Looking back on her childhood, a girl reminisces about her first love. She recalls the many different facets of their relationship, from the joy of walking home together to the pain of school splitting them apart. As all the pieces of her story come together, she discusses love gained, love lost, and how one boy defined her life for years to come.
StoryChair! Plant! Telephone pole, shoe, chalkboard! By your randomness combined, I am Meguriau Sekai! Before you get any ideas, Meguriau Sekai isn’t some spastic comedy anime – it’s a Shinkai-inspired romance. I think. Actually, I have no idea what the hell it is; I just know that for fifteen minutes there were a bunch of unrelated pictures all over my screen, and that some girl was talking about some boy and the sky. Oh, and when she mentioned the sky there were pictures of clouds. Sometimes with birds, too! And airplanes. I like airplanes. I guess somewhere in all the clutter of railroad crossings and windmills a romance story was supposed to exist, but it’s really hard to tell. The boy seemed to randomly obtain and lose his eyes from scene to scene, but when they were shown present all he did was stare at a nearby stationary structure – usually a wall or some other magnanimously boring fixed object. He certainly never looked at her, which is perhaps why she randomly started crying somewhere around the halfway point. Not that I blame him, of course, since I’d find such things entertaining too if all my girlfriend did was talk about “the other side of the sky.” Or maybe she was crying that they broke up due to her creepy obsession with both him and strange metaphors. I suppose nobody will ever know, since all the narration that followed was accompanied by distracting pictures of clocks and dandelions. Oh well, they were a horrible couple anyway.AnimationWait, what animation? I didn’t know sequenced pictures of houses and books and trees and plastic bags counted as animation. But hey, at least the folks responsible for the visuals were smart enough to realize that linking together related still frames can simulate motion! I do believe, at certain times, they managed to have a character wave a hand or something by looping five frames for a quarter of a minute. Technological progress at its peak, I tell you. I wonder where we’ll be in 20 years.SoundDid you know music and speaking can’t coincide? I wish country music would get the memo, too. All in all, my only complaint is that the random pictures were not accompanied by random sounds. How awesome would it have been to have racecar noises playing while showing an out-of-the-blue image of a ceiling tile?Characters“I am so lonely and afraid, but I believe in the world! I will become strong so I don’t hate the world. I want to love the world!” IS THAT YOU, SHINJI? Why are you narrating Meguriau Sekai, and why is the dialogue that bad?OverallDear Lord. Now I know what it’d be like if Beyond the Clouds, Evangelion, and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien had a love affair and made a bastard child.
Note from 2/22/12:Looking back, this review was rather mean. I'm not going to delete it, but stil... there wasn't much uplifting about this. Sure, it was fun to write, but it still wasn't nice. ----- I love reading funny reviews on anime-planet, especially the ones that rant and/or give terrible ratings to the anime in question. I was browsing such reviews when I came upon Meguriau Sekai. The anime was portrayed in such a negative light, I decided to watch it. And wow, it was bad. STORY – Well, there was some sort of story. I think. It seemed more like some sort of reflective entry in a diary accompanied by pictures and an occasional attempt at animation. Except even my most incoherent journal entry makes more sense than the narrative in Meguriau Sekai. Here, I’ll try to recreate it. Warning: if I can somehow make sense of the anime, this could be a spoiler. But don’t worry. There isn’t much to spoil. Girl (does she have a name?) is talking. She talks the whole time, and that is how the, erm “story” is conveyed. Act I – Spring term Pause! Are there really multiple acts in a 15 minute web episode? Apparently. Unpause! Anyway, Girl talks about Boy in her class. I think she likes him, but it’s really hard for me to focus and figure out why her sentences relate to each other. Girl loves school, except for studying, which she neither loves nor hates. She doesn’t always know what to do with herself, so she feels lonely even though her friends are nice. She says something about Boy spending time in the hall and about him having friends. Act II – Summer term Girl rides tandem on Boy’s bike. In one or both acts, she talks about how he often looks at the sky. She talks about other things, too. I think. I dunno. I was trying not to get distracted by more interesting thoughts (like school. Or when there might be another semblance of animation). By the way, somewhere around the end of the first act or the beginning of the second, Girl and Boy start going out. You’d think such a landmark occasion would be emphasized and noted, but I still don’t remember it happening. Act III – Fall “The world covered in gray lost its color,” says Girl, “The scenery I could see out of the classroom windows looked as if time were stopped.” Pause! First of all, these are some of the more comprehensible and interesting lines in the entire 15 minutes, so take the time to enjoy them. Second, if the world’s gray (which, for much of the “animation,” it is), it doesn’t have any color to lose! Third, the scenery is stopped. Of course it looks that way (see animation section). Unpause! After reading another review, I kept an eye out for when Girl would start crying (barely more than ten minutes into the show, in case you were wondering). The author of the other review seemed uncertain about why Girl was crying, and I was determined to be the one who figured it out. My thought process: She starts crying at the 2/3 point. She’d been saying something along the lines of… oh wait I’m confused. I thought she said something about there not being much spark anymore, and I thought, “what spark?!” But I’m not sure what she said. She’s not an engaging speaker. Calculus lectures are more interesting and understandable. Wait. I like calculus. I should compare this to something even harder to focus on, like science (bleh) or personal finance. Oh yeah I have homework. My homework’s much more interesting than… wait. I think what’s-her-face said something. How can I focus on what she said when I’m thinking about the fun-filled world of school? So, it would seem that Girl and Boy break up. She doesn’t talk with him again before graduating from junior high, and doesn’t see him after. Girl rides train, goes for walk, and holds a cylindrical container that may or may not be significant, all the while talking about what she’s learned, not giving up, and loving the world. She says something “… because we really were together.” It’s a good thing she said that, since I was honestly confused about whether they were really a couple. +0.5 for having a beginning -0.5 for making an incomprehensible mess of the middle +0.5 for having some sort of end = (drumroll, please) 0.5 for the story! ANIMATION – Well, there was some semblance of animation every now and then. The rest of the time, there were stills. Some of these stills were created entirely by the artists, some looked like photoshopped pictures from real life, and some were the two merged. Was this really done in 2009? So… +0.5 the artists can draw +1 there was an occasional semblance of animation, even if it was usually just a short loop of a few drawings. +0.5 because the pictures weren’t ugly. There were some pretty parts, and I’m feeling generous today. +0.1 because it was a tiny staff, and it looks like they knew how to use Photoshop -0.1 because they forgot to make the snow stop being animated after the wind stopped blowing Boy’s shirt mid-blow. They should decide whether the weather will be animated in the scene, and stick with it. = 2 for the animation! SOUND – + 1 there was sound + .5 pretty music, even if it never happened at the same time Girl spoke. I guess they knew pretty music would distract me even more from what Girl said. +.5 there were at least two short occasions of background noise. Birds chirped one time, and the train made some noise. = sound gets a 2! CHARACTERS – +1 there were two characters. Um… come on, there should be something else I can give them! Hm… Well, Girl’s character developed a little. There, that’s another +1! 2 points for the characters! OVERALL – Story x2 since story is the most important part, add the rest, and divide by five: (.5 x 2) + 2 + 2 + 2 = 7 divided by five is… 1.4 overall! That seems harsh, but how can I give a better score? This obviously wasn’t a big studio production, but only, I assume, because no studio wanted to tarnish its name with such a poor plot. I came away from the anime with two questions, which I attempted to answer: Q: Why would anyone watch Meguriau Sekai? A: The family of the creators probably felt obliged to watch. The rest of us just like to share terrible excuses for modern animation with each other. You know what they say – misery loves company! And it’s simply amazing how awful something made little more than a year ago can be. Q: Why would anyone make something like Meguriau Sekai? A: … um… … wait, I’ll think of something… ... … … I’ve got it! It must be an inside joke, never meant to be enjoyed by the public! Either that or technique practice. If anyone out there loves Meguriau Sekai, please explain why. I’d really love to know. If you haven’t seen this anime, I recommend reading other reviews, as the reviews are bound to be more interesting than the actual… whatever that lump of pictures and sound qualifies as.