If You Like These Anime… You’ll LOVE Big Fish & Begonia
The incredible Big Fish & Begonia, a magical Chinese animation about love, death, friendship, family and – yes – a pretty big fish, is coming to selected UK cinemas on April 18! To celebrate, we’re looking back over our anime catalogue to find the films that we think share some of the qualities that make Big Fish such a compelling watch – and an absolute must-see for animation fans. If you like these anime films, we just know that you’ll LOVE Big Fish & Begonia!
Find your nearest screening of Big Fish & Begonia here.
In a world within our world, yet unseen by any human, the beings there control time and tide and the changing of the seasons. On the day Chun turns sixteen, she is transformed into a dolphin to explore the human world. She is rescued from a vortex by a human boy at the cost of his own life. Chun is so moved by the boy’s kindness and courage that she decides to give him life again. But to do this, she must protect the boy’s soul, a tiny fish, and nurture it to grow. Through adventure and sacrifice, love grows, yet now she must release him back to the sea, back to life in the human world.
Composition is Key
While the story of a high school time traveller might seem pretty far removed from the magic and folklore of Big Fish & Begonia, the two films do share a strong connection – through their music! The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was Japanese composer Kiyoshi Yoshida’s first foray into film scores back in 2006 and then, ten years later, he went on to lend his musical talent to Big Fish & Begonia.
While each OST is of course tailored to its film and themes, the way they capture and represent the range of emotions and relationships between characters is unmistakably linked. If you love the wistful beauty of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time‘s score, we think you’ll really enjoy Yoshida’s work on the gorgeous Big Fish & Begonia!
Kiyoshi Yoshida also worked on music for the anime Shigurui: Death Frenzy, Kaiba and Kurozuka.
One of our favourite things about animated films is their ability to create such rich, detailed and beautiful worlds for the viewer to explore. Journey to Agartha transports main character Asuna – and us along with her – to the mysterious world of Agartha where mythical beasts roam and brave warriors fight for their lives… It’s a gorgeous exploration of an even more beautiful landscape.
Big Fish & Begonia also plays on the connection between the human existence and a magical one – taking us to visit a mysterious world located beneath the sea. It’s a land full of mystery – snowy landscapes segue into rivers of clouds, and sun soaked plains contrast sharply with the dark and gloomy underground chambers that protagonist Chun encounters along her journey. We love both Journey to Agartha and Big Fish & Begonia for their brilliant and beautiful world building – and we know you will too!
Agartha is also believed to a place where even the dead can be brought back to life… one of the ideas explored along Chun’s journey.
Origin: Spirits of the Past is another story with a brilliant world to explore – but what strikes us most is the film’s relationship with nature! Three hundred years after mankind’s interference with the environment left Earth in ruins, humanity is divided and plant-life has regained control of the planet. The film explores the relationship between humanity and the forest in light of this new dynamic – it’s sometimes violent, and often combative, but also strikes a solemn chord on our close connection to the natural world.
Big Fish & Begonia tells the story of how ancient fish were the first incarnations of the human soul, and that when our souls die, they drift back down to the ‘world beneath the ocean’ to rejoin their place of origin. The inhabitants of this world are the ‘others’ – and they control time, tides and the sea… Even the characters themselves seem to meld with nature, with Chun’s grandfather slowly transforming into a tree throughout the film. Based on ancient Chinese folklore, the film focuses on humanity’s proximity with the ocean and offers a poignant, soulful look at our interactions with nature.
Find out more about the world of Big Fish & Begonia by watching the clip below!
Big Fish & Begonia screens in select UK cinemas from April 18 – watch the trailer below and book your tickets here.
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