Her Blue Sky mainly focuses on teenage Aoi Aioi finding herself disillusioned with her life as her older sister, Akane, was forced to raise her on their own years earlier due to the loss of their parents in a car accident and assumes she led to Akane's separation from her former boyfriend and aspiring musician, Shinnosuke Kanamaro. Wanting to be a musician like Shinnosuke, Aoi has become a skilled bass guitarist and is shocked to see a past manifestation of him appear bound to an abandoned building at the same time an older Shinnosuke returns as a supporting guitarist for an enka band.
Her Blue Sky offers solid and grounded exploration of the developments facing Aoi, Akane, and both the younger and older incarnations of Shinnosuke seen throughout the film. Each of the four have their challenges they are learning to confront with the different circumstances and stages of life each are in. Akane and older Shinnosuke are each coping with the decisions they made while younger and learning to live with them as adults. Akane made for an interesting character as she coped with the pressures some pushed on her at points with trying to marry to reduce the burden placed on her caring for Aoi as a single woman, but able to keep her composure in spite of the challenges and stresses. Being a teen, Aoi is naive to the pressures that her older sister had gone through raising her and assumes she is somehow burdening her sister by costing her her relationship with Shinnosuke and being disillusioned that his older self has becoming a struggling musician. The younger Shinnosuke appears to be a representation of what the older incarnation sacrificed from his youth to keep himself going after Akane dumped him years earlier. The parallels between the two incarnations make for an interesting comparison with the younger incarnation having his idealistic aspirations to pursue and the older one confronting the realities of his decisions in adulthood while getting some measure of satisfaction from still being a musician.
The character developments aside, Her Blue Sky isn't without its imperfections. The implementation of its supernatural elements are a bit of a doubled-edged sword. While young Shinnosuke's appearance helps add an additional layer of exploring the issues surrounding the character dynamics between Aoi, Akane, and the older Shinnosuke, the film did get a bit overboard with things for it toward the finale that clashed badly with the more grounded storytelling shown throughout the majority of the film. Plus, the film doesn't really dabble too deeply into what led the younger Shinnosuke to exist within the future without any time abnormalities taking place. And speaking of the ending, it did feel a bit anti-climactic seeing a rather needless plot device that the film resorted to in order to conveniently resolve all the ongoing character developments all at once as this also went against the grounded storytelling of the film's majority. The film probably could have been a bit more longer to properly resolve its character developments instead of having the rather sloppy ending it used to rush through things.
As it is, Her Blue Sky was still a decent movie for me as it did offer solid and occasionally engaging developments with its major characters dealing with decisions that affect their futures and learning to appreciate the bonds they have with one another. The sloppily-implemented ending does ruin the viewing experience somewhat. But if you're looking for a decent two hours to kill for an anime film, you'll at least won't feel like you wasted time with seeing Her Blue Sky.
Rating: 7.5 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for