Fireworks

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Fireworks Movie Poster Image
Anime teen romance has vibrant visuals but tired storyline.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Messages about being selfless, helping those you care about, and showing people you love how much they mean to you. Also a few iffy messages related to women's and girls' roles in the lives of men and boys, being reduced to objects of physical desire and love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Norimichi is brave, kind, selfless when it comes to helping Nazuna, and Nazuna is curious, compassionate, sweet. The boys are somewhat immature, but they're typically good friends.

Violence

A man punches a teen who intervenes in a family issue. A boy punches/pushes another boy. Nazuna and Norimichi deal with a few potentially frightening, supernatural situations.

Sex

Notable amounts of innuendo and romance. Crude joke about a teacher's large breasts "bouncing" as she rides her bicycle to school; several scenes of Nazuna wearing an incredibly short skirt and then a short sundress with spaghetti straps that sometimes slip off her shoulders. The camera frequently focuses on her body (from behind, especially). Teen boys stare at a teen girl nearly all the time, including when she's wearing a bathing suit. A couple of brief kisses between teens. Teen boys make a bet that involves getting their attractive teacher's panties.

Language

Insulting language like "stupid drunk," "stupid," and "shut up," as well as "pissed off," "piss me off," "what the hell," "freaking," "damn it," "psycho."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character is depicted as somewhat of a town drunk. He's shown drinking a lot, speaking with a slurred voice, walking clumsily, and speaking to himself.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fireworks is an anime teen romance that's available both dubbed in English and in the original Japanese, with subtitles. Made by the producers behind the very popular anime film Your Name, Fireworks follows two teens who end up repeating the same day over and over again thanks to a magical orb. Expect a couple of kisses and a few suggestive comments and jokes, mostly at the expense of the teens' attractive school teacher. Language includes a few insults and comments like "pissed off," "damn it," "what the hell," "stupid," etc. A minor character is portrayed as the town drunk (he's shown drinking and acting inebriated). Although it's fairly common in anime for girls and young women to have exaggerated features, the film's focus on a main female character's body and beauty (as well as her role as a "damsel in distress") could be interpreted as stereotypical or even sexist. On the other hand, the movie also offers messages about being selfless, helping those you care about, and showing people you love how much they mean to you.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 year old Written byStephanie P. August 12, 2018

My daughter’s favorite anime movie, there is sex and language.

My daughter loves anime and watches it nonstop, so she really loved this movie! However, I need other parents to know that this movie contains words like, “piss... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLulabyye July 31, 2018

Fairly appropriate but, somewhat confusing

I think this movie is great for older viewers. Not because of being inappropriate but, this along with many other anime style movies can be confusing. I believe... Continue reading

What's the story?

FIREWORKS tells a familiar story with a teen twist: Norimichi (voiced by Ryan Shanahan in the English-dubbed version of the film) has a crush on Nazuna (Brooklyn Nelson), but so does his louder, arrogant best friend, Yasuke (Aaron Dalla Villa). When the boys compete in a pool race and Norimichi is too distracted by Nazuna's presence to win, she ends up asking Yasuke out on a date. But it's the day of an annual festival in the town, and Yasuke would rather hang out with the other boys, who have an ongoing debate about whether fireworks are round or flat. So Norimichi ends up spending time with Nazuna and discovers that a mysterious ball she found by the sea has magical properties -- to rewind time and replay the day again, so he can be the one she asks out on the date. Norimichi continues to use the magical orb again and again until his day with Nazuna is practically perfect, while Yasuke and the other boys continue to fight about fireworks in anticipation of the festival's big display.

Is it any good?

Despite beautiful visuals of fireworks, flowers, beaches, and fluttery first love, this teen romance suffers from an uneven, unnecessarily convoluted plot and some iffy stereotypes about women. There are a few jarring, unexpectedly crude comments -- like about the teacher's "bouncing" breasts, a girl being a "dog," and jokes about betting over a woman's panties -- that will throw some viewers off. And then there's the constant focus on Nazuna's leggy, long-haired, wide-eyed beauty. She doesn't have much of a distinct personality other than being sweet Norimichi's ideal crush. While he gets to relive the day to win her over, woo her, and even save her from a forced move with her mother and new stepfather, she has little agency over the proceedings except to encourage and excite Norimichi. She may not be a pixie, but Nazuna sure is a dream girl.

That said, the movie's Groundhog Day-style romance, while familiar, isn't nearly as flat as the parallel plotline about the boys' bromantic debate about the shape of fireworks and their teacher's hotness. The boys are played for comic relief, but their ongoing debate about fireworks simply isn't that interesting. What is worth seeing, however, is the animation, which is topnotch and includes some lovely, dreamy landscapes, as well as realistic spaces like Norimichi's home, the kids' classroom, and the pool. Unlike the producers' runaway hit Your Name, Fireworks is neither as memorable nor as dynamic as its title suggests.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about who's a role model in Fireworks. Why? What are their character strengths?

  • Some critics have called this movie sexist in the way it relies on the "damsel in distress" stereotype. Do you agree?

  • Talk about the romance in the movie. Is the love story believable? Why do you think love triangles (or best friends liking the same person) are so common in popular culture?

  • How does the movie portray drinking? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

Movie details

For kids who love anime

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