Saikano (2002)

I really hated that one. Two kids fall in love, one of them gets turned into a human weapon. A war breaks out, with no explanations given why or what it’s about or who is actually fighting whom, apart from the fact that Japan gets attacked. Since we don’t know anything about the war, the narrative successfully forces the watcher to either accept that the end of the world is night or to stop watching this stupid exercise in gloom and doom. The point of the series is to show something dramatic and tragic, it’s not interested in a realistic approach to war. It’s all about emotion, about making you feel sad, not about facts or reality. The show ends with the two being the lone survivors on Earth, albeit the girl turned human weapon has lost most of her humanity.

I have no problem with depressive outcomes or end-of-the-world stories, but they have to be convincing (see Peter Watts output or some stuff written by William Barton) and offer a reasonable explanation how it came to past. Drivel like Saikano annoys me, because its main purpose is to manipulate the viewer on an emotional level, which is a cheap and effective but ultimately hollow tactic.