Rihito Sajou is an honor student with perfect scores in every subject on his high school entrance exam. Hikaru Kusakabe plays guitar in his band that performs at live events and is popular among the girls. These boys would have never crossed paths. But one day Hikaru offers to help Rihito prepare for their upcoming chorus festival and the two begin to talk. As the two meet after school, they bond through songs and begin to harmonize as their hearts beat together. It starts out slowly but soon their feelings for one another grow and suddenly they both realize that they are in love. Hikaru's emotions are frivolous, pure and direct causing Rihito to hesitate at first, but he gradually opens his heart. The boys learn about each other, as well as themselves, as they support one another during this difficult time in their youth.As the time to start thinking about their futures approaches, what do these young men find as they try to move forward...
It was very well put together, considering it was only 60 minutes in length (approximately 3 episodes) minus credits at the end. It was not the most amazing thing ever, but is definately quality for this genre. I would recommend to anyone who likes boys love (aka shounen ai, not yaoi) or romance. Hopefully knowing that the two become a couple is not a spolier because it happens within the first 1/4 of the movie. Story 7/10: I actually liked the way the story was seperated out. It was cut into seasons (spring, summer vaction etc.), where each chunk had its own issue for the couple, a climax in tension, as well as a resolution. It starts out strong with the two getting to know eachother and then realizing they're in love (rather than the love at first sight plot device). By the end they've been going out around a year, and it involves the passing of time and their futures, making it seem like a more successful realtionship despite the short amount of time the movie had. The style of storytelling was also wonderful, as the watcher is able to see and understand the point of view of both MCs, Kusakabe Hikaru and Rihito Sajou. However, even though I liked the way it was put together there is no helping that the progression of the relationship between the two felt a bit rushed. We see all the times they had issues together, and how they were solved, but are left only to imagine what their relationship is during its successful times, aka all the time that was skipped between acts. Considering the time there was no helping it, but I still wanted to see them do a few really cute couple like things. Or at least a few more than what we've seen, like them going out on a date or just talking about something in a 'funtional conversation' scene, as there was a lot of awkward silence from the shy Sajou. The plot was also not necessarily new or original. It was in a boys highschool and the cause of issues was mostly silly jealousy and keeping a secret. At the same time it was well executed and perhaps not a bad choice for a boys love film. The issues were kept simple and clean, but dramatic, and the way it was shown was artsy and interesting in a way that the plot was still entertaining despite not being original. There was a dream scene near the end that I really liked that was an example of little flourishes added to make this movie so entertaining despite its simplicity. Animation 9/10: The animation was good. It was done in sketchy style with more muted but optimistic colors that were in a watercolor-ish texture and fit the mood of the movie well. It was only an hour so sub-par animation would have been an issue, but it flowed well and there were many things done that added to the satisfaction level despite the simplicity of the plot. Naturally there was a lot of scene changes (rain scene in particular was good), but what I really liked was the facial expressions. Suprise, happiness, etc. the way the faces were made to change sporatically almost mirrored the quickly changing plot and it was a nice touch. At times the art went more abstract and that seemed to fit the overall style as well. The only thing I could say about the animation was that I just wanted to see more of the MCs faces. It could just be a personal preference, but the times where their good looking mugs were in the scene large enough to see details was short spans of time. Also the yellow kid's hair was just a tad too long for me to like, with it morphing into shape around his neck. It just kinda bothered me how it did that, though that did not change the score at all because that is a complete opinion. (I guess so is a review but whatever.) Sound 8/10: There certainly wasn't any 'offensive' music that didn't fit. Overall I thought the soundtrack was kept rather simple like the plot and came in when necessary, but nothing stood out to me. It wasn't like the 'I'll buy this seperately Howel's Moving Castle theme song' kind of music, but not bad either. Characters 9/10: This was my favorite part of the movie. There's basically the regular non-motivated school kid and then there's the honor student who takes everything seriously. Both normal character types, and yet they fit the movie so well and I enjoyed seeing them. Some of it had to do with sparse dialogue and occasional bold statements to add impact. Other times it was the characters bold actions when they had been so reserved just a moment ago. The fact that they both struggled so much with saying what they really wanted to say was a major conflict. At the same time the MC Hikaru (yellow hair) would sometimes burst out in words and babbling excitement that added a flair to their interactions, while Sajou (black haired) remained more shy and pessimistic. Pessimistic as in easily jealous and put off by trivial words or phrases, fairly sensitive. It's expected considering his serious character type but at the same time added some excitment and was for the better despite the predictability of it. The bursts of emotion in their interactions added originality even though the two remained largely typical character types. Some details were added during the movie the flesh them out some. Though considering the time allotted this was minimal. Crying was also used correctly(aka there was plenty of it during dramatic scenes), and the more extroverted and outwardly emotional of the two, Hikaru, probably cried more than Sajou, who was more introverted. Overall the side characters were literally undefined by the art style and kept out of the way and to a minimum, other than Hara-sen a teacher who was involved in some drama. I would say that was the correct option. To give the two non-original character types as much time as possible for fleshing out and character exploration was definately a bigger plus than giving some side characters a bit of time. Overall 8/10: Overall this is a nice romance movie. The basis of the movie is pretty typical, but the execution creates a entertaining work. The animation is fitting and lovely, the bursts of emotion, and the two's progression in romance is satisfying and dramatic. Considering the current options for boys love anime this is definately a less exteme choice in regards to relationship and character types that is very similar to any other normal boy x girl relationship. I think that although it does not pass my 'wow this is amazing' bar level of 9, it was definately worth my time and worth a possible re-watch (considering I'm a shounen ai fan). Specifically it is a 4.1/5 as it is quality but needed a bit more originality and time for fleshing out in order to make it simply wonderful. (I await the day a shounen ai anime with originality and flourish that can get a rating of over 4.5 from me appears...*goes back and rewatches scene where Sajou is drunk*)
This movie is a work of art. The animation is so unique and makes you just want to keep watching. I caught myself staring at the backgrounds instead of the scene on multiple occasions, but I had no problem with going back and rewatching the scene. The soundtrack is beautiful, with Koutaro Oshio and his guitar. Yuuki Ozaki from Galileo Galilei ends up singing the ending song as well, which was a pleasant surprise. Though the story line is cliche, the personalities of the characters make this anime shine through unlike the rest of the animes that tried to follow that story line. I have watched this movie thirteen times so far, and it never gets old. I still blush when Sajou and Kusakabe do cute stuff, it just warms my heart. Another thing about this anime is that it portrays being gay in a very realistic way. When Sajou is talking to Hara-sen, he says, "But we're boys," when being questioned about dating Kusakabe. This line reflects how someone would react in the real world. It shows the struggles of young men trying to figure out their sexualities in a world where heterosexuality is normal. With all the fancy talk out of the way, I can genuinely say that this movie is my favorite. If you fall in love with this movie as much as I did, I would suggest reading the manga and its sequels, because they fill the void once the movie is over.
It starts as rather peculiar, and the animation can seem very unusual at first, but the story ads up to it. The characters and their interactions are more than enough to give the overall movie a 9/10 or even a 10/10. What more to add up is the fact that the way the characters interact isn't typical to our basic "yaoi" series or movie. They share their feelings, hug, and support each other, have conflicts, but don’t force each other to do things they don’t want, and show interest in each other. I just love that the love interest isn't really forced into the relationship or forced to confess his feelings in a way yaoi often has him do. They confess in a very open way, easy and right to case. The amount of cuteness coming from both of them is heartwarming, and there is only hints to the oh-so-tiring seme and uke roles. Overall, a great movie with stunning scenes, sound and moods, that captures the love between two characters in a more magical way than any other movie has done so far this season. An absolutely striking and lovely love-story, and a must watch for all boys-love fans!
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