Anime Meta-Review


Sentimental Journey


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4 of 12
  • type: unknown
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: shoujo
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Fri Dec 1 15:52:22 EST 2000
  • mod: none

A Strange, but really interesting and classy, shoujo series. Actually the suspicioun arose that there was game heritage somewhere there. And indeed a bit of digging confirmed that this 12 part anime springs from the romance game, "Sentimental Graffiti". Supposedly, while the game was a bit poor, the characters, environment and merchandise were warmly received.

In any case what eventuated was this collection of twelve short stories, one per episode. Each focuses on a single character, who I assume was one of the primaries in the game, and tells a story that explores or brings out the peculiarities of the character. They're also bound by a unified production style, and some flavor elements, which actually makes them work well as a unified set. But before style and content is considered it must be mentioned that, even if the source is not pure shoujo, these have a heavy shoujo influence. They're also strongly focused on the females. So if you can't cope with character driven dramatics, a generally subtle and introspective ambiance and a low action quotient you might want to jump ship at this point. In other words if you can't cope with shoujo romantic longing, this will probably not be the series to change your mind.

Although, given the skill in the writing and direction perhaps that's not true. I guess I should say that these are skillful but serious and let you make your own minds up. They are also linked in various other aspects. One is that, as hinted, the male role is largely external to the story. Thus it may be memories of a romance, a desire for a potential romance or even sadness over missed opportunities that powers the drama of an episode. This is novel and cool, making the stories more complex and really drawing out the character being considered. Another change is that these females are, at least on occassion, pleasantly agressive and modern. This isn't `wistful' and often isn't innocent with some of these women being quite direct and `mature' in their actions. Not always optimally sensible, but that's part of being mature too. Combined, along with the rich writing and dialogue, this gives the show a fairly serious and mature ambience which is pretty unusual. It's also quite balanced, with the drama being believable and the stories being rich enough to avoid villains and cliche's.

Perhaps not all of the girls are appealing (a side effect of them feeling `real') but they are interesting...and with 12 to pick from there's sure to be a story that appeals. The true strength of the series is not these novel aspects though, it is simply the willingness to be original and risky backed up by superb writing. This is backed up by good voices and really well paced direction and scene setting. This allows even a familiar story, such as episode 4, to still have substantial value.

Then again the animation is good too. It doesn't try to be too complicated, is low on flash, and has an incredibly somber palette, but it's actually really good. The scenes are well set and populated, the characters interesting in appearance and how they express themselves. Even the motion animation is used to further express the nature of the character being considered. It's pleasant to watch, unifies the various stories in a single style and fits the tone of the stories brilliantly. I'm very much looking forward to more.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:24 WST 2009