Posted by: Teeif | 7 July, 2008

Review: True Tears


Honestly, if True Tears was the title of a film showing at your local theatre, what are the chances of seeing 18-30 year old alpha males attending? Not counting men who are getting dragged in under the noose of emotional blackmail by their spouses, I should think near to none.

True Tears is a highway into chick flick territory, it is romance, drama with a little crying. That’s it! This is a quite, simple, love story whose most auspicious feature is the girl on the left who is only slightly bonkers. Her name is Itsurugi Noe and she is the reason why everyone should watch this animé.

True Tears is an unlikely visual novel adaptation from a virgin animation company, P.A works, who demonstrates how to innovate a tired process – that is, to take the box, throw out the game and rewrite the story. The name is the sole endowment remaining from it’s patriarch.

on the shore

From this cleared slate, the writers crafted a wonderful, yet simple love story. There are three guys and three girls, set across three seasons but confined within a small town. Shinchiro, an artist from a respected family, is the main protagonist. He is a long time friend of Aoi and Nobue, meanwhile another girl from his school, Hiromi moves in. Shinchiro soon meets Noe, who quickly entraps him (and the viewer) with her fanciful persona. No time is wasted before the High School kids start pairing up. The drama begins in earnest when the storyline weaves a path from attraction and confession to decisions and dilemma.

While that sounds drably ordinary, P.A works got the core of this spot on – the characters are enthralling. This is a case where the scope of the story is small but the detail is atomic. Itsurugi Noe leads the line of distinctive, profound characters in interactions which are enchanting and delightful. Hiromi, Jun and Shichirou’s Mum all have complex issues but Noe is the most eccentric of the three initial suitors for the main protagonist. She is childishly cute, but a little inclined monkey around in trees and lacks any common sense.

Built onto this solid core are the bells and whistles, each one of which are exemplary, the music, the background art, the facial expressions and the plot. Each of which are not quite as essential but are nevertheless elegantly done to combine into excellent presentation.

The opening by Eufonius is beautiful melody that sets the tone for slow, soft cinematic orchestral scores which are appropriately inserted. The beautiful pastel backgrounds proficiently demonstrated in the passing of seasons from Autumn to Winter and then from Winter to Spring at it’s epilogue. The unconventional plot, twisting and turning with enough verve to carry through to the unpredictable end.

I also appreciated the animation where background characters move, the use of unconventional camera angles, the parallel Raigomaru subplot, the Japanese costume and symbolism. It’s these little things which adds towards perfection, but it’s also the little things where small criticisms can be applied, I am unconvinced about the arty freezes, the quite repetitive, unremarkable background music and some unrealistic turning points in the plot.

True Tears 3 - in the gardenTrue Tears 1 - Persimmon treeTrue Tears 3 - winter gardenTrue Tears 13 - Spring

Many, many people often work on a project, requiring love and attention over many months and perhaps even years. Such dedication shines in this animé, so much so, that is requires sunglasses to see through the gleam of hard work and polish. Indeed, it’s incredibly difficult to criticise.

True Tears has the artistry, integrity and polish to appeal to a wider audience. Perhaps it’s greatest award is that True Tears could be an animé to show the friends and family. This award requires the infusion of excellent artistry with a friendly, approachable concept and is thus no light attainment.


~ Teeif

More Images (Click to enlarge):
True_Tears 7 KissTrue Tears 12- KissTrue Tears 10 Sakura imitation from AikoTrue Tears 5 Mountais
True Tears 13 - Buridaikon
True Tears 11 - hiromi x shinchiro kissTrue tears 4 - nao eating bird foodTrue Tears 9- Time to fly

You may also be interested in:
True Tears episodic Archive on Lostlink.
True Tears episodic Archive on Random Curiosity.

Other True Tears reviews:
Minimum Tempo Metareview
Anime blog ga Arimasu – 9.5/10
Anime Diet – 85%
Azure Flame – Gold
Novastorm – 9/10
Sea Slugs – 5/5
Yukan! – 9.5/10


  1. I’m still seething with rage over how the anime ended. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOE!!!!!

    (╬ ಠ益ಠ)

  2. @ShinYour seething rage proves that P.A. Works has suceeded magnificently in their intimate character development.

    But… I’m a Hiromi fanboy… 🙂

    Oh and about your review… I really can’t believe you spelt Noe’s surname wrongly T_T

    And the 10/10 is abit… on the high side.

    But heck other than that you have managed some beautiful summations (e.g. here are three guys and three girls, set across three seasons) of the series. Great job overall ^^

  3. Yep, great review – reminds me of what made the show so special. It’s something that gives the “meh, seen it all before…” reaction initially but the attention to detail and solid storytelling make sure the subject matter is still meaningful and affecting. There were one or two isolated moments that felt a bit ‘off’ but all things considered it’s a show that did everything it set out to do and did it wonderfully. But then, I’m a fan of relaxed-pace slice of life stuff anyway. 😛

    *crosses fingers for the DVD*

  4. Good review 🙂

    Rewatched True Tears with a friend recently; he loved it and I… re-loved it.

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