Tetsurou Araki’s post-apocalyptic animated film ‘Bubble’ recounts a story of love, sacrifice, and grief. Once bubbles begin to rain down on the world and eventually become limited to Tokyo — making it the epicenter of the inexplicable phenomena — the catastrophe that unfolds in the following months leaves many children without families. However, they go on to reclaim the abandoned city by using it as the battlefield for parkour team battles. Among these teenagers, Hibiki is the most natural and gifted player. While his life revolves around the only sport he knows and loves, everything changes when he meets a mysterious girl named Uta.
The dramatic love story of the duo can bring a tear to anyone’s eyes, and viewers gripped by their emotional story may wish to watch more anime similar to it. In case you are also one of them, then we have a few recommendations for you. Most of these anime like ‘Bubble’ are available for streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation, or Amazon Prime.
7. A Silent Voice (2016)
As a young boy, Shouya Ishida hurts and bullies his deaf classmate Shouko Nishimiya. Once the school takes action, his friends begin to point fingers at him, and he is suddenly isolated. In the following years, Shouya struggles to make peace with his past but one day decides to make things right by getting to know Shouko and eventually apologizing to her. While Shouya and Shouko’s relationship is quite different from that of Hibiki and Uta, the complex connection between the two couples does help them become better people and understand themselves generously. You can watch Shouya Ishida’s emotional and heartwarming story here.
6. Your Name. (2016)
Mitsuha Miyamizu has always dreamt of living in Tokyo, while Taki Tachibana is currently struggling to keep his life together in the city. So, when the lives of the two strangers get exchanged one ordinary morning, and they wake up in each other’s bodies, it marks the beginning of their journey to track one another as their fates intertwine in complex ways. Although there are very few similarities between ‘Your Name.’ and ‘Bubble,’ if you are looking for a unique film with themes like romantic subtext, then it’s quite likely that you will enjoy watching the former too. The movie is accessible for streaming here.
5. 5 Centimeters per Second (2007)
Although Takaki Toono and Akari Shinohara are madly in love with each other, their fate appears to push them further apart regardless of how much they wish to be in each other’s company. However, despite living far away from one another, they stick to their promise of staying in touch even when the inexorable march of the time tries to strip them of precious memories. Primarily focusing on the complexities of long-distance relationships, ‘5 Centimeters per Second’ recounts a love story that instills hope, just like ‘Bubble.’
4. Weathering with You (2019)
Just like ‘Bubble,’ ‘Weathering with You’ is set in Tokyo and recounts the story of a boy who meets a mysterious girl with supernatural powers. However, her powers come at a hefty price that eventually challenges the bond that they have formed by sharing each other’s time. With so many similarities in the central premise of both the anime, it goes without saying that fans of either one of the films will most likely be entertained by the other as well. You can stream ‘Weathering with You’ here.
3. The Garden of Words (2013)
‘The Garden of Words’ follows Takao Akizuki, an aspiring shoemaker who has an accidental encounter with a ravishing woman named Yukari Yukino while working on designs in a lush green garden in Tokyo. The first encounter paves the way for countless others throughout the rainy season as the duo gets to know each other. Mysteriously helping one another with pressing personal problems, Takao and Yukari come closer over time. However, as the rainy season approaches its end, the duo finally has to face a tough test of their bond that is comparable to Hibiki and Uta’s dilemma when the sister of the former starts to call her back to her roots. You can watch ‘The Garden of Words’ here.
2. Your Lie in April (2014 – 2015)
‘Your Lie in April’ is not a film like ‘Bubble’ but is undoubtedly one of the most painful romantic anime ever made. The show revolves around Kousei Arima, a prodigious pianist whose career begins to fall apart after a tragedy. As he is gripped by sorrow and despair, unable to hear the music of his own piano, Kousei meets the eccentric violinist Kaori Miyazono. She not only manages to bring a smile to his face but convinces him to resume his piano playing, which has been on hold for quite a while.
As the tunes of Kousei’s instrument leaves people dumbfounded again, he rediscovers himself in the process. The emotional bonding of the unlikely pair is quite comparable to the relationship shared by Hibiki and Uta. Therefore, we recommend fans of ‘Bubble’ add ‘Your Lie in April’ to their watchlists. The anime is accessible for streaming here.
1. Hotarubi no Mori e (2011)
Six-year-old Hotaru Takegawa finds herself in a world of trouble after she gets lost in the forest near her grandfather’s house. When it seems that she will probably pay a heft price for her recklessness, a mysterious boy named Gin offers her the much-needed help. However, because of a curse, he can’t be touched by a human being, and therefore, rudely declines the affectionate embrace of Hotaru.
In the following years, the duo comes closer to one another, struggling with the supernatural boundaries separating them. Gin’s dilemma may remind fans of ‘Bubble’ about Uta’s struggle and her ultimate sacrifice. Therefore, fans will surely find it fascinating to watch another film based on a somewhat similar dilemma that beautifully encapsulates love.