(This is Hello World film review, which is an anime film set in both the data and real world)
Have you ever thought about how the past affects the present but in a way that seems a bit more realistic? Hello World tries to take that concept and makes a compelling story out of that.
It is directed by Tomohiko Ito, who had directed Silver Spoon, Swords Arts Online and Erased anime series. The Seiyuus are Takumi Kitamura, Tori Matsuzaka and Minami Hamabe. Now, let’s jump into the data Hello World film review below!
Set in Kyoto 2027, Japan had created Alltale, where it aims to collect and capture data of everything that existed or happened and stored them for collection purpose. A school boy Naomi met up with his future self from 10 years later, in order for the latter to help the former find his girlfriend. But little does Naomi realised that he would discover the true nature of his world and of his love. What could be the truth behind?
Hello World Film Review
The story itself starts out like any other types of romantic comedy, with some sci-fi added in when it tries to explain how the Alltale works. I have to admit that the first half seems so cliché that I thought this film would be just another barely decent non-original anime film. Although the appearance of the future adult Naomi made me interested in finding out what really happened in both the data and real world, the aim of the first story was to make Naomi able to get Ichigyo as his girlfriend. I like the process, but it felt really cliché and quite unoriginal in execution.
However, when the big twist happened in the middle till the end of the film, I was taken in for a wild ride that I did not expect. It’s as if the story takes a turn into an unpredictable route, and many events that happened really surprised me. And to be fair, some of the events did not seem to make sense too, as some of them seemed impossible to happen like how the Kitsune Men are able to enter the real world. But then, I realised the ingenious of the storytelling in it, where a twist was hidden within another twist.
The twist that acted something like in the film Inception. You don’t know which is real and which is data anymore. And the film does not try much to make you understand the technicality of it. Because from the start of the film, it has always focused on the characters and the romance story that surpassed any mediums, and able to bridged past datas and reality. So in a sense, I like the story in that it was able to take me by surprise with its twists and consistency in focusing on the characters and less on the sci-fi portions. But to those that prefer a more realistic sci-fi film, this one may disappoint you as it does not seek to explain some inconsistencies.
I was taken in for a wild ride that I did not expect
Pacing is pretty good. Though the first half is quite slow, it’s kept interesting with how the two Naomis used the future notebook as guide to get Ichigyo to be his girlfriend. Then, the Good Design power was used as buffer in-between where we are shown some kind of power that it possessed. The comedic moments inside also help to make the scenes enjoyable even though its cliché.
Animation part is a hit and miss for me. I like how the world is made colourful, and also mysterious with the fusion of sci-fi and some dream-like illusion. Though the animation is not as detailed as Your Name, they are still pretty decent. However, the one big fallout for me is that they use 3D for all of their character animations, but cleverly rendered as 2D-like. It’s a pity that you can tell directly from the animation, where the feeling of ‘2D handdrawn animation’ is almost absent, with the 3D animation replacing them completely. They tried to emulate the 2D feel by cutting some frames in half, but it’s still painfully obvious, and I quite dislike it.
Animation part is a hit and miss for me
Now this is the parts that really stand out from this film. Because although it’s a sci-fi romance film, it focuses much more on the romance part than the sci-fi portion. I like how the film shows the 2 Naomis as two different sides of the same coin. Not in the way of evil vs good, but from the point of view of Selfless love vs Selfish love. Both of them want to get Ichigyo, but they have to sacrifice one for the other. And each of them has made great sacrifices to get what they want. It gives a touch choice who to root for, as I can understand their own pain and desire, and both are right as well. It’s this type of storytelling that makes me empathise for both even though they are against each other in some ways.
Then, Ichigyo and Naomi’s interactions are also quite natural and I root for their romance. Both of them are different in personalities, but from the events that occured, it made me see the different side of Ichigyo that made me like her too. The story does this not through some exaggerated dramatic moments, but from the small ones such as when they were collecting used books. It’s these small interactions that really create a subtle yet lasting impressions.
It’s these small interactions that really create a subtle yet lasting impressions
However, I felt that the movie focused on these 3 characters a bit too much, as many of the side characters are sidelines with no particular importance to the film. I thought at first that another girl would be a rival or something but she just became another one-dimensional side character. That goes for the rest of the minor characters, they are either there as comedians or just as another non-important side characters. I feel that it should have tried to branch out more to their side story to make the world feel more alive and interesting.
There are no real antagonists in this film, which is a both a boon and a bane, because it helps to make us focus on the main characters but causing some kind of imbalance when there are no strong antagonist that gives a different point of view to the same issue.
Soundtracks are pretty good, and they use quite emotional J-pop tracks that are appropriate and not too anime-ish sounding. So they are quite memorable as well. Overall, I like them.