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True Tears
True Tears
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2009     5hr 25min

Studio: Infinity Resources Inc Release Date: 07/21/2009


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Movie Details

Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Bandai
Format: DVD - Color - Animated,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/18/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 5hr 25min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Plot Summary
Ibrahim Al-Bloushy | Jeddah, Saudi Arabia | 06/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I found this helpful plot summary in Wikipedia:

True Tears revolves around a high school student named Shinichir Nakagami with a high artistic ability. He lives with his mother, father, and fellow high school student Hiromi Yuasa who moved into his house after her father died. Her father had been a close friend of the family, so it was natural for Hiromi to come stay with the Nakagami family; one year has passed since she came to live in their home. Shinichir has known Hiromi for years, but before he had always treasured her smile, though now she acts coldly when at home and he cannot bring up the nerve to talk with her either. When she is at school, Hiromi is popular, always smiles, and is talented in sports, but Shinichir knows she must be hiding things inside her. At school, he meets a strange girl named Noe Isurugi who wishes him misfortune after Shinichir teases her. After a bit of bad luck, he reconciles with Noe by crafting a chicken out of a tissue box and finds out from her that she "gave her tears away". Shinichir also likes to spend time with his childhood friends Miyokichi Nobuse and Aiko End at the Imagawayaki shop Aiko's family owns, and she helps out at the shop too.

The opening video of the anime contains shots of the Tateyama mountain range in Toyama Prefecture, Japan, and is where the series is set. Incidentally, the animation studio which produced the anime, P.A. Works, is located in Jhana, Toyama, and places in the series are modeled after that town. However, the town in True Tears faces the sea, and in reality Jhana is inland. Furthermore, the two surnames used in the series -- Isurugi and Kurobe -- are place names in Toyama Prefecture."
True Disappointment
Aion | England | 08/29/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"True Tears is a slow to average paced high school romance. Mostly old ground is covered, with very little original content. The lack of originality is masked by an excellent presentation, including backgrounds that look alive due to the use of CG, with numerous CG characters usually walking around behind the main characters as they talk. Older, more experienced studios most likely would not bother doing such things, instead opting to save time and money, but True Tears was P.A. Works first creation and they clearly wanted to make it a little bit special.

The story is centered around Shinichiro (Shin), a plain guy who has the attention of three attractive girls: Hiromi, a classy, quiet and athletic girl with long hair (she lives with him and his parents because of her parent dying); Noe, a 'special' girl with short hair, and obsessions with chickens, flying and tears and Aiko; a red-haired tomboy who runs a pancake shop and 'goes out' with the best friend of Shin.

I was half right with the predictions I made at the start, getting one correct and being completely wrong with the other. I was on the money when I predicted who Shin would end up with (it was fairly obvious, though). However, I was wrong about something else: the series decreased in quality as it went on rather than increasing as a result of character development and drama that I assumed would increase in intensity. It started well enough - the lead and his three wannabe girlfriends quickly got fleshed out, enabling me to get into the story from the start. Not a lot happened in the early episodes but there was enough good characterization to make me expect that the series would get better with each passing episode, and it did at first. There was even a surprising twist towards the end of the first disc that made me start to doubt my prediction about which girl Shin would end up with. But, in the end, it all went wrong...

The least damaging of my issues with the series is its dialogue. Like in many teen romance series, there is a character who childishly replaces words like 'happiness' or 'depressed' (or, using an example from another anime, instead of saying 'courage', saying a certain expression over and over instead), and this time 'flying' is the word used. I was fine with it at first but, later on, it gets repeated a lot, mainly because that is all Noe ever talks about. What could have been viewed as humorous got the beaten with a stick treatment and, in the end, I disliked Noe because of her limited vocabulary and odd personality.

The next issue up on my list is the love quadruple. The problem is, there are not actually three girls Shin cares about. The third girl (for spoiler reasons, lets call her 'girl three') gets ignored, then kisses the lead, then gets rejected because he is not into her...and that is it. She only appears a few times after that. She may as well have not even been in the series - her and her forced relationship with Shin's best friend simply took up time in an already slow paced story.

Next up is Shin, the lead himself. I am used to dullards getting a harem in anime, and I am also used to them being indecisive. That is just how it is - they have to be plain so others can put themselves in their shoes, and they have to be unable to decide anything to add to the drama. But this guy takes the word 'indecisive' to a whole new level. During episode ten, he picks the girl he wants, chasing after her in dramatic fashion on a bike (ignoring the fact he could have talked to her normally a few minutes beforehand), and tells her he will take care of her. She had been the only girl he wanted since the start; the only girl he had shown a genuine interest in. Credits time, right? He had got the girl he wanted and his relationship with his only other option was not active. Well, the answer is no - the credits did not roll until the end of episode 13 because he changed his mind AFTER the episode ten drama - and this point brings me onto my final, series ruining problem.

What is my main issue, you ask? Quite simply, the series should have ended after the tenth episode, with a different final episode. The story was complete at that point - Shin had the girl he wanted, he clearly never loved girl two and was not into girl three at all. He even had a history with the girl he liked dating back to a childhood festival. But, for whatever reason, the story kept going, and in episode 11 Shin did a complete 180, no longer caring about the girl he had always wanted once he won her heart, even ignoring her and saying he had to go when she came to see him, instead only thinking about another girl. There was no consistency or logic about this sudden change; it was obvious from the start to me how the series would end (and, eventually, it did end like that) and Shin's random change of direction just did not fit. At first I thought the writers, for shock value alone, had ignored what happened in the first ten episodes and decided to go with another girl. Thankfully, it turned out that they had simply done a bad job of extending the story and it ended how it should have done, but the damage episodes 11-12 in particular did was not erased by that.

If not for the final three episodes, I would be here typing a shorter review, awarding the series a solid 8-8.5/10 'with bothersome flaws' score for being an involving drama with pleasing attention to detail, in terms of both characterization and the visuals. But nearly all of Shin's character development got discarded towards the end, resulting in a lot of damage. And, to rub salt into the wounds, when Shin finally stopped being a top of the line idiot, nothing was shown of him and the girl he picked together. Shin told her she was the only one for him, she cried, a few parting shots of the cast were shown... the end. With all of the repeated chicken/flying dialogue and pointless time Shin (and his best friend) spent with the girl he was never interested in, you would assume that an actual ending would have been added, but no.

'True Disappointment' would be a far more fitting title for the series. Excellent and detailed visuals, as well as it including a catchy opening and very good first half are not strong enough plus points to make me ignore the end. It could have been great, yet it fell at the final hurdle, with my only emotion near the end being anger. If the series ended like it looked like it was going to during episodes 11-12, the only tears I would have shed would have been the painful, fist-through-TV kind.

I recommend this to fans of romance, but in no way do I suggest it is a classic. Its flaws are far too problematic for me to ever regard it as being any more than a decent, one-watch title.

Rating: 7.5/10"
Excellent story line
Tiberius | Cyberspace | 12/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Those who liked Rumbling Hearts: Box Set: (Viridian Collection), will probably like this one too. The big difference here is that it is not stated with the same degree of clarity why the male hero (Shinichiro) chooses one girl over the other one. (He never seriously considers the third one, first out of ignorance of her feelings, then for his loyalty to his best friend.)

In Rumbling Hearts, it was clear: duty helped the main male character make his choice, even if it was a heartbreaking choice. Gratitude and owing for another person's sacrifice is more important according to Japanese values than the overrated Western concept of romantic love. (If you want to understand the Japanese psyche, read The Japanese Have a Word for It: The Complete Guide to Japanese Thought and Culture.)

(*** beginning of spoiler alert)

However, in True Tears, the formula is not that clear. Understanding the concept of duty can help clear up the whys and wherefores, but it still needs some analysis. Shinichiro has been in love with one of the girls for a long time but he is too shy to say anything. Or rather, he is not sure of her feelings therefore is afraid to make the first move. She is a serious-looking girl, she excels in her studies and is an important member of the school basketball team. Her status is higher than his.

His relationship with his other childhood female friend illustrates his lack of empathy for girls brilliantly. He never recognises Aiko's feelings and therefore asks her out on behalf of his best friend. After that the duty concept locks him up: he gave her up, even if unwittingly, and therefore it would be a betrayal of the gravest kind to return her overtures even if he loved her. He has to run away when the girl reveals her feelings for him. In the end, she herself accepts this honour-over-heart rule too: she made a mistake accepting her secret love's request to go out with his best friend and that mistake cannot be rectified because his love for her is profound and honest.

Hiromi's case is different. Shinichiro enters a contract with Noe's brother for a double date. But the two, Hiromi and Jun, never fall in love with each other. It is a mistake on his part of the same kind as with Aiko and his best friend, because he realises that the girl loves him after all. But two of the important parameters differ here: they boy does not love her and he himself loves her.

It is Noe who sets the whole story into motion: she helps Shinichiro express his feelings, develop his talents for picture book writing and drawing, and activates the emotional aspect of his being. Aiko is right: Noe is Shinichiro's first girlfriend and as such brings life into his outsider's existence. After feeling her love for him, he can draw, dance, and understand the female perspective.

Noe also teaches Hiromi that she has to fight for her love. She realises that her feelings might be obvious for her best female friend but Shinichiro is quite oblivious of it. Her first fight is with his mother, who has her emotional reasons for trying to block her from her son. She wants to take revenge on her for her mother, who she was jealous of for her suspected affair with her husband. The second, more serious fight is against Noe. In this fight she might hurt not only the girl but Shinichiro too, pushing him in Noe's arms. She passes that test too, though she has to experience, accept, and finally overcome the darker side of her personality. She comes to accept that she has to wait for him to decide. His mother learns to respect her for that.

First, it is hard to understand why Shinichiro chooses Hiromi over Noe. It feels a bit like a cheating husband returning to his loving wife. Yet, it is duty again. Their common childhood history. It was for him that Hiromi chose their family to live with after the death of her parents. She made a move which made him compelled to choose her even if his heart nearly breaks for having to give up Noe.

(*** end of spoiler alert)

I like this type of anime for how it shows the inside workings of Japanese society: the fine grain of intricate interpersonal relationships. You can see the full depths of human interactions that you would never be able to experience as a foreigner, as a person not born there. The slightest muscle movement of the face carries great significance. The eyes speak more comprehensibly than the mouths. Most of the important things are not pronounced (but episodes later) only implied. You need to think carefully --- and not only with the rational side of your brain --- to comprehend why they act the way they do and not in another way. If you are willing to do so, you will be able to nod knowingly when you see the story unfolding: yes that had to happen that way.

Something about how it was rendered: beautiful graphics. Especially, when it's snowing. Harmonic colour schemes. Not as dream-like as Kanon: The Complete Series, the lines show more contrast especially for drawing human characters, but environmental effects and house interiors are exquisitely drawn with full details, probably more time was spent on creating the Nakagami house than the face of the characters dwelling in it.

All in all, this is a great story. I would recommend it to anyone who is more interested in the inner lives of characters than in adventure. I would also suggest buying it because it has it in it that you will want to see it again in a year or so or to show it to a friend because it is easier to see it than to understand from explanations what it is really about."
Interesting Love Story But Nothing New...
Diego A. Arzate | 09/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Here we have one of Bandai's two newest releases. This is a romance/ drama story so if your not interested in either stop reading right now. The story deals with a young boy named Shinichiro and his numerous romantic encounters between friends. I won't go into the plot because that's what wikipedia is for but I will tell you that it is a nicely planned story which delivers despite only being 13 episodes. The animation is great and the soundtrack is amazing. As I said this story is a nice entry into the romance/ harem genre but doesn't bring anything new. Still for $30 it's a good deal and worth watching at least once. If your looking for a nice romatic anime with a good ending, this won't disappoint!"