Shinichiro is a student living in what would be a dream come true for most high school boys, but for him is mostly a frustration. A well liked girl in school named Hiromi has lived in his house for a year along with his family. Her father was a close friend of the family, and when he died they immediately took her in. She is popular and well liked, always smiles, is talented in sports- but Shinichiro knows there must be tears inside her. Having an artistic tendency, he makes watercolours of her and thinks about wishing to ease her tears. Yet he cannot bring up the nerve to talk to her even in his own home. She, too, is quiet and withdrawn in their house, quite unlike at school. Shinichiro is also distracted by teasing from his friend Nobuse for watching Hiromi from afar, a curse of bad luck from a strange girl named Noe, and being forced to perform Muhiga dancing. By helping Noe he hopes to ease his own problems, yet he seems to have difficulty helping himself.
This is the synopsis for True Tears, an anime that began airing around five years ago. Five years ago, I was completely engrossed in Gundam 00 and my anime tastes were still very narrow at that point. Thus, I passed over this excellent series when it was first released. My interest in this anime was piqued by the fact that Tari Tari, also made by PA Works, utilises this anime’s opening song as one of the songs the school choirs sing. Recently, I was able to acquire an HD copy for my own viewing.
While at home, Shin’ichirou Nakagami laments how he cannot express his feelings for Hiromi Yuasa. He notes that when he knew her before he always treasured her smile, but now she acts coldly at home, and Shin’ichirou regrets not being able to see her tears or any form of significant emotion. At school, Shin’ichirō sees a girl named Noe Isurugi, and after criticizing her for interacting with chickens, is cursed by her. Shin’ichirou is quickly beset by bad luck for the rest of the day, and even sees Hiromi undressing to take a bath. To atone for what he said to Noe, he crafts a chicken out of a tissue box for her. The next day he gives the box to her, but she is saddened because one of the chickens, Raigoumaru, has been killed. As Shin’ichirou notes that she did not cry, she tells him she has given her tears away.
- The series’ protagonist, Shin’ichirou is a male high school student who enjoys drawing, and even starts working on a picture book. He lives with his mother, father, and childhood friend Hiromi Yuasa. She used to smile around him, though does not anymore when at home. Shin’ichirou longs to see her smile again which he loved so much as a kid. He is living a relatively normal life until he meets a strange girl named Noe Isurugi who curses him with misfortune after he teases her a bit, though he reconciles with her soon after.
- Noe Isurugi is an odd girl at Shin’ichirou’s school. He first meets her up in a tree where she is picking silver berries for a chicken she named Raigomaru in a coop on a campus. Shin’ichirou ends up having to catch her as she jumps from the tree since she was stuck and could not get down on her own.
- The art in True Tears is clean and minimalistic, contrasting the high detail, near-HDR environments I’ve come to find in almost every other anime in my library. In True Tears, blushes are scribbles on the character’s faces, a style choice that brings to mind the appearance of blushes in Peanuts.
- Aiko is a girl one year older than Shin’ichirou who attends a different school than he does and ehlps out at her family’s imagawayaki shop, which serves the pastry-like confection with Coca Cola. She is going out with his friend Miyokichi Nobuse, but instead has feelings for Shin’ichirou.
- True Tears owns on the virtue that all fanservice is more or less minimal; the story is driven by conundrums and predicaments the characters find themselves in owing to miscommunication rather than cruder means, making this anime more worthwhile from what I’ve seen thus far.
- Hiromi is a girl Shin’ichirou’s age and goes to the same high school as him. After her father died, she came to live with Shin’ichirou’s family and has already been living with them for a year when the story begins. She has been in the same class as Shin’ichiro since elementary school, though despite being cheerful back then, she now acts a bit cold when living at his home. In contrast, she normally smiles and is popular at school.
- That letter basically can be approximated as follows. Its contents are strikingly familiar.
Unfortunately, you were not successful this time around
- “Catch me, Banagher.” On an aside, True Tears has an excellent soundtrack, a trend that will be seen once more in Hanasaku Iroha and Tari Tari. I’ve noted earlier that the series’ opening song, Reflectica, is presented in choral form in the first episode of Tari Tari. The original is even more heartfelt.
- Noe is known to have a frank personality and speaks honestly to other people. She seems to be able to judge people’s feelings to a certain extent.
- Raigomaru’s death will set the table for the future episodes: for the present, it seems that Shin’ichirou will act as his ‘replacement’ for the present. The theme of tears is a recurring one, as well; it will be curious to see what prompts this particular notion in upcoming episodes. It’s time to stop blogging and watch more episodes, seeing as all of them are ready to roll 🙂
True Tears distinctly feels different compared to the rest of my anime, featuring animation with a water colour-like composition. The first episode of an anime usually makes or breaks whether I will give the show a chance; typically, the deciding factor in the quality of the exposition is determined primarily by how well the characters and settings are established. Thus, Noe’s appearance sets the stage for the remainder of the series, and with her yet-to-be-explained motive of “collecting tears”, I foresee an interesting romance-drama series that seems to be organised similar to CLANNAD and Kanon sans the supernatural elements.