Sexual taboos are a funny thing, aren’t they?
To be honest, the incest seen in Please Twins and Angel Sanctuary never really fazed me. My brain was able to recognize these unhealthy relationships for what they were – a gimmick used to make the audience pay more attention. Although from a moralistic standpoint what the characters were doing was definitely pretty skanky, in the end I didn’t really worry all that much; it was all in good fun, after all.
Only when Koi Kaze addressed the ever popular topic once again did I actually become unsettled. I groaned, I gnashed my teeth, I whined to my laptop screen… anything to lighten the intensely disturbing feelings that the anime was force-feeding into me. The night after I finished, I actually lost sleep over what I had seen. The other two animes had failed to unnerve me, but Koi Kaze succeeded frighteningly well.
In addition to this, the plotline is flat-out superior to just about any romance anime that I have seen. While most romance plots feel contrived and predictable, Koi Kaze is anything but. Rather than relying on hackneyed plot elements to maintain the audience’s interest, the anime is wise enough to rely on everyday events, simple dialogue, and repressed emotion. When out of the ordinary occurrences do happen, they are all the more shocking because of it. Amazingly, throughout the entirety of this relatively quiet show, I was never bored and often transfixed to the screen… right up to the ending.
The animation as a whole is passable, but definitely not good. Backgrounds and character designs are nice, but movement tends to be very choppy. Also, when characters speak, the mouths often look very unnatural.
Not an OST that can be listened to by itself, but with the series I found that it did an excellent job of maintaining the mood of the show. Voice acting by the male lead is superb; the seiyuu’s deep voice conveys emotion incredibly well.
The key difference between this and lesser incest shows, I think, is the character development. In Angel Sanctuary, the individuals involved didn’t really feel like real people, but puppets being used to take the storyline to whatever pretentious direction the writers wanted to go in next. With Please Twins, the immense fanservice and the idiotic dialogue (we might be related, but we might not!) dehumanized the girls enough to make the overtones palatable.There is no such lucky break in Koi Kaze. Not only are the characters absolutely loveable, but they also feel incredibly real. In particular, the main character, Koshiro, is truly a work of art. Bitter, tired, loveless, and lonely, Koshiro is excellently developed from the very beginning. Never for a moment are his actions doubtable, even when they begin to become obviously wrong. The sister, Nanoka, is equally believable, with her blind, puppy-dog love and heartbreaking naiveté.
When all is said and done, is Koi Kaze a great anime, or is it a despicable one? This depends largely on what you’re looking for in anime. For those who want easy laughs, a clever plotline, or a sappy, feel good romance, I strongly urge that you stay far away from this series. However, as far as sheer emotional punch or lasting impression goes, Koi Kaze is one of the best series out there.
If life teaches us anything, it is that love sometimes happens in the most unlikely of places, with the most unlikely of people. Koshiro is a run-of-the-mill salaryman who has recently been dumped by his partner. With his heart broken and hope lost, he soon comes to realize that he can love again, once he sets eyes on a beautiful young schoolgirl riding the train. However, there is one catch -- this girl named Nanoka is his sister, who he has not seen in years. Knowing that their forbidden love will always be scrutinized by society; will Koushirou and Nanoka be able to resist the temptation?