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Legendary Creators Say Netflix's Latest Anime Hit Is Inspired By The Little Mermaid

In case you haven't noticed, Netflix has been pumping out a ton of anime content. Just this year alone, Netflix has 40 anime titles slated for release, which include feature length films, new series, as well as adaptations, per Forbes. There's no doubt that Netflix's bump in anime media has something to do with the genre's growing popularity in recent years — at this point, anime has cemented its place among the entertainment industry with titles like "Attack on Titan" and "Demon Slayer" gaining widespread popularity. 

One of the most exciting titles to hit the streaming service this year is the film "Bubble" directed by Tetsuro Araki. Having directed fan favorites "Attack on Titan" and "Death Note," Araki is a huge name in the world of anime. Plus, the film was produced by Genki Kawamura, who spearheaded films like "Your Name." and "Weathering with You," so it's safe to say "Bubble" has some major talent behind it. And while the movie's plot and style are both incredibly unique, the legendary creators did reveal that a classic fairytale was a big inspiration for the film.

Bubble borrows from The Little Mermaid

"Bubble" is a visually stunning film set in Tokyo where the city's broken gravity has led to its separation from the rest of the world. In a city isolated from the world, groups of young people have risen up to use Tokyo as their playground for parkour battles. When a player named Hibicki, voiced by Mamoru Miyano of "Soul Eater" fame, falls into a depthless sea, he's saved by a mysterious girl named Uta (Emi Lo). It turns out the two met for a reason, and they may have found a chance to save Tokyo.

According to the director and producer of "Bubble," the film was influenced by a very popular story about underwater love, and it's not hard to guess which one. Speaking to ComicBook.com, producer Genki Kawamura said, "You're going to be seeing a lot of elements in the film, including a motif that is layered on a very classic fairytale, 'The Little Mermaid.' But you will also be seeing very contemporary elements in the film, such as the sport of parkour or this isolated Tokyo that kind of reminds us of our current predicament as we try to survive the pandemic." 

With all of the underwater action in "Bubble," it's not hard to imagine how "The Little Mermaid" played a role in the film, particular in relation to one person from the surface world falling in love with someone from under the sea. The connection between both the Hans Christian Andersen story (plus its Disney adaptation) and the anime film has been commented on by many viewers, and was also referenced by screenwriter Gen Orobuchi (per Comic Book Resources), who described "Bubble" as being a twist on the classic narrative.

"Bubble" is streaming now on Netflix.