true tears end

Bawling like Mika and Fumi, or at least having an intelligent discussion like Graham and Setsuna.


For most anime, writing comes pretty easy for me. Maybe too easy. When there’s something on that I really enjoy, I’m like Monta Ellis attacking the rim. When there’s something on that I don’t particularly enjoy, I’m more like Baron Davis jacking up bad threes. Sometimes, neither the layups nor the jump shots are falling. I wrote about my QWERTY-angst for ef, and it’s come back to haunt me again for True Tears. Damn, why can’t everything be as easy as writing for Hosaka and Mako-cakes?

(Warning: spoilers. A lot of them.)


So let’s start with what frustrates me with True Tears. It’s a long list, so I suggest grabbing something to eat beforehand as well as popping two preemptive Advils. I hated Shinichiro. He was the Shinji Ikari of harem anime, and even when he vowed to be different, he didn’t really do anything different. He didn’t resolve much by himself, and his big act was to draw a picture book. Even Shiratori did more for Kozue-chan. I hated how he told Noe off by shouting that he loves Hiromi. He tried to rip-off Chihiro by tossing the book he worked so hard to create, and I hated that as well. I hated how he was Sumeragi-class ineffective when it came to accomplishing anything.


I hated Noe. I hated how she introduced not one but two crazy metaphors that really didn’t go anywhere. I hated the whole “tears” motif in that not much was done about it, and I hated how the whole anime seemed to be a trial to make Noe cry. Ooooo, I hated that. Especially when Noe didn’t try suicide, murder, or anything else to deal with her grief and thus resisting the urge the train wreck gene. Boy, is that hate. I hate that rational, sunny side of her. I hated the “fly Raigomaru fly” motif in that if the most likable character in the whole anime was a chicken that died in episode one, there’s problems. A chicken! The “fly” motif didn’t seem to have anything to do with the “tears” motif, and they two were juxtaposed in a way that was confusing. Maybe this is why I hated the Shinji Ikari in Shinichro. He couldn’t figure out the proper motif usage either. I hated how PA Works needed to work in the crying just to have some link back to the original visual novel (which is 100% different from the anime) when the whole Raigomaru thing should have been center stage as the main symbolism. I hate how the possibility now exists that PA Works could animate Mirai Nikki as a slice-of-life moe fest and not even bring Yuno and Yuki into the proceedings. Omega hate for that. I really hate when people don’t dance with the person that they bring. Definitely hated how fattening Raigomaru was when deep fried. Curse you transfats! Why do you have to be so loathsome and so delicious?


I hated PA Works for not giving Ai more than a token story appearance. She was the most non-emo and mentally stable girl! I hated the apprentice that hung around Shinichro’s dad’s store. Is he like a slave that they’re keeping? He was more creepy than helpful for the story. I hated how Shinichiro’s mother was in this anime looking like a more evil Cruella DeVille and hated how his dad reminded me of Dilbert.

I hated Hiromi for teasing us with random, “Wait, let me rewind and pause that” fanservice moments yet not providing a real beach, hot springs, or pool episode. That I tremendously hate. I also hate how PA Works had Hiromi doing 180 degree splits during the final climatic scene with Noe and Shinichiro thus derailing the Noe and Shinichiro proceedings. Why is Hiromi always doing coursework on a computer while Shinichiro looks baffled by a mouse? They’re in the same class! I hate that disconnect as well. I definitely hated Hiromi for nailing picture perfect fadeaways that reminded me of Kobe. How I hate the smooth shot and the Lakers.


I hated Shinichiro’s friend who was so beaten down and desperate, he runs back to the girl who dumped him for his best friend. Sloppy seconds? Who cares! I hate that attitude. I hated the lackluster cast. I hate how I’m on spring break, and I’m not scheduled to judge any wet T-shirt contests. I hated how the guys were on the Kimikiss level while none of the girls would be even a tier two haremette. I hated how I was actually getting sucked in by these characters despite their collective hate-ability. I despised, loathed, and hated how easy it was to pick on the cast’s facial expressions. I hated Jun’s siscon and how such a broken character wasn’t in Minami-ke. I hate how Minami-ke isn’t getting a third season, but Da Capo, Higurashi, and Jigoku Shoujo are in 2008. Super duper hate.

I hated PA Works’ superior animation as I just can’t stand such awesome ability wasted on the harem reincarnation of Shinji Ikari. Those overhead scenes that made me want to go back and rewatch my Planet Earth DVDs? Hate those overhead scenes. Really hate those. I don’t have time to rewatch Planet Earth! How dare you! I hate how having simple characters move around in the back really up the animation quality and making JC Staff’s animation seem as mobile as the New York Knicks frontline. I hate writing this post because I’m losing much needed sleep damn. I hate writing this post as much as you hate reading it. I hate it when people on the internet can’t grasp the subtleties of satire. Damn you True Tears. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I love you.


Whew! That was strangely cathartic. Now I’ll tell you want I do like. It’s only one thing: True Tears is gripping.

Despite it’s many flaws, True Tears ends up being a gripping series. I couldn’t figure out why at first. The characters (save Raigomaru and Ai) didn’t appeal to me, and the plot was much abo about nothing. But one thing that really saved it was simple it had no source material. One thing True Tears had in common with Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is that we didn’t know how it ended up. There’s no discussions like Higurashi trying to figure out the anime by playing applying nuances the game (still moronic in my book; anime should be standalone), there’s no defending of Nagisa because there’s no original end girl, there’s no smart alexs bragging about how they know the ending.

You didn’t know. I didn’t know. We kept guessing. Noe? Hiromi? Ai? We didn’t know. It was fun trying to guess, and it kept our attention. But, more so than that, we couldn’t even guess at a tone let alone the end girl. After four or five episodes, I couldn’t decide if True Tears wanted to be a serious romantic story or wanted to mimic a low wattage slice-of-life like Lamune or wanted to go stabby. It was the ultimate guessing game. The last episode could have featured Ai stabbing Shinichiro with Noe committing suicide, and I wouldn’t be shocked. The last episode could have been Hiromi trying to rape Shinichiro, and I wouldn’t be shocked (though this almost happened). The last episode could have Shinichiro start making out with Jun, and I wouldn’t be shocked (the Shinji and Kaoru ending). The series just could have gone many ways, and it did a good job of not showing where it was going.


Yet… the ending was logical and fit the bounds of the story that was being told. It’s not a stretch to say that the whole point of this anime was to make it so sad for Noe such that she’ll cry, yet it wasn’t all sad. True Tears didn’t have massive randomness like Gundam 00. If you thought hard or light about it, there was only this real conclusion. I think that’s the sign of a good (didn’t write “great” or “space-time piercing”) narrative. Despite its flaws, it has enough to keep the viewer interested, yet it had a plan and followed through to the end. Kudos to PA Works and True Tears. I just hope you don’t work on any source material I care about (*cough* turning Mirai Nikki into a slice-of-life moe fest *cough*).

But… with that said… I don’t exactly have an urge to watch it again. It’s a good story, but it has it’s share of issues… with the most pressing being my high blood pressure level. (Unless they include a Raigomaru fried chicken recipe in the DVD release, I don’t think I’m stepping in.)

R.I.P. Raigomaru.

27 Responses to “true tears end”

  1. The one problem with Shinchiro going for Hiromi is that it makes the shipper want to pair Noe up with the only remaining character who seems interested in her… her brother. And I can’t decide whether I should be for or against that.

    Shinchiro never bugged me a whole lot. The way the tears motif felt so tacked on did, though. Also, Noe’s weirdness is never well explained, although I could say the same thing about weird people in real life. She’s still my favourite character regardless.

    You know, it seems to me we’ve gotten some pretty top grade harem shows the past year. Sola, EF, True Tears… I admittedly didn’t watch much harem prior to late 2006, but I’d say those are all a huge step up from things like Shuffle.

  2. Yes, that kid is definitely a slave. There’s really no other way to look at it.

  3. I really enjoyed the first half of true tears, and even though i felt that the series kinda dropped the ball from about episode 8 on, i just HAD to know how it would end. In the sense, i kinda felt the same way Jason did, which even though the show kinda sucked a bit, my curiosity got the better of me.

    Kudos to P.A. works for at least writing a seriously gripping drama. You know, i half expected a NICE BOAT ending…

  4. I agree on the stupid fanservice scenes. God were they dumb.
    The only other thing I didn’t like was how all the characters looked as if they had anorexia, but after all, I liked the series a lot and it was the only series in winter season I watched until the end.

  5. It did have flaws, and I felt the same way about the flying/tears motifs I was really waiting for it all to connect. If I just think of it as a straight up romance drama without any special symbolisms I enjoyed it, honestly it and Shigofumi tied for my favorites of the season but nothing made it to the top of my list like ef did. I’m happy with the ending though I liked Hiromi. My biggest complaint though has to be the lack of explanation of the past, I’m still kinda baffled on why EXACTLY Shin’s mom was so anti-Hiromi and then in a matter of minutes became her best friend so to speak. Seriously, there was enough made up material in this show I think it could have lasted 24 eps whereas Kimikiss should have stopped at 12, followed by a letter of apology from J.C. Staff on why they even aired it.

  6. I actually like True Tears overall. Personally I thought the way Shinichiro told off AI was great. I mean think about it…If you average guy is after someone else (two someone elses, no less) and suddenly a third appears before you from the “Best friend” angle? You parry her and keep your troubles limited. I thought that was one of the moments that truly made the characters and the series feel real.

    I think that’s the one reason I like the series, is that it feels so real. I mean, sure everyone except Noe was constantly questioning themselves, but that felt real. And like Jason said, the show made us constantly keep guessing as to which girl it was going to be, and the end choice still made the most sense.

    Anyway, fried chicken tastes delicious.

  7. That’s a lot of hate there, dude. :D

    Although it ended a bit ago, I’m still trying to form an opinion on True Tears. I think I am leaning towards the ‘like’ end on the hate-like scale.

    On the downside, Shinji mk.2 was a rather poor lead for the show. The flying and tears motifs didn’t connect too well with the narrative; it was obvious they tried but it didn’t work out too well in the end. Ai’s overall involvement was really minor even as a haremette candidate. I didn’t like Noe too much, she gave the initial impression of an obnoxious brat who imposes herself in Shinichiro, and that didn’t wear off as the show progressed.

    On the upside, there’s the really good animation and art quality throughout the episodes. There was this sedate, slow atmosphere hanging over the whole thing, enhanced by the wintry backdrop. Unlike with most (all?) harem shows – I think we can say True Tears is a harem show at least in technical sense – it did not fall back to slapstick humour, improbable situations or physical tsundere violence on the harem master. Neither did we have fanservice— ok, overt fanservice shots or an onsen episode. All that would have been seriously out of place in the story that had its two feet firmly planted on ground. The characters were part of the same deal and were given to anger, doubt and desperation – like the scene when Ai realized Shinichiro had slipped beyond her reach. And of course, there was no second-guessing this show on any source material.

    I know the stabby ending was mostly a joke, but given the show’s nature I thought it would have been impossible. I would have been versy surprised if someone had gone Kaede and pullsed out a knife, boxcutter or some other household implement.

    About the deal bewteen Shinichiro and Noe’s siscon brother, I was like yeah like that would work. They didn’t consider either girl’s opinions on the matter. In shows like this that dooms the plan at the beginning. Whenever I wondered about Noe and Hiromi, I returned to that thought. But I suppose the real reason for the resolution, as Jason suggests, was to make Noe cry, tying up with the tears motif.

    Yeah, I guess I liked it in the end.

  8. BITTERsweet story. un-typical anime. amazing cloud(u know that). I enjoy it very much and wait for the OVA : what happened circa1990….

  9. I don’t have any deep, meaningful analysis to add, only this:
    Was anyone else fully expecting the house slave to become another haremette? He certainly had the potential.

  10. hmm
    good animation, not much else

  11. Yeah I’m going to have to go with Ferfie on this one. It looked good, which is refreshing after watching most anime this past season.

  12. I enjoyed True Tears, if only because it really did keep you guessing and spawned some good discussions, and more over that they could have done the last episode with a different ending and still had it be completely consistent with the rest of the series.

    The different motifs didn’t bother me, I loved Noe, but the show really did need more Ai-chan <3

  13. I’m going to pick a few bones with you.

    “I hated Shinichiro… [snip] I hated how he told Noe off by shouting that he loves Hiromi.”

    But this is the most proper way to breakup with someone — honesty. Most guys can’t say it like that not because they don’t want to hurt the girl but rather because they didn’t have the guts to say what it really is: they’ve fallen for someone else. So, come on, give kudos to Shin for being able to say what you cannot.

    “I hated Noe. [senseless ranting snip] … when the whole Raigomaru thing should have been center stage as the main symbolism.”

    But the entire show has been building up from Shin’ichirou being ignorant of his ability to confess his crush to Hiromi to being able to breakup with Noe properly and accept Hiromi properly.

    “I hated PA Works for not giving Ai more than a token story appearance.”

    But Aiko represents the Jibeta who was not so much unable to fly as he chose not to fly, in the way that she chose to abandon her hopes with Shin’ichirou in order to move on proudly with her head up toward the future.

    “I definitely hated Hiromi for nailing picture perfect fadeaways that reminded me of Kobe.”

    I sense jealousy there.

    “I hate … I hate … I hate …”

    You have issues, Jason. I’m glad you’re taking a much needed vacation.

    “The series just could have gone many ways, and it did a good job of not showing where it was going.”

    This, I do agree with you. Without the suspense, this show has little else to keep the viewers interested.

    “Yet… the ending was logical and fit the bounds of the story that was being told.”

    This, I also agree. Just as the logical conclusion of a chicken trying to fly by jumping off a cliff should be a plunge toward his demise, so did Shin’ichirou choosing Hiromi over Noe. I had predicted his choice, but what was still uncertain was how he would deal with Noe at the end, which I think he did well (or properly in his own words).

  14. Kannazuki no Miko! Kannazuki no Miko! Kannazuki no Miko!

  15. Indeed, that’s a lot of hate for a show that apparently pushed all the wrong buttons, yet still managed to keep Jason’s attention glued for 12 or so episodes. ^^;

  16. >> I hate it when people on the internet can’t grasp the subtleties of satire.

    Thank you everyone for making this one come true! Couldn’t have done it without you. Even tossed in a rickroll… err… A Modest Proposal and still people couldn’t figure it out.

  17. Jason is just tsundere for True Tears.

  18. >> >> I hate it when people on the internet can’t grasp the subtleties of satire.
    >> Thank you everyone for making this one come true! Couldn’t have done it without you. Even tossed in a rickroll… err… A Modest Proposal and still people couldn’t figure it out.

    (O.O) I’ve never been rickrolled before, but now I think I know how it feels.

    Thanks for the lesson in satire. Argh!

  19. Quick Jason needs 40 ccs of melonpan and thighs along with a bottle of Jack!

    Well liked it for the most part, sorry you didn’t get you fanservice or your trainwreck. Though take heart for I delight in you misery. Good luck getting a job as a wet t-shirt judge, hopefully it won’t be for men. ;)

    Considering how much it probably made you cringe it really was a feat to keep you interested when True Tears lacks everything that would appeal to the Derailed principles of melonpan, thighs, and traps.

  20. I hate this post. I hate the fact me reading this post keeps me distracted from doing my homework. I hated this series. I hate you. I hate you as a blogger and all your opinions. Damn you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I love you.

  21. I must say this was like a terrific one post summary… so i don’t even have to watch true tears now…. Thanks :-) (satiracal response)

    While this is hardly modest satire…, i say majority of the comments are just about the posters oppinion on the show….I can’t comment because I pretty much saw 5 mins and gave up on it.

  22. Can’t I have just one episode of Hiromi with Shin’ichiro being happy and in love together. All these shows just emo-assaults us with X episodes of suspense and the money shot last all 20 seconds. WEAK.

  23. I’d like to think that the Hiromi fanservice was a running gag, since it was so random. But Hiromi + glasses = No fair, and adding a split to this already lethal combo = OMG.

  24. “Jason is just tsundere for True Tears.”

    This comment is a tsukkomi.

  25. I duuno a bout u on Ai but she was as desperate as Nobuse was and some of her action were bold and insane ,I’m sorry but i don’t think that she was that stable either and even though she was not as emo as Hiromi or Noe ,she was emo and messed up as the other characters and she made the most mistakes among the girls (let’s not fool ourselves here )going after someone u don’t have a chance with and forcing them to kiss u is pretty messed and a disesase but i don’t think she is a bad person either and i felt bad for her because she was a victiom of love and nobuse took her back in because he felt sorry for her and because he’s weak ,he di get desperate but they’re all are EVEN Ai and what she did at ep 7 was very very desperate and unstable ..

  26. i’m with jason. i was hating it half the time (especially shinichiro), but couldn’t help but love it in the end. DAMN YOU SHINICHIROOOO!! (yes, i even googled that exact phrase and came up here :P) i love how the characters had so many dimensions to them. even up to the show’s final episode, i was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what the hell was going to happen. and i was seriously trying to piece together the tears/flying thing, but still came up short in the end. nevertheless, it gave a satisfying ending, and despite the twisted, twisted plot, it didn’t leave a bitter taste in the mouth in the end. i give it 4/5, but that’s just me. :)

  27. Just got through the whole show in a couple days, after watching Kimi Ni Todoke.
    I have to say I liked this.
    Even though the ending was the more “obvious” one, as already mentioned, it wasn’t clear how it was really going to be til the last episode.
    I kept fearing Noe would have been dead by the end, as much as I had a couple times where I thought Shin would end with Ai, just as a twist.
    Hiromi wasn’t the best out of the tree girls, but was the one Shin was really in love with, since long, and it makes sense he chose her over Noe, despite how much she gave him in terms of maturity.

    I also wondered the meaning of the slave boy. He never went to school or anything and revered Shin as a dog would.

    Now, after watching two really good shows, I wonder what to look, not to lower the newly set standard. Any tip?

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