Posted by psgels on 16 February 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

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I may have said it before, but for the past few months, I’ve been checking out several 13ish-episode series I’ve been wanting to check out for a long time. I went to AniDB and made a list of all anime that looked interesting to me. Right now, I’m working through this list, with the ones that look the least interesting to go first. Because of this, I saw many great things, such as Figure 17, while series such as Aquarian age turned out to be pure pain.

Right now, I’ve put my interest to three case-based series. Sentimental Journey is the first of them (let’s see if you can guess the others ^^). I’ve always been a fan of case-based series such as Mushishi and Kino no Tabi. About these three I had some doubts, though, as they’re all kindof slice-of-lifey. Especially Sentimental Journey had me worried, since the description said that it consisted out of 12 episodes, all dedicated to the relationship of a girl to a boy.

Thankfully, this anime turned out much more interesting than that. It’s true that each episode focuses on the relationship of a girl with a boy, but for starters, all these relations were past relationships. All couples got separated at one moment, mostly due to moving away. The boy never really is put in the spotlight. Heck, we never even get to see their faces. What this anime really focuses about is how this boy changed the girl. Each of these boys had some kind of influence, and the anime features these girls, years after they said goodbye, dealing with these experiences.

I must say that I’ve never been a really big fan of slice-of-life romances, but this anime felt like a very pleasant surprise. Each of the twelve tales are heart-warming stories, some better than the others. While I would normally find stories like these rather boring, the fact that each episode took a different focus was really refreshing. I therefore can say that I really enjoyed the calm and peaceful mood for this series.

The first episode serves as a nice introduction to the general premise of the story. It already shows that this anime can come up with some original twists to make each case unique, and it showcases the typical quiet mood. The second episode comes with a totally different girl, and it’s one of the few in which the girl actually managed to find a new boyfriend. The third episode was one of the lesser episodes. The premise was nice, though I felt that it lacked something. Episode 4 asked nice questions about life and memories, though I didn’t like how everything was based on one huge misunderstanding. With episode 5, however, this anime captured me for the first time when it features a greatly emotional tale about two best friends, about to be separated.

The definite highlight for me came with episode six, where the slice-of-life elements take a small step back, and the anime turns more into a crossing between a documentary and a case-study, where it features a fascinating discussion about earthly desires. Definitely recommendable. Episode 7 proposed some very interesting questions about lying, and how the girl has experienced this. Episode 8 showed nicely how influenceable a human could really be. Episode 9 was one of the more thought-provoking episodes, when it provides a very good twist to the arranged-marriage-plot. Episode 10 was another highlight for me, when it comes with an actual ghost story, or something similar. Episode 11 comes with a love-triangle, I expected it to be rather uninteresting, but somehow it managed to hold my interest throughout the entire episode. Episode 12, finally comes with a rather peculiar case. Even though the execution was nothing special when compared to the others, it remained very interesting to watch.

One of the things I like about case-based series is that the creators just can’t get away with cases in which nothing happens. They have to actually put some work into making each case unique. Furthermore, because all cases only take one episode, it’ll rarely drag. Sentimental Journey is a great example of this, even though it covered a genre I mostly find boring. Nearly each case has something unique. It’s also not always the girl’s viewpoint we see. One story gets told by an adult, one story doesn’t really have a main perspective, heck, one story even gets told by an empty soda-bottle. If I had to mention one down-point, it’s that some stories are too much focused on a misunderstanding. It made things a bit too repetitive for the stories-in-question.

In terms of graphics, you shouldn’t expect too much from this, though. The animation is nice, but the fact remains that this anime comes from 1998. Add that to the fact that it wanted to create a rather “old” feeling. The music, however, fits perfectly for the show. It really gave a feeling of the first years of the nineties. Especially because of the OP and ED.

If you happen to read this, and you also happed to see this anime as well, I’m interested in your favourite episodes. For me, it were episode 6, with episode 10 as a second place, though I feel that this an anime that can appeal in lots of different ways to lots of different people. I’m suspecting that everyone will probably have his or her own highlight of this series. I’m curious to see if that indeed is the case.

2 Responses

  1. Ookami says:

    Wonderful review ^^ i just got my hands on the whole serie and im on episode 4, so far my favorite is episode 2 and 3, i know 3 is kinda… i dunno boring? anyway it reminds me of someone so that maybe the reaosn i like it, thanks for taking the time to make a review about this =)

  2. Fred Herriot says:

    Love your review. I’ve been in love with Sentimental Graffiti/Journey since it first came out in the late 1990s.

    My favourite episode is, of course, the story of Nanase Yû as she is my favourite Senchi gal. But the others were just as enjoyable.

    I’m glad that many anime reviewers always give this particular series high marks. While this Senchi fan would gladly see more, maybe its best that it left off as is.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*

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