English: Now and Then, Here and There
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 14, 1999 to Jan 20, 2000
25 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.891 (scored by 14154 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
adventure drama fantasy military
SynopsisShu is a typical Japanese boy, but has an unbeatable, optimistic and determined attitude. However, when he sees a mysterious girl with strange eyes named Lala-Ru up on a smokestack, he is soon pulled into a strange desert world. Shu soon discovers the true terrors of war, which includes genocide, brutal torture, hunger, thirst, and child exploitation. Now Shu is trying to save Lala-Ru, as well as his hard earned, and often relunctant, new friends from the insane dictator, Hamdo. Whether Shu can possibly accomplish saving those he cares about while still holding up to his values remains to be seen.
Characters & Voice Actors
Now and Then, Here and There is a real wall-gazer. The kind of show that you pause to reflect upon, and then find yourself gazing deeply into the nearest wall. Spacing out, utterly deflated, with that melancholy soundtrack echoing through the halls of your mind—like an empty ballroom, with only you left sitting at the bar. The dance is over, but the mood lingers, and there's not much you can do but sit and sigh... and realize you're a little bit older.
The hero of this story, Shu, is actually not so much a hero as he is just another victim of an ugly world gone wrong, and one who himself is nearly broken a number of times. What makes him stand out is his stubborn refusal to succumb to the hopelessness and terror of it all, even while everyone around him has been beaten down to the point where they commit terrible acts out of overwhelming fear and a desire to survive—in some cases a distant yet precious hope that if they can make it through, they'll one day be set free from this hell that holds them captive.
The setting is an alternate world that Shu finds himself pulled into, a bleak dystopian wasteland of endless, bone-dry desert; the atmosphere is stifling and oppressive, a nihilistic Future Boy Conan where skies are not blue, but blood-red, and there isn't a drop of water to be found. Enter Lala-Ru, a girl who, like Lana of the aforementioned classic, holds a power that can save the world from its ruin—a power that has fallen into the wrong hands. This is very much like a story Hayao Miyazaki might come up with were he feeling suicidally depressed. Lala-Ru, unlike Lana, would sooner let the squabbling humans wither up and die than exert herself to aid them.
It's easy to understand how Shu must feel, having stumbled into this world gone mad, but while I become more and more depressed and anxious as characters descend further and further into misery and anguish with each episode, Shu never loses his resolve. Even after being beaten and starved and nearly killed a number of times, he retains his determination to protect those in need of help, and to try to reassure them that as grim as things seem, everything will be okay.
It's tough to believe him, in the face of so much kidnapping, murder, and rape, all at the behest of Lord Hamdo, the completely insane fruitcake dictator of Hellywood and desperate captor of Lala-Ru. Other characters will accuse Shu of lying, and you'll wonder if there really is any escape from the utterly dismal state of this nightmarish world. But you'll also find that there are fragments of hope, and in some sense one may ultimately find illumination in all this darkness and despair.
Now and Then, Here and There has a look and feel that suggests it was a project made on a tight budget, yet with a lot of feeling behind it—especially evident in the wistful ending theme. You won't find yourself impressed with flashy modern animation, but the overall production is sufficient to convey the bleak atmosphere effectively.
The makers of this anime clearly wanted to say something, and they've gone about doing so in the most dire, soul-draining way they could muster. It's up to you if you can weather the journey, but I guarantee you'll come out on the other end a bit wiser for it. read more
"Now and Then, Here and There" seems to be a big hit with the more critical sections of the crowd. Scouring around the web, it's hard to come across reviews of it that are not overwhelmingly positive. But despite all these glowing reviews, I honestly didn't find the show to be that great, and since there's an abundance of opinions stating why it's good already, here's my take on why I don't think it's all that.
I don't really like the "Lord of the Ring" books all that much. One of the main reasons for this is that there are points in the books when it felt like it's trying to be a fairy tale adventure for kids (the Tom Bombadil part especially), and then the next moment, it gets all serious again, trying to be an adult's fantasy novel. As a result I was confused over what frame of mind I should be reading it in.
Unfortunately, "Now and Then, Here and There" suffers from the same problem. My initial impression was that it's meant to be an anime aimed for younger viewers, due to the simplistic character design style which gave it an almost Studio Ghibli kind of look. In episode 2 or 3 the anime starts showing its true colours, portraying the kind of disturbing violence and cruelty that makes it obvious that it isn't meant for kids. And yet, and yet... the kid's style animation is still there, glaring out at me from my screen, sending contradicting signals into my brain and confusing the hell out of me. The early sudden change of settings in the opening episode definitely didn't help me get to grips with this anime either.
"Now and Then, Here and There" seems to be made with a specific purpose in mind, with a specific set of morals they wanted to tell through the anime, and it does succeed at times through some really hard hitting moments that may have caused many other viewers to forget its flaws. However, I found myself unable to look past its flaws and enjoy the show - its attempt to get its message across is just too amateurish because its story and characters often don't hold water.
The primary example here is King Hamdo. No doubt other viewers have already pointed out that history has shown how such an insane dictator can exist, and most likely pointed to dictators such as Hitler as evidence. But, in reality, there are always complications that give rise to such situations whilst in contrast, "Now and Then, Here and There" gives you a retarded version that just shouts at you: "the leader is mad... just like it can be in real life!!" You can only get away with this kind of simplification of "Mad King ruler" if you're spoonfeeding a fairy tale to children, for whom the content of this anime obviously isn't suitable for. I haven't studied other dictators in history lessons, but I can tell you a thing or two about Hitler that I learnt back in school all those many years ago (bear in mind that even this is a watered down version for kids, and the reality would have been even more complicated). Yes, Hitler may have been crazy, but there was far more to him than that. He had amazing leadership ability, and was one of the finest orators of the 20th century. He wove a magic spell over the German population, raising morale, restoring German pride and giving them new hope when the nation was suffering in the wake of an economic collapse in combination to the backlash of losing World War I. And what's more, he delivered. Germany was on its knees when he came to power, and not only did he led them to recovery, he led them back up pecking order into a position to challenge the most powerful nations in the world at the time. Although in retrospect, it seems unthinkable someone like him could have got hold of power, when you take a closer look at the details, it does make you see how it could have happened.
Now lets take a look at King Hamdo. He's obviously mad. Um... that's it. Oh yea and he's incompetent and is totally devoid of charisma. Wait! Why is he in power again?? Sure his fortress made his army practically invincible, but that isn't exactly because of his competency. A muppet could sit there and produce much the same result, so what's stopping people from overthrowing him? It seems infeasible that he could stay in power like that, especially considering that, from the way his subjects seem to feel about him, it doesn't appear to be the kind of monarchy where people see the King as some kind god's chosen - it feels closer to a dictatorship that's evolved from a military organisation. How can someone as useless and mad as King Hamdo keep his grip on his position in this kind of environment when he can't even keep his hold on his own sanity (or even give the impression that he is anything other than mad)?
Then we have Hamdo's second in command Abelia, who isn't really a bad person at all. I can't understand why she hasn't taken power over from Hamdo, especially in this military environment that requires discipline and cool headed decision making. As King Hamdo is clearly in no condition to rule, you'd think someone like Abelia would just confine him somewhere, take care of him, and stop him from hurting everyone including himself. But instead she chooses to just stand around taking abuse and having her conscience knocked about on a daily basis. But of course, if she takes a course of action that actually made sense, then there would be no half-built platform for the anime to launch its intended messages from etc -_- I waited and waited to see why Abelia was so obedient to Hamdo, but still couldn't find the answer by the end, and can only conclude that it hasn't been thought through properly.
Instead of showing some of the realistic dilemmas of war like, say, "Gundam Seed", "Now and Then, Here and There" opts to go for the simplified, one sided "fighting is bad, full stop" version, and ends up tripping over it's own messages. By painting in such a saintly light one of the characters Sis who, without providing an alternative solution, is against any sort of action against Hamdo, and also painting all those who wants to take action against Hamdo as being hot headed youths, the anime is clearly endorsing her pacifist view. But at the same time, it unwittingly showed the fact that doing nothing is probably is why things have become so bad in the first place. Hamdo's own sustained grip on power is due to the unwillingness of his subordinates to overthrow him. How many lives are lost because of this kind passiveness? I'm not annoyed about which particular side of the argument that "Now and Then, Here and There" has chosen, but I'm annoyed that it has chosen to present it in such a black and white, overly simplified manner, and I'm also annoyed that it doesn't make a particularly good argument for its case - it's a bit someone like preaching against violence of any kind, including fighting back, while a crazy guy is running around unrestrained in the background mowing people down with a chainsaw.
Unlike "Lord of the Rings", the fantasy world in "Now and Then, Here and There" is severely lacking in details. We are thrown straight into this chaotic world, and at no point in the anime do we get to hear an explanation for how it got into this mess. I want to know how it happened, and I want to know about all the strange technology this world possesses. Why are they so desperately short of water when they have all this technology to go to other worlds? Can't they just appear near a massive lake in one of these other worlds and collect water?! You can argue that this isn't the point of the anime, but because of the omission of such information, it's not really easy to get a good grasp of the situation or to sympathise with the unwillingness of the characters to do the right thing. For example, if more background information is provided, then I *may* be able to understand why King Hamdo holds so much power over his subjects, for example. Throughout the series, I couldn't help but constantly questioning many aspects of "Now and Then, Here and There", and when this happen it's almost impossible to really enjoy the show.
"Now and Then, Here and There" is by no means a bad anime, though. At the end of the day, King Hamdo doesn't get that much screen time - he's just someone who annoyed me immensely with his mere existence. The main character also quite annoying with his incredulously happy-go-lucky attitude - is he from some alien race that are incapable of feeling pessimistic or something? But those aside, there are some fairly interesting characters that I would have liked to have seen more of, but their potential are not fully explored for the most part. Some of the emotions generated by the series feel very real and touching (something that's well reflected in the slow, contemplative ending theme), and the portrayal of issues such as rape is very gritty - much more convincing than some shallow attempts made by other shows such as "Elfen Lied". But at the end of the day, its childishly simplistic view of dark, complex issues just doesn't work. It's a bit like reading a twisted version of a fairy tale like Snow White where an extra bit of storyline got inserted, in which she gets raped by one of the seven dwarves or something, and has to deal with the mental trauma that results from it - it's just feels all wrong and out of place! I guess you could say that "Now and then, here and there" does kind of live up to its title though - it doesn't seem to quite know what it's doing, so ends up being a bit here and a bit there, and ultimately neither completely here nor there. I was really expecting something so critically acclaimed to be better constructed! read more
Both masterful examples of watching people suffering the life out of themselves for entertainment.
Both deal the gruesome truth about war; and the negative effects war has on society; especially children.
War, destruction, emotions, tears... both are masterpieces.
Loss and the betrayal of human decency are key themes in both of these productions. Persecution and inhumanity are portrayed in harsh and realistic ways. Both succeed in pulling the viewer into the middle of the conflict, with a keen sense of empathy for the characters. "What would I do if faced with this cruelty? Would my actions really be much different?"
Both have the same bleakness that never completely destroys the enjoyment factor but it doesn't allow viewers to drop their guard either. Both are all too true tales of war and the effects it has on poeple and children.
However, the war itself is not the primary focus. Rather, it depicts it's heroes' journeys to perservere through it all in search of hope. Both are powerfully emotional, expertly written, and are classics in anime.
Fireflies is a decade older than Now and Then, uses a real war, and is more likely to steal a few tears away from you.
Now and Then is a sci-fi series, has a more distinguished cast (which in turn creates more reason for sadness), ends slightly better but it's overall potency of a tearjerker remains.
-Passable animation of the same level.
-Characters with the same feel.
-Lot's of sufering for the sake of it.
Note: Out of the two Now and Then, Here and There is the better title.
Both of these shows show the effects of war on a world.
But while Future Boy Conan presents a much lighter mood, NTHT tells its story by directly presenting the harsh realities of war.
Nonetheless, both shows hold similar themes that will most likely attract a specific crowd.
So if you liked one, try the other.
NTHT's setting is an alternate world, a bleak dystopian wasteland that seems to be made up of almost nothing but desert and blood-red sky; the atmosphere is stifling and oppressive, a nihilistic vision where skies are not blue, but blood-red, and there isn't a drop of water to be found, completely opposite of FBC. Enter Lala-Ru, a girl who, like Lana of FBC, holds a power that can save the world from its ruin: a power that has fallen into the wrong hands. NTHT is very much like FBC might have been, had Miyazaki been feeling suicidally depressed. Both of these are tales about the effects that war and abuse of resources have on people.
A sinister man with a large tower as his base hunts a girl who holds the secret to the energy he needs to power his ultimate weapon. An outsider boy acts as her protector. Both series take place in a dead/wounded future Earth. Both have the same basic plot progression in terms of what happens to the characters and where they go. Now and Then, Here and There is basically a darker version of Future Boy Conan that takes place on Arrakis instead of Waterworld. Both shows are really good!
Both take place in a desolate future, with limited resources and not many humans.
Both are also classics in anime, and they each have legendary staffs at their helms.
Now and Then is much more bleak, has harsh and often graphic themes, emotional, morally plentiful, and is shorter.
Conan is more uplifting, comical, adventurous, older, longer, and easier to enjoy.
Both take place in an alternative dark world of war and are about a boy who suddenly happens to go into that world because he wants to save a mysterious girl from an emperor who doesn't want to let go of his vision of future but still tries to win the war wich he can only do with the help of the girl. The story is very, very much the same and both are alike in their art and date of production and so are the main characters. Future Boy Conan is not all as dramatic as Now and Then, Here and There and a bit more of enjoyable to watch and is still a bit more of a children's cartoon, however, it doesn't lack much of seriousness on the topic of war compared to Now and Then, Here and There.
Opening Theme"Now and Then, Here and There" by Toshio Masuda
Ending Theme"Lullaby..." by Reiko Yasuhara
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Shakaw [Shakaw] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Kawada [Kawada] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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