Children of the whales
Occasionally I find a gem that I’m so glad I got to see. I’m often mesmerized at the creativity of others and how writers can express a vision of a story and its characters so clearly and this anime is one of them.
What we find as we enter into the story is a group of people who are cut off from contact with other humans and live on a small floating island in a sea of sand. They have developed their own rules on how they should live their lives with a basic leadership structure. As this is built up from birth to adulthood and with scarce reference this hasn’t diminished their feelings but reinforced what small benefits they do have.
The anime make you think about how the people living there would control feelings and actions where they have limited space to go. What we see through the lives on the island is that spirit in any form is an energy that we all have (even if we mask it) and while we don’t all work at what we want to its something in all of us.
Doing the right thing and a purpose in life are not always aligned however the basic self preservation often overrides our own beliefs when faced with danger. In this anime we are forced to think about how danger is not what we always expect and with limited reference can be left exposed to others who take advantage.
Gender stereotypes don’t seem to be so evident on the island and love is shown as a strong bond between those who live together. With no need to be reserved or any social restrictions we see how the story shapes and effects the inhabitants when faced with conflict. I feel it goes a long way to help understand how we misinformed we are of how feelings affect us mentally and how we react to them. While the writer has tried to create characters that we form a bond with and captivates us with the story I often see my own emotions as something that are often repressed. While we can’t always act on emotion is it possible to view and reflect on them in a positive way.
Has western society lost the ability to express the full scale at the expense of a polarised thought process? What I found was that preference aside, I didn’t dislike anyone as the background of each person was revealed through the episodes. Even the (bad guys) had a valid belief for their actions even if it was misplaced and could be a reflection of our own short-sightedness. A different thought process does not make something right or wrong and with different paths to the same outcome we often struggle with our own individuality.
What interests me most is the way that as a society today, faith and belief has been morphed into an almost cult like certainty that an individuals views are correct and thus more valid then the next persons. This short-sightedness leads to division and lack of trust when faced with differing problems but is not the sum of the problem in itself. The tribal view of some characters in relation to war is so removed from what is seen today however the intention is just the same, good or bad, valid or fake, right or wrong.
Overall the story in itself is very imaginative and feels more live an adventure you would want to have yourself to escape the overwhelming pressure of modern life. To swap work for a basic existence keeping your community healthy and only working to provide your immediate needs.
From one dreamer to another this story is everything that is good about anime and its originality that does not look like a clone of any current series which is a refreshing change. There are lot’s of good anime out there but this one is a keeper worth revisiting many times.