Just some good ol’ dimension traveling~
Hello everyone! I hope all of you had a nice holiday and ate some good food~ As for me, I’ve been visiting family for the past few days so unfortunately I wasn’t able to have this post ready on Christmas, but I finally I found the free time to complete it! This is actually my first time participating in Reverse Thieves‘ Secret Santa project, which I’m sure most of you are familiar with already thanks to everyone’s fabulous reviews. After passing on this for a few years, I thought I’d finally give it try with the hope of getting recommended an anime that I have absolutely never heard of before, and thankfully my Secret Santa delivered me just that.~
My choices consisted of three early 2000’s sci-fi/fantasy anime that all seemed pretty interesting, but I ended up sticking with the most intriguing one, which happened to be Noein. Noein: To Your Other Self is a 2005 anime by Satelight about a pan-dimensional war taking place fifteen years in the future between the dimensions La’cryma and Shangri’la. Shangri’la is bent on destroying all of space and time, and La’cryma’s only hope of stopping their invasion lies in the hand of a mysterious object called the Dragon Torque. They employ an elite force called the Dragon Calvary to search through space and time for the object. Meanwhile, in the present, twelve year old Haruka and her friend Yuu discuss running away from home as Yuu’s home life gets more stressful. However, they encounter Karasu, one of the members of the Dragon Calvary, who not only believes that Haruka holds the Dragon Torque, but that he is Yuu fifteen years in the future. Of course, the plot expands farther than that with multiple dimension traveling, some elementary school drama concerning our very young protagonists, crazy time distorting powers, and even some dabbling into quantum physics that had my head spinning. Yet that was an aspect I actually kind of liked about Noen, that there was a realistic explanation about these multiple dimensions using an actual science rather than them just being there. Plus it was a nice contrast to how the other dimension, La’cryma, explained the way they traveled between dimensions and such. We got to have both of their viewpoints about the events that were happening between both of their dimensions, and see how they use each others knowledge to attempt to defeat Shangri’la.
Anyway, Noein had a nicely complicated and interesting concept, and I loved the story and how it progressed, but I had a big love-hate relationship with the pacing and length of the series. During the first half of the show it was pretty frustrating because it was twelve episodes in and still there wasn’t much explanation about Haruka and her role as the Dragon Torque (though there was some reveal of her powers, like being able to distort/stop time and see other potential realities). Plus there were certain episodes that, at first, felt unrelated and added unnecessary length to the show while also making the story progression seem pretty slow. However, I began to realize that both the pace and length matched perfectly for this story. Everything is annoyingly, yet wonderfully, revealed bit by bit throughout each episode, keeping me consistently hooked, while also showing how meaningful the relationships between our young protagonists are, which turns out to be huge aspect in the story as we learn more about La’cryma and the other dimensions. I could see how much they cared for one another, avoiding their own safety and potentially sacrificing their own lives just for each other (or for certain characters) as they stuck by each other; or more importantly stuck by Haruka and all the strange things that were happening to her. Not to mention there was enough time for every character to have their time in the spotlight and develop accordingly. Being a person who enjoys such thought-out relationships and development of characters, it really made the slow pacing of Noein worthwhile and just that much more satisfying when finishing the show.
Overall Noein was such a well-put together show with the most satisfying ending I’ve seen. I had my doubts at times, but after actually finishing it, I found it to be such an awesome ride. I loved the variety of characters, and the fact that Noein managed to pull off having so many characters. They blended them well into the story without giving us that feeling that they had just dropped them out of nowhere. Personally, I had tons of fun with it because it was challenging for me story-wise (that quantum physics/theory stuff, man), and even during the more mellow scenes with Haruka and her elementary school friends I was able to be genuinely entertained by their interactions and such. AND, as I said earlier, the fact that it is a character-driven story has made it one of my new favorites; though I’m not sure if I could handle re-watching the entire series again, heh. Anyway, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading this pretty late post, and go out and watch Noein if you haven’t. Until next time~
Dedicating this to Tobi because bless his simple explanations and overall awesomeness.