I’m always on the fence about Netflix streaming. Yes, many of the shows I watch there are now available on Hulu Plus. Yes, the movie selection is abysmal. Yes, I can never find anything I want to watch RIGHT THEN AT THAT MOMENT when I’m looking. And yet, I keep my subscription. And being able to watch a series like Noein is probably why.
Not familiar with Noein? It’s a science fiction anime. And we’re talking true science fiction, with a lot of talk of entanglement theory, multiple universes and enough different time spaces to make your head spin. And there’s even discussion of Schrodinger’s cat.
Fifteen years in the future, a violent pan-dimensional war is taking place between the two dominant time-spaces of the universe: La’cryma, a possible future of our own world, and Shangri-La, another possible dimension fifteen years after ours, intent on the destruction of all space and time. The key to stopping Shangri’la’s invasion and saving reality is a mysterious object known as the Dragon Torc, which happens to be a young girl by the name of Haruka.
It’s extremely complex and uses several interpretations of quantum physics, including Hugh Everett’s Many-Worlds Interpretation. That’s the one you might have learned about in your high school physics class (yes, I took physics in high school and yes, I know that makes me an uber science geek). That’s the theory that basically states that every time a decision is made in one universe, new universes with the other possible decisions being made in them are formed, resulting in an infinite number of universes with an infinite number of probabilities.
There are also other concepts in the anime that, I will admit, went way over my head, but I liked that. I like how anime doesn’t generally talk down to its audience and if you don’t get it, you better get your butt on Wikipedia and look it up. Or just allow yourself to admit defeat and just enjoy the ride the series takes you through.
And Noein is one heck of a ride. It has endearing, yet intriguing characters, including the mysterious Dragon Knights from La’cryma. There’s also the very bitter and potentially insane Noein himself, who wants to destroy all universes in order to achieve one happy one. There are all sorts of twists and turns that only multiple universes can give you and I found myself screaming “WTF?” at the t.v. on more than one occasion.
The feel of the series felt familiar with me and then I realized why. It was directed by Kazuki Akane, who is better known for the popular anime series The Vision of Escaflowne, which is absolutely one of my favorites.
And the best part? There’s just one season with 24 half-hour episodes that create the entire storyline. You can zoom through it like I did and feel like you’ve watched the most intriguing and complex movie in the history of film or catch little bits here and there (although keeping up with all the quantum theories can be a little daunting).