Entering your adult life is perhaps one of the toughest moments you’ll have in life. The moment you have to pay your own bills, look for a job and finding your place in society are hardships all of us face one day. Your childhood days feel like they’ve passed in an instant.
Dareka no Manazashi isn’t a spectacular blockbuster and in some way it is cliché. But cliché doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t original in its execution or doesn’t get a point across to its audience. The underlying theme in Dareka is so strong that it managed to grip me during its short run.
The story is told from an all knowing perspective in which an entity tells the story of two people. A story in which Aya enters the path of adulthood, displaying it through a sequence of memorable moments in life.
As all people do, Aya changes over time. Not only physically, but also mentally. From her care free childhood days, through the confusing and character shaping puberty, towards standing on your own two feet in adulthood. Realizing that the care of your parents, was the most important thing you had in life.
I almost dare to say that the six minutes of this short film are a metaphor for the life of Aya. Because time flies so fast it almost feels like your childhood days were indeed six minutes. The parents of Aya must have felt the same way as they’ve seen their daughter grow in an instant.
The message of the show was so strong. The father that experiences the loss of his cat as a tragic event, now being all alone in an empty home. His wife away and his daughter living on her own. A very powerful underlying theme in which loneliness and insecurity dominate daily life.
Dareka is directed by Makoto Shinkai, the great creative who also brought us Byousoku 5 Centimeter, Kotonoha no Niwa and Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho. All these movies followed the same artistic and timeless look and feel Shinkai is famous for.
Dareka used familiar color schemes and lighting that resemble an oil or watercolor look. It’s like watching a painting coming to life. Frequent readers will know I am a fan of this type of style. The mesmerizing colors of a painting never seize to amaze me.
Though it must be said that the budget for this short film was probably not the highest of budgets. There was a fair amount of frames that weren’t fully animated, using colors to fill the backgrounds instead. Of course in no way does this affect the overall experience of the show.
Makoto Shinkai delivers again with Dareka no Manazashi. The underlying theme, storytelling and visuals take me away into another world for a brief six minutes.
I must admit that this show will probably have a stronger impact on people who can relate to the subject matter. Those in the younger demographic will perhaps experience this show as distance future. Despite that fact I still give this movie an 8 out of 10. I loved the overall look and feel and the strong message it passed onto its audience.