Netflix anime Babylon turns post-apocalyptic Tokyo into a colorful playground 2022-04-28 08:30:00


at bubble, a new anime movie on Netflix, there are a lot of hallmarks of a dystopian city. Set in a version of Tokyo that has been almost completely abandoned, there are plenty of rusty cars, crumbling buildings, and greenery reclaiming their place among the urban sprawl. But there’s also the city’s liveliness – something that was so important to director Tetsuro Araki. “We wanted to make it light and colorful because we wanted to present this miserable spectacle as almost a utopia,” he said. the edge.

This tone may have something to do with bubbleA rather unique premise. It’s not a typical ending to the universal story. Instead of a planet besieged by war or natural disasters, in bubbleEarth is under attack… bubbles. Five years before the events of the film, mysterious bubbles began to fall all over the world, and in the end, giant bubbles covered the entire city of Tokyo. From there, while the rest of the country largely went on as normal, Tokyo became mostly deserted. The only residents are street kids who live alone and participate in a team-based version of parkour where the winners get supplies like gasoline and ramen. For these kids, the sense of freedom in the city is almost like a utopia.

It is definitely a unique introduction and one that is also used to tell the freely drawn story of coming of age little mermaid. According to Araki, who previously worked on shows like death note And The attack on the GiantsThe most special part of the story was which came first. “It all came from this idea that we wanted to tell a coming-of-age story/love story,” he explains. “This was through conversations I was having with my producer, Genki Kawamura. From there, we decided to use the idea of little mermaidThen came General Orobuchi, known for him of course His science fiction workAnd he joined us as a screenwriter for this movie. With it we finally figured out it was going to be about bubbles.”

Tokyo is a city that has been depicted and reimagined many times in popular culture, often in post-apocalyptic scenarios. Araki says this ubiquitous presence really helped the crafting bubbleA unique vision. The movie’s version of the city is partially underwater, and there are also areas where gravity has been distorted (which, in addition to looking great, helps make the parkour sequences even more exciting). “Tokyo is a very familiar city to us that it was easy to create this poignant backdrop because we view it in a different way,” Araki says. “It’s a flooded city now. It’s very different from the Tokyo we’re used to.”

The challenge, he says, was to make sure everyone stayed on track with that vision. “I had to be very precise with his orientation because whatever he would produce tends to tend toward the dark,” he explains. “So I had to remind all my people, ‘Listen, this must be the utopia we depict here. “Over and over again, I would like to remind them.”

Photo: Netflix

The team also had to contend with the unique circumstances of creating a largely deserted version of a large city in the real world during a time when the streets were empty due to the pandemic. (It was a similar challenge faced by the game’s creators Ghost Wire: Tokyo.) Although the idea for the film predated the pandemic, it still influences the creative process. Producer Genki Kawamura said, “It was as if reality was catching up with what we were filming in the movie.” the edge. “The streets were closing, [Japan] They hosted the Tokyo Olympics where they tried to protect the Games from the impact of the pandemic by creating a kind of bubble system. This is a very science fiction movie, but the weirdness of reality helped cement it into reality.”

bubble It finally offers a very special twist, which I won’t spoil here, that ties together all of its seemingly disparate elements, from the love story to parkour to the bubbles themselves. It’s smart and unexpected – even if it takes a while to figure it out. “It was a big, long, winding exploration,” Araki says of the creative process.

bubble Streaming on Netflix now.