There She Is!
A surprise meeting at a juice stand turns into a love-at-first-sight for the rabbit Doki and a rather persistent follower for the cat Nabi. And though he at first tries to dissuade her pursuit, as their world has a rather adverse stance on inter-species relationships, she eventually wins him over. However, their relationship comes with a few consequences, and not all of them are good.
Love stories are without question the most prevalent element in entertainment, as even movies, series, songs, or... hell, any kind of popular entertainment that doesn't mainly center around relationships feature them to some degree. Which is not surprising, since it's a very big reason any form of life continue to exist. Even among movies or series based solely around romance, you'd get stories about why people should bond or even why they shouldn't.
There she is! -- a Korean series of Flash animations, or ONA (Original Net Animation) if you will -- chooses to base its premise around the "forbidden love" aspect of the love story genre, as its main characters, Doki and Nabi, lives in a society that strongly ostracises relationships between cats and rabbits, even as they seem to live together in otherwise perfect harmony, even pursuing friendly relationships in the face of its rather blatant disagreement over turning said friendship into love.
Normally, I'm not a huge fan of the "love at first sight" theme, at least not as a romantic ideal, but that's mostly to do with it more often than not being coupled with the whole idea of "soulmates". Doki takes wildly to the romantic idea herself, as she keeps fantasizing about Nabi becoming her prince on a white horse, eloping with her and dancing the nights away. As such, Nabi's initial reaction becomes more than a bit understandable; he wants nothing to do with this kind of thing, which makes Doki's pursuit more than a bit unnerving.
As such, There she is! really has two stories to its name. The first one, which the videos start out with, is Doki and Nabi coming to terms with each other. The somewhat reserved Nabi might not appreciate Doki's rather exhuberant advances, but he eventually tolerates her and at least looks upon her as a friend, which allows Doki to figure out what Nabi might enjoy doing and adjust her strategies accordingly. Their relationship might come off as a bit unhealthy at first, but it will grow on you as you watch through each video.
The second story element, and the most blatantly obvious one, is the cross-species romance coupled with the general attitude against said romance in the world Doki and Nabi live in. As mentioned above, relationships between cats and rabbits are not accepted in this world where they take humanoid shape while other types of animals remain animals. (Which includes a dog, a rhino, a turtle, a penguin, a hedgehog, a Frilled Lizard and a small chicken.) Depending on how you feel about anything that tries its hand at playing the intolerance card, you might find There She Is! to be either enlightening or preachy. Or, if you're anything like me, maybe a little bit of both. A little illogical too, maybe, seeing as cats and rabbits seem to have no problem living together, sharing apartment complexes together or interacting on a regular basis. If there are any other misgivings between the two species other than romantic entanglements, we do not get to see it.
Where There She Is! really excels, though, is in the art and animation. You might not think it judging by the screenshots, but in many ways, There She Is! is Legend of DUO's polar opposite; the art is simple, but it's the animation that gives this short series of animated pieces life, mostly through the character's expressions. There She Is! has no spoken lines, and a bare minimum of sound effects, mostly before and/or after the featured song, and yet its message is easy to follow, and the characters's moods are also easy to discern at any given moment. The series also makes the artistic choice of only coloring in a selected few scenes or articles, and even then only partially. Both Nabi and Doki are a stark white color, but Nabi wears a green scarf most of the time, while Doki's collar turns a bright pink from the second episode onwards. Outside of those, colors are mostly used as one form of symbolism -- mostly for mood-related reasons -- while everything else remains white, with various shades of grey inbetween. This is particularly apparent in the fourth episode, which takes a turn for the noticeable darker.
SamBakZa eventually decides to end this show on a light, but somewhat cliche'd high. I don't think you can really expect to learn anything from this series of videos that you probably haven't heard somewhere else many times before. But where There She Is! does a lot better than contemporary shows is purely on the strength of its lovable cast and the excellent animation work which brings them all to life. And that's why I feel you all should go check out SamBakZa's excellent little animation series out. The fact that they're all translated and completely legally free for download is just the icing of the cake.
It's heavily cliched yes, but it's also really cute and fun. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Apart from taking a hard look at the world's sometimes uncompromising racist harshness in its violent lack of glory, There She Is! also features the death of at least one small cute animal.
Version(s) Viewed: Official Flash animation, English dub
Review Status: Full (5/5)
There She Is! © 2003-2009 SamBakZa
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