Flavors of Youth: Plenty of Youth but Lacking Flavor

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Flavors of Youth: Plenty of Youth but Lacking Flavor

Gwyneth Cook, Staff Writer

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Netflix has released breathtaking original anime over the past couple of years such as, The Seven Deadly Sins, Violet Evergarden, and Devilman Crybaby. However, its most recent film, Flavors of Youth, lacks not only in flavor, but in appeal and storyline. Fans greatly anticipated the film because it was directed by the makers of Kimi no na Wa, a highly praised romance. Flavors of Youth is composed of three different short stories. Although they don’t relate to each other, they all emphasis how the main character regrets a certain part of their youth and the mistakes they made.

The first short story focuses on Shaomin and his love for rice noodles. As a young boy he would eat these noodles every morning with his grandmother, while savoring the succulent flavor of the broth and thickness of the noodles. Then, he would eat them while glancing at his middle school crush on the way to school. The film mostly capture Shaomin’s love for noodles and nothing else. At this point, the film was leaning more towards a cooking anime than a slice of life.

The second story´s protagonist, Yi Lin, is a model and decreasing in popularity as she grows older. She takes care of her young adult sister Lulu, who designs clothes but doesn’t receive recognition until late in the story. Yi Lin´s manager, Mr.Steve, encourages her to continue modeling despite her lack of success. The story overall wasn’t bad, but turned out to be a cliche plot when the sisters realized they worked better together than apart.

However, it was the final short story that lacked the most flavor. A Shanghai love story takes place between two childhood friends: Xiao Yu and Limo. Xiao Yu is a very smart girl, whereas Limo is average. The two communicate with one another through tape recordings, but stop after Limo focuses more on his studies to go to the same college as Xiao Yu. The ending, as expected, brings them together as adults. Overall, the film as a whole lacks interest and a good quality storyline. It had a lot of potential, but simply fell short in the end.

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