NieA is one of the best Dramatic Series I have seen!
lostowl | Burlington, VT USA | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The comedy and the sight gags are great for lifting the overwhelming atmosphere of angst and hopelessness in this disc, but the diamond of the story is the absolutely authentic portrayal of the heroine of the story, Mayuko. The first time I viewed the episode about her agonizing over going out with some friends, but being ashamed of her poverty, I was astounded. It absolutely could have been lifted from the life of any young person struggling with making it on their own today.In a way, it reminds me of the struggles that Kiki goes through in the acclaimed movie Kiki's Delivery Service, but that is where the comparison ends. The animation and the pace is similar to Lain, but that is where the comparison ends. The mood swings of the main character are similar to Eva, but that is where the comparison ends.This series is like nothing I have seen yet, and I love it. At a time where I had seen most of the off beat anime out there and was hungary for another Cowboy Bebop or Blue Sub No. 6 to just fill my eyes with candy and fill my mind with problems to be considered, this series literally lept off the shelf into my hands.Be aware, that there are no villains in this series, just a lot of people suffering through the morass that is their life. It is not unlike being stuck in a small town in rural USA. The gold here is in the story."
Niea eats Pikachu and likes it better than cat!
M. Washington | Puget Sound, WA | 12/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Niea_7 is not what people expect from anime (Japanese animation). There is no deadly violence, super-cute attack creatures, giant robots, or nudity. Even the bathhouse scenes are tame enough to show young children with no regret. The only worrisome parts are the jokes done with Chada (big-head, wears turban) that are a bit over the edge at times.
It presents itself without background and does not answer anything simply. This is the way things are and we'll merrily hop along with the story; there is no pretentiousness. It is a slow story that is still not fully manifested at the end of the second volume, but a clear hint is laid down that one character may be more than she appears. Will this be played up in the expected manner of a prodigy or gifted-one or will they dash it flat with a massive change of direction and unprecedented revelation that fits in a plausible but slightly weird way (I hope)?
The whole kick to it is while the story is forming there are the half-hour episodes themselves that feature intentionally (...) humor (not sure to laugh or groan) some of finer stuff is probably lost on American audiences in translation. How do you translate a cultural language joke over such a gap; use footnotes I guess?
If you throw away any preconceived ideas and watch the show with an open mind you may find it enjoyable. It is all very real in it's work up and has a "theatrical play" like feel to it with moderately exaggerated characters and believable settings.
I recommend it for something different when you get all burnt out on American animation, bloody serious movies and butchered "toonami" refuse.
I'll give this one more star depending on how the story ends."