Monday, October 20, 2008

Now and then, here and there


Synopsis taken from THEM Anime Reviews

Matsutani Shuzo is your typical, hyperactive Japanese schoolboy. He's hopelessly cheerful, plays kendo, and has a crush on the captain's sister. Nothing really bothers him; everyday is just the next play in a larger game. Then on his way home from school one afternoon, he spots a girl watching the sunset from the top of some factory smokestacks near his home; smokestacks he is famous in the neighborhood for climbing when none of the other children were able. This strange girl with liquid blue eyes tells him her name is Lalaru, but says little else as she watches the setting sun.

Then out of nowhere, several large machines, piloted by strangers in military uniforms, appear around the stacks and attack Lalaru. Shu attempts to save her and in the process is sucked back into the future with the soldiers to a bleak, sand blasted wasteland ruled by the remnants of a long dead war machine. Now as a prisoner and conscript of the battleship "Hellywood", Shu must face hard realities as he struggles with his new situation and tries to find a way for he and his fellow prisoners to escape the mad rule of King Hamado.


While this story sounds like your typical action adventure this show is everything but. It shows a dystopian future where nearly everything was destroyed in a pointless war and where the last remnants of the military continue the fight without regard for those they were presumed to be fighting for.

In this show you'll see children forced into military servitude, taken from their slaughtered families, torture, murder and rape - done against and by children. Despite it's rather plain and round visual style it's actually a very cruel and brutal show ...
It shows how bad humanity can get and has been (in fact, parallels to WW2 japan are abundant, although the anime pales in comparison to the actual cruelties commited by japan against it's victims).

So, if you expect some kind of final fantasy anime - forget it. It's rather like a japanese version of Apocalypse Now. But despite my warnings this is a very good show and highly recommended. Don't let the childish art or the first episode fool you ... this is stuff for (young) adults and the rest of the series takes a decidedly different and uglier tone from episode 2 onward.


Anonymous said...

Wow Thanks a lot for this!

Atomsk said...

awesome series. the emotional impact is staggering. thanks dirtyfinger

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