I’ve seen seven episodes, but I’m yet to pass much comment on the Bokurano anime. Given its rather controversial themes and notably downbeat tone, I’m not sure if it’s right to say I’m enjoying it. I don’t have fun watching Bokurano, it doesn’t inspire me to wax lyrical about it’s quality, in fact, I find it depressing and frustrating, and yet, here I am, anyway.
It’s a brave series that deserves attention for tackling so called social taboos in an ultra-realistic setting. It’s a series about children with real problems surrounded by adults who, by and large, are so self obsessed that they couldn’t give a shit about anyone else. As of episode seven, the latest pilot of giant robot Zearth is Chizuru Honda. On the face of it, she’s the next kid to die saving the world – nothing new about that, every mecha anime has its martyrs, but at home things are a little different. Chizuru is a victim of paedophilia; she is photographed and abused by her school teacher. How is that for motivation?
Bokurano resonates because it delivers shocking drama viscerally depicted within contemporary Japan. It feels like original creator Mohiro Kitoh is wondering whether or not civilisation is worth saving – these children, their personalities coloured by their environments, have all been burnt by society, so why keep on fighting? It’s notable that in the heat of their mecha battles, it doesn’t feel like they are fighting to protect anyone, instead they are unleashing their pent up rage and anger on a selected and faceless target, it’s almost a co-incidence that in doing so, they buy humanity another couple of days worth of existence.
It’s true that the animation could be better; it’s also true that the translation from the Bokurano manga to anime hasn’t been completely faithful. I don’t care, because this still feels like an important series that needs to be seen.