Sometimes it's fruitful to take a step back and examine the basic workings of what we have come to accept. Like taking apart a cheeseburger to see just exactly what's in it and how much effort actually went into making it. Acchi Kocchi is a romantic-comedy without a gimmick. No dumb vampire lore, no petty revenge plot, no bullshit gynophobia problems, just she likes him, and she's coy about it and BAM! There's your anime.
Acchi Kocchi is the story of Tsumiki struggling to confess her crush on her friend Io. That's it. That's the whole extent of the plot. It presents itself as a sort of slice of life way, and that works pretty well. Tsumiki is a well defined character, and her shyness card is not the only one in her deck. She feels more like an actual human being, rather than a marionette going through the motions of a romcom. She takes herself seriously, and is incredibly strong, and yet she still lets her feminine side out whenever she can. Now, I have said before that I have a weakness for shy characters, and now is as good a time as any to explain why. Basically, there are three reasons. 1: I feel shyness is a good place to start to build character development. There are many ways to characterize shyness, whether it be eventually drawing them out or even just understanding what they're shy about. It presents a slew of never ending possibilities. 2: Shyness is a very relateable trait for many people, including myself. Most people have been shy in any number of situations, and I feel close to shy characters because I'm not very good at approaching people I don't know, or even people I do know at some times. 3: THEY'RE SO ADORABLE! Tsumiki provides great examples of all three. Her shyness characterizes her greatly, I could relate to her problems very well and SHE'S SO ADORABLE! Needless to say, she's the best character of the show.
The rest of the cast is pretty good too. Io is the oblivious love interest of the show. I will say, his characterization is slow going, but around episode 5 or 6 I think, his characterization gets really good and is characterized outside of an oblivious cool person who could get any girl he wants. Their friends are also pretty well-developed to the extent that they need to be as well. Hime is the confused nice girl who finds cuteness in anything she can. Sakaki is the guy who's all talk but is pretty much the buttmonkey of the whole group. Mayoi is the strange, enigmatic inventor of the group and the buttmonkey runner-up. Those three provide a good chunk of the humor in the series and they're all likeable to at least some extent.
The art is pretty good, but I feel it could have been better. It's not bad, I just feel it's trying too hard. The art is interestingly light and fluffy, but also just a tad unreal. I feel the art could have tried harder a little bit. It's still good and interesting and all, but it needs work.
The music does a good job fitting the mood. It matches the mood of the scene just right. It's nice and slow when it wants us to take it seriously, and it gets all loud and bombastic whenever something funny happens. Though, the opening is kind of not fitting. It's goofy and pop-y and just doesn't seem to match the show all the way. It's a good song, but I think the effort was mis-placed. The ending theme is very good though. It's nice, soft, and relaxing, just what you'd expect from this.
As for the voices, they do a great job at bringing out what we love about the cast. For each emotion that these characters have, the voice-actor finds a voice suitable for it. Everyone is perfectly cast and performs their character excellently.
The humor of the show is what I really like about Acchi Kocchi. It has some very great lively subtle humor. That portion of humor directly stems from the crush that Tsumiki has on Io. It's both adorable and really hilarious. However, Acchi Kocchi also has some humor that's about as subtle as a drunk clown at a rave. I think they could have used less of that though, and focus more on the subtle humor of it all. Still, to its credit, the non-subtle humor is still funny and doesn't take away from the subtle humor, and it does give Hime, Sakaki, and Mayoi more characterization. I think they focused more on that kind of humor because the creators weren't sure that the subtle humor alone could draw in as many viewers, and that's understandable. No matter what it is, there's always at least one member of the audience that can't understand something more complex than throwing a pie at someone's face, and designing something to draw in more of an audience is understandable, and it works in this case because it doesn't ruin any of the subtle humor that not everyone understands. The humor is very funny in either area and enjoyable.
Overall: Acchi Kocchi is a very good anime. The characters are great, the humor is funny, the production values are splendid and it's an overall enjoyable experience. It does have some flaws, but the good outweighs the bad tenfold. 8.7/10
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