Hey, Kaushik here again with yet another anime review. This time it’s a bit of an older series, called True Tears. It was produced by PA Works, a studio I generally enjoy. The reason I picked up this show was because it was the only PA Works series I hadn’t seen, so I felt like I had to. It aired from January to March 2008, for a total of 13 episodes. It’s supposed to be based off a visual novel, but oddly enough it shares no characteristics with the visual novel beyond the name. But let’s go find out just what it’s all about.
True Tears is a romance/drama series set in fictional Japanese ocean-facing town. The plot for this show can get a little complicated at times, with all the relationships between characters shifting episode-to-episode. The main character, Nakagami Shinichiro, lives with his parents and a childhood friend, Yuasa Hiromi. The relationship between the two has become strained in recent days, for reasons unknown to Shinichiro.
Still, he has loved her for a long time and continues to do so. In the first episode, Shinichiro has something of a fated encounter. He meets a girl named Isurugi Noe, an odd girl who speaks of flight and cares for chickens. Noe becomes a very important existence to Shinichiro over the course of the series. Noe’s brother, Isurugi Jun, is another important character. His motives are a bit dubious throughout the show, and his character is a little suspect. He’s somewhat of a difficult character to understand.
The other two important characters are Ando Aiko, another one of Shinichiro’s childhood friends, and Nobuse Miyokichi, Shinichiro’s best friend. The two of them are engaged in a relationship, but Aiko has feelings for Shinichiro. Noe and Hiromi are the same way, and each of the guys are attached to the girls too. What this amounts to is a lot of crisscrossing relationships. It would be too simple to call this a triangle. Instead it’s more of a web of constantly shifting relationships, and the whole series is like this. There is, of course, something of a resolution by the end. I can’t say everyone ends happy though.
My major issue with this series is the characters. None of them are particularly likable, and the entire show has this subdued atmosphere that doesn’t let any character break out and become interesting. Due to the drama (perceived or otherwise) between the characters, it feels like none of them have a strong relationship with each other. Since the characters themselves are not very interesting, and the relationship dynamics between them aren’t interesting either, the show is in general really boring. Not particularly what I expected from a PA Works show, since I can usually find a character or two I enjoy in their shows.
I always enjoy the effort PA Works puts into their character designs and backgrounds. This is one of their earlier shows, and it’s pretty clear that their work isn’t as refined as it becomes for their later shows such as Hanasaku Iroha or Tari Tari. Still, I think the backgrounds and set work look really great for the time. and I enjoy the character designs. The animation on the other hand is merely okay, nothing too outstanding, standard for a PA Works show.
The music is one of the reasons I picked up the series, actually: Reflectia, the opening song, by Eufonius, is fairly popular and quite a good song. One thing I disliked about the show is that it seemed as if 90% of the background music used in the show was variations on Reflectia. This isn’t necessarily bad, as it’s a good song, but it felt as if there was no variety. It’s as if the producers knew the song was good and didn’t bother trying anything new. The ending theme is Sekai no Namida, by Aira Yuki. Unlike Reflectia, I think this song is pretty weak.
-Good opening theme
-Boring character relationships
-Repetitive background music
Studio: PA Works Animation
Director: Junji Nishimura
Character design: Yumehito Ueda (original), Kanami Sekiguchi
Music: Hajime Kikuchi
Original creator: La’cryma (visual novel)
Original run: January 6, 2008 – March 30, 2008
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