After watching this, I was torn between regret of even trying it and a slight satisfaction that I was able to complete it.
This movie starts off in a cliche manner. There's a new transfer student who, from his very first lines, we can confirm is not from Earth. We are introduced to the main set of characters- a typical, "you pervert!", finger-pointing anime girl who is the neighbor of the main character, the girl that the main character likes who's talented, shy, and also typical, and the main character himself who seems to be the typical anime guy who does not measure up to
the hotness of the transfer student. To sum it up so far: typical. Then, out of nowhere, cellphones are accused to be the spawns of devils and the reason why teens are unable to communicate efficiently. Magical powers and sparkly objects begin their work in damaging your eyesight by attempting to blind you at every turn. You suspect a love triangle, a love square? How about some conversation? Oh wait, no. Apparently this has something to do with telepathy. Or no wait, physics? Which is it? Oh look! There's a back story between the neighbor chick and the main guy! Wait, I thought they were just neighbors? Where's all this water coming from? Why do we need to see this scene? Am I supposed to be reading into this? It's symbolism isn't it? No? It's just pretty? Wait a minute- are they trying to throw in some Shakespeare in here? Is there going to be fighting? This seems to have potential but seriously what's happening? And these questions are what lead to headaches- which is precisely what you'll have after you're done watching this. So please, for your concern, I suggest you watch this movie on your off-time, during a free day, and certainly not when you're ill because then you'll just suffer from migraines.
It's truly the art that keeps you watching and still hoping that there's some thread of story line you haven't picked up on. The color palette is gorgeous and everything is so shiny and clean and bright that you begin to appreciate your eyesight- even when you're being blinded by the bubbles, rays of the sunset, odd glowing magical items, and school floorboards. Movement is fluid, and it leaves you feeling fresh and wholesome with its incorporation of nature in every aspect. You'll even pause or replay some parts in order to appreciate the hues. Overall, it's magnificent. Consider making some screenshots.
Just as wonderful as the art. With soft piano (played by the transfer student, of course), the music comes across as subtle and easily blends in with the feeling provided by whatever scene is playing. Voices, tapping, the blowing of the wind- all are displayed to near perfection. Any vocals you hear are softly sung and blissful to say the least.
As I've stated before, the characters are undeniably second rate- the female ones more so than the males. While at the beginning they seem unexpected and interesting, they quickly fall into the routine of what every other anime school girl/boy does. I particularly detest the female characters' behaviors on some occasions. The neighbor chick (Ryouura Natsuki) is an emotional wreck- and not even the hot kind. She's ridiculously agile, jumping everywhere, and teasing one moment and the next she's slapping the main guy (Seki, Kenji) for one, naive statement before crying and running off despite the fact she's the one who just shoved him to the side of the road. I really despise the fact that violence is displayed acceptable by female anime characters simply because she's doing it since they're 'close' and 'joking'. It's not funny, it will never be funny, and personally, I would never want to be friends with someone who smacks me every chance they get.
The second girl (Harukawa, Kahori) is another lackluster piece of recycling. She's shy, has big boobs, is in the student council, does music and surfs in her part time, is friends with the violent neighbor chick, and interested in the transfer student (Kyougoku, Ryouichi). We see these two talk more, bond over the piano, and this girl goes on her merry little way- gasping dramatically at everything he says and clutching her body parts as if- despite being under the pretenses that they're trying to display her as nervous and cute- she's coming across as someone who's being turned on for the first time. It's sort of awkward to say the least, and I couldn't even spare a pitiful smile for her despite having a soft spot for quiet characters.
But perhaps I'm being too harsh, the magical guy seems to be rather intriguing after all and he's got that mysterious aura going on too. Maybe he'll turn out to be evil or even cross the line into the gray area an-- oh nope, there he goes. He starts preaching about the 'kokoro' as its some sort of heart condition people must be made aware of... And, now he's glowing..
Finally, the main guy. Well, let's see- how would you define a guy who lets himself get beat senseless by his female neighbor/childhood friend, continually forgets to zip his pants, breaks windows in attempts to apologize for something which he hasn't even done, and walks into a council room of people wearing a horror which even speedoes can't outdo, puts his hand in there, pulls out a cell, and throws it across the room while uttering some dramatic line that I'm pretty sure was supposed to add to the plot had we not all been busy screaming no? You don't define that sort of guy. You give him the one eyed twitch before getting the hell out.
Overall, the characters aren't horrifyingly annoying to the point where you want them all slaughtered, but they are rather mediocre, slightly disturbing, and highly disappointing because they had some essence of potential.
So, should you watch it? On boring, event-less days during which you are healthy, sane, feeling as if you could care less about story lines, and prepared to let the confusion mold itself into a ball that rolls off your back with a shrugging ease. It's not a bad movie, but it's definitely not something you'd want to share with your friends when hanging out for fun. It's an anime you'd watch twice in order to appreciate the animation once again and perhaps attempt tackling whatever mumbo jumbo is thrown at you- crafting it into a plot you can actually comprehend without having to be part of that niche group that read the novel (who knew there was a novel?), but it's not a film you'd consider worth mentioning as an award-winning production since it clearly did not make it a goal to cater to the general audience. All in all, give it a shot, but keep your expectations low- even those of the art and music, just so you'll have something to be pleasantly surprised about.
Having just returned from the apparent world premier, I can assure you that if you are a fan of anime with compelling stories, well constructed plots, and a suitable amount of intrigue, this film is most definitely not for you.
I'm sure the original story is as nuanced and engrossing as the reputation of its author would suggest. However, what the director of this film has managed to cram into these (approximate) 90 minutes is not so much a tale of psychic rivals and their attempts to impact history as it is a mishmash of awkward, stereotypically 'anime-ish' relationships and overt use of inanely pretty
scenery and characters. The first 20 minutes of the film are unnecessarily accompanied by the constant falling of cherry blossom, for example.
Indeed, in making use of as much cliché and anime trope as he could muster, the director completely destroyed any semblance of an engaging story line, reducing the plot to a series of awkward encounters, embarrassing emotional confessions (that see the constant and mind numbing use of anime's favourite phrase), failed philosophical musing, and out-of context and particularly unmindful quoting of Shakespeare (which seems to, of late, be quite the fashion in anime).
So, yes, if you enjoy anime simply for awkward teenage crushes and angst, as well as cute characters and pretty images, then you will likely enjoy this. Anyone looking for a tale as touching and well constructed as the likes of "The girl who leapt through time" or "Millennium actress" should look elsewhere.
I was looking forward to this movie for some time after reading MAL's synopsis, but after completing it, I felt as if I set my expectations too high.
Nerawareta Gakuen, or Psychic School Wars, is a misnomer. Not once did anyone have a psychic battle against one another, let alone a war. From what I saw, a new handsome transfer student brainwashes all the students that had an aptitude to do some little magic, and were sent out to bully those who do not have powers. This in turn led to the tyranny of the student council, who created an inquisition hellbent on reprimanding those
who bring cell phones to school, because of course cell phones are the root of evil in a learning institution. Hypocritical I say. Of course, the underdog hero saves the day with his pervasive powers and changes the heart of the transfer student responsible. Turns out, humans were living on the moon in the future.
Admittedly, the art was very good. Very fluid motions throughout, and very beautiful scenery. I had a problem at the beginning with the sakura petals floating everywhere in every scene: on the beach, outside on the streets, at the edge of a cliff, and somehow inside a subway train. Reflections of the most random things like stairs and tables did also irk me a little. The amount of realistic details remind me of Makoto Shinkai's works. But overall, I think the animations were the only thing other than the sound that made me watch this all in one sitting.
They captured everything pretty well to be honest. The wind, the drops of water, and the piano. Though somewhat generic, the soundtrack was soothing and fitting for the scenes they were played in. And with a cast with Kana Hanazawa and Daisuke Ono, you know that the voice actings are not half-assed.
Generic hot guy transfers into school. The main hero is known to be a pervert and at times can be serious. Pathetic-looking, and his heart wavers too easily. His childhood friend loves him ever since they were little and he never took notice. He also cracked her windows yet no one actually cared to mention anything about that. A girl whose past we barely even know attempts to commit suicide, however a hot time traveling transfer student saves her and she becomes his henchman. Another girl from the student council falls in love with the transfer student at first sight. They all have a some form of relationships with one another. Be reminded that they are all in the 8th grade.
I was seriously looking forward to Nerawareta Gakuen. From reading the synopsis, I thought that the new transfer student will rule over the school and create a brainwashed army to send them to defeat the badass main lead. With awesome battle actions and stuff. Boy, was I disappointed. Near the end of the movie, I thought they were going to go all out since the main character realized his powers. Instead, he offered to have a gathering at a beach. Pretty anticlimatic.
All this anime had were very pretty and fluid animations. The plot was pretty generic, the characters generic, and my expectations were not even close to being met. When I think of psychics, I think of people reading each other's minds, planning out each other's next moves in some sort of strategy. Not feeling each other's soul or whatever and create a cliche with other psychics. I would rate this lower, but averaging the above scores, I got a perfect 7. Should the score be lower? Maybe. But I decided to be fair and just average everything together. Unfortunately for Sunrise, this work has disappointed me.
With a story so convoluted, characters so dull and cliché, art and animation so top notch and a beautiful (but basic and boring) soundtrack makes this a mess of a movie.
The plot is stupid. Half of the time I didn't even know what was going on. It starts of as a sort of slice of life, school romance with a touch of sci-fi but and then moves into weird territory concerning cellphones (and their banning), psychic powers, time travel and a troubling dictatorship subplot. And the characters, my god, don't get me started.
There's the dull and boring main character, the life-long best friend neighbour girl
(who, obviously, has a crush on the main character), there's the best friend of the neighbour girl (who the main character, obviously, has a crush on, leaving the neighbour girl jealous for half the movie) and then finally there's the mysterious (Nagisa Kaworu clone) transfer student that the best friend of the neighbour girl, obviously, falls in love with and thus creating a love triangle (love quadrangle?). As you may have noticed, the plot is very obvious.
But then you start to notice something. The art and animation. It's beautiful. Well, the backgrounds that is. The character design themselves look like you just straight-up copied whatever you found under the google search "anime character", but the art, from the 2D backgrounds to the 3D water, look amazing. But then there's the thing with the animation that caught my attention. It doesn't look right. It'd look great if it was an action movie, because the characters are always jumping around and wailing their arms about utilizing a neat (but disorienting) motion-blur technique, but it's not an action movie. And then there's also the excessive use of lens flares and colorful special effects that is definitely not needed.
It's also obvious that they recorded the voices after the initial animation because the mouths are almost never in sync. It makes for an unpleasant experience.
It's as if the movie tried too hard to look and sound like a Makoto Shinkai movie that it ultimately forgot what the movie was about. It's obvious that more time was spent on the art and animation than the story itself, which is good in some cases, like Ghost in the Shell and The Sky Crawlers, but in this case it flat-out doesn't work. There's just too much dialogue and too much jabbering about with the story for that Mamoru Oshii approach to work.
My final verdict is, if you're looking for cool new computer wallpapers, then you've hit the jackpot. But if you're looking for something cohesive with a good story and interesting characters, you're better off with the jokes you find on the opposite end of a popsicle stick.
It is a hard and often under-appreciated craft to bend cliches to your will and use them to create a beautiful and astonishing piece of art. The authors of Nerawareta Gakuen have succeeded.
The first thing that draws attention are the visuals. This is one of the most beautiful anime movies that I've ever seen. The quality of art and animation is absolutely top-notch. It is very bright and colorful, but we're being bombarded with the faerie-like palette with absolute mastery. I would say it is worth watching for the visuals alone. The music and sound production follow in line, complimenting the breathtaking graphics perfectly.
a beautiful world is definitely not everything this feature has to offer. We are being thrown into a world populated with refreshingly likable characters. In fact, it's almost too easy to sympathize and grow attached to them. It's a rare achievement for a movie set in a school setting - the characters are well written and none of them makes us wish the scene was already over - the plague of irritating cast has been avoided completely.
When it comes to the plot, we spend a good half of the movie wondering what the heck is going on. As it unfolds, it turns out to be a very interesting take on the theme of time travel, and as would be expected from the previous paragraph, it unfolds naturally and is a product of a myriad of choices made by the characters - they behave in a natural and believable way and what we receive is an endearing tale of an idyllic setting disrupted by a mysterious transfer student. Personally, I love this kind of a story - it manages to show how a potentially world-altering event affects characters on a personal level. It certainly doesn't flip everyone's life over, people don't suddenly become detectives and heroes - they are still their old selves, even in a face of overwhelming circumstances.
I can certainly see that this is not a movie that will appeal to everyone, and people looking for action, multiple-layered intrigue and a massive conspiracy would be disappointed. But if you're looking for more of a slice-of-life drama and allow yourself to be enchanted, you won't be disappointed.
To the casual viewer, Nerawareta Gakuen ostensibly appears to be about three seemingly average junior high students and one mysterious time traveler posing as a transfer student. However, if one peels back the first layer, it becomes obvious that Nerawareta Gakuen possesses myriad levels of complexity as it blends metaphor and reality. By cleverly using love, telepathy, and cell phones as metaphors for various forms of personal connection while simultaneously allowing them to serve as key plot devices to drive the corporeal story, Nerawareta Gakuen attempts to tackle and frame philosophical questions such as the meaning of personal connection, loneliness, individuality, and privacy.
the story is also called "Psychic Schools Wars" in English, it is important to note that the primary adjectival definition of 'psychic' refers to the human mind or soul in general and not to the more common nominal definition suggesting one who is sensitive to psychic phenomena. By explicating this subtle, but important, difference and examining it in light of the underlying philosophical narrative, the title of this story gains not only a different meaning but also aligns with the film's message that forming human connections is a battle.
The corporeal story concerning the three students and one mysterious time traveler, though not cliché, utilizes story telling themes familiar to many cultures. The most prominent of these include unrequited love, love lost, time traveling, and psychic powers. While the script writers took more of an absurdist approach to the themes of time traveling and psychic powers by using them as plot devices without supplying an inherent explanation, this should not be negatively viewed as these devices lead the viewer more toward speculation than the creation of plot holes. Since neither psychic power nor time travel are used as plot gimmicks, the corporeal story ultimately and expectedly focuses upon unrequited love and love lost. When viewed in tandem with the deeper complexity of Nerawareta Gakuen, these themes resonate more soundly and serve as adapters, fastening the corporeal story to philosophical narrative.
Though Nerawareta Gakuen explores philosophical questions concerning connection, it is does not directly answer them. Instead, the film continues the narrative begun by numerous philosophers, and demonstrates the pain of loneliness, and the struggle to make meaningful connections while retaining one's individuality. Though no solution is posited to this ancient and inherent problem in human society, Nerawareta Gakuen offers reassurance that no matter how painful forming a connection between human beings may be, bonds are important to our survival and that ultimately we will struggle to survive to create connections or create connection to survive.
Though rather plain, the characters are likeable and memorable. Though some may find their actions cliché, they are more mundane than anything. Though it is common for characters of Japanese anime and manga and American film, modern literature, and television to possess interesting or irregular personalities, abilities, or traits; human beings are rarely flourished in actuality. In consideration of Nerawareta Gakuen's philosophical narrative, it seems obvious that the writers would deliberately create characters who are average (or as some may declare cliché), like most people. They do this to demonstrate the tenacity required to make connections, the pain of being lonely, and the difficulty of hiding secrets. Since each of Nerawareta Gakuen's characters are average, they all attempt to find ways to differentiate their individuality while seeking ways to connect with others. Even the most unusual character, who is a time traveler and can awaken the psychic powers of others, is merely an average adolescent seeking to fit in a place where he does not belong. As such, Nerawareta Gakuen's characters are perfect in their own right. They are normal because they are representative of humanity and changing these characters to possess unique traits or personalities would undermine the power and meaning of Nerawareta Gakuen's story.
Art and Visuals: (10)
Like many anime films, Nerawareta Gakuen possesses astonishingly beautiful artwork and animations. By themselves the backgrounds are highly detailed breathtaking works of art, but when combined with animations brought to life with meticulous effort, one finds oneself overwhelmed with visual stimulation. Many of the backgrounds are so enchanting it would not seem unlikely if they were found displayed in an art gallery. Each new background that occupies a frame could easily be paused and examined in great detail before moving to the next. Character designs, while not unique, are well drawn, do not detract from the visual experience and allow for easy animation.
With respect to the animation, the characters' movements are fluid and the CG is well designed. In general, characters' movements are natural and rather fun to watch. The animators added many discrete movements that benefit the film's overall realism. At first, one may find oneself distracted by such movements because he or she is not accustomed to such quality animation. However, as the movie progresses, the viewer acclimates and begins to enjoy this degree of animation. The CG was beautifully created and positioned and added to the scene, but never unnecessarily took the focus.
Though still frames are often the mark of a lazy animator, they are often quite effective given the proper set of circumstances. Nerawareta Gakuen is unusual in that still frames are rarely, albeit effectively, utilized. Interjection of still frames is often paired with exposition, explanation, or extrication from lively scenes, facilitating the viewer's comprehension of important details, allowing a moment for the viewer to procure and understand the meanings of symbolism, or to engage the film with questions of the viewer's own.
Nerawareta Gakuen's voice acting is superlative. Despite a combination of seasoned veterans and rising stars, it is often difficult to tell the difference between two. Each voice actor easily conveys her or his character's feelings and words without forced effort or contrivance, which favorably augments the overall suspension of disbelief. Conversely, the voice actors did not overact their characters which adds to each character's individuality and believability.
The film's musical score is enchanting but subtle. Nerawareta Gakuen's score often supports the characters' emotions and in turn the scene as opposed to creating the emotion and the scene. As a result, the music adopts an important side role, but rarely takes a center stage in serving as the focus. The one exception is the direct mention of and reference to Debussy's "Clair de Lune" which in turn alludes to the poem of the same name and Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Since "Clair de Lune" and its allusions epitomize each character's struggle for personal connection and against insecurity and loneliness, its significance cannot be understated.
Nerawareta Gakuen is easily one of the best anime films ever produced. It's voice acting and music help to respectively build a strong suspension of disbelief and rich emotional world. It's artwork and animation are flawless, allowing the viewer to focus less on nitpicking poor animation and more on the story and the questions raised. The film's simple corporeal story coupled with its complex philosophical narrative makes it both a joy to watch and adds immeasurable re-watch value. If you enjoy heartrending stories of personal connection, beautiful animation and artwork, powerful voice acting and musical scores, or having a film force you to think, and have yet to watch Nerawareta Gakuen, this film is for you. If you have already watched Nerawareta Gakuen, but missed the basic allusions and philosophical narrative, watching it again might amply increase both your comprehension of and affection for this film.
Communication and connection are important parts of human relationships that develop over time, and in an era of incredibly easy access to technology, it is easy to assume that these bonds can be formed at the click of a button. However, is it really so easy to impersonally call someone a friend from having their cell phone number or email address? Rather than speaking through the "mind," simply expressing your feelings through words and actions can be more effective than any kind of computer or cell phone can offer.
Blending elements of time travel, psychic awareness and philosophy, "Nerawareta Gakuen" (Psychic School Wars) focuses on
a group of students who get caught up in a time traveler's attempts to change the bleak future that seems to await humanity. Through loosely connected sequences, the film poses questions about when to express your actual feelings and the morality of whether or not to change something that inevitably will happen. Set in a vibrant world of color, the film uses two interlinked love stories to tackle these questions, linking the stories with the overarching theme of the difficulty of forming connections.
Using psychic powers and time travel as a medium, the film wants to challenge the notion of what it means to stay connected. The psychic powers here are mostly telepathy and psychic awareness, as opposed to things like psychokinesis and pyrokinesis. It is a complex plot with many things to take into consideration, and it will take creative thinking to piece together the loosely connected sequences into a single, overarching story that has many, many layers. Peel a layer back and another more complex one replaces it. It is smart and refreshing, and linking the themes to the story gives a wistful interpretation of staying in contact with one another. For the time traveler, who lives in a hopeless future, and for the psychic, who lives in relative peace, their interpretations of personal relationships and ideas of love are considerably different.
One of the most striking features of the film is the beautiful animation and diverse color palette. Shades of red, blue, and green dominate the scenery, and the characters make references to fairy tales and plays, almost giving a self appreciating kind of awareness. With the animation quality rivaling other films known for this, such as "Kotonoha no Niwa" and "Byousoku 5 Centimeter", both directed by Makoto Shinkai, "Nerawareta Gakuen" is definitely one of the best looking anime films. The sky in particular looks beautiful, with many different colors used. Watching the film almost feels like a dream, with one fantastic background moving to another fantastic background. Colors flow and blend easily, immersing the characters in a vibrant world. Lighting is also a high point of the film, mimicking the sun's rays and emphasizing the contrast between light and dark.
One of the most common staples in anime is cherry blossoms blowing in the wind, or falling from the trees. The beginning of the film in particular has cherry blossoms scattered everywhere, from train tracks to the path leading to school, almost saturating the film with the flowers. It is toned down significantly as the film progresses, but their presence is a common reminder of the passing of seasons and fading beauty.
The film's soundtrack consists of soothing instrumental pieces and piano themes. The transfer student in particular likes "Clair de Lune" by Claude Debussy, a fitting piece for him given the character's background. It's placement is smart and is a major point in one of the central love stories, bringing the two characters to a common love of piano playing. The opening theme is "Giniro Hikousen" by supercell, and the ending theme is "Sayonara no Hashi by Mayu Watanabe, one of the voice actresses. The soundtrack captured the mood of the film perfectly, with breathtaking, dreamy scenes accompanied by a resonating soundtrack.
The characters talk about fairy tales, dreams, and acting, and that's almost precisely what this film is, a modern interpretation of a fairy tale. Its moments of blending reality and fantasy is visually and emotionally spectacular, and something that will bring with it many questions. Common to fairy tales, there is a lesson to be learned, but I think I will leave that lesson to be learned up to you. Interpretations, after all, are the most important thing when watching a film of this complex nature. It's re-watch value is very high, and a second or third viewing will lead to new interpretations and new insight to the time traveler's and the psychic's journey. While difficult to digest, I believe "Nerawareta Gakuen" is a worthwhile experience that will leave a positive, if bittersweet impression on the viewer.
After all, even in the hustle and bustle of increasing technology, and even when fantastical elements are introduced, simply reaching out to someone else can make all the difference, affecting the present and the uncertain future.
Nerawareta Gakuen effortlessly weaves a story that combines romance, time travel, an impending apocalypse, and growing up into an incomprehensible mess of a film. The film is plagued with aimless direction, among other things, that prevents it from being any more than eye candy. Besides being pretty to look at there’s nothing to be gained from seeing this film that’s a chore to finish.
The premise of Nerawareta Gakuen, which translates to the cooler sounding, but very misleading English title Psychic School War starts out simple. Introducing four characters into what appears will be a romance story with light elements of sci-fi. Following four characters each
of whom contain bland characteristics leading to force conflicts that could have been easily been resolved. Being dragged out in order to pad out what little story it has. If it was only focused on the romance in the story, it would have been bland if it revolved around childhood friends along with a love triangle that’s entirely one sided nor add much of a conflict between the characters. Seeing, let alone learning about the character's relationship with one another is spread thinly in the film. Emoting a sense of boredom that plays the usual tricks (will they won't they hook up being the main element in use) in its setup.
If it was only a sci-fi than it would have still been incomprehensible. Vague explanations are given on how time traveling works, character backstory is revealed with sparse bits of information, the apocalypse that occurred gets a quick brief mention with unanswered questions, and how psychic powers work is flimsy. Some of it is explained like how other character can unlock the ability to read other minds, but what exactly it can do is left up to the imagination. One of the most crucial elements in the film that receives muddle explanations is an hourglass shaped device that Ryouichi carries around with him which he uses in order to create more psychics. He uses this device predominantly to achieve his goal and by badly presenting it purpose it’s easy to lose sight of how he’s going to accomplish what he sets out to do.
It’s so bad at telling its story that the whole plot has to use a very weak plot point involving a school policy which prevents students from bringing cell phones to school in order to show visible progress of the central conflict. In the worst possible way it tries to use this plot point to say some sort of commentary on social interaction by having students ignore or enforce the no cell phone policy. On a dramatic level this plot point becomes exaggerated that anything serious it wanted to say is downplayed in delivery. Seeing students expresses their hatred for cell phones in an over the top presentation is unable to be enjoyable in silliness because it wants to be taken seriously. There’s no build up to steadily show its central conflict becoming larger nor provide enough visual cues that more students are becoming psychic. At most, it only shows two students becoming physic which isn’t enough to provide a glimpse at the bigger picture. Instead characters have to exposition it to each other to get important information out. Sounding unnatural in several conversations.
The characters aren’t any better. Our four main characters in the film are archetypes that get introduced and three of them remain static in their journey. Kenji Seki is a dumb teen who has bad luck and oblivious to the fact his childhood friend Natsuki Suzuura loves him. It’s reasonable why Kenji is oblivious about Natsuki feelings since in one minute Natsuki teases him, punches him, and calls the police on him. He’s an idiotic character who’s unable to process thoughts. Unable in the fact he doesn’t how to handle any situation when comforting friends. He’s simply lucks out in how problems play out. Kenji is underdeveloped, though the only one who seems to grow in the film. In some ways he matures gaining a different outlook on life. Without much of a character to explore he ends up banal like the other characters.
Natsuki Suzuura is the typical girl next door who picks on Kenji to hide her true feelings from him. The way she acts needlessly prolongs an easily solvable conflict. She even says herself if she was more direct in expressing herself she wouldn’t be going through any overblown struggles. She’s another bland character who's made entirely unlikable by how she acts. The first time she’s seen in the film she reports Kenji to the police by lying that Kenji was going to rape her. This is also how Natsuki character is introduced in the film, which gives a bad first impression of her character. Around the 23 minute mark Natsuki slaps Kenji for a comment he made regarding loving someone without mutual feelings being returned. Natsuki up to this point has shown no sign of even liking Kenji. Within that time frame she acts like a tsundere hitting Kenji throughout the film and teases Kenji nonstop who does not like getting teased. Despite acting how Natsuki does she wonders why Kenji doesn’t love her. When the film ends she still hasn’t a change bit proving she’s the film most dense character.
Kahori Harukawa is an unimportant character. Besides one brief scene the writers prefer to keep Kahori entire character one dimensional. Her backstory is glanced over with a brief mention which ends all of her characterization with a couple of seconds. As a character she’s weak and her place in the story is unimportant. She has no conflict nor does anything to advance the story. She also falls in love with Ryouichi Kyougoku for shallow reasons. It’s explained she fell in love with him at the first sight of Ryouichi and the material reinforces that fact. There is hardly a scene of Kahori and Ryouichi getting to know each other. The only thing they know about each other for a majority of the film is they both play piano. That’s about it. Once it reaches the hour mark both characters are lovey-dovey towards each other despite only sharing one scene of actually doing anything together outside of school. This later comes to affect the final act of the film. Due a specific revelation both characters won’t be able to be together. Instead of being a strong dramatic pull in the story it’s simply just there as fluff.
The worst character in the film is Ryouichi Kyougoku who's the popular, mysterious transfer student with a hidden agenda. Ryouichi single handedly brings down the time travel and physic aspect of the film. He’s a poorly written character, giving out his backstory unnaturally as possible and providing vague explanations on the process of time traveling and physic powers. He knows how everything works, but the audience doesn’t making any scene that has anything supernatural onscreen become convoluted. Almost as if literally making up the rules of how time traveling and physic powers work as he goes along in the story. He receives scatter characterization some of which gets dropped. In the film its mentioned Ryouichi will execute a revenge plan. What exactly it was is delivered in a throwaway line that’s easy to miss.
The animation is done by Sunrise studio and it’s virtually flawless. Director Ryosuke Nakamura eye for details is rich in every single scene of the movie. Meticulous details in the visuals from the cherry blossom petals being blown in the breeze to the gleaming rays of light shining through the classroom windows. Everything from beginning to end looks beautiful. Another outstanding feature is the use of color hues and tones to accentuate and render scenic clouds and evening skies. There usually something always moving on screen with high detail that it becomes mesmerizing. For a majority of the film it movements sticks to the ordinary with the occasional over the top short burst moments and supernatural elements when on display. No matter what’s on screen the amount of time it must have taken to animate the film is something to appreciate.
The voice acting is in general is passable, but underwhelming due to the material. Kana Kanazawa plays Kahori who I already mentioned is pointless in the story. It’s a performance that I can’t blame Kanazawa for phoney in since her character hardly changes emotion limiting options in her portrayal. Daisuke Ono, who plays Ryouichi Kyougoku has a similar problem. A big role with limited range, which again limits the voice actor abilities to portray the characters. That’s two talented voice actors who are handicapped because of the material.
Yuutaro Honjou plays Kenji Seki whose performance does allow ranged. Unlike his more experience co-stars his balance of drama and comedy generally misses the mark. When he’s meant to sound sincere it comes across as a bad rehearsal take. Sounding mundane when experiencing important life changing events. Mayu Watanabe plays Natsuki Suzuura does a good job. Unfortunately because of how her character is written she also comes across as the most annoying. Playing a tsunderes she sounds sweet one moment then flips the switch to being angry the next. That’s our four lead actors, each of whom are unable to overcome the material shortcoming. The supporting cast because of limited screen time don’t suffer the same problem. They’re fine in small roles. There’s no English dub for the film which given the sloppy delivery of the story is understandable.
The soundtrack is done by Shusei Murai and it’s repetitive. Nearly all the tracks sound sentimental working against the film. There’s hardly any variety in the music Murai composed. Becoming aggregating to listen to when most of the tracks are soft piano ballads that sound similar to one another with just a minor variation of one track. Too many tracks sound too similar to each other its entirely lazy. To paint a clearer picture on the lack of varied music the OST for the film there are 25 tracks and 22 of them are soft piano ballads. If it doesn’t feature a soft piano ballad it’ll feature a Violin another instrument Murai goes out of his way to make annoying to listen to. Hearing the soundtrack is infuriating because no effort is made to make each track sound different. Getting the suspicion that the soundtrack simply looped one song over and over again. There are only two distinctive sounding and noteworthy tracks in the film coming from artists Ryo and supercell. Like the rest of the score, the songs these two artists provide are blissful with usage of soft piano ballads. They are nice songs, even if they are forgettable immediately after they end.
Nerawareta Gakuen is a complicated mess and poorly told, but does make sense. Although this being my second time seeing the movie I wrote down notes which in the end made the story sensical. However, the information is so poorly relayed to the audience due to brief throwaway explanations that reveal very little or simply glancing over important details that are essential to understanding its story. Before reaching the one hour mark the film fails to provide characters good enough to carry a story, wanders around aimlessly without a purpose, and finally a conflict that uses convoluted plot points making it uninvolving. The remainder of the film will feel longer than it actually is. That’s not even taking into account the repetitive soundtrack becoming grating on the ears as it goes making the experience worse. Pretty to look at, no doubt, but with no substance whatsoever it makes you ponder what a waste of beautiful animation.
The movie was a major let down. Don't get me wrong, I liked the characters, the sound as well as the art work, but that becomes a mute point when the actual plot line leaves a lot of unanswered questions for the viewer. Everything else ends up feeling like it was wasted. There is that much lack of closure by the end. It's to the point I'm frustrated and annoyed, particularly when I was honestly looking forward to this one.
One of the main issues comes from the fact the movie isn't just about certain characters having powers, it's about time travel. As I watched the
series, I found the use of time travel theory to be poorly used. Which particular time theory they were trying to use honestly isn't made clear, everything is that vague. Actually, it is vague to the point where the identity of one of the characters remains vague even until the end, and yet said character (Ryouichi's mother) remains unidentified.
Which is one of the intriguing things about the characters that is missed out upon, how the relationships between the various characters work over all. Only the surface is touched upon, everything else is... well... the mystery that ended being so hyped up ends up bearing no fruit what so ever. Well, way to much in the long run gets left unexplained, and there was so much more that could have been done with the plot as well as the characters it isn't funny.
Okay, despite what others may say, this is a good movie to watch. I especially thought that the surprise at the ending made up for the confusion throughout. Yeah, it wasn't packed full of action, and twenty more minutes to clear up the plot would certainly have been welcome, but, regardless, I definitely thought it was worth the just shy of two hours I spent watching it.
From this point on, there WILL be SPOILERS. The next section are for people who watched the movie and were confused. This should clear up a lot.
Let's start from the beginning.
Ryouichi Kyougoku's father went back it time FIRST, in
order to save the future (in which humanity had made the Earth uninhabitable, forcing them to live on the moon). He failed (presumably thanks to Seki Kouji (Seki Kenji's grandfather). However, Ryouichi Sr. did meet his wife and took her to the future, where she would give birth to Ryouichi Kyougoku before shortly dying (due to her lack of telepathic ability).
Now, apparently, time traveling puts a lot of strain on the heart, as such, you can pretty much only make a round trip (to one time period and back). With that said, already having went into the past once and failing to accomplish his goal, Ryouichi Sr. sent his son to the past (and the same time period his wife / mother was from) to complete the mission (either stop humanity from destroying the Earth by connecting people through telepathy or bringing those telepaths to the future to help stave off the dying human race, as in the future, only those with telepathic abilities can survive.
Now, at some point before Ryouichi Kyougoku enters, Seki Kenji is born and grows up with Suzuura Natsuki, a childhood friend who developed strong feeling for him at an early age. He DIED. Seki Kenji DIED as a child. She, being a telepath, used her powers to go back in time so that she was injured instead. However, since everything has a price, she lost her powers but saved Kenji's life. As some point, Kenji's grandfather, Kouji, SEALED Kenji's telepathic abilities.
Enter Ryouichi Kyougoku, a time traveler sent to complete his father's mission. As per, he takes over the school relatively easily. The missing students seemed to be staying at home due to fear or suspended for carrying their cell phones to school (it was also mentioned that the vice president moved away) or taken by Kyougoku himself for his mission.
I'm assuming everyone understood the romance part, so I'll only give a brief recap. Natsuki likes Kenji, who likes Harukawa, who likes Kyougoku, who likes Harukawa in return (just like 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'). It causes problems. Nevertheless, Harukawa and Natsuki are attacked and both find out about Kyougoku's mission. Natsuki stops going to school. Kenji saves Harukawa, and the three convene and decide to keep going to school even after learning Kyougoku's true purpose.
The cell phone ban gets worse (all apart of Kyougoku's master plan), and Kouji releases Kenji's sealed telepathic abilities (also a part of the master plan), which he uses to save Natsuki from the angered student council (as both he and her broke the rule by carrying cell phones to school and were caught). Knowing that Kenji intends to stop his plan, Kyougoku challenges him to a fight. Kenji refuses, and the four go to the beach in an attempt to understand one another and bring peace. It goes well; and everyone ends up with the person they are supposed to (Kenji X Natsuki; Kyougoku X Harukawa).
However, Kyougoku needs to return to his own time or be 'eaten' by the one he is in. Despite, Harukawa's love for him, he refuses to bring her for fear that she will die (as she is not a telepath) just like his mother. There is a slight skirmish between him and Kenji that happens INSIDE the time stream, but they are both returned to the moment they left. However, Kyougoku is injured due to his excess time in the past. So, Kenji uses his power to sent them both into the future (a one-way trip as Kenji will not have enough power to return). Natsuki and Harukawa and everyone else forgets that Kenji and Kyougoku existed once they leave. Seki Kouji has a stroke or heart attack.
Since Kenji destroyed the device and went to the future (which he COULD live in as he had telepathic abilities), everything at the school went back to normal, though both Natsuki and Harukawa felt some sort of longing for the love they lost. However, Kenji (who is TRAPPED in the FUTURE) was able to sent back a device that allowed Natsuki to regain her memories and for them to talk (for how long was not specified). Kyougoku's mission was a success, and the future Kenji called from was from Earth, which in this future had NOT been destroyed by humanity.
First I must warn you ! Don't make the same mistake that I did when watching this movie, wear sunglasses or you eyes will be burnt . (I'm not joking)
Well what to say about this thing that I have just watched, if you are fan of cheery petals this anime is for you, if you like special lens effects or light beams destroying your eyes this is a must watch.
And what about the movements of the characters they look like puppets it's just so unreal it just creep me out more than the exorcist or insidious . Just amazing !
The story :
there isn't one .
The characters : You have all the most annoying type of characters you can find gathered in a 100 minute episode . Enjoy !
The sound : The only point where it was okay, the opening was by Supercell no surprise there .
Enjoyment : Can I have my time back please ?
Overall : I'm just pissed of because they wasted so much money to make this thing ...
I may be an avid anime viewer but I rarely watch anime movies but I decided to give this new one a try. Nerawareta Gakuen is a supernatural romantic drama that starts off simple but gradually builds into a beautiful story that drops 2/3s of the way through. Allow me to explain what I mean. Nerawareta Gakuen starts off as a touching middle school romance between a set of friends that turns into a heart wrenching love triangle of pure unrequited love for each person involved. The love triangle gets even more complicated when Ryoichi, the new transfer student enrolls. Said transfer students turns out
to be from the future and has come to turn more people into "psychics" to build a better future for humanity. I won't tell you the entire plot but basically the plan ends up looking more like a strict and frightening dictatorship instead of a peaceful and happy society. It's up to the main character, Kenji to stop Ryoichi and his "psychic" followers and this is where things get complicated. The overall movie contains two plots, a touching romantic drama and a supernatural drama. The movie builds up to an amazing climax and then quickly drops into a confusing battle between Kenji and Ryoichi that makes little to no sense once it's all over. I attempted to go back and look for any missing or misunderstood moments but I still came up with "WTF Just Happened?"
Don't get me wrong, this is actually still a good movie to watch but keep in mind that the last half hour of the film will be pretty confusing. I think the producer and writer were probably thinking that they had no idea where to go after building such a stunning climax and just decided to jump off and see where they land. The animation and music for this movie are both incredible but neither of them make up for that last half hour of the film. I say go and watch it yourself. Hopefully you can come up with a better answer to the ending than I did.
Having just finished watching the movie a few moments ago I felt like now would be the perfect time to do a review. It's still fresh in my mind, and while I won't intend to do the normal layout of a review going over the story, art, sound, etc. separately, I felt I'd just give an overall.
Before watching this, I had finished Hotarubi no Mori e on youtube and Nerawareta Gakuen came up in the sidebar so I thought, why not give it a chance. And it was worth it. At some points, like in a lot of movies, there's a lack of action,
and instead they focus more on building the characters which I was completely fine with seeing that you needed all that background knowledge in order for the movie to really hit and forge an emotional bond with you. The only true thing I disliked was the inclusion of awkward fanservice scenes, which, since it's about highschoolers, are too be expected, and they were definitely not as bad as the majority of animes- But I could have done without. Some things were definitely unclear while watching, and at times I was left confused and asking questions- And even in the end I was left with a few, but overall, the story was great. It was original, and the best part, the ending wasn't cliché.
I sat there the whole time expecting to be able to guess the ending. I prepared myself for what may have happened, and then it never did, and I'd explain my presumptions, but I wouldn't want to give anything away. While I have to admit, still, the ending was a tad anticlimactic and I would have honestly LOVED it if it were just a bit longer to get in some other minor details, it was definitely a heart breaker. I will most definitely be sharing this movie with ALL my friends and I'll probably force my family to sit through it too.
Any movie that's capable of making me cry definitely earns it's way onto my favorites list because it's a rare occurrence that you're able to forge such a strong connection to characters over such a minimal time. To sum it up, Nerawareta Gakuen is definitely worth your time.
Personally I would say the anime was beautiful. It felt so damn tranquil. Yeah I have seen many reviews saying that the story wasn't so good because the title suggests something else. Well supposedly it suggests psychic battles. Is it? If you are looking for action I recommend not watching it but if you are a lover of beautiful things its a must watch. Yeah at some parts its quite hard to understand but the ending puts all things to places.
The ending? Makes you sad really sad until the ending song ends. There is always something good after that. A typical happy ending it
That's the question you'll be asking yourself if you so choose to watch this anime. That shit that I just watched was like a fever dream. Let's just start now while it's fresh in my mind.
To begin with, the story gets a 1/10. The pacing in this anime is ridiculous. Let me put it this way: this should have been a 24 episode anime, not a movie. There is just too much shit going on at the same time. By the end of the movie I was just fucking confused. Like, I understood everything that happened, but I wasn't invested
in any of it because it all happened so fast. I guess i'll talk about the art now.
The art was by far the best part of this anime. If nothing else, this anime would make for great wallpaper fodder. Stunning visuals up until the mouths start moving. Yep, of all things, this anime has lip syncing issues. Checking the wikipedia page, this anime was originally made in Japan, so there isn't much of a reason for this either. What a shame.
Why is there piano music playing for no reason? Why is there music playing over a dramatic moment? What the fuck is going on? I mean, the sound was by far the least notable thing about this anime, so i'm just gonna move on.
*character 1 enters*
Hi. I'm in this anime. Now be emotionally attached to me.
*character 2 enters*
Hi. I'm in this anime...
and so on...
This is mostly the fault of the pacing, but I just didn't care about any of the characters at all. I mean, it started off fine, but then things just ramped up to such an extreme degree that I couldn't even be fucked to care.
Despite all of the things I've said, I do recommend that you watch this anime. You won't understand what's going on, but you should watch it. It's a bizarre experience.
Why was this released in this state? I have a theory. Maybe while negotiating a deal with the studio, the mangaka accidentally said he wanted a movie instead of a 2 season anime deal. I dunno, that's all I've got. Feel free to come up with your own theory, but mine definitely fits the best.
Alright before LA starts thrashing this movie, LA might as well get what it did RIGHT before tearing into this one. There will be mild spoilers ahead you have been warned! So this movie has time travelers and psychics involved and what they do with it as iffy of subject it is for time travel to pull off of...LA will be at least a bit lenient and say that Nerawareta Gakuen did...."ok" but even then it has some problems but that a bit later. The voice acting wasn't that bad all thing considering with Kana Hanazawa doing
her typical nice girl scthick down to a T to the straight-forward violent tsundere of Mayu Watanabe as Natsuki AAAAAAAND that's it.
Well let's get down to one of the strength's weaknesses LA pointed out, that of time travelers and psychics, well as much as the plot has this for a setting and some of the characters are one and everything, Nerawareta Gakuen focuses more on it's character relationship dilemma's and cellphone banning than time travelers and psychics. Though some might defend the cellphone banning being tied to the psychics BUT that plot point is brought up constantly saying how cellphone is bad for the school and everything however what the problem with this defence is the mere fact that once Kyougoku stops changing people to psychics, the cellphone banning isn't brought up AT ALL, almost like the cellphone banning wasn't going anywhere, thematically or plot-wise. Kyougoku's plan of "saving the world" is also kinda weird as well, like turn people into psychics then bring them over to his timeline and that would work through cellphone banning???..huh?...see how the cellphone banning isn't exactly thematically woven in properly?, well that and what was the point of Kenji, Kahori and Natsuki defending their ground against cellphone banning?...don't bring your cellphone and get turned into a psychic, bring your cellphone and get severely and hilariously put on trial (no seriously this happens). LA DOES get the point of the cellphone banning situation, due to psychics having telepathy thus the need for cellphones are useless but again...it isn't brought up again and that rather kills it's theming of "knowing people's feelings" if it just drops like this for a sorta shaky time traveling sideplot.
So those characters...yeah there ALL bland characters, we got the ditzy bland male protagonist Kenji Seki who has a crush on Kana Hanazawa's character Kahori with her also having a crush on the new mysterious transfer student Kyougoku and finally we have the violent tsundere Natsuki. Kenji and Natsuki defiance against the cellphone banning does tie into their relationship theming of not understanding each other and as blatant as possible of the entire "show your emotions, but if your psychic it's pointless and it's not their true feelings" spiel is executed weirdly considering the situation. The rest of the cast really have no bearing on the plot as the main focus are just on these four. Sure we find revelations about Kenji, Natsuki and Kyougoku but base personality wise all that changes is Kenji turns from ditzy main protagonist to...confident protagonist. KAHORI is the worst of lot as she really doesn't change from ANY of this.
So characters and the plot turned on it's head, how about the animation?..from Sunrise no less?...well the best way LA would say is a combination of "visual overload" and "movement porn", what does LA mean by that?, well visual overload occurs frequently in Nerawareta Gakuen due to excessive use of lens flares ANY chance it gets to characters' movement being rather erratic any chance that gets to, so seeing those two elements think of combining the two with some pretty decent backgrounding only for "things" to distract you with LOTS of movement any chance it gets. LA will be honest but LA was hit with the visual overload in less than 5 minutes of the movie with how it bombarded LA with this much hyperactively bright animation and constant motion. And this leads LA right down to the fundamental problem of Nerawareta Gakuen animation and LA will take an excerpt from the Nostalgia Critic's Smurf's movie review if that isn't a bother to anyone.
"This safe, boring and repetitive movement is the same as looking at a watch waving back and forth. They're both trying to hypnotize and relax you so that you don't think about what you're watching. And that's not what a movie is supposed to do. You're supposed to think about it. You're supposed to be sucked in. But this method is an ingenious way to numb your brains without feeling bored, so you think it must be doing something right, when really, it's just junk food for your mind. And it's all over the movie."
AND that's just how LA felt about this movie's over-excessive use of animation on that front too, just the difference between Nerawareta Gakuen and Smurfs is that the Smurfs were being lazy and placid for the sake of laziness to prove this point, Nerawareta Gakuen does it because of it's over ambitiousness and hyperactive nature to prove the point.
So essentially we have a movie where the more interesting elements of the movie isn't used to it's best potential (or at all) and favours "talking" and typical relationship dilemma's instead, characters are as bland as cardboard and hardly develop, over-excessive animation barring on visual overload and movement porn any chance it gets with some decent voice acting here and there. Is Nerawareta Gakuen like some illegitimate love child of Hand Shakers and Glasslip or what?.
As harsh as LA had been with this movie and yes LA was harsh in some instances, LA DID want to like to this or find some strengths that might redeem itself however too many factors barred LA from enjoying this movie let alone desperately find something to hook LA but how Nerawareta Gakuen was executed especially in it's over-excessive animation and especially the last quarter of rushed plot was the final nail in the coffin for LA from even trying to enjoy it. Nerawareta Gakuen "tries to be interesting on visuals alone" but fails in this regard and LA won't say this is the worst movie LA has seen of all time but uhhh...it's up there, it's up there.
If I were to make a review based on the art, I'd say IT IS VISUALLY BEAUTIFUL, 10/10! However, art isn't the only category that makes a movie great or a flop. What pulled this movie down was the story/plot.
One world to describe the story: Confusing! The story was just all around the place. A new plot was brought up even though the previous one has been left unsolved. The first half was fine since it was still introducing the characters & the plot was still developing (exposition), and the tension and issues were building up(rising action). However, when the second
half started, it's just hard to follow or keep up. The climax, falling action and resolution was like "WTF is happening" or "huh, what just happened"?
As aforementioned, this movie displays beautiful imagery that is relaxing and pleasing to the eyes. The colors were vivid, the scenes or background creative and breathtaking. The art in this movie is what allures us, viewers, to watch this film.
Like the art, the soundtrack was relaxing and soothing to the ears.
Characters were a tad dull and lacks development. Only a couple of the main characters showed progression. I felt that the remaining characters remained "almost" the same as the beginning of the film. The minor characters on the other hand, are not even worth mentioning. The plot didn't resolve any of the issues of the minor characters, basically, leaving them idle and unsettled.
I really enjoyed the art and soundtrack. In terms of storyline, I only enjoyed the romance and the comedy that was depicted. Aside from that, I wasn't please by the confusion the plot brought - the fact that there were a numerous loopholes and unsolved issues.
With this, my overall would be a 6. The art/sound really compensated for everything else it lacked to be a great film. I was immensely disappointed in this film. Keep your expectations rather low and you'll probably enjoy the film.
Yesterday, my girlfriend and I wanted to watch an anime movie. We had four choices: AnoHana Movie, Hotaru no Haka, Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo, and Nerawareta Gakuen. Because I thought the rest of the choices would be too sentimental for a casual watch, we went with the last choice, Nerawareta Gakuen.
Don't make the same mistake I did.
I'll say it right away. I am not sure where this story stands in terms of science fiction writing (the source material), but in terms of an anime movie adaptation, it is horrible.
I do understand that everyone enjoys a different type of story. Some prefer drama, some prefer
action, and some prefer science-fiction, and the rest like other types of stories.
If you had to ask me what type of a story Nerawareta Gakuen is, I am not even sure where to begin. There is the romance, the science-fiction element, a fair share of drama, and just pure slice of life moments without ever being funny. As a romance-drama story, it could do away with the complicated time-travelling superpower back story. As a science-fiction, it suffers from melodrama and deficiency of plot structure. As a school slice-of-life story, there is not even a slice of comedy.
Anyways, no matter how we define this movie, one thing is for sure. By the end of the viewing experience, I bet most of us viewers did not understand what-the-fuck happened in the movie. The story might made sense in the more detailed story-telling of the original science-fiction novel, it sure did not make any sense here.
One thing that the production team screwed up worse than the story itself is the pacing. The painful experience of watching this movie is like watching a slug moving across the road. Individual preferences differ significantly with pacing, but I dare to say the majority of viewers will agree with me.
Artwork is very well-done in this movie. I really like the emphasis on the various scenes where sakura petals fall from the sky. The animation is also pretty good. Highlight include Natsuki's complicated gymnastic maneuvers whenever she appears on screen. Strangely enough, the art in this movie didn't really do anything for the story as a whole, unlike perhaps in Makoto Shinkai's 5cm per second. Put it this way. You could spend 2 million dollors on animating a person walking from point A to point B, making it looks gorgeous. However, in the end it would still just be the a person walking from point A to point B, no matter what kind of elaborate background you draw.
I wanted to give a higher score for the sound, but the truth is, the only outstanding part about it is the OP, which is a no-brainer really because it's done by Supercell. The sound tracks, if there were any, did not do anything for me, nor was it particularly bad. Hanazawa Kana's voice acting could be identified at the first minute of the movie, but her performance in this work is mediocre. Just mediocre.
Overall, the characters weren't bad, nor were they particularly interesting people to watch. I really don't want to comment too much on the characters because I feel like in this show, whether or not viewers like these characters would very much be subjected to viewer's whimsical discretion. Though, no matter how good a character is, he would just be dull in a dull story.
The first five minutes of listening to Supercell's Giniro Hikousen gave me hope. The next hour extinguished most of my unrealistic expectation. I did not particularly liked or disliked the ending, since I was already desensitized to this movie at that point. I was just glad that the producers decided to play the last minute of Giniro Hikousen at the last minute of the show.
I finally know why this movie was ranked at #1882 (Nov 6, 2014). I wouldn't personally recommend this movie to any of my friend.
I actually watched this movie accidentally, thinking it was something else entirely. However, having full enjoyed the movie, I got on the Internet and started poking around - where did this come from, what was the vision behind it, that kind of thing. And everywhere I go - whether it's Anime News Network or here on MAL, every says that the story is about the main characters battle for freedom at their school.
That isn't true at all. This anime is about the characters, period, and the plot only works to emphasize their relationships. All of the cast are very simple characters - there really isn't
anything in their personalities that we haven't seen anywhere else. But the motions, acting, and their depth of feeling come across extremely well. Natsuki's continued annoyance at being unable to tell Kenta about her feelings; Kenta's omni-present inability to understand the people around him; Harukawa having to deal with falling in love for the first time - they are presented earnestly and really got under my skin. Every time Natsuki fought with Kenta, I braced for the break-up and my heart dropped. When Harukawa sneaks into the music room to listen to Kyogoku play the piano, my own feelings when I first fell in love came back to me. Despite having a plot that revolves around time-travel and psychic abilities, it's the characters emotions that resonate most deeply.
It's not all dramatic though. There are lots of moments of levity, mostly revolving around Kenta. I won't lie, he's a stereotypical shonen type - stupid, but honest and true - and his simple nature helps keep the movie from taking itself too seriously.
As for the specifics of the plot, I really liked this movie because it's all there, it's just never spelled out. After finishing the movie, I walked to my local grocery store (literally a five minute walk) and talked out my confusion to myself. And yeah, you WILL be confused. Nothing about the plot is very well explained, but for someone who is paying attention and is willing to draw the lines, the background story adds so much. Small revelations - for example, Kenta's dog, Shiho - made me appreciate how well thought out the story for this was.
Artistically, holy cow. Nerawareta is full of bright colors, lushly painted scenery, well-animated characters, and MOVEMENT. One of my personal problems with anime shows is that there are a lot of stiff, standing characters who just talk. Or even worse, the director just focuses in on the eyes for a five minute speech - AND THE EYES DON'T EVEN BLINK. But not here. Characters bounce, and shift, and blink, and even something as simple as slapping a person's face has extra movement added to make it more dynamic and impactful. When Kyogoku plays the piano, there are not only shots of his hands on the keys, but matching animation for the reflection in the wooden surface. That is the focus on quality and realism that I came to appreciate about this movie.
Ultimately, Nerawareta Gakuen is a love story - and even better, it's TWO love stories. I can't say that everything makes perfect sense. This is a time travel story and I feel like there is a lot left out in regards to the time travel stuff. But at it's core, this story is about Natsuki and Kenta and their struggle to find each other despite being neighbors forever.
Please don't get your hopes up for this anime. To be honest this anime was a disappointment. The only time you should watch this is on a boring rainy day with nothing else to satisfy you with.
The anime is quite cliche and very awkward at times.
Although the background art is very well drawn they managed to counter it with very poor drawing of the characters.
The movie starts with a typical transfer student that attracts all the other students. Then all of a sudden the topic of cell-phones being disruptive comes up and they are being banned; they apparently they cause people to be uncommunicative with
each other and its also linked with telepathy... and physics. Well please explain.... oh ok don't then. This anime is all over the place, is pretty difficult to follow and lost my attention a number of times.
The characters are usually the most important thing about an anime to me... and this anime failed to deliver the goods. It was embarrassing to watch the main character get all twitchy and nervous around a girl he fancied. There's one girl who always cries, another girl who's shy and always seems to be blushing and finally there's the transfer student who's from outer space or something.
I want an ending to be satisfying, for example the main character and his love interest getting together. The ending of this film was quite mediocre and nothing really happened. However it could have been a lot worse because they rolled the credits on a cliffhanger..... what! ..but then the ending arrived after the credits. What's the point of that. It's just plain stupid; people might miss the ending because of that and end up extremely dissatisfied.
Please keep your expectations down on this anime because all it offers you is one more item to put on your list.