Seraphim Call

By bluemist on October 15th, 2009

Seraphim Call

11 girls, 11 stories, 12 episodes. Seraphim Call takes you to a journey throughout the city of Neo-Acropolis, seeing many ways of life and love through the experiences of these 11 girls.

In almost the same way as Sentimental Journey, Seraphim Call is a series of 11 separate stories for 11 different characters, with the final episode only bringing them together by way of being subtle acquaintances living in the same city. You can say this is just an amusing anthology of separate anime girl stories. On the other hand, I can see some splashes of genius in this otherwise old anime. It is as if this anime was set up as an experimental testbed. Each episode has a radically different writing and directing style. Episode 2, for example, is entirely shot from one camera angle. Episode 4 employs rapid scene-jumping from one timeline to another. Episode 5-6 are essentially mirrors of each other giving a different viewpoint. Episode 10 shows manga panels brought to life. Finally, episode 11 has a surreal feeling where only one character is actually onscreen. The rest, while relatively normal by comparison, have quite good stories in itself. Some of them though have unusual twists at the end which spoil the otherwise good run.

These characters were made and drawn by Aoi Nanase. She is quite popular for her bishoujo drawing style. Seraphim Call, along with the rush of dating sims during the late 90’s, may have instigated the early wave of bishoujo fandom. Seraphim Call was actually serialized and featured in G’s Magazine before it went anime. Maybe this was one of the early historic templates on how to make a multimedia bishoujo franchise. What followed it after all (Sister Princess, Happy Lesson, Futakoi, Strawberry Panic) had similar approaches of having around 12 girls in the roster, along with having multiple media forms like illustrations, short stories, manga, music and video. Seraphim Call may have followed a similar approach at the height of its popularity back then, but as it’s quite old and rare to find the only remaining memorials would be the anime and this fansite which catalogs the various media related to the franchise.

It’s certainly an interesting old piece, although I liked the set of girls in Sentimental Journey a tad better. Sad enough, all these characters are locked forever in their respective one-shot episodes. Same way as in the anime mentioned, each episode in Seraphim Call is so very appealing and interesting on its own, you’d regret the recent anime for losing the quality of old ones like these. I don’t have an idea of what kind of trend this was, or if there are other similar anime I haven’t discovered yet. One thing is these two are produced by Sunrise, so I wonder if they have more of this kind. It strikes me with a strong aura of nostalgia, when animation wasn’t done digitally yet animated well enough to immerse and entertain a tad better (sometimes) than the current animes of today. Seraphim Call is yet another example of a wonderfully old anime, and I certainly hope I could journey into the past for more old gems.

Episode_1:_Kurimoto_Yukina
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– Yukina is a high-school girl who is also a renowned inventor.
– She is extremely scared of guys.
– The city has a terrorist threat of bombs going off, and Yukina is the only one who can diffuse it.
– The authorities try to seek for her help, but she refuses because of her phobia, to the point of actually fainting asleep.
– Despite this, she went to the scene hiding herself inside a robot.
– The police want to confirm her identity, so she said only the chief may look. All others were ordered not to.
– But when the chief remarked that she’s cute, the other police went to peek. Her phobia returned and she fainted again.
– She woke up to the sound of her best friend, and successfully defused the bomb in the nick of time. Then she faints again in front of the inspector.
– She apologized for all the trouble by making a robot of herself to go say sorry to the authorities.

Episode_2:_Teramoto_Tanpopo
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– This episode is entirely shot from the viewpoint of Tanpopo’s new doll, Margarine.
– Tanpopo loves dolls, and oddly, always talks to them as if they were friends.
– We see her day schooling by distance learning through the computer, drawing with crayons and telling stories to her dolls.
– After gym class which is actually outside, Tanpopo talks to her dolls about her best friend Chihiro’s secret crush.
– Chihiro visits Tanpopo. Tanpopo introduces Chihiro to her new dolls.
– Chihiro thinks Tanpopo is too childish, and she should stop talking to her dolls and making fantasy stories.
– It turned into a petty fight, and Chihiro went away. Tanpopo cries, wondering why her friends can’t talk to dolls anymore.
– Chihiro apologizes later by voice mail, saying that Tanpopo should never change. Tanpopo is happy again.
– Err… the next day, the police discovered that the viewpoint from Margarine’s eye is actually a hidden camera by stalkers.

Episode_3:_Ose_Chinami
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– Chinami likes baking as a hobby. Her best friend Noriko says she’ll get fat from trying all the cakes she makes.
– Chinami’s father and mother are divorced. Chinami and her two younger siblings live with the father. The mother still meets them sometimes.
– The father talks to Chinami why she doesn’t want to go abroad anymore. She wanted to go to France to study pastry making.
– Chinami now wants to find work she can do at home, so she can also look over the house duties. Her father is busy with his work, and it may be harder for them without Chinami around.
– Dining at a restaurant with her mother, Chinami discovered that one of the chefs in the restaurant is her mother’s new boyfriend.
– Noriko talks to the mother about Chinami worrying too much over family and not thinking about her goals. Noriko wants her friend to succeed in baking and have a cake shop someday.
– That’s also why the mother revealed about her fiance. The father lectured Chinami similarly about how families are supposed to support each other’s happiness even if they go their separate ways.
– Chinami challenged the chef in making a cake. The mother will taste and determine which is more delicious.
– With her defeat, Chinami was able to redecide to go to France for her goals.

Episode_4:_Kusunoki_Hatsumi
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– This episode jumps very frequently in different timelines in the story.
– Hatsumi had always been boyish and athletic all her life. She starts to wonder why she isn’t feminine.
– One day she met an interesting girl named Miyabi. Miyabi is an artist, and she wants to draw Hatsumi to reveal her inner beauty.
– Hatsumi rejects the offer because she’ll be posing nude.
– Miyabi believes Hatsumi has an angel deep inside of her. Hatsumi is herself troubled about her personality.
– Miyabi oddly starts to stalk her, writing a big “Hatsumi is beautiful” text on school grounds and following her on her track runs.
– Miyabi applies for a job to coach Hatsumi at the school, and it is revealed that she was also a varsity sprinter in the past.
– To set things straight, Hatsumi challenged Miyabi to a swimming match. Miyabi lost, and so she finally agreed to model for the painting.
– Well… the finished product actually turned out to be an abstract painting rather than a portrait.

Episode_5:_Murasame_Shion
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– Shion is the stronger-willed of the Murasame twins. She always protects her twin sister Sakura. Sakura loves her sister.
– One day, a love letter was addressed to the Murasame residence from an admirer. The first name was burnt off though so they don’t know who it’s for.
– Having a staunt personality, Shion shrugs the love letter off, thinking negatively about things. Sakura argues with her about it, taking a more optimistic approach.
– Shion wants to know more about how Sakura really thinks, and so she uses a certain virtual simulation device to enter Sakura’s personality virtually.
– We are now projected into a series of scenes where the sisters are talking. It is unclear which is real and which is virtual. There was even a knife and stabbing sequence.
– The point though is Shion discovers that Sakura is envious about her intelligence, and thinks she doesn’t compare.
– Also, Sakura fears that Shion might leave her if she accepts the admirer.
– Nevertheless, they agree that the simulation device and the letter only sent them astray, and decided to get rid of those.
– Finally, Sakura and Shion tests if they were in the real world… by kissing each other!

Episode_6:_Murasame_Sakura
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– Shion is the more introverted of the Murasame twins. She always looks over her twin sister Shion as her guidance. Shion loves her sister.
– One day, a love letter was addressed to the Murasame residence from an admirer. The first name was burnt off though so they don’t know who it’s for.
– Having a staunt personality, Shion shrugs the love letter off, thinking negatively about things. Sakura argues with her about it, taking a more optimistic approach.
– Sakura wants to know more about how Shion really thinks, and so she (also) uses a certain virtual simulation device to enter Shion’s personality virtually.
– We are now projected into a series of scenes where the sisters are talking. It is unclear which is real and which is virtual. There was even a knife and stabbing sequence.
– The point though is Sakura discovers that Shion is envious about her attractiveness, and thinks she doesn’t compare.
– Also, Shion fears that Sakura might leave her if she accepts the admirer.
– Nevertheless, they agree that the simulation device and the letter only sent them astray, and decided to get rid of those.
– Finally, Sakura and Shion tests if they were in the real world… by kissing each other!
– It is revealed that the stabbing actually happened with Shion injured in the hands, and that the admirer was actually addressing the love letter to… the Murasame twins’ mother!

Episode_7:_Hiragi_Saeno
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– Saeno is an English teacher, who actually reveals to three of her students that she likes Mathematics very much.
– One day, Saeno along with the students visit a nearby library to visit Professor Rosencrantz, who actually passed away 5 years ago.
– Saeno admired Rosencrantz’s expertise in the past, but she worries that he seems to waste his time on proving a “theory” that a square can be drawn the same size as a circle.
– The theory seems impossible to solve because of the number pi, which is “assumed” to be infinite.
– 10 years ago, Rosencrantz discovered a secret hallway at school, with mathematical equations pertaining to try to prove the theory, and found a pi book with all the decimal digits that have been discovered so far.
– Rosencrantz discovered that the pi book’s owner was a little girl… who was actually revealed to be a young Saeno herself in an alternate past reality. She was the one continuing the equations.
– Simply put, the secret hallway projects a time and reality paradox.
– Present-day Saeno went to the hallway, and met the Rosencrantz from 5 years ago, continuing the calculations to solve for more pi digits.
– Rosencrantz said that the world, and life itself, may be an endless calculation, and thinking of it that way, no mathematical quest is a waste of time.
– To further the research, Saeno went back in time to give the updated pi book to the young Saeno. This way, the solution for the theory progresses as each cycle of the time paradox happens.

Episode_8:_Rindoh_Ayaka
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– Ayaka is a rich and spoiled girl who just bought an expensive giant robot lizard as a pet.
– Her father wants to teach her the value of money, and convinces her to get a part-time job.
– Ayaka did get a part-time job as helper of a ramen shop.
– But then some trouble breaks loose in the city, so she neglects her ramen delivery job and went into her secret job as a superhero!
– Along with 4 other members (disguised normally as the Rindoh mansion helpers) and their robot mechas, they chase some jewel thieves!
– During the chase, her dad gets injured, and her pet lizard caught one of the thieves.
– Her pet lizard also helped deliver the ramen… late delivery though.

Episode_9:_Kurenai_Kasumi
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– “Kasumi” is a person who has become a urban myth/legend of sorts, with girls idolizing her and her various stories of being a strong woman.
– Most all of these stories are just hearsay, and that it accidentally started from what she did at a park fountain, which had then become a good luck ritual for girls.
– An idol news reporter, Lulu, is a rabid fan of the Kasumi legend, and follows it with much dedication as she reports.
– The real Kasumi though is actually the cameraman of the crew with her identity not revealed. Kasumi starts commenting negatively about the legend, and Lulu always confronts her.
– They continue filming reports. Kasumi herself would star as the legend Kasumi in some re-enactments with people who allegedly talked to Kasumi and were enlightened.
– Kasumi asks why Lulu hasn’t been going to school. It is revealed that Lulu is running away from a broken heart when her crush liked someone else.
– Lulu thinks she can improve herself with the legend Kasumi as her model, and is angry at Kasumi for always picking on the legend.
– Lulu re-enacts a dangerous motorcycle stunt done by Kasumi. She pushed herself too much, and so Kasumi jumped to save her.
– Kasumi reveals herself to Lulu. Kasumi quit being a legend trying to match up to people’s expectations, and is trying to find her real self. She told Lulu to be her best the way she is.

Episode_10:_Matsumoto_Kurumi
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– Kurumi is a mangaka under a male pen name publishing her new manga called “Real Blue”, which is about a setting of a boy and a girl living together.
– Kurumi’s best friend thinks that she is living like the characters in Real Blue, because a guy called Satoshi suddenly moved temporarily in to her home.
– Satoshi and Kurumi don’t talk much though, and her experience with him isn’t like the manga she writes at all.
– Satoshi aspires to be a photographer. His father takes pictures to depict reality, but he believes otherwise, and that people sees a picture in different ways and interpretations.
– She is starting to struggle with her manga work, with her friend and even Satoshi saying that the manga is shallow and cliched.
– Kurumi starts to take the manga in complicated situations, similar to what Satoshi said about interpretations. Still, it’s not the way she wants it to go.
– Satoshi is about to move away again to live with his own father.
– Before he leaves, Satoshi tells that he changed his beliefs as a photographer. What’s important is the fact that he took the picture, and though people see the picture differently, each interpretation is real.
– Kurumi succeeded in giving an appropriate ending for her manga.

Episode_11:_Tachibana_Urara
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– This episode is animated with Urara as the sole character in an opera-like setting. Other characters do not show or speak up onscreen.
– Urara has a complex for her late father, and she wants to be a city architect like him. He doesn’t have interest in other boys. Her mother is quite weak.
– Her mother and her friends tease her for being close to a certain boy, but she repeatedly denies liking him.
– Nevertheless, Urara and the guy go frequently to movies and are quite close together. He plays the piano and Urara frequently listens.
– One day, while they’re watching a movie, the boy confesses to Urara.
– Urara was unable to answer him even when he called over the cellphone. Also, she doesn’t seem to care even though another girl wants to date the boy.
– The boy left for Austria.
– Urara’s mother fainted due to sickness, and so she was confined in the hospital. Her mother had to move outside the city for cleaner air.
– Urara experienced a dream sequence with her father. The father says that her problems are just part of growing up, and assures that everything will be alright.
– It is implied that Urara has moved on from her father-complex.

Episode_12:_Sacred_Night_of_the_Seraphim
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– This episode combines all 11 heroines together for a city event in which their faces are shown up to the moon to show that beautiful angels live in their city.

3 Comments

Posted By: bluemist On: October 15, 2009 At: 12:46 pm

Posted By: English Dubbed Anime On: October 17, 2009 At: 1:29 am

Lol. HER HEAD IS SO HUUUUGE!
just thought I’d get that out in the open. (#3)

Posted By: Nj Granite On: March 06, 2010 At: 11:08 pm

i agree that head is HUGE!

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