True Tears – Anime Review

The Essentials

True TearsName: True Tears
Genre: Romance, Drama, Comedy
Episodes: 13
Aired: January 5, 2008 – March 29, 2008
Based On: True Tears visual novel game by La’cryma
Director: Junji Nishimura
Produced By: P.A. Works, Bandai Visual
US Distribution By: Bandai Visual/Bandai Entertainment

Cast

Character Japanese Cast English Cast (N/A)
Shinichiro Nakagami: Makoto Ishii
Noe Isurugi: Ayahi Takagaki
Hiromi Yuasa: Kaori Nazuka
Aiko Ando: Yuka Iguchi
Miyokichi Nobuse: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Jun Isurugi: Yuuki Masuda
Tomoyo Kurobe: Tomomi Watanabe

Review

True Tears is about a boy named Shinichiro who is part of a love pentagon.  First, there is Hiromi, a childhood friend of Shinichiro who now lives with him and his parents after her father passed away the previous year.  However, Shinichiro’s mother seems cold to Hiromi for some reason.  Next, it’s yet another childhood friend of Shinichiro, Aiko, who runs a bakery after school, where Shinichiro and his friend Miyokichi spend much of their time.  However, despite Aiko’s crush on Shinichiro, she accepted being Miyokichi’s girlfriend after he confessed and Shinichiro urged her to accept.

Finally, there is Noe.  Noe is seen as a rather strange girl at school, about whom there are many rumors (such as her ability to curse people).  She has been encouraging one of the chickens which are kept at the school, Raigomaru, to fly.  However, Raigomaru is suddenly killed by a racoon, and so Noe sees Shinichiro as her new object of affection, wanting to see him “fly.”  She also says that she’s given her tears away, and only someone very close can give her her tears back.

Shinichiro himself isn’t sure what he thinks of all this, and tries to spend his time writing picture books in hopes of eventually being accepted into an art school.

The good things about this series include the fact that I thought it was, overall, very well written and thought out.  There were several points of drama including all three of the main females, and all of them were executed in a way that made the story entertaining and dramatic.  There were plenty of good plot twists, and they were often twists that one knew something was wrong, but didn’t know exactly what until the show pulled the twist on you.  Others have noted that, this also seems to be one of the few “pure” love-triangle/rectangle/pentagon/moreagon shows where the entire show is just…normal.  No supernatural goings on.  No wild outlandish happenings.  Just people trying to figure out what they want to do.  I think that, almost more than anything else, explains why this show excelled so much.

On top of the story is added some of the best consistent animation quality I think I’ve seen anywhere.  Sometimes a series will start out strong with animation and then the quality will drop, but the animation in True Tears was flabbergasting (I was trying to find a word to go beyond mere “amazing”) all the way through.  And just to pile on, the music was very good as well.

If there is a weakness, and some people could argue that this isn’t really a weakness, is that some things are left unsaid.  What happens to the “primary loser” at the end of the show?  Or hell, for the winners at that?  I think there is still a lot of uncertainty left about many things when the show ends, but then again, one can say that that’s real life as well.

Overall, if you’re one who likes these romance so-called harem shows, and don’t mind that this is a really down-to-earth version of one, then I definitely think that you’d like True Tears.

Scores

Story: 5/5
Animation: 5/5
Music: 5/5
English Dubs: N/A

Overall: 5/5

First Watched: January 2008; August 2009
Do I Own: Yes
Do I Recommend: Yes

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