Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

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Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
Japanese theatrical release poster
Japanese name
Literal meaningLet's Hold the Promised Flowers in the Morning of Farewells
Revised HepburnSayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō
Directed byMari Okada
Written byMari Okada
Produced byNaoko Endō
Tomomi Kyōtani
Nobuhiro Takenaka
Takahiro Kikuchi
StarringManaka Iwami
Miyu Irino
CinematographySatoshi Namiki
Edited byAyumu Takahashi
Music byKenji Kawai
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] (Japanese: さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう, Hepburn: Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō, lit. "Let's Hold 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.[1][5] It features animation direction and character designs by Yuriko Ishii adapted from Akihiko Yoshida's original designs, and music composed by Kenji Kawai.[1]

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms tells the story of the titular Maquia, a young girl who is a member of a special race called the Iorph, mystical beings who can live for hundreds of years. While escaping war, she finds a lone surviving infant and decides to raise him as her son.

The film is Okada's directorial debut and the first standalone feature-length, theatrically-released production of P.A. Works.[4] It premiered in Japan by Showgate on February 24, 2018, and at the Glasgow Film Festival on March 4, 2018.[6] It was released by Madman Entertainment on June 7, 2018.[7] It was released by Anime Limited on June 27, 2018.[8] It was released by Eleven Arts on July 20, 2018.[9][10] The film's English dub premiered on September 21, 2018, in the United States.[11] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in Northern America on February 5, 2019. The DVD has only an English track, while the BD has both English and Japanese tracks.[12]


The Iorph, a humanoid race, live far removed from the world of humans, spending their days weaving Hibiol, a special cloth which serves as a written chronicle of the passing of time. They age much slower than humans, and can 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, saying that Maquia 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 kidnapping Leilia, Maquia's friend. One of the Renato succumbs to the "Red Eye" disease and goes berserk during the attack. It becomes tangled in Hibiol, and flees the village, inadvertently carrying Maquia, who is tangled in the fabric. The Renato later crashes and dies in a forest. Maquia wakes up and meets an alcoholic merchant at the ambushed caravan, where she finds a newborn baby boy, held tightly in the arms of his deceased mother. Refusing to let him die, she pulls the baby from the woman's arms and takes 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 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 him to attempt to introduce Iorph blood into the royal bloodline. Through a message woven into a Hibiol Maquia finds in a shop, she discovers that Leilia has been forced into an arranged marriage with the prince of Mezarte. She travels on a ship with Ariel to try to free Leilia. On the ship, she meets Krim, an Iorph. He is a friend of hers from their homeland, who was Leilia's former boyfriend and Maquia's secret crush. Krim is also seeking to free Leilia. Once in the capital of Mezarte, the two meet with a number of other Iorph, and unsuccessfully ambush a royal parade. Maquia briefly frees Leilia, but learns that Leilia is pregnant with the prince's child. Maquia flees on Leilia's orders and avoids capture with the help of the merchant, revealed to be half-Iorph. Krim, undeterred, resolves to continue trying to free Leilia, and leaves Maquia and Ariel behind.

As more time passes, Maquia and Ariel move to the iron-forge city of Dorail, where Maquia works as a restaurant waitress. Ariel grows to be a teenage forge worker. He becomes alienated from Maquia by the ever-decreasing difference in their apparent ages. Meanwhile, Leilia, still in the palace, is a prisoner of the royals. She has been cast aside because her daughter Medmel shows no signs of being an Iorph. She has not been able to meet Medmel ever since her birth, leaving her in despair. One day, Ariel and Maquia happen to meet Lang, now a soldier in Mezarte's army. Their meeting pushes Ariel and Maquia farther apart, allowing Ariel to join the army of Mezarte. Moments after he leaves, Maquia is kidnapped by Krim.

Approximately ten years later, Ariel has returned to 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. 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 goes to the town and finds Dita in labor. She helps deliver the baby, while Ariel continues to fight and is wounded in the battle. Maquia finds Ariel and they share a heartfelt conversation before she offers him an emotional goodbye, and then she heads to the palace. Elsewhere, after finally finding Leilia in the palace and being rejected in favor of Medmel, Krim tries to kill both her and himself, but Krim is ambushed and killed by the chief of the guards. As the battle ends with Mezarte's loss, Ariel returns home and meets his newborn daughter, Millia. Maquia takes the last living Renato and flies away with Leilia, who manages 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 old man on his deathbed, and holds his hand as he dies. Leaving their home, she shoulders the pain of her loss, crying as she remembers the moments of her life she spent with him. Maquia 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, along with the last Renato.[13]

Voice cast[edit]

Character Japanese English[11]
Maquia[14] Manaka Iwami Xanthe Huynh
Ariel[14] Miyu Irino
Yuki Sakurai (childhood)
Taichi Iwakawa (baby)
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
Xu Bin (young)
Michael Schneider
Spencer Rosen (young)
Mido[15] Rina Satō Allegra Clark
Tita (Dita)[11][15] Yōko Hikasa
Yuki Kurimoto (young)
Ryan Bartley
Catie Harvey (young)
Medmel[15] Misaki Kuno Brooklyn Nelson
Courtney Chu (young)
Izor[15] Tomokazu Sugita Marc Thompson
Darel[15] Shunsuke Sakuya H.D. Quinn
Deol[15] Junnosuke Shishido Micah Gursoy
Barrou Hiroaki Hirata[1] Daniel J. Edwards


The film's score was composed and arranged by Kenji Kawai.[1] The film's ending song, "Viator (ウィアートル)", was composed, arranged and performed by Rionos, with lyrics provided by Riya. The soundtrack was released by Bandai Visual on February 24, 2018.

1."Iorph, the Clan of the Separated (イオルフ、別れの一族)"2:06
2."Wings of Extinction (滅びの羽音)"4:55
3."Encounter with the Separated (別れとの出会い)"1:36
4."Motherly Days (母になる日々)"4:36
5."Parting Emotions (別れの実感)"5:07
6."Unexpected Reunion (予期せぬ再会)"1:36
7."Lurking in the Celebration Parade (祝賀パレードに潜む)"1:49
8."Daily Reality (日々の現実)"2:18
9."Workers’ Banquet (労働者の宴)"1:37
10."Loneliness Leading To Perdition (滅びへと向かう孤独)"2:59
11."Mixed Affection (愛情の交錯)"2:35
12."Separation (別離)"2:30
13."Vengeance and Madness (復讐と狂気)"1:27
14."Prelude to Destruction (滅びへの序章)"1:49
15."The Madness of the Clan of the Separated (別れの一族とその狂気)"1:31
16."Life and Life (生命と生命)"3:41
17."Mother and Child (母と子)"5:30
18."Fly to the Sky (大空に飛び立つ)"3:32
19."Grateful and Prepared (感謝と覚悟)"2:22
20."Promised Flowers (約束の花)"3:18
21."Viator (ウィアートル)"4:47
Total length:61:41


Box office[edit]

The film grossed $160,988 in North America in November 2018.[17] It grossed $4.3 million worldwide, including $1.2 million in Japan and $2.5 million in China in March 2019.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Makoto Shinkai called Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms a "fantastic film that can shake up memories within you that you normally forget."[18]

The film received 100% rating based on 27 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. It said, "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms anchors its colorfully imaginative fantasy setting in universal — and deeply poignant — real-world themes."[19] Metacritic reports a weighted average score of 72 out of 100 based on eight critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[20]

Miranda Sanchez, for IGN, gave the film a 8.5 out of 10 and wrote that it was "a beautiful story about motherhood, aging, and loss".[21]


List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2018 12th Asia Pacific Screen Awards Best Animated Feature Film Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Nominated [22]
21st Shanghai International Film Festival Best Animation Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Won [23]
22nd Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival BIFAN Children's Jury Award Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Won [24]
51st Sitges Catalonia International Fantastic Film Festival Fantastic Discovery Category Best Feature Film Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Won [25]
5th Anime Trending Awards Anime Movie of the Year Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Won [26]


  1. ^ a b c d e 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 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). "anohanas 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. Archived from the original on April 23, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms". Eleven Arts. Archived from the original on November 10, 2018. 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 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. ^ 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 g 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. ^ "Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana wo Kazarou Original Soundtrack".
  17. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  18. ^ @shinkaimakoto (February 16, 2018). "『さよならの朝に約束の花をかざろう』試写。自分の中のふだん忘れていた記憶を揺さぶられる、素敵な映画でした。脚本家としてアニメの新しさを示し続けてきた岡田麿里さんの監督作。初監督としてこれだけの質を突きつけられると、嫉妬もするし焦りもしてしまいます。僕らも気合を入れないと。" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  20. ^ "Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  21. ^ Sanchez, Miranda (13 July 2018). "MAQUIA: WHEN THE PROMISED FLOWER BLOOMS REVIEW". IGN. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  22. ^ "2018 APSA Nominees Announced". October 17, 2018.
  23. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (June 27, 2018). "Mari Okada's Maquia Film Wins Best Animation at Shanghai Film Festival". Anime News Network.
  24. ^ "22nd Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival(富川国際ファンタスティック映画祭)". July 28, 2018.
  25. ^ "List of Winners - Sitges Film Festival 2018". Archived from the original on 2022-05-21. Retrieved 2021-07-26.
  26. ^ "Official Winners - 5th Anime Trending Awards".

External links[edit]