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Anime / Fantastic Children

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Fantastic Children is an anime that, despite its more 80s/90s art style, ran from 2004 to 2005. It's an original 26 episode story with plot twists galore, and has received high praise from critics.

The story begins with the mystery of a group of five strange white haired children, who have been sighted at various points throughout history, stretching from the 1600's to the present day. A detective who has heard of this enigma discovers a strange connection between it and a missing persons case he's been working on. Meanwhile, an island boy embarks on a journey with a mysterious orphaned girl who rarely speaks but is constantly painting pictures of bizarre, incomprehensible landscapes. These plots manage to link firmly together into a complex, deeply moving saga. To explain further would ruin things, but let's just say it's a story that links equal parts adventure, coming of age, mystery, tragedy, history, the fantastic, and romance. Yep, there's quite a bit going on in this one.

This anime contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Done for the robots and some machinery.
  • A Boy and His X: Tarlant and his robot Wonder, who will initially only respond to him and the other Children. In the second ending, fully human Tarlant is shown with a dog he calls Wonder.
  • Alien Among Us: Subverted: The aliens don't care about humans. They're only on Earth because they had no other choice.
  • Aliens Never Invented Democracy: The people of Greecia have the power to travel to the land of the dead. They can reincarnate themselves and live several lifetimes. They can even put a soul into a mechanical body. Yet they're still a monarchy. They're ruled by a senile and slightly insane king to add extra insult to the injury.
  • Arc Words: There is a poem that appears several times in the series. It's always spoken aloud, and usually the one reciting it is Aghi. It turns out to be well known in Greecia.
    • There is also an arc picture, which Helga is fixated on and draws constantly. This is the water tower in Greecia, and all of Tina's reincarnations have been artists who drew this picture, although in different styles and with differing degrees of accuracy.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The setting looks more like Cambodia, but the map shows names picked from Northwest Europe (The Netherlands, Belgium, and The UK.)
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Meet Palza, also known as Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (badly misspelled, though, his family name is "Rugen," similar to the German island in the Baltic sea), discoverer of X-rays.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Inverted Duma to Helga / Tina. He's actually her younger brother, but oh well.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The ending theme song, "Mizu no Madoromi," appears in three languages in the dubs: The dub language (when Aghi sings it to his sister), Japanese (as the first ending theme song), and Russian (as the second ending, because the singer Origa speaks Russian as a first language). In the Japanese version, there are only two, Japanese and Russian.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Literally. The whole of Greecia looks like this, and many things in the story are based on Greek mythology.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Duma's one can qualify as this.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: A large part of the plot and have a big part to do with why he and she were reincarnated. He couldn't win her heart at the beginning and still couldn't by the end.
  • First Guy Wins: Between this and Childhood Friend Romance, Seth never stood a chance with Tina.
  • Freudian Excuse: Duma's mother was killed. However, it turns out he isn't actually a villain. His father Georca, who was the one who killed his mother, is.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Dr. Radcliffe became obsessed with unraveling the mystery of the Children of Befort. Needless to say, the more he found out, the madder he went. He could have been saved a lot of suffering if he knew that his theory was actually as far from the truth as you could get.
  • Heroic BSoD: Just about every character does this, most notably when they get their memories back, typically taking an entire episode to snap out of it. Seth also gets one after Soran rescues Tina.
  • Kick the Dog: Georca has done lots of them, but the most notable is when he beats his wife in front of his own son Dumas.
  • Love Hurts: Sess, especially when Tina was saved by his rival Soran.
  • Missing Child: Your 5 year old child disappears one night and police specialists are completely sure he / she left willingly. You wait the next 6 years for any news only to be informed that his / her body was just found along with other missing children, who died in mysterious circumstances. If you even accidentally meet your child during these 6 years he / she will immediately run away and disappear again.
  • Motherly Scientist: Gertha cares about safety of her subjects, not because they are scienificly significant, but because "they are humans." She keeps telling it to her coworkers, when they try to force the last of them into submission.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Sess, to Soran.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sess, after he killed Soran.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: The palace guards vs. Gueroca's goons.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Children of Befort have been reincarnated on Earth many times. They only live for 11 years each time before being reincarnated again, but they were first seen on Earth in 1489.
  • Reincarnation: All of the main characters except for Cooks, his assistant, and Chitto are reincarnations of Greecians. The Children are Greecian scientists, Gherta is Mel having lost her memories, Helga is Tina, Thoma is Seth, and Damien is Duma. All of these reincarnations except for Soran's were intentional.
  • Reincarnation-Identifying Trait: Having been reincarnated on earth another time, Tina meets a man that looks rather like Soran. She confirms this when she sees her name on his arm in Greecian, the language of their home planet during their previous lives. He responds with a smile.
  • Retraux: The series was drawn in an intentionally retro style.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Almost every character, with the most notable examples being Sess / Sesu / Seth, Soran / Solan, Duma / Dumas, and Thoma / Toma / Tomas.
  • Status Quo Is God: At the end of the series, nothing on the grand scheme of things changes. The Children stay on Earth and lose their memories of Greecia, and Helga / Tina and Seth / Thoma don't leave either. This may seem like a Downer Ending, even though most everyone is happy.
  • Tears of Remorse: Sess has these immediately after having killed Soran.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The story takes place in 2012.
  • Unexplained Accent: Despite everybody else speaking regular English without any noticeable accent, the English dub has Thoma (and to a lesser extent, his mother and father) speak in some strange unidentifiable accent.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Cooks and Alice get that. None of them are shown after Cooks is knocked out by Demian during Final Battle.