Drifting Home

image for Drifting Home

Short takes

Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 12 (violence, scary scenes, themes, language)

classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Drifting Home
  • a review of Drifting Home completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 18 October 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to violence, themes, scary scenes and language.
Children aged 10–12 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes, scary scenes and language.
Children over the age of 12 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Drifting Home
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes, blood and gore, violence, fantasy themes, scary scenes. Some scenes may affect photosensitive viewers.
Length: 121 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

With his old apartment building soon to be destroyed, Kosuke (voice of Mutsumi Tamura) and a couple of friends go to visit the abandoned place and also to see if the rumours about it being haunted by a ghost are actually true. While there, they run into their classmate, Natsume, who used to live with Kosuke and his family, and they are soon joined by an additional two classmates. Embarrassed at being found there, Natsume (voice of Asami Seto) tells everyone about Noppo (voice of Ayumu Murase), another young person who used to live in the building, and they set off to search for him. When Natsume has a fall, something happens and they all find themselves in the same apartment building, only now it is adrift at sea and their city is nowhere to be found. Unable to figure out what has happened to them or how they are going to get back, the group must find a way to work together and to strengthen friendships in order to survive. As they encounter different buildings from their past, also adrift at sea, they venture out to find food and water but find much more than that in the form of powerful memories they are forced to face, to process and ultimately learn to move on from.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family breakdown; Death of a loved one; The challenges of maintaining childhood friendships through the tween years; Jealousy; Loss; Letting go of the past.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Boys shove each other down.
  • Natsume shoves a girl to the ground when she won’t return a camera. Natsume then shoves Kosuke as well.
  • Natsume falls off a building. Kosuke tries to grab her but she slips and falls anyway.
  • Natsume trips on a box, lands on broken glass and is bleeding from her knee.
  • Kosuke throws things at a vending machine while yelling at Natsume. She then joins in attempting to break the vending machine while yelling at him as well.
  • Kosuke gets slammed with a table and knocked down.
  • Buildings crash into each other being propelled by waves. The group repeatedly falls down, is knocked around and must cling onto things.
  • A character falls off the roof, Natsume manages to swing her to safety but the girl bashes her head when she lands on the floor and is unconscious for days.
  • Natsume slices her hands on a metal rod while trying not to fall into the sea.
  • A character grabs Natsume’s hand, squeezing her injury hard and yelling at her, saying that everything is her fault.
  • Natsume has a flashback to when she was little and her parents were fighting. When her father got aggressive and grabbed her mother, Natsume tried to help her but her father shoved her down.
  • Two characters fight, calling each other names and grabbing each other’s hair.
  • When the apartment building begins to sink, Noppo shoves Kosuke onto a raft and roughly pushes it away.
  • A Ferris wheel is about to snap apart as ropes and wires strain, everyone struggles to keep it connected to the apartment building and two boys nearly fall off the edge.
  • Natsume slaps Kosuke and then the two of them push, shove and wrestle each other.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Noppo begins to transform into a plant-like creature. He has shoots growing off his arm and, as the story progresses, moss and leaves begin to cover his face and neck and he appears to be missing a foot, only a stump remains. He is initially believed to be a ghost and other characters are terrified of him but he is soon proven to be kind. His physical transformation may be distressing to some young children.
  • There are lots of strange blue lights that come out of nowhere and everyone is afraid of them at first as they swirl everywhere and appear to pull them in different directions. In the end they help Natsume and the others get back home but only after first appearing to take them further away.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Natsume is shown on a couple of occasions (as a little girl) curled up and crying while her parents fight and argue prior to their divorce. She is sent to live with another family and then must endure the loss of the grandfather whom he came to love like her own father and to whom she was infinitely closer. The grandfather collapses in the hospital and flashes of his funeral are shown.
  • Something in the water grabs Natsume when she falls in and tries to tug her down into the darkness. Noppo and Kosuke come to her rescue, are able to pull her free and get her back to the apartment.
  • Noppo decides to stay behind on the sinking apartment building and doesn’t tell the others until he has made sure they are safe on a raft. Natsume is devastated at the thought of leaving him behind and jumps into the ocean, swimming back to the apartment building. Kosuke and the others scream after her, calling her name and begging her to come back but she cannot bear to leave Noppo behind. Kosuke continues to call into the raging sea after Natsume is out of sight, while everyone else is crying, believing her to be lost forever.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • McDonald's is mentioned but not shown.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • One character appears to have a crush on Kosuke.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • An older character briefly smokes.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Stupid
  • Idiot
  • Little runt
  • Liar
  • Shut up
  • Crap
  • Heck
  • Big Oaf
  • Ragamuffins
  • Stink bomb
  • Bastard
  • “I am so gonna kick her...”. ‘Ass’ is implied but not stated.

In a nutshell

Drifting Home is an English dubbed, coming-of-age, anime movie, containing lots of over the top melodrama and an unusual plot. The film will likely be best enjoyed by tweens, teens and general anime fans.

The main messages from this movie are that eventually you have to let go of the past in order to embrace the future; that everything changes; and that even through heartache and struggle, the most powerful friendships will find a way to survive.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Responsibility
  • Friendship
  • Compassion
  • Loyalty
  • Determination
  • Hope.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Being unkind to others and refusing to apologise, even if you know you are wrong.
  • The impact that parental disagreements can have on children.
  • Going off without telling your parents where you are headed or when you will be back.
  • Refusing to talk about your feelings and bottling up your emotions.