True Tears is a Japanese anime television series produced by P.A. Works and directed by Junji Nishimura. The anime aired in Japan on the TV Kanagawa television network between January 6, 2008 and March 30, 2008, containing thirteen episodes. The anime shares almost nothing in common with the visual novel of the same name that preceded it, using an entirely different story with different characters, and a different art style. An Internet radio show hosted by three voice actresses from the anime was also produced to promote the anime. The anime has been released by Bandai Entertainment in an English subtitle-only box set. A Blu-ray box set to be released in Japan will contain an extra three-minute epilogue.
True Tears revolves around a high school student named Shinichirō Nakagami with a high artistic ability. He lives with his mother, father, and fellow high school student Hiromi Yuasa who moved into his house after her father died. Her father had been a close friend of the family, so it was natural for Hiromi to come stay with the Nakagami family; one year has passed since she came to live in their home. Shinichirō has known Hiromi for years, but before he had always treasured her smile, though now she acts coldly when at home and he cannot bring up the nerve to talk with her either. When she is at school, Hiromi is popular, always smiles, and is talented in sports, but Shinichirō knows she must be hiding things inside her. At school, he meets a strange girl named Noe Isurugi who wishes him misfortune after Shinichirō teases her. After a bit of bad luck, he reconciles with Noe by crafting a chicken out of a tissue box and finds out from her that she "gave her tears away". Shinichirō also likes to spend time with his childhood friends Miyokichi Nobuse and Aiko Endō at the Imagawayaki shop Aiko's family owns, and she helps out at the shop too.
The opening video of the anime contains shots of the Tateyama mountain range in Toyama Prefecture, Japan, and is where the series is set. Incidentally, the animation studio which produced the anime, P.A. Works, is located in Jōhana, Toyama, and places in the series are modeled after that town. However, the town in True Tears faces the sea, and in reality Jōhana is inland. The seaside was modeled after Himi, Toyama, the shopping centered from Toyama, Toyama, and Aiko's shop the fountain in the park were modeled from Takaoka, Toyama. Furthermore, three surnames used in the series—Isurugi, Kurobe, and Takaoka—are place names in Toyama Prefecture.
- Shinichirō is a male high school student who enjoys drawing, and even starts working on a picture book. He lives with his mother, father, and childhood friend Hiromi Yuasa. She used to smile around him, though does not anymore when at home. Shinichirō longs to see her smile again which he loved so much as a kid. He is living a relatively normal life until he meets a strange girl named Noe Isurugi who curses him with misfortune after he teases her a bit, though he reconciles with her soon after. Shinichirō is frustrated by not being able to see emotion from Hiromi, and other pressures from his family, such as a traditional Japanese dance he does not want to practice. However, he eventually gives in to practicing hard for the dance due to comments made by Noe. Shinichirō receives much confidence from Noe, and even goes out with her for a short time, but in the end he and Hiromi start a relationship.
- Noe Isurugi (石動 乃絵 Isurugi Noe?)
- Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki
- Noe Isurugi is an odd girl at Shinichirō's school. He first meets her up in a tree where she is picking silverberries for a chicken she named Raigomaru in a coop on a campus. Shinichirō ends up having to catch her as she jumps from the tree since she was stuck and could not get down on her own. She likes chickens, though would only feed one of them since she says "it could fly" while the other cannot. After the chicken gets killed by a raccoon, Noe becomes saddened, but does not cry because she "gave away her tears". She later explains that after her grandmother died, she was unable to cry anymore due to her grandmother telling her that when she dies she will take Noe's tears away with her. Noe has an older brother, Jun, who is a basketball team captain at another high school. Noe is known to have a frank personality and speaks honestly to other people. She seems to be able to judge people's feelings to a certain extent.
- Hiromi Yuasa (湯浅 比呂美 Yuasa Hiromi?)
- Voiced by: Kaori Nazuka
- Hiromi is a girl Shinichirō's age and goes to the same high school as him. After her father died, she came to live with Shinichirō's family and has already been living with them for a year when the story begins. She has been in the same class as Shinichirō since elementary school, though despite being cheerful back then, she now acts cold when living at his home. In contrast, she normally smiles and is popular at school. She often helps out with Shinichirō's father's work as they are low on man power. She is a very good player on her school's girl's basketball team and is number six. It is clear that Hiromi has feelings for Shinichirō, but she decided to lock these feelings inside when she began living with Shinichirō. It is suggested that she hides these feelings because Shinichirō's mother told her, prior to the start of the story, that Shinichirō is her brother, which is later proven false.
- Aiko Andō (安藤 愛子 Andō Aiko?)
- Voiced by: Yuka Iguchi
- Aiko is a girl one year older than Shinichirō who attends a different school than him. She is going out with his friend Miyokichi Nobuse, but instead has feelings for Shinichirō. Aiko continuously tries to get closer with Shinichirō, such as asking him to go shopping with her instead of Miyokichi, and when out with Miyokichi she does not have the same vigor as when she is just with Shinichirō. Aiko has known Shinichirō since they were kids, and was introduced to Miyokichi through Shinichirō. She helps out at her family's Imagawayaki shop named Imagawayaki Ai-chan. She is shorter than Shinichirō, and enjoys teasing him from time to time.
- Miyokichi Nobuse (野伏 三代吉 Nobuse Miyokichi?)
- Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino
- Miyokichi is Shinichirō's good friend, and has known him since they were kids. They hang out together at school, and Miyokichi often brings up the fact that Shinichirō has an eye out for Hiromi when at school. Shinichirō introduced Miyokichi to Aiko which eventually led to Miyokichi asking out Aiko, and she agreed, though it is apparent that she agreed reluctantly. He did not seem to notice that Aiko has feelings for Shinichirō until she revealed it to him in a subtle way. In the end, Aiko wanted to start all over again with Miyokichi.
- Tomoyo Kurobe (黒部 朋与 Kurobe Tomoyo?)
- Voiced by: Tomomi Watanabe
- Tomoyo is Hiromi's friend whom she often hangs out with and fellow member of the girl's basketball team. She is sure that Hiromi likes Shinichirō, but Hiromi constantly denies it. When Hiromi is troubled by something, Tomoyo worries about her.
- Munehiro Nakagami (仲上宗弘 Nakagami Munehiro?)
- Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara
- He is Shinichirō's father and was good friends with Hiromi's father. After Hiromi's father died, he took her in. Unlike his wife, he respects his son's privacy and lets him do as he wishes, saying that "Shinichirō is Shinichirō". Furthermore, he considers Hiromi to be a member of the family and does not treat her badly like his wife.
- Shiori Nakagami (仲上しをり Nakagami Shiori?)
- Voiced by: Rieko Takahashi
- She is Shinichirō's mother; she likes to do what she thinks is best for her son, and tries to look after him. She has been known to read his mail if she deems necessary and often bugs him about things at school, or if his jacket smells. She takes favor over Shinichirō and does not consider Hiromi her child. She often shows hostile attitudes to Hiromi, and this has made her distant from her son. Eventually, she reconciles with Hiromi and tells her that she made up the story about Hiromi being her husband's child.
- Jun Isurugi (石動 純 Isurugi Jun?)
- Voiced by: Yūki Masuda
- Jun is Noe's older brother. He is the captain of the basketball team at his school and is number four in his team. He is shown to have more feelings for Noe than just a normal sibling's relationship. He asks Shinichirō to ask Noe out, but Shinichirō merely gets annoyed at him. However, when Shinichirō requests that Jun go out with Hiromi in return for going out with his sister Noe, he agrees immediately. He does not hold any feelings for Hiromi, and is merely acting to make Noe happy.
- Rumi Takaoka (高岡 ルミ Takaoka Rumi?)
- Voiced by: Jun Miruno
- Rumi is the captain of the girl's basketball team that Hiromi and Tomoyo play on.
The animated television series True Tears is directed by Junji Nishimura and produced by P.A. Works, Lantis, and Bandai Visual, with the animation and music produced by P.A. Works and Lantis respectively. The anime shares its title with the visual novel True Tears by La'cryma, but uses an entirely different story with different characters, and a different art style. The series aired between January 6, 2008 and March 30, 2008 on TV Kanagawa in Japan, although a special preview of the first episode was shown on January 4, 2008 on BS11 Digital. The anime also aired at later dates on Chiba TV, Kansai TV, Kids Station, Tōkai TV, TV Saitama, and BS11 Digital. Thirteen episodes aired on the aforementioned networks. A DVD compilation, containing the first episode of the anime, was released on March 25, 2008 in Japan.
The anime was licensed by Bandai Visual for English language localization, but the release was delayed. After Bandai Visual USA folded into Bandai Entertainment, the True Tears anime will be released in a thirteen-episode subtitle-only box set. A Blu-ray Disc box set to be released in Japan will contain an extra three-minute epilogue to the series to unveil the future of the main characters after the anime's conclusion.
Three pieces of theme music are used for the anime; one opening theme, one ending theme, and one insert song. The opening theme is "Reflectier" (リフレクティア Rifurekutia?) by Eufonius, the ending theme is Aira Yūki's "Sekai no Namida" (セカイノナミダ?, lit. "Tears of the World"), and the insert song, used in episode ten, is "Sono Mama no Boku de" (そのままの僕で?) by Eufonius. A single for "Reflectier" was released on January 23, 2008, and a single for "Sekai no Namida" was released on February 6, 2008. The anime's original soundtrack was released on February 27, 2008 and an image song album entitled Tears...for truth containing the insert song was released on April 16, 2008.
Internet radio show
An Internet radio show called True Tears Kochira Tulip Hōsōkyoku (true tears こちらチューリップ放送局?), hosted by Charradio, was broadcast between December 7, 2007 and December 28, 2007 containing four episodes. The following week, the show was transferred over to Beat Net Radio!, and began weekly broadcasts every Friday starting on January 4, 2008. It has three hosts — Ayahi Takagaki, Kaori Nazuka, and Yuka Iguchi, who played Noe Isurugi, Hiromi Yuasa, and Aiko Endō in the anime respectively — and was produced by Bandai Visual and Lantis. There are three corners on the show, which is used mainly to promote the anime version. Makoto Ishii, who played Shinichirō in the anime, appeared on the show as a guest for the seventh and eighth broadcasts, and the anime's director Junji Nishimura was a guest for the ninth episode.
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- Official website (Japanese)
- Official English website
- True Tears (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Mania review
- ANN review