True Tears: ‘No connection! No connection!’


I watched True Tears in the space of a few days at the end of August. I was reasonably impressed. People who actually  know things about quality seemed to agree: if I had to list the better anime of 2008 by skimming opinions from the creamy top of the ‘sphere, True Tears would probably feature.

And yet I did not feel at all engaged by the story. This is unusual – I’d like to think that it’s unusual because I’m open-minded, but it’s probably unusual because I just avoid anime that I know I won’t appreciate. Why didn’t I avoid this one, then? Perhaps I forgot that I can feel ignored when a story’s interests aren’t aligned with mine at least a little bit, however well-presented that story might be.

Mind you, it would’ve been hard to discover that True Tears would be quite tightly wrapped up in Shinichiro’s romantic progress before watching it, at least without badly spoiling myself. And it was a matter of tightness, of claustrophobia, of that moment in an asthma attack when you properly wake up and realise that your inhaler is in another room. KimiKiss (which I liked) and Kanon (which I didn’t like, but could engage with) felt more expansive: there were more characters and situations for me to occupy myself with when the going was tough. True Tears was shorter and smaller, so there was nowhere to run. It was also hard to laugh at, which may (I fear) have been how I dealt with Shuffle!.


The moment that crystalised all this in my mind was Shinichiro’s desperate pursuit at the end of the tenth episode: ‘Why the trouble, Shinichiro? Why the lung-bursting, bicycle-crashing trouble? I’m sorry, but I’d have to be either a few years younger or a few years older than I am to grasp this, and True Tears is telling me to grasp it or GTFO, because there’s an insert song here.’


True Tears, I’m sorry for being unappreciative. I’m glad most people reacted better to you. At least you were very memorable, even if only as a warning to me to be less adventurous in future.

20 responses to “True Tears: ‘No connection! No connection!’

  1. I think TT was asking you to get caught up in the moment (“He finally realised who he likes! She’s moving away in more ways than one! He has to tell her before they’re separated! Who says passion can’t be depicted symbolically?! Listen to this insert song!”) more than anything. Feelings can’t be merely grasped, you insensitive clod.

    The question is, did you shed manly tears at the scene where Miyokichi silently stood up for Shininchirou despite knowing about Aiko and him? That was one of its better ones, if you ask me.

  2. shit show is shit… if it weren’t gold. Fuck this anime for tearing me apart. I had o score it ‘4.6-7.8’ I should never have to give such a stupid score/

  3. I am made to feel like an idiot consistently for not getting True Tears. Call me lazy, but…


    ok…maybe I am a bit lazy.

  4. preemptive comment for your Kimikiss post:

    I liked this anime ’cause it was simple and I loved the art, except for stuff like this.

  5. lelangir: What the hell, did you watch it at 0.5x speed or something? Those scenes passed me waaay too fast for me to notice anything.

  6. I also took this up on the understanding that it wasn’t in line with my regular fare, but was classy.

    The bike scene made sense to me as a move from inertia to panic – I was really into the whole thing. The tightness of the plot (and watching it all relatively quickly) was what helped me to emphasise with stuff like that. That said, I don’t think the show overall is particularly memorable. Just good.

  7. I laughed at True Tears the whole time. The drama about being siblings, the “omg you’re a rooster” girl, the idiot girl who was just a whore for feeling guilty…

    Laughable, zenbu.

  8. True Tears didn’t really pull me in as much as I guess I felt like I was supposed to. So while I didn’t laugh at the bike moment, I was like “eh.” Course, he was going for the girl that I didn’t want to win. :P

  9. Simple it was not nearly as male oriented as the ones you mentioned. Besides with the smaller cast is you didn’t take a liking to at least one things could ot have been enjoyable anyway considering how Nobse’s choice to honor his friendship and scuttle his relationship with Aiko did not garner any sort of praise on your part.

    Otherwise, lack of mecha… :P

  10. You’re not the only one who wasn’t blown away by True Tears. It barely beat H2O in my book. I’ve got nothing against the show, but I don’t feel guilty enough about being reasonably impressed with it to apologize to it.

  11. The bike scene didn’t leave a big impression on me. Hell, I’ve all but forgotten it until it was mentioned here again. And there was a song?

    >The question is, did you shed manly tears at the scene where Miyokichi silently stood up for Shininchirou despite knowing about Aiko and him?

    Best best friend ever. At least he knows (and acts correctly upon the knowledge) it’s not Shin’s fault. A lesser friendship would’ve crumbled.

  12. Standing up for True Tears; for trying to be much more than another harem anime and very nearly getting there –

  13. Not so much no connection as no resonance. I really ought to write a post on that but I haven’t solidified my thoughts on it yet.

    Basically for whatever reason, be it age, life experiences or whatever, the emotional significance of the events didn’t resonate with you, therefore you were just left thinking “Huh?” It’s not your fault really, but it’s hardly the show’s fault either.

    I got the same feeling with Shigofumi actually. It just didn’t click with me somehow.

  14. Shinichiro is a P.U.S.S.Y. (Procrastinating Undecided Slow Sissy Youth)

    Other than that, it’s pretty good..
    Not really, the story is weak..
    But the animation and music makes up for it ^_^

  15. This could be result of marathoning the series. :P I caught the series ‘real time’ and deliberated over the characters’ choices/struggles on an episodic basis over 3 months. This possibly allowed a larger emotional investment on my part and I’m a lot more sympathetic to the characters behaviour.

    If you could, try True Tears again and slowly savour it over a week or 2. you may just find that it ages like vintage wine.

  16. @ Owen: Nice metaphorical reversal – being caught up by True Tears rather than grasping it. I didn’t shed manly tears at Miyokichi’s actions, but I was impressed by him, eventually. And Miyokichi’s presence did ensure that while the story was tightly focused on Shinichiro, it wasn’t utterly focused on him.

    @ 21stcenturydigitalboy: Hah! I like your innovative scoring. I was almost the opposite: it memorably failed to move me, but I did think it was well-made. As far as I could tell.

    @ lelangir: I think laziness is part of being human. I wasn’t planning a KimiKiss post because while I liked it more, no one scene struck me as memorable and easily written about. (Except ‘flowers for Eriko’, but I think other bloggers have that one wrapped up.) I kind-of like Kazuki’s eyebrows in that second image.

    @ coburn: Hmm, inertia to panic. I like that, and it definitely fits the actual progress of his bike ride with the hill and all.

    @ lolikitsune: Evidently you’ve a crueller mind than I.

    @ TheBigN: Ah, partisanship. I can never tell whether picking sides is an advantage or a disadvantage when watching something of this ilk, but it sounds like it didn’t help you in this case.

    @ Crusader: True, lack of mecha. I’ll grant that Kanon is male-orientated (and obviously Shuffle! is!) but I don’t know if I’d say the same about Kimikiss. And I enjoyed what I saw of Itazura this year. Still, it’s a plausible suggestion.

    @ Baka-Raptor: I remember that post. I have your one-dimensional and two-dimensional True Tears character analyses kicking around on my hard drive somewhere.

    @ schneider: I think I noticed the song precisely because I wasn’t plugged in to the events on screen.

    @ ojisan: I think the show succeeded at that, actually. It is quite different to what I’ve seen elsewhere, though I’m not well-versed in the genre.

    @ concretebadger: I’d go with a mixture of age and life experience – I think that’s what I was trying to get at with the idea that I need to be older or younger to appreciate it properly. If you do wind up solidifying your thoughts on the subject, I’d be interested in reading them.

    @ Setsukyie: I’m inclined to agree on the animation and music, and if Shinichiro’s a weak-minded character he’s hardly the first.

    @ Stripey: Hmm. Fair point. I don’t know if I’ll necessarily want to rewatch it any time soon, especially as I’m watching some particularly fun things at the moment, but it’s a decent suggestion. If it’s spread out over time, I’ll either lose interest or appreciate it more, but either way it will be less claustrophobic.

  17. I disliked True Tears. It was too bathetic for my tastes. I wanted to watch an anime series, not a live-action melodrama.

    Go watch House instead for jerks. At least that jerk’s a real genius. :)

  18. I feel like trolling Mike’s comment, but in the spirit of love and all that cheese, I shall refrain from doing so.

    Despite being seemingly ‘inspired’ by True Tears to follow it on a weekly basis and blog about it, I’m not even sure whether I was genuinely moved by the series or not, now that I managed to think things through in a sane and calm manner. I’m pretty sure I was caught up in the moment(s), as Owen said, and I also blame the damn cliffhangers of the show.

    Would probably give it a rewatch, if only to see whether I’ll sing the same notes about it as I did way back when.

  19. I felt like True Tears was kinda begging the audience to sympathize with characters that really hadn’t done much to earn said sympathy. Being absorbed in the drama basically hinged on the characters being sympathetic, but they became more and more erratic as the series went on, and I just found them harder and harder to sympathize with.

    Technically, it’s a seriously well made anime. But it needed to either make the characters more likable and/or sympathetic, or approach their dilemmas with a more even-hand.

  20. @ Michael: Ah, I’m not familiar with House, though I know one of my medievalist lecturers is a fan.

    @ usagijen: If you’re not sure whether or not it moved you, I’d be generous and give it the benefit of the doubt! Like Stripey said, we do invest in things that we follow over the course of several months, as opposed to the anime we just rip through in a weekend. Will be interesting to see what you think of it if you do rewatch it.

    @ Sorrow-kun: An interesting point. Would it have been easier viewing if you’d seen it as coburn argued it was, a gradual revelation of emotional truth? I’d say a series with characters who become harder to sympathise with as time goes on has pretty realistic characters, but then I’m a bit of a misanthrope, and sometimes we don’t want realism.


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