Netflix’s original anime Bubble had been highly anticipated by fans thanks to the incredible team behind the movie. While the film received some mixed reviews for its storyline, the ending was excellent and left fans desperate for answers. Taking a deep dive into the film’s origins, it’s possible to fully explain the ending of Bubble and whether Uta is alive.
Note that this article will contain heavy spoilers for Netflix’s Bubble – obviously.
Bubble’s Ending Explained
The Bubble film’s story ends with Uta stopping her bubble family from destroying Tokyo. She then saves Hibiki from their wrath before dissolving into bubbles herself.
Before explaining this ending, it’s important to understand the connection between Bubble and The Little Mermaid. The film is essentially a modern retelling of the classic fairytale, and we see that in the ending, also.
Uta, in her bubble form, has followed Hibiki from a distance since the bubbles first arrived a long time ago. She is in love with Hibiki, and appears to break the rules of her world by interacting with him and joining the humans.
In flashbacks, we see that Uta first reaching out to Hibiki as a child may have triggered the events that cause the weird gravity field to appear around Tokyo Tower in the film, which is where the final conflict takes place.
It appears that relatives of Uta threaten to destroy what remains of Tokyo. Supported by Hibiki, Uta manages to stop the bubbles, thus saving Hibiki and his friends.
Having saved Hibiki once again, Uta turns back into bubbles and dissolves into the water, thankful for the time she spent with him.
A similar situation appears in The Little Mermaid. At the end of that story, the mermaid has to decide between taking her lover’s life or sacrificing her own, and chooses the latter, causing her to dissolve into the sea.
Is Uta Alive at the End of Bubble?
The ending of Bubble is purposely ambiguous regarding Uta’s ultimate fate. However, looking at The Little Mermaid, we can conclude that Uta isn’t alive, at least not in any recognisable form.
The Little Mermaid story on which Bubble is based sees the mermaid dissolve into the sea at the end. However, she is happy with this outcome, as she got to experience the human world and ultimately saved her lover’s life.
Uta follows an almost identical fate in Bubble. She even dissolves into the sea on a moss-covered rock reminiscent of those frequently seen in portrayals of mermaids.
Assuming Uta met the same fate as the mermaid, she is certainly dead and no longer a part of the human world.
At the very end of the film, Hibiki is seen parkouring alongside a bubble, and the melody that he and Uta shared can be heard. However, based on the evidence above, we have to assume that it’s a melody only heard in his head and heart.
However, if there is one faint sliver of hope for fans hoping Uta is still alive, it can be found in The Little Mermaid’s final conclusion.
In Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, the mermaid doesn’t completely cease to exist; instead, she becomes a spirit.
You could argue that what Hibiki sees or experiences at the end of the film is the spirit of Uta. While she doesn’t have any tangible form that she can control, her spirit could continue to exist as one of the many bubbles floating in the air.
Perhaps this is part of this heartbreaking anime’s charm. The ambiguous ending allows us to take our own conclusions with us, no matter what you were hoping for Uta and Hibiki.