Living under the same roof with the girl he has a crush on should be a dream for Shinichirou Nakagami, but the reality is closer to a nightmare. At school, Hiromi is bright, academically successfully, athletic, and popular. But at home, Hiromi is a completely different person; she's cold, distant, and encased in the protective shell she's erected around herself after a painful childhood.
At school, a strange girl named Isurugi Noe suddenly takes an interest in Shinichirou. Noe loves the school's chickens, especially Raigomaru, who she's convinced can fly. Thus begins a strange relationship where Shinichirou helps Noe resolve her problems, even as he tries to figure out his own feelings about Noe, Hiromi, and his childhood friend, Andou Aiko. All the while Shinichirou is also trying to find the key to unlock Hiromi's heart, and to finish the children's picture book he's been writing. Surprisingly, it's Noe who proves critical to both...
While technically based on a visual novel with the same name, True Tears has an almost entirely anime-original story. The anime is set in Jouhana, Toyama (where P.A. Works Studio is located) and locations from throughout Toyama Prefecture are used as models for the anime.
That was the line that first introduced me to True Tears. Now I would like to use this same line to introduce you all to this realistic romance series. The True Tears legacy began with very disappointing visual novel sales that ranked it as 41 among the 50 newly released visual novels at the time. Shortly after the visual novel came a live action film of True Tears that resembles closely to the game. So now you must thinking the anime is naturally just another adaptation to the visual novel as well right? Wrong!
The anime version of True Tears shares nothing in common with the visual novel or the film (beside the name). It has its own independent plot, its own independent setting, and its own independent set of characters. Thus why use the name True Tears and give credit to the original visual novel creator when there is virtually nothing in common is beyond my understanding. However, what I do understand is that True Tears is an attempt by Lantis to produce a similar anime type to Air/Kanon/Clannad by Kyoto Animation. The purpose of this review is not to compare and criticize True Tears with the above anime, but I personally feel True Tears is worthy of such comparison if there is one.
Many viewers may find the story of True Tears resembling Kanon or Clannad in lots of ways, such as the usual touching scenes that make us cry a river. However due to the nature of the story, instead of dealing with half a dozen heroines we only have three. Thus allowing more time to better develop their characters. One may be tempted to call True Tears a harem anime due to all the females “ganging” up on our protagonist, but I see this as an essential part to developing a love-triangle (and NO, there’s nothing ecchi in the anime). The anime takes a rather different approach to the regular love story and one can say it truly brings out the realism to this matter through the careful use of wordings. However it should be noted that, like most other story with a certain degree of depth, True Tears incorporates a great deal of metaphoric comparison. While it is not difficult to understand what those metaphors imply, some viewers may be discouraged by them.
The relationships between all the characters are expertly developed. In addition to the multi layer relations that are common in most romance genre, we also see a great deal of interactions between the younger and older generation of characters and how they affect one another. The protagonist’s parents certainly played a more central role compare with most animation from this genre. However, what I like best is the perfect illustration of a young boy’s heart when confronted with two (or three) possible lovers. I, for one, instantly saw a reflection of myself from Shinichirou (not that I am two-timing or anything, but I find his actions highly logical for a boy his age). I think I would most likely be as confused (if not more confused) than he is if I were in his situation especially after all those shocking events.
Animation-wise it certainly lives up to fans expectations. This is especially true for the key scenes of the show. As evident from the title of the anime, tears do truly seem different in here. Tears in True Tears are very beautiful, the glittering salty water look exceptionally real when running down the cheeks of various characters. In addition to tears, the fluidity of the character movements, the detailed shadows on the face of the characters as they speak, the camera angles used to illustrate certain key aspects such as the 3D walking scene etc.; everything adds up little by little and before you know it you will find yourself having a hard time reverting back to watching lower quality animations. I still have a difficult time trying to find a show with superior animation quality compare to True Tears.
Like the awesome animation production, True Tears’ music is also not to belittled with. The music was effectively used both in terms of BGM and OP/ED as they all served their purposes well. BGM creates the mood just needed to make some scenes touching enough to make people go teary-eyed. The OP is by eufonius whom Clannad fans should be familiar with. I personally find True Tears’ OP much better than Clannad’s though. Unlike most anime, True Tears’ seiyu did not interest me much (nor did they play any role in my decision to watching it). The biggest name out of the main casts is probably Kaori Nazuka (Nunnally in Code Geass, Eureka in Eureka Seven, Lynette in Strike Witches). With that note, I would like to truly thank the Lantis production crew for bringing us (the anime fans) a wonderful romance series that will forever have a place in my anime romance list.read more
True tears is a story that focuses on the life of a high school student and his interactions with the three heroines of the story. The story focuses on the romance and drama in the lives of the characters.
I think that the storyline was one of the best i have seen for a 13 episode anime. It was just the right length for such a story. The anime incorporates a lot of realism and really brings out the drama of a love triangle. The story looks at love from a path less ventured on and is different from your typical love story. Some may call this a harem because all the main girls fall in love with the main character but it is very different from your usual harem because it looks at it from a more realistic and serious angle. Expect a lot of drama and meaning in this show. Though a word of caution that this show is a bit enigmatic due to its metaphorical usage of "chickens flying" and a strange and unique theme of tears. But you'll catch on eventually so do not fret even if you do not understand at first.
The art was simply amazing. The backgrounds and sceneries were drawn with such vibrance and the colours were vivid and easy on the eyes. The use of watercolour in the show by the main character also brings out a very nice animation feel to the show. One of the best artworks in anime.
The sound was so-so. What really stood out were the voice actors. Especially the four main characters. They played the characters so well and i think it really contributed to the feel of the anime. Inserts were made towards the end which helped to create the atmosphere and i think the OP song was very suited for this anime. It's good but not the best.
The characters were also very well done. Each having a good deal of depth for such a short anime series. Espcially since there were quite a few main characters, to cover such a wide range of characters in such a short span is quite good. Perhaps a bit more focus on the side characters like the two best friends of the lead girl and guy would have been good, but considering the time span i guess it's still ok. The characters were also not your usual cliche characters in a romance anime, especially Noe, to have such a character in the show makes it more unique and unpredictable.
I enjoyed the anime for its romance and drama. But it was lacking in the comedy area. But i guess it's ok since the drama was brought out pretty well as a result. Thus the story may appear a bit gloomy. It was also a bit slow at the start but the pace picks up as the story goes, so for those who are impatient you might have trouble with this anime at the start. However, i think the anime was very meaningful because you can sympathize with the characters and is thus very attention grabbing at times.
Overall, This anime is not to be missed. Especially if you are a romance-drama fan. The anime managed to portray many key elements in the show within the short time span and i think that the anime will leave a lasting impression on all who watch it. However, patience may be needed in the course of undertsanding the story and the characters. If you are looking for something more light-hearted then perhaps you may not find this to you liking.
"-What are tears?
-Let's see, when you're sad...
-Not when... what are tears?
-Well, to keep your eyeballs clean and moist the tear glands secrete..."
True Tears was P.A. Works' debut anime as a solo independent company. It wasn't based on a manga, light novel, visual novel, anything, it was a original production. Because of this, the studio was considered careless by a considerate percentage of the critics, however, this helped increasing the series' audience at its premier, it was an audacious move after all. With the show progressing and popularity constantly increasing, it prof itself a well played market strategy.
Then, someone might say "What is it worth being a original production if it's crap?"
Interesting point. There's no merit at all in creating a story that won't live up to viewers expectations.
Luckily, True Tears doesn't fall into that trap. It might not work for everyone but it is, undeniably, a well elaborated and carefully conducted story.
Yes. I'm well aware I just poked a sore spot. Unlike what the previously lines stated, lots of people consider its story to be a huge failure, blaming character development to be the villain of it. Unrealistic characters, patterned story, flat personalities, are just some of the major criticisms this anime receives. They aren't completely wrong, and of course, each of us has our own opinion, however these statements are focusing into small flaws and turning them into huge plot holes without taking in consideration the environment surround it. Meaning: Other elements of the storyline and small pieces of character dialogues which explains and corrects those "mistakes" so that when you see the final product, all the pieces must be visualized together and these flaws becomes invisible.
It is a misunderstanding to label True Tears as a Harem to start of. Harem series, for the ones who aren't familiar with it, are those stories where the main male lead is surrounded by girls -all in love with him- and the protagonist can't make up his mind, because he enjoys his situation or for pure hesitation. Somebody who watches the first 2 episodes of True Tears will notice that this anime isn't about it.
Just like that, I would humbly ask you to NOT take in consideration the series summary here in MAL. Clearly who wrote it didn't watch the complete series (besides from spoiling the entire first episode).
True Tears strong attribute is the Drama, with Romance as a important side-kick of it. After all, a emotional loaded series without heartwarming moments would be just too painful to watch.
The story progresses exploring inner conflicts of the characters, set with situations from their past strongly represented through metaphors and subtext that will require some Pause-Play action in order to fully understand it. "The Tale of Raigomaru and Jibeta" was sure the ace in the pocket of producers.
It's nice to emphasize the symbolism of it. The anime was structure in a way both stories (The actual main one and the fictional Raigomaru's) are developed independently. However, they are joint in the meaning, and Raigomaru's is constantly influenced by the outcome of events on characters life's.
Just like that, I was impressed how this show managed to represent characters reactions to events on the story in a perfect "human" way. It's well known, that drama series are often criticized because of strong emotionally packet scenes suddenly followed by easygoing everyday events as if nothing happened, leaving that sour taste on the mouth. True Tears escape from this pattern, as Raigomaru's Tale shows and the same applies for other characters as well. Hiromi performance on her basketball practices, Noe's berries, etc...
It's easy to misunderstand True Tears characters. Specially if one listen to a friend who watched it or reads about it somewhere. Even reading these reviews might change the way someone interprets them. Hopefully to a better one.
These characters personalities are way more complex than what we're used to, and the reason why they can't be simply explained is because production succeeded at making some really realistic characters. However, the challenge of an advance like this is too keep every character on the same level of complexity, otherwise, some would become flat and others way too dense. And... this is what happened. Not to mention supportive characters were completely neglected, although this is still acceptable due to the focus of the anime.
Using the three main characters as an example, Hiromi and Shinichiro background story was well structured and understanding the reason of some of their actions would require a deeper commitment from the side of the viewers. On the other hand, Noe's character, besides of her background story, was way too simplistic when compared to others, without a further development, only receiving producers "attention" at the end of the series. This creates a contrast that completely ruined the enjoyment for some people, turning what would be a great drama/romance into a hateful/psychological (Huh, dejavú Makoto-san).
Still, on the overall, the job done specially with Hiromi character was marvelous. That said, in my personal opinion, character is worth a 9 out of 10 since, like said previously, the final piece hides these mistakes. You know they're there, but they don't affect the enjoyment of the show.
Animation and Artwork were really smoothy. Being it a drama it was expected that characters expressions would be carefully animated and so it happened. Also worth mention the quality of small details like snow flakes, leaves and sea water sparks but above all, this anime really represented its name. True Tears had one of the best Tears animation I've ever seen. It is not rare to find series with horrible "eye sweat" animations. It was a surprise to see how well drawn they were.
Sound, music, OST, openings, casting... deserves nothing but praise. The seyuus chosen for this series fit perfectly to their characters. The OST written for it was also outstanding. Emotional packed violins and pianos but also acoustic guitars for happy funky scenes. Reflectia (the opening theme) even did recently a cameo appearance on P.A. Works most recent anime TariTari. Only thing I missed tough was the small number of insert songs. Just a couple of them.
However, analyzing the songs shouldn't be limited to just saying if they are good or bad, one important aspect of it is timing and placement. A insert song placed at an awkward moment can easily ruins the entire mood of a scene. True Tears didn't have problems with it. OST was perfect placed, something that greatly increases the emotional value of certain scenes.
-A notorious example of it would be the last scenes of episode 6.-
Still, the most impressive about this anime is related to its story.
Its plot and script is way stronger and denser than lots of drama/romance series similar to it, however, it doesn't tries to impose feelings on you. It might make you shed some tears but it isn't a constant machine gun of feelings. You may end up thinking "Oh man, this is sad" but it stops at it, through the entire series there isn't a scene that you can notice it was prolonged to induce the viewers to cry or something similar.
In the place of it, P.A Works built a compelling storyline, that keeps you entertained and curious to known what will happen next, what will a certain character do and how it gonna end. Specially how it gonna end, since the final conclusion was marvelous hidden till the very end.
This is a series I'd strongly recommend watching for a second time in order to fully understand it.
Something that is lovely about these romance anime it that you always get attached to the story and in most of the times, when there's a love polygon, you start cheering for a character/couple. The satisfaction of seeing your favorite character achieving his/her goal or the sadness of a misfortune is part of it.
It's silly to bias the final enjoyment rating on this character success/failure, what matters is that the series managed to keep you entertained the whole time!
Story 9 / Character 9 / Art 8 / Sound 9 / Enjoyment 10 = Arithmetic Overall: 9
True Tears, for me, was a masterpiece.
But, c'mon. They could've picked a better name.read more
True Tears is a fairly typical Slice of Life, Romance, Comedy, Drama based on an unusual theme of tears (amongst other things); nonetheless it’s just another “visual novel” – to – “anime adaptation”. From the beginning the story is pretty ordinary, for this type of anime, as it has a male protagonist (Shinichirou) and it introduces him, his surroundings and the heroines involved in the story (Noe, Hiromi & Aiko). However it is really difficult to tell what the story is entirely about or where it is headed, until things reach a certain point. That is when some major developments arise but it’s a shame that the series is almost half over by that point.
Here we have the usual stock of high school boys and girls for characters and there’s nothing really particularly special about them. However a few of them have something unique about them that allows them stand out (Noe). But the character relations are what make the characters interesting because other than the simple-minded guys; the girls add a bit of perplexity to the mix as you cannot be entirely sure of what their true and honest feelings are.
After watching the series I can definitely say that the animation is the most outstanding aspect of this anime series, as it utilizes superb environments, well-drawn characters and well placed but somewhat overused CG effects/models. The most noticeable feature is the backgrounds, which looks like it was painted using soft water colours and it seamlessly blends well with the fluid foreground animations.
The music is composed of a variety of piano and violin symphonies that works well with the laid-back nature of the show. It also does a good job in setting the mood for some drama but the weak dialogue doesn’t help whatsoever.
Overall True Tears proved to be a great romance anime, for all the romance anime lovers who need their seasonal fix. There are some surprisingly good aspects to the show, which allow it to easily overshadow the major downfalls like the male cast. The humour in the beginning does help set this up to be an enjoyable series but like always expect to see some major drama. So if you’re into this type of romance anime then make sure you check it out.read more
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