If you’re not a fan of anime, give it try. Be open and patient.
Stream Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
It is a poignant set-up but, disappointingly, Okada’s ideas about motherhood don’t cut as deep as they could.
At almost two hours, the film feels a bit long and suffers from multiple endings, but Okada is clearly a talent to watch.
Ultimately, it’s [Okada's] attention to the emotional content, honed over years of writing romantic youth dramas (both animated and live action), that makes ‘Maquia’ so compelling. It’s a coming-of-age story, of sorts, even if the main character can’t age.
Okada both wrote and directed Maquia, which showcases her ability to depict complex relationships and project delicate character arcs.
Though not unusual for animated movies to provoke tears, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms is perhaps the second animated film I would openly classify as a “tearjerker” (the first being Grave of the Fireflies).
It’s possible that the film’s passing pleasures are so rich that we don’t even notice how deep Okada has driven her storytelling dagger until she pulls it out in the end, and the tears come, adding, to the bitterness and sweetness of this moving and strange little fable, a hefty dose of salt.