The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Tide-Line Blue

Title: Tide-Line Blue
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Bandai Visual/TV Asahi
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 7 Jul 2005 – 29 Aug 2005

Synopsis: A global calamity known as the “Hammer of Eden” has left humanity devastated and disorganized. With over six billion dead and 90% of former land covered in water, the world is forced to undergo a massive reconstruction. Fourteen year later, the New United Nations is attempting to organize the survivors and pursue peace for the safety of all mankind. Despite being so thoroughly ravaged, the various pockets of civilization are unwilling to shed their former sense of nationalism leading to policy gridlocks in the New UN. A former military officer, Gould, plans to force humanity into cooperation by using his war submarine, the Ulysses, and its nuclear arsenal.

The Highlights
Animation:
Solid, save the poor use of CGI.
Characters: Energetic, dynamic and quirky.
Comedy: Obtrusive.
Ending: Elusive.

Very few anime can make political statements while remaining independent of clichés. Tide-line Blue is a uniquely fun-filled adventure that brings up many down-to-earth moral issues. Instead of opting to draw lines between right and wrong, the show juxtaposes two seemingly just sides that both fight for their idealism. Despite all the politics that is thrown around, the quirky characters and the original story serve as the real crux of the anime; the moral insights are merely bonuses in this neat package.

The reason that Tide Line Blue has not fallen into the trap of many other moral based anime is its strong cast. Instead of using the characters to preach to the audience, the various ideologies are intricately intertwined into the plot. The cast goes through a wide spectrum of emotion as they act childish one minute and threaten genocide the next. While the comedic interjections prevent the show from getting too serious, they often appear at the wrong times, unintentionally deflating gripping conflicts.

Aesthetically, the anime has a clash between the conventional computer generated cels and the three dimensional graphics. While the show has very nice animation, the CGI often feels obtrusive and out of place. Thankfully, the music and seiyuu compensate for the failed computer imagery. Save the submarine fights, the series is generally easy on the eyes and ears.

The overall quality of Tide Line Blue varies from episode to episode. Some parts are insightful and thought-provoking, but others edge mediocrity. While the show brings many problems full-circle, the end is painfully abrupt. The audience is left waiting for the elusive episode 14 which does not exist and probably will never exist.

Ultimately, this series is a good anime with a quirky cast of characters but suffers from corrosion by obtrusive comedy and irresolution. Not much may get done, but the ride is more than worth the price of admission. So the next time you have a few spare hours, take a look at Tide Line Blue.

The Rating: 6
6/10

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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