Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms REVIEW

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms REVIEW

0 comments 📅26 June 2018, 17:02

Maquia is an Iolph, an immortal being whose clan remains separated from mankind so they can spend their lives in harmony as they weave the history of the world into elaborate fabric known as Hibiol. When their peaceful existence is destroyed by the arrival of knights from the Mesate kingdom, though, Maquia finds herself torn away from her people as they are either kidnapped or killed. Feeling completely alone, she wanders aimlessly until she comes across the sound of a new-born baby crying. The boy wails for his mother, who holds him tightly in her arms even in death, and so -rather than let him perish- Maquia decides to adopt him and raise him as her own.

With the help of a kind woman and her family, Maquia raises Arial in relative harmony and teaches him everything she knows. Living together as mother and son, the pair’s bond grows strong even though they are not blood-related, and Maquia quickly learns the meaning of love and family. Things are not as peaceful for comrades, though, as the remaining Iolph are scattered across the human world. Clear desperately wants to save his love Leilia from captivity, after she is forced to live in the royal household and bear children for the prince to pass down her immortality. When Maquia finds out his plan, she’s also determined to help save her, even with Arial in tow.

Mari Okada presents these two stories with finesse in her directorial debut, with both proving to be equally as interesting as they focus on the themes of motherhood and time. At the forefront is Maquia and Arial’s relationship, a love that remains strong even as the latter finds it hard to accept the growing gap between them. As he grows, Arial seems to be very much like a child as he struggles with his conflicting emotions and how to treat his adoptive mother. For the audience, it is touching to see Maquia’s selflessness and determination to protect her adoptive son despite these issues, while Arial’s development from boy into man is also fascinating.

Leilia has a much more troubling story to tell, one that is sure to move people as much as it distresses them. Unable to meet her daughter and believing herself to be completely alone, she’s a tragic figure who is unable to change her circumstances no matter how much she wants to. It’s her story that is the most heartachingly poignant. Her plight perfectly mirrors that of the Renato, dragons that have been captured by the same kingdom and who can now no longer find the drive to live free, even as they start to die off. Leilia’s link to Clear also proves to be emotional as he tries to return things to the way they were before, and yet has already lost his childish innocence through years of brutal mistreatment.

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms is a larger-than-life anime that is full of sweeping landscapes, mystical creatures, and the kind of emotional storyline that Okada is renowned for in the industry. It’s touching for its realistic portrayal of motherhood, particularly with regards to Maquia and Arial, and Okada pulls no punches in her directorial debut. She is a talented scriptwriter who has always proven her ability to move audiences to tears with her words, and with this anime she has shown that she can do even more when she takes the reins on a project. It is a fantasy epic that hits exactly where it needs to, and we hope that this is just the beginning of a bright new future for Okada as a director.

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms is released in cinemas nationwide on June 27.

 Mari Okada
Release: June 27
From: Anime Limited
Format: Theatrical Release
Age Rating: 15

Read more:

• Anime movie Maquia in UK cinemas this week
• One Cut of the Dead REVIEW
• Inuyashiki REVIEW

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