Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Noein

We've finished watching Noein. My first episode review is here.

Now that's something you don't see every day: an anime with quantum mechanics as theme. Yes, you read that right.

Basically, the 'many worlds'-vision of quantum mechanics is correct, and people from the/a future can travel through these dimensions. Some of these dimensions are at war with each other (in Continuum terms: one dimension is trying to frag all the other dimensions), but then the Dragon Torc is discovered -- Haruka, an eleven-year old girl who is supposed to be the Absolute Observer, who can collapse the quantum waves into the state she observes. Of course, everyone wants her to observe them! If one of the people from the future turns out to be a (possible) future version of Haruka's would-be boyfriend, Yuu, things are getting hairy...

All throughout this, you get quite a bit of information about the whole idea of quantum mechanics. With some nifty visualisations, the idea of an infinite number of universes is explained. How cool is a series that features a cameo by Schödinger's Cat, or that has one character say: "I'm sure God will throw some good dice for us"?
One thing that is left un-explained is Haruka's role as Absolute Observer -- there's a lot of science involved, but we are supposed to take her role as a magical given. That is about the only weak point in the underlying plot.

Visually, the series is quite striking. Some character designs are in the 'ultraflat'-style, and all of the fights are done in that style, which gives a great sense of dynamics. Some character designs are more detailed, but they're never 'moe' -- rather an ultraflat interpretation of moe. Backgrounds are done in CGI, and great use is made of the possibilities of digital effects. Never does the blend of cell and CGI-animation become a problem.

Good things:
- Unique vistual style;
- Really interesting, real-world scientific theme.
Bad things:
- Rather clichéd ending, despite the theme.
Tags: anime, full review

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