Posted by: Redgeek | November 27, 2017

Hipster Hotline: Now and Then, Here and There

NTHT00

Let me take a deep breath. This anime is great, but…look, its been years since I first saw this show and I still remember how hard it hit me. I went in blind thinking this was a typical boy-meets-girl-while-going-on-an-adventure story. No, no, no, there’s a bit more to it.

Our protagonist, Shu, a caring young boy tries to help a girl, Lala-Ru, in trouble. Soon he’s transported to another time and place where…stuff happens. This story doesn’t pull punches. Shu is “interrogated” and at that point I realized this thirteen episode series is not going in the direction I first thought. This series doesn’t shy away from brutality.  

Our main villain is one of the worst anime bad guys I’ve seen. There are many fictional villains with higher body counts but the show’s desire to ground itself in realism concerning war is shocking without prior knowledge. The way Hamdo, the Big Bad, operates his organization is as much brilliant as it is cruel in the purest sense of the word. Adding children to the narrative, and really, the show makers couldn’t tell this story without kids, reminds you war isn’t an adults only affair. Kids are part of it, either as soldiers, victims, or both.

I’m not going into spoilers because I watched this show without them and feel the reason it stuck in my brain all this time is because you don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes until you hit the bottom. While Lala-Ru was a bit boring for me, Shu and all the supporting characters are top-notch. You care about them, and learning what this world is about, hope they get some kind of happy ending.

If you can handle going through dark places most shows scoot by, give this dystopian sci-fi a well-deserved watch. And people think Pixar movies are rough…

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