Review of the Animated Film Drifting Home (2022)

Review of the Animated Film Drifting Home (2022)

Review of the Animated Film Drifting Home (2022) – Making peace with the past is not easy, especially if the person you love is no longer there. This is the simple premise offered by Drifting Home , Netflix’s latest animated film produced by Studio Colorido.

Even though it is simple, the director – Hiroyasu Ishida (Penguin Highway, 2018) – makes Drifting Home a surreal adventure story of children whose environment begins to change as they grow up.  So, how absurd is the adventure of Kosuke, Natsume, and friends in Drifting Home? Check out the following review!

A sweet opener, a surprising adventure in store

Drifting Home opens with the narrative of Kosuke, a boy who used to live in an old, “haunted” apartment that was about to be demolished.  At the beginning, we are invited to follow how the place is full of life, along with Kosuke and Natsume – the main characters – who run towards their apartment.

The apartment, which was once a place to live that held many memories, is now like a trashed building that is unfit for habitation in the midst of new apartment construction in the area.  New, more modern apartments have been built and residents of the old apartments have started moving there. In the end, this old building became known as a haunted apartment which was nothing more than an old, uninhabited building.

Drifting Home doesn’t immediately invite you to understand what happened there, apart from the fact that there is the figure of Yasuji who is always mentioned by Natsume and Kosuke. Moving slowly at first, their adventure finally began when heavy rain poured down on them on the roof of old apartment number 112 and finally brought them to a world that only contained the ocean.

About growing up and leaving old memories behind

Is Drifting Home an adventure film? Don’t rush to conclusions at the start because this film has a lot to reveal after they are adrift in the sea of ​​an old apartment. Rather than being called an adventure film, Drifting Home actually shows how someone’s memories can leave a lasting impression on a place, even after that place is no longer the same.

Without realizing it, the characters who are growing up as teenagers also experience periods of rebellion and rejection of themselves. Many of the decisions taken look childish, but that’s precisely what makes this film feel real amidst its absurdity. Each character’s portion is equal; enough to show how each of them faces unexpected situations in the middle of nowhere.

The outspoken and “spoiled” Reina always blames Natsume for whatever happens. Shuri, who is calm and anti-conflict, can always be Reina’s “calmer”. Yuzuru, who has a cool head and can make the right decisions at critical times, is a mature figure among these elementary school children. Meanwhile, Taishi, who is always excited and enthusiastic, is a source of entertainment for his friends. Lastly, there is the mysterious Noppo who is always watching.

Natsume and Kosuke are the most complicated characters of all. At first, to be honest, KINCIR didn’t like Natsume who seemed fake and pretended to be strong, but what’s wrong with admitting that he was also scared, sad and angry. However, as their old apartment seems to be ‘swallowed up’ by the urban atmosphere, we are all invited to understand what Natsume feels.

Simply put, Natsume is just a girl who lost her support and felt empty after the death of Yasuji–Kosuke’s grandfather. Meanwhile, Kosuke quickly moved on after his grandfather’s death so he couldn’t relate to Natsume and instead became distant.

On the other hand, Noppo represents the old apartment which holds many memories of Natsume, Kosuke, and Yasuji. He becomes a figure who watches over them and wants them to be together.

With Noppo’s identity revealed, everything becomes clear. The apartment floating in the boundless ocean, other places that have also been destroyed and are floating there, are all forms of memories that are still stored. All of them are memories that float, then sink to become depictions of memories lost over time.

The animation is smooth and not excessive

Yep, technological advances have indeed made the anime industry develop a lot. 3D CG graphics technology makes the animation in anime films feel richer and more realistic. However, KINCIR is not at all a fan of anime with excessive CG effects (let’s call it Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train).

So, in Drifting Home , the CG technology used to make the background images feel unified and natural. From Penguin Highway and A Whisker Away , Studio Colorado doesn’t seem to be a fan of over-realistic visuals . Apart from that, the subtle strokes of the image are quite successful in pleasing the eye. The character’s movements are comfortable to look at without feeling exaggerated. A drastic change in atmosphere was achieved. The change in atmosphere from cheerful to horror is one of the things that makes KINCIR able to enjoy this surreal anime film.

Too late in exploring Natsume and Kosuke’s feelings

Unfortunately, Drifting Home is ultimately trapped in its own premise. Natsume and Kosuke’s complicated relationship is ultimately the only drawback of this film. Okay, Natsume does have a personal attachment to the apartment because of his happy memories with Yasuji and Kosuke in the past. However, in the end Natsume is just a very sensitive and strong-willed girl. Even though it is revealed the reason why Natsume has been acting annoying all this time, it cannot justify his behavior.

In fact, Drifting Home is about delivering memories to their final stop so that the people who remember them can move on with their lives and move on from the past. Drifting Home is about saying goodbye to precious memories, making peace with the past, and moving on.

Unfortunately, in the end this wasn’t reflected because the characters’ emotions felt flat, especially Natsume’s passive aggressive figure and her complicated relationship with Kosuke. That’s it, in the end the problems between the two were resolved without any significant conflict.

Drifting Home just drifts away after you finish watching it. The surreal picture of a floating apartment and how the children survive there ultimately feels like just a patch for a solution that didn’t feel like it before.

This film has the potential to be a film that can be enjoyed only in the first quarter. The rest, the light narrative–because the complexity is really only in Natsume and Kosuke’s relationship which could have been shortened, you know!–makes this film easily forgettable.

Rekomendasi Link : 

For those of you who want to watch something in your free time, Drifting Home could be an option. However, this film is not enough for those of you who are looking for a fantasy adventure film with a philosophical story.

For a surreal story about drifting away to another world, KINCIR still recommends Sonny Boy , which is as strange and absurd as it is. Drifting Home feels like it’s all over the place: the absurdity is overbearing, the emotion is overbearing, the adventure is also overbearing.

You can watch Drifting Home on Netflix. If you’ve watched it, try sharing your opinion about this anime film in the comments column, okay?

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