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Netflix’s original anime movie Bubble looks like a dizzying platformer

From Attack on Titan director Tetsurô Araki and an all-star team of creators

Tasha Robinson leads Polygon’s movie coverage. She’s covered film, TV, books, and more for 20 years, including at The A.V. Club, The Dissolve, and The Verge.

Screenwriter Gen Urobuchi has a strange way of explaining his script for Netflix’s new original anime feature Bubble: “I thought about playing around with a typical mermaid story: Instead of a girl ending up as bubbles after falling in love, why not have a bubble fall in love and transform into a girl?”

That’s a bizarre premise for an anime feature, but the field has certainly produced weirder stories. (Just look at Pui Pui Molcar, a series about traffic adventures in a land of guinea pigs with wheels instead of feet.) More significant than the premise, though, is the talent behind Bubble: It’s directed by Tetsurô Araki, a longtime stalwart on the Attack on Titan series, movies, and OVAs, with character designs by Death Note’s Takeshi Obata, and music by Promare’s Hiroyuki Sawano. Urobuchi himself is an author and the screenwriter behind the award-winning Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

The first trailer for Bubble is a bit reminiscent of Weathering With You in its vision of a sunny, flooded Toyko that’s being overrun by plants and reclaimed by nature, making it a perfect setting for an idealized love story. But its concept, where bubbles that defy gravity rain down on the city, letting young people scale buildings and navigate the world in three dimensions by hopping between floating bubbles, makes it look more like a wild platforming game. Here’s Netflix’s synopsis, which explains that final segment of the trailer:

The story is set in Tokyo, after bubbles that broke the laws of gravity rained down upon the world. Cut off from the outside world, Tokyo has become a playground for a group of young people who have lost their families, acting as a battlefield for parkour team battles as they leap from building to building. Hibiki, a young ace known for his dangerous play style, makes a reckless move one day and plummets into the gravity-bending sea. His life is saved by Uta, a girl with mysterious powers who appears suddenly. The pair then hear a unique sound audible only to them. Why did Uta appear before Hibiki? Their encounter leads to a revelation that will change the world.

Bubble will debut on Netflix on April 28, 2022.

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