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Tide-Line Blue

tlb-2
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Bandai Visual
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 7/6/2005 to 9/21/2005

12 years have passed since a global catastrophe, called the “Hammer of Eden”, caused the sea level to rise and flood all but a few patches of land. Society is slowly rebuilding, but a rising conflict between an old woman trying to reestablish the United Nations and the captain of the submarine Ulysses striving to unite Earth by force threatens to throw everything into chaos again. During this conflict, the paths of the twins Keel and Tean, separated years before, cross again as they stand on different sides of an upcoming war. How will their reunion affect the changes that are coming?

summary by Taleweaver

 

Reviewed: 12/23/2005 by
Grade: 81% av-Taleweaver

Highs: State-of-the-art animation; great action/drama mix; lovable characters

Lows: Some overdone comic relief; ends abruptly

There is an old saying in Germany that you can recognize a good book by the fact that you’re angry after you’ve finished it because now you can’t read more of it. Does the same thing apply to anime? I’ve never asked myself that question… before Tide-Line Blue.

But first things first: Tide-Line Blue is definitely an anime for the 21st century. State-of-the-art animation easily captures the viewer’s attention. All movements are lifelike and very detailed, and it’s easy to be enthralled by the sheer beauty of the whole production. The CGI art is mostly non-intrusive and pleasant to the eye, as well. Add to that a good soundtrack and the stage is set for greatness. And what a great plot it is which unfolds on that stage! Post-apocalyptic settings come cheaper by the dozen, but rarely do you see one like that of Tide-Line Blue where society actually doesn’t fall into chaos and destruction but somehow finds a way to hold on to the few things that it has managed to save from the catastrophe. And that drama is carried powerfully by lovable and believable characters, each of them much more than the usual stereotype. The relationship between Keel and Tean alone would be interesting enough, but in this series, even the side characters are amazing in their beliefs and actions. There is great writing here!

Tide-Line Blue also features a healthy dose of humor and comic relief. But while most of it works, it’s sometimes overdone (need I mention a certain super-weird ostrich?). Fruits Basket has already proven that if you contrast drama and humor, both can appear stronger; in this case, the effect works only half the time. The greatest flaw of this series, however, is that it ends at the very moment it starts to get interesting. Only 12 episodes? At the pace things were developing, 26 would have been much more appropriate! When Tide-Line Blue ends, the main conflict is on hold but far from solved, and the heroes are just about to embark on a quest I’d consider a true challenge. Why does it end here? No explanations are given. Maybe the producers “pulled a Gainax” and their budget ran out?

Tide-Line Blue is a very good example of a series that does almost nothing wrong, except for ending half-way through. The list of anime sequels I’m waiting for has just gotten longer by one entry. Am I angry that it’s over after 12 episodes? Hell yeah. Is it a good series? Hell yeah. But does that old saying about books also apply to Tide-Line Blue? Somehow, I don’t think so.


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