Saturday, June 06, 2009

Anime Review:Now and Then, Here and There

Hi guys,I just watched a 13 episode anime.Not the best, but highly recommended because it is so different.

The story starts with a highly energetic and recklessly courageous Japanese boy, Shu who saw a blue hair girl on a tall chimney.He went up to rescue her,only to be attacked by some mechanical machines that look like garbage cans with hands and legs and a robot snake.There was also a woman called Abelia in military uniform who tries to take the blue hair girl(Lala Ru) away.Shu tries to stoppped them but got transported to the far future where humanity is almost wiped out by war and water shortages is extreme.

Shu was transported to a gigantic cyclidrical shaped battleship called Hellywood which is ruled by the mad Hamdo.From there, Shu attempst to rescue Lala Ruy,fought with Hellywood child soldiers and gained some allies after he saved Nabuca,the most stalward of Hellywood child soldiers and Boo,a younger child soldier.Shu was captured,tortured,beaten and witnessed himself the horrors of the future when an enemy land battleship attacked Hellywood and decimated Hellywood soldiers.Hamdo was crazy and shot some Death Star laser at the enemy battleship,destroying it with much of Hellywood ground forces.Abelia seemed calm following the orders but the anime masters managed to embed some discomfort into her face evertime Hamdo gave out some orders that involve multiple deaths of her men.

Shu also met Sara.A girl from the past who was taken because she looks like Lala Ru except she's blond.Sara,a acaptive, was raped repetitively by soldiers in order to impregnate her and raise her child as a soldier. This is one aspect of the anime that is different. The rape scene is not shown, but the way how Sara was suddenly dragged by some gaunt solder was enough to give you an impression on how bad it is. The trauma suffered by Sara id also very vivid and would have been the real reaction of any real victim.Eventually, when it was the turn of another soldeir, Sara fought back and killed the soldier and sneaked out wearing a Hellywood uniform and escaped into the desert.Outside, she seed suicidal.gripping a knife.You'll think she'll commit suicide but instead she cut her hair and ran into the desert screaming.I remember this scene so well, it was a really powerful scene that lingered in my head for several years since I watched this anime 3-4 years ago.Sara was later found fainted by a desert woman(Sis).

At Hellywood, Shu was incorporated as a child soldier since Hellywood lost so many adult soldiers in the last battle.Shu and nabuca, were at opposite ends as Shu,who is ethical and have more moral conscience oppose and intereferes with Helllywoods way of doing things. When Hellywood despatch the child soldiers to kidnap children from surrounding villages, Shu was horrified and tried to stop them but Nabuca stopped him with force.Nabuca then reminisce how he was kidnapped in the same way and was somehow horrfied by the thought that these children will do thes same thing to other children.But Nabuca just followed orders, hoping that these brutality would end the war faster and they all can go home as Hamdo promised them.

Lala Ru meanwhile is revealed to be some sort of a thousand year old freak of nature who could produce and manipulate water in the otherwise waterless world.She could summon out water from a pendant on her encklace but this weakens her considerably. She refuses to use her powers even after being raped by Hamdo,the ordeal that does not seem as painful as Sara's as Lala Ru seems to lack emotion but there was a scene where she squirmed on her bed with a painful look on her face,it seems to me that it takes time for Lala Ru to understand emotion and as the anime progreses, she seem to gain more more character,spoke more and becomes more human.Shu eventually came to rescue her from Hamdo, but they were cornered by Hamdo and Abelia,so Lala Ru used her powers to flood Helywood and escape with Shu into the desert.But Hamdo was still overjoyed as Hellywood now has enough water that is used as fuel to make Hellywood airborne again.

In the desert, after escaping a Hellywood search party when Nabucalspared them as a token of good gesture to Shu for saving his life.Shu and Lala Ru eventually reached an oasis called Zari Bars populated by victims of Hellywood.There they were taken care of by Sis who was the woman who saved Sara.Sara assaulted Lala Ru and blames her for the ordeals she went through.It was also revealed taht Sara was pregnant and when she found out tried to commit suicide but Shu stopped her and tells her to live on.Despite the tesnion caused by Sara, they lived a good life for a short time.It is also revealed that a Zari Bar man has periodically sent assassins to kill Hamdo at Hellywood.With water in store, Hamdo was planning to destroy Zari Bars after Hellywood achieved lift off.

To save Zari Bars.The radicals at Zari Bars injured Sis and attempts to use Lala Ru as a hostage to save Zari Bars.But Hamdo was still determined to destroy Zari Bars and unleasehd the child soldiers upon Zari Bars.It was a sad episode with som much scenes of killing.Nabuca is shown shoooting into houses filled with children with his eyes closed, which was enough to show chill the blood of audiences. Things got complicated when Nabuca met Shu. Nabuca still wants to spare Shu and tell him to run while he kills the remaining Zari Bars population.Shu refuses and Boo, Nabuca's side kick also refuses to fight but a Zari Bars girl, whose father was killed by Hellywood shot at Nabucalbut Boo shielded him and died as a resut.Nabuca suffered a mental breakdown and refuses to fight but another jealous Hellywood child soldier who envied him shot him after a short struggle. Shu and the survivors were rounded up to be used as slaves. Before the bleeding Nabuca dies, he tels Shu to return to his world, the past. Meanwhile, Hamdo was trying to convince Lala Ru to get more water for Hellywood. However,Shu escaped again, fought the guards and damaged Hellywood's control system in the process, causing the fragile Hellywood to lose altitude. Shu rescues Lala Ru and she asked him to take her to the top of Hellywood saying 'It is my turn now'. At the top, Lala Ru summons an immense amount of water from the sky which fell onto Hellywood and drowning many Hellywood soldeirs and Zari Bars citizens including Hamdo.The earth was flooded and the the desert world was no more.It is also shown that Sara,Abelia and many Zari Bars citizens survived the apocalyptic event.

After the flooding, Lala Ru was so weak but she said she has done her duty.Apparently, Lala Ru was like an agent of destruction of the world but she was also cleansing the world. The last scene of Lala Ru shows her resting her head on Shu's shoulder, watching the sunset. At the same time, her body gradually disappears. It was a heart wrenching scene. Later, Sara revealed that she wants to stay in the future. She is pregnant and wants to start a new life and thanked Shu for preventing her from attempting suicide at Zari Bars.Abelia, a captive, then helped use Hellywood to send Shu back to the past.Abelia though she will be executed but Sara simply tugged at her hand, as if forgiving her for her atrocities, and I expect Abelia will be helping the other survivors to rebuild again.

This anime is different because of its intense anti war theme. Other issues include child soldiers and sexual expolitation. This is no anime with big breasted girls or silly jokes. Every episode is grim but carries a lot of message Even every sentence said by the characters have a lot of meaning. Despite being a dark anime, if you start watching it, you will want to watch more because you will know it is a good anime when you see it. Enough with Yaois and Shoujos, we need more animes like 'Here and There Now and Again' to remind people that we still have alot of problems out there in the world.

This is the haunting ending theme of the anime.An indication of how dark the anime is.

1 comment:

nkecik said...

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