Interlude

Title: Interlude
Company: Toei Animation
Genre: Action/Drama
Format: 3 OVA
Dates: 25 Mar 2004 – 27 Aug 2004

Synopsis: One day, an unnamed Japanese high school boy begins having strange dreams of another world. His friends think he is acting very strangely, until they run into some weird creatures and some weird people. One of these people, Aya, is not from the boy’s world and together they discover the true nature of reality.

The Highlights
Progression: Starts off bland and gets better.
Seiyuu: Tama’s seiyuu made me want to press the mute button.
Plot: Disjointed and confusing; some plot holes.
Artwork: Low quality for 2004, but improves as the show goes on.
Concept: Presents some very good ideas about reality… eventually.

Shows that question existence and what constitutes it are, to make an understatement, plentiful. After watching the first episode, I was ready to dismiss the entire “reality” aspect of the show due to how unoriginally it was presented, “Lets see, something bad happens and then the main character wakes up; I’ve seen Perfect Blue, give me a break.” Besides that, all Interlude was at that point was a high school anime with pointless fan service. Ironically, Interlude has a bad beginning (but thankfully, it gets better).

The very first thing that assaulted my enjoyment of Interlude was Tama’s shrill dagger of a voice. I almost pressed the mute button a few times and even thought about switching to English. At least the rest of the cast wasn’t half bad. Secondly, the lack of inspiration and quality of the art also caught my eye very quickly. The character designs are completely uninspired. It seems like the artists took a description like “school girl” or “girl with green dress” literally instead of using it as a springboard. The color is initially washed out, but becomes more and more vivid…

…Much unlike the plot. What started out as a poor story quickly became a confusing one. Characters show up, fight, run into heaving bosoms, follow strange girls, die, and even come back to life all for no good reason. Interlude is a fan service/girls-with-guns anime that pretends to be intelligent by asking tired philosophical questions, that is until the final episode, which doesn’t even feel like it’s part of the same show.

The final episode tackles, in a fresh and innovative fashion, concepts like ‘hope versus despair’ and the existence of reality. Interlude presents these ideas in a similar method to End of Evangelion, yet is much easier to follow than the latter anime. Some of the more confusing parts of the plot are explained and things are tied up into a nice, bittersweet ending. It was almost worth waiting through two episodes of crap. Almost.

Overall, Interlude is one of those anime that could have been something great, but for whatever reason, be it budget or time constraints, is forced to become something lesser. If you want to watch a slightly fan-servicey action anime that isn’t completely mind-numbing, you might enjoy Interlude… just keep in mind that Interlude would be more aptly titled “Epilogue”.

The Rating: 4
4/10

Reviewed by: Kuma

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