I still remember to this day the moment I saw Malk posting on her Twitter account a paint, painted by one of her fellow students in school, where the girl was painting a canvas that connects both the sea and space in total harmony.
That canvas left me wondering about the complicated relationship that connects those two opposite; the vitality nature of underwater life, and the absolute silence in outer space. It’s been years till a friend of mine shared with me her breathtaking sketch that I’ve found it briefly describes the plot of the movie which is named “Children Of The Sea”.
We saw in this movie lots of symbols and metaphysical themes and scientific references whether if it was in astrophysics, quantum physics, cosmology, and even in biology and both within the biggest ecosystem ever, and within the smallest once as well, such as the tiniest detailed underwater creatures and the most smart complicated large once like the whales.
The author, the inspiration, and the title
“Children of the sea” is a Japanese comic book a.k.a manga, that has been published from 2007 till 2012 by the Japanese artist “Daisuke Igarashi“, who’s better known for his manga “little forest” which has been adopted as movies both in the Japanese and the Korean screens.
Igarashi was inspired by a song named as “Children Of The Sea” by one of the 60s heavy metal band which named as “black sabbath”. Igarashi was also inspired by Arthur C. Clark’s movie adoption of his series “A Space Odyssey: 2001”.
The studio behind this movie is “Studio 4°C” which better known for their wide range of uses for the CGI techniques on their movies, whether if that was in one of Project Itoh’s movies “Harmony 2015”, or on the Berserk movies, moreover, Kenichi Konishi whose better known for being an animator in Ghibli‘s studio has also worked on this movie.
The story takes a place in one fine summer vacation on a Japanese island named “Enoshima”, and there we follow a 14 years-old high school junior student named “Ruka”, who has a strange memory about the aquarium that kept haunting her since she was a child.
The main themes of the movie
The movie contain lots of symbols and different themes along the way. The main themes on the movies are the sea, the whales, the universe and the meteors. Besides the birth and death and family and life in general.
There were lots of myths since ancient times where people were trying to explain how life starts through mythology, but unlike most people, the ancient philosophers had a different approach about reaching the truth through the “demythologize” which means simply that they tried to remove the mythological addictions from the image of explaining the world. Empedocles for example said that the world is made of four main elements “the fire, the air, the earth and the water”. Another approach too was made by the Ionian philosopher Thales of Miletus, when he said:
nourishment of all things is moist
and that even the hot is created from the wet and lives by it
Aftet Thales came another Greek philosopher named as “Xenophanes” before the 6th century and he said:
The great sea is the parent
The sea is the source of water and wind
The great sea is the parent of clouds, winds and rivers
Within the continuous development of modern science, it becomes common knowledge that our planet earth contained 70% of water, therefore, water is a necessary reason for all different living creatures to continuing living. In addition to that, water is one of the important pointers for astronauts when searching for life in outer space.
The scientific references during the movie would make a lot of sense, considering that knowledge about how important the water is, both in our daily life, and in the long term of the evolutionary journey of life on earth; cause lots of researches have found that the first forms of life that had been on Earth were in the seas, and it was specifically one of the types of “seahorse” which believed to have been existed around 85 million years ago, in the Cretaceous’s era, which represents one of the five eras and the geological epochs that the Earth has passed through it, from the smallest marine creatures of simple composition to the smartest and most complicated mammals, including whales. Therefore, it seems that the symbolism in the title “Children of the Sea” is gaining some significant meaning because of this knowledge.
Whales has always been surrounded by that mighty, mystical aura, whither if that was within the folker myths that was spread all over the west and east, or through the religious miracles, or even in the classical literature like Moby-Dick, the most popular work, written by the American writer Herman Milfel, where the story is mainly about the snail crew’s most important mission about finding that white whale which named as “Moby-Dick”. In choosing the color white for the whale, it represents a deep symbol because of the science behind the colors, especially white, which mainly contains of three main colors: red, blue, and green and that lead us to one of the main novel’s themes and it’s the discussion of such topics like faith and certainty within the higher forces and within finding the whale, or the huge absurdity about everything within the uncertain amount of uncertainty.
In the fields of environmental and biological float, “mosses” are one of the most vital indicators that indicate the health of the ecosystem, but there are many other indicators that are also inferred from the health of ecosystems vital, including blocking and studying climate changes, melting the ice in the poles , And the habitat of many living creatures, whether wild or marine, have changed. Besides taking into account that whales are threatened with extinction due to overfishing, which has led to a shrinkage of their numbers up to 10% of their original numbers, whale deaths on the beaches are considered a severe consequence of climate change, and the degradation of the ecosystem from which the earth suffers today, which is portrayed in various visual media. Among them are video games.
As for cetaceans, a branch of science related to marine mammals, they study the behavior, characteristics and evolution of whales. Whales are considered one of the smartest mammals that are characterized by their social intelligence, which results in a series of sound vibrations in the form of sounds, which is a language for communication between the whales among them, but it does not consist of words.
Humpback whales are about 11 to 19 meters long and are medium-sized whales. It has a lot of unique habits such as a big jump called bleaching, a bubble net feeding that cooperates with friends to make a bubble ring and drive prey. The biggest feature of humpback whales is “singing”, which is quite different from other types of whales. It has been observed that songs range from a few minutes to over 30 minutes, with a maximum of 20 hours of repeated singing. Songs have a complex hierarchical structure . The basic unit of a song, which lasts for a few seconds, is a single vocalization without a middle row, which varies from 20 to 10 kilohertz. The basic unit of 4 to 6 forms a subphrase that lasts about 10 seconds. A phrase is composed of two subphrases, and the humpback whale repeats the same phrase over and over for several minutes. This repetition is called a theme, which continues for about 20 minutes and is repeated. This changes slowly over time and can last for hours, sometimes days. Whale songs are said to reach 3,000 km. The song of the humpback whale is recorded with various sounds representing the earth on the record loaded on the unmanned planetary explorer Voyager launched in 1977 .
Whales also have an important dimension in the story of the film, where whales represent the incubating environment or a conduit for a new life or birth, just like a mother’s womb, and this is a sign of the similarity between the two; humankind and whale for being the smartest mammal.
“The story of belonging to the stars
From the children of the stars
And the birth of stars
And many stars
The sea belongs to this world.
Those were the opening words in which the film began, and all its metaphysical events in the film followed, in which the universe, stars, and meteorites represented a major course of the film’s events. The film focuses largely on metaphysics, the idea that we are made up of the same materials that the universe and stars are made of.
Everyone carries a mini universe inside of them. The universe is made up of 90% of the dark matter, the secret of our bodies and what is considered dark matter also, one cannot see, just as a very limited knowledge of the universe is represented to us, the same thing includes the superficial apparent destiny through which we can only see ourselves in it.
One of the theories describing the emergence of life on the planet Earth is the “Panspermia Theory”, a theory that assumes the connection of celestial bodies, including the meteorite specifically, in the emergence of life on Earth that assumes the emergence of life on the planet after a giant meteor collided with the Earth.
Meteorites have a symbolic dimension in the anime, they are a representation or embodiment of creation or new formed beginnings, a symbolic sign of sexual physiological processes rather than a representation of semen, or Sperm, which brings with it new vital beginnings.
Festival Of Birth
The “ceremonial” is one of the famous anime topics, which is closely related to the identity of Japanese culture, and it implicitly differs from one region to another, due to the geographical diversity of Japan, as it consists of archipelagos, which is a group of different islands, and each island is characterized by its own rituals and celebrations and feasts with various goals. The festive trait in the anime movie “Children of the Sea” takes on the cosmic character; It combines all of these previous concepts, the sea, the whales, the universe and meteorites, and the interactions of humankind and their memories with all of them, creating a celebration called “Festival Of Birth”, where this celebration is described within the following words.
The universe is a living entity
The star with the sea is the uterus
Meteorite is sperm
At this moment – the moment of birth, the sea and the whale are the parents responsible for childbirth, and the meteorites are the sperm which is responsible for that life that Roka carries in her belly. The meteorites then translate Roka’s memories and experiences into a form and a kind by which to see by her, and then Roka is transforms into a dark black celestial body, with which it becomes the embodiment of the a small universe herself.
Quantum theory and the paradox of the Schrödinger principle are embodied in suspicion during the birth celebration; Many staring eyes appear during that celebration, pointing to the symbolism and the inevitability of difficulty, and the inevitability of confirming the behavior and monitoring of the elementary particles in the universe, due to Schrödinger’s principle of suspicion that the unnoticed particles do not necessarily exist until we see them by looking at them, and once we witness seeing it or observing it by ourselves, as it confirms that it is already there, including the interpretation of the sight of eyes at that moment, which indicates that the world exists at the moment that you see it, and only when you see it.
The events of this film happens nevertheless under a cover of magical, metaphysical aura, and many things get a metaphysical or intuitive range, communication that takes place on non-physical or imperceptible ranges, cosmic communication through telepathy or convergent wavelength, or other things that may be a symbolic sign of the method of how whales are communicating through it, not by language, but rather by a method that the language cannot reach, and it is perhaps one of the most important messages that the film wanted to broadcast to the viewer.
How the life is born?
How the universe is born?
Where do we come from and where do we go?
Since the most important things like these belong to areas beyond the limits of humanity’s verbalization, we cannot speak them in words, however, there is no choice but to experience it as it is . In short, that was the movie. A live experience that doesn’t depend on words.