May 1, 2012

Anime Review: Bokurano

Bokurano deals with the psychological side of thing when it presents 15 kids tasked to defend the world and prevent the world from being destroyed. At first it may seem like a game but the after effects are deadly.

During a summer camp, 15 children, 8 males and 7 females, find a grotto by the sea. Deep within they discover working computers and some electronic equipment, and later the owner, a man called Kokopelli. Kokopelli claimed to be a programmer working on a brand new game, in which a large robot has to defend the Earth against alien invasions. He persuades the children to test the game and sign a contract. All but one of them signs, barely a moment later they mysteriously awaken on the shore believing what happened was just a dream.

What do you get when you combine robots, action, sci-fi and the end of the world? Bokurano of course. The anime delves deeply into the psychological minds of children as they think and act for themselves in many ways that you will not have imagined. It is not a total mecha anime with constant fighting between worlds, but rather more of a psychological fight between minds of children and adults alike. The story is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. You can pretty much guess what would happen to each child as they take turns controlling the robot called "Zearth". The actual fight scenes were pretty slow indeed and felt a bit unrealistic. Otherwise, the story is great to keep your mind awake and thinking because that is what this anime is all about.

The art is rather simple, and I did not have any problems with it, but I think it could have been better. Sometimes simple art works well for certain kinds of anime, but I think it was not completely fitting for this one. There have been plenty other anime out there that have successfully been able to pull off the simple style of animation before, but unfortunately this one could not. The 3D for the mecha battles were actually pretty good, any way.

The opening song was impressive and catchy. I think the music could even make up for some of the disappointing animation, but that is just my opinion. The ending songs work too, but overall, music was excellently composed throughout the series. Voice acting was not bad and suited the characters perfectly. Although, it is pretty hard to distinguish between over 15 characters in such a short anime.

I really could not favor one character over another in this anime (partly because almost all of them "disappears" by the end), but I liked how one of the characters in the beginning acted like a total jerk, and eventually lightened up in the end. There is actually a side story that explains why his attitude is like that, but I cannot be bothered to explain everything in that area. You will learn that some of the characters live depressing lives, pretty much like any other anime, but I do not think there is any one perfect character in this show, which makes it more enjoyable.

I just really liked how this anime played out overall. I think I said this before, but it is a rather unique story. I do not recall there being much comedy or any at all, but I think that works for some people. I believe probably only a handful of watchers will cry during some episodes but I didn't.

Compelling story that will keep your mind going even after watching the series.

ART: 6
Average art with some nice visuals and lighting effects.

Catching theme songs and well-balanced voice acting.

There were too many characters to choose from and none of them for you to understand better.

I liked a action and alternate world elements but the characters really needed improvement.

Entertaining but does have some bearable annoyances. Suited for action and sci-fi fans.