Bokurano (TV) – Review
I’ll be honest – I only picked up Bokurano because I was looking for something similar to Steins;Gate. Under normal circumstances, I probably wouldn’t even look at a mecha anime from 2007. However, as it went, the similarity between the two, and the ‘psychological’ tag intrigued me enough to try watching Bokurano.
It didn’t go as smoothly as I expected, and after the 1st episode, I put the series on hold for a few months, even though I didn’t find it bad. Just didn’t feel that the time was right for me to continue with such anime. A few days ago, I was browsing through my long list of anime, and noticed Bokurano. Of course I decided to give it another go, and don’t regret it at all!
Story (might contain spoilers): The main aspect that I liked about this anime, and that actually motivated me enough to continue watching the series disregarding everything else that I could’ve disliked. As I mentioned earlier, I came here looking for another Steins;Gate. I didn’t find it – probably for the good, since a repetition or excessive similarity of one to the other might have bored me in the end. No, I found an anime that was quite different. Seemingly, Bokurano was just a mecha anime, where one super-robot was fighting several other robots. What remains in the shadow, however, is the meaning of all of these battles. Why would you protect the Earth? How would a person act if they knew they were destined to die? Is it okay to live at the expense of other people’s lives? These, and many other ethical questions were raised by the authors of Bokurano. The 15 children that were pushed into extreme circumstances had to make the best possible choices, and the destiny of the planet lied in their hands. With this responsibility forced upon them, not only did they have to suppress their own feelings towards their actions, but also find the sole reason to die for – what is their reason for fighting in the horrible death-game? A true psychological story.
As the anime went on, the plot went throught major changes. There were some very enjoyable episodes, and some simply good ones. Never did I feel like quitting while watching Bokurano. Instead, aftr every episode, I wanted to watch on, and learn how would things go on. Perhaps I didn’t always get what I wanted to see, but I didn’t care. I had found an anime that still had a potential to amaze me. There were some mysteries left unanswered in the end, which I would have wanted to know, but who cares. It ended like it ended, and there’s nothing to change anymore.
Characters: Another very positive thing about Bokurano. There was a big variety of characters, and no actual main protagonist. Additionally, all of the 16 main characters (including Koemushi, of course) had different personalities, that kept developing throughout the series, depending on how much screen time they had. Everybody was seemingly a normal middle-schooler, but every one of the kids had their own problems and worries, which they now had to solve as fast as possible, given that the perpetrator of the battles, Koemushi (Dung Beetle), had no intention to wait for them.
At first I didn’t feel any attachment towards the characters, but with every episode, I felt a bigger emotional impact they were making on me. Up to the point, where in the last few episodes, seeing all of the characters in the opening made me sad, wishing everything would’ve gone differently. There were all kinds of personalities: cruel, playful, shy, responsible, humble, energetic, careful etc. A really wild diversity, and a big plus here towards the final score of the anime.
Visuals: They were okay. Nothing more, nothing less. The art could have more quality, since 2007 already had exceptions in terms of visuals. On the other hand, there are plenty of exmplaes where everything was even worse. The art wasn’t really original, but it suited the anime. Animation itself? I didn’t find it special, so I don’t think it’s worth bringing out separately.
Sound: Plenty of good and popular voice actors here. I’m not sure whether they were the same back then, but they really did a good job in Bokurano. Each and every kid had their personality very well brought out by their respective voice – a great job by the seiyuu. I loved the opening, “Uninstall” – can proudly add it to the list of openings that I never skipped. Ending wasn’t bad either, but I didn’t feel the same towards it. The sound effects in the anime itself were interesting – the banging noise when Zearth was on the screen, for example. I never understood its origin, but it contributed to the intense, other-worldly atmosphere of the battles.
Conclusion: One of the best anime series of this type that I’ve seen lately. I wouldn’t claim it to be my favourite, but it certainly deserves a high place in my anime list. The mystery and plot twists were enjoyable, and gave a meaning to every episode. No screen time was wasted – every minute was used with maximum potential, unlike many other series these days. I felt a little bit confused with the events at the end of the anime, and some questions were left unanswered. Summing everything up about Bokurano, I can easily say that the pros outweigh the cons, thus a I gave it a high score, even by my standards.