I stumbled upon Noein purely by accident. I was browsing YouTube one day when I saw that there were episodes of it there. I clicked on the first episode, and to say that I was blown away was an understatement.
It opens in a world where large, giant machines fly in the orange sky. Out of nowhere, people fly towards the machine and proceeds to hammer it to bits. Then flash to present day Earth, and we’re introduced the the idyllic lives of some school kids during summer.
Not all of the kids are having a good time, though. Yuu, a sulky, moody kid, is a bit “stressed” thanks to his mum who just wants him to study, study, study, go to cram school and study some more. His friends Haruka, Ai and Fujiwara are worried for him, but what can they do when he keeps yelling at them all emo-like?
The animation was good – not mindblowing – but way better from other Autumn/Winter spring releases like Black Cat. It doesn’t dilly dally like Fate/Stay Night either. It gets straight to the action and things start happening really fast.
Haruka one day meets a strange creature on top of a church tower. Her friends think it’s a ghost, so they start hunting it down at a cemetary one night. Of course, you and I know that it isn’t – it’s Karasu, one of the super beings we saw punching that big, giant, floating machine in that orange-tinged world earlier. (He’s the white-haired dude in the picture.)
Karasu – and a bunch of other cloaked beings – want to capture Haruka because she’s the Dragon Torque. Now, I’m watching episode 7 and I still don’t know what the [beep] that means. But Haruka is important all right.
It’s hard not to be fascinated by Noein. Especially when you find out that Karasu is a future version of Yuu. And that Haruka can change reality somehow. It also has a very odd feel throughout the serious. One moment it is major angsty/grim with all the Karasu and apocalyptic alternate world scenes, but it is also idyllic and care-free when we concentrate on the escapades of the worry-free children of present day Earth.
At first I was really irritated by all the filler-like deviations from the main plot. I mean, who wants to know what kids do after school today or their little adventures trying to hunt a ghost? But after watching episode 6, I realise that it is to show the drastic change the kids’ world (and their future selves) went through after the said apocalypse. With all those memories you have of the kids when they were far happier and far more normal, it’s difficult not to feel sad for their future versions, and you can’t help but sympathise with their desire to capture the dragon torque (because it’ll supposedly save their world, La’cryma).