I commend my secret santa for recommending me Lovely Complex, Simoun and Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. As I expected, I could not last with the first two series (for Lovely Complex, I read the manga instead; for Simoun, it’s complicated). But War in the Pocket is short and sweet and certainly one I would’ve overlooked. Like 08th MS Team, which came after this, War in the Pocket takes on a different viewpoint and I always enjoy such a break from the standard.
It’s not often I watch an anime series older than myself. The staleness of most anime from the 80’s is something I have trouble dealing with. For similar reasons I struggle enjoying a lot of the older U.C. Gundams. I want to like them, I try my best to like them, but it’s so hard to like them. All of this actually doesn’t hold for War in the Pocket. Animation feels fluid and the story moves quickly, perhaps because the length of a six episode OVA series condenses everything. Either way, rigidness is not the reason I dislike War in the Pocket.
The reason is I really really hate children in anime.
I thought I disliked whiny teenagers, but ignorant kids topple everything for me. Alfred, our 11-year old main character takes the spotlight for most of the series and, frankly, seeing him come to terms with reality in the latter three episodes is one of the most satisfying things I could bear to watch. Certainly, feeling so annoyed with Al reinforces any feeling I get from the ending. In that sense, War in the Pocket has succeeded. Bravo! As much as I appreciate War in the Pocket for that, it’s not the kind of series I could ever bear to rewatch. Instead, I will remember its ending fondly: a soul crushing reality for an 11-year old kid, for whom we fight wars so they may stay ignorant.