Maboroshi has stunning visuals and animation that rivals some of the most popular anime films of recent years. Unfortunately, the film’s pacing is terrible, with a loud tone in the middle and a meandering second half that becomes unbearably dull. The love triangle in Maboroshi is poorly handled, the love triangle moves quickly and the final twist adds an element of discomfort to the story. The ending is rushed and confusing, leaving many loose ends unresolved.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for Maboroshi!!Maboroshi is the latest film by famous director Mari Okada in collaboration with internationally famous animation studio MAPPA. After mysterious cracks appear in the sky above Mifuse, the town is plunged into eternal winter. Masamune Kikuiri is one of those trapped in the town, and his struggle has a greater impact on the world than anyone could have expected.
After opening in theaters in Japan in the fall of 2023, Maboroshi was released worldwide via Netflix on January 15, 2024. Unfortunately, the film leaves much to be desired. Although art, animation, and music are all phenomenal, Maboroshi Plagued by boring melodrama, terrible sets and poor writing makes it impossible to stay invested in the film past the halfway point.
Mari Okada has received a lot of praise for previous projects such as Toradora! and Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day, she is also often criticized for prioritizing melodrama over plot, and unfortunately, Maboroshi is a prime example of this flaw.
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Maboroshi is one of the most beautiful Anime movies in years
Manufactured by MAPPA
The best praise that can be given to Maboroshi is for its incredible visuals and overall direction. Everything from the backgrounds to the character designs – courtesy of Yuriko Ishii – is depicted with incredible fluidity and detail that makes every scene look beautiful, even if it’s a dramatic moment. tension or something with more action. That’s especially true when combined with MAPPA’s incredible animation, which results Maboroshi has stunning visual flair that rivals some of the most popular anime films released in recent years.
Of course, Maboroshi’s art and animation are perfectly complemented by the excellent score and shot composition. Masaru Yokoyama, who previously collaborated with Mari Okada on Mobile Suit Gun: Iron-Blooded Orphans, delivers a score that never fails to perfectly capture the film’s emotional rhythms and writing style. Okada’s excellent direction takes the already excellent visuals to a whole new level with greatness. filming is like that, no matter how stressful the scene is. The result is, on a purely technical level, Maboroshi excels in all areas of the business and anyone looking for a good-looking film with excellent direction to match is sure to find it here.
Maboroshi’s story is marred by terrible pacing
The film loses its dreamlike beauty halfway through
The visual and technical aspects of Maboroshi are excellent, but everything else is executed much less competently – most notably the pacing. The film begins as a slow and methodical exploration of Masamune’s struggle with the impossibility of change, and overall, the art, animation, and soundtrack do a great job of conveying that idea. . However, seemingly out of nowhere, Masamune suddenly realizes that he doesn’t want to let anything stop him from living his life halfway through the film, even though it should have been saved for the climax, and it leads to a major lash out..
With Masamune having reached his emotional peak, second half of Maboroshi spends most of his time wandering around as people pass by arguing about what to do about the true nature of their world, and Masamune is drawn deeper and deeper into the romantic drama between the female leads. , Mutsumi and Itsumi.. Everything interesting that the movie wants to say is discovered in the first half, making the second half unbearably boring.
The Maboroshis love triangle is handled in the worst way possible
The romantic subplot makes the second half of the film even more confusing
Another thing that disappointed Maboroshi was the previously mentioned love triangle between Masamune, Mutsumi, and Itsumi. After Masamune’s epiphany and everyone learned the truth about their world, main focus of MaboroshiIts story becomes a will-they-won’t-they drama between the main characters, with Mutsumi struggling with his feelings for Masamune for various reasons, and Itsumi struggling after being rejected by Masamune .. However, this romance isn’t handled in a way that stands out compared to other romance anime, so it’s strange that it becomes the main focus of the story instead of the supernatural elements that drive the first half of the series. movie.
What’s worse is that the story never justifies what’s going on between the three characters. Along with the pacing issues, the romance in Maboroshi moves extremely quickly, with Masamune falls madly in love with Mutsumi after just a few contacts, and he and Itsumi quickly become obsessed with each other despite doing almost nothing together.. It’s one thing for Maboroshi to devote so much story to a dramatic love triangle, but to do so little to justify the characters’ romantic feelings for each other only further emphasizes how wasteful it is. How much time?
However, the worst part of the love triangle is its final twist. As the romantic drama intensifies, it is revealed that Itsumi’s true identity is Saki Kikuiri, daughter of adult Masamune and real-world Mutsumi, who somehow fell into the fake version of Mifuse as a child. The incest elements themselves are strange, but Masamune and Mutsumi never exactly explain anything to Itsumi, and that makes many of the final developments in the film happen, even though they could have easily been avoided, thus making the love triangle feel even more like a love triangle. detrimental to the plot and generally uncomfortable.
Maboroshi did nothing to get the ending
A boring climax in a boring movie
Every problem with Maboroshi culminates in a rushed and confusing ending. After forcing Itsumi back to the real world, the cracks in reality are sealed one last time, and with Mutsumi beig injured after falling out of the ship, it means that the fake Mifuse has become real again and everyone will finally be able to live for real .. How and why that happens is never explained, and while an open ending isn’t inherently bad, with how many rushed and unexplained elements there are in the film, it becomes difficult to swallow.
Add to that the way Itsumi’s final moments in Maboroshi were handled. Not only did Masamune and Mutsumi not tell Itsumi anything Maboroshi ends with what appears to be a timeskip that has Itsumi in the real world, and it’s never explained whether she reunites with her parents or whether she ever finds Masamune and Who Mutsumi really is to her or not.. A lot of Itsumi’s problems stem from how little is explained to and about her, so her story ends up with a lot of loose ends, which only exacerbates the problems of the whole thing. movie.
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Overall, Maboroshi is a complete and utter mess of a film. The visuals, animation, and music are all great, but the story has nothing interesting to say after the first half and constantly switches between moving too fast and too slow. It prioritizes melodrama and gruesome love triangles over any real mystery, and leaves too much unanswered to justify its open ending. Mari Okada has consistently proven herself to be a capable writer and director, but unfortunately, Maboroshi did nothing to properly showcase his talent and had nothing to stand out other than his image and scores..
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