|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
It's been a while since I last covered a visual novel game spinoff title. True Tears is more down to earth with its developments compared to most titles of the genre I've seen in that there are no fantasy elements or over-the-top melodrama rearing their heads for the most part throughout this 13 episode series. Most of the lead characters have believable personalities to connect with as Shinichiro juggles multiple situations throughout the series (his dance practices, love triangle, family problems and a picture book), Hiromi coming to grips with her living situation with Shinichiro's family and the unrequited love between Aiko and Miyokichi. They are decently fleshed out as the series progresses and you get enough sense of the internal conflicts they have in regards of their present situations. As Dreamer discussed, the scenery to this series is quite breathtaking with plenty of color and detail in various settings like buildings, forests and the seaside. The animation also has its moments with fluid movement shown during basketball games that Hiromi competes in and a parade towards the end of the series. The only eyesore I found with visuals are the noticeable use of CG animation to render students moving around during far shots of a building, and usually this is mixed with the regular character designs of the show as they are moving around.|
There are some issues I had found with the plotting and characters of the show. Noe's character seemed a bit out there compared to how grounded other prominent characters in the show behaved. I also questioned how a couple of the plot developments came out such as the deal arranged between Shinichiro and Jun, as well as what I eventually learn about why Jun agreed to the deal. While the show did do well enough to keep these developments from getting too out of hand, I couldn't really find myself latching onto them considering the why for Jun's actions connected to both elements to the story was lacking a bit compared to other prominent characters like his sister.
True Tears was better than average for a visual novel spinoff title thanks to its grounded character developments and a number of plot developments not involving Jun. However, Noe's character combined with what is eventually revealed about Jun kept this series from tempting me to slither it into Buy territory.
Last updated Sunday, February 20 2011. Created Sunday, February 20 2011.
The very first episode drew me in. I knew I was in for a emotional and sorrow filled tale of love.|
Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork and animation is just excellent. Both the foregrounds and background details and artwork is nearing breathtaking and flawless. The animation must have an extremely high frame rate as it's extremely smooth and velvety. Character designs were nearly flawless. Excellent!
The OP was a mild pop-lullaby piece with a female vocalist. It actually was midly entertaining and melodic to the ears.The rest of the soundtrack were soft pieces with pianos, flutes and string instruments. Not bad at all.
Series and Episode Story
Aside from the strong artwork and satisfying musical compositions, the plot was just superb. It's a rollercoaster of emotional and dramatic story telling from to end. What makes it more interseting is how there's dramatic plot twists and surprises that really catch you off guard. I was literally saying, "wow" as bits and pieces of the plot was being revealed.
Overall, this is a great series. Don't miss this one for sure.
Last updated Monday, November 30 2009. Created Monday, November 30 2009.
|Buy 4||9||9||8||8||8||9||Devil Doll||[series:1714#752]|
[Score: 83% = Buy-; other recommended non-Fantasy Romance Drama animes: Suzuka, Koi Kaze, Lamune, Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Hachimitsu to Kuroba II]|
This show is like an alps leg of the Tour de France: On the steep way up to the top in episode 8 the driver dreams of being able to fly but during the twisty ride downhill no fewer than three incidents provide a permanent change of pole position and suspense until the arrival.
Visual novel style art (which I like), no problems with animation, nice music. And a sequence of unfortunate decisions led to a total mess of character relations. Shit happens, so to say. But while this anime invests a lot of effort to compose a complex system of dependencies providing almost a complete deadlock it avoids the trap of adding too much unrealistic disaster (such as School Days (TV) or Myself; Yourself) and instead presents a credible turnaround in episode 9, making all the other domino pieces fall along with the first one.
While not a single character is outstanding they all gain depth throughout the show: Shin'ichirou tries to make sense of the girls' words (few protagonists of his kind do that); his dad is a reasonable guy despite the misleading first impression who just let things run out of control a bit too long, failing to understand the effect on his son in time; his wife is the spiteful character of the story but for a reason, and not really evil in the end; Noe is just too weird for a lead girl (costing this anime a "9" rating for characters) but a wonderful muse for Shin'ichirou nonetheless. Ai, the red-haired cooking girl, was the most interesting one for me, suffering from her own decision to date the wrong guy (who knows that she doesn't love him but still wants her), fighting for her lost cause (and Shin'ichirou should have noticed it long before she suddenly kissed him) and finally making the best of her situation. Noe's onii-san will apparently do anything for his sister (as Hiromi has found out quickly), so he might have offered her a way to escape this dreadful "family" life (only to end up in a dreadful marriage?). Fortunately, this path goes down in flames.
While not being a masterpiece, this anime provides a decent drama without relying on fantasy, unrealistic events or shock effects, so I gave it the minimum "Buy-" rating in the end, with the high marks for technical attributes tipping the scales.
Last updated Saturday, February 19 2011. Created Sunday, July 05 2009.
A man confronted with the issues of falling in love and finding the strength to realize his true emotions (fly)...|
"A very dramatic story", I thought to myself as I watched it straight through. In a pattern somewhat similar to the masterpiece H2O: Footprints in the Sand, the series gets into the highly dramatic issues right in the beginning. From ep 3 onward the story gets more and more dramatic and just when the viewer might think it will "level out" for a few episodes, the plot comes around full circle and continues the dramatic climb of events whether the viewer was ready to continue or not! I loved this aspect of the anime. I hoped for one or two eps where I could manage my thoughts of the events so far (just a recap for myself mainly) but that opportunity never presented itself. It was "keep up" or "fall behind" with this title! No stops on the express "drama" train... (LOL)
The events themselves are nothing to sneeze at. We have the main lead and a very "unique" situation involving three girls. One - he liked since childhood, two - he initially started dating per an agreement, and three - is him being pursued by the girlfriend of his best friend! The family of the main lead is in shambles as it is with the "enormous" burden the parents must to carry about one of the main female leads.
Through a portion of the story the viewer is led to believe that the main lead and one of the female leads are siblings. This would explain the massive foreshadowing of the supposed "wierd actions" of the mother, but later the viewer discovers that this isn't the case and that there was a misunderstanding! (Just when all possible story outcomes can be predicted, the writers throw this shocker into the mix! Truly a shocker indeed.) The problem I had was that the story left this issue unfinished and it just continues like I had to just make a story up myself or just pay it no mind. This is a big flaw in the story events and this issue was crucial to getting the "train" (story) on the right track to the ending destination. How can they leave it unknown like that? They never go into detail about just what exactly happened back then in the past with the parents and what was the mother's hatred towards a certain character was. At one time the viewer is led to believe the father cheated on his wife with another woman, thus putting them all in this situation but that never was the case! With no answer by ep 9, the viewer just has to let the issue go and that is unacceptable! I called this flaw, "a boulder on the train tracks" and it certainly did do a substantial amount of damage to the train in my eyes.
Aside from that, the story was enjoyable and there are plenty of shockers and unbelievable situations to last a lifetime. It was nothing super special, but it was far more than "just" a 13 episode romantic school drama. I definitely recommend watching it once but I wouldn't want it on my shelf of anime purchases.
The anime art style and animation instantly reminded me of Boys Be - just below average if not outright terrible.
A dramatic counterpart to this anime would be Hanaukyo Maid Tai La Verite or Myself; Yourself. Both of those titles will fill the hunger of drama fans.
Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!
Never forget Xenosaga.
Last updated Friday, February 06 2009. Created Tuesday, September 30 2008.
Analysis : 9 Fansubs watched
Damn, Bandai grabbed it before I could finish it
Last updated Monday, March 03 2008. Created Wednesday, January 30 2008.
(Watch+ or Rent-)|
(All episodes watched):
Early on, I was getting frustrated that this show wasn't explaining it's basic premise very well, but as the episode went on a more satisfactory description came together. It seems Shinichiro is familiar with three girls: Hiromi, who is quiet and sullen since she became an orphan six months ago; Noe, who is somewhat odd and doesn't mind putting curses on people; and Ai-chan, the tomboy type. And that about sums up episode one; I detect neither anything outstanding nor anything particularly bad about this show, but am willing to continue watching. I was fearing it might be very generic, but a scene at the end of this episode had a sort of book-like feel to it (i.e, suggestive that this series is based on a well thought-out book rather than having been thrown hastily together by scriptwriters).
For some reason I mentally grouped True Tears along with the concurrent series H2O: Footprints in the Sand, perhaps because both involved a sort of love triangle. True Tears definitely had no supernatural elements and struck me as more restrained. That is, a slice-of-life show with little wild action, mainly just characters struggling to overcome ordinary coming of age problems. Noe was my favorite character (not counting Jibeta), since her touch of weirdness gave her a litle uniqueness. I find it hard to characterize the others. Maybe they were a little too ordinary and could have used a bit more eccentricity in order to identify with them. For example, at one point Shinichiro agonizes over his inability to face up to problems; but I was surprised--He had seemed a perfectly normal boy, without any major faults to me. A sidenote: what business was Shinichiro's father in? a sake distillery? Was that other boy an apprentice of his?
By the final episode it was obvious that one of the three girls was no longer a serious contender for Shinichiro's heart, and the question was which of the other two would come out ahead. I had a feeling I knew which it would be, but felt it could still go either way. In the end, one gets to be Shinichiro's girlfriend and the other gets something else very valuable, so no hard feelings. That worked well, but I also felt kind of confused; I wish it had been made more clear (even to someone who's not paying complete attention) whether Noe has learned to cry in a healthy manner, how Shinichiro's book ends, whether it's been accepted for publication, etc. I wasn't all that thrilled or moved by the outcome, but it was satisfactory. For some reason the fansubbers provided an alternate version of the climactic scene in which they took some liberties with the dialogue (like including the F-word at one point), but all-in-all I wonder why they bothered. Anyway, True Tears was a nice show, well worth watching and maybe renting as well, though I doubt if I'll watch it yet again. I almost typed that I doubted if this would be licensed, being so slice-of-life Japanese--except I notice that it already has been!
Last updated Tuesday, April 01 2008. Created Thursday, January 10 2008.
|La'cryma site for the True Tears visual novel||http://lacryma.info/truetears/|
|Official page for the True Tears TV series||http://www.truetears.jp/|