“For anime TV, I'm going with my personal favorite Now and Then, Here and There. Sure there are other shows that are deeper, shows with better action, animation, or music, but for …”
#5 of 9 from
My Favorites Works of Art in (mostly) Every Medium.
Shuzo "Shu" Matsutani, a rambunctious adolescent kendo student, encounters a mysterious girl named Lala-Ru in an abandoned factory near his home. When she's captured by hostile mecha, Shu is taken with her to another world, to the unfortunately named fortress-ship Hellywood, ruled by the psychotic King Hamdo. The apparently ancient Lala-Ru can produce vast quantities of water, which Hamdo desires. Shu is imprisoned, beaten, and tortured before being inducted into Hamdo's army of child-soldiers. He doggedly insists that he must protect Lala-Ru, despite her great powers. They escape Hellywood, wander through the desert, and reach a pueblo-like village where they defeat Hamdo. The rambling storyline recalls bothEl HazardandEscaflowne. What setsNow and Thenapart is the gritty realism of the violence: unlike other anime characters, Shu seems to feel real pain when Hamdo's thugs beat him. Although the rape of the Earth girl Sara is suggested rather than depicted, she has to decide whether to keep or abort the child. These depictions of the brutality of war giveNow and Thena grim power many better-written and better-animated series lack. The most interesting segment on the "bonus disc" juxtaposes the animated version of the final episode with the storyboards. "From Then to Now" includes clips from the audition tapes of the actors playing Hamdo (Jack Taylor) and Shu (a surprisingly burly Ed Paul) along with interviews and standard behind-the-scenes footage of the recording sessions. ...