Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

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Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
SayoAsa Theatrical Release Poster.jpg
Japanese theatrical release poster
HepburnSayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō
LiterallyLet's Decorate the Promised Flowers in the Morning of Farewells
Directed byMari Okada
Produced byNaoko Endō
Tomomi Kyōtani
Nobuhiro Takenaka
Takahiro Kikuchi
Written byMari Okada
Music byKenji Kawai
CinematographySatoshi Namiki
Edited byAyumu Takahashi
Distributed byShowgate
Release date
  • February 24, 2018 (2018-02-24)
Running time
115 minutes
Box office$4.3 million[2]

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms[3] (さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう, Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō, lit. "Let's Decorate the Promised Flowers in the Morning of Farewells"), officially abbreviated as Sayoasa (さよ朝),[4] is a 2018 Japanese animated high fantasy drama film written and directed by Mari Okada and produced by P.A.Works, featuring character designs by Yuriko Ishii adapted from Akihiko Yoshida's original designs and music by Kenji Kawai.[1][5] The film serves as Okada's directorial debut and the first standalone feature-length, theatrically-released production of P.A.Works.[4]

The film premiered in Japan on February 24, 2018 as a general release[4] and premiered outside Japan on March 4, 2018 at the Glasgow Film Festival.[6]

It was released in cinemas on June 7, 2018 in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Films;[7] on June 27, 2018 in the United Kingdom and Ireland by Anime Limited;[8] and on July 20, 2018 in the United States and Canada by Eleven Arts Anime Studio.[9][10] The film's English dub premiered on September 21, 2018 in the United States.[11] The film was released on to DVD and Blu-Ray on February 5, 2019. The DVD only has an English track; while the Blu-ray has both English and Japanese tracks.[12]


The Iorph people live far removed from the world of men, spending their days weaving Hibiol, a special cloth which serves as a written chronicle of the passing of time. They age much more slowly than men, and have the capacity to live for hundreds of years. They are legendary to outsiders, who have dubbed them "the Clan of the Separated".

Maquia, a young, orphaned Iorph girl, serves as an assistant to the clan's chief, Racine, who warns her about creating emotional attachments to outsiders, positing that she will know what true loneliness is if she does. Soon afterward, the neighboring kingdom of Mezarte sends armed soldiers on the backs of flying dragons called Renato to the Iorph village. Unable to find the secret to their longevity, the army attacks, killing most of the Iorph and taking a friend of Maquia's, Leilia, as a prisoner. One of the Renato succumbs to the "Red Eye" disease and goes berserk during the attack; tangled in Hibiol, it flees the village, dragging Maquia, who is also tangled in the fabric along with it, eventually crashing and dying in a forest. After awakening, Maquia happens upon an ambushed caravan and a drunk half-Iorph merchant, where she finds a newborn baby boy, held tightly in the arms of his deceased mother. Unwilling to let it die, she pulls him from the dead woman's arms and decides to take him in as her son. She travels to the village of Helm, where a woman, Mido, takes them in, raising them alongside her two sons, Lang and Deol. Maquia names her adopted son Ariel.

Time passes and Ariel has grown from a baby into a child. The Kingdom of Mezarte had once built their strength and reputation on their ownership of the ancient Renato, but the Renato have started to succumb to the "Red Eye" disease, leaving them with less than ten as they begin to die out. Fearing the inevitable loss of power and influence, the king of Mezarte tries to claim ownership of another ancient and legendary power, the Iorph's longevity, leading to his attempt to introduce Iorph into the royal bloodline. Through a message woven into a Hibiol she finds in a shop, Maquia discovers that Leilia has been forced into an arranged marriage with the prince of Mezarte, and travels on a ship with Ariel to try to free her. On the ship, she meets Krim, an old friend of hers from their homeland who was Leilia's former boyfriend and Maquia's secret crush, who is also seeking to free Leilia. Once in the capital of Mezarte, the two and a number of other Iorph ambush a royal parade, and Maquia briefly frees Leilia, only to find that Leilia is pregnant with the prince's child. Maquia flees on Leilia's orders and avoids being captured with the aid of the half-Iorph merchant; Krim, undeterred, resolves to continue trying to free Leilia and leaves Maquia behind.

More time passes. Maquia and Ariel have moved to the iron-forge city of Dorail, where Maquia works as a waitress in a restaurant and a teenage Ariel, becoming more and more alienated from Maquia by the ever-decreasing difference in their apparent ages, is a forge worker. Leilia, still in the palace, is a prisoner of the royals, who have cast her aside because her daughter, Medmel, shows no sign of being an Iorph, and hasn't been able to meet her ever since her birth, leaving her in despair. One day, Ariel and Maquia happen to reunite with Lang, now a soldier in Mezarte's army; their meeting pushes Ariel and Maquia farther apart, driving Ariel to enlist in the army as well. Moments after he leaves, Maquia is kidnapped from her home by Krim.

Approximately ten years later,[13] Ariel has moved back toward the capital and married Dita, a girl he knew in Helm; she is pregnant with their first child. Meanwhile, Krim has gathered the support of the surrounding nations to invade and overthrow Mezarte, and he takes a still-captive Maquia with him, trying to reach the palace in the battle. They are separated in a forest outside the capital, and after a brief encounter with Ariel, Maquia happens upon Ariel and Dita's home, where she finds Dita in labor. She helps deliver the baby as Ariel continues to fight and is wounded in the battle. Maquia searches for Ariel and finds him, offering him an emotional goodbye before making her way to the palace. After finally finding Leilia in the palace, and being rejected in favor of Medmel, Krim tries to kill both her and himself, but is shot by her guard, Izor, and dies. As the battle ends with Mezarte's loss, Ariel arrives back in his home to meet his newborn daughter. Maquia takes the last living Renato and flies away with Leilia, who is finally able to reunite briefly with Medmel before departing.

Many years later, Maquia returns to the village of Helm once again with the half-Iorph merchant, finding Ariel as an aged man on his deathbed, and holds his hand as he dies. Leaving their home, she shoulders the pain of his loss, crying as she remembers the moments of her life she spent with him. She then rejoins the merchant and continues on the road, remarking to herself, despite the profound pain of loss, that loving her son brought her happiness. A post-credit image shows the Iorph village being reinhabited once again by the surviving Iorph and their descendants, including Maquia, Leilia and the last Renato.[13]

Voice cast[edit]

Character Japanese English[11]
Maquia[14] Manaka Iwami Xanthe Huynh
Ariel[14] Miyu Irino
Yuki Sakurai (young)
Eddy Lee
Ryan Shanahan (teen)
Barnaby Lafayette (child)
Leilia[14] Ai Kayano Cherami Leigh
Krim[14] Yūki Kaji Kevin T. Collins
Racine[14] Miyuki Sawashiro Lipica Shah
Lang[15] Yoshimasa Hosoya Michael Schneider
Spencer Rosen (young)
Mido[15] Rina Satō Allegra Clark
Tita (Dita)[11][15] Yōko Hikasa Ryan Bartley
Catie Harvey (young)
Medmel[15] Misaki Kuno Brooklyn Nelson
Courtney Chu (young)
Izor[15] Tomokazu Sugita Marc Thompson
Darel (Deol)[11][15] Hiroaki Hirata[1] H.D. Quinn
Micah Gursoy (young)


Box office[edit]

As of November 1, 2018, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms has grossed $160,988 in the United States and Canada.[16] By March 2019 it had grossed $4.3 million worldwide, including $1.2 million in Japan and $2.5 million in China.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 7.74/10. The site's consensus reads, "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms anchors its colorfully imaginative fantasy setting in universal -- and deeply poignant -- real-world themes".[17] Metacritic reports a score of 72 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[18]


Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms was one of the Top Anime Awards recipient in the 5th Anime Trending Awards - winning as Anime Movie of the Year.[19]


  1. ^ a b c "さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう" [Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms]. (in Japanese). Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Sayonara no asa ni yakusoku no hana o kazarô (2018)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  3. ^ "Japan Booth 2017 in American Film Market". Japan External Trade Organization. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "映画『さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう』公式サイト" [Movie Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms official site] (in Japanese). Project Maquia. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  5. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (July 6, 2017). "anohana's Mari Okada debuts as director with Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō anime film". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  6. ^ Ressler, Karen (January 24, 2018). "Mari Okada's Maquia anime film's English-subtitled trailer, Glasgow Film Festival premiere revealed". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  7. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms – In Cinemas Now". Madman Films. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  8. ^ "Maquia". Anime Limited. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms". Eleven Arts. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  10. ^ Ressler, Karen (May 31, 2018). "Eleven Arts to also screen Mari Okada's Maquia film in Canada". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d Ressler, Karen (August 16, 2018). "Maquia Anime Film's English Dub Cast Revealed Ahead of September 21 U.S. Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  12. ^ "Maquia DVDs Incorrectly List Japanese Language Track". Anime News Network. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  13. ^ a b Sanchez, Miranda (2018-07-22). "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Ending Explained and Other Details From the Director". IGN. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms". Project Maquia. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Hanley, Andy (January 24, 2018). "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms receives international premiere at the 2018 Glasgow Film Festival". All the Anime. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  16. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  17. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  18. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  19. ^ "Official Winners - 5th Anime Trending Awards". Retrieved March 6, 2019.

External links[edit]