A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of growing up and the challenges of maintaining childhood friendships into one's tween and teen years.
Positive Role Models
While they have grown less close over time, Natsume and Kosoke use their unusual adventure together as a way to become the friends they were when they were kids.
Anime shows positive interactions between a grandfather and grandchild.
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Violence & Scariness
Peril throughout as a group of tweens struggle to survive while on an abandoned apartment building scheduled to be demolished that has floated out to sea. Kids fall and get injured; bloody scrapes. Kids hang on railings to avoid falling into the sea and drowning. A mysterious ghost-like character appears to lose his foot after one building crashes into another. Flashback scenes show the lead character's parents arguing while on the verge of divorce, as well as scenes of her grandfather on his deathbed and a flashback scene of his funeral.
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"Bastard" used three times. "Crap." Name-calling among tweens: "wimp," "runt," "brat."
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Products & Purchases
McDonald's mentioned by name by some of the kids, including references to eating there. A gratuitous song about Big Macs and McNuggets.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Brief smoking by adult.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Drifting Home is a 2022 coming-of-age anime in which a group of tweens finds themselves floating in an abandoned apartment building in the middle of the sea. Expect some peril and injury, as the building crashes into other buildings adrift at sea, and some bloody scrapes as the kids find ways to get to these other buildings to explore and find food and water. After one collision as the kids struggle to stay afloat, a mysterious ghostlike child among them appears to lose his foot. Flashback scenes show the lead character's parents arguing while on the verge of divorce, as well as scenes of her grandfather on his deathbed and a flashback scene of his funeral. Infrequent mild language ("bastard"), as well as some name-calling among kids. Brief smoking by an adult. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an imaginative coming-of-age anime about the difficulties of maintaining childhood friendships as we grow up. Drifting Home uses the magical realism of a group of tween friends lost at sea in an abandoned apartment building slated for demolition (and rumored to be haunted) as a somewhat obvious but still very creative symbol of how kids who were once close friends find it hard to stay friends as school cliques begin to form. The animation is richly detailed as the story's past and present seamlessly interweave.
It has some of the perpetual problems of anime, such as at least one character too many and some overwrought emo melodrama. Fortunately, these limitations don't distract from the story, and they are far outweighed by everything that works about this movie. Besides the character conflicts, the adventure itself is entertaining as buildings float around and into each other and the kids try to figure out how to survive. This is one of the better anime movies to come out in recent memory.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.