There really isn’t that much to do in a small Japanese farming town in summer, especially when you’re a teenager at the bottom of your high school’s social hierarchy. Roma, a farmer’s son with modest ambitions in life, is best friends with Toto, who’s just returned from his studies in Tokyo. Their little clique of two, which they’ve nicknamed Don Glees, will have to make room for a third member, Drop, also just arrived in town. What Drop lacks in size and years, he makes up for with irrepressible enthusiasm—despite the sad secret he occasionally hints at. The Don Glees tradition of a summer fireworks party of their own becomes more exciting when they buy a drone to film the festivities, but then the drone is carried off by the wind, and a forest fire breaks out. Suspicion falls on them, and proving their innocence means finding the lost drone and its memory card. The trio set out on their bikes for an expedition into the remote mountain forest, and begin and adventure that will leave none of their lives unchanged.
What regrets would you have if the world ended tomorrow? That’s the question posed by the first original feature from Atsuko Ishizuka, the director of the globally acclaimed anime series A PLACE FURTHER THAN THE UNIVERSE and a longstanding team member at the renowned anime studio Mad House. With richly rendered rural backdrops and carefully executed animation that cuts no corners, Ishizuka’s GOODBYE, DON GLEES! is a memorable, bittersweet coming-of-age story that strikes just the right balance goofy comedy, poignant tragedy, thoughtful reflection, and a hint of the fantastic. – Rupert Bottenberg
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