This short series deals with the atrocities of war. A young boy, Shu, one day sees a girl, Lala Ru, standing at the top of a smoke stack. While trying to rescue her he gets transported to another, if very bleak, world lorded over by an insane tyrant.
This is not a light and fluffy anime. Watch it yourself before any kids come near it. It is very dark, and deals with such things as war, rape, and exploitation, torture and many other subjects. (no nudity) That said, it is a good show to watch, and talk over with anyone. It is good when you run into a series that shows how war can, and often does, affect people, and does not try candy coat it. It is a good series to talk about, and go over with your family, definitely a thought provoking anime.
The short anime series is a classic. It is arguably one of the top ten greatest anime series ever. Let me say one thing Now and Then, Here and There is not for anyone under the age of 16, but if you are older this is a must see.
The story revolves around Shu a Japanese boy who sees a girl on a smoke stack named Lala-Ru. They are pulled into a desert world that turns out to be in the distant future. The future is bleak and Shu sees the real impact of war. Genocide, rape, brutal torture, hunger, and others, all over water. Shu sets out on a journey to save Lala-Ru and changes him forever.
I first saw this series back in 2001 it shocked me. I'd never seen a anime like it. I've seen many violent anime, but none with this much meaning and heart about the impact of war. I will recommend everyone see this series. You will never be the same.
Now and Then, Here and There is those types of shows that weren't meant for entertainment. They were meant to teach and educate. It sounds unappealing at first, but it teaches you the hardships, the consequences that war provides. It's quite similar to Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan in a sense that portrays how war is really like. But the small difference in Now and Then, Here and There is that it extracts the bad portions of the war, and leave out most of the glory that most media products tend to only display.
Shu was returning home from his daily workout at the dojo he enrolled in. He spots a unique looking girl hanging out in the junkyard on the way. She was a silent girl that had fearless blue eyes that carried no worries at all. Her eyes matched her hair, which flourished in a rich blue colour. Shu made many attempts to get her to talked, but she simply continued watching the sunset. Then, time freezes around them, and men in mechanical snakes appear out of nowhere. They appeared to have come for Lala Ru, the blue haired girl. But Shu refused to let that happen, and battled these monsters with his wooden stick. Then, time moved forward again, but Shu now found himself in a battleship filled with soldiers his age.
Now and Then, Here and There not only deals with losses and hardships that are caused by war, but other things that branch out from that basic concept. Sarah is a girl who was mistaken to be Lala Ru, and was made a prisoner of the battleship Hellywood that Shu's also in. The soldiers made use out of her by raping her without moderation of pregneancy. There are other characters who have become victims of war, and now strive through limited crops they plant themselves, and solely depend on their leader to look up to. Then there are the soldiers themselves who were forcefully recruited by the leader of Hellywood, invading near by villages in order to strengthen their military power, promising them they'll bring them back to the village once the war is done.
The various struggles each character has to go through is rather emotional, but beyond that, that appears to be the only area that the anime excels in. Shu is a rather obnoxious and naive character. While his actions are used to point out how wrong everyone is, there are much better ways to do it. But aside from him, the other characters, such as his soldier comrades--he was also forcefully recruited after being discovered--who will do anything to go home, did a good job of their roles. The animation also seems to be rather outdated, and the music isn't really anything worth downloading over.
Now and Then, Here and There is those animes that achieves so much in the little time it has been provided with. If it was stretched out for a couple more episodes, it would have been better, but it's still an excellent series worth watching. Fans of war movies should definitely check it out, unless you're in it for the action scenes.
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