Now and Then, Here and There

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"War. War never changes." -- Fallout series

Now and Then, Here and There (or Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku in glorious nihon tounge) is one of those anime I constantly found on the list of 'classic anime you must watch' everytime someone made one. I myself was quite excited to watch this series since I got this Kino no Tabi (my favorite anime ever!) vibe when I looked at the art. Luckily a few days ago I had some free time on my hands and I was like, 'well why the hell not' and proceed to marathoned this series.

My first impression of this anime, I must say, was pretty indifferent. The main character is your generic shonen protagonist with nothing to lose personality (don't really want to say it, but he reminds me of Naruto). One day he met a emotionless mysterious girl with blank look sitting on the top of smokestack and suddenly shit happened: some people appeared out of a sphere-like light and trying to capture the girl. Being a typical shonen protagonist he is, Shu (the boy's name) did his best to protect Lala-Ru (the girl). He eventually failed, but he succeeded in getting transported along with those people to another world.

The place he ended up was called "Hellywood" which ruled by a tyrant with silly haircut named Hamdo. Before he knew it Shu already trapped in a harsh world where children kidnapped from their village and trained as soldier in Hellywood military. Hamdo was apparently trying to conquer the planet and declaring war against other villages. Later other characters were introduced such as Nabuca and Boo, two kid soldiers from Hellywood army; and Sara, a girl from the same world as Shu who probably had the worst fate in this show.

At first there's nothing special about this anime yet. That's it until you learned horrible things Hamdo had done all these times. It also showed us how war can affect a person's life and screwed it up so bad. Brutal things happened in this show, either implied or explicitly shown. It wasn't that kind of 'in-your-face' violence but more like what would actually happen during the war times. In that way, I must say this anime is very realistic.

The story is not really deep by any chance but it's really powerful and emotional engaging. I also like the overall 'teenager got mysteriously transported into another world' theme that reminds me of adventure video game "The Longest Journey" which has similar theme. I also happen to like adventure genre in general so this  anime gets additional point for that.

I don't want to go into technical detail but at least the music in this anime needs to get mentioned. The music is amazing. From the opening theme to background music until the ending, everything was great. That's all I need to say.

For my overall enjoyment, MAL reviewer Prede has better words for it:
This is not an anime you will "enjoy" as a form of entertainment. This is not an action show, this is not a comedy, this is some serious stuff! This is an anime that will be hard to re-watch because it is very depressing, very dark, and very distrubing. But this is an anime you will be very happy you watched. This is an anime that truly uses the medium to it's full advantage, much in the same way Grave of the Fireflies did. I can't imagine watching this as a live action movie, or reading it as a book. Anime is the perfect medium for this story. It may be a little too dark and depressing for some, but if you have the strength to finish it, you will look back at it and say "that was amazing". 
That was truly a great watch. I'm glad to be an anime fan.

4 comments :

  1. *thumbs up* Nabuca died admitting to his good side. A nice way to go...

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  2. Too bad he couldn't do it sooner..

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  3. I don't really like depressing story. So, I will pass.
    Though sometimes I found thread on /a/ if someone want a show that depressing to watch, this title come 1 or 2 times.

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  4. Yeah, along with titles such as Texhnolyze or Bokurano.

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