Anime: True Tears

From left to right: Aiko Andou, Hiromi Yuasa and Noe Isurugi

"Because I gave my tears away."
Noe Isurugi

True Tears a 2008 anime series produced by P.A. Works and directed by Junji Nishimura. Despite sharing the same name as the 2006 visual novel, the former has a completely different plot, cast and art style. This article focusses on the anime, which follows Shinichiro Nakagami, a high school student who aspires to be an artist, and his relationship with Hiromi Yuasa, a well-liked girl from his school, after she moves in with them following her father's death.

Despite having known Hiromi for years, Shinichiro notes that she has grown cold and distant at home, despite being friendly and outgoing whilst at school. Shinichiro believes that she just holding her tears in, and makes watercolours of her, hoping to eventually ease her tears. At school, Shinichiro runs into Noe Isurugi and runs into misfortune after teasing her, being coerced into perform Muhiga dancing. He subsequently reconciles with Noe, and as the two grows closer in the process, Shinichiro strives to help her recover her tears.

The anime is thirteen episodes in length, and was promoted by an internet radio show was hosted by three voice actresses from the anime prior to its release. Presently, the series has been licensed by Bandai Entertainment.


  • Abusive Parents: Shiori, Shinichiro's mother, is not particularly fond of Hiromi; their relationship initially is rocky, but improves following Hiromi's involvement in an accident. Subsequently, their relationship becomes a more friendly one.
  • Accidental Pervert: Shinichiro accidentally walks in on Hiromi while the latter is showering in episode one.
  • Arc Words: As evidenced in the title, tears are a central theme in the show.
  • Art Shift: On several occasions, the scene transitions into a gentle watercolour rendering.
  • Brother-Sister Incest:
    • Hiromi is, for much of the series, under the impression that she is Shinichiro's half-sister and as such, is very unconfortable with her feelings for him.
    • Jun harbours romantic feelings towards his sister, Noe.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Noe regarded as unusual by those around her.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Noe's preferred greeting for Shinichiro is requesting that he catch her, typically resulting in the former crashing into the latter.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Miyokichi maintains a friendly manner towards Aiko in the hopes that she would eventually open up to him, and Aiko is kind to Shinichiro in the hopes that he would reciprocate her feelings.
  • Extreme Doormat: Contrasting her outgoing personality at school, Hitomi is decidedly more reserved at home and follows requests from Shirori without question.
  • Festival Episode: Shinichiro and Hiromi are seen in a festival of sorts during a flashback.
  • First Girl Wins: Hiromi is the first girl seen in the anime, and
  • Hair Decorations: Noe wears a pink hairclip.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Noe, Hiromi, Aiko, Shinichiro and Miyokichi simutenously wish for their respective feelings to be reciprocated but simutaneously try to account for their friends' feelings.
  • Love Hurts - Several characters go through this; Hiromi, Aiko, Shinichiro, and Noe. They aren't very happy seeing their Love Interest expressing interest in someone other than them.
  • Love Triangle: Unrequited feelings and conflict abound wherever Hiromi, Noe and Shinichiro are involved.
  • Luminescent Blush: The more noteworthy ones include
    • Noe blushes brightly after Shinichiro confeses to her.
    • The favour is returned to Shinichiro when Noe kisses him.
  • Meet Cute: Shinichiro meets Noe for the first time when the latter is stuck in a tree. However, this is the extent of their meeting: Noe subsequently curses Shinichiro after he teases her.
  • The Nondescript: Shinichiro is initially portrayed as an ordinary high school student with no remarkable characteristics aside from being a talented artist.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Aiko focibly kisses Shinichiro out of desperation after hearing that he's going to go out with Noe.
  • Relative Error: Shinichiro Shin mistakes Jun, Noe's brother, for her boyfriend in episode three.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: As the series progresses, it becomes clear that Noe will end up fulfilling this role.
  • Scenery Porn: The locations depicted in the anime are simple, clean and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Shipper on Deck
    • Shinichiro finds himself in this role, trying to get Aiko and Miyokichi together and later, attempts to do the same for Hiromi and Jun. In the latter case, he finds himself hesitant to do so because he liked Hiromi but then overheard her mention she liked him, but does so nontheless in the hopes that she would be happier.
    • Jun's intervention begins the relationship between Shinichiro and Noe.
  • Snow Means Love: Despite Hiromi admitting that she hates snow for the unpleasant memories it invokes, she shares a kiss with Shinichiro under falling snow.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: All of the characters shed tears at some point in the series. Given that "tears" is present in the title, this is not particularly surprising.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Both Hiromi and Aiko have known Shinichiro since his childhood. Aiko is not so fortunate and is rejected by Shinichiro.
  • Unrequited Love
    • Miyokichi loves Aiko, but the latter finds it difficult to reciprocate, as her heart lies with Shinichiro, who, in turn, never returns any feelings beyond being friends with her.
    • Both Hiromi and Shinichiro feel this way towards one another until Shiori finally reveals that her later in the series due to a huge misunderstanding/lie by her hand.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Once all the misconceptions are rectified, and the dust settles, Shinichiro finally hooks up with Hiromi at the end.
  • Wham Episode: Hiromi reveals why Shiori hates her to Shinichiro in episode six. This hatred was motivated by the fact that Shiori was under the impression that Hiromi was her husband's illegitimate daughter, compounded by the fact that it was with his best friend's wife. This would have given him justification to accept Hiromi into his household after her parents died.
    • After the truth revealed, Shiori finally realises her mistake and accepts Hiromi as her daughter.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Hiromi is depicted as a kind individual who will stand up for herself where required.