English: Noein: To Your Other Self
Synonyms: Noein: Toward Another You
Japanese: ノエイン もうひとりの君へ
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 12, 2005 to Mar 29, 2006
25 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.811 (scored by 16392 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure drama sci-fi
SynopsisIn the near future, a violent battle takes place between the dimension La'cryma (protector of humanity) and the dimension Shangri-La, bent on the annihilation of all space-time. A group known as the Dragon Calvary is dispatched through space and time, searching for the only thing that can stop the invasion: the Dragon's Torque.
In the present, twelve-year old Haruka and her friend Yuu, are contemplating running away from home when they meet a member of the Dragon Calvary named Karasu (Crow). He believes that Haruka possesses the Dragon's Torque and claims to be Yuu from fifteen years in the future...
(Source: DVD Complete Series Box Set)
Characters & Voice Actors
Director, Script, Storyboard, Creator
Episode Director, Key Animation
Episode Director, Storyboard, Assistant Animation Director, Animation Director
After completing Noein, I was left with the sensation you rarely get after finishing a series or movie where you personally think almost every little thing was done just right. There's very little else to say to try and express my tremendous respect and appreciation for this series. I personally believe it was orchestrated magnificently and its message carried across powerfully.
Most of all, what I truly respected in this series was its character-driven action, as opposed to plot-driven action. The characters were so fleshed out and their relationships and backgrounds so completely delved into, I had grown to feel like they were real people I knew. This was further effective in the juxtaposition that was utilized between future and present selves of these characters (which I will refrain from spoiling further about). The development of relationships between and of the numerous characters in this series, Yuu most of all, was unimaginably compelling and convincing, giving the series an overall true feeling of completion and purpose.
Haruka, most of all, pulled me into the series more and more with the further displays of her distinctive features. Having the ferocity and absolute concern of Hermione from Harry Potter, and the curiosity and strength of Lyra of The Golden Compass, the pleasant down-to-earth character of Haruka was one that you would simply be honored to be friends with. Despite her rough upbringing, her inner strength and selflessness were clear and well-presented in a realistic manner. Yuu, too, was a realistic character suffering from a harsh upbringing and from the effects of strained familial relationships. The relationship found between Yuu and Haruka, and their development, is what I truly believe to be the defining point of this series.
The story, too, gives this series what I believe its distinctness and genius. Carrying across a story filled with Quantum Mechanics, and a great deal of everyday storytelling in a little town in this mix, I believe that the timespaces and parallel universes shown in this series to be an absolutely interesting and entertaining interpretation of Quantum Physics and many of its theories. The unique settings and conflicts only help to improve upon this story.
The only problem I had with the story was the sometimes slow pace of it in the middle of the series. Whereas a lot of information and details given were important, I believed that if I wasn't motivated enough to finish the series, I might have stopped just because of that slowness.
In terms of art and sound, I believe that Noein also delivers. The art was particularly special (even though there were some parts I believe the CGI to be sort of distracting) with its mix of CGI and line art, and the classical music used was clearly appropriate.
Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable, if not the most, anime series I've ever watched. If given the opportunity to watch this series, I suggest and strongly recommend to not let it pass.
I briefly considered starting this review by summarizing the show's plot, but it's my personal opinion that Noein should win an award for “hardest plot to summarize,” so at the risk of making an idiot of myself, I decided against it. I then considered starting by describing the concept in popular science that is behind Noein's plot, but I don't think I can really pull off the whole “Bill Nye the Science Guy” bit. He does it better. So I'll just get right down to brass tacks, and spare myself some embarrassment.
Noein definitely has a unique look to it, albeit one that's fraught with inconsistency. The character designs are far from typical, being thinner and slightly more realistically proportioned than the norm. Although it eventually becomes clear that action was not intended to be the core of the series, the animation does have some strong moments, and, particularly in the first half, there's no shortage of creative futuristic combat. It's also a CGI-heavy show, with the invading ships from Shangri-La as well as many of the backgrounds being the most noticeable examples. The CGI looks good in general, but there are some painful hiccups. In particular, the model for Haruka's house sticks out like a sore thumb. In fact, it's pretty clear that visual quality control is a big issue across the board for Noein—when everything's working and the show is at its best, it looks fantastic, but the art quality varies on an almost minute-to-minute basis, and at its worst, it looks absolutely dreadful. When I think of the show's lovely backgrounds and its unusual use of deep, electric reds and blues in its color palette, I want to sing its praises...but then I recall a couple of action sequences that are reduced to stuttering gray messes by lapses in art and animation, and a multitude of moments where the character designs fall noticeably in quality, and it makes me think twice.
The music is acceptable, though lacking finesse. Noein's plot is an amalgamation of everyday content (like going to school and messing around with friends) and epic sci-fi content (like preventing the universe from disappearing), and the soundtrack strains to accommodate both of these aspects. The former is usually accompanied by tracks in which a recorder is used as the lead instrument, providing a distinctly childish and carefree sound that works well in this context. The more serious content is normally paired with fast-paced orchestral songs and chanted vocals. Both sides of the soundtrack are guilty of going a little over the top at times, and none of the individual songs are particularly memorable, but within the show the score suffices to build the mood.
When it comes to audio track language, I'd choose whatever your preference is, as they're both more than passable. The English dub contains a nice array of veteran voice actors. Crispin Freeman in particular sounds right at home as the haunted Karasu, his voice carrying his trademark dark edge of emotion and power, but that's not to leave some others out—Richard Epcar lends a genuinely creepy touch to Noein's booming, disembodied voice, and Melissa Fahn plays Haruka with conviction. Some secondary characters are not handled quite as well, with some unnatural sounding line deliveries being present. The dub's script also inexplicably changes a supporting cast member's gender from male to female, though that's more of a head-scratcher than a genuine problem. Overall, it's a very serviceable dub. The Japanese audio doesn't have a single hiccup that I can note, and if forced to choose at gunpoint I'd probably say that it's the better track, but it's a close enough race that you should be fine whether you go with the sub or the dub.
Despite all of the elements of sci-fi and action, it's evident that character drama is a little closer to the heart of the series. The main cast consists of Haruka, Yuu, and Karasu (who is Yuu, fifteen years in the future). Haruka is the kind of protagonist that's easy to get behind—kind, level-headed, trustworthy and above all, balanced, not leaning towards any extreme. She's a pretty open book, not written with a whole lot of complexity, but she projects enough likeability and believability to scrape by with a pass from me. The same can't be said of the male lead, Yuu, who is neither complexly written nor likeable. He spends most of the series switching schizophrenically between impotently wallowing in self-pity, and courageously risking his life to try to protect Haruka, and his changes in mood aren't very tactful—you never really know if the Yuu onscreen is the brave, devoted Yuu or the woe-is-me Yuu. Even worse, we don't know anything about his motivation for going to such great lengths to protect Haruka. A few flashbacks show that the two were childhood friends, but it's not elaborated on to any significant degree; the show presents their history in the visual equivalent of about three sentences, which makes it tough to give them a lot of thought as a couple, much less the couple that is supposed to be the centerpiece of the show.
Much to its detriment, Noein also has a colossal number of supporting characters. It has a habit of casting one of them into the spotlight for a portion of an episode, then discarding them and never mentioning them or the importance of their actions again. The show struggles to explain even the basic motivations of some of the characters—we never do learn what exactly drives antagonist Atori's deep hatred of Karasu, why the kids' elementary school teacher is cool with their dangerous encounters with futuristic beings, or the purpose of the awkwardly introduced love triangle between three members of the Dragon Cavalry. Most of these characters' pasts and personalities ultimately end up being explained away with a brief flashback detailing a traumatic moment in their lives, and there's simply no excuse for that. The cast could have been halved, and not only would the series not lose anything, it would probably be better off.
The story, while good on paper, ends up dragging on, and on, and on. I watched intently, but to be honest, that was completely unwarranted; I could probably have slept through a third of the series and still understood the overarching plot, which says a lot about the lack of stringency in the writing. Much as with the characters, the sheer number of subplots that have, at best, a tenuous connection to the story is rather staggering. The show is dangerously lacking in focus, and to quantify that statement a little, I'll point out that Noein contains no less than two doomsday plots and four love stories, which are all occurring simultaneously in three different dimensions. Sadly, all of those dimensions feel like empty stages rather than worlds worth caring about. In theory, it could be done, but it's a tall order that the writers here just couldn't fill, and Noein all but implodes under the workload. The story still has enough interesting content and continuity to be deemed acceptable, but the way that it's organized and presented is decidedly less than good. Perhaps the worst side effect of this is that some great ideas end up getting buried. I think that a character drama in which children encounter their future selves is a superb concept, but many of the cast's “future selves” end up being throwaways—one small aspect of a massive conglomeration of plots.
To give credit where it's due, I actually think that, taken as a whole, Noein is a little bit closer to succeeding than it is to completely failing, and given the amount of elements that it tries to patch together, that's a pretty big compliment. By all indications, Noein should be an utter disaster, but it isn't. It's just not everything that it could have been. In addition, the show feels genuine, and while that's a pretty vague thing to say, I have to imagine that it counts for something. Though it doesn't stand up very well to close inspection, Noein has real heart, a lot of outward likeability, and a lot of ambition. It might be a bit of a mess, but it's definitely not lacking in creativity or artistic vision, and it has at least a couple of powerful moments. So if any aspect of the show interests you, I'd give it the benefit of the doubt and try out a couple of episodes. If you end up disliking it, at least you'll have satisfied your curiosity, and there's always the chance you might get more out of it than I did. read more
Both anime is about time-travelling and the mechanism is used excellently in both stories. Noein spends a bit more time with the "future" worlds than Steins;Gate does and feels a bit more darker/moody than Steins;Gate because the latter had more funny dialogue. Aside from that, Steins;Gate generally had better characters so expect some differences in characterization (Noein had a younger cast in the present timelines), but character developments in both was quite well done.
Noein is the "kiddo" version of Steins;Gate. Both have time-travel plot, and in both the hero wants desperately to save the girl he loves and his friends from a terrible event and at the same time prevent an horrible future to humanity. Both are a great watch.
Parallel worlds, time travel, convergence, unlimited possible futures, hopelessness, despair, different space-time theories, inability to escape from fate and of course people who (un)willingly screw everything up... They share so many tropes! Even the character design is somewhat similar, although Noein takes more risks, I'd say. It seems to me that Steins;Gate is more otaku-oriented while Noein is more of a slice-of-life and romance. Nonetheless, both anime excel in plot twists and characterization, as well as entertainment value.
Both anime deal with time travel, quantum physics and theories of diverging time lines.
Travel through time lines, different dimensions, a continuous struggle for a better future and prevent chaos.
Also in both anime the protagonist struggles to protect the girl he loves and friends that he appreciates.
Both shows depict Time traveling with unlimited possibilities. Both shows that the main character has the ability to view the other timelines.
Noein focuses more on the Dragon Knights from La'cryma (one of Earth's possible future) coming to the present to retrieve an 'object' called 'Dragon Torque' in order to save their world. As the Dragon knights enters into this timeline (the present) by accident, one of the Knights realised that this timeline is very similar to theirs and swore to protect the dragon torque at all costs. The others insists that it is just an illusion and the torque is just a tool, but he swore to not cause damage into this timeline.
Steins;Gate focuses on one group of people who managed to create the worlds first time machine. The main character kept experimenting with it and realises that it can be used to change the past, present, future by sending just an message. He tries to help his friends to change the world into a pleasant world for them when he realises that, for each message that he sents, one of his friend would be killed a day earlier. Whats more, they found out that a few years later, a corporation would use their time machine to rule over the world, turning everybody into human slaves. In order to prevent these from happening, he needs to cause minimal changes onto a world to save his assistant to prevent this incident to occur. Thus he set off going trough crazy amount of time trying to save both people.
Both shows can cause a viewer to be confused although Noein's confusion occurs later in the show compared to Steins;Gate.
The two anime share a lot of background concepts, in particular parallel timelines and time travel within the framework of quantum physics. There are some subtle differences in their interpretations of these concepts and they differ quite a lot in their presentation, however they are both excellent, highly recommended sci-fi titles.
Both are Sci-Fi anime dealing with time travel and alternate realities/worlds. However, Steins Gate is the grown-up version of Noein--it does not have the amazing musical score that Noein has, but it definitely has more mature themes. This anime makes you think, while Noein captivates more than anything (though it certainly makes you think too).
Give this anime the first 10 episodes for plot and character development--THEN it gets exciting and addictive. But all of the episodes are beautifully done (acting and artwork are amazing). The artwork stays amazing throughout the whole series--there were probably only a couple of moments when I thought it was less than the best. Highly recommend both anime.
Some similarities include:
- Both consider time travel and infinite possible futures.
- Both are incredibly confusing for most of the show, so watch out. They also take a rewatch or two to fully understand (even then, there's still some confusion!).
- Both revolve around relationships with friends, family, lovers, and generally keeping together to reach a greater goal.
Some differences include:
- Noein is more fantasy whereas Steins;Gate tries to be more realistic.
- The art styles and music played throughout the shows are very different.
Both have similar feels to eachother, and have a sci-fi element, and also involve a bunch of kids.
Denno Coil and Noein tell rather unconventional stories in which children must deal with extraordinary circumstances such as a cybernetic world that mingles with reality in the first case and time travel in the second case. In both cases, a different dimension threatens to bring about destruction and the possibilities that arise from the existence of different worlds is handled in an intelligent and highly original way. For a fresh take on sci-fi themes with out of the ordinary character designs and very fluid animation these titles are a must see.
Maybe Dennou Coil doesn't have battles like Noein, but it has a similar feel to it. Both have kids, high tech devices and mysteries
Both anime involve kids and are Sci-Fi.
Denno Coil is more of a Slice of Life, while Noein has action
In both shows we have different worlds that intertwine and children who travel trough them in order to explore many interesting things.
Dennou Coil is also a sci-fi adventure revolving around children whose world is crossed with another 'universe' (virtual reality in this case). It also boasts endearing characters, a well-developed world with unique sci-fi elements and some surprisingly cool action-scenes. So if you liked Noein, check out Dennou Coil.
Even though the storylines of these series are pretty different, both Dennou Coil and Noein and unique, innovative series with elements that you don't see very much in most anime. Both have a similar feel to them, involve high technology, and contain common thematic elements.
What at first glance seems to be a children story turns out to be involving well written story with a twist. Writing is convoluted and infodumbing. Characters are developing throughout the series. Great production quality especially motion animation. Finally there's imaginative and original setting
Opening Theme"Idea" by eufonius
Ending Theme"Yoake no Ashioto" by solua
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