Posted by psgels on 26 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Bokura no


Bokura no, is the second series to finish of what I’d like to call the “big three” of the spring-season, along with Toward the Terra and Kaze no Shoujo Emily. For me, these three series stood out like no other for the past two seasons, and they just kept delivering quality over and over again. While Toward the Terra had its character-development, fast pacing and production-values, Bokura no shines not only through its well-written storyline, memorable characters and a rock-solid concept.

As soon as I read the concept, I knew we had something very special here. Revealing it entirely would be too much of a spoiler for the early episodes, but basically, this comes from the same mangaka as Narutaru. This time, however, a bunch of children are given the control not over monsters, but over a huge mecha. Bokura no shows what really happens when children get such a heavy burden placed upon themselves.

But don’t expect this to be a continuous angst-fest like Narutaru. The beauty of Bokura no is that the children involved aren’t special in any way. They’re just random and could in fact be your neighbour if you live in Japan. Each of these children is so incredibly different, and one of the many delightful elements of this series: every two or three episodes, the entire mood of the series changes for something completely different, while remaining logical and realistic. Sure, some children freak out, but that’s only one or two of them. Each of the children has his or her own problems and wishes, and that’s what makes this anime so brilliant. I could go more into detail, but I refuse for the sake of spoilers.

Then there’s the plot. Manga-readers should be aware that halfway through the anime, the director decided to go into a totally different direction when compared to the manga. Whether it improved or not, I can’t say, since I haven’t read it. But I can say that it has some definite competition with the storyline the director came up with. The pacing is very fast yet nothing feels rushed, and yet there’s a different and shocking plot twist nearly every episode.

Perhaps one of the few lesser points is that some episodes decide to focus on politics, instead of what this anime is really about: the children. But even this contributes to an overall mood of believability of the series. A giant robot has just appeared. Of course the military is going to react, and yet I see so many anime where mechas can just walk over the street without anyone noticing it. Also, when buildings get destroyed, they really get destroyed, and don’t magically disappear from the screen without any traces left. This really shows the impact that those giant robots can have on the societies.

If I had to mention a bad point… well, some plot-twists are a bit too coincidental, but that describes nearly 90% of all other anime as well. According to the manga-readers, the first half of the series also left out a few parts of developments for the different characters, but that’s probably in order to make it to air on tv, since the manga has a reputation to be rather gruesome at times. Still, I prefer this down-to-earth style of storytelling.

The character-designs are also perfect. Well, that’s what I think at least. The beauty of them is their simplicity: this really shows that the characters are just normal people, dragged into the story, instead of busty schoolgirls with hair in every colour of the rainbow and overly large pupils. Gonzo has been animating them, and it shows: when the animation is at its best, the characters look beautiful, despite their simplistic designs. One of the few elements of this series that isn’t outstanding is the music. It’s just good, but there are enough series with a better soundtrack.

Overall, while it isn’t the most popular anime out there, I absolutely loved this series. It’s delightfully different and unique, and quite possibly one of the most thought-provoking series of the year. While a few of the characters could have used a bit more development here and there, the rest of the series totally made up for it.

18 Responses

  1. tman aka kauldron26 says:

    better than terra??? r u serious?? wow… i guess i gotta check it out then. right now terra is the best anime of 2007 hands down.

  2. reslez says:

    You’re on the mark with your characterization of Spring 07. A lot of great series. I’m always tempted to make fun of Bokura no for its somewhat leaden depiction of dysfunctional children, but it brings a lot to the table. One of my favorite aspects of the series is the glimpses we sometimes get of alternate Earths, and the different ways other societies responded to the same dilemma. We root for the children to win, but we slowly begin to wonder if their Earth deserves to survive.

  3. Forwho says:

    Are you going to pick up the Manga?

  4. Archer says:

    your review is really well done,i bet if someone read this it would not spoil anything if they did not watched the anime
    but i can certainly say that this is not the best anime of the year as some said but i won’t go any further even if i think there are more than five animes better than this one and since it is one of the good animes of the past seasons but i am sure that it won’t win any prizes in the annual rankings anyway nice reviews for your last two completed animes and lets hope that the new season wil be better than the last one

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Forwho: I’m not sure exactly when or how (I’m not that big of a manga-reader), but the chance is very large that I’ll end up reading it someday.

    Archer: Ah well, I kindof expected this. My own taste isn’t exactly “mainstream”. ^^; Anyway, I’m glad that you like my review. My own outlook for the upcoming season is that it’s rather small, when compared to other ones.

  6. Ivy says:

    Oh yay its over.

    Hmm I’m a little underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong I thought both 23 and 24 were good, its just I hoped the series as a whole would be as good as those two episodes, but it wasn’t its merely ok. Plus why mess with such great source material grrr! Oh and bad director choice, I mean I lowered my expectations significantly after hearing about the director’s infamous “I hate original”. One scene I thought was well done was the kana and Daichii’s siblings meeting. That was unexpected and a nice change of pace.

  7. IceFayth says:

    hey is bokura no= bokura ga ita? cause the bokura no i found only have 18 episodes where as bokura ga ita have 26 episodes. please clarify me asap k?

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Heh, Bokura no is something entirely different from Bokura ga Ita. The reason you can only find eighteen episodes is that there are only eighteen of them subbed. You can find the downloads at regular torrents sites as Tokyo Toshokan.

  9. IceFayth says:

    ic, then how u get to know about the next 6 episode’s storyline? im interested in deathnote too anyidea where can i get to download them?=)

  10. IceFayth says:

    ic, then how u get to know about the next 6 episode’s storyline? im interested in deathnote too anyidea where can i get to download them?=)

  11. psgels psgels says:

    I watched these episodes raw, without subtitles. ;)

    Death Note is also available on sites like Tokyo Toshokan.

  12. Forwho says:

    (I realised this is kind of late but) I’m not a Manga reader either but I’m gonna read this Manga after my exam. If you do pick up the Manga do review! I like your reviews. I think your taste is not very “mainstream” either but I think that’s what is nice about it, because mine isn’t too lol.

  13. yuseff says:

    I just cannot agree to your review. I apologize if this sounds rude, but while it is very true that this anime was very thought-provoking, it just didn’t click. There were so many plot holes in it, it’s just annoying. I agree that this anime has strayed away from your typical anime where no one dies (aka Bleach), but in the end, its an anime of enjoyment, its an anime which revolves around deep-thinking instead. And the reality point, I just can’t agree with that. Why was it all just focused in Japan? I mean if involved the whole world being at stake, then seriously, Japan shouldn’t be the only one taking care of it. Seriously, Mushi shi is much better than this!

  14. Tan-Tan says:

    TBH I don’t think it’s thought-provoking either. What stood out really was the cruelty of reality and the strength of mankind to move on. What about the dimension survival stuff thing? Well, that’s just the concept isn’t? But the main story, as you said, was about the children themselves. And frankly their stories are nothing new but I think it was done amazingly anyway.

    Well I guess it depends from person to person, how the message hit him.

  15. Oroboros says:

    This may sound heretical… but Bokura No is the closest thing to Evangelion, and is probably a little more realistic if not as epic/ambitious, and more consistent if not as stylish or ground-breaking.

  16. Nosfistis says:

    I’ll be frank, I didn’t enjoy the anime that much. My main enjoyment came from the sorrow and drama that came with the inevitability of the situation. The children’s stories didn’t leave an impact on me, except for a few of them, because of the very fact that the anime portrayed them too realistically. Drama is stronger when there is hope or happiness and it’s crushed under the plot’s circumstances. Bokura no didn’t leave any place for hope or salvation. Also the kids, because they are real, random persons, their problems feel too familiar and on the ground to really create theatrical drama. It felt uncomfortable, true, but almost never dramatic. Worse of all, the anime didn’t expand much on the core story, the giant robots and their enemies. So much lost potential there. All in all, while the execution is very good, the themes of the story never clicked with me.

  1. [...] My thoughts immediately turned to Bokurano; the way I dropped it, the way my fellow bloggers really loved it and most of all, the way it’s such a fascinating idea for an anime series. Long story short, [...]

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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 12:52 AM)
    Well in the case of Samuel Jackson playing nick fury, I never truly gave a crap about the comic book character. But I have never taken Jackson seriously as the head of shield. It hard to see him as a dependable leader.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 11:29 PM)
    Synecdoche, New York:
    What a great film. Charlie Kauffman’s directorial debut is a post-modern surreàl piece about fear of death and mortality. There are few editing and pacing issues which a more experienced director could’ve ironed out, and the very nature of the movie begs to be called pretentious and boring by shallow viewers. Yet this is still an honest and meticulous piece of artistic filmmaking which shouldn’t be missed by those who enjoy the craft.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:56 PM)
    I did think some of the outburst though in death parade 04 were verging too far on the melodrama though.
    Still like Garo this week, still a very watchable episode.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:35 PM)
    Come to think of it In kingsman they changed the villain to be black also. Of course all this I consider pretty minor. Moreso I’m tired of seeing Samuel L Jackson playing himself in everything.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:28 PM)
    But in the case of the Marvel stuff, with Nick Fury and Human torch, I know its a crap complaint but for me its a case of “He doesn’t look close enough to the comic”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:16 PM)
    @Aidan: They think they are promoting diversity but all it ends up being is completely tokenistic to the core.
    The fantastic 4 have always struck me as characters that were too difficult to get right/write.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:08 PM)
    Sort of like how skyfall made moneypenny black for that “OOHHH SNAP!” moment. Disregarding the point of moneypenny and not to mention making her a character who was so incompetent a secret agent that she was demoted to Secretary.Or like how they made Annie black. Just why exactly?
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:06 PM)
    So the new fantastic four is going to have a black human torch. So…why is he black? I mean I don’t really care as long as the character is portrayed well but this feels like the only reason they made him black was just cause.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 09:51 PM)
    Death parade episode 4 then, I appreciated that it wasn’t as “sweet” as last week, the middle aged woman’s backstory was a highlight moreso than the guy who appeared this episode and her reaction later on was great to see. Like what Decim was up to this week but I wasn’t really feeling the tension in this episodes game as much as I should have.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 09:47 PM)
    What on earth was up with Garo this week, heh, monster of the week healing German, still at least the ending to that episode definitely catches my attention with its last scene and it was a step up from the goofiness last week.

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