This is the start of a new chain of me reviewing animes that I finish.
The premise of this anime is that Ryuji Takasu has eyes that make him look like a delinquent despite him being a normal, somewhat overly nice, person. This often gets in the way with him trying to act normal and attempt to get a girlfriend. It doesn't help that he has a single mother who sleeps all day and works night shifts at a bar. Already tired out from taking care of and cooking for him and his mother he finds that he gets to school and he is in the same class as his crush Minori Kushieda and his best friend Yusaka Kitamura, but those aren't the only suprises. Also in his class is the "Palmtop Tiger" Aisaka Taiga, who is a short, childlike, violent, and short-tempered girl that turns out to have moved into the apartments next to his house.
As the show goes on you learn the connections between the characters. There is Ami Kaashima who is a bit of an outsider between the five and has mixed feelings towards the other main characters, she is also a professional model who gets called mature when, on the inside, she is a child. Yusaka Kitamura, who is Ryuji's best friend, Taiga's crush, and the class president. Minori Kushieda is Taiga's best friend and Ryuuji's crush. Ryuji and Taiga become very close friends, Yasuko, Ryuji's mom, refers to them as "A family of three." Taiga often eats at the Takasu residence and they both come up with plans to help get them and their crush together. Throughout this time they become known and several rumors start between them.
The way this anime really grips you is in its incredible ties between the characters. The relationships are always shifting yet hold through throughout the toughest of times. This is definitely a romance anime with only brief scenes of action (centered around Taiga) in maybe 4 out of the 25 episodes.
This anime has an incredible soundtrack including two ending songs sung by the female cast in the show. It also has great art and detailed animation in the characters. Even when zoomed out the characters rarely go into chibi form, they are quite well drawn.
POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING
One of the only downsides to this anime is that it has such a predictable ending. In the last episode the ending almost gets a huge curve but works out nicely in the end. Despite being categorized as a romance anime this is not a serious, Romeo & Juliet love romance. It has a very lighthearted tone (despite characters often crying) and definitely shows this in the ending (not giving that away though).
The main part of the story carries Ryuji, Taiga, and cast through many adventures proving their love and devotion to each other including a trip to Kawashima's beach house, a class ski trip, and the annual cultural festival. In each one of these Ryuji and Taiga come up with plans to get them closer to their crushes while also, non-purposefully, getting them closer to each other.
Overall I give this anime 10 out of 10 geeks. It has a stellar story, great animation, an incredible soundtrack, a great length, and some great twists and turns. It keeps a sweet and funny tone throughout and always keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat. If you like Romance or Comedy animes this is a DEFINITE watch.
Labels: anime, comedy, japanese, romance