[Okay, so wordpress just ate the ‘finished’ version of this post and spit back at me the revision prior to completing, so I lost maybe 2-3 paragraphs worth of blargh. Which is disturbing why it happened. Sigh. Anyways, here’s as much of it as I can recollect.]
I think I got True Tears, but I’m not sure. Something didn’t click.
I finished watching it a week ago, and I’ve been thinking about it when I could. Maybe it would be helpful to watch it alongside Simoun’s bonus material (thanks Media Blaster!) where the director,Junji Nishimura, gave some insights into why Simoun was the way it was.
I looked towards Simoun for answers because the two are actually quite complimentary. The key difference between the two is that Simoun did not follow a standard, dramatic formula; True Tears was a straight forward love-triangle. The rest of the two shows, from abstract reads of the mood down to the use of still-frame, traditional illustration stills, are quite similar.
They are also different, of course, but what puzzles me about True Tears is the purpose of the tears allegory. In a nutshell it simply symbolized [and I quote myself] the exchanging feelings, expressing them, and appreciating the other person. Shinichiro even got to appreciate his mom and dad; his mom appreciated what Hiromi is going through; and Hiromi with Shinichiro’s struggle with Noe.
But is that it? What does it mean?
Of course there’s also the Raigomaru/Jibeta story. The problem with that is the story itself is a parallelism for the character development pattern in the show, for the audience, and yet at the same time the characters projected themselves onto the chicken in a conscious manner. Both Noe and Shinichiro looked at Jibeta and Raigomaru similarly and expressed themselves through the chickens, identified with one or the other chicken throughout the course of the show. It got complicated when you start to think too deep; how did Noe know what Shinichiro drawn in the book before the last episode? Why did she wanted to throw Jibeta into the sea? And if seeing Shinichiro dance is her “Raigomaru sees Jibeta fly” moment, why did she jump afterwards? Or are they switched?
I guess understanding the last couple episodes symbolically will be key to understanding True Tears. Too bad I don’t.
I’ve read elsewhere that Simoun is much like a WW2-era war drama involving airplane pilots and attached love interest pining for their return, looking longingly down the stretched runway and into the skies. I suppose, fittingly so, such was exactly how True Tears ended. Minus the runway.