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051004 noein.jpg


"I'm dreaming again... a dream of that summer day."


Full name - Noein: To Your Other Self (Mou Hitori no Kimi e)

Haruka is an average girl, living an average life. Or so she thinks. In fact, she is a Cosmic Keystone being sought by the forces of two alternate dimensions, La'Cryma and Shangri'La. Each represents a possible future for Haruka's world, and Haruka has the power to determine which one becomes reality. La'Cryma is a shattered, dystopian place... but there is something sinister about the seemingly serene Shangri La as well. Which side should she choose?

Haruka and her friends find themselves in the middle of a war, with multiple factions and rapidly shifting allegiances. Some wish to protect her, while others will go to any length to abduct her. A few important characters include:

  • Haruka: Main character and MacGuffin Girl, despite those two usually being mutually exclusive.
  • Yuu: Haruka's troubled friend/love interest. Emo Teen extraordinare, complete with box cutter.
  • Karasu: A Future Badass version of Yuu from La'Cryma, sent to abduct Haruka but desiring to protect her.
  • Atori: An Ax Crazy Psycho Electro rival of Karasu, also from La'Cryma.
  • Noein: The eponymous Big Bad, mysterious masked leader of Shangri'La.

The anime relies heavily on the ideas and theories present in quantum mechanics, most notably the idea that there are an infinite number of parallel universes, with a new one created with every decision we make. At one point, it also references the paradox of Schrodingers Cat. For added fun, watch it with someone who has actually studied quantum physics.

Tropes used in Noein include:
  • Art Shift: Intentionally about every 10 minutes. Alternates per episode; only two animators, so only two styles.
  • After the End: La'Cryma.
  • Alien Blood: The Dragon Knights bleed blue Layze/Reizu.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Tobi.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Atori.
  • Anime First
  • Antagonist Title
  • Apocalypse Maiden: La'Cryma certainly think Haruka is one.
  • Arc Words: "Mata yume mita... ano natsu no hi no yume" ("I'm dreaming again... a dream of that summer day"), at the beginning of each preview.
    • "Blue... snow?"
  • Artificial Limbs: Kuina.
  • Assimilation Plot: Shangri'La is composed of all of the other realities that Noein wishes to prevent from happening. The inhabitants of Shangri'La are all humans whom Noein has absorbed into his cause.
  • Badass Cape: The Dragon Knights.
  • Bad Future: La'Cryma, but arguably Shangri'La as well. At one point Noein shows Haruka a bad future where each of her friends ends up getting broken. Creepily enough, the specific injuries the other characters sustain imply that the timestream Noein shows to Haruka is Lacryma's past.
  • Big Bad: The title Noein.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Baron.
  • Bland-Name Product
  • Bloody Handprint: The last we see of Haruka in Noein's past.
  • Body Horror: The Dragon Knights' powers involve some very uncomfortable transformations of their physical selves. Atori's power-up mode in particular is disturbing, given how unstable he is.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Yuu's feelings for Haruka, which Karasu encourages him to confess. Ditto for Ai and Isami.
  • Catch Phrase: Isami thinks that it is impossible for him to have a catch phrase.
  • Cat Fight: Haruka gets into one with Ai, who is jealous over what she believes to be a budding romantic relationship between Haruka and Isami, despite Haruka's attempts to explain. The audience knows from the get-go that it's not too serious, though, as it's accompanied by playful, cheerful background music (and they make up at the end of the episode).
  • Character Development: Yuu and Atori, and in varying doses the entire cast.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Miho.
  • Combat Tentacles: Karasu's wire-like attacks.
  • Conspicuous CG
  • Cool Old Guy: Kōriyama. Although some might call him sleazy rather than cool. And he's not that old.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Shinohara, the head of the Magic Circle Project.
  • Crapsack World: La'Cryma and Shangri-La.
  • Crispin Freeman: Karasu's voice actor and subject of multiple jokes in the Hilarious Outtakes Get out of my bedroom!
    • Stop yelling at me, Crispin!
      • I'm gonna have my way with the both of you and then I'm gonna do the dog.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome Kōriyama beating of Shinohara.
    • Atori's last stand
  • Damsel in Distress: Haruka.
  • Dan Browned: Quantum physics doesn't work this way. It's all for the sake of the story, though, so we forgive it.
  • Dead Little Sister: Atori had one, leading him to eventually viewing The Ditz Miho as a sort of substitute.
    • Haruka functions this way for Karasu as well, and he goes to great lengths to protect her in the past after being unable to save the Haruka from his timeline.
  • Determinator: Karasu.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: The "future" shown to Haruka by Noein in episode 22, where she sees all of her friends' lives ruined (Hasabe's in particular stands out). Highlights include Fujiwara turning into a punk and losing his eye, Hasabe learning of this and losing use of her leg in the process, effectively ruining her future of being an all-star soccer player and Miho turning into a depressive Hikikomori due to bullying. Although the episode does end on a high note.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Yukie-chan, driving completely off the road. Justified in that she was trying to lose someone, but she was clearly enjoying it.
  • Dubtitle: In the UK release.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Not plot, so much a terminolgy. A line near the begining of the second episode; sub: this spacetime is warped, dub: this dimension is a mistake.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Tobi.
  • Dystopia
  • Education Mama: Yuu's mother.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Yuu's mom gets over a life-long hang-up in just a day. Possibly In Vino Veritas.
  • Evil Albino: Noein.
  • Evil Phone: In one episode, after things start getting strange, Haruka asks her mother if she's ever encountered anything paranormal, and her mother mentions that her old house phone once rang, even though it was unplugged. At the end of the episode, the same unplugged phone rings again when Haruka's alone, so she picks it up, and realizes the person on the other side is her mother in the past. Haruka's mother is puzzled, while Haruka is very amused by the situation... and then her mother gets disconnected, and Haruka finds herself talking to herself from an alternate future. Her future self sounds so sad, and combined with the advice she offers, our Haruka is left quite shaken up by a vague hint at something terrible.
  • Explosive Overclocking: Dragon Knights can turn themselves into huge beings of energy, but it is very dangerous.
  • The Faceless: Future Haruka.
  • Flash Step: The Dragon Knights use something similar to this.
  • Foreign Queasine: Although it's not technically foreign, and actually pretty tasty.
  • Furo Scene: Haruka gets several.
  • Future Badass: Karasu and Fukuro.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Yuu is scared by how cold and intense Karasu is. Karasu is disgusted by his cowardly former self. Furthermore, Noein is yet another future version of Yuu, who despises both of them.
    • Karasu glaring at Yuu earned the honor of page picture for this trope for a very good reason.
  • Gas Leak Coverup: The first appearance of the Shangri'La attackers was explained to the public as a meteorological phenomena. Given their incredible obliviousness, probably it worked for the second time as well.
  • Generation Xerox
  • Go Out with a Smile: The Haruka of Karasu's dimension.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Kōriyama and Shinohara, repectively.
  • Hacker Cave: Tobi sets one up with some Extreme Graphical Representation thrown in for good measure.
  • Hair Antennae: Isuka.
  • Hair Colors
  • Heel Face Turn: Atori and Kosagi.
  • Heroic Albino: Karasu.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Future Haruka.
    • Also Atori, in the finale.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Crispin Freeman as Karasu and Richard Epcar as Koriyama.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Much to the English cast's surprise and glee many of their outtakes, ad-libs, and general screwing around was preserved on the official DVD's. Except Crispin Freeman, his were too dirty.
  • Horned Hairdo
  • Hot Scientist: Uchida-chan.
  • I Have the High Ground: All of the Dragon Knights do this.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Ai, in the alternative Bad Future shown by Noein. Isami arrives Just in Time.
    • Bad Future Miho attempts to overdose, but is stopped by Atori.
  • Light Is Not Good / Dark Is Not Evil" While Karasu slings dark lightning bolts around in their duel, Ax Crazy Atori throws white lightning. Noein, similarly, decorates his realm like a Buddhist paradise and is clad in pure white.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Considering the span of time the story encompasses, some characters change clothes very rarely.
    • Haruka changes frequently but seems to have three outfits.
  • Love Makes You Evil / Love Makes You Crazy: This has Noein written all over it.
  • MacGuffin Girl: Haruka, aka the Dragon Torque.
  • Mask Power: Noein often appears as a floating mask.
  • Meaningful Name: "Noein" is Greek (νοεῖν), which roughly translates to "I think/I know". More specifically, it refers to something that is known, but not through the traditional senses of the human body, only in thought. In other words, an existence defined solely by thought.
  • Merged Reality: Noein's goal.
  • My Future Self and Me
  • Mood Whiplash: There are a few, but the carcrash that killed Haruka and the others in Noein's timeline is exceptionally jarring. Probably because it was realistic.
  • Morality Pet: Miho turns into one for Atori.
  • Nigh Invulnerability: Of a sort. For the Dragon Knights, thanks to mechanical replacements and the bizarre way they take damage, its as if they were made of a uniform shiny substance underneath their skin.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Noein's ultimate plan for utopia is to erase the entire multiverse and start it again from scratch.
  • One-Way Trip: The removal of the plugs.
  • Open-Minded Parent: While the kids teacher rather than a legal guardian, Miss Nijou certainly fits the bill. When Kurasu lies mortally injured after a battle with the forces of Shangri'La, she is completely unfazed by the fact that the person her students are helping is missing a limb, is bleeding blue sparkles and has no reconizable internal anatomy whatsoever.
  • Ouija Board: Paranormal-obsessed Miho suggests using one to figure out the weird stuff going on with Haruka early in the series. It spells "Noein", but at the time none of the characters present had ever heard the name, so they chalked it up to nonsense.
  • Ouroboros: The motif appears with all the crazy quantum time wizzywigging. A giant one even serves as a portal to (effectively) The Legions of Hell.
  • Parental Obliviousness: It takes the house disappearing before Haruka's mother realizes something strange might be going on.
  • Parrot Exposition: Kōriyama-san. Almost any scene with him talking to Uchida-san eventually descends into her effectively talking to herself.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Karasu.
  • Pet the Dog: Karasu and Baron.
  • Power Born of Madness: Noein. He was an Ordinary High School Student until a car crash killed his true love in front of him, after which it's suggested that his single-minded rage alone propelled him to gather followers, take over his Earth, master interdimensional travel and nearly succeed in obliterating everything in the multiverse. By contrast, Karasu is a badass hero, but Uchida's technobabble baffles him.
  • Power Tattoo: The Dragon Knights.
  • Psycho Electro: Atori. He seems to lose his sadistic tendencies after getting and recovering from amnesia, and changing sides in the process. But then he gets left alone with the enemy...
  • Punctuation Shaker
  • Razor Floss: This is Karasu's signature weapon. He can generate seemingly infinite amounts of it from his forearms.
  • Reality Warper: Haruka.
    • Noein has some elements of this as well. Unlike the Dragon Knights, whose bizarre powers are explained as being the result of Sufficiently Advanced Technology, Noein doesn't seem to use machinery at all, and can just do things. He started off as an ordinary human. How did he become the dimension-hopping Humanoid Abomination he is now? No one knows.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Atori.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The moment we realize that that's not Karasu.
  • Say My Name: played rather masterfully in Episode 13 when Karasu is mortally wounded
  • Schrodingers Cat: The Schrodinger's Cat scenario is actually an important plot point on two occasions.
    • It's arguable that the entire plot can be boiled down to a schrodinger's cat. Yuu is indecisive about the future. Therefore, many possible futures exist. When he takes control and decides what he's going to do, the path he did not choose disappears.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong
  • Shangri La: Shangri'La, obviously.
  • She's a Man In Japan: Tobi was made female in the official English version, due to his feminine hairstyle.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The opening song at times seems unifit for such an anime as this.
    • If you bought the DVD, you know they should have chosen one of those alt openings!
  • The Smurfette Principle: Kosagi.
  • Stalker with a Crush / Yandere: Kosagi followed Karasu to Haruka's dimension in order to kill both of them, after realizing her feelings for Karasu were unrequited.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Everyone in the story. For some weird reason, they all instantly identify Layze particles (glowing blue sparks floating upside down in a small area) as blue snow.
  • Talking to Himself: Karasu and Noein, who are voiced by the same person in both the original and the dub. Justified when it's revealed that they're the same person from alternate timelines.
  • The Stoic: Karasu.
  • Techno Wizard / Wrench Wench: Tobi falls somewhere between these two tropes.
  • The End of the World as We Know It
  • The Heartless: The forces of Shangri'La are people who surrendered their humanity to go along with Noein's plans.
  • The Mole: Kuina.
  • Theme Naming: The Dragon Knights are all named after birds; Karasu is the Japanese word for crow, for example.
    • Also the names of two of the futures: Shangri-La is a fictional Utopia in the novel Lost Horizon (as well as a term for utopias in general). The lacrimal (La'Cryma) ducts are where tears come from.
      • Actually, "lacrima" means "tear" in Latin. Which is why it's ridiculous that even the official translation went with the nonsensical La'Cryma spelling as if it was just a random fantasy name. (Incidentally, this spelling for "lacrima" comes from the J-Rock band La'Cryma Christi).
  • The Multiverse: With each alternate reality being caused by a For Want of a Nail situation.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: One of these rules La'Cryma.
  • The Power of Friendship: One of the important points of the series.
  • The Power of Love: This is what ultimately allows Karasu and Yuu to defeat Noein.
  • The President's Daughter
  • Theme Tune Cameo: An instrumental version of "Idea" appears in the last episode.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Said by a twelve year old girl. A twelve year old Reality Warper, mind you.
  • Time Stands Still: Dragon Knights stop time before engaging in battle to make sure there are no bystanders.
  • Time Travel
  • Title Drop: During the first few episodes, each mention of Noein makes the viewer sit up and take notice.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ai and Haruka respectively.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The Dragon Knights had their quantum structure changed in order to receive super powers.
  • Tsundere: Ai for Isami.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Karasu, whenever Haruka is in danger.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity: Haruka is able to catch Yuu by jumping off a cliff after him.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Haruka has a "date" with her Dad once every three months, and they still get on well.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Isuka.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Noein.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Karasu.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Noein.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Atori, in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.