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Review: Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

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A beautiful tale about immortality

At many points of your life, the concept of immortality has been brought up, whether it’s an author’s interoperation in media or perhaps in a conversation. Mari Okada, who is responsible for the composition of highly praised series such as Anohana and Kiznaiver makes her directorial debut with Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms otherwise known as Sayoasa in Japan. Maquia presents the idea of immortality by playing with the idea of outliving your love ones by many years, even hundreds of years, leading to loneliness. The protagonist, Maquia, is from a clan where all the members stop aging in their mid-teens. Other themes include motherhood and racial identity, as that’s two struggles she faces throughout the entirety of the movie.

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
Studio: P.A Works
Licensed By: Eleven Arts
Released: July 21th, 2018 (NA)

While her days are peaceful, she feels lonely, especially as she lacks parents. However, the Lolph’s peace is shattered when an army invades them as they seek the secret to their immortality. Leilia, the most beautiful girl in her clan, is kidnapped. While the Lolph are immortal, they can experience death as most lose their life during the invasion. Maquia was able to escape, however. While wandering alone in the forest, she finds a baby boy who has lost his parents and decides to take care of it, and meets Mido, as well as her two sons, Lang and Deol.  She called this baby Erial. Throughout the movie, we see the changing relationship between the two as Erial grows older and Maquia does not.

The movie transitions quickly, showing Erial’s growth from an infant to toddler all the way to an adolescent. However, my gripe is that the transitions feel spontaneous and it leaves you pondering about the in-between events of each transition. Throughout the movie, you witness the hardship that Maquia faces as a Lolph and raising a child alone at such a young age. She also gets discriminated against for being different – for being a Lolph, thus is difficult for her to find a job at first, but also has to run away and move from city to city and fear for her life. However, Maquia is not the only one with the struggles as Leilia was forced to betroth to head knight of the Merzarte, Izor and give birth to Medmel. On top of that, Leilia is imprisoned, and unable to see Medmel and be a mother to her.

It’s honestly a plot point I wish we got to see more of, especially the Merzarte and the Renata. We don’t really know much about it other than the Merzarte have encaged every known Renata thus they are the most powerful clan in the land. However, since the Renata are on the verge of extinction, the Merzarte will lose its military might and its reason they invade the Lolph, capture its women, and force them to give birth in order to create an army of immortal Merzarte. I really couldn’t’ tell you much about the Renata other than they are powerful looking dragons.

The relationship changes between Maquia and Erial first realistic too. Most of us during our childhood tend to me more loving and caring towards our parents, and later on, during our adolescent year,s it’s where we start to grow aloof and more independent. Erial realized that Maquia wasn’t his real mother, and he still felt guilty for everything she has gone through, especially for him, and felt he needed to live his own life. Despite that, he always loved her and was very appreciated of the things she has taught him – how to be nice, do his best, how to be strong and the meaning of love.

The animation is done by P.A.Works who are responsible for series like AnotherCanaan, and most recently, Uma Musume Pretty Derby, which aired last anime season in April and is nothing short of phenomenal all the way through. The art style is very simple but it’s very smooth and pleasant to look at. Kenji Kawai was responsible for the movie’s soundtrack which was good but very unforgettable until the composition near the end of the movie, which added a strong emotional touch – it was like the climax of an emotional roller coaster.

The movie really hit me. When I was asked if I wanted immortality, I would always say no because I wouldn’t want to outlive my dear ones, but this movie heavily reinforces that answer. Even though I’m not a parent myself yet, just thinking of the idea of outliving through that come after I already feels terrible. I’m just glad that it was executed from a mother and son perspective rather than just another cliché romantic story. The story overall feels like it could have been executed better and it feels a bit all over the place, but the message is strong, and it hits you, especially during the end of the movie.

If you’re ready to get on your feels with another anime film, make sure to check out Maquia this weekend.  Don’t miss out on this beautiful tale. 


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Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms reviewed by Christian Chiok

8

GREAT

Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
How we score:  The Japanator reviews guide

 
 
 

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Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures


 



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