Patema Inverted

Today I saw what I feel may be the best anime film I’ve ever seen. As the title of this post suggests, the name of that film was Patema Inverted.

Patema Inverted is about a girl (Patema) who lives underground, where gravity has been reversed. When she ventures above ground, she risks falling into the sky, but is caught by a young boy (Age). Together they face their two dystopian societies and seek the answers to their world.

Why is this such a good film? Well, for one thing, the animation was unlike I’ve ever seen before. It wasn’t completely hand-drawn, but it wasn’t completely computer animated. And camera tricks like shifting focus were animated in. It was brave animation…that’s all I can really say about it. I would hand over any screenplay to that animation studio in a heartbeat.

The film also incorporated a lot of themes and feelings from various genres. It had the quiet subtlety of a Studio Ghibli film, but was also intense like a thriller. I actually jumped in my seat once. It was a simple child’s story, but also a dystopia. It was steampunk and hippie.

On a personal level, I liked the film because it had a more solid romance than most animes, the sound and music were gripping, and there was loads of philosophical questions raised throughout it. It’s one you could watch twenty times before you catch everything.

The writer/director (Yasuhiro Yoshiura) of the film was actually there, for a q&a session after the film. He said he wanted to make a film that pretty much anyone could enjoy. I would venture to say he succeeded. Even just in that audience there was huge diversity. He said he got the idea for the film from his childhood, when he’d look into the sky and wonder if it was really the floor and he was somehow stuck to the ceiling. I wish I could claim to have that kind of an imagination (or at least to have held on to it long enough to make a film out of it).

I feel like I’ve seen my fair share of animes, but this one was definitely the most breathtaking. If you’re an anime fan look out for this film (Japanese name is サカサマのパテマ, Sakasama no Patema). Of anything else by Yasuhiro Yoshiura.

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