Flavors of Youth, a Netflix original international production, is a trio of anime shorts about fond memories of good food, good family and good friends. Together they are a fair representation of the most important things the human consciousness chooses to hold onto and cherish.
The Rice Noodles, directed by Yi Xiaoxing (Surprise, One Day), is a Proust like recollection that shows how memory and even identity can theme and define itself around what our senses can catch and adore— the smell and taste of favored food, a glimpse of an unrequited passion pedaling by, seeing the warm nod and smile of matronly approval or how one finds personal meaning in the events that open and closeup shop and seem to follow us around.
Japanese animator Yoshitaka Yakeuch’s A Little Fashion Show explores the mystic chords of family bonding in a story about two orphan sisters one tall, independent and who becomes a fashion model; the other small, codependent and who chooses to accessorize her sister and their shared vision in a parallel way.
Love in Shanghai from Li Xaoling, is a romance about how true passion can persevere over heartbreak, neglect, failure, broken hopes and the demands of the quotidian world.
Each short shares a common animation and lighting style as well as a complimentary point of view. The nostalgia is never overdone. Like a good memory Flavors of Youth is as sweet and ennobling as it needs to live in the character’s consciousness.
Flavors of Youth points out how memory is essential to all identity. How it is the source of all art and creativity.