I suppose depending on what part of the world you are in, it is finally summer.

Summer brings vacations: kids blessedly released from school, with the hope for lots of fun activities and events to attend. I’ve always appreciated summer, as this meant more time to spend going to the movies. My birthday is the day before July 4th, a national holiday here in the States. I could always expect some blockbusters that week, and if I played my cards right — a trip to the movie theaters as an escape from the heat and boredom from when I finished my weekly stack of library books, and a chance to beg to visit the concession stand for overpriced junk food and snacks.

On that note, there have been a myriad of films to be released that first week of July: from the great Independence Day to the…”In this house, we don’t talk about that”, The Last Airbender.

With this film, producer Genki Kawamura follows up his mega-hit Your Name with another tale of star-crossed teenage lovers with a twist. Shy Norimichi and fast-talking Yusuke are totally head over heels in love over the same classmate, the elusive Nazuna. She’s severely unhappy with what little agency she has over her life, as her mother decides to remarry and relocate to the countryside from all Nazuna has ever known. Norimichi discovers that a glowing multi-colored ball found in the sea has the power to reset the clock after his and Nazuna’s failed attempt to run away together.

This is the twist.

This is the superb, sci-fi fantasy twist that opens the narrative up to so much: who do you become when you think you have some control over your lives for once?

To what means do you follow your destiny as the captains of your own ships?

How do you figure out what is most important when you think tomorrow will never come?

Fireworks looks to be a great offering for anyone looking for another animated film offering to watch in theaters when July arrives. Directors Akiyuki Shinbo (Madoka Magica) and Nobuyuki Takeuchi’s (studio Shaft) latest anime film hits theaters nationwide July 3rd. The story of young adults trying to navigate the world, young lovers attempting to make sense of it all, of youth and hopefulness and an optimism that I really need in my life right now. The animation looks gorgeous. The sci-fi twist of catering to one’s desire create a separate universe, a magic place existing outside of time…when I think of being a teenager; powerless to change many of the circumstances and events in my life, it pulls at my heartstrings.

I’m here for a tale that tackles missed opportunities and longing, of being young, reckless and running the streets with someone you love under a summer sky; when you believe anything is possible and you can change the world.

On July 3rd, I’m here for Fireworks, and I can’t wait to share my birthday with its first round of showings. I’m sure I’ll be inspired, and also thrown on an emotional roller coaster following some kids from a summer they’ll never forget. GKids, perhaps more known for their good work in bringing us the Studio Ghibli Fest (Some of my favorite film outings last year and this year, in all honesty) has brought other animation flicks to theaters and I trust them not to lead us astray. If nothing else I have faith that I’ll watch a heartfelt offering of what it means to be young and ready to change the world you live in. That’s a theme I’m always down to see in narratives; especially in animation: yesterday, today and tomorrow.

In Select U.S. Theaters Beginning July 3rd*
[*GKIDS will premiere the feature as a special Fathom event on July 3 with encore screenings July 5 and 7. The film will receive a theatrical release by GKIDS starting July 4.]

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  • Carrie McClain

    Reviewer/Editor/Magical Girl

    Carrie McClain is writer, editor, social media maven and media scholar. Other times she's known as a Starfleet Communications Officer, Comics Auntie, and Golden Saucer Frequenter. Shuri is her favorite Disney Princess. Nowadays you can usually find her buried under a pile of Josei manga. She/Her

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  • Chance

    1. Heeeeyyy twin!
    2. I too, have shared the pain of wasting a birthday movie on The Other Avatar. I wanted to give my friends’ money back.
    3. Have fun next week!

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