Flavors of Youth is a Anime movie consisting of three stories with different characters in it. It is based in the city of China where these characters are in their adulthood reminiscing about their past. The title itself tells you that the movie will take you through different aspects of youth. It is interesting how even though the movie is divided into three stories, the crux of it is the same. Every story does a good job of delivering the emotions that are attached to our young days. As an adult watching it brings a semblance of peace and makes you recall everything good about your young days.
In today’s world where we are moving forward in life, taking up on new things, and investing so much time for our future that the past seems almost hazy. Do we have time to sit around and think about the good days? The days when we were young, full of hope, and all we wanted was to be an adult. Here we are living the adult part but most of us know how precious our days of youth are. This movie gives you the time to feel that nostalgia while you relate to the things the characters are going through.
Story One – The Rice Noodles
The Rice Noodles is a good start to the Flavors of Youth movie. Xiao Ming is an adult who is living city life. You get a feeling that he is lonely and he thinks back to his past. His memories lead him to eating San Xian Noodles with his grandmother and feeling super happy about it. The food animations are always peaceful to watch, and the making of the noodles is a treat to see. Also, the warmth you can feel when Xiao Ming is eating the noodles is real. Some special food items are always attached to special people in our past. When you have a certain food that is good and it leaves an impact on you, it is not just about the food but the people you are having with or the things that remind you of it.
Xiao Ming was a fan of these noodles. But it seemed like throughout his life he did not always have the same tasting noodles. It tells us how things hardly ever remain the same when we are dealing with life. But surprises do come along the way. I think the ending of the story is beautiful in the way he goes back to his hometown somehow has a similar experience to his younger self. And it makes him hopeful about the things in future. It refreshes his soul enough to feel content and know that he will carry on in his life. We might not always have the good past experiences happening to us again but sometimes in a different way we encounter things that bring the same warmth and makes us feel happy.
Story Two – A Little Fashion Show
A Little Fashion Show is about two sisters who live with each other after their parents passed away. The older sister Yi Lin works as a model in the fashion industry and supports the younger one Lulu financially. Their personalities are very different from each other. Yi Lin finds herself in a tough place with her work. She loves fashion and doing something with it has always been her dream. So she is completely living her dream. But she feels unhappy because other newcomers are surpassing her in the industry. Yi Lin is unsure about her future. Doing something she loves starts to feel not so good when the growth is stagnant. This story of Flavors of Youth tells us to not push ourselves too hard even when we are doing things we love. Because it takes out the fun from it.
You need to give yourself a break. Remind yourself of the whole purpose with which you started something and keep that close to your heart. And eventually, you will make strides in your life. Exhaustion will be there even with doing things we love so it is important to always take breaks so you can come back ten times stronger.
Story Three – Love in Shanghai
Grab your tissues before you start watching this part of Flavors of Youth. This one breaks your heart. But it also mends it back so do not worry about watching it. Li Mo in the present day is an architect and he moved places recently so he is unpacking. He comes across a tape that takes him back to his past. Li Mo remembers that there is a tape recorder at his grandparents’ place and hurriedly rushes to get there. We are taken back to the past where we see why the tape is so important. And the reason for Li Mo rushing frantically to listen to it.
In the past, we see Li Mo with two other kids – Xiao Yu and Pan. I like this story because it shows the friendship these three kids have with each other. And it is so sweet how Li Mo talks about his dream as a kid is to build a house where Pan and Xiao Yu are living there too. It just reminds me of the younger days when you feel like people whom you love will always live with you. As an adult, you understand that is hardly feasible. But it is such a nice thing to dream as a kid. We get to see that here. Li Mo and Xiao Yu seem to exchange tapes while recording random things on them for each other. Things eventually fall out when events occur that are out of their hands. This story also tells you how important Communication is because everything could be so different if you just take the time to communicate.
It does a good job of tugging at your heartstrings, making you emotional. Reminding you of all the people you lost touch with or who are not in your life anymore. Sometimes things do not work out the way we want them to.
Is it worth watching?
There are times when you do not feel like watching anything. You are sitting in front of your laptop and thinking what could you watch? But nothing stands out because you are not in the mood. I think that is one of the best times to pick this movie up. It feels quiet and you do not have to put effort into watching it. The stories flow seamlessly and you relate to them.
The messages Flavors of Youth delivers are beyond what you see, it is what you feel and that is what makes it special. The best and surprising part is the post-credit scene where the first scene of the movie makes sense after you watch all the stories and that leaves a good feeling in your heart. So give it a go when you can and enjoy this anime!