Lately, I have been trying to publish more full anime reviews on my blog – something my blog seems to terribly lack, but I believe this is the first time that I review an anime film, so here is my latest review of the most recent anime movie that I watched . . .
Nerawareta Gakuen, or Psychic School Wars, is a supernatural romantic drama about a group of friends in Junior High School. The story involves telepathy, time travel, and plenty of romance. And unlike its title, the story’s major focus is on the romance aspect. Which quite frankly, is the best thing about the film.
It’s a new school year at the local Junior High School in Kamakura. The school year starts off with a new transfer student, Ryoichi Kyogoku, who joins the 8th grade class. He has been ordered to join the school, and use his special gift of telepathy and take over their school. This boy who happens to be handsome, and be a charismatic person, gains popularity, and using his powers takes over the entire school, except for Seki. This begins a war to regain their freedom for their school and themselves. – ANN.
Despite the fact that they enjoy throwing the word “war” around, the story is not as combatant as it seems. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Along with its sensible dialogue and pretty animation, the story’s major focus is on the romantic relationships shared between four friends and the love triangles connecting them. What starts off simply being a touching middle school romance, gradually builds into a deeper story about pure unrequited love. The supernatural feature really dwindles in comparison.
The dialogue aspect of the film I found to be quite fun, but it makes you question whether the story is actually about 14 year-old kids. I, for one, do not remember spouting such wise and attractive lines back then. But for the most part, I laughed when I needed to, and the voice overs were more than agreeable.
In terms of animation . . . Beautiful animation. What more can I say than pretty drawings and colors frame by frame? The same goes for the soundtrack.
In terms of plot, various aspects of the film are reminiscent of Mamoru Hosoda’s Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – both of which are anime favorites of mine – mainly due to its supernatural and slight oppression theme, although the romance feature is most reminiscent of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
As for the storytelling, here is where it gets a little tricky. Generally, I enjoyed the overall pacing of the film. But in terms of coherence, it becomes really confusing and hard to follow towards the end of the movie. I did not fully understand the conclusion of the film at all. And based upon my search for answers online, I was not the only one. However, Nerawareta Gakuen is still a fantastic film that I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend. I just hope you have better luck deciphering the ending than I did.
Rating: [8.6/10] – B+ (I really enjoyed it. The ending was the only real setback).