Studio Ghibli composer and an extremely eclectic director team up for what looks like an unprecedented anime experience.

The most anticipated anime movie of the summer is, indisputably, Weathering with You/Tenki no Ko. It is, after all, the first piece of animation Makoto Shinkai has directed since Your Name, and audiences are dying to see what he’s going to do next.

However, some people might argue that they can already guess what Shinkai is going to do next, since, as a director, he has an extremely specific visual and storytelling style that he’s been honing over the last 15-plus years. But if you find yourself craving an anime film that looks like nothing else in recent memory, you’re still in luck, as shown by the trailer for Children of the Sea.

▼ You’ll want to turn your speakers on, because the trailer doubles as a music video for the film’s theme song, “Umi no Yurei” (“Ghosts of the Sea”) by Vocaloid songsmith-turned-singer Kenshi Yonezu.

The latest theatrical feature from anime house Studio 4°C, Children of the Sea (or Kaiju no Kodomo, “Children of the Sea Beasts,” to use its Japanese title) is an adaptation of the manga of the same name, which ran from 2006 to 2011. After a falling out with both her mother and the other members of her school club, female lead and junior high school student Ruka finds herself with nowhere to spend her days during summer vacation, and so she ends up hanging out at the aquarium where her father works. While there, she meets a mysterious pair of brothers, named Umi and Sora, who her father tells her were “raised by dugongs.”

▼ Though neither swarthy Umi nor fair-skinned Sora resemble the manatee-like sea mammals that supposedly raised them.

The three teens share some sort of connection to a series of supernatural phenomena that have been affecting the world’s marine life, such as a comet falling into the sea and aquatic life from around the world gathering in Japan.

Visually, the film is bold and stunning, with extremely detailed environments and color design that immediately communicates the temperature and humidity of each scene, making for what looks to be an incredibly immersive environment for its distinctly designed characters.

Oh, and if you’re wondering if the rest of Children of the Sea’s soundtrack will be as impressive as its bittersweetly haunting Kenshi Yonezu theme song, the smart money would be on “Yes,” since the rest of the movie’s music is being handled by Joe Hisaishi, composer for the vast majority of Studio Ghibli’s anime, including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro.

▼ The one-minute trailer for Children of the Sea

Making Children of the Sea even more mysterious is the man in the director’s chair for the project: Ayumu Watanabe. Watanabe’s diverse resume includes directing credits for Mysterious Girlfriend X, which is about a high school boy who drinks his girlfriend’s drool, After the Rain, a story of a high school girl and middle-aged restaurant manager forming an emotional bond through their shared difficulties dealing with loss of purpose, and over a dozen theatrical installments of perennial kids’ favorite Doraemon.

Watanabe’s breadth of experience and styles makes it hard to pin down what the eventual message and lasting emotion of Children of the Sea is going to be, but audiences will be able to find out for themselves when it opens in Japanese theaters on June 7.

Images: YouTube/米津玄師
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!