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Now and Then, Here and There (今、そこにいる僕 Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku?) is a thirteen episode anime series directed by Akitaro Daichi and written by Hideyuki Kurata. The story was originally conceived by director Akitaro Daichi[1] It premiered in Japan on the WOWOW television station on October 14, 1999 and ran until January 20, 2000. It was licensed for Region 1 DVD English language release by Central Park Media under the US Manga Corps banner. Following the 2009 bankruptcy and liquidation of Central Park Media, ADV Films picked up the series for a release on July 7, 2009. [2] As of Sept. 1, 2009, the series is licensed by ADV's successor, AEsir Holdings, with distribution from Section23 Films.[3]

Now and Then, Here and There follows a young boy named Shuzo "Shu" Matsutani who, in an attempt to save an unknown girl, is transported to another world which is possibly the Earth in the far future. The world is desolate and militarized, and water is a scarce commodity.


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While on top of a smoke stack in an industrial park, the main protagonist Shūzo "Shu" Matsutani is transported to another world after attempting to defend an unknown girl, Lala-Ru. Lala-Ru possesses a pendant containing (somehow) a vast reservoir of water and she has the ability to control that water.

In this new world, Shu is beaten and interrogated. He is forced to join an army of children and pillage in search of water. He wishes to return home and also find the mysterious girl whom he tried to protect.

Much of the series deals with serious moral issues relating to war, the consequences of war, rape, democide, human brutality and the exploitation of children.


  • Shuzo "Shu" Matsutani (松谷 修造 Matsutani Shūzō?) is a student of kendo and carries a shinai, though he fights primarily with a wooden stick, which also is a motif for his non-lethal combat style. After being thrust into a new world and brutally interrogated, he is forced to join the child army of Heliwood. Shu's character is strong-willed, uncompromising, obstinate, and believes that good can come from all situations. His devotion to protect Lala-Ru is one of the main aspects of the story. His experiences and interactions with Lala-Ru, Hamdo, and Nabuca open his eyes to the new world. Despite overwhelming odds, he retains his principals of not killing and of believing that good will still come while one is alive. After saving the world by convincing Lala-Ru that people are good, Shu is sent back home by a reformed Abelia. Shūzo also appears as a character in the anime Legendz.
  • Lala-Ru (ララ・ルゥ Rara Rū?) possesses the power to manipulate water using a pendant containing a now nearly depleted water reservoir, which is directly tied to her physical strength and health. She is quiet and non-violent (often failing to resist violence against her) and appears to be a child although her age is unknown (she claims to be thousands of years old). Due to her long and disillusioned experience with humans, she feels little to no emotions with them. Her relationship with Shu changes her to be more protective and open with Shu and Sis, Shu for risking his life despite being in a foreign land as well as knowing nothing about her and Sis for treating her like a daughter despite not knowing her very long.
  • Hamdo (ハムド Hamudo?), the military leader of Heliwood, is a shrewd but childish and paranoid megalomaniac. He feels a sense of entitlement to water, an essential resource in his plans to rule the earth, that leads to an obsession with the mysterious Lala-ru and the suppression of any who stand in his way. In a quest to secure water and other resources needed for his ultimate goal, Hamdo's army abducts children and other villagers to use as human capital in his endeavor. Hamdo suffers from uncontrollable bursts of rage. In a gruesome display of his blind emotion, he kills a cat, only to cry over it moments later. Later in the series, Hamdo's lust for water and power begets paranoia and he begins to doubt the loyalty of his advisor.
  • Abelia (アベリア Aberia?) is the devoted commanding officer of Hamdo's army. She is a capable military strategist, though Hamdo does not always heed her advice. Abelia thanklessly yields to the whim of her senior. In later episodes, she questions her loyalty to Hamdo, ultimately leaving him to his death. She joins the free world at the end of the series to establish a peaceful future alongside them.
  • Nabuca (ナブカ Nabuka?) is the leader of the child army unit Shu is forced to join. He resents Shu and sees him as a troublemaker. He feels ashamed for Shu having saved his life during a fight. Nabuca, just a child himself, devotes himself entirely to the army in the hopes that he will someday be allowed to return to his home. He repeatedly tells himself that what he does is the only thing that will enable him to return home, and this thought is the only thing keeping him going. In the last episode, he is betrayed and mortally wounded by Tabool, one of the boys in his unit. After painfully making his way to the jail cell where Shu is being kept with other prisoners from Zari-Bars, he tells Shu to go back to where he came from and that it is where he belongs. He dies immediately after in the arms of Shu who holds him through the prison cell bars.
  • Boo (ブゥ ?) is the youngest soldier in Nabuca's unit. He is naïve, and like Nabuca, believes he will be sent home after the war. Boo dies during the invasion of Zari-Bars in episode 12 where he takes a bullet for Nabuca.
  • Sara Ringwalt (サラ・リングワルト Sara Ringuwaruto?) is an American girl who is mistaken for Lala-Ru and is kidnapped. She is taken to Heliwood where she is regularly raped by the Heliwood soldiers, one of whom she murders in self-defense. After escaping from Heliwood, she is rescued from the desert sands by Sis who brings her to Zari-Bars. Sara resents Lala-Ru and blames her solely for the predicament she is in. Unable to cope with the pain of being raped and carrying a child as a result of her ordeal, she attempts to abort the baby by pounding a rock into her abdomen. However, Shu intervenes, taking the blows of the rock on his hand which he uses to cover her abdomen. Sis' dying request that she not hate the faultless baby changes Sara's mind and she decides to stay in the future with her unborn baby, Sis' orphans, and ex-Heliwood child soldiers to start a new life.
  • Tabool (タブール Tabūru?) is a boy soldier in Nabuca's unit who came from the same village as Nabuca. He appears captivated with the actions of Hamdo and his war and is uninterested in returning home. He is attracted to the strength of the military, and bullies others in the unit. In the final episode, he shoots and mortally wounds Nabuca, and not long after, he apparently dies while trying to survive Heliwood's destruction by Lala-ru's flood.
  • Sis (シス Shisu?) is a respected member of the city-state Zari-Bars. Sis is a caretaker of children who were orphaned as result of the war state. She advocates non-violence. When Sis tries to stop Elamba from taking Lala-Ru hostage, she is shot in the leg and dies in the final episode from the bleeding.
  • Elamba (エランバ Eranba?) is the leader of the radical faction at Zari-Bars. His entire family was murdered by Heliwood's soldiers. Periodically, he sends assassins into Heliwood to try to kill King Hamdo. Ironically, Elamba's ruthless methods are like those of the man he hates. He seizes Lala-Ru and tries unsuccessfully to use her to negotiate with Heliwood. This ends with him being sprayed by bullets and falling to his death.
  • Soon, a young girl living with Sis and the orphans in Zari-Bars. Her father was one of Elamba's assassins that died at the hands of Nabuca and the other Heliwood soldiers. When she overhears Nabuca admit to killing the assassins, Soon attempts to kill Nabuca with a rifle but fails to do so (Boo jumps in the way to protect Nabuca) and is in turn shot to death.


Character Japanese English
Shuzo "Shu" Matsutani Akemi Okamura Ted Lewis
Lala-Ru Kaori Nazuka Lisa Ortiz
Hamdo Koji Ishii Jack Taylor
Abelia Reiko Yasuhara Dana Halsted
Nabuca Yuka Imai Dan Green
Boo Hiroko Konishi Rachael Lillis
Sara Ringwalt Azusa Nakao Kayzie Rogers
Tabool Akio Suyama Crispin Freeman
Sis Rica Matsumoto Rachael Lillis
Elamba Hisoka Yamamoto Scottie Ray
Soon Katsuji Mori Kerry Williams


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Episode listing

  1. A Girl Admiring the Sunset
  2. A Boy and a Mad King
  3. A Feast in the Dark
  4. Discord
  5. Murder
  6. Disappearance in a Sandstorm
  7. Night of Flight
  8. Two Lone Souls
  9. In the Chasm
  10. Prelude to Chaos
  11. Eve of Destruction
  12. This Bloody Earth
  13. Now and Then, Here and There


Released 1999, the Now and Then, Here and There contains seventeen tracks, including the opening and ending sequences. Most of the tracks are performed by Taku Iwasaki (credited as Takumi Iwasaki) with one track performed by Toshio Masuda and one performed by Masuda and Reiko Yasuhara.

# Title Length
1. Standing in the Sunset Glow 20:16
2. Decadence 2:35
3. Run Up 2:34
4. Rescuer 2:48
5. The Bottom 2:30
6. Tears 3:06
7. Tumbling 3:09
8. Calmative 4:24
9. Deadlock 2:21
10. A Law Deal 2:25
11. Pazzia 2:34
12. Miss... 2:47
13. One Calm 2:42
14. Fearful Dream 3:30
15. Here and There 2:38
16. 今,そこにいる僕 (Ima soko ni iru boku) 3:22
17. 子守歌... (In the End...) 2:16


The show was generally well received. stated Now and Then, Here and There is "a wonderfully scripted show, where each line of dialog seems to be said with some larger purpose behind it."[4] Of the events of war, the show continues a "devastating and brutal feel throughout." [5]. Commenting on the realism of the show, reviewer Chris Beveridge stated "The story doesn’t flinch from putting people into the situations and resolving them in a way that they’d likely play out in real life." [6] stated the show was "a cruel series with a kindhearted message" that contrasted brutality with a greater message. The review further mentioned:

"Never before in anime have I seen a dead cat used as a motif and a metaphor. But like so many aspects of Now and Then, Here and There, this unusual artistic decision is a startling, effective and chilling one[7]"

J!'s Dennis A. Amith stated that the series "shows a perspective of war through the eyes of a young teen. The savagery, the brutality, and how even through darkness, how hope can go a long way. A riveting anime series that is worth watching and even worth owning!"[8] Anime News Network reviewer Theron Martin called the series "one of the best-written and most emotionally powerful anime series ever made."[9]

See also

  • Military use of children


External links

it:Ima, soko ni iru boku sv:Ima, Sokoni Iru Boku