Crossing Time – Anime Review

Synopsis: “Clank, clank, clank, clank…” Today, the railroad crossing bar goes down again, stopping someone on their way somewhere. The various stories of youth, eros, art, first love, etc that occur during the time spent waiting at a railroad crossing… All railroad crossings, all the time. Bringing you a variety of short stories about railroad crossings! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)

It’s the power of anime!

Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):

Linny: Crossing Time is uneven. It started off with an impressive premiere, a high school girl confessing to her friend and fellow high school girl. What made this first episode stand out was that the show treated the entire plot with respect and sweetness, making it feel like a tender confession of first love, with the hint of maybe even a relationship to follow, something that’s rare in anime and manga as they tend to use lesbians for cheap titillation more often than not. But then the very next episode moves onto another set of people, introducing Crossing Time’s anthology approach and the main cause of its uneven nature. While some of these stories contain elements that make them come off heartwarming, others are just cliche ridden and cheap. For example, on one hand we had a well crafted peek into same sex relationships, then another about a teacher trying his best to connect with his student despite his awkwardness. On the other, we have episodes involving a hungover man trying to get a passing school girl to help him find something to cover up his naked lower body with, or a high school boy trying to sneak a peek at his classmate’s panties, as well as the accursed trope ridden siblings who might be in love, and so on.

Tom: It’s not at all uncommon for anthology type series to be extremely hit or miss. Rather than crafting a single scenario and cast of characters to latch onto, these kinds of series are always changing things up, often for worse rather than better. While Crossing Time manages to keep itself truly centered on interactions surrounding a mundane railroad crossing, things are extremely hit or miss. Either the problem is fundamental: a pairing of characters failing to generate a worthwhile tale, or due to poor, or uninteresting execution that leaves a two minute narrative feeling flat and bland.

A series of unfortunate events: the anime.

Linny: What makes Crossing Time all the more frustrating is that it fails to deliver on most of its deeper themes. The premiere episode’s duo is revisited in its finale but ends on a whimper as the show shies away from building upon it, content to leave the chance of an actual romantic lesbian relationship up in the air. Similarly, almost any plot line with a deeper vibe is often left open ended or in a manner that makes the more intense parts feel wasted or abandoned. That’s not to say Crossing Time is a waste of time (see what I did there) because thanks to its very short run time, anyone watching it won’t be wasting a lot of time. There’s enough enjoyable episodes sprinkled throughout the show that while you may not become a die hard fan, you won’t find yourself completely disappointed either.

Tom: As short-form anime goes, you could do a lot worse than Crossing Time. The animation is generally strong, for a short-form anyway, and while things are so hit or miss I have to agree with Linny, with even the slightest bit of interest you could churn through Crossing Time in the time it takes to watch a single episode of any normal length anime, making it easy to check Crossing Time out without devoting much time at all to it. I don’t think I can actively recommended the series, but there’s enough hits between all the misses, coupled with an absurdly short total run time, to make it something anime fans seeking to explore the breadth of available material should find at least semi-worthwhile.

Take it or Leave it: Crossing Time experiments, getting it wrong more often than right, making for an uneven series with a few highs and quite a few lows. Still you can binge it in less than half an hour.

Take it or Leave it: Crossing Time’s anthology set up provides uneven entertainment that flirts with deeper themes yet also resorts to tired cliches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing Time is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.

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