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Bokurano

15 children, 8 boys and 7 girls, are enjoying their summer camp together when they suddenly discover a grotto by the sea. When they enter the mysterious place they find a room full of computers, as well as a man named Kokopelli, who introduces himself as the owner. He claims to be working on a game which involves a giant robot that has been designed to protect the Earth from 15 different alien invasions. Kokopelli hasn't been able to test the game yet, so he persuades all but one of the children to sign a contract in what he claims will be a fun adventure. However, as soon as the contracts are signed things start to take a much darker turn. In Bokurano, the children must now pilot the giant robot Zearth one at a time in the hopes that they will have what it takes to defeat all of the upcoming enemies. But Kokopelli has left out one very important piece of information: the giant robot Zearth's energy source.
User Count12841
Favorites Count99
Start Date9th Apr 2007
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank921
Rating Rank1823
Age RatingR
Age Rating Guide17+ (violence & profanity)
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

Episodes

All Bokurano released episodes

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Reviews

it wasnt sad enough honestly. Originally when i read the plot of this anime, i was expecting tears. When i started watching it, it amplified the thought. It was heartwarming and tear inducing. (not literally but im not an easy crier- so for anyone else it would make them teary eyed). Unfortunetly, the only thing that truely threatened tears, was the plot. The beginning helped formulate the storyline and exposed how depressing and traumatic the experience would be for those kids. As you go through the episodes, there are some sad moments, but after you go through half the series, it's not as touching. The individual stories are definitely heart breaking, but it never felt like the deaths of the children prior had any permanent or lasting effect to the kids that were left. The anime never emphasized how each one of them was TRUELY gone. As the anime progressed, i expected them to show how one more chair was empty, but when a character was gone, i didnt really miss them. It felt like once the characters died, it was like they never existed. I have conflicting feelings about how they progressed the story. Like i said above, they never emphasized how hopeless the situation is. After each episode, a kid would disappear. It personally didnt seem like the characters remembered them anymore. I would rather see how the kids were tormented about their hopelessness, but the story seemed to focus on acceptance and each individual kids problems and resolving them before they died. The anime focused more on individuals instead of friendship. I gave this anime a solid 8 because it was a great anime indeed, but it didnt focus on what i personally wanted to see. Like i said, i wanted to see a little more of how they reacted to the characters before them gone. The individual stories were amazing in itself, and maybe they didnt create character ties because they didnt have enough episodes. (24 is a set i think- ...) Maybe if they had more episodes they would have been able to emphasize how death amongst friends impacted the characters. EDIT:my gradebook is slightly different then most- but even if i gave it an 8, for most others it probably would have been a 9.im bad at explaining myself but to wrap it up and repeat myself for those that STILL dont understand what im saying:what i expected to watch was a little more trauma between the deaths of their friends- but the plot only expressed the trauma on their own deaths. The characters were heartwarming, but the ties between the characters were almost non-existant.

A great, strong plotted and deeply interesting series. Personally, I found that the flagship of this series in undoubtedly in it's strong, and incredibly enticing story line. The play of events were very smooth, wholly consistent and genuinely pulled me in to the anime. I was able to fully immerse myself in to Bokurano (nothing too overboard though, haha) as different emotions were passed through the story. Possible spoiler As the anime goes through the lives of the 15 main characters, several different emotions and ideas are vividly brought out. The strongly contrasting characters, with their equally as contrasted history and backgrounds, really did provide a gripping strong story line. I was practically able to watch the whole series in one go; no tension, suspense or excitement is lost through episodes. The ending too I feel is something to really comment on. It wasn't anything which made you feel as if you were still hanging on to something. A nice well rounded ending I believe is something crucial to a good anime, and this series certainly has one. End of spoiler Visuals, perhaps, I wouldn't regard to be the epicenter of this anime, however will not say that it was anything far too disappointing. Character development was rich and very well done. To those who ponder, this series I feel will be an especially enjoyable one as it provides you with several ideas and issues to think about. You'll see yourself being immersed in such thoughts as you go through this series. **<u>Conclusion:</u>** In my personal opinion, I would say this anime is not for those who are specifically interested in to hardcore action and mech-*stuff*. It is more for those who have an open mind, and like to think on ideas and thoughts of others. I find it somewhat difficult to categories this anime in a particular genre, as it does exhibit several different feelings and emotions. Looking at what HB has said, I would put emphasis on Psychological, Sci-Fi and Drama. Being a science fiction story, I still do think that it is down to earth, in its own respect; somewhat Slice of Life too. Well, I guess you won't know till you watch it ;) In terms of episodes, I don't think this series is too long or too short. The story is very nicely covered in the provided 24 episodes.

この作品を見ていく中で、少しずつ明かされていく真実、押し付けられたとてつもない責任と自己の人生に揺れ動く子どもたちの思い… 主題歌アンインストールの内容に、中盤以降は毎話震える思いがしました。文句なく、ベストの作品ですよ。

Honestly, it's been weeks since I finished it and this anime still haunts me. I would describe the tone as "ominous"; there's always the foreboding sense that something is going to go awfully wrong, and yet when it does, it is still surprising. I would highly recommend it to fans of shows like Madoka and Evangelion, as like those works, it is also a brilliant deconstruction of its genre. Overall, a very memorable watch. 

"Where in my frail body am I supposed to find the strength to stand?" --Ishikawa Chiaki - Uninstall This review is written with the intention of being spoiler free, but I will attempt to analyze various aspects of the show which may result in me giving hints to major events of the show to some viewers. I apologize in advance if I do this and I hope to avoid spilling the beans on a very good anime. I'll admit my review is also kind of long. For a tl;dr, go the second to last paragraph. Bokurano has always seemed to me to be a very contentious and controversial anime. Viewers and commenters appear to either love it to death or hate its very existence. Enjoying Bokurano is highly dependent upon bonding with the characters, feeling their pain, weeping with them, and leaving each episode like you have just left a funeral. In anime such as this, viewers tend to either develop this connection with the protagonists in which they love the series or the viewers do not and so they find themselves hating it. I can't promise that you will like Bokurano, but I can promise that I will tell you why I like it in the hopes that you will find out if you will enjoy it like I did. Bokurano is about 15 teenagers who are tricked into piloting a massive mecha to defend Earth against other massive mecha who are attacking for an unknown purpose. Each of these kids has their own reason for fighting, these reasons are very personal and most are not caught up in the idea of protecting humanity. The series is structured around arcs of one or two episodes focused on each of the pilots. In each case, we see the life of the character in question, their families and people around them, why they seem beaten down and driven into a corner, and finally, why they choose to fight the attacking mecha.  I see Bokurano as the ultimate "feel-bad" anime. There are very few happy or funny moments. Each heartwarming moment turns to sorrow within 10 minutes and many of these moments are intertwined with suffering. Gutwrenching events occur almost every episode and I often found myself wanted to go sit in a corner after watching. I would not recommend seeing Bokurano as an anime similar to CLANNAD or Steins;Gate. These anime begin with humor, happiness, and charm to introduce you to the characters and then put them through hell in the pattern of what TVTropes has called Cereberus Syndrome. Bokurano does not take any time trying to win you over with hints of a happy series. By the end of the second episode, it is clear that things will not go well for our heroes and heroines. The fights are never shown as something cool or fun and aren't even that interesting to watch. A minor amount of strategy in these fights is discussed, but it's not a big focus of the series. The battles bring the kids together and connect them to each other, but are primarily used as a plot device to keep things moving. You may have already noticed that Bokurano seems very similar to a much more famous anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion (abbreviated NGE). NGE seems to have been a major inspiration for Bokurano and both anime have significant similarities. Indeed, I find it pretty hard to discuss Bokurano without comparing and contrasting it with NGE so I'll get that done here. Both NGE and Bokurano go heavily into the implications of using emotionally unstable teenagers as the first and only line of defense against mysterious, eldrich beings who attack and fight for apparently no reason. Neither anime is particularly happy or uplifting and the protagonists in both can seem distant and hard to get along with throughout the series. The mission control and support for the children piloting the mecha is very limited and the pilots commonly feel like no one in the world is there for them. The most obvious antagonist in both series is the one driving the protagonists to keep fighting (Gendo Ikari and Dung Beetle for NGE and Bokurano, respectively). Be aware, however, that there are major differences as well. NGE is not solely about the suffering of its protagonists. It heavily uses Judeo-Christian naming and symbolism and the battles against the Angels can be interesting and cool at times. NGE also heavily goes into Freudian psychology and often has a highbrow, even pretentious feel to it at times. Bokurano has none of these things. Bokurano's sole focus is to rip into the Humongous Mecha genre and show why it is not fun, cool, interesting, or a good idea to enlist young, emotionally unstable children as the soldiers against enemies who threaten our species. I personally feel that if you like one of these anime, you will like the other, but I know many NGE lovers who did not enjoy Bokurano as all, so please be aware of the differences between these series if you came from NGE looking for something similar.  Bokurano uses much less symbolism than NGE, but there is one major symbol I would like to comment on: chairs. Each of the chosen pilots has a chair they are transported into the robot with. The significance of these chairs differs for each of the pilots, but each one relates to their dissatisfaction and unhappiness with their life. A sadistic, socially Darwinistic boy is associated with his father's office chair. His father is a nasty caricature of a heartless businessman who seeks to profit off the destruction of the battles occuring throughout Japan. Another boy has a floor cushion, used as a symbol of his family's poverty and the troubles he goes through in order to support his siblings who were all abandoned by their parents. A girl brings a piano bench; her parents love to hear her play, but she doesn't particularly enjoy it. All of these chairs provide insight into the protagonists and their lives and each helps the viewer understand them better and to emotionally connect with these characters. I think the use of chairs was done extremely well by the series and is used to great effect to demonstrate how each of the protagonists is both and different from all the others. Now that I have finished my initial discussion and analysis of Bokurano, I am going to discuss each of the official ratings Hummingbird gives its reviewers to rate anime. If you have read this far, you likely still have some interest in Bokurano and I will attempt to use this section to help you make a final decision of whether to watch it or not: Story: Bokurano has the saddest story of any anime I have seen at the time of writing this. The characters all go through hell and get very little for their troubles. There are so few happy moments that the most common criticism I see of Bokurano is that the viewer can become apathetic to the trauma suffered by the characters due to the mostly uninterrupted melancholy of the series. I personally did not have this happen to me, but I can easily understand why others say this. Note that Bokurano is also very dependant on surprising plot twists and does not hesitate to make its cast miserable for the sake of the plot. If anime are to be classified as plot-driven or character-driven, Bokurano is definitely plot-driven. Overall, I give the story 4/5 for its capacity to be touching, but it probably could have used some contrast. Animation: The animation in Bokurano is not particularly eye-catching or attention-grabbing, but I feel that a bright, colorful animation style would be out of place. The characters are all animated realistically except for Dung Beetle whose slightly cute appearance is contrasted with his sadistic behavior. I really like that Bokurano avoids the animation caricatures that anime often slips into such as huge eyes, brightly colored hair, and flamboyant outfits. The overall gray tint to the show adds to the gray mood of the story. Because the animation fits the theme, but isn't particulary remarkable, I give it 4.5/5. Sound: Bokurano opens with one my favorite anime OPs of all time, Uninstall by Ishikawa Chiaki. I absolutely love this song and still play it regularly while driving or working. In fact, the tagline for this review is a line from the OP. Be sure to look at the lyrics as they describe a lot of the general feeling of the series. Both endings to Bokurano, Little Bird and Vermillion (by the same artist), are much less interesting, but still are good to listen to and capture the feel of the series well. The voice acting and background music didn't particularly get my attention as it is neither very good nor very bad. I personally think that this works out well overall when the sound doesn't distract from the atmosphere and Bokurano isn't a series where much would be gained from music and voices grabbing one's attention. Mostly due to Uninstall, I give the sound 5/5.  Characters: Bokurano has a very large character list. 15 children pilot the robot. In addition to them, Dung Beetle and various government officials make regular appearances. Add all these up and we get a series with at least 18 main characters (and arguments can be made for others). As a result of this huge cast in a 24 episode series, characterization is somewhat limited. While each character changes throughout his or her arc, there really is only time to designate one major change. Series with so many important characters also run the risk of not showing much of their cast besides the designated protagonists, but Bokurano averts this nicely and makes each of them essential to the progression of the story. Everyone changes and develops and I found myself sympathizing with each of the protagonists, something that is quite rare with such a large number! This rating might get me some hate, but I give the characters 5/5. Enjoyment: It's always hard for me to describe enjoyment for a series that really isn't fun. I would be lying if I said that Bokurano was a blast. It made me cry repeatedly and I felt rather like a dung beetle after every episode. Moments of happiness and hope get squashed very quickly and moments of sadness permeate throughout. You will see horrible things and gutwrenching moments on a regular basis while watching Bokurano. I doubt that many viewers will "enjoy" Bokurano in the way that the word is generally used. However, it was very emotionally cathartic so I'm going to give an enjoyment rating of 4/5. Based on these numbers and how I liked the series, I give it 4.5/5 as one of the more powerful anime I have seen, but not quite good or consistent enough to warrant a perfect rating. I will end this review by making a few comments to help if you are still undecided on whether to watch Bokurano or not. If you are looking for a dark action series, go elsewhere. I recommend Wolf's Rain or Ergo Proxy. If you want a dark series with black humor while keeping a lot of pain and suffering, I would try Mawaru Penguindrum or Kaiba. If you want a more positive story with a large amount of feels, I'm not the best person to ask since that's not really my thing, but I would try The Place Promised in Our Early Days or Millennium Actress. However, if you want an anime completely and entirely about how much saving the world sucks with a story which does not hesitate to make its characters miserable, watch Bokurano. If you like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, or Texhnolyze, I highly recommend Bokurano.    Note: This is the first anime review I have written. I prepared it since the previous reviews on hummingbird don't seem to heavily go into why Bokurano is good or bad and I hope to have a good review done for anyone looking at reviews in anticipation of the Unknown Anime Discovery Club's first viewing. If anyone has suggestions for making this review better, please let me know! Thanks for reading!

GIant fighting Robot Battle Royale. What more could you want?

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