Now and Then, Here and There

Now and Then, Here and ThereType: TV Series
Episode Count: 13
Genre: Sci-Fi / Drama
Vintage: 1999

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 24 Aug 2009
revised 11 Jan 2010

Grade: A

A gritty and unapologetic dystopian tale from Akitaroh Daichi.

Plot Summary
Shu is an enthusiastic kendo student who typically doesn’t put much thought into his technique. One day on his way home from class, he spots a girl sitting on top of a smokestack at a rundown factory. He climbs up a neighboring smokestack and tries to talk to the girl. As they seem to be making each other’s acquaintance, a strange serpent-like craft appears out of nowehere and attempts to capture the girl. She is soon taken prisoner, and in the chaos as Shu had been attempting to protect the girl, he also gets transported to the same place as the girl: a strange mechanical colony in a desert world.

The Review
Now and Then, Here and There is a brutal tale about the loss of hope. It’s one of those stories where things only ever seem to get worse and worse as things progress. There are some horrible concepts touched upon in this series, but given the environment that it takes place in, it’s easy to see how a world like that could lead to those kinds of actions. This is a story near the level of Grave of the Fireflies in terms of despair.

The leader of the mechanical colony that Shu finds himself in is an insane, paranoid man named Hamdo. He seems to need something from Lala-Ru, the girl they captured. This is a world where water has nearly disappeared entirely, and Hamdo believes that Lala-Ru holds the key to their good fortune. Shu’s appearance in this world begins to throw everything off balance, as he begins to spread the idea that everything in this place is not entirely hopeless. Shu refuses to give up, and starts on his own personal quest to change the world that he finds himself in.

A sobering tale which isn’t afraid to explore some disturbing concepts in order to convey its message, Now and Then, Here and There is a series that anyone who is able to take the bad in order to see the good should check out. It is extremely well told, and shows yet another side of accomplished director Akitaroh Daichi, who I typically associate with some of the best anime comedies I have seen. There is virtually no humor to be found in this series; these are the horrors of a world gone awry. If you can take the emotional punch, Now and Then, Here and There is a series that will be well worth your time.

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