Secret Santa Project – Noein Review

I know what you’re thinking at this point – “He’s still alive? It’s a Christmas miracle!” Actually, probably not and those same readers probably don’t want some long meta explanation as to why I’ve been absent when you’re just here for an anime review. Don’t worry, I feel your pain; my excuse is related 🙂 . I like to write about anime that excites me in one way or the other and it was difficult to find that spark this season when compared to the two anime series that I watched for the Secret Santa Project.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought, “Gee, I really should write something for my anime blog … Noein was an awesome show … but I have to wait till Christmas eve to post about it … well, ahm … Noein was an awesome show …” repeat to ad nauseam. Of course, what I should have done was taken the time to write my review of Noein during November or any day of December before today but the side of me that demands perfection told me I had plenty of time to figure out how best to convey the sheer epic epicness of Noein. I’m not that surprised that it’s Christmas eve and I’m just starting now without figuring the perfect pitch 🙂 .

This is the best I’ve come up with.

Noein is ambitious, grand science fiction; wrapped in an emotionally satisfying story of love, redemption, and friendship; executed perfectly and featuring some of the best animated and choreographed action scenes ever.

Story

The multiverse exists and it’s a jungle out there. The continued safety of one parallel universe from on onslaught of giant monster mecha intent upon destroying that universe was on finding and returning with an item of great power. At the start of Noein this universe discovered the item in a potential parallel universe. Potential because until observed by an observer it doesn’t truly exist (quantum physics is a weird and funny science – or at least how SF uses quantum physics). A crack team of soldiers are sent to retrieve the item but are shaken when this universe appears to be a mirror of their own universe from 15 years in the past.

Can these soldiers resist the temptation of going rogue and living in the beautiful world of their childhood before the mecha showed up? How will knowledge of a possible future change the characters in the potential – and now real – parallel universe? Can the plans by another parallel universe known as Shangri-La (the ones the made the large mecha) for the destruction of all other universes be stopped? How much of the story can I tease without dropping spoilers tags over everything?

Thoughts and impressions

Noein hit me like a ton-of-bricks; it’s all-time top 10 level goodness that I probably wasn’t ever going to watch because it’s a few years old.

I’d like to say everyone should watch Noein but realistically there are people that Noein isn’t meant for. So I came up with a short three step questionaire for those reading to see if they should watch Noein or not.

Question 1 – Did you watch and like Steins;Gate? If the answer is yes then drop whatever your’re doing and start watching Noein. If you answered that you haven’t seen Steins;Gate continue reading. If you answered that you watched and hated Steins;Gate then Noein probably isn’t for you. And that’s okay if you think that.

Question 2 – What was your reaction to Kyubey’s explanation about entropy and the heat death of the universe for his actions from Puella Magi Madoka Magica? If it was positive, drop what you’re doing and start watching Noein (and Steins;Gate if you haven’t already). If you thought it was confusing but that didn’t infringe on your ability to enjoy PM3 then watching Noein for it’s characters is worth a shot. If you thought it was confusing or stupid and it caused you to dislike PM3 or stop watching PM3 then Noein probably isn’t for you. And once again that’s okay if you think that.

Question 3 – Do you watch anime just for the fan service? If the answer is yes then Noein isn’t for you and though it’s difficult to say, that’s okay as well. If you answered no then Noein should at least be considered as well as Steins;Gate and PM3.

That’s about all I have to say given the time constraints and my desire not to spoil the show for potential viewers and because my other Secret Santa post in nearly 2000 words long itself. I’ll close with a video detailing the work by one of the key animators that worked on Noein. Yes, I read what Scamp wrote over at The Cart Driver but I wanted in include something that displays what I mean by Noein having some of the best animated and choreographed actions scenes ever.  The key animator in this video goes by the name Ryo-timo or Ryo-chimo and after Noein he worked on Birdy the Mighty Decode and most recently got to direct and largely animate the Yozakura Quartet 3 episode OVA series. The first animation studio that gives him a pile of money and solid source material to work with will make a killing.

Noein

Final Series Score: 12/12 Perfect
Rewatchablity: 4/5 – Medium to High
Ending:
4.5/5 – Sublime
Animation: 4/5 – Excellent

This was part of Reverse Thieves’ 2011 Secret Santa Project. Go here for links to other reviews by other anime bloggers.

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4 thoughts on “Secret Santa Project – Noein Review”

  1. Thank you! I value your recommendations more than any other blogger – so many great shows I never would have watched if not for your write-ups. This is now on my MUST list. 🙂 Happy Christmas!

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  2. You might be interested to know that in my research on Taiji Chuan and Qi Gong breathing techniques, I discovered an interesting fact related to Gurren Lagann. Taiji utilizes rotation or spiral force, because Taiji is named “Grand Ultimate” fist, and the Grand Ultimate is basically the Daoist God or Star Wars Force. It’s the Creation path to ying/yang, when things were Nothing originally. And the way it creates is through spiraling force. And as evidence of this, the DNA helix, tornadoes, black holes, galaxies, were all mentioned.

    Just something you might not have known, but would find useful when mentioning Gurren Lagann.

    Taiji Chuan is one of the 3 internal arts of China (which is now based in Taiwan, not the mainland), and has the highest power output of any other martial art in existence, if you ask me. That was my view before I started this in depth research. So remember, “spiral force”!

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  3. I have moderately high expectations for this, given that bakabt rates it as “seinen” and you also find it interesting. We normally have mostly compatible interests on this venue, so it’s a good starting point. The opening to the first episode looks mysterious and full of background, but a lot of animes do that. Still quite well done opening sequences. I also judge a series quality based upon their OP and EDing songs and sequencing. Great way to tell the overall artistic style of things.

    I see on anime planet it is cross recommended from Fantastic Children. It’s amazing how accurate anime planet’s recommendation system is. Even though there are plenty of people whose anime tastes have nothing to do with my own.

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