The Prickle (@ThePrickle) November 10, 2019
The second feature-length anime from Japanese studio Graphinica is a hyper-cutesy sci-fi romance set in Kyoto of the not-too-distant future, where 16-year-old Naomi Katagaki (Takumi Kitamura) is visited by a version of himself from ten years in the future (Tôri Matsuzaka).
On a sci-fi level, the movie focuses around the idea of mass data collection becoming so intensely detailed that it evolves into its own form of artificial intelligence. This is alluded to in the title: often the first program written by people learning to code is a message that reads, “Hello, World!” Directed by Tomohiko Itō, the visuals explore how bits and bytes might think and feel, with colourful and wacky results.
In terms of the romance, we have seen this plot before: in a romance doomed to fail, a time-traveller goes back in time to rewrite the past. As a teen, Katagaki has almost no social interactions whatsoever, and seems disastrously ill-matched with the bulshy, inscrutable Ruri Ichigyō (Minami Hamabe).
The movie depicts Kyoto as a squeaky clean city in permanent sunshine, with no crowds, lots of quiet, and lots of free space. Major landmarks feature prominently throughout the film, to the extent where it almost feels like propaganda for Kyoto. While this works for the storyline to a certain extent, we are left wanting a bit of grit by the end. But this won’t stop you enjoying a stylish, thought-provoking sci-fi anime: it’s worth seeing this on the big screen.
Check out the Hello World website for international release dates.