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|Title (English)||Sci-Fi Harry|
|Title (Japanese)||Sci-Fi Harry||Advertising|
|Notes||Also on R2 DVD: The first DVD= "Jellyfish", ZMBZ-1151 from Media Factory.|
|Synopsis||Nerdish schoolboy develops psychic powers.|
|Review||This evening I got to watch the final three episodes of the TV Asahi late night anime, "Sci-Fi Harry", which played on Japanese TV this past winter. I didn't get to see the series during it's original broadcast so I had to buy the region 2 DVD's as they came out. The series was 20 episodes long and spread out over 7 DVD's from Media Factory - ZMBZ-1151 through 1157. It was well worth the cost and wait to see this outstanding mystery/sci-fi/drama. In addition to the episodes, each DVD contains an interview with the creator of the series, as well as another one with the two lead voice actors.
The story is about Harry, who is definitely not your average American teenager. ( The series is set in the US in the very near future in what appears to be a small West Coast town. ) Harry is, instead, the epitome of an "alienated youth" - friendless at school, extremely weird and nervous to the point of paranoia. But a chance occurrence causes Harry to start to demonstrate what appear to be psychic powers - powers that he neither necessarily believes in nor consciously controls. But there are other ominous forces at work who do believe in Harry, and attempt to make use of him in ways that are threatening and frightful.
But "Sci-Fi Harry" isn't just a paranoia story, it also has a small core of key characters who are quite unique and intriguing. There is Catherine, the beautiful and popular girl who Harry admires from afar and who starts to feel a sort of rapport with Harry when she sees how much Harry is like her little, nearly autistic brother. There is John, the tall, handsome jock boyfriend of Catherine who tries to protect Harry while becoming confused and hurt by Catherine's fascination with Harry. There is Mike, the police investigator, who is intelligent, sympathetic and very suspicious of the ever increasingly baroque goings-on surrounding Harry. ( Mike is also the only black I have seen portrayed in an anime in a non-stereotypical manner. ) And, of course, there is also the extremely mysterious and unforgettable Jinori, who is much more and much different than she appears at first or even later.
The anime is well animated in a style that appears to be somewhat simple on the surface but contains a lot of subtle details. The character designs are of the "semi-realistic" school, similar to the designs in "Lain" or "Perfect Blue". The general color scheme of the animation is quite muted. The opening and closing themes are hard rock, but much of the background music is jazz in the spirit of old TV detective shows. There is a certain amount of nudity and a fair amount of sudden and bloody violence.
Despite the fact that "Sci-Fi Harry" was a mystery and I did get to see ( and get rather surprised by ) the ending, it is still eminently re-watchable and I will definitely need to make myself the time some day to do a marathon on this series. All-in-all, I highly recommend it. (Dave Baranyi)
I love quirky anime, and I also love mysteries, so I'm really happy with my "gut feeling " decision to order the first DVD volume of the Fall anime, "Sci-Fi Harry". This is one of two "late night" anime that aren't showing in the Kansai region, so my friend can't tape it for me. But I was intrigued by "Kaicho's" little advance blurb about the show on his "Anihabara" web site:
A little known, nihilistic morality story which just finished its late night run recently. A very intense story about Harry, who if he isn't already psychotic, is being turned so rapidly by the actions of a number of malevolent organizations who are trying to take advantage of what appear to be very strong but uncontrolled psychic powers latent within him. I've seen the first 12 episodes and it is painful to have to wait for the monthly releases. This is a series I could watch in an all-day, all-night marathon. Rating must see, but not for the squeamish.
|Credits||Produced by A.P.P.P. Directed by Kodera Katsuyuki.|
|TV Showing||See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.|
|Date||2000 October 7 - 2001 March 23|
|References & Help||Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.