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In the land of Iolph, all the people stop aging in their mid-teens and can live for hundreds of years. One resident, Maquia, feels lonely despite the peaceful and idyllic land she lives in. But one day, the Mesarte army invades Iolph, seeking the peoples' blood for their immortality. Maquia manages to escape the destruction and chaos of war, but with no home or people, she becomes a wanderer in a dark forest. She comes across Erial, an infant mortal boy who has lost his parents, and becomes his guardian. The story follows the relationship that evolves between the two as Erial grows up while Maquia does not.
The backgrounds and scenery shots are jarringly beautifully drawn almost from start to finnish, but the characters often pop out too much and their movements are a bit stiff and unnatural.
The story is similarly beautiful but especially towards the end feels like it's made for one purpose only: to make people cry no matter what. This makes it feel less credible. To achieve that, the ending has been stretched out unnecessarily in contrast to many scenes mid way that feel rushed. Nevertheless the plot is decent enough to keep you interested and such a classic fantasy story that it fits the artwork perfectly.
The acting is for the most part fine and believable, but the main character's voice is just jarringly high-pitched even on anime standards. When she's crying (which happens A LOT) or shouting it just hurts your ears and causes headache. The purpose is to make the character seem young, but it just makes her annoying to listen to, which is a big problem since she is the main character. Other voice actors, sound design and music were just fine, though nothing amazing.
All in all, you will get the most out of this movie by viewing it in the highest quality possible, in cinemas, blu-ray, 1080p etc. Don't waste your time watching it in 720p or on DVD. It is a beautiful work of art and should be viewed as such.
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