This is it, then — the end of the road. Not for humanity, mind you (I give us a few more years, at least), but for the cinematic career of Kazuaki Kiriya. It’s been nearly two decades since the music video wunderkind left audiences dazed and confused with his big-screen debut, “Casshern” (2004), a visually audacious and virtually incoherent anime adaptation that was one of the first films shot entirely with green screen.
After dialing up the digital maximalism to diminishing returns with “Goemon” (2009), Kiriya made an ill-fated bid for international success with the generic medieval action romp, “Last Knights” (2015). Now he’s back with what he says will be his last directorial outing, though it’s hard to tell if this pronouncement is just part of a canny publicity campaign in keeping with the film’s apocalyptic subject matter.
“From the End of the World” takes place in a near-future Japan, where 17-year-old orphan Hana (Aoi Ito) finds the fate of the planet in her hands. This gawky, insecure high schooler has just lost her last surviving relative when she’s visited by some government agents who seem unusually interested in her dreams.