Do you guys remember the emotional masterpiece YOUR NAME from 2016? Well, producer Genki Kawamura is back at it again and looking for similar results. This time with FIREWORKS, another romance anime movie sure to rip people’s hearts right from their chest. The American film company GKIDS has picked up the rights to FIREWORKS and will release it in select theaters on July 3rd, July 4th, and July 7th. Until then, we have the official English trailer to hold us over for awhile.

GKIDS Acquires Distribution Rights for FIREWORKS

A Chance to Rewrite Fate

For those unfamiliar, FIREWORKS (also known as FIREWORKS, SHOULD WE SEE IT FROM THE SIDE OR THE BOTTOM?) follows the lives of best friends Norimichi and Yusuke who fawn over classmate Nazuna Oikawa. However, they’re unaware that her mother remarried, and that she will be leaving town soon. While on lifeguard duty one day, Nazuna challenges the pair of best friends to a swimming race with an odd set of conditions. She states that whoever wins must do whatever she says. Norimichi loses the race and kicks himself for missing a chance to bond with the girl he adores. The rest of the movie follows several romantic “what-if” scenarios such as Norimichi winning the race.

The trailer above does a great job of showcasing some of the things that make FIREWORKS highly anticipated. For starters, the English voice acting seems surprisingly competent. It’s no secret that the anime community usually prefers subs over dubs because most English voices typically don’t mix well with the Japanese elements of the show. This problem doesn’t seem relevant to FIREWORKS, however. The dubs sound great, and even hardcore sub fans should be able to appreciate these talented English voice actors.

Nazuna Spraying Norimichi with a Hose
That’s Some Crystal Clear Water! | Image: YouTube

Another thing that impressed me about this trailer was the visuals. Anime production companies have truly been creating high-quality content lately, and I have to tip my hat to Shaft here for their amazing work. Even simple scenes like Nazuna spraying Norimichi with a hose look incredible. This trailer is only a brief look into FIREWORKS, but it teases some pretty special aesthetics.

FIREWORKS is Hoping for Familiar Success

Genki Kawamura hit an absolute home run with YOUR NAME. In fact, you can argue that he and director Makoto Shinkai might have set the bar too high. YOUR NAME was so phenomenal in Japan that it became the fourth-highest grossing film in Japanese history. The only films more successful were SPIRITED AWAY, FROZEN, and TITANIC. Having his name attached to YOUR NAME is good for Kawamura, but it comes with some side effects. People will expect the same level of excellence in each movie he produces. Many people already credit Shinkai for YOUR NAME’s overall success (although Kawamura was important) and his career could turn sour if his movies continue receiving lackluster reviews.

It’s true that FIREWORKS did exceptionally well in Japan, but it has struggled overseas. Before coming to the United States, FIREWORKS traveled across 110 countries and regions where, unfortunately, it made no notable contributions. YOUR NAME, on the other hand, continued its success throughout the globe. It became the highest grossing Japanese film in China and Thailand.

In order for FIREWORKS to escape YOUR NAME’s long shadow, it must perform well in the United States. The U.S. is likely the last stop of FIREWORK’s global tour, so success here is paramount for the film’s legacy. It’s worth noting that this is completely possible. There’s an eager audience here that’s extremely passionate about anime. This is evident by the opening theme’s official music video, Uchiage Hanabi by DAOKO, which has 154 million views.

With any luck, FIREWORKS will experience the same success it had in Japan. The trailer, which showcases great voice acting and animation, gives us reason to believe FIREWORKS can captivate the United States.

Featured Image Courtesy of YouTube.

FIREWORKS Music Video Passes 14.6 Million Views

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