Title: Now and then, Here and there
Genre: sci-fi, fantasy, drama
Released date: October 14, 1999 – January 20, 2000
Director: Hideyuki Kurata
Animated by: AIC, Geneon Entertainment
Comment: Now and Then, Here and There begins when Shu meets Lala Ru, a girl from another world. Shu is involuntary drawn into another universe which is plagued by never ending war. Hellywood is a military nation ruled by a mad king who only seeks power over the world. Villages are burned, children are kidnapped to join the army and are trained to kill and obey orders without thinking. Anyone who disagrees is executed. Even in Hali Bars which at first seems like a utopia is also driven by the anger and vengeance of men. Shu, who comes from peaceful Japan, is probably the only sane person in this world and he suffers greatly trying to rescue Lala Ru.
The theme of the anime is simply about the destructive nature of men. Everyone is both victim and monster created by the endless war. What Lala Ru says is an awful truth; Men asked her for water but they always needed more and when she refused, they locked her up, they fought among themselves until there was nothing left and then they turned to their neighbors and the violence only lead to more violence. In this anime, there are people who abuses and robbs the weaker and destroys everything in their path. And there are also people who have a chance of happy and peaceful life but instead are blinded and destroy each other. The same concept has been explored in numerous dystopia/sci-fi/military films and anime but Now and Then, Here and There outdo them all easily by having everything a good anime needs and manages to hit the viewers right in the heart. This is a very depressing anime. It takes away my hope and trust in human and hardly gives me any consolation. And although I know that, in reality, the same tragedy occurs everyday and there is no sign of happy ending, I am still glad the anime ends with miracle, conjured by Lala Ru, which cleanses the world of its filth and the survivors have a chance to start over.
Now and Then, Here and There clearly and effectively delivers the message about human nature and the consequences of war with great script, detailed characterization, dark and beautiful animation and heart breaking original soundtracks. I happily give this anime ‘A’ rating because it deserves nothing less.