Stories about delusions are commonplace in Manga and anime these days. Aura is a feature length movie about a boy who is trying to escape his particular fantasy. It's a heartwarming tale about a boy meeting a girl with a lot of drama and some very emotional scenes. With a stellar soundtrack and solid visuals, it's presentation alone makes it a good watch. I didn't know anything going into the movie but it seems to have garnered a reasonably solid following and a roughly 7-8 score across the board.

When the movie began I couldn't tell what it was about but it quickly gets the narrative going and sets the main plotline up. With a plethora of hard to tackle subjects we are subjected to an emotional rollercoaster from suicide to bullying Aura doesn't pull any punches. It turns into a story about acceptance and living. The main character is trying to recover from his chunibyo past and to be normal to avoid the pain of his past but is beginning to get dragged back into that world when he is asked to look after a girl who is very deep in her delusion. It has a very interesting story arc that has a lot of build up that actually pays off at the end in a very satisfying fashion.

The English voice acting was also pretty good with some actual attempts at intonation for different characters. I like to watch dubs sometimes and this one was a good one with only one or two characters coming across as forced. The characters also don't seem to rely on typical tropes too much, bar the obvious high school trope, the main character, in particular, has a really interesting character development that really pays off in the ending scenes. In fact, the scene where he has a freak out invoked the same feeling I got watching The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and damn I loved that movie.

Aura also explores some really interesting ideas that are usually glazed over in other series like the difference between the normal people and the delusion-ists especially when it covers the impact delusions can have on family relations.The script is really well written and is very tight with next to no waffling. It focusses on its subject and characters giving a very involving narrative for its whole duration. This being the main focus is great and helps Aura stand out in the anime listings that are saturated with "cutesy" slice of life or edgy ecchi content.

Unfortunately, while the visuals are great style wise the animation looks low budget in some scenes, it does, however, look much better and more consistent than Twin Star Exorcists. The music is fantastic each scene has an accompanying track which helps build the atmosphere really well. It also has a really good ending song called "Bokura no Sekai (僕らのセカイ)" by CooRie which was probably the best choice for the credits considering the ending. 

Conclusion

While this movie will bypass many people it's a fantastic and engaging watch with many many positives not least its great soundtrack and character driven story. The drama keeps the story interesting while it explores its themes. It paints a very absorbing picture about a very real problem faced by some young people and does it in a way that comes off as genuine and endearing. As a movie, it's a great watch and with the amazingly fun payoff at the end, I can't recommend it more if you like anime.

Trailer