Children of the Sea: Nature Is Not a Force We Can Control

Children of the Sea is a stunningly beautiful film that I watched last month. It follows a 14-year-old named Ruka on her summer vacation. She feels drawn to the aquarium her father works at, and there meets a boy her age named Umi and later his adoptive brother Sora. These two were raised by dugongs (which are closely related to manatees) in the ocean. They swim like fish, their skin dries out in the sun, and due to their unique upbringing, they have a special appreciation for life.

The plot is easy enough to follow at first. Ruka spends most of her summer with the brothers, whom she feels a strong and inexplicable connection to. She understands them better than the researchers observing them, and feels the need to make sure they’re safe.

Then something strange begins to happen to the ocean. After a meteor falls into the sea, countless creatures begin to gather there, waiting for something. Marine biologists call this impending event « The Festival » and assume that the brothers will play some sort of role.

TIFF Next Wave Review: 'Children of the Sea' Has Beautiful Oceanic Visuals  that Distract from its Environmental Message Directed by Ayumu Watanabe
Clements, Sara. Umi and Ruka watch as the meteor falls to earth. Exclaim, 14 Feb. 2020,

Once the festival begins, the film becomes impossible to explain. It’s a kaleidoscope of colours and galaxies and a metaphor for many things. Against her wishes, Ruka has to say goodbye to Umi and Sora, who have been chosen by the universe to help expand it. They who lose their physical forms and burst into stars. The end of their lives acts as a beginning for many others.

Children of the Sea is Unspeakably Beautiful and Unnecessarily Dense –  Biggest In Japan
Eisenbeis, Richard. Ruka swimming during the festival. Biggest In Japan, 17 June 2019,

Even though I was confused by the ending (no doubt you are too), I do think I understood one of its messages: we cannot control the Earth. She has her own plans for the future, whether we are on board or not. Ruka couldn’t stop the festival anymore than we can stop the sun from rising.

We can only allow nature to take its course.

10 réflexions au sujet de “Children of the Sea: Nature Is Not a Force We Can Control”

  1. Nice post, learned a lot about this movie I’ve never seen and that’s always a plus in my book. Your writing style is also very clean and concise, you don’t use too many words to describe simple concepts and thus respect the intelligence of your reader. You also made very few errors so I never had to double take or read something twice. My only issue is that most of the post ended up being more of a summary then an actual analysis of the story itself and its environmental message. While I understand the need to give some context and not purely discuss the message from the get-go, the summary ended up being the main focus. The message ended up being left towards the end and could have been further explored. Other then that, I personally enjoyed reading and my last criticism has more to do with subject matter then anything else. Great work

    1. Hi Omar. Thank you for commenting. I made an effort to keep the post short and sweet, so I’m glad you noticed.

      The 5 spelling mistakes were made because I completely forgot to run what I wrote through spellcheck. That was a bit embbarassing lol, so I definitely won’t forget in the future.

      As for the contents of my post, I did have trouble staying on track. I think the issue was that I didn’t write an outline. Like Shazib mentioned, the analysis part came off as a bit of an afterthought. I’ll plan ahead next time.

  2. I haven’t watched this movie myself but after having read your post, I’d love to see it for myself! I found it interesting how you were able to draw an environmental message from a movie that seems to not correlate it. However, your post seemed mostly like a summary of the film and a bit less like one that has nature as the main idea. Your analysis of the environmental message was good but it just felt like an afterthought. For the future, I would suggest keeping reminding yourself of the main idea while writing your post so that you don’t miss out on mentioning it earlier. This will help to make links earlier in your post about the subject to an idea you have. Otherwise, the overall writing was well executed as your word choice and sentence structures helped to understand the story and its meaning.

    1. Hi Shazib, thank you for the feedback. I’m glad the film piqued your interest and I encourage you to see it. I thought it was great!

      I also felt that my post “seemed mostly like a summary of the film”, not an analysis. I didn’t plan too far ahead, and veered off course while writing. I’ll be sure to try the strategy you suggested next time.

      The only thing I don’t agree with is that there is no correlation between this film and the environment. There definitely is. If you end up watching Children of the Sea, I think it’ll be obvious to you too. Unfortunately, I didn’t communicate this effectively to my audience. Just another thing I’ll have to work on.

  3. Hey Eden. I found this summary well-written and you made me interested in watching this movie. The images you used are stunning and fit well into the blog. There’s a small amount of spelling mistakes so I suggest you read your blog before publishing it. The conclusion was excellent and really made me think about how we co-exist with the environment. One thing I have to add is the fact that this blog lacked much of an analysis. You mostly summarized the story and just added a thought at the end. I feel like you could’ve put a lot more detail in the interpretation of the environmental message. Overall, I liked how efficient your writing is, you didn’t need to write too much for us to understand. Your blog was entertaining and the film looks very intriguing.

    1. Hi Imtiaz, thaks for commenting.

      I also think my post was a little unbalanced. The prompt asked us to review the film, not summarize it and tag an environemntal message onto the end. In the future, I’ll try to be more mindful about where I’m going with my ideas, and stick to instructions.

      And sorry about the spelling errors. I didn’t remember to use spell check this time around, but I won’t forget again lol.

  4. Waddup Eden, I watched the trailer and read your blog, this movie is beautiful. Your post is very readable and the bits of information are easily digestible. Your take on it, « We can only allow nature to take its course. », I find to be the super solid cause of the way you describe the movie, everything feels like it flows naturally (pun intended). My one critique is that your post is more of a summary than an analysis which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because you make your take on the message deliberate at the end but it would have been nice to see a more developed in-depth analysis.

    1. Hi Eden,

      Your blog is fantastic. It was short and concise and most of what you wanted out. I appreciate you giving us a trailer on the topic. A huge critique I can give you is that you focused more on the summary/analysis aspect instead of the environmental message of <>. It would’ve been amazing if you elaborated more on your hidden environmental message <>

      1. Hi Nithusan, thank you for the compliments and the constructive criticism. I appreaciate it.

        I agree I spent too much time explaining the film, and not enough on it’s environmental message. I had an vague idea of what I wanted the post to be like, but I should’ve fleshed it out further before I got started.

        I’ll make a point to elaborate more on my ideas in my next post.

    2. Hi Parker. I agree! The movie is gorgeous. And I’m happy you felt my post was well written.

      I also agree with your criticism. I didn’t focus enough on the film’s environmental message, and I could’ve planned things a lot better. Next time I’m going to outline my ideas before I get to writing.

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