally had Frodo set out seventeen years after Bilbo’s 111st birthday, but in the movies, Frodo leaves within weeks of the party. The condensed timeline is likely intended to convey a sense of urgency, since Tolkien’s original text had the hobbits move at a much slower pace, one that would’ve slowed the movie experience.

  • Mido admits that being a mother is largely something that one must learn through experience, and despite her own difficulties, manages to get by. This moment allows Maquia to listen to Mido’s experiences and gain from them. Mido later dyes Maquia’s hair a light brown to match Ariel’s, helping conceal her identity as an Iorph: while Helm’s inhabitants are largely neutral towards them, their remarks also suggest that the Iorph might be regarded with some mistrust, or even hostility, because of their isolation from the world.

  • The pastoral setting in and around the village of Helm is reminiscent of The Shire, a verdant and peaceful location far removed from the worries of the world. Like Jackson’s adaptation of Lord of the RingsSayoasa makes extensive use of colours in the environment to clearly indicate the atmosphere. In Sayoasa, life and death are presented as natural events in life: Ariel’s first learning about death comes when the family dog passes away. Maquia is still green with respect to this, and she dissolves in tears, as well. Lang makes her promise to be stronger for Ariel’s sake.

  • Maquia is shown to care deeply for Ariel, and teaches him how to weave the Hibiol cloth, as well. Looking after Ariel, and helping out Mida, the seasons pass in this sleepy village. However, other children in the village, including Dita, find Ariel’s relationship with Maquia unusual and tease him for it. Dita later returns to apologise, but because of sudden news that Leilia is now entering an arranged marriage, Maquia leaves and heads for the capital to try and save her. She takes Ariel along, and Dita is unable to deliver her message.

  • On a vessel to the capital, Maquia encounters Krim. A male Iorph, Krim is voiced by Yūki Kaji (Hanasaku Iroha‘s Koichi Tanemura. Maquia is voiced by Manaka Iwami (Hotaru Hoshikawa in New Game!!), while Miyu Irino (Saji Crossroad of Gundam 00 and Amanchu Advance‘s Peter) provides Ariel’s voice. Some familiar names also return in Sayoasa: Racine is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro (Strike Witches‘ Perinne H. Clostermann, Masami Iwasawa from Angel Beats! and Sword Art Online II‘s Sinon), Ai Kayano plays Leilia (Saori Takebe of Girls und Panzer, Mocha Hoto from GochiUsa and Chisaki Hiradaira from Nagi no Asukara), Dita is played by Yōko Hikasa (K-On!‘s Mio Akiyama), to name a new.

  • The capital of Mezarte is a beautiful city, resembling the Commonwealth of Athens’ capital from Break Blade. Fantastical settings in anime have always been of an exceptional calibre, and P.A. Works did a phenomenonal job in Sayoasa: it is a compliment when I say that the locations of Sayoasa are comparable to those of Peter Jackson’s Middle earth. The capital of Mezarte has the same glory as Minas Tirith, being a vast city built in a beautiful location.

  • Thirty screenshots is not enough of a space to capture every moment in Sayoasa, but in the interest of keeping the post of a manageable length, thirty screenshots is what I will have. Here, I’ve got one of the Renato, being used as a stead to carry Leilia during the day of her wedding. Krim and several other Iorph agents manage to infiltrate the processions and create a disruption, allowing Krim to take Leilia.

  • The rescue is ultimately unsuccessful: when Maquia learns Leilia is pregnant, she hesitates, and decides to leave Leilia. Maquia and Krim go their separate ways here: while Maquia consents to leave Leilia (and in doing so, represents the choice to look to the future), Krim resolves to do what he can to save Leilia. The next time they meet, Krim will remark that Maquia’s life was one of general happiness, as she was able to experience a wide range of things, whereas Leilia became confined within the Mezarte capital after her child did not appear to display any Iorph characteristics.

  • The moody industrial town of Dorail is where Maquia and Ariel settle down next. Initial struggles cause Maquia to lash out at Ariel, but the two later reconcile. Maquia takes up a job as a waitress in a tavern, while Ariel begins working in the forges. In Dorial, vast industrial machines can be seen, covering the area in eternal gloom; it’s a far cry from the blue skies of the capital, and the open spaces in Helm.

  • As he grows older, Ariel becomes increasingly embarrassed by the notion that his coworkers have of him: Maquia outwardly resembles someone who is fifteen, and with Ariel at roughly the same age, some wonder if he and Maquia have eloped or similar. While working, Maquia encounters Lang at the tavern: he’s become a soldier for Mezarte and upon meeting Maquia, they spend time catching up.

  • The monarchy in Mezarte is presented as being ineffectual and weak: the rulers seem to place an undue emphasis on power and the symbols of power, at the expense of their nation. With the Renato dying off, and Leilia failing to bear any offspring with Iorph characteristics, Mezarte’s leadship grow desperate, indicating that their hold on the world wanes while other powers rise. Details like these, while never explicitly naming the state of the world, serve to nonetheless help with world-building, and Sayoasa‘s world is as intriguing as those seen in P.A. Works’ other titles.

  • For her perceived failures, Leilia becomes locked away and forbidden from seeing her child, driving her to despair. Forgotten and abandoned, Leilia’s only question is how her daughter, Medmel, is doing. The prince of Mezarte appears powerless to do anything about her situation, mirroring the nation’s own decay over time. This brings to mind Gondor and its decline over the ages: in its quest to recruit ancient powers to preserve their rule, the monarchy in Mezarte appears no different than the rulers of Gondor, who cared more for their past than their present.

  • Maquia is devastated when Ariel announces his intention to join the armed forces. Prior to leaving, Ariel encounters Lang and laments not being able to do more for Maquia, and when the time comes, the two part on uncertain terms. Maquia is taken by Krim here to an unknown location subsequently. When other nations begin mounting an assault, Krim leaves for the royal palace, and Maquia makes her way outside. During the combat sequences, the incidental music marks a shift to the motifs that Kenji Kawai is best known for, resembling the music from Gundam 00 and Ip Man.

  • When I first began watching Sayoasa, I had no idea that Kawai would be composing the music for the film: the motifs for the Iorph and Maquia are quite unlike anything that I’d previously heard from Kawai. However, I began recognising his signature style in some of the more melancholy pieces, and by the time the fighting in Mezartes began, there was little doubt in my mind that Kawai had composed the film’s soundtrack. Krim and Leilia had once been in a relationship, and when his efforts to bring Leilia back fails, he attempts to immolate them both. Krim sustains a fatal wound subsequently,

  • The invasion of Mezarte begins with a naval bombardment. While Mezarte might be a dying empire, with a decadent and ineffective leadership, audiences nonetheless feel compelled to back their armed forces because of the personal connection: both Lang and Ariel are fighting for their lives against the invading forces. At this point, soldiers on both sides have access to single-action rifles, but the close quarters forces combatants on both sides to rely on their bayonets. The fighting and death is interspersed with scenes of Maquia helping Dita give birth after the latter goes into labour.

  • When Ariel and Dita’s child is safe, Maquia finds Ariel on the battlefield with an injury. Years of concern and regret manifest here: Ariel is genuinely sorry for having left Maquia’s side so suddenly, and addresses her as mother once more.  The two reconcile and part ways: Ariel returns home to Dita and finds their child, while Maquia frees the remaining Renato and takes to the skies.

  • Leilia gains closure when she meets Medmel. Feeling as though she’s finally found peace, she jumps off the edge of the palace, and Maquia catches her. The two fly off on the Renato back to their homeland. I note that owing to release patterns, any search for the term “Maquia” will yield results for the film first, rather than for the district in Peru’s Requena province or a family-run inn in Pontevedra, Spain. While I’m early to the party as far as bloggers go, the film’s screening in theatres around North America mean no shortage of reviews for the film are available for reading.

  • Reviewers universally found Sayoasa a generally enjoyable film. Poignant and sentimental, the film is described as being imaginative and heart-melting, praised for its exceptional visuals and critiqued for leaving some items unresolved. In a rare instance, I am largely in agreement with existing reviews for Sayoasa, although personally, I enjoyed the film enough to give it a recommendation and be more generous with my scoring – I think that the film has earned its A grade (a nine of ten) for being very captivating and immersive in spite of its flaws.

  • Now that Daylight Savings has ended, this side of the world has darkened again, and the autumn has given way from the cool, sunny days to cold and wet days. I am someone whose disposition is impacted by the weather, and weather of late has resulted in greater melancholy and lethargy, as well as declining motivation. However, there are ways of combating this – under rainy skies today, I went out for dim sum at a local restaurant that has some of the best deep-fried squid this side of the city. Good food is a phenomenal tonic for the spirit, and despite the rest of today being rainy, I was in good enough spirits to write out this post, vacuum and push further in Destiny 2, which I got for free as a part of the promotion for the Foresaken expansion.

  • Sayoasa returns Maquia to the sleepy village of Helm, where an elderly Ariel passes away peacefully after a full life. Life and death is always a very tricky topic, and death inevitably brings sadness. In Chinese culture, death is accepted as a natural part of life, not to be feared, but also is something rarely discussed for fear of bringing about ill fortune. However, for Maquia, separation is still something that she finds difficult, and so, cries for his passing and the treasured memories they shared together.

  • I still recall hearing about Sayoasa during the midsummer of last year, watching beautiful trailer and reading that director Okada intended Sayoasa to be a film about human drama, meetings and departures that audiences can relate to. Catching only glimpses of the Iorph settlement and closeups in the film, I had no idea what the movie would entail. The movie released in Japan in February and became available in July across North America, and I was avoiding all spoilers. The Blu Rays became available in late October, allowing me to finally watch and write about the film.

  • Having spent the entirety of Sayoasa portraying the bonds between Maquia and Ariel, audiences can tangibly feel the sense of loss that Maquia experiences. The weather stands in stark contrast to Maquia’s sorrow – it is the same beautiful blue skies that she and Ariel have known. The choice to have Ariel’s death come on a beautiful day is a reminder that life and death are very natural parts of reality, and that for better or worse, things do continue on.

  • This post represents a small sample of the beautiful moments in Sayoasa, and for anyone who did end up reading all the way to this point, I remark that one might have wasted their time: Sayoasa is something to be experienced, rather than read about. If you’ve not done so already, kindly stop reading this post and go check the film out. I won’t be bothered: I’m more concerned about pushing my way through Destiny 2‘s campaign and debating whether or not Battlefield V is worth getting, especially considering that the Arras map looks almost identical to this screenshot. In blog news, I’ve fully migrated the site’s screenshots now, so there’s no worry about screenshots disappearing once Flickr actions their promise to delete old photos, and looking ahead into December, besides another instalment in CLANNAD ~After Story~, I will also be writing about The World in Colours and Anima Yell, the latter of which I’ve fallen quite far behind on.

From a narrative perspective, Sayoasa deals predominantly with a direct theme, in depicting the experiences one has over the course of a lifetime, and the complexities of the world around Maquia that she is made to adapt to. There are numerous secondary stories that are told in a broken pattern; like real life, it is not possible to know of every individual’s story in full, and that our impressions of others are constrained to what we see of them. The story thus stands well enough on its own: there’s enough going on to keep viewers engaged, but not enough to overwhelm them. Maquia herself is likeable as a lead character, stumbling through things she’s unfamiliar with, but also displaying enough resilience to adapt to her circumstances. The core of Sayoasa, already enjoyable, is augmented by P.A. Works’ exceptional visuals and the musical genius of Kenji Kawai. From the structures of the Iorph homeland, to beautiful countryside around Helm, the vast capital city’s majestic structures and the industrial gloom of Dorail, every location is rendered in incredible, life-like detail. Subtle elements, from the lighting to water effects, further enhance the strength of the artwork, immersing viewers into Maquia’s world. Meanwhile, Kawai’s music creates incidental music that genuinely captures the wistfulness and sorrow that permeates Sayoasa. In this film’s soundtrack is quite different from the bombastic tones that Kawai is best known for (e.g. Gundam 00, Ip Man, Higurashi: When They Cry and the live-action Death Note movies); use of strings and harps gives Sayoasa‘s music a very distinct feeling, capturing Maquia’s feelings. However, traces of Kawai’s style can be heard in the more dramatic pieces, such as when Maquia rescues Leilia after she reunites with her daughter, or during the combat sequences. Altogether, Sayoasa is a highly entertaining film that presents a message of what makes life worth living in a highly visceral, tangible manner; this is a movie I can easily recommend for viewers.

8 responses to “Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō (Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms): A Review and Full Recommendation

  1. moyatori November 19, 2018 at 11:39

    Ahh…I wanted to watch this in the theatre so badly, but I missed its premier. Thanks for the review though, and as always, I love your screenshots.


    • infinitezenith November 19, 2018 at 21:52

      I hope I’ve not spoiled the film for you and that you will have a chance to see it 🙂 The stunning visuals are about the only thing one can capture in a review format, and there’s so much in the movie that is best enjoyed by watching it.


  2. jsyschan November 19, 2018 at 21:15

    Ok….I just skipped past the review and just went to the comments to avoid spoilers. Hopefully once I’m done, I’ll post something new here about the film. Funny story. I bought the Japanese Limited Edition from Amazon, but once I received it, I found that it had no English subtitles. So, I found some online, so I’ll try and watch it with them. No point in watching a film if you don’t understand it. Lesson learned here: not everything has subtitles. I got lucky with Kimi no Na Wa (Collector’s edition), but it didn’t work this time around.


    • infinitezenith November 19, 2018 at 22:03

      I look forwards to hearing your thoughts once you cross the finish line and will offer no spoilers until then. It took a considerable amount of manoeuvring to avoid them, and I was out of country when my home town screened them. It seems the people where I am don’t watch anime, since there was no news at all of the film, so I managed to come into the film without any previous knowledge. Your Name was big enough so that the BDs had English subtitles, but for the most part, it’s rare that anime movies release with English subtitles.


  3. Anonymous April 22, 2019 at 20:56

    Well, it’s been a while for this post. I finally watched Maquia in its entirety. I managed to get an English subbed version from Eleven Arts when it was on sale. It’s pretty cool, though it sucks that the Japanese audio was only on the Blu-Ray edition. If you get the DVD, you’re out of luck there.

    Where to start…I guess I’ll share my immediate thoughts on my feelings after the film overall. I think the best way to describe it is with a quote from a famous sitcom. I know you don’t like links, but if you have the chance, the series is pretty funny when viewed:

    “But it’s fake, it’s not… it’s not real, you know?……It’s kind of like how I carry a little piece of onion around with me to elicit tears, you know, in case someone needs me to feel something about what they said or are doing, you know what I mean?” -Dennis Reynolds

    The scene was from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the last episode of season 11. The quote refers to how the main character, Dennis (who is implied to be a psychopath) always carries an onion in order to react to a situation where tears are necessary. Chekov’s gun right there.

    I guess the point is, I really wanted to feel something from this film, given how everyone talked about it. Don’t get me wrong, the film was fantastic. I really empathized with Maquia and her struggles as a fledgling teen mom, and with Ariel reminding me of myself as a moody teenager, I can only imagine his feelings. The situation is certainly complex, so I guess I can empathize with him, but it was rather painful to seem them separated for 10 years. I can’t even fathom how Maquia must have felt especially since I’m 27 and still live with my parents. That ending…well, to be honest, I was a little off as to why Maquia had to leave Ariel after they reconciled. Freeing the Renato with Leilia was nice, but I guess it wasn’t clear to me as to why she decides to leave. Perhaps this can be attributed to the passage of time, where all parents/children must separate eventually? I really liked the ending, where Maquia returns to see Ariel one last time. I wished it lasted a bit longer, with Ariel calling her Mother one last time and/or her calling Ariel her son for one last time.

    I really liked the juxtaposition between the three Iorph. Two of them found themselves on diverging paths while one can’t move forward. Leave it to Mari Okeda to weave a beautiful tapestry of relatable characters. The visuals were gorgeous as well.

    Sorry, back to the point I made at the start. I don’t think there was any doubt that I wanted to feel something from the film. Throughout the film, I really (at least I think I did) empathized with Maquia and her struggles, and I really wanted to feel something from it (at least enough to elicit tears), just like how I felt with Naho and Kakeru from Orange. All those moments in this film were beautiful…yet at the end of it all, no tears were shed. Perhaps things might have been different had I been watching it with others rather than my lonesome self. Don’t get me wrong, this film is definitely worthwhile, but for me personally, I didn’t really shed any tears. This seems to happen a lot with me and recent (anime) films. I want to feel something and shed tears at poignant moments, yet I can’t seem to do so. I often wonder if that’s because I’m not empathetic like Dennis, or if I’m just conditioned by the societal image of manhood. Nevertheless, I’m hoping that my second or third time around (when I get to have time) will definitely make me feel something again.


    • infinitezenith April 23, 2019 at 22:15

      It’s evident that, emotional impact or not, you got quite a bit from Sayoasa. Before we go further, I note that I’m okay with links unless there’s more than three of them, which causes Akismet to mark the comment as spam, and then I have to fish it out from a sea of spam comments linking to garbage or morally dubious things 😛

      Now to the fun stuff – using my impressions of Sayoasa as a guidepost, I never shed any tears for Sayoasa either. This is not to say that the movie is lacking in any way, it just didn’t make me cry. There are many reasons why many shows people say are tear-inducing have little impact, and I find that the main reason is that the things being shown will affect people differently because all of us have different backgrounds. Some events on screen affect is very strongly because we’ve been there before, or know of someone who’s been in a similar situation. Angel Beats! did it for me: graduating and leaving my colleagues was tough, so seeing its portrayal as being similar to what I felt led me to shed a tear. Pixar’s Inside Out brought back memories of my childhood, of the good and bad, so I similarly wept, and When Marnie Was There just hit me without warning. Admittedly, I was on a plane for When Marnie Was There, and pressure differences may have had an impact.

      With this in mind, not crying for Sayoasa simply means that the events in the film aren’t really things that you really hold close as to bring about tears; as you’ve mentioned, it hasn’t stopped you from enjoying the movie. I’m not sure it’s really conditioning as much as it is personality – I’m pretty stoic, and things that cause people to cheer or cry their heads off, I usually respond with about half the intensity that they do. Some folks just don’t like expressing their emotions, while others do, and it’s dependent on the person.

      Since you’re more or less in the same age range and situation as myself, I think I can share that we’re in a similar boat. I know that my parents are torn between wanting me to get the heck out and sticking around. With this being said, I’m intending to stay in my current city for a good long while, and even after I move out, I will be visiting frequently: my parents are the most important people on earth, after all.

      If you’re going for additional runs for the movie, I hope you’ll enjoy it. In the past, I’ve found that rewatching films (or re-reading books, for that matter) actually diminishes the emotional impact. If you felt angry or sad while watching something the first time around, you’ll come in knowing what to expect, and it won’t hit as hard. Conversely, rewatching really allows you to gain an appreciation of the things missed on the first time, and that adds a considerable amount of weight to things, enhancing the experience. I feel that the gains of rewatching outmatch the diminished emotional impact, so I think you’ll find that a rewatch would be worthwhile. Cheers!


  4. Jorge Rafael Treviño May 29, 2020 at 03:27

    I know this is an old post and nobody will even want to see it but I wanted to express my thoughts about the movie, if that’s okay.

    I was actually pretty overwhelmed with the movie, I loved the artstyle which is a Final Fantasy style and that just goes with me, but as far as the story goes, I think I was rather more disappointed by the plot twists and plot holes than sad by the story itself.

    Of course I ended up shedding a whole bunch of tears I wasn’t expecting to, I mean just before watching Maquia I had just finished watching “I want to eat your pancreas” so I was a bit emotional already, and boy did I not expect the movie.

    I had to watch it a second time just because the animation is not something that I could just shrug off of my mind, but I gotta say, after reading different reviews and perspectives, mostly being positive ones, I decided to instead see what people thought went wrong with the movie, and surprisingly, I agreed with most of them, the movie although a tearjerker, drama film, just had the characters deliberately decide things that couldn’t possibly make sense, at least, for me, such as Leilia’s arc in its entirety, her character was just one big mess that I believe was made to portray the human empire as evil and ungodly, and I mean, they did a good job, sure, but the way they handled it was rather… confusing.

    Krim’s story is really depressing and with a really bad ending, and yet I believe the author decided to make him a bad guy because he was “just there” for the plot continuation, the Izor guy, although regretting his actions, never actually did anything to assist the Iorphs he had mistakingly kidnapped and hurt, let’s not forget he participated in the massacre of their race, so, yeah, I don’t really feel the guy.
    The royal family was never really in my mind since they had so little time on screen that I never really got to care for them, I just thought they happened to exist because Mari Okada needed them to.

    I also want to believe the reason why Maquia and Leilia left at the very end is because they decided their children would be better off without them, seeing as to why they would get old but their mothers wouldn’t, which I find that to be a fault in logic, thinking as to how both mothers were just torn for not being able to be with their children, but I suppose that that’s how Japan likes to handle drama, in a way that leads to heartbreak.

    The story is full of sadness and heartbreak with little moments of happiness mixed in between, being really just a few, since I can’t help but to think that Maquia only experienced happiness with Ariel when he was just a boy, his character got rather, irritating after he grew up, and I was getting tired of him really fast.

    Overall I think it is a pretty awesome movie, really beautiful in it’s scenarios and aesthetic choices, the idea of exploring motherly love was something really original that I personally have never seen before, it still strikes me with sadness to think how almost every single life in the movie was ruined and how so many details are left unsaid and will never be explained, but, what we do about it?

    Nothing, I suppose.


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