Last summer, "Your Name.," Makoto Shinkai's anime about gender-swapping high school lovers, began its triumphant march into the box-office record books. Not surprisingly, this summer has seen the arrival of more teen romances, but "Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?" stands out due to the names attached, including mega-producer Genki Kawamura.
Based on Shunji Iwai's 1993 TV series, "Fireworks" resembles "Your Name." in its imaginative take on the familiar theme of starred-crossed young lovers.
In place of Shinkai's lush natural imagery and broad narrative sweep, however, director Akiyuki Shinbo and his Shaft studio animators focus intently and obsessively on their teenage pair, especially the enormous eyes of their heroine, Nazuna. And their 3-D CGI fantasy worlds, with pulsing surreal imagery reminiscent of Salvador Dali, are like nothing created by Shinkai or his illustrious senpai (senior), Hayao Miyazaki.