The astronomy club consists of Sou Akiyama, Kaori Sasaki, Airi Hasekura, Eitarou Osafune, and Nagisa Hanamiya. Though they say they spend their time studying the stars, certain members of the club have also been studying Sou.
This potential high school romance gets sidetracked as an increasingly bizarre series of events start happening in the soon-to-be-old school building. Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete finds the Astronomy Club of Uchihama Academy dealing with the appearances of ghosts, quelling civil unrest among different student clubs, coping with tragic accidents, and investigating an odd, relic-like cube. But perhaps the biggest task of all is unraveling the circumstances surrounding the sudden appearance of a transfer student named Yui.
I honestly don't know why this show has such a low score. Perhaps too many people didn't adhere to the old adage "don't judge a book by its cover".
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete has a very interesting story indeed. Without spoiling anything for the potential viewers, the story is at its core a mystery. Until a certain episode, we are kept in the dark as to what the purpose is for the numbers on screen, and the relationship of the main story to the first scene in the first episode. Needless to say, when everything is revealed, it all makes sense. With the ending though,
some viewers may not be satisfied. I, for one, believe that an ending is paramount to the conclusion of a series. I applaud Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete's writers and staff for not pulling an ending out of their ass. The ending fits perfectly with the series, yet it leaves me wanting more.
Now, the artwork. Having looked over quite a few of the screens from the visual novel, I'm surprised at the huge decrease in production quality. Now granted, this is Studio FEEL we're talking about here, not necessarily your highest budget studio like ufotable or Madhouse, but I found the artwork "different" from other shows. While the visual novel is beautifully drawn and painted, giving each still a watercolor effect, complete with excellent and beautifully selected colors, the anime is flat, plain, and for some, an eyesore. I don't know what Studio FEEL was trying to achieve, whether it be just a budget cut or a new style of animation, but it leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth after watching 12 episodes worth of it.
The sound isn't too memorable. Aside from the OP (which I thought was really catchy), nothing else caught my attention. Frankly, I don't even know if they played many OSTs.
I think we need to stop judging anime so critically.
All it comes down to is this: Was it enjoyable? Definitely.
I loved watching this show. Although, if looked at critically, it is full of flaws, I ignored these flaws and watched a show that I felt was a fresh breath of air from the other harems/fanservice/romcom shows out there and ended up really enjoying this.
I'd recommend this show to anyone who wants a change of pace from your traditional shows. But please, if you decide to watch this, don't follow the "4 episode rule". Trust me, it gets much better in the last few episodes.
In our lifetime, we have seen manned missions to the moon, robots on Mars, and probes that are able to land on a meteor floating within our solar system. Incredible feats that may have seemed impossible to the people of the past. A hot topic in science fiction that deals with such reality and currently physical impossibilities is the idea of time travel. Can we head back in time to fix the past? Do such actions somehow affect the future? Does there seem to be an unbreakable chain of fate that time travel, no matter how much we
want to, cannot erode? Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete attempts to explain the answers to these questions, but it's little more than a jumbled mess.
Ushinawareta stars Sou and Kaori, childhood friends who attend both high school and the Astronomy Club with their fellow close friends Nagisa, Airi, and Kenny. One day, a fatal accident occurs, causing a rather strange series of events.
As my little preview points out, and as becomes somewhat apparent early on, the plot revolves around the notion of time travel. Already this sets a cautionary flag. Time travel stories, more so than any other type of tale, require that any loose ends or connections are properly explained. It's paramount that no loopholes are established and the "rules" in place make sense. And for the most part, Ushinawareta accomplishes these tasks. While the time travel elements are not as intricate as other anime, it at the minimum makes sense within context. Some of the plot devices used are more "higher level" to thwart off potential investigation of the issues involved (that is, to make the process itself sound intelligent) which tends to take away from the ideas it is attempting to establish. The aforementioned rules are also fair, and give a sense of urgency that is unique. Even the final resolution provides a satisfying ending that doesn't attempt to cheat the system, closing off lines that may have broken off from the pact.
A major flaw, however, is getting to this point.
The climax occurs very early on. What follows afterwards is wasted build-up with little payoff, since we already know what is going to happen. A huge chunk of the season is dedicated to showcasing the futility of the actions performed by the characters, despite all their attempts at rectifying the outcome. That is to say, it starts out being a slice-of-life anime with allusions to time travel sprinkled throughout. It is not until the final few episodes that the crux and importance of the anime kicks in, but by this point, there does not exist any attachment to what is happening, since the finale has already occurred. The intended effects of what time travel entails are lost simply because one is forced to wade through unneeded events that ultimately serve zero purpose.
There is nothing more hidden behind this tale of romance and science. It doesn't explore the greater implications behind time travel, it is thematically lacking, and the disjointed storytelling gives it a lack of direction.
Ushinawareta is plagued in both the art style and animation departments.
Starting off, the art style is entirely boring to look at. The venues provided stick mostly to the school and its grounds, with little in the way of detail. The characters also suffer the same fate, being forced to maintain rather dreary outfits with little in the way of originality. In fact, nearly all of the characters in terms of design are sadly forgettable in the long run. On top of all this, there are many times when the characters themselves look quite sloppy, as if the studio was fine with making small mistakes on a per episode basis.
The actual animation for Ushinawareta is no different. Even if the show contains nearly zero action, the character movements on screen are usually limited to mouths only. Often times, there is only one character moving, even when more than one is appearing within a given scene. It's generally unappealing to look at because it seems as if no attention was given.
Ushinawareta contains a weak amalgamation of characters that see absolutely zero depth, let alone characterization, save for one. Even then, it is barely enough to justify how one-dimensional the rest of the cast is.
As the main love interest, Kaori is an extremely caring young woman. And that's the extent of her characterization throughout the anime. This is no joke; beyond just being nice to everyone around her, she constantly employs the same tired tactic of being defensive whenever she is questioned about her true feelings. There do exist attempts at making her more of a well-rounded character, but she only ever responds with kindness for any given conflict.
Sou is the main character of the anime, but follows an even worse route than Kaori. He is known for his affinity for the stars but is otherwise passive in all other matters. He goes along for the ride for the entire season, and his passion only kicks in when he realizes what he's wanted all along. This passion leads to despair, and what should be a sense of character development. But once again, it never comes to fruition. He maintains the same passive behavior that defined him from the beginning, making him one of the worst leads I've had to experience in quite a while.
The only notable character within the anime is Yui, the girl with a mysterious past and unknown future. While her relevance is masked, she becomes the key to solving the crisis that affects Sou and the others over the course of the show. Her experiences define her character: elegant, confused, at times pushy, loyal, and determined beyond belief. She does everything in her power to reach the conclusion wanted by those dear to her, even when she knows what such an outcome means. Her stalwart actions demonstrate her love for the friends and family she holds dear, making her the highlight of the anime.
The rest of the cast, namely Kenny, Airi, and Nagisa, are just as lacking in characterization as Kaori is. The funny man, the losing love interest, and the wise upperclassmen. Nagisa at the least is explored for a certain amount of time, but reiterating myself once more, it means nothing to her character because nothing ever emerges from the situation. There are just too many characters within Ushinawareta that mean nothing from beginning to end.
The first OP is okay. The vocals and arrangement make it sound grand in nature, which somewhat opposes the contents of the anime itself. The trumpets and violins attempt to add flair to the piece, giving it an overall orchestral feel.
The ED is not that good. The slow singing, plain piano playing, and generic beat make it boring to hear, both inside and outside of the anime. The best part is not in the sound but in the visuals; they are actually pretty "artsy," especially when compared to what the anime has to offer.
The soundtrack contains nothing amazing. The only tune worth mentioning is the track that contains an interesting fading effect that was usually played when the characters were thinking about something interesting. It isn't meant to be a standalone track, meaning it only has a purpose at certain moments during the show. Other pieces exist that fit fun or dramatic scenes when needed, but these are pretty unmemorable.
Voice acting-wise, Kappei Yamaguchi performed above average in his role as Kenny, but everyone else provided at the most average performances.
Time travel is always an interesting topic. Both philosophy and science usually look at in a serious light, wondering what such a phenomenon could bring to the table should it exist at some point in the future. These specific elements don't exist within this one, with the show instead focusing on how the time travel works in context. So it was disappointing, to say the least, when the time travel portions were pushed to the backseat in favor of the rather boring slice-of-life aspects.
Being a romance buff myself, I went into this one expecting to see anything of the sort. Unfortunately, it mostly consists of Kaori's previously stated defense, Sou's inability to articulate words correctly, and Airi's constantly losing battle. The deviation from this, like the rest of what potentially happens, doesn't pop up until much later into the anime. So the already lame slice-of-life elements, compounded by the lack of any significant romance developments, makes it difficult to watch as the episodes progress.
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete had the pieces to work with, but instead of laying them down neatly, they are thrown together haphazardly, making it quite clear just how directionless and stale it really is. It's an okay time travel story brought down by an incredibly weak cast of characters. The only thing left to do is to go back in time and prevent this one from being made in the first place.
Story: Bad, okay time travel story with unnecessary slice-of-life moments and lack of themes
Animation: Terrible, art style is boring and contains minimal detail, character designs are boring and lame, actual animation is missing
Characters: Terrible, Kaori, Sou, Nagisa, Kenny, and Airi are awful, Yui is good but she is not enough
Sound: Fine, okay OP, bad ED, fine soundtrack, okay VA work
Enjoyment: Bad, focus isn't on the important elements, namely time travel and romance
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete is a mystery, sci-fi, slice of life anime with hints of romance. Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete's strong point is the story. While Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete's weak points are pretty much everything else. This anime has tons of elements in it such as drama, romance, slice of life, sci-fi, and supernatural among some others. So, it may appeal to many viewers with all this going on. With all these elements, the anime sets itself up to be an interesting story and possibly well received. However, it was disappointing.
I usually don't say this about what I consider a poor anime, but the
story in Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete is by far the anime's strongest point. I would go as far as saying it was pretty good actually. It was the anime's saving grace for probably a lot of people. It was the anime's saving grace for me from giving it a "bad" rating. Anyway, the story takes place at Uchihama Academy. A high school where strange things have been taking place and also where our main characters, of the astronomy club, have been investigating said things. A lot of events take place in this anime, especially in the first couple of episodes. First impressions may leave the viewer confused trying to figure out what happened and why it happened. The story is a pretty slow starter due to its lack of focus at the start of the anime. However, I'll talk about why later on. Now like I said, there are a lot of events that happen in this anime. Unfortunately, I am unable to even give a small dose of what the story is really about. That's because the anime starts us off with the mystery factor and if I said anything, it would ruin that moment for viewers. All in all, the best spoiler free way I can sum the story up is, it starts off as mystery as the characters try to find out what's going on. While ending with all the story being revealed that ties into the events at the start, while throwing in some plot twists as well. I'm actually surprised how engaging this story is after finishing this anime. I must say the romance was pretty dark themed, while playing along with all the other elements made this story original and unexpectedly well done, for my taste. However, it gets dragged down by the rest of the anime's elements. By which I mean everything else. So let's find out what went wrong with such a good story.
Alright people, meet the character cast that helped ruin this anime. I'm just going to go ahead and say that the character cast in this anime was close to the worst of Fall 2014 anime, only beaten out of that dishonor by Girlfriend BETA. Not only are the main characters not engaging or interesting, but there was also the fact that this anime literally has no supporting cast. The closest thing we got to a supporting cast was just the main characters all grown up. Well, let me get into the details. We have our main protagonist Sou. A well-mannered gentleman that has an interest in astronomy as well as other scientific stuff, that I can't reveal. He plays pretty much the biggest role in the anime in terms of driving the main plot. Overall, he has no interesting traits, at least not until the end. Being pretty bland while being the anime's best character doesn't help. The viewer will have to grind their teeth and just bare with it. We also have Kaori, a childhood friend of Sou that has love feelings for him. Hard to talk about this character without giving away what happens. This character is generic and, like Sou, just had nothing going for her in terms of having a unique personality. Seems like she was there to be the love interest. However, she does play a big role in this anime along with the final main character. That being the mysterious transfer student Yui. Again, can't say much about this character without spoiling. Yui joins the astronomy club, with purpose, along side Sou, Kaori, and the other "main" characters that I won't even bother getting into and just label them as side characters. They honestly play no part in the story and are just the other astronomy club members. That's pretty much all.
Overall, boring characters that are just not written to be engaging. However, if you can get past that and accept that, you won't find this anime to be bad for your fancy. The story itself almost makes up for the lack of character engagement. Would've rather watched the mystery gang, from Scooby-doo, figure out the mystery to the lost plot, than those piles of white half-baked hill-billy trailer trash rejects. Hey, I watched the anime. I can have a little fun XD. However, as boring and uninspiring the characters are, that isn't even the worst problem.
The character designs are decent I guess. However, every thing else looks so bland and uninspiring. The art like never fits in well with any scene and hardly sets the mood, even a little. This anime has slice of life, sci-fi, and supernatural elements and never really seems to bring out any of them elements to its full potential. The animations were not special either. Not good and not bad. It was at best average at times. All in all, not the worst art for the Fall season. However, still some of the poorest of the season. That dishonor will go to Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai. Alright, I'll stop mentioning other anime now.
Here is where I talk about what I enjoyed and disliked about this anime and try to tie it all together nicely. As a person that thrives on a good story with a solid cast of characters. I moderately enjoyed this series overall. There was some very good moments, like ending and the story aspect. Even though I disliked most things with the anime, I felt the story was good enough to be at least worth watching, personally. However, there was some very boring moments and I'm not talking about the mystery aspect. I'm talking about the slice of life moments. Yeah, I mentioned it a couple times. Let me get into what I consider the worst part of the anime. The slice of life moments.
As a person that loves the slice of life genre, I strongly disliked the slice of life moments in this anime. In fact, it was my biggest factor for lowering the score. When watching slice of life, you would hope the character cast is engaging enough, along with what they are doing is at least interesting enough. However, this anime has none of that. Not only were these moments just boring, but it also killed the pacing of the story and halted its progression, until the end, to an anime with many other elements. Focusing on slice of life aspect for OVER HALF the anime was a huge blow. Like they had a great story going on, but instead just focus on boring moments with boring characters. To be fair, there's a slight purpose to these events. However, it still doesn't change the fact they were filler and went on too long. I'm sure the slice of life filler moments turned off a lot of people. I noticed the rating went a lot higher once they finally revealed the story.
Bottom line, to get the maximum enjoyment from Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete, in my opinion, you have to accept the shittyness of the characters and slice of life moments and you have to expect the slow start until the very end, when it finally gets good. However, if you are okay with the characters and the slice of life moments, you should have no problem liking this anime.
Alright in conclusion, if you are someone who enjoys a mystery anime that has a good story aspect, despite the bland character cast, you may like this anime. I find it frustrating how this anime could have been something good, but it was executed poorly. It had a very good story, but the main focus was put in the wrong things most of the time. I wish I could give this a higher rating, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Despite me giving this kind of a low rating, I would almost consider this to be a under-rated gem. Almost.
If you plan to watch this anime for the story and mystery, I just want to let you know something. Don't give up and hang in there. Things will get better. Despite what you may see and think, don't lose faith in this anime. I believe in you. You can do it...
In late 2014, Studio Feel managed to split the community by releasing In Search of the Lost Future, probably the least mysterious mystery show of all time. In fact, it´s so not mysterious that about fourty percent of all anime related web pages, including MAL, prefer to just list it as a regular school romance.
Undoubtedly, this show gets off to a flying (and indeed somewhat enigmatic) start and culminates in the last three episodes, presenting us with a satisfying solution to it´s “mystery”. This would make WareMete a magnificent anime…if it weren´t for all the episodes that lie in between.
Because for those eps,
Writer Rie Kawamata for some reason decides to throw his own plot completely out of the window and unexplainably depicts an ordinary school romance drama I couldn´t have cared less for instead, making this show a frustrating watching experience to some extent . Whilst I never got into the middle part of the story nor into the characters, I also never considered to drop the show either. I never entirely forgot about the first episode, and I was just too curious how the makers would conclude it, and when they finally did (which happened just before I started throwing tomatoes at my screen), it was awesome!
So can I or can I not recommend In Search of the Lost Future? Well…yeah, kinda…if you are searching for something you can marathon, you should probably look elsewhere, but if you watch this just one episode per day to avoid getting bored in the middle part of the show, you will eventually get some enjoyment out of this.
Oh, and one last thing: watch this in English if you can, because otherwise a certain character named Kenny will make you angry…this guy with his stupid English catchphrases is annoying as f***.
Therefore, I give this a 5.5…5 for the Japanese version, 6 for the English dub. It´s just way too inconsistent for more, but also not very bad for an adaption of an eroge visual novel.