Sakasama no Patema, or Patema Inverted was originally a four-episode ONA series by the same man who directed Eve No Jikan, which was adapted into a film in 2013.In a dark, cramped, underground world of endless tunnels and shafts, people wear protective suits and live out their modest hard and yet happy lives. The princess of the underground community, Patema, goes out exploring as always, inspired by her curiosity of the unknown depths of the world. Her favorite spot is the "danger zone", an area forbidden by the "rule" of the community that houses an impossibly deep pit. Despite being frequently chastised by her caretaker Jii, she cannot hold back her curiosity for the reason behind the rule, because no one would tell her what the "danger" was. When she approaches the hidden "secret", the story begins.When Patema falls into the pit inside of the danger zone, she finds that she falls into a world nothing like her own, where the sky is not a roof, but a boundless sea of blue. Not only that, if Patema is not careful, she can fall off of the planet and into the stratosphere. However, by working together with a young boy named Age from this strange "surface world," not only does she learn how to survive, she learns that together, they can fly!However, things become even further complicated later on, as Patema and Age soon discover a dark conspiracy, the members of which are determined to return Patema to the underground and silence all those who know of her home.
This work contains examples of:
After the End: Long before the film takes place, people launched an experiment using the power of gravity that nearly destroyed the world. According to the history books, the "sinners" responsible for doing so were devoured by the sky...
Apathetic Citizens: Subverted. The Agian's are being conditioned by their government to conform to their societal norms and to not think for themselves, or question those in authority. Simply being caught looking at the sky earns them 3 demerits since, according their government, that's the direction of "sinners". Any student who deviates in any way is labelled a "deviant" and placed under strict watch.
Disney Villain Death: Izamura, the dictator of Age's people, who were the in fact inverted ones, "falls" upwards into the sky.
Covers Always Lie: One of the most subtle and clever instances of it. Patema isn't "inverted", Age is.
Dead All Along: Patema dreamt of being able to explore the surface world with Lagos, ever since she was a child. She last saw him as he was preparing to set off on another journey. When she finally makes to the surface, years later, she finds out that Lagos had been captured by the Agians and killed.
Fantastic Racism: The government agents after Patema refer to her as a monster and Izamura even wants to hunt down and kill her people.
Government Conspiracy: Age's world isn't ours. Schools have apparently taught the same things for years, and a lot of the curriculum is just propaganda (e.g. on who's really inverted). Some of the top brass in the military and government are also aware of the underground world.
Happy Flashback: When Age finds his father's notebook, he finds it contains a detailed account of how he met and befriended Lagos. Which is shown via a montage sequence of the time they spent together working on their flying machine, so they could explore the mysteries of the sky together. The final entry is a scribbled note, summing up their elation: "We are alive."
Heel-Face Turn: Jack rebels against Izamura, so he could atone for his role in Izamura's murder of Age's father and the arrest of Lagos, Patema's older-brother-figure.
Irony: "The sinners shall be devoured by the sky!" It turns out that the entire story takes place inside the Earth. The "inverted" people were meant to watch over those even deeper on the inside, who are the actual inverted ones. In the end, the Big Baddies by way of being sucked into the heavens.
Karmic Death: Izamura, the biggest oppressor of the supposedly inverted ones, dies by "falling" into the sky due to him and his people being the real "inverted" ones.
Mind Screw: If you lived your whole life with gravity being a certain direction, then wouldn't the opposite seem inverted to you? As it turns out, it's the Aigans who are really inverted.
Oh, Crap: Age and Porta when during their infiltration of the Administration Tower, they barely manage to dodge a security camera by contorting just out of its field of view, only to realize that the Sinister Surveillance system has dozens of cameras about to turn on them.
Ordinary Highschool Student: A rare instance where the character in question is exactly that: ordinary. Age has no hidden powers or secret lineage, and remains that way throughout the film.
Rebellious Princess: Patema's grandfather repeatedly admonishes her about playing around the "Danger Zone" and chastises her for it, whenever she disobeys him. It doesn't stop her from going back each time.
Religion of Evil: Izamura's cult calls the "inverted" ones collectively sinners worthy of persecution.
Ruins of the Modern Age: In the final scene, Age asks Patema to take him with her to explore the ruins of the surface world. Which is strewn with collapsed skyscrapers that've been overgrown with vines, set beneath an Alien Sky.
Sinister Minister: Izamura's reign has clear religious overtones, as he's the only member of the Agian government to dress in clerical robes and spreads the propaganda of the "inverted" ones being sinners, who were and are punished for causing "the incident" years ago. But he's also an exaggeration, in that he's so Obviously Evil it's hard to believe anyone could ever seriously consider his intentions or actions to be justt.
When Age and Patema get sucked into the sky thanks to Patema's ankle being weighted, they discover that the "sky" is actually a complex machine designed to emulate a realistic sky. This ties into the next reveal.
When they in turn reach the very bottom of the danger zone, the "floor" is cracked and revealed to be a ceiling, thus showing that it's the Aigans that are inverted while Patema's people are facing the right way. They are the descendants of the scientists, who, through their gravity experiment, caused the disaster and were looking out for Age's people as an atonement for "inverting" them. Both populations forgot that (although it is at the very least possible, that the village elder and Jii knew) and the regime governing Age's people started to oppress Patema's people in a show of great ingratitude.
Unlucky Childhood Friend: It's clear from the start that Porta's nursing a crush on Patema. Sadly, he misses out on the adventure and loses what could've been his chance to get closer to her. She winds up together with Age by the end of the film.
Villainous Crush: Izamura towards Patema, which is creepy by itself without him trying to break her will by scaring her into thinking only he can protect her.
Would Hurt a Child: Shortly after Patema is captured by the Agians, Izamura interrogates Age about his involvement with her. When Age fails to respond, Jack kicks Age out of his chair then pins him on the floor and restrains him with an armbar, which seems to briefly snap him out of it. Izamura picks up Age's chair and sits in it himself so he can resume questioning him, while also mocking his attempt to keep Patema hidden from him, by telling him she was now in his custody. When Age dares look him in the eye, Izamura loses it and forces Age's face back down on the floor by stepping on the back of his head and verbally lashes out at him about his father, before issuing a final warning to not defy him further. They leave Age lying on the floor in catatonic shock.
You Killed My Father: To everyone present at the time, it appeared Age's father lost his balance and fell to his death, at the start of his maiden voyage into the sky. But video footage of the incident showed he was killed by a sniper (implied to have been Jack), on Izamura's orders.