Drifting Home review: A captivating, fantastical exploration of human emotions

In Drifting Home, a group of children is supernaturally transported to an open sea with the entire apartment building they were standing on. The fantasy-drama anime film is now streaming on Netflix.


Kosuke Kumagaya and Natsume Touchi spent their childhood together after the latter was sent to live with them. Natsume’s parents had a turbulent relationship, leading to this decision.

After the death of Kosuke’s grandfather, Natsume’s mother took her back and both shifted homes. The old apartment building is now abandoned, but still close to both Kosuke and Natsume, however, they are both now at odds with each other.

One day, at the terrace of that apartment building, Kosuke, Natsume and their high school mates Taishi Koiwai, Yuzuru Tachibana, Reina Hama and Juri Ando all witness a supernatural phenomenon.

The entire building they are on is suddenly transported to the middle of a vast sea, with no solid ground nearby. The strange occurence leaves them hopeless.

With Kosuke and Natsume forced to confront each other and their latent emotions, will they fix their differences? And will the group be able to escape the sea?


Using magic realism, Drifting Home blends everyday life with a vast, magical sea to extremely potent effect.

The result is an emotional ride while still keeping the possibilities endless. In essence, the story is about the various relationships between the characters.

Kosuke and Natsume’s dispute, Reina and Juri’s friendship and Noppo’s affection for Kosuke and Natsume, all form major themes of the film.

The narrative resonates with you. The characters are developed gradually and you actually care more about them as the movie progresses.

Drifting Home finds itself in the same genre as fantasy films such as ‘Your Name’ and ‘Weathering With You’, but instead of romance, makes love, loss and grief the centre of the narrative.

This is explored exceptionally well over the course of the two-hour runtime and by the end of it, you feel you have gone through the journey with the characters.

The animation during some of the more fantastical sequences is exquisite. They completely transport you to the film’s world. Another strong element of Drifting Home is the musical score that elevates a lot of the scenes.


While the narrative is supposed to center around seven characters in total, Taishi Koiwai and Yuzuru Tachibana are barely given any attention.

In the majority of the film, they are just present with minimal involvement. You don’t even get their background or major glimpses of their personality. All that you figure out is that Taishi likes video-games and Yuzuru is, well, tall.

The film does such a good job with its lead pair, it definitely could have shed some light on these two as well.


Drifting Home is a top-notch anime film that combines the real and the mystical to create something much bigger. This one’s a no-brainer for anybody even remotely interested in anime.

Drifting Home
Drifting Home review: A captivating, fantastical exploration of human emotions 1

Director: Hiroyasu Ishida

Date Created: 2022-09-16 17:29

Editor's Rating:

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