In anime school-based romances are ever popular, usually have simple story that deal with the tribulations of high-school life, being accepted, finding the one they love and such, and Hiyokoi is no exception, this refreshing OVA (well ‘other’ classed on Anime-Planet)brings about a simple tale about a very small girl, in a much larger world. The thing that surprised me the most about Hiyokoi was the conciseness of the OVA, it felt like a one-shot for anime, a trail at a possible anime, which went off quite well, in my opinion.
Being a shoujo, school-based romance, a lot of things are as standard, for example; the handsome male character popular with everyone, and the main character who has eyes for this main male (even if they don’t accept/realise it). The biggest problem with OVA’s as the either have too much and leave the audience confused or too little and have the audience asking too many question, however I believe Hiyokoi is different, the story that it uses is simple and short, creating a successful orientation and leaving a nice lead up to an anime that may follow. This OVA details the first day of Hiyori, after returning from an accident, which left her hospitalised. It also portrays how she has to cope with her own shyness and the fact that she is coming into a class that has already been at school for a period of time.
Animation wise Hiyokoi features the clean looking animation that has been coming out in recent years and feels reminiscent to Kimi ni Todoke or Toradora, the character the designs are also similar and make it easy to distinguish who is who. Another thing about Hiyokoi is that the size differences are really well defined, if a character is deemed short, she looks short, I’m not sure of which anime, but some don’t do this very well. The use of bright colours adds to the cheerful light-hearted mood of Hiyokoi and makes it easy to watch, but not too bright as to blind the audience.
The sounds used in Hiyokoi are very much like any anime; realistic sound-effect to help the audience hear the commotion and feel part of the anime, but the thing that surprised me was the soundtrack. The soundtrack is simple but helps the mood progress, the sounds complement the scenes and add to the overall cheerfulness of the anime, even in parts where Hiyori is nervous, the soundtrack keeps light-heart and reinforces to the audience that things are fine. The voice acting is nice and characters suit the voices they are given, the timid voice of Hiyori contrasted to the loud and proud voice of Hirose are a good mix and no voice seems out of place, very pleasing. The ending of the anime is a placid electronic instrumental, which also (as most of the music) add to the cheerfulness and light-heartedness of the anime.
This aspect of the anime was great, Hiyori’s character was clearly established and enough of her history was known to allow the audience to understand her circumstances and why she acts like she does, however, I found that her nervousness to the point of tears sometimes was a bit much. That aside I think for a character of her stature, this fits quite well. You get introduced to three other prominent characters who act as a support to Hiyouri’s story. Ricchan, her best friend, this friendship is conveyed across simply, showing that Ricchan cares and always looks out for her friend. Another character, Hirose, has lead male material; good looks and very tall (which helps drive the main point of the anime) as well as having a carefree and easy going nature. I believe that if Hiyokoi was to be made an anime this ‘perfect character’ would have his faults that would ultimately make him a great character. Finally we have Natsuki, considered minor as her role is very small, and just helps with character development. None of these three characters I just mentioned have an explained history, but this is acceptable for the anime is only a 23 minute OVA.
Hiyokoi is a simple, well-crafted, feel-good shoujo OVA, about dealing with fears and opening up. The story is concise and not too long, the music is pleasent and the characters are well placed and so promise, if the OVA was to become an anime. I found it an easy watch with no extremes, just a honest quick shoujo fix.
If your reading this please tell me what you think ^.^