Having just completed my nth viewing of this masterpiece – but the first since I began the blog – I thought I’d very briefly summarize why anyone who hasn’t seen this classic should see it immediately, and anyone who has should see it again.
15. The Pillows. Not only am I confident there’s never been an anime with better music, I’m confident there never will be an anime with better music.
14. There’s never been an anime that integrates its music with the visuals better. And that’s really astonishing when you consider that almost all of it was written before the anime was ever conceived.
13. It’s the product of perhaps the two most indispensable anime studios ever, GAINAX and Production I.G. This was the collaboration of the century in anime terms.
12. Character designs are by Sadomoto Yoshiyuki, and I’ll brook no argument here – the greatest and most important visual artist and character designer in anime over the last 30 years.
11. It’s six episodes long. And it packs more intelligence, humor, sexiness, subtext and sheer genius into six episodes than almost any other series could in 26.
10. Because it’s six episodes long, there isn’t a single wasted moment. Every second is packed with visual brilliance, wit and even drama.
9. It’s the second-greatest anime of all-time.
8. Characters. Between Sadomoto-sama’s designs and writer (and director) Tsurumaki Kazuya’s incredible script, the characters are impossibly memorable. Naota and Haruko may the greatest male-female lead pair in anime, but Mamimi and every member of the supporting cast are a unique and original creation.
7. It looks fantastic. Not only does it hold up astonishingly well, but it stands as one of the most technically brilliant anime ever, and it looks better than most series made ten years later. Not only that, but the look is constantly changing due to the multiple animation directors Tsurumaki-sensei uses.
6. Though you’ve probably never heard of anyone in the cast, every seiyuu performance is perfect. And no woman has ever done a better job playing a boy than Mizuki Jun.
5. You could spend weeks arguing about just what this series is about, and never come to an agreement (hint: think adolescent longing, sex and growing up too soon). There are so many levels of subtext and subtext of subtext that your brain never stops working over and playing with the meanings (including the title).
4. There are more indelible visual moments that imprint on your brain forever than I can count.
3. The ending is a balls-to-the-wall, lights-out, spectacular triumph of sound and vision that caps the material perfectly.
2. It has no fear. It breaks the fourth wall, it mocks GAINAX, otaku, and itself.
1. It will make you laugh till you cry and break your heart in the same scene. And any anime that can do that is pure genius in my book.
I could give you about 100 more if I have to. I hope this is enough to convince you – go watch it.