The unnamed main character has been having strange dreams, seeing strange things, and meeting strange people. He investigates these events and finds a strange girl named Aya. With her help, he discovers that his world may not in fact be real and many of the people he thinks he knows may not exist anymore.
This anime does a number of things really well ... and then flops in a number of other areas. The very first thing to understand about this anime is that you aren't going to understand this.
The entire anime plays out similarly to the end of Evangelion where absolutely nothing makes any sense. This is an area that could have used significantly more polish. Done properly, this could have been a mind-twister that really made you think about some important questions in life. In stead what we have is a Half-life/Evangelion hybrid that just doesn't feel right about half of
This is by far the series strongest area. The art is relatively well done. There's better out there, of course, but this really isn't bad. The characters feel individualized, well drawn, and well animated. The backgrounds are rich and contrast well enough that the characters don't become drown out by it. The environment overall feels believable.
I really don't have any particularly strong feelings about the audio in this series. For me it was just ... meh. It certainly isn't bad sound and the theme isn't too bad ... but it also isn't good either. It's just there.
This is the low point of the series right here. There are token characters everywhere in this one. This includes the obligatory mostly-naked girl in all three episodes. For me, this really took away from the story. Some of the characters are, for the most part, believable. They do their best to draw out the main character but even then he feels ... empty most of the time.
Surprisingly, I still enjoyed this anime. It certainly wasn't the best out there ... but it was pretty good. It is, for all intents and purposes, average. If you've got nothing all that great to watch, this is at least a somewhat enjoyable experience.
Interlude, by Merriam-Webster's definition, is an intervening or interruptive period, space, or event. How this can be applied to this OVA is moot. We can conclude that the most likely meaning of the Interlude in this anime is the world of memory, in which all of our characters live their lives in this "intervening pause" of the apocalypse. The tautology of the word can clearly be seen in every intro where one of the heroines gives a monologue (or even a soliloquy) about an abstract idea concerning despair in regard to personal ambition, the point of
life, or obliviousness to the world around us. I may mention the motifs and symbolism I see throughout the series, which may be full of praise, but this does not reflect my actual review of the OVA as a PRODUCT.
Now the review:
(5) Story: There is no true plot. Just an abstract outline of the apocalypse in parallel with a dream world that was formed to preserve the lives and sanity of a number of humans left in the world. Now the beauty of this lack of plot is that the director gives us a piece of his work, his art and we're supposed to see what is truly being expressed throughout his work. There are questions imposed here that make you really think. Just to name a few:
"Is sacrifice really worth it if a person you're sacrificing for is oblivious to your efforts?"
"Could you live with yourself if everyone else died but you?"
"Does the power of love juxtapose with the shame of regret in times of extreme trauma or does the power of love triumph over the shame of regret in those moments?"
"When and where does morality end and begin?"
I mean you could go on for hours trying to see the symbolism within this short OVA and determine what the author was trying to get across. However, many of my fellow anime fans know that anime is used as a direct means to express a certain emotion, thought, or outlook on an aspect of life or human values. However, making this OVA abstract detracted heavily from actually making this OVA enjoyable for most viewers.
(9) Animation: This is one aspect which the producers clearly did not fail in. The art in this work was very smooth, clean, and crisp within the memory world. The apocalyptic world is portrayed in a fuzzy, surreal manner, giving way to the feeling of shock; how the world became what it was never supposed to be. I can't say the detail was simply amazing, but they way the artists pulled it off did contribute to the sense of illusion and loss of reality within the OVA.
(7) Sound: Again no complaints. Just as with the art, the producers did not neglect on the sound effects, voice acting, or music of the series. However, I can clearly see that they did not go out of their way to use sound as a tool to further convey the feelings and emotions of confusion and dark self-reflection in regard to the main character's interaction with his surroundings, which is why I gave it a positive, but not an outstanding rating.
(6) Character: Again, in relation to to my story rating, I believe the characters are used as a kind of foil, not just to the main character, but to ourselves. The characters were not very well developed because the I believe the director made it his intention to keep his story abstract. The only person whom I believed was really was developed was Mutsuki Saegusa who sacrificed everything for a step-brother whom she truly cared for. I can look into the characters and begin to delve into the realm of philosophy asking questions about myself, humanity, and the surreal. However, this is an anime review so I'm avoiding any digressions when I can! ;)
(9) Enjoyment: I can go forever about this one. Let's keep it short.
I'm a very deep thinker. This OVA presents questions and innuendos that really made me think about values, morality, humanity, etc. Because of this, I enjoyed the anime a lot because it made me reflect on a lot of ethics we follow today.
(6) Overall: Again this OVA is not for people looking for amazing action or getting blown apart in terms of psychological thinking, like with Inception (I know it's not anime but it's a good example). It's supposed to stimulate reflection and provoke some sort of response in terms of what symbols you can pull out of the anime and discuss with other viewers. I enjoyed it as provoker of deep meditation. As an OVA, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they are into finding deep, hidden themes and meanings within the shows.
Look at the poster again - can you see 3 large women? Good. One of them, the long red-haired one is a question mark. While she does vaguely resemble one useless character in the plot, whether it is she on the poster or not, either way both in the anime and on its poster the viewer is left thinking who and what the heck is she even doing in there?
In many respects this summarises the feelings you get after watching Interlude, whose plot doesn't fail to get you worked up with expectations but at the same time gives you a headach for the most
part due to it being basically pointless. It is one of those animes where the authors tried too hard to twist things up but end up in the end getting twisted themselves with loose ends all over the place and leave the mess up for you to fill in the blanks, pretending all along there is somehow some great psychological logic behind it all which of course nobody grasped!