Seraphim Call

December 27, 2010

Another old anime I recently watched, Seraphim Call really has the looks and feel of animes released at that time. How long was this show? Right before the turn of the new millennium, 1999. Woah. That does seem like a long time. But the timeline of the story is set in the year 2010. Hey, that year just passed and back then when they imagined all those hi-tech and revolutionary inventions like flying cars and robot guards, seems a little odd and old now. Well, all that didn’t really happen, right? The progress of science for humanity is still a long way off.

This anime may be old school but considering the style that it presents, it is way ahead of its time. For instance the visual and camera angles shown are of your non-standard types in certain episodes and the plots in some of the stories are intriguing. As for the story, this series is a compilation of different short stories of the 11 girls living in the fictitious and futuristic city of Neo-Acropolis. Skimming through the synopsis itself is interesting. Each of the 11 girls have their own dreams, desires and sadness in their hearts. With each episode focusing on a particular girl, the final episode will have them all gather at the city’s tower to see if their dreams and desires will come true. Plus, 11 average girls each with their own unique talents join together to make the world a better place. Now, this I got to see how.

Episode 1 sees the city heavily cordoned and barricaded by the army and police while its citizens evacuate. High school girl-cum-genius inventor, Yukina Kurimoto wakes up late and misses school when she gets a message from Sergeant Takayama. Seems some master time coordination function box Yukina invented 3 years ago has been stolen and being used for evil. There is a bomb planted at Central Point and it will go off around 3pm exploding its surrounding areas. Only she has the DNA pass code that can disengage the bomb. Because Yukina is nervous, I guess she takes her time cleaning and preparing. She calls Takayama again but soon becomes nervous and faints. When she wakes up, she borrows her brother’s bike and rides to the place. She diffuses the bomb like a pro, one second before it explodes. Then she wonders if it’s okay to do it quickly since they haven’t had a commercial break yet! WTF?! Breaking the fourth wall?! It turns out she was just dreaming! In reality, Yukina arrives at the place but in a giant mecha. The police want to confirm her identity but she’s too shy (she’s got androphobia – afraid of men). She only allows the commander to see her face as his officers turn away. When he gets a glimpse of her, he notes she is cuter than the picture. This curiosity has all his men turn around and look. Yukina starts panicking and collapses. She is brought to where the bomb is and Takayama using a computer interface, has her friend wake Yukina up. “The Earth Defence Force wants you to create a subterranean tank!” But it sure woke her up. Yukina does her stuff and diffuses the bomb, much to everyone’s relief. Since they’re gathering around her, she says there is 1 thing left to do before passing out. There’s only 5 seconds left on the timer! NOOO!!! Actually what she meant was to apologize to Takayama for hanging up so she creates a robot version of herself to do just that.

Tanpopo Teramoto wakes up and greets all her various stuffed toys in episode 2. She notices one (us viewers) and decides to call it Margerine. This unique episode has us viewing scenes via the eyes of Margerine from start till finish. Tanpopo attends home class via computer interface. Before she leaves for gym, she notices Margerine’s amber eyes. She proceeds to make up a story for it like how Margerine Von Calorie-Half is a prince in the Land of Dreams. He protected the world that was filled with dreams but some evil queen resented him and cursed him into a stuffed animal. That’s why when people grow up, they forget their dreams. But once a year during the full moon, he gets to return to his normal self. He can’t let anyone else see him or he’ll turn back into that animal and may never return to his true self again. There’s a princess he fell in love with and if she kisses him in his toy form, he might just turn back. After Tanpopo returns from gym, her friend Chihiro pays her a visit. She introduces Margerine to her. Then Chihiro was about to tell her secret that she likes someone when Tanpopo’s older brother comes in to hand Tanpopo crayons. Is he the person Chihiro likes? Chihiro wants to continue their talk earlier on but Tanpopo is busy drawing Margerine and wants her to talk with her stuffed toys first. But Chihiro says she can’t do that because they’re not kids anymore and leaves. Tanpopo goes after her but when she returns, takes out her sadness in front of Margerine. Crying and wondering why everyone forgets. She tosses Margerine in her sorrow. That night she gets an apology message from Chihiro so Tanpopo also apologizes to Margerine before she sleeps. Next morning a police officer comes into her room and starts scanning. Detecting Margerine as the transmission source, he mentions about some illegal filming activity and then unplugs the cable to prevent peepers from watching further. Are we viewers the crooks?! I no lolicon lah! Anyway whoever that suspect may be, was caught and apprehended. And that was to make us viewers feel equally guilty, eh?

Chinami Ouse wants feedback from her friend Noriko about the Saint Nore cake she made in episode 3. Her reply is never to make it again because she’ll grow fat if she eats them all! A criticism-cum-compliment. It’s damn good, by the way. Later she meets her divorced mom Toko who is working as a nurse. They also meet up to have dinner with her dad and younger siblings. Though divorced, seems they’re conversing on very friendly terms. So did marriage ruin all their happiness? Back home, Chinami tells her dad that she doesn’t want to continue studying. He wonders why since it was her dream to go to France and study making pastries. She says baking is a mere hobby as she has decided to work after graduation to help out her dad and siblings. Dad says he can change his ways but Chinami sticks by her decision. Old leopard don’t change its spots. Toko takes Chinami to a posh restaurant and is introduced to its chef, Somiya. Chinami can tell he has French pastries background because his menu do not serve cheesecake, which is a creation of Japan (Really?! I didn’t know that). Chinami learns that Toko likes him and has been seeing him.

Early 1 morning, Chinami asks her dad about mom remarrying and he doesn’t mind and is even supportive. Even her siblings are all for it since they’re divorced but Chinami doesn’t seem happy. Noriko sees Toko and talks to her about it but Toko mentions she isn’t remarrying though she loves him. Noriko thinks she has to remarry to show Chinami that she truly loves him because Chinami works hard for the family and got sick. Dad has another round of talks with Chinami and she’s still against it because she wants things to stay as they are. He mentions how everyone will grow up and lead their lives in their own ways. This has her to question the meaning of having a family. He replies that a family supports you while you search for your own happiness. Later Noriko chides Chinami for holding a selfish challenge to Somiya in which mom will decide which cake is better. If she wins, mom will not remarry. On challenge day, all three have a taste of the duo’s cake and in the end Toko declares Somiya the winner. With that, Chinami decides to go overseas to study. She too felt Somiya’s cake was better and that Toko didn’t lie to her.

Hatsumi Kusunoki in episode 4 seems to refuse to be an art model for Miyabi Sakakibara because she has to be naked among other things. This episode jumps back and forth between snippets of Miyabi begging Hatsumi to be her model, the process of drawing her and Hatsumi’s rush to the museum when her painting’s out. Miyabi is persistent in making athletic and tomboyish Hatsumi as her subject that she titles Flying Angel. This includes becoming her trainer (she can run as fast as her because she was once a runner!) and accompanying her to bathe and an embarrassing stint by writing large words on the field “Hatsumi is beautiful!”. Can’t take it anymore, Hatsumi confronts her and throws down an athletic challenge. If she wins, Miyabi must stop pestering her for good. Miyabi agrees and has chosen a swimming contest on 1 condition: They must be wear bikinis (nobody is going to watch them, by the way). Hatsumi’s flashback reveals during her birthday, the boys teased her that she doesn’t look good being feminine. That’s when she cast away her girly side. Though in high school now, others did opine she may look good if she turns a little feminine (people are sure hard to please). During the time Hatsumi was admiring a painting at the museum, she met Miyabi and that’s when her pestering started. As the swimming challenge starts, Hatsumi leads and is going to win. Miyabi feigns leg cramps and this allowed her to win. Hatsumi felt she cheated but Miyabi says she never asked for help. Furthermore it was her who threw the challenge so which is more important, her leg or winning? This showed she hesitated and soften her resolve to win. Hatsumi is dumbfounded so Miyabi says not to lie about the angel inside and will show it to her. After giving her to look at herself in a large size mirror, Hatsumi agrees to be her art subject. On the day Hatsumi rushes to the museum to see Miyabi’s work, it turns out to be… IT’S LIKE PICASSO!!! She’s been had? And you thought Miyabi’s intense and strict concentration was going to make something really good out of it.

As Shion Murasame and her twin sister Sakura have breakfast in episode 5, their servant Matsumura shows them a love letter from Shoutarou Nakazawa, a renowned violinist. But the name to which sister it is addressed to is burnt out. Both sisters think it’s for each other so when they open and read it, it’s your typical I-wanna-be-with-you and please-meet-me. In the end it isn’t clear who it’s supposed to be for. That night Shion reminisces the times how both sisters were always close together. She then uses a Virtual Possession Simulation System whereby it recreates artificial reality based on the various data inputted. Shion assimilates as Sakura and goes talk to Shion about the letter. Sakura thinks Nakazawa suits her but Shion insists and thinks Sakura wishes to be the one and even going further with him. Sakura doesn’t deny that. Back in reality, Shion talks to Sakura to confirm about her suspicious feelings on the letter. Sakura denies it and insists Shion suits Nakazawa better in comparison. We see Sakura waking up from the simulator and is confronted by Shion for using the device. Shion questions is she the real sister or just graphics recreation. She wants to stab her with a knife to prove if it’s the latter. She couldn’t. Shion adds that Sakura was more interested in the man in the letter. Sakura denies but explains if Shion fell in love and left her, she’d be happy with that. Sakura takes up the knife and slashes.

Next we see Shion waking up from the simulator and is confronted by Sakura. I don’t know which is reality and simulation anymore. Sakura thinks she’s using it to escape reality and to find something about her. But she says she was finding out about herself. Adding they’ve been doing everything together since birth and know everything about each other. Is this an illusion? No, because they share the same feelings and memories. Shion says never to leave her and to stop talking about the letter. Sakura replies she has Matsumura burnt it. Sakura too doesn’t want her to leave her side. Shion realizes she has always been watching over her. Now we see Shion waking up from the simulator. At the park, both sisters meet and wonder if this is real or an illusion. To ascertain it, they test it out. How? THEY KISSED!!! They’re real alright. Ah, sweet reality.

It’s Sakura’s turn in focus in episode 6. Like a rerun of the previous episode, this one has it from Sakura’s view and her speeches and opinions in place of Shion. From the morning they meet, learn about the love letter, reading it and the simulator part. Sakura’s simulator is called Dreaming Dream Simulation System. After Sakura wakes up from the simulator, she sees Shion. They talk about love and Sakura mentions since she’s weak, if someone were to love her, it might change her feelings. Shion wants her to stop thinking about those things because she can’t accept the thought of a man touching her skin. Then the part Sakura caught Shion using the simulator and wonders what she’s trying to find out about her. Sakura mentions she’s always watching her from behind and unless she does so, Shion can’t do anything. Now the part Shion caught Sakura using her simulator and wonders if this is a dream and wants her to stab Shion with a knife. Shion mentions herself incapable of loving but Sakura replies she can’t kill. The person she wants to kill is herself for having those mean thoughts and feelings in the dream. She takes up the knife and slashes. Finally the part at the park whereby the twins confirm reality by kissing. A change of scene at the construction site. Not sure which of the twins this grownup lady is. Her colleague reports Nakazawa’s stalking on her but she doesn’t mind and makes it an exception for him to continue. So are both twins part of this lady because both pictures combined to form an overall pic? Not satisfied, I did some research over the internet. I realized that the letter was actually addressed to the twins’ mother (that grownup lady)! Plus, the knife slash was real because Shion’s hand was injured.

Mathematician Saeno Hiiragi ponders the impossible question of turning a square into a circle with the same area in episode 7. She takes her students to the Academia to see her mentor Professor Rozenkrantz. Note he died 5 years ago. On the walls of Academia, it has become a tradition to write answers on never ending problems on the wall. Saeno says if they enter a secret passageway, they can meet Professor as long as she has that pi book with her. Flashback sees Saeno following Professor around solving math problems. It’s Professor’s job to check people’s theories and point out where they are wrong. He did that for the past 20 years! A job that pinpoints where you did wrong? I think lots of people would like that kind of job. Another flashback when Professor found a secret passageway and saw the pi book on the floor. What amazed him was some brilliant never ending maths equation (f*ck maths!) and he realized it as the Godel Theory. Something about the theory of incompleteness and thus a vicious cycle (f*ck maths!). He follows the equation from wall to wall, room to room and meets the person doing it: A young girl. He talks to her as they chat about logic, process and the infinite value of pi. Before he could return her pi book or ask her name, she rushes off to help her mom bake apple pie (is this supposed to be a joke cue?).

Back to the first flashback, Saeno reveals that girl was her. When she was young, she loved reading at her father’s study and accidentally found an alternate plane there. She got hooked on maths and pursued it. She was under Professor’s tutelage and became a maths prodigy. But she didn’t feel the thrill while she was at Academia and returned to Japan to teach English. She said something about defying him and never saw him till his death. Then she mentions about time slips and alternate planes (f*ck science fiction theories!). If the you of 5 years ago met me who was 10 years ago was the data of me leaving that data 10 years ago (F*CK!!!). Don’t know if I even got that sentence right. In present, Saeno finds the passageway and opens the other door (there were 2 doors after solving some logic puzzle) to meet the Professor. He tells her about the endless process and calculation and that they are all part of an endless equation. This it is a process of solving the equation of who we are. It is possible for a square to become a circle as long as the process is endless. If there is an alternate plane that mirrors reality, there must also be a similar portal to reality. He is confident she knows where to take the pi book to and leaves. Saeno appears in front of her young self at her father’s study and gives the book to her. So it was herself that got herself interested in maths. It gives a whole new meaning to the saying “What goes around, comes around”. The front page of the pi book states: This book has a beginning but no end. Just like the universe, eh? For you anime otakus, it’s like Naruto, Bleach and Once Piece, eh? As usual, I did my internet research and came to understand the ending better. Saeno went back in time to an alternate reality of herself when she was young so that she could give the updated pi book to her young self and continue the progress of the theory’s solution each time the paradox of the time cycle happens.

Rich girl Ayaka Rindou makes a police report of her lost robopet in episode 8. But she finds it when Rafflesia, her giant chameleon is seen climbing a building nearby. Back home, her dad isn’t happy she bought something expensive. Since she isn’t listening and pesters him to buy new clothes, he tells her to find a job and learn the value of money. Though reluctant, she accepts when dad agrees to do so. Ayaka cleans up a ramen store but when the owner returns, he is shocked to see his store remodelled into a 5-star restaurant! He isn’t sure if this is his store! “Don’t worry. Daddy will pay them!”. She even makes the customers adhere to her strict and polite dining manners! The store owner has her do delivery instead and on her way she spots the police chasing a couple of jewellery thieves. She decides to go help because her secret identity is the defender of the world! Note, many ordinary citizens know this. She summons her 4 servants who are also in this world protecting thingy. They slide down elaborate pathways and into grand Rindoberg machines and rendezvous with Ayaka to chase to thieves. Then an accident involving a bus load of innocent passengers. Ayaka and her servants help them to safety before the fire gets them. They resume the chase. When 1 of the servants captures and lifts the car, 1 of the stupid thieves uses his machine gun and shoot at it. One of the cables snap and he was flung down. Unfortunately there were trees to break his fall so he escapes. The car is left dangling and causing the Rindoberg to be unstable. In order to regain stability, the car is released but flung into an office: Ayaka’s dad. He almost got flat. The final thief makes a run on boat but is forced to return to land. Then with the help of Rafflesia, Ayaka manages to capture him. The policeman arrives so Ayaka returns to her normal clothes and thanks those mysterious saviours. Then it hit her the ramen delivery and manages to complete her task. Should be awfully cold by now. When injured Ayaka’s dad comes home, unsure of what has happened, Ayaka happily comes to hug him. She says how she loves working and had so much fun today and can’t wait to go back working tomorrow. Oh God! He can’t believe it and faints.

A girl is seen sneaking into a coin fountain and picking up a coin in episode 9. Lulu Sanjou is part of a production crew recreating a documentary for the Legend of Kasumi Kurenai, whom everyone yearns to be. Legend has it at this fountain if you lie in it on a full moon night and randomly pick a year 2008 coin, your love will come true. Lulu truly believes in the legend but a female crew, Yakko thinks it’s fantasy. Because of that Lulu doesn’t like her. On the way to the next location shot, the person to play Kasumi got held up. Needing a replacement, the production manager thinks of using Yakko as substitute. This doesn’t sit well with Lulu because she feels she insulted Kasumi. They go to various locations interviewing people, learning the things Kasumi bought and recreate those scenes. Lulu’s still upset Yakko is making fun and insulting Kasumi though she says she’s just speaking her mind. During the break, Yakko talks to her and wonders if she’s chasing Kasumi’s ghost. She thinks it’s better for Lulu not to meet her. She relates her own experience. She once pretended to be like her but it got hard so she quit. Lulu thinks she failed and was giving excuses to justify her inadequacies. Lulu is adamant she won’t give up. Flashback reveals that Lulu believed all this because the boy she liked went out with another girl. In her depression, that’s when she heard about the Kasumi legend. The night scene has Lulu recreating a scene whereby Kasumi rode her bike and stopped just before the edge of the pier. She starts but by the time she realizes it, she overshoots. Luckily she is saved by Yakko who saw this coming as both ladies landed safely in the water. Yakko consoles her and mentions how the person she was that time crashed into the tetrapods below and was severely injured. She chickened out and braked earlier. Lulu can’t believe it and starts crying. After Lulu is discharged from hospital with nothing serious, she sees Yakko. Before Yakko leaves on her bike, she tells her rather than living up to expectations of others, she became a person she wanted to be. Thus she should strive to be the best that she can be. In turn, Lulu notes how she used to believe in the legend and wanted to be the Kasumi she admired so much. So yeah, Yakko is Kasumi.

Kurumi Matsumoto secretly draws a manga called Real Blue under the pen name Kurumigawa Subaru in episode 10. About some guy who went to an island, got saved by a mermaid, went to live on the island under a family who took him in and the ‘mermaid’ turns out to be a pretty girl living in the home he moved in. Kurumi wakes up due to the annoying and excessive comments of her editor Yamakawa. Later to her shock, her parents tell her that the son of dad’s best friend, Satoshi is going to live with them. They request her to treat him as her brother but she’s not amused. Her manga is the usual young teens living together and those near love-like bloopers between a boy and girl. Even her best friend Misaki has comments on it. Because of that, Kurumi has writer’s block attributes Satoshi as the cause. One day Kurumi and Misaki see Satoshi taking photographs of the sea. He says his dad did so to show people reality but he thinks otherwise. For instance, they are looking at the same ocean but may look different from their own views. He wants to find out about that through photography. The manga continues with the main protagonist wanting to find some sapphire called Real Blue because it’s the bluest of the blue. He heard this legend from his grandpa who was in the Japanese army fighting against the Russians. Then some Russian gave him that stone but their submarine was sunk and the stone at the bottom of the ocean. Thus the reason why he wanted to see it for himself.

Misaki wonders if Kurumi is in love with Satoshi sine they’re living together. She disagrees. If that’s the case, would it be okay of her to make a move on him then? Just like manga material, eh? Misaki’s joking too since she mentions she isn’t influenced by manga. Kurumi is disheartened that her parents will be away for a night. This leaves her and Satoshi alone so she feels a little awkward. She notices him reading her manga. He comments the contents are all borrowed, nothing real, plot mundane and thrown together without given much thought. In other words, it’ll be cheap if it becomes predictable like falling in love straightaway. Upset Kurumi dashes back to her room and rips her manga work. The manga continues with some deaths (not sure who), some fantasy imagination (hair become like tentacles?) and some narration about perception. It got messy (from my perception). There was never a thing called Real Blue. One day Satoshi gets a letter from his dad requesting him to return and live with him. Kurumi and Misaki see Satoshi off at the train station. His parting words were about the reasons he took photos. The pic he took may not reflect what he’s seeing at that time. But it doesn’t matter and it’s open to interpretation to whoever sees it. Later Misaki reads the manga and it seems it got better with the unexpected complication and twist. Kurumi puts a letter in a bottle and throws it into the ocean. So the manga also ends on a happy note and that the Real Blue does exist.

Urara Tachibana does a soliloquy play of her life in episode 11. A play of her life by herself, for herself. She is seen talking to Mr Door who is always locked (providing her something to lean on) and a squirrel. On a bridge, a boy gives her a CD that she was just about to go buy before rushing off. Back home she talks to her mom and how it’s been 7 years since her dad’s passing. He was the one who designed Neo-Acropolis. They talk about dad and that boy but Urara insists they’re just (childhood) friends and doesn’t have a boyfriend like her other friends because she still likes her dad best though she knows he’s never coming back but will always wait. She gets upset of what her mom says and yells she hates her before leaving abruptly. She meets her friend Ah-chan at the fast food joint. Urara is surprised she did bold things on her first date. Ah-chan asks if she would like to do those but Urara disagrees and don’t want to do those sort of uncomfortable things. Ah-chan leaves. As Urara watches some Star Wars spoof movie with that boy, he confesses he likes her and wants to go out with her. Urara seeks solace at Mr Door but gets startled when she hears the door unlock and runs away. She later gets a call from him but can’t give him an answer though he keeps pestering. Ah-chan talks to her and Urara learns he may be going out with another girl. She thinks it’s okay since it’s got nothing to do with her.

Urara is entranced by somebody playing the piano and he even promised to teach her. But she gets a call from Ah-chan that he has left for Austria to be a great pianist. When Urara comes home, she sees her mom collapsed and sends her to the hospital. The doctor says she needs a place with clean air. Urara prays at her dad’s alter and wonders if he’ll be lonely if she goes away. Suddenly she hears her father’s voice comforting her. Finally! Another voice! I thought I was going paranoid only hearing her lines. Plus, at least another character appeared and though in spirit form, at least it’s better than nothing. Urara wants to stay like this forever but he doesn’t have much time left. Mentioning her problems are part of her growing up, he’ll always be watching her wherever she goes because the door has already been unlocked. Back home, Urara writes a letter and mails it, proving she’s gotten over her daddy-complex. Then she opens Mr Door and walks through, arriving at Neo-Acropolis. Urara takes her bow to the applauding audience. Well, life is like a play.

It’s snowing at Neo-Acropolis in episode 12. Urara meets Yukina as she talks about her inventions. Since her mecha broke down, Yukina takes a train and meets Tanpopo. In order to help get over her androphobia for the time being, Tanpopo makes up a story in which Yukina is the princess. Back home, Tanpopo connects to Kurumigawa’s homepage and chats with her about her different Real Blue ending version. Kurumi mentions it’s her recent change of perceptive so Tanpopo thinks she’s in love (by the way, Tanpopo thinks she’s a guy). As Kurumi leaves, she sees Chinami and follows her because she gets her manga material by observing her. Chinami knows she’s following and they both chat. Kurumi tries to hit on her by saying “I love you”? Chinami has Kurumi take off her glasses and notes how cute she is. Chinami meets Hatsumi at the cafe and talks about Kurumi’s confession. Hatsumi then meets Kasumi and wants to know about expressing oneself and envies her while mentioning about her nude art modelling and felt like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. She says it changed her as previously she was a shy person and wanted to cast away her weak side. Kasumi replies it’s the other way round. Accept her weakness and stop pretending to be strong.

Kasumi calls Saeno and realizes an answer to some seemingly complicated maths question posed long ago (f*ck maths!). Saeno is impressed and graduates her with a diploma. Oh yeah, diploma available via phone. Saeno then calls Ayaka in her Rindoberg about the screening party by the Murasame twins. Ayaka interfaces with Sakura and wants her to reveal her evil deeds. Sakura gets a little sarcastic with Ayaka about her post as the leader of her secret world protector and reveals that their plan of just projecting faces of beautiful people over the sky via Yukina’s invention. Sakura talks to Shion as they make preparations for the event since tonight’s conditions are right. And it has stopped snowing too. All 11 girls meet at the city tower as images of their faces are projected on to the Moon. Shion narrates “There are only stars in the sky. There are no Gods or angels. Me watching the stars in the sky is reality, the angel is within me. What do dreams and desires mean? Dreams and desires will never come true. The only thing that means anything is reality and I will create it. There is no such thing as eternity because no matter what I do, I won’t exist in the 22nd century. I’m not afraid of being alone or dying but rather abandoning my true self”.

Forgive me if I have high expectations of something grand to happen or some unexpected twist at the end. But I have got to remind myself that this show was created more than a decade ago so a normal ending should not eclipse the other unconventional points of this unique series. So by projecting their faces on the Moon, what does it really mean? How does it contribute to “making the world a better place”? Besides, not all of the girls I find have unique talents in my opinion. For instance, what the heck is Tanpopo’s special talent? Talking to stuffed dolls? Urara’s? Doing a play by herself perhaps. Chinami’s? Baking pastries, I guess. Yeah, many other talented bakers can do that too. What about Kasumi? Actually she doesn’t have anything special that I can see of because it was the people who made a mountain out of a molehill. Ayaka is the most amusing character I find because she provides lots of comic relief. Not to say her episode is full of it but you can tell she’s that kind of girl the way she behaves. Miyabi was equally amusing during her ‘stalker’ mode.

Besides the main girls, some of the supporting characters play a major role in helping that girl with their dilemma or bringing out her true character and their points are worth pondering over. For instance Chinami’s very understanding dad. He never yells or raises his voice when his daughter becomes slightly stubborn. Satoshi’s words of perception motivated Kurumi to do a better manga and end it with a bang. Each episode has subtle plot structure that it makes you think a bit. For instance Shion and Sakura’s episodes wasn’t about which of them Nakazawa was better suited for, but rather to discover and understand what the other was thinking and feeling. Hatsumi’s episode wasn’t about just being an art model, but the rediscovery of her feminine side. Kasumi had never liked the idea of people turning her into a legend but because of that she was able to re-examine herself and instead of being carried away, live the way she believes. Kurumi’s episode isn’t just an inspiration to other mangakas to think outside the box and be creative because by looking at things differently, it opens up a whole new picture (which is worth a thousand words, right?). Saeno’s episode was pretty confusing because just the sight of those maths equations and time paradox thingy were enough to make my head spin faster than Earth. Though I just understood the basic gist of it, I’m sure those with higher intelligence would comprehend them better than me.

As mentioned the unique visual styles of some of the episode even if the drawing and art don’t seem appealing in today’s time. How often do we get to see animes from the eyes of a stuffed toy then? You only move when the owner moves you so it’s like a static view for most of the part. How about back to back episodes that seemingly mirror itself? You might miss important details if you skip certain parts thinking this may be a replay of the previous episode. If you thought Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuustsu messes with our heads by messing with the chronological order, how about one that messes with different time lines in a single episode? Don’t worry, it’s not that complicating so you won’t get lost if you really pay attention. What about an episode that puts the main girl in focus in the background and instead make a secondary character taking up equally if not more screen time than her? I may have never seen the 60’s British Thunderbirds TV series but I later learned that one of the episodes is a total parody of it (make a good guess which one). So for the final episode we also have a few visual styles like comical chibi modes, 1 or 2 fanservice scenes (very mild, I tell you) and well, views from different angles (characters conversation shown via spoon’s reflection?). It was all just amazing and mind blowing considering that this production is made in 1999.

Another unique thing about this series is the ending themes. Each of the ending themes are different and sung by the main girl in focus of that episode. Another amazing feat. Even if the pace and beat of the song doesn’t match the girl’s personality or pace of the series, at least the lyrics do. For the final episode, singer Ancy sings the ending theme entitled I Love You. The opening for each episode is fixed and is quite a lively piece. It is called Pray by Yuko Sasaki. As for the background music, surprisingly some of them are quite good whether they are just casual or grand-sounding. This is quite an old show close to all of the seiyuus are unknowns to me. Except for Ayako Kawasumi who voices Kurumi (hah, I was able to recognize her voice after all at first go. Wow. She’s been in this industry for years just to think about it) and Yuko Kaida as Lulu.

I would recommend that not only anime lovers should give this rare and old series a go, but other people as well. Don’t let that yuri sister kissing put you off. That’s just a very minor and small part. They may not be very thought provoking but the surprise ending in some of the episodes may give you something to ponder about and to rewatch them again if you want to better understand them (unless you’re the kind of person who has seen too much of endings with twists and find such genres to be predictable). As each of us have unlimited dreams and desires, it is impossible to fulfil them all or sometimes to even attain them. The girls here may not have them come true but it took them some on a journey of rediscovery and some putting their talents to good use. Even that I feel half the battle is already won. We’ve heard the joke that we should go to bed because our future depends on our dreams. There’s no harming in dreaming of what you desire, but if you don’t wake up, that’s what it’ll always be (I think I said something like this somewhere in one my blogs). So what about my dream and desire to watch anime forever or even to create my own anime series? Yeah, you keep dreaming, baby.

Seraphim Call

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