Director: Akitaroh Daichi
Genre: War, Fantasy, Drama
Length: 13 Episodes
+ As good as anti-war dramas get
+ Realistic emotional characters
+ Unthinkable amounts of drama in 13 episodes
+/ Implied rape scenes
Now and Then Here and There is a well thought out series that makes a huge impact on its viewers in only 13 episodes. It's a fine example of the power of anime; it is hands down one of the best anti-war dramas I've ever seen.
5 out of 5 · An Unequivocal Recommendation
Now and Then Here and There Anime Review
Written by: James Lin on 12/20/2004
Now and Then, Here and There is one of the most under appreciated anime series out there. Directed by Akitaroh Daichi, this relatively short series, only spanning 13 episodes, takes us to a new exciting world. I would describe this series as powerful, meaningful, and very entertaining. When I say powerful, I refer to the fact that this series is a very sad tragedy depicting the horrible aspects of what war can cause. Never has 13 short episodes caused me to look at how anime can be made correctly. Even though this series has a serious topic, it doesn't stray from being very entertaining. The memorable characters and powerful story come together to form an exhilarating anime series that has to be seen.
The new world is a vast desert, in grave need of water and other natural resources. Shu and LaLa-Ru are warped to a large ship that is ruled by King Hamdo. The ship is hundreds of feet high, and is resting on the desert land. Shu and LaLa-Ru are confronted by soldiers, whom to Shu's surprise, are his age. Shu, never being one to lay down and die, quickly grabs LaLa-Ru to escape. They are soon cut off by a drawbridge being opened. Heroically, Shu jumps to the other side hoping to help LaLa-Ru. However, his attempt is a failure, and he plummets down to the darkness. Before he falls, he grabs LaLa-Ru's pendant. The same pendant that King Hamdo is searching for, and the source to LaLa-Ru's powers.
Now and Then, Here and There, does not have many negative aspects to it. You would think that being only 13 episodes, that there would be lots of room to improve, but there really isn't. I could always pick at some minor additions that would have made this series better, but for the most part, it needs no additions. Some explanation on why Abelia is so loyal to Hamdo would have made sense, or explaining why they couldn't take the Earth's water and use it for their own good would have worked too. I figured out the latter half of the questions I just mentioned by the 13th episode, but I was a bit confused until then. Although I'm just mentioning some minor problems, I'll say it again, that is I found that these 13 episodes gets the job done better then some long, 60+ episode series.
It is difficult to put into words why I like this series so much. First off, as I wrote in the introduction, it is very powerful. You'll learn to like the characters a lot because they are extremely realistic. The fact that King Hamdo gets his soldiers by raiding villages and abducting children give even the "enemies" lots of character. Hell, they aren't even enemies. They are doing what they must do in order to get back their old life. Even though in the back of their mind, the promise of returning home is most likely a lie from King Hamdo, they still believe in it because that is all that is keeping them alive. I can't fathom to imagine the hardships that the children are put through. Throwing children into war simply changes them before our own eyes. They were once innocent, but now they are trained to kill without mercy. Of course they don't want to follow these cruel orders, but the hopes of returning home is enough reason to do so. Another aspect to the realistic characters in Now and Then, Here and There are the prisoners and innocent civilians in villages. In particular, the story of Sara put a lump in my throat just watching it unfold. Not just her, but also Nabuca, Boo, and countless others. With all that being said, I think it's reasonable to understand why I like the characters and story so much.
I love dramatic stories, and this series is a clear example of a great one. War, even if performed in a whole new world, simply destroys human lives. A great war series doesn't have to take place in World War II or Vietnam, it could take place anywhere. Now and Then, Here and There doesn't focus on the killing aspect of war, but more on the living aspect. These people living through hardships create a great story that I can't say enough about.
Time and time again, many anime series focus qualities such as great high tech animation when really, the only things that are needed are good characters and a compelling story. Now and Then, Here and There combine those two to create one of my favorite series out there. It is definitely on top of my war and drama list because every thing is fused together to form a brilliant series. I simply never knew that 13 episodes could have made such an impact on me. Everything works well in this series, and although you might not have heard of it, or your friends might not have heard of it, you should definitely not pass this one up.
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