FIREWORKS, SHOULD WE SEE IT FROM THE SIDE OR THE BOTTOM? is the latest anime film to hit Japanese theaters. According to Anime News Network (ANN), the film takes place on a single summer day. Based off a 1993 Japanese live-action drama of the same name, FIREWORKS follows the story of a group of boys who try to view a fireworks show from the side to see if it’ll look round or flat. At the same time, one of the boys receives an invitation from his crush to run away with her.

Produced by anime studio Shaft, the 90-minute film received plenty of promotion through key visuals and a couple trailers. A more unexpected piece of advertising, however, came in the way of an unannounced music video.

On August 9th, Japanese singer DAOKO released a song named “Uchiage Hanabi” or “Launching Fireworks” on YouTube. The video’s title, DAOKOxKenshi Yonezu “Uchiage Hanabi” MUSIC VIDEO,  doesn’t give much away besides that the song is a duet. Although neither singer is known for heavy involvement in anime, they’ve both dabbled in that world. DAOKO sang both ending themes of RAGE OF BAHAMUT: VIRGIN SOUL; Kenshi Yonezu is famous for his work producing VOCALOID songs.

Usually, naming two fairly popular artists in the title is enough to have quite a few people clicking to watch. However, with “Uchiage Hanabi”, there was one more distinction that doubtless drew in exponentially more hits.

In the two weeks since then, “Uchiage Hanabi”, now known as the film’s official theme song, has blown up in popularity. The song peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Japan Hot 100 list. And just recently, its music video surpassed the 14.6 million hits count on Youtube, and it’s still steadily climbing!

The video shows various scenes from the movie accompanied by DAOKO and Kenshi Yonezu’s fantastic blend of voices. Its crisp editing builds an excellent sense of atmosphere and introduces the film well for unaware viewers.

SEE: Have you heard the latest news about the live-action NARUTO?

Enchanting Artistry

The music video showcases several elements of the classic Shaft style. Naturally, this means dynamic angles, empty scenery shots, and near-excessive close-ups. Combined with gentle pop music and vocals, the video easily does its job of holding a viewer’s interest. During the song’s quieter moments, I had time to appreciate the serene scenic shots and beautiful color work. Later, at the powerful bridge, the video’s quick cuts and active camerawork enthralled me.

Screenshot, FIREWORKS, Uchiage Hanabi MV
Not to mention the amazing sense of depth! | Image: YouTube

Additionally, Akiyuki Shinbo serves as the film’s chief director. You might know him as the director of PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA and BAKEMONOGATARI. Those two series are perhaps most famous for their unusual art direction and bold visual symbolism. With such an acclaimed artistic eye at the helm of this piece, hopes are certainly high for FIREWORKS!

Launching to Success!

FIREWORKS released in Japan on August 18th. Early reviews showered the film with praise, and ANN reported that it earned 170 million yen (US$1.56 million) on its first day. Currently, it sits at number three at the Japanese box office.

FIREWORKS will come out in 110 countries and regions. Unfortunately, there isn’t any news yet on where or when exactly that will happen. Regardless, after that brilliant music video, I know I’ll be first in line to watch once a U.S. release is announced!

CLICK: You can read more about Shinbo’s MONOGATARI work in our handy guide!

Featured image screenshotted from YouTube.

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