Kaori Sasaki—a member of Uchihama Academy’s Astronomy Club—confesses to Sou Akiyama, but later that evening, she dies in a tragic road accident. Her friends and fellow club members mourn her death in a local hospital. Yet she shows up to school the following day, and no one senses anything amiss.
The day finishes without any unusual incidents, and the group of friends plans for the upcoming cultural festival. Suddenly, the room is shaken by an unnatural earthquake. Everyone splits up to investigate—except for Nagisa Hanamiya, who stays behind. As everyone leaves, Nagisa notices that the odd relic-like cube that she was toying with starts emitting a strange blue light. Meanwhile, Sou stumbles upon an unconscious, naked girl lying in a pool of water.
Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete follows the Astronomy Club’s increasingly bizarre adventures—from dealing with ghosts to quelling unrests between student clubs. All the while, they unravel the circumstances behind the sudden appearance of a new transfer student.
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
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.
Ok, so I may be one of those run of the mill pseudo science , run of the mill harem and run of the mill romance. So, it was the possible Sou X Kaori arc that got me into this anime, so........here's my rating for this episode anime:
Story: Fair 6.
The plot where Yui is a girl from the future who was send to the past to prevent an impending accident to Kaori was pretty much a run of the mill, where the one of the concept was taken from a 2002 movie "The Time Machine," but, since it does present a certain mystery as
to how Yui came to be and how her repeated attempts has affected the past really does make story likable, but not much.
Art: Poor 3.
Now the general illustration of the art was pretty much retro that such hue was not very good, it was just too old, also, there isn't enough fanservice in it, the only fanservice I see was with Airi.
Sound: Fair 6.
I simply don't like both the op and ed, also though Kaori, Airi and Nagisa's voice were alright, the problem was that their voices didn't have a mature tone on the fast forward scene where they were adults. Also, Kenny's voice obviously looks like that it was done by a 5 year old seiyuu, but then again his tone did add to some degree of humor to the character.
Character: Poor 3.
Sou Akiyama, being the usual harem guy who is just too stupid to notice the love around him is one reason why I gave this category a low score. On the lighter note, I like that he realizes how much he actually loves Koari after she got into an accident, FLASH BACK, I really hate the dude when he rejected Koari and went for Yui.
Yui Furukawa, the problem with her character was that there isn't much about detail about her, all we know that she was send to the past and where every-time she fails, she falls into a continuous time loop. Now, I'm no physicist, but when Sou fall in love with her, therefore saving Kaori from an impending accident, that's the part where she succeeded, now since the time line has been altered and she disappeared , wouldn't the time line start from the part when Sou rejects Kaori, I don't know about you guys out there but the part where Sou was almost killed is a violation of Einstein's Theory of relativity , another reason for the low score.
Nagisa Hanamiya, how the fuck can a rich brat like her weld such infulence around school, also, we the audience were left wondering as to how she gain possession of a mysterious cube. In fact she alone is one big mystery.
Sasaki Kaori, I really do love her character, and pretty much I've expected a Sou X Kaori arc, also, here is another thing, with Yui's success in preventing her impending accident at the cause of her love for Sou, she shouldn't be seen in a hospital bed, she should have been seen being married to someone if Sou really is serious about seeing her as a childhood friend.
Airi Hasekura, at first I'm attracted to her fanservice, I guess if this anime has an ecchi element, then she would be it, FAST FORWARD, since she does have some degree of feelings for Sou, but having Yui able to save Koari, then she and Sou should be in a relationship.
Eitarou "Kenny" Osafune, ok ,so he is the class clown in this anime, too bad that he wasn't given his share of the harem pie, he would have been paired off with either Nagisa or Kaori, one more reason for the low score.
Enjoyment: Good 7.
Being able to see a Sou X Kaori arc happening in the FAST FORWARD scene, thought briefly, was the enjoyable part, also the mystery itself was something else, where at one point we thought that Kaori is dead, also the mystery of Yui and how she came to be and understanding how she functions really did bought my curiosity, which is why I gave it its score.
Overall: Decent 4 .
Well, the anime as a whole is ok, but just barely, it's just that I can't forgive studio, Feel and FUNanimtaion Entertainment for violating Einstein's theory of relativity-if I can call it that- I'm not a physicist, you know, but hey, if you like this anime for the eye candy then you like it, and that's that.