Posted by psgels on 9 March 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




Bobby’s in Deep… definitely took me by surprise. I mean, at first sight it’s just a story about a teenager. With the vast majority of anime being about teenagers, I expected this to be some average romance movie. Nevertheless, after watching this I can say that this movie felt unlike any other anime I’ve seen. The animation, characters, direction and plot: they’re all totally unique.

The movie is a portrait of a 17-year-old guy who likes motorbikes. The thing is, that the way in which he is portrayed is what stands out here. The pacing is really slow, but this allows the creators to show who he is. His problems are wonderfully realistic and miles away from just about any cliche, all really helped by an excellent scriptwriter for the dialogue and narration. This movie knows exactly what to way, when to say it, and when to just shut up and let the animation speak for itself. Together with a very pleasant 80s soundtrack this creates a wonderful atmosphere and character whose realistic portrayal should have been an example for the future, which it unfortunately didn’t become.

And as for the animation: expect a lot of different animation styles here. The director for this one is excellent in the way that he blends all of them together. A lot of shots of this movie don’t contain any faces or close-ups at all, along with a few montages and quite a number of still frames. In contrast however, the animation in some of the other scenes is amazingly smooth. To come with a bit of an indication here: some of the Key Animators for this movie were Koji Morimoto and Takashi Nakamura. Believe me, this shows.

This is the kind of slice of life movie that I really like: instead of random events, every part of this movie is carefully planned out to try and give a complete view of the lead character and portray him for who he is, and do justice to some of the major events in his life. It’s all wonderfully compiled together with an amazing ending in which just about everything comes together with both a great subtlety and a power. This might be the first time where Madhouse really showed how unique they can be when they want to.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Terrific build-up, says a lot with both the dialogue and the nonverbal communication.
Characters: 9/10 – An excellent portrait of a teenager with many subtle characterizations.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Not the biggest budget, but what it has is excellently used. Some of the animation is breathtaking. Excellent soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – Excellent backdrop of the way and place where a kid like him would live.

Suggestions:
Gosenzosama Banbanza
Hitsuji no Uta
Nasu – Suitcase no Wataridori

3 Responses

  1. Avatar AshLynx says:

    Glad you enjoyed this! I had to see this on the basis of who did the character designs, Akimi Yoshida, the only character designs that have ever been in an anime for her (despite having quite a few manga under her belt). She wrote my favorite manga of all time, Banana Fish (where my username comes from), I’m kinda shocked that none of her manga has an anime yet.

  2. Avatar Souther says:

    This sounds like a very good character study, perhaps I’ll get around to watching it later, but I’d just like to add that sometimes the life of real teenagers can be more…difficult and far from subtle.

    You can definitely make two completely different kinds of stories with that same premise (one that focuses on careful or detailed characterizatio and one that focuses on all the chaos of going through conflicting emotions), neither of which is inherently “superior” to the other.

    Reality itself can often be quite subtle one day and almost completely random the next.

  3. Avatar Souther says:

    THEM has a very different take on this same OVA (and uses a bunch of spoilers too, so don’t say I didn’t warn you here!), but I suppose that shows there can be varying amounts of cynicism and, of course, different tastes among anime viewers and reviewers.

    What psgels finds to be subtle and realistic is something that Bradley Meek found to be awful and juvenile.

    As always though, I’m willing to give this a chance for myself.

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