After a series of rather dark animes i decided i was going to enjoy an innocent slice of life comedy with maybe a touch of romance, End result? A bitersweet shoujo by Production I.G, that consists of 25 episodes, and is sweet enough to melt even the toughest of hearts.
STORY: The story presents itself with our female protagonist Sawako, which due to her resmblence to a fictional horror character constantly leads her to being isolated by her classmates. This is when we are introduced to our male protagonist, Shota Kazehaya; a cheerful, charismatic guy who happens to be extremely popular in his class. As the story develops, our socially awkward protagonist slowly begins to open up to her fellow classmates; even managing to make new friends thanks to the help of our male lead.
The story itself was rather cliche - i mean seriously...the popular charismatic Guy ends up falling for the socially inept Female - every Girls dream. In addition, i felt the drama aspect of this show was rather superfical and even felt forced. For example, after a vicious rumour spreading around the school about Sawako, rather than clear up the misunderstandings, Sawako does the exact opposite, and further isolates herself from her friends. This obviously makes the rumours seem true, and thus Sawako is seen as guilty. In this sense, the drama in this show was slightly melodramatic, which made the story predictable, and thus reduced the show's overall enjoyment.
Animation and Sound: I was pleased with the animation of this show. In particular, i liked the use of bright happy colours, which conveys the innocence of this show, and makes the portrayal of a highschool setting more believeable. Also, i found the chibi moments to be rather amusing at first and even lightens up the mood in many scenes. However, i felt this in the end was a 'double edged sword' as the show became heavily reliant on this to highlight funny moments. Furthermore, as the show progresses, i felt the chibi moments became a nusiance, and at times even seemingly ruined the mood.
The sound was above average, whilst the opening had me hooked by the first episode. In addition, the character voices were all above average, particularly Chizuru, whom i felt was by far the most impressive as her quirky upbeat nature is captured very nicely.
Characters: The characters were by far the highlights of this show, In particular, i enjoyed the supporting roles of Yano and Chizuru who served as an interesting pair of characters. However, i felt rather disappointed by Sawako's character. It seemed as if throughout the show she remains shy and incredibly dense to Kazehaya's feelings to the point in which i felt like throwing my cereal at the TV - yes, i was that annoyed. In addition, i felt Kazehaya's character was simple but it did its job in creating a typical male shoujo lead. Other supporting characters include Ryu whom i felt was the funniest character, with his rather awkward demeanor and lazy attitude provided excellent comedy at times.
Overall, i enjoyed the animation, sound and characters, and felt they provided a much needed support to the show's premise.