While I did watch this under somewhat broken conditions I think it's fair to say that I don't know what to make of it. It's sort of shoujo, sort of weird and possibly has some deep meaning...but i'll admit to still being confused as to what that meaning might be.
Incidentally a little bit of web trawling revealed that this was meant to be a "show-case" for a variety of anime producers. However only two episodes were made. This does mean that both of the episodes are totally independant...which will make it interesting if I find the second one.
The show starts out with a sort of pretentious warning that "your reality is about to be seized" which is a bit of a put off. It then moves into a sombre shoujo styled story which begins with two girls on a tropical beach. While one lies on the beach the other is diving. While there she find a camera, it's band wrapped around a rocky outcropping. She recovers it, finding it damaged enough to indicate it's been there some time. It also has film in it, and she's intrigued by the potential content of that film.
And once she gets the film developed things become even more complex. For it turns out she is one of the subjects on the film, but she has no memory of the event represented. Attempting to learn more she enlists help from a marine biologist, who contacts the manufacturers and learns that the camera should not exist. Indeed it matches the camera they plan to manufacture in the future. It seems that time, place and meaning are much less strict and linear than most of the characters suspect. And the lead character finds herself drawn into this strange sequence of events.
The good part of it is that the representation of the story is lovely. The characters have a sort of solid reality about them. It almost feels like a shoujo'ish sensitivity to character, mood and dialogue. This is certainly backed up by the style of the animation. The restrained dialogue, actions and scenes are very strong and intriguing for those with a taste for subtle anime. The fact that the lead character can become so interesting with so little actual dialog or actions is a tribute to the skill behind this anime.
Another nice part is we get to see a number of places and events. They're interesting in themselves, interesting in that they are often momentous events and nice because they give a sort of dreamlike air to the whole production. The movement between scenes gives us the feeling of being able to skip across time and place and get some sense of the complex interactions of time, history and people. This is accentuated by a symbolic representation of a young girl on a swing, which seems to be commenting on the story.
The bad part is that you're going to have to be a whole lot more clever than I to work out what this anime is about. I can see lots of powerful scenes, I can sort of see the connection between many of them, but I admit to failure in seeing how this all fits together. The lead character has a solid sense of reality, but she is not particularly talkative which means we have few hints as to what she thinks is happening. And the conclusion is marked only because it happens at the end of the film rather than because it aids us in understanding what is being said. I don't mind this that much, perhaps i'll get it when I watch the material again. But at the same time it is sort of embarrassing to have to admit in a review that I don't get it.
In any case, as I have already indicated, the animation is very solid. It's not in any way flashy or stylish. If anything the very subdued palette and realistic design to the characters, as well as the restrained dialogue, gives it a very plain feel. This is amplified by the lack of action or dramatics and over-all dreamlike feel. However the detail, subtlety and underlying skill is very real. There's some lovely character animation and well observed scenes here. The voices seemed fine, but not really called to do too much, and the music was very much in the background.
As you might guess i'd love to see other reviews so they could tell me what I missed. Sadly none of my regular sources have a review of this title.