Yasuhiro Yoshiura is probably one of my favorite anime directors. He has created works such as Pale Cocoon, Time of Eve and most recently Harmonie. What makes his creations so compelling is how they have a rather distinct, almost mundane, style to sci-fi storytelling.
He explores grand concepts by utilizing smaller scenarios, which is especially seen in Time of Eve. It takes place in the future where robots and androids are commonplace, but rather than aiming big the story takes place in a small café bearing the titular name. Here, the concepts of humanity and androids are explored at ease with no right or wrong.
This is why Patema Inverted is such an interesting change from Yoshiura’s typical approach. The ideas are still there and as fascinating as ever, but they are never allowed to be the main focus. Instead, they are there constantly lying in the background and complementing the story – becoming an integral part of it – allowing for a more traditional love story unfold.
Instead, they are constantly lying in the background and acting as the foundation – becoming an integral part of the world – allowing for a more traditional love story to unfold. Rather than discussing these in great detail, they are merely always there as accepted facts.
What I love about Patema Inverted is how the main idea is more or less terrifying when put into perspective: there are people who have their gravity inverted, meaning they’ll fall straight up into the sky unless stopped. Every scene where the young inverted Patema has the vast sky below her I cannot help but fear for her life, as a little slip would make her fall down (up?) and meet her doom. The directing in Patema Inverted is as excellent as ever and utilizes this to a great extent, making more or less every scene nerve-racking.
Imaginably, this fear comes from the fact that while I find the sea mesmerizing, I cannot help but feel scared if I were to be put into the middle of nowhere with nothing but an endless abyss below of me. While the sky in Patema Inverted may lack disturbing deep-sea creatures, it still manages to give me the same feeling of utter helplessness.