Anime Review: Now and Then, Here and There (Fall 1999)
I am very torn of what to make of this...
Did I enjoy it? Yes.
Do I think the main character and all other characters are one dimensional? Again, yes.
Did I cry? Yes
This show is one you watch and then you wanna curl up in your room and stare at the blank wall mumbling and cursing everything and everyone.
This show is dark that I can't even recommend it to anyone NEVERTHELESS is one I want to say It's my favorite. It's dark and gloomy and should not be watch to the faint of heart or people that are easily upset with the dark side of humanity.
You've got your main character Shu which is not an hero like most other "transported to another world" kind of guys. He wasn't given any super good weapon, intelligence or wits. No he is the same guy.
He is transported to another world after trying to save a your girl. From this moment on we realize he is not the "Hero" you expect. He is very happy, easy-going kind of guy who jumps immediatly into danger without thinking twice.
He is gone to another world and becomes another victim of a world gone mad and througouht the series he is almost broken several times (beaten physically and beaten psychologically) but due to his almost stubborness he refuses to fall to a state of hopelessness that much of the other characters are.
Each episode he is stairway into misery and anguish. From the first episode you know no-one is safe and by episode 3 I was cursing and cursing the evil guys. That's a new to me. Usually I preffer the evil guys instead of the good guys (mainly because the good guys are always the same white knight and the bad guys are more diverse and they are given a backstory to why they are evil...)
In this Anime I must say I preffered Shu. He sees the glass always half-full instead of empty or broken for that matter.
This is very hard to watch. We see children suffer and die. We see them fall into despair. We see them giving up hope and do evil things.
Besides the atrocitous the main characters suffer, there are other characters who suffer as well. Rape, Starvation, Hummilation, murder, kidnapping, child labour and war-children... This is a soul-draining anime. This is anti-war anime. After watching this I must say I cried.
But not everything is good in this anime. The characters are one-dimensional (no-one "grows") with the experience. And Lord Hamdo? He is bat-shit crazy. I mean crazy as wacko. Sometimes he is talking with his swift voice of command but most of the times he is falling to despair screaming with everything and everyone.
You've also got Lala-Ru (the girl who can make water with her pendant but she is so distant that rarely you've watch her speak). She changes a bit mainly because of Shu personality but she is thousand years old and most of the time because of her power people abuse her.
You've got Sara that is a innocent girl that is also kidnap from "our" earth because she is very alike Lala-Ru. She loses her innocence both literal and metaphorical sense. Throughout the series she cannot cope with Shu unwavering resolve attacking his beliefs losing hope througouht the way. In the end we learn that she is pregnant (because of a rape) and she tries to commit suicide Again Shu comes out and says her word... Everything will be alright. Sometimes I want to spank him myself.
Then you've got Nabuca and Boo, two war-childs who kill and do awful things with the prospect of returning home someday. Throughout the series they often thing but rarely do the right thing. In the end Boo is killed protecting Nabuca (boo is around 5/6) and Nabuca afterwards is also killed doing the right thing... He is around 13 (?).
Then we've got Abelia. We never see her going against Hamdo's choices but she doesn't approve some of them. In the end after Hamdo is killed Abelia transports Shu back. We never learn about her fate. One thing that I did not enjoy was Why did she put with him? She could have killed him and probably the troopers would follow her instead.
In terms of music, it's very dark ambient and througouht melancholic tunes.
In terms of art, well it was made in 1999 so it's very old from today standards but in my opinion no more worse than Captain Tsubasa or Dragon Ball.
Story (Plot) 10/10
World Building 8/10
Character Building 4/10
Enjoyment 10/10 (not that kind of enjoyment you are thinking)
Score Overall 10/10
Why give 10 stars when I didn't enjoy character building? Because it torn my heart out. It made me think, it made me suffer, it made me upset and sad. It made me realize how lucky my life is. It made me realize we are blessed with our lives (well at least I am). I always have been a optimistic guy but sometimes I fall... This anime made me feel like few have made me feel. It will always be a favorite...
I cannot in good faith recommend this anime to anyone. This is dark. Truly dark. Some people I know would break watching this even if they are "only" anime characters.
If you are ignoring me and going to watch it. Well good luck with that and I bet you will grow a bit. You will learn that humanity is capable of horrible things if they need or want to do it.
In times, we were like this. Even now, there are people and countries who are almost savages, where the rule of the strong prevails. I cannot phantom other realities because this is my reality. I can read and learn but it's not the same you know?
Watch it if you want. But you've been warned.