It is my belief that telling parts of the story will really spoil your first time experience watching KGNE, so I’m not going to reveal much about the actual storyline.
Story is the one of the strongest aspects of KGNE. When I first read a similar synopsis, I thought that it was pretty cheesy. This theme is a common theme that reoccurs throughout most romance anime. As a regular hentai watcher, I have seen my fair of romance and usually I’m left feeling disappointed. But after finally finishing KGNE, KGNE to my great surprise really delivers great drama and romance.
The director, Tetsuya Watabe, found a way to really take this concept further. Firstly, what sets KGNE from most anime is that it aims to immerse you into the animation. Many times the animation was so good that I lost track of time, forgot about the animation, and got immersed in the story and characters. With that important point accomplished, I was able to focus on the beautifully written script of KGNE.
KGNE’s story aims to be close to reality as it possibly can. The main characters are faced with decisions and situations that could occur in real life. This is ingenius because unlike other anime that focuses on something fictional or futuristic, KGNE always feels down to earth and realistic. As a result, you seamlessly associate yourself with each character’s predicaments. The story is so beautifully written that many times you probably would be asking yourself what you would do in the character’s situations or whether you could have coped with it. To me that is a true sign of a well written script. Moreover, the story is filled with many twists and surprises that doesn’t allow you to predict what is going to happen next, intensifying your yearning for the end.
KGNE isn’t your typical anime pepped up with lots of comedy and action, it is just the opposite. There are a bit of comedy relief scenes, but they by no means deter you away from the main story. KGNE is mature and tries to depict reality as close as animation without special effects would allow. Tetsuya Watabe’s ability to present realistic relationships is what really makes KGNE special.
Furthermore, he was even successful in presenting an underlying message. He tries to point out through KGNE that we all in many points of our life are faced with very hard decisions. These types of decisions determine our future, and there is never a "right" answer. The more we drag out these decisions, run from them, or wait for something to happen, the more suffering and pain we endure. These types of decisions are always going to be there, and time is always cruelly passing us by. It is up to us to find our way through these decisions because no one is going to help us. This underlying message is effectively carried out and is yet another sign of KGNE’s well written script.
Animation overall was well done. Female character design was given much thought. All women are portrayed to be very attractive. They have big, glassy eyes, nice flowing hair, and fair-sized breasts. In contrast, male character design barely had any notable characteristics. Male characters are typically taller than the women and their eyes have less depth and color - pretty much what you see in most anime. Additionally, because the setting of KGNE progresses from high school days to adult life, each character undergoes noticeable physical changes. The two main female characters are seen nude, but its really only breast shots, so it shouldn’t be a big problem for most viewers. There is a very small number of few love scenes, but nothing explicit. They show just enough to show that they’re making love.
The opening and ending sequences are nicely done. The opening sequence is typical, giving short glimpses of the characters involved in the anime. The ending sequence highlights the close friendship that all of the main three characters share.
Background animation is nicely detailed. I believe that the director tried to depict reality the best he could without the aid of special effects. Many times characters are walking on the streets lost in their thoughts, only to be rudely awakened by busy people like that on the streets of Tokyo, Japan.
Sound overall was good, but not perfect. Many times the background music could have been much better in expressing the current mood or atmosphere. KGNE music is soft, colorful, and sometimes sorrowful. I've listened to the 2 KGNE TV OSTs, and unfortunately I think that the KGNE soundtrack for the actual game is better. The KGNE TV contains many of the same songs from the game, but they are arrangements. There are many original songs from the TV OST, but they couldn't match the songs from the actual game in my opinion.
On a special note, the opening song, "Precious Memories" and the two end songs, "Rumbling Hearts" and "Hoshizora no Waltz" were composed and sung by Haruka’s seiyuu, Minami Kuribayashi. The OP theme isn’t as gripping as I would have liked it to be, but it has a nice flowing tone. The ED theme matches KGNE’s drama theme perfectly. The final ED theme "Kimi ga Nozomu Eien" by MEGUMI is very beautiful and a perfect ED theme for the series.
Seiyuu voices were excellent. They all put so much feeling into all their characters. My personal favorite is Mitsuki’s seiyuu, Tomoko Ishizaki. I don't think she has done any voice acting besides for Kimi ga Nozomu Eien TV and the game, but I thought she performed Mitsuki’s character really well.
While the most notable downfall of many anime is underdeveloped characters, KGNE really excels. The important ability to connect and associate with characters in any anime is vital to keeping them memorable. All the main characters, Takayuki, Mitsuki, and Haruka, are all well developed and have distinct personalities. Takayuki loves both Mitsuki and Haruka. He is portrayed as an average male human, struggling with his relationship between Mitsuki and Haruka. He is equally kind to everyone, but this ends up being his biggest weakness. Mitsuki loves Takayuki deeply, but is mentally weak due to various events and stresses. She is a hard worker and excels in swimming. She has an outgoing personality. Haruka also loves Takayuki deeply, but unlike Mitsuki, she is mentally strong. While she may be shy at times, she always tries to express her true feelings to Takayuki. Since KGNE’s setting starts in high school, and progresses into adult life, all the main characters mature and develop to varying degrees.
Moreover, support characters found in KGNE are not merely introduced and cast aside. They instead actually support the main characters. In KGNE, support characters indirectly help the main characters through their problems. Some even have troubles of their own that are similar to the main characters. This results in effectively portraying the idea that everyone has problems with decisions about our futures. It is not just limited to romance.
An important point to note is that Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (KGNE) is actually based on a hentai-game (H-game) made by Age. I did not find this out until after I finished the series, and I was happily surprised and relieved. While watching KGNE, there was no reason for me to ever believe that it was based on an H-game. This was quite interesting to me because the only other H-game based anime that accomplished this non-H-game feeling was Comic Party. But even with Comic Party, its anime plot was quite different from its H-game plot. From what I heard, KGNE doesn’t deter completely from its H-game counterpart. Typically, if an anime was based on an H-game, like Triangle Heart, it is made so painstakingly apparent. I’m so glad that KGNE didn’t turn out to be a disappointment like Triangle Heart.
I don't think I have to point out that I really enjoyed Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. In fact, I keep KGNE very close to my heart. From a literary perspective it is brilliant, successfully illustrating the hardships of real life. If evaluated as a drama/romance anime, it truly stands out amongst the rest. It effectively immerses the viewer into the world of KGNE and allows the viewer to fall in love with its well developed characters and well written storyline.
I definitely recommend KGNE to romance and drama lovers. I can probably describe KGNE as a great soap opera. It is a must see. It accomplishes what soap operas on television can not. In real life, I really don’t watch much television, but occasionally I take a peek at the soap opera channel. I’m not sure whether it is a gut feeling, but I’m always reminded that despite all the great acting, it just looks so fake.
Though I would like to say everyone should watch KGNE, this is a drama/romance anime. There is much dialogue to sit through, and there isn’t much action at all. People who are looking for a comedy or action driven anime probably should not watch KGNE.
As for re-watchability, KGNE has a great re-watch value. Even though the second time around you probably would not be so surprised by all the plot twists and surprises, but there are many other aspects like character development and viewer immersement that is worth re-watching.
Narumi Takayuki is a normal high school student with a crush on Mitsuki, the school's swim star -- that is, until he receives a profession of love from his friend Haruka. But amidst the beautiful budding relationship, tragedy strikes when an accident occurs, turning Narumi’s life upside-down. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a compelling drama about one man, and the choices he must make for love.