Posted on 29 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, True Tears


Love triangles and myself don’t have the best relationship. They’re often predictable, usually get nowhere and really like to distract from the main point of a series. True Tears shows that things can be done differently, though. This series has really been built around a love-triangle, and somehow, it’s managed to avoid the pitfalls that has caused the demise of so many series.

The key is good scriptwriting. The series is originally based upon a visual novel, though the creators made the smart decision to just ignore the storyline and come up with their own. True Tears is a slow series, but because it’s slow, it’s able to really dive into the minds of its characters. The result delivers, because the characters in this series are deep.

This is one of these series where the characters and their intentions can’t be easily described in one sentence. A major theme of this series is sorting out your own feelings, and feelings like that aren’t that simple to describe. Shinichiro, our main male lead also keeps hopping from one girl to the other, making the viewer wonder about who he’ll end up choosing until the final episode. The side-characters also for once aren’t stereotypes. The best friend has an actual personality and his own problems, the main character’s father and mother play a big role in the series as well. There’s just one character whose role remains ambiguous throughout the series: Aiko. I’m still not sure what her purpose actually was.

The visuals are another reason to check out this series, because they look absolutely gorgeous. A lot of attention has been put in the animation, and you can see that this series has received a big budget to work with. Even though there are definitely better series, True Tears remains a worthy series of your time.

Posted on with categories: True Tears


And so it has ended. We finally know who Shinichiro ends up with, though I’ll refrain from mentioning her in the first paragraph in order to avoid spoilers showing up in the blog-aggregators. I can’t say that this was the best episode of the series, but that’s only natural. In the end, this series’ best moments were in the middle, while the final episodes were more like one huge aftermath, and much less tense.

So in the end, Hiromi has won. To be honest, I only saw it coming when Shinichiro openly said to Noe that he loved Hiromi. In the end, Noe helped him to take off, and he’s very grateful to her for that, though it’s someone else he loves. A hit on the head was also exactly what Noe needed, and it made her reflect the stupid things she did. It might have hurt a bit, but she’s now managed to put herself over Shinichiro. In the aftermath, we also see that she’s finally found herself a couple of good friends.

I must say that it’s definitely been an interesting experience, to blog a show I usually wouldn’t blog. In the end, the biggest reason for me to do it was that it was directed by the director of Simoun, and he’s really proven himself again with this series. Instead of mind-blowing, True Tears is subtle, and shines through its deep characters. It by no means has the right to call itself equal to Simoun, but nonetheless it does remain one of the best love-triangles I’ve seen. His next works will strangely enough be directing the third season of Kyo Kara Maoh, which gives me a strange sort of curiosity toward that series, but I guess that I’ll just wait till the second season of Code-E to see the guy’s work again. (really, something’s telling me that the upcoming summer-season will be awesome).

Posted on 22 March 2008 with categories: True Tears


Okay, I was wrong… this episode didn’t feature the climax of this series at all. All it did was just build up for the next one, while the local festival took place. I do say that Shinichiro’s a pretty good dancer. And he’s probably the first harem-lead ever that actually performs during a festival, because it’s usually the other way around.

In any case, this episode built up very well, along with the previous episode. For a large part, it follows Noe, as she tries to make sense of what to do next, and it subtly suggested that Noe would indeed jump off of somewhere at the end of the episode. After all, first we have Shinichiro’s story, where the chicken that wants to fly crashes down. Then she can’t make her own chickens fly. Shinichiro is also in top-shape, and he really is able to find something to do as he performs, and the scene cuts to a couple of pigeons and seagulls that actually do take off.

The portrayal of Noe as a chicken and Shinichiro as a seagull is quite appropriate. Shinichiro has really developed over the past few episodes. You can see that he’s been trying to sort out his own feelings, and with success. He may zigzag between Noe and Hiromi, but every time his feelings do move from one to the other, he gets a bit closer to fining out what he really wants to do with his life.

Noe on the other hand, has been going nowhere. She too is in the middle of some sort of love-triangle, but in this episode, her brother has basically scared her off now that he actually made clear that he loves her. The fact that she’s weird is basically a double-edged sword. On one side, this perfectly distracted Shinichiro from his own lovesickness about Hiromi, but on the other hand she basically alienated everyone else. Now that she’s lovesick herself, there’s nobody else for her apart from Shinichiro, and he has been occupied with Hiromi for quite a bit. Added to that, while Shinichiro has his dancing and manga-writing, all Noe has are her chickens and her strange theories to distract her.

And these are exactly who she turns to. In this episode, she realizes how Shinichiro has left her behind, and tries to take off herself. This time, though, it’s in the literal sense, and she jumps off the same tree as in the first episode, though this time it looks to be a bit higher.

So, the big question: what the heck is going to happen in the next episode?! Noe will probably end up in the hospital, but then? I still have no freaking idea about who Shinichiro will end up with. He’ll obviously care a lot about Noe, and make sure she’s treated properly at the beginning of the next episode, but it’s not like Hiromi will just stand still and do nothing.

What surprises me a bit is that one major question still hasn’t been answered: if Hiromi and Shinichiro aren’t siblings, then why did Shinichiro’s mother hate Hiromi?

Posted on 15 March 2008 with categories: True Tears


Okay, so as things look now, the next episode will feature the big climax of True Tears, while episode 13 will be some kind of aftermath. And really, after the last episode I may have said that Shinichiro and Hiromi are now officially a couple, but this episode yet again gave both of them an equal change. On one hand, Shinichiro and Hiromi ended up kissing each other this episode, but at the same time Shinichiro has found out how much Noe thinks about him.

True Tears really is a series about sorting out your own feelings, and making hard decisions that will end up in others getting hurt. One thing that I do hope for is that the creators aren’t going for a “true happy ending”, like how the one who Shinichiro doesn’t end up choosing will leave, while being happy because Shinichiro is happy. This is just so overused, as a cheap plot-twist to just wrap up small love-triangles without much trouble. I like how True Tears did this with Aiko, and Clannad with just about every female character. They all realized that they won’t stand a chance. The girls from Clannad then just continued as usual, though that doesn’t mean that they’re happy about it, and Aiko went and tried to make up with Miyokichi again. Although subtle, these reasons are so much better than having just one guy around a bunch of girl, and none of these girls seem to realize that they’re not the only ones in love with said guy.

I think that in these themes, True Tears is one step above Kimikiss, even though these two use rather similar concepts. It really feels like Kimikiss is trying too hard with its love triangles, and it really misses the subtlety of True Tears in my opinion. Take this episode for example. We get a lot of different close-ups, but you’ll never know exactly how these characters are feeling. With Kimikiss, guessing how each character feels is much easier, making that show much more predictable.

Posted on 8 March 2008 with categories: True Tears


With this episode, the zig-zagging of Shinichiro’s feelings is definitively over, and he’s finally chosen. I must say, that this has been one of the best harems I’ve seen. The director of Simoun has really shown that even a harem can turn out great with the right development. I still cringe at how many of these series feature the plot-device where a younger-version of the protagonist meets up with a bunch of girls, and they all end up falling in love with him afterwards. It really doesn’t go that easily! Especially Shuffle was bad at this (christ, I still can’t believe that I ever managed to finish that series).

There are three episodes left, and they’ll probably focus on Noe, sorting out her own feelings. This episode pretty well resolved the Miyokichi/Aiko storyline, and it seems that Aiko did sort out hers, and has acknowledged that Shinichiro doesn’t like her. I doubt that Noe will take it that well, though. Her brother took her so much in his protection that she’s hardly ever been with another guy, and it’s apparent how much trust she put in Shinichiro when he first met her, trying to look for someone to distract him from his worries about Hiromi.

One thing I like about this series is how Shinichiro isn’t portrayed as some huge player, who even though he has one girl, goes after another. This seems to happen often in other harems, and random girls fall surprisingly easy for the guy, even though they hardly know him. With True Tears, all the crushes are neatly explained, and in the end, they didn’t feel forced. The creators did very well in keeping within the boundaries of suspense of disbelief, something that yet again most other harems have a lot of troubles with.

Posted on 1 March 2008 with categories: True Tears


Seriously, this series keeps moving forward like a seismograph that’s about to detect a big earthquake: Hiromi – Noe – Hiromi – Noe – Hiromi – Noe – et cetera. One moment, you’d think that Shinichiro goes for Noe, but then another plot-twists makes his interests waver to Hiromi again. In this episode, this plot-twist is Hiromi and Noe’s brother eloping and crashing their motorbike on a slippery road afterwards.

Nobody was hurt, but the bike’s gone now, which is quite a big hit for Noe’s brother. In any case, their little adventure did make both Noe and Shinichiro incredibly worried. Because of this, Shinichiro and Hiromi forget how they avoided each other in the past, and become much closer. Noe of course doesn’t like this, but she decides to let Shinichiro go to be with Hiromi. The episode ends, however, with Noe being incredibly love-sick.

What’s also interesting is how the story that Shinichiro and Hiromi are siblings isn’t true at all. Shinichiro’s mother just made that up. I do wonder why she hated Hiromi, though. Was this because she never got asked permission for Hiromi to come and live with her, or something? The degree of realism overall was quite good in this episode, from Hiromi and Noe’s brother who drove slowly because of the frost so they didn’t end up getting hurt to the rumours that escalated on school the day afterwards and Shinichiro getting into fights because of it.

It really seems like the creators want to keep the way they want to end this series a surprise for as long as possible. At this episode, it seemed that Hiromi would be “the one” for him, but the fact does remain that Noe’s still incredibly lovesick and there are four episodes left.

Posted on 24 February 2008 with categories: True Tears


A relative quiet episode, but you can see where it builds up to. Shinichiro and Noe are now properly dating, and Hiromi and Noe’s brother also get a bit closer together this episode. Both Shinichiro and Hiromi hide with their partner, to forget about each other, but it’s apparent that this can’t go on forever.

Still, it’s been eight episodes, and I’m still not sure what Aiko is doing in this series. What can she offer, besides the role of a red herring that keeps popping up once in a while? Right now, if both she and Miyokichi were left out of this series, it wouldn’t have made any difference at all to how the rest of the main cast would have developed, and I’m missing a bit of interaction of Aiko with Noe and Hiromi. It would be interesting if in any of the following episodes, she actually met one or both of them.

In any case, this episode served its purpose well. The creators did a really good job to show how much Noe likes Shinichiro, and I liked how Shinichiro finally became happy again by hanging out with Noe, after all his worries of the past few episodes. What I’m hoping for the final episodes is that each of the three couples will get closer together, while sorting out their own feelings. I’m not really sure whether it’ll be good for this series to become some kind of love-variant of musical chairs.

Posted on 16 February 2008 with categories: True Tears


Oh boy, this series just keeps delivering. This time, it’s the time for Noe to get some major development. You don’t often anime where people date each other, even though one of them is in love with somebody else (except when said person wants to manipulate the other, or the anime is called Saiunkoku Monogatari, of course), and here in True Tears, we’ve got two of these couples now.

Shinichiro is still in love with Hiromi, but now that the two are possible siblings, there’s no way that they’ll ever become a couple. And to try and forget this, he finally asks Noe to start dating him. It’s here where he finds out that Noe has really been in love with him. Then, when he tells this to Aiko, she finally loses it. I guess that she was fine while Shinichiro had no official girlfriend yet, as she could lie to herself a bit. But now that he’s actually dating someone, it’s much harder to just try and ignore this.

This was also a major episode for Shinichiro himself, as with that kiss, he must have figured out that Aiko likes him too. In one episode, he was forced to see that there are more sheep in the ocean than just Hiromi (I think I got that proverb wrong, but I don’t care at the moment). What would really be interesting for this series is to see it break away from its harem roots, and have Hiromi seriously fall in love with Noe’s brother. That would be quite interesting.

Posted on 9 February 2008 with categories: True Tears


Haha! This was most definitely the best episode of True Tears yet! Episode six may have been a bit too early for such a deep drama to already start, but at least this episode turned out excellent. It’s interesting how well te creators have managed to build up the atmosphere, in such a relative short time, considering that most series need at least thirteen episodes to achieve the same thing.

Noe’s brother got a pretty large role in the end. This episode, he ends up dating Hiromi, just to get her attention away from Shinichiro so that he can start dating Noe. I assume that he intends to break up with her as soon as Noe and Shinichiro are a true couple. It turns out that the reason why he’s so close with his sister is that they’ve spent almost all of their time together since their grandmother died (I couldn’t pick up what happened to their parents), and now he wants someone else to take care of Noe so that he can go his own ways. It was also pretty fun to see Noe steal Shinichiro’s belt. It must have been pretty tough for the guy to spend the rest of the day. :P

Aiko also finally gets her much-needed development, and we finally know why she started dating Miyokichi in the first place. It seems that she already had a crush on Shinichiro for a long time, but never had the guts to confess to him. Then Miyokichi came around, and fell in love at first sight. He did have the guts to confess to her, and she ended up agreeing, just because Shinichiro encouraged her. With this episode, their relationship also starts to fall apart, when Aiko finally gives enough hints to Miyokichi to make him see that she still fancies Shinichiro.

The really important part of this episode was about Hiromi, though. Shinichiro overhears one of the bad discussions between his mother and Hiromi, and he picks up how Hiromi refers to something that happened in the past between the two. Obviously, he wants to find out about it, and goes after Hiromi. As it turns out, according to Shinichiro’s mother, Hiromi is Shinichiro’s half-sister. Their father committed adultery on Hiromi’s mother, indeed confirming what many people have already speculated. This is why Shinichiro’s mother hates Hiromi’s mother so much: she basically took away her loved one, and she still can’t forgive Hiromi for that, even if this is subconscious.

Posted on 2 February 2008 with categories: True Tears


Is it really that uncommon for Japanese boys and girls to have lunch together at school? Now that this series has mentioned it, the only time when I recall that characters, apart from lovers had a school casual school lunch with the opposite sex was in xxxHolic.

In any case, this was a rather quiet episode. The less amazing animation seems to back up my view. At least we now know that Noe is jealous too, though at least she tries to relief it in quite a different way from usual: by having lunch with Hiromi. Shinichiro also makes a rather stupid move towards Harumi, when he basically mentions how Noe’s brother said that she was cute. Aiko, meanwhile, finally takes action and prevents Shinichiro from answering to Miyokichi, in order to spend more time together. Seriously, that girl is diging her own grave.

And that’s basically all that happened. Like I said, it was a pretty quiet episode. I liked how the creators showed one scene two times, from the perspective of different characters, like Tokyo Marble Chocolate did before, and Seraphim Call took to the extreme.

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