インタールード (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Toei
GOUDA Hozumi
MORITA Masakazu
Music - KAMEYAMA Kouichirou
R1 License - Geneon (Defunct)
SONOBE Keiichi
For a close-knit foursome of high school friends, life is all about sleeping in class, strawberry milk, and after-class karaoke. However, our unnamed main protagonist is troubled by nightmares of death and disaster. Only when he begins to realize that his memories of people and events are different from those of Tamaki Maiko (named "Tama-chan" by her friends, "Mai-chan" by herself), Chimu and Harusa, his three female friends, does he begin to wonder. Later, when the waking dreams start.... a short moment of him seeing something that noone else attractive young lady, who stares back at him in amazement from an empty subway station, does he begin to wonder about his sanity. That evening, the four encounter and follow a shadow with no person, only to encounter a gang of stumbling zombies. And then he wakes up that morning from yet another bad dream, but the threads of reality have become a bit too frayed, and he begins to see a way in which he can travel over to the reality of his nightmares.

[OVA, 2004, 3 episodes, 40 min each]

Animation by Toei
R1-License by Toei Animation.
US Distribution by Geneon(USA)

2:42min OVA Ending - YouTube Video (this OVA has no OP sequence)
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 9 8 7 7 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:844#1552]
This was an interesting little mystery-thriller. Interlude creates a big mystery of the strange creatures, memories that he can't recall experiencing, and mysterious people that our main protagonist (who is nameless which is a first for me to see in an anime) stumbles upon. All of these elements hint to our hero's normal everyday life not being as real as he may think as he learns more of the world in which he lives in not being so normal. The dark and nightmarish city he enters are filled with shadow creatures, zombies, and a mysterious girl in control of a freakish looking beast. All have darkish colors and tone that do well to contrast with the bright scenery of the world in which the protagonist thinks to be his normal life. The character soliloquies done at the start and finish of each episode in this series even go well with the mood of this series as they hint to the true nature of events taking place in Interlude.

While the mystery and plot developments were interesting, there were some major issues I had with this series that kept me from giving it a Buy. The fan service is perhaps the biggest problem with this series. It wasn't needed and it killed the mood of Interlude quite often, especially as the series had a big enough habit of resorting to it in lousy attempts of humor. The second major problem was the lack of exploration on certain elements of the series such as the main cause leading to this entire series and the backgrounds of some of the characters. The third problem was the choice of music for the ending as it was obnoxious and grated on my nerves enough.

Interlude makes for a good watch thanks to its mystery and plot developments. But the annoying fan service and lack of exploration on other elements of the series are major issues that keep me from getting full enjoyment out of the series.

Last updated Monday, May 25 2009. Created Monday, May 25 2009.
Buy 9 8 8 9 9 10 Devil Doll [series:844#752]
[Score: 87% = Buy. Other recommended Fantasy/Horror animes: sola]

I did expect to like this anime from the categories and the cover image alone - but I didn't expect it to be that powerful, especially given those school comedy parts, the fanservice / pantsu / molester scenes, Tama's unnerving liveliness and whatnot. But somehow they found a way to credibly glue this part together with the nightmare that's the main story here, with the symbolism of Aya's nature, with the "real" background world... wow. All the explanations in episode 3 make sense to me (it's just that the nature of the original problem is never explained, but that's not different from Silent Mobius), albeit they mostly tell me how to interpret all the strange elements of episode 1 that I didn't know where to put, so a rewatch is absolutely necessary.

Usually it's either Series Story or Characters that make me like an anime. But here it's the presentation - timing, camera angles, scene cuts, and the unusual opening & ending of each episode. This isn't so much a character drama or a deep philosophic tale, it's a guessing game with information overflow for the audience. Therefore it doesn't have space and time to provide characters who can grow significantly, and it doesn't have a story with enough substance to make you think on for weeks. But it has great Art to visualize of the things and beings it wants to show us, excellent Music that adapts seamlessly to every different scene and mood (be that gloomy, light-hearted or whatever), and these three episodes provided a chilling (and challenging) ride for me during the first pass as well as a number of "oh, that's where we get to see this element already..." experiences during the second pass (go watch in stop-and-go with your hand on the "pause" key of your remote control, the hints are there very early on - it's essential that the lead character doesn't have a family name, for example). To my positive surprise, this anime didn't end as a cheesy romance (or even worse, with a "reboot")... I think I even understand the title of this OVA now. So this is about as much as you can get from 120 minutes, thus I didn't even deduct the usual point from Episode Story for the "tits monster" scenes... what cost the "Series Story" the "10" rating is that I've seen certain ideas of it already in earlier releases, such as Evangelion and The Matrix. Other than that, it's just great.

Animes that crossed my mind while watching this one: Boku no Chikyuu o Mamotte (tried to tell a similar story but stopped somewhere in the middle), Aquarian Age (less gloomy and a bit simpler but similar nonetheless), Cossette no Shouzou (different story but similar mood and main protagonist), and most notably Rahxephon (different format but if you condense it to 20% by focusing on the lead character it shows quite a few parallels). But note that all these animes have "Romance" as significant element which this one does not. (While we're at it: This entry desperately needed "Drama" as category, and I replaced "Weird" with "SciFi".)

Note: "Madako" isn't the name of the male lead (actually it's no Japanese name at all), it is Maiko's abbreviation for "Mai-chan, dai-suki, koi shiteru" ("Mai-chan, I like you, I've fallen in love with you"), condensing the first kana of each word to that funny "code word" for the status of their relation (as perceived by Maiko of course) which she wrote on the blackboard during episode 1.

Last updated Tuesday, August 26 2008. Created Friday, August 17 2007.
Buy Forbin [series:844#1573]
Drama : Med/High
Comedy : Low/Med
Action : Low/Med
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Low

This is defintely one of those animes that after you watch it, you have to watch it 2 more times just to get all the pieces to fit.

The English version has a good dub (even I thought Tama's annoying voice fit) but they did have a major problem with the lip flaps. It felt like I was a bit seasick from seeing voices that didn't match the flaps.

When you finally get to third episode and everything is explained you have to stop, rewind and replay just to make sure they said what they did say.

BTW : The girl on the right I don't get. She's in the 2nd OVA intro and in the end, but I don't remember where she came from.

Edit : The main character's name is not Madoko. As far as I can tell, we NEVER learn the main characters true name.

Last updated Monday, June 05 2006. Created Monday, June 05 2006.
Buy 8 9 8 7 9 9 Jan-Chan [series:844#967]
The fansub release of the third OVA is now out and the third episode promises to tie everything up and explain the strangeness of the first two episodes ..(which it does, but I am still pondering what was told in the story .)

This is a very strange series. The opening credits are a single person standing on a stage, under a single spot light, speaking a somber soliloquy. While starting off like any happy high school romance series, it quickly takes a dark turn and the story leaves behind the reality that we all know so well. But this series works very well as a horror mystery, with a lot of supernatural suspense.

Soliloquy - A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character talks to himself or herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener.

* Madako questions his understanding of reality, and is called upon to wonder about his reality, a different reality of his dreams. What is real. and what is truth?

* A high school counselor extracts a strange black parasite from the chest of a student, crushing the beast harshly, and splashing it's slime against a wall, where it evaporates into nothingness.

* A young girl stands up high looking down on Madako walking across the high school courtyard, calling him her onii-chan (brother) and asking him to not remember..

* The nightmare world that Madako chooses to enter is one of isolation, zombies, flying hellbeasts and cannibalistic hunters, but he does encounter a girl with a bow, the girl whom he saw on the train platform, and together they try to figure things out.

If you like a very heady mystical suspense story, which mixes in a lot of abstract conceptual criticisms of our current world order, then you might really enjoy this series, (this series attempts to ask and answer the question. What is reality? .) Otherwise, this is a really spooky and scary story of that talks about time, reality and our perception of what is going on around us. In any case, I really want to (over-rate) this series as a "buy", because it is NOT ordinary and tries to explain something that only the conceptual artists (or manga sources?) understand, for this very strange series. But it succeeds in, not only, being very entertaining, but also in offering something worthy of some measure of thought .

Sorry.. I really like this series, not only for its artistic quality, but also for the questions that it poses to the viewer. My suggestion would be to watch it for your self and make your own conclusion.

Last updated Friday, May 06 2005. Created Wednesday, September 08 2004.

Other Sites
Japanese OVA Series Web Site
Another Japanese Series Web Site
Wikipedia page for the Interlude Visual Novel / Game

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