Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop
"Cherry" (AKA Sakura Kouichi, though his parents call him Yui) has difficulty speaking in public, but he does love to write instant haikus about everyday things he observes. "Smile" is a liveblogger/"Influencer" (real name Yuki), whose Net name is meant to be ironic, since she always wears a mask over her mouth on camera (and, indeed, everywhere except in her home; she has buck teeth, which she's very self-conscious about.) A cellphone mixup brings the initial introductions, but the relationship grows, partly out of the youngsters' interests in each other's quirks, but also through a kind of quest they embark on together.
There's some of the familiar here (the existential threat looming over Cherry's and Smile's relationship, for example), but like our would-be couple themselves, there's some fascinating quirkiness in the way the story's told as well; for example, the "meet cute" moment here may not be completely original, but there would normally be a scene immediately following it that we simply skip past here. I thought the symbolism of Cherry's headphones (when, and WHY, he is either wearing them or not) had a nice bit of subtlety. I also liked his "streetlamp" haiku, and how that illuminated (pun intended) his creative thought process. And Smile's growing immersion in his daily life was really "Smile"-worthy viewing, even when it seemingly led to disaster. (It was obvious how this bit of business was going to wind up just from the setup. And how the day was going to be saved, from the same business, was, in fact, telegraphed even FURTHER in advance, at least a scene or two ahead; if you watch this, see if YOU can spot it, too.)
Some other things that struck me here:
-Some of the scenery- the clouds, especially- seems to have been intentionally rendered as unrealistically as possible.
-The promotional art for the movie- with Smile in face mask- might make one think this is set during the pandemic, but, while the opening of the film WAS delayed due to Covid, the story itself seems to be set in what I've been calling The Before Times. That mask, as I previously noted, is there for a very DIFFERENT reason. (She wears braces, too; I guess this is to prevent her oversized incisors from protruding forward too much?) It's also interesting that Smile (over?)compensates for her countenance by being a Net personality.
-One person's trash is another's treasure. I didn't note that the characters ever tried some online auction site to maybe locate a copy of the Missing Item, but then again, if someone DID have it, and realized how important it was to our little cast, they might have priced it out of reach.
-Setting up signs or some other sort of visual signal, meant for a passenger along the route, suffers from some problems: first, you don't know which side of the conveyance the passengers will be sitting on; second, you don't know whether their attention will be focused in that particular direction at that particular moment. I had the same issue with the end of the "Baby Blue" segment in Genius Party. Here it's maybe worse due to the Burma Shave-style presentation of the messages. (Since Grampa dates from before antiquity, I should explain that Burma Shave ads were rhymes, with parts of the rhyme posted on successive road signs, with the punch line ("Burma Shave") on the LAST sign in the sequence.)
-It also struck me that if the Sought party was live-blogging, it should be relatively easy- even in a crowd- for the Seeker to locate them, by simply finding the spot that replicated the livestream view.
Some of it was familiar; in other cases, you could predict exactly what was going to happen. But there are a few genuine surprises; and what's of most importance, our lead kids, Cherry and Smile, AND their idiosyncrasies, were charming. (Cherry's male buds, not so much.) Overall, an extremely good-natured romance. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Mild violence. (While Cherry is a good guy, a couple of his pals have some problems obeying social mores.) Neflix rates TV-G, though.
Version(s) Viewed: Netflix video stream
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop © 2020 Flying Dog
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