Anime Vice News

NOW AND THEN, HERE AND THERE #1 - - Special Review

Simple... but simply effective.

Ah… at last, a proper introduction to the show which our text editor keeps automatically wanting to bring me to anytime I want to turn the word “here” into a hotlink.

Anyway, I’ve watched enough of these that I’m seriously thinking of working out some kind of checklist that breaks a pilot down into components that can be specifically marked while I'm watching. See, this is the umpteenth show I’ve seen where a charming teenage loser’s life gets turned upside down by the crash landing of a cute, mysterious girl from some far-off, fantastical place. In this case, that place apparently seems to be a post-Apocalyptic future - - but that’s really beside the point, here.

The point is that there ain’t a whole lot in this plot to separate it from the umpteen other shows of its type. What does separate it, though, is the general mise en scène - - the overall presentation which the staging, framing, score, lighting effects and line delivery all add up to. It isn’t just a matter of the animation quality - - though the traditional rendering is quite phenomenal - - it’s the style of the animation.

So even though this show takes its good sweet time dawdling along to the rather abrupt instruction of the fantasy hook toward the end; for once, I actually enjoyed the more leisurely pace because the lead and his locale were so basically appealing to just watch. Actually, thinking about the pacing in addition to all the other presentational elements I just commended, I've got to say that this really felt more like the first 20 minutes of Ghibli movie instead of the opener for a serial.

Again, aside from the SEO stuff I mention at the top of this write-up, I know next to nothing about this series. Would any of you more learned lunatics care to shed a little more light on it for me, and perhaps offer up some explanations that might explain some of the qualities that I’ve observed here?

Watch this episode, "A Girl Admiring the Sunset" here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Donwunon Dec. 11, 2012 at 4:13 p.m.

This is a fantastic series with a very imo childishly "aloof" protagonist.

It tackles some interesting concepts / situations. i am proud to say i own the dvd boxset...i think you'll like this one Tom

YotaruVegetaon Dec. 11, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.

All I will say is that this show has stuck with me, in sort of the way the The Walking Dead comic sticks with me. It's because I fear the depths humanity will go when it is at the height of its corruption, or it's left unchecked.

I think that's all you need. Whether you like it or not is not in my hands.

sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 11, 2012 at 5:42 p.m.

I hate this show with a passion (way too heavy handed with it's messages, protag whose optimism borders on insanity and makes Luffy and Naruto seem like suicidal pessimists in comparison, and a really terribly voice acted bad guy that seems straight from Goof Troop and makes it hard to believe that anyone actually follows him) but you're in for a nice surprise if you think it's along the lines of the standard girl falls from the sky and gives access to/his own magic/science powers that they use to save the world and develop a crush on each other show.

LordTerminalon Dec. 11, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.

Would any of you more learned lunatics care to shed a little more light on it for me, and perhaps offer up some explanations that might explain some of the qualities that I’ve observed here?

Yeeeeeeeeah......no. Probably better that you don't ask that because, as much as I liked this series, it's not for the faint of heart as you'll see later on. That and this W&L would benefit from as little spoilers as possible.

I will say this though: This is probably one of the few things I can use as proof that the actors 4Kids normally used CAN be good. (Ironically Crispin Freeman in this show's dub too and most people I've asked say he was terrible in this)

Petiewon Dec. 12, 2012 at 2:42 a.m.
The first episode is not indicative of this series at all. I'm sure this is one you'll like, you should keep watching to see what happens!
Would rather not spoil it to be honest. Though I'll say the tone of the first episode is like an upbeat shonen adventure purposefully to show the huge contrast between the two different places.
zaldaron Dec. 12, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.

Like everyone else has said...you haven't seen nothing yet. You know those whiplash tonal shifts you have commented on before....yeah....that is pretty much the point here. If you take this farther (and you should) I will go into why I disagree with Sick...to start I'll just say that sick all the things you seem to find unrealistic happen Here and Now....

Destinyheroknighton Dec. 12, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.

I like this show, I should really rewatch it

protag whose optimism borders on insanity and makes Luffy and Naruto seem like suicidal pessimists in comparison

It wasn't that bad

takashichea moderator on Dec. 12, 2012 at 10:48 a.m.

@sickVisionz:

You say the same thing to Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals or something similar. I end up watching it and enjoying it. I might try this series.

thekokapellion Dec. 12, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.

This is a tremendously written and beautifully shot series, but it's also one of the most depressing things I've ever seen. A few flat characters and contrived melodramatic platitudes in the plot make me stop short at calling it a true masterpiece, but it's still amazing. If you can stomach it it's worth watching.

kwyrton Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:23 p.m.

This is a hard one to watch. Tried to watch it with my wife about a year ago and I think we made it about half the way through the series. Goes to some very dark places. It wasn't bad at all. Good animation and story. The main bad guy is pretty over the top though. He's almost comical except you can't laugh because the subject matter is so depressing. Just didn't feel like the way he was portrayed fit with the rest of the series.

sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 12, 2012 at 3:59 p.m.

@takashichea said:

@sickVisionz:

You say the same thing to Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals or something similar. I end up watching it and enjoying it. I might try this series.

The only similar thing I would have said about this and Rock Lee are that I dislike them. They don't have anything in common other than really broad stuff like being anime, having male and female characters, having background music, etc.

@Destinyheroknight said:

protag whose optimism borders on insanity and makes Luffy and Naruto seem like suicidal pessimists in comparison

It wasn't that bad

He gets beaten to a pulp, a girl raped (and impregnated), people are murdered and his attitude is that life is a-ok. I can understand not letting your spirit get broken but this guy couldn't even admit that they might be in a bad situation.

Petiewon Dec. 12, 2012 at 4:05 p.m.
@kwyrt: I think that's actually the point of the character. He switches between a spoiled, scared little kid to an insane mass murdering dictator in the blink of an eye. He's purposefully over the top to show how messed up the world is. This childlike guy with a silly voice and bowlcut has all the power and can slaughter or torture whoever he wants.
@sickVisionz: dislikes him too, but I find Hamdo kind of scary in that sense. He's got the mind of a spoiled kid and the power to do whatever he wants. There are real dictators as crazy as he is.
sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 12, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.

@Petiew: He was too much of a goofball for me. It might be because the dub was really bad, but he never came off as a figure to be feared. He was like the Joker in both Batman films except never menacing in the least and just 100% goofy. He didn't seem particularly smart or persuasive so I couldn't even jump to the conclusion maybe he slick talked his way into power. I just couldn't buy into the idea of why any soldier would fear him or why there wasn't mutiny, especially when he didn't seem to be backed up by any higher power.

I believe the series ends with his assistant basically just realizing, "why do I obey this clown?" and turning on him. I never grasped why she or anyone ever followed him as he was always a clown to me.
zaldaron Dec. 26, 2012 at 5:11 p.m.

@sickVisionz: in the real world people follow people for just as crazy reasons especially when life has beaten them down. The third world has many tyrants that make him seem normal. As the title of the show points out...this stuff happens Here and Now (which is why the show is incredibly depressing...and important).

You should watch this Tom.

sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 26, 2012 at 5:57 p.m.

@zaldar: In the real world someone this goofy would have been over thrown by their brother, sister, uncle, cousin, or a strong general that had popularity among the population or even just a coup d'etat. If you like it, you like it but I didn't. He was so slapstick, comically, goofy that I couldn't buy into anyone ever following him to the degree that they do in the anime.

He makes the goofy, crying, whining, pouty version of Hitler in Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds seem like the most ultra serious hardcore no joke ever tyrant ever depicted in the history of storytelling in any medium.

zaldaron Jan. 16, 2013 at 9:44 a.m.

@sickVisionz: Finally getting to see this stuff and using some of the dictators from history and ones now in Africa I really would have to disagree. We saw how he could be ruthless and how he stole children and raised them warping them in the process. Child soliders are a common practice in Africa and very few of those have been overthrown. I would like to think a sophisticated western country wouldn't fall to someone like him but I am not so sure. I think you could make a good argument that the Japanese leaders during world war II were as crazy as he was..and this may be what was intended.

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