Lamune - Reviews

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Sheex's avatar
Apr 10, 2008

Story

For those familiar with my tastes, it should come as little surprise that I absolutely detest just about any harem series - most especially, though, those adapted from random dating sims.  Most try to shape romance as their central, core thematic, but end up failing miserably when they try to perpetrate a deep, viable relationship between the male lead and all his multiple female companions.  Even so, as recent examples such as Kanon 2006 and Clannad have shown, the harem archetype can, with substantial tampering, be modified into an anime possessing both romantic depth as well as original substance.  Both titles, however, I watched only after extensive positive feedback from friends ordinarily not impressed with the genre, and were not chosen based upon some spur-of-the-moment harem craving.  Thus, what events inspired me to pick up Lamune completely at random I really can't say, as by all accounts it seemed nothing more than standard harem trash and not worthy of being touched by a ten foot pole.

The premise behind Lamune, for instance, has been done countless times before - a completely average guy, Kenji, lives next door to a completely average girl, Nanami, whom he happens to be childhood friends with.  Kenji, of course, has a younger sister whom affectionately flatters him with the obligatory "Onii-chan! Onii-chan!" treatment, as well as an abnormally large assortment of girls who just happen to befriend him over the course of the series.  There's the slew of typical harem events as well, ranging from the summer beach trip to the arrival of the nosy female relative, which further adds to the series' apparent void of any original material.  By all accounts I should have been put off by these flaws; however, while Lamune's content might not have been all that enthralling, its approach to its content was unique, and that did well in attracting my interest enough to give it a chance.

Strangely enough, Lamune is decidedly absent of excessive panty shots, groping, and pitifully shallow attempts at romance.  In fact, from the first episode the main romance between Kenji and Nanami is pretty much set in stone, as both their friends and families call them a couple even if they themselves do not.  As such, there exists very little material for the story to use aside from fairly standard slice-of-life occurrences, especially since Kenji is not an excessively perverted teenager who has an aversion for getting his face between the legs of every girl he comes across.  This ultimately creates some awkward moments in the series' pacing, especially toward the beginning when each of the six or girls is given a characterization episode.  By no means is this necessarily bad per se, but it does make acquiring an interest in Lamune's world and characters somewhat difficult.  That said, Lamune does have its quirks here and there that keep it entertaining enough for those who enjoy slice-of-life or romance to keep watching.  There are a number of romantic moments between Kenji and Nanami scattered throughout the episodes, and instead of having them interrupted by one of the other girls, Kenji's cousin usually ends up dragging the crowd away in order to leave the two to themselves.  After stomaching so many touching scenes ruined by things like giant robotic turtles, this most certainly goes to Lamune's credit, as it shifts the series' demographic toward a more mature audience.


Animation

If there's one thing that stands out about Lamune, it's that the anime was created largely around the idea of being a promo for the dating sim that inspired its creation.  The animation carries a very colorful, cheery, and vibrant feel that certainly fits the atmosphere the series' aimed to create, and given its standard fare, it's no secret that the production costs were meant to be kept as minimal as possible.  The girls are all relatively cute and the guy isn't half bad either, so I guess it succeeds in trying to showcase its girls for a potential buyer to see.  Overall, though, the animation isn't half bad, and the general minimal quality of detail doesn't really do anything to detract from the mood even for those with no interest in the dating sim itself.


Sound

Just as with the animation, the musical score and voice acting were both very standard.  Both the opening and ending themes, along with the OST, did their jobs but not much more.  I can't think of a single outstanding track, but neither can I think of an instance where the music felt out of place either.  The music contributed to the very relaxed pacing of the series, and for that I really have no complaints.  The same goes with the voice actors, too; they animated their characters well, but given the lack of dramatic scenes, they really didn't need to do much more than speak casually so there's not much particularly worthy of note. 


Characters

As I've already touched on briefly, the characters are certainly the highlight of the series.  Kenji, by just about any standard, is a solid lead, and certainly holds his own against other shallow harem leads.  Though slightly shy, he's not a typical loser-picks-up-hot-girl guy, as much of Lamune is spent fleshing him and Nanami out as realistic people in a realistic romance.  He's a generally nice guy with an interest in helping others and fixing things, and can probably relate, at least on some level, to someone everyone knows.  Likewise, Nanami proved a surprisingly charming female lead as well.  While obviously quite feminine, she's not emotionally clingy or dependant on Kenji, which removes a lot of the potentially forced drama most harems use girls like her to create.  Overall she's reliable and self-sufficient, which really makes the chemistry between her and Kenji endearing - the two are, quite obviously, meant for each other and just about everyone can tell.

The rest of the characters are just fluff and play little role beyond their individual girl-of-the-day episodes, though, so they're really not all that worthy of mention.  The Kenji-Nanami romance is what drives Lamune, and it's certainly quite strong; whenever the other girls do come into play, it's generally to strengthen their relationship, so I really can't complain about them as being obtrusive in any way.


Overall

Due to Lamune's very unique pacing, I can say with certainty that this series should only be touched those who have an affinity toward slice-or-life or romance series.  While certainly nothing spectacular, if there were any harem to successfully bridge the gap between Kyoto Animation's works and generic trash series, Lamune would definitely be it.  Given how enormously difficult it is for a harem to impress me, I think the fact that the series went as far as to be average speaks volumes about quality.  Though by far not the best of its genre and by far not the worst, it certainly merits consideration, and on that fact alone I'd give it my recommendation.  

5/10 story
6.5/10 animation
5/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
6/10 overall
TJ2012's avatar
Jan 11, 2010

Well to When I first Started watching this anime it seemed a bit more weird and it just kinda seemed that it was gonna be a Major Fail, But as you Git Farther into the anime it seem to show a couple actuly prety uniqe Factors. If your a fan of Romance and you got the free time i would diffintly say that you should diffently try this anime out i loved it and there where alot of parts that i thought were quit cool.

But to be Honist there are parts of this anime that I thought were realy not even worth puting into the anime.

But this is My Personly Rating so if you wont to figure out if it was right go watch it yourself :P

7.5/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
7/10 overall
PrinceofLovers's avatar
Oct 5, 2009

These is one of a kind, even made me cry,great story, it's a pure love story, that for me even Romeo and Juliet would envy.

Made ore no kokoro doki doki!!!

I recommend it for everyone

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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HarioSagara's avatar
Sep 7, 2012

I am pleased to present you with a review of a refreshingly unique romance anime when compared with the rest of the genre. While a lot of anime don't bother to get their characters very far in terms of developing relationships, Lamune actually showcases the development of a relationship. Despite looking like it might turn into just another harem anime due to the fact that it's based off a dating sim and has an overabundance of female characters, Lamune instead focuses on the romance between the main characters.

Story 7/10

Lamune is a story about the growth of a childhood friendship into a budding romance. It has a rather simple premise but it features a rather heartwarming story. Kenji and Nanami have been next door neighbors since they were children and have developed a good friendship over the years. They live in a small town near the beach and the show has a small town feel to it throughout the anime. During the summer of one of their highschool years their friendship starts to develope into more of a serious romance through close experiences they have with each other.

The anime also features several side stories about other characters that are involved with the two. While it somewhat detracts from the main romance the side stories add more of a slice of life feel to this anime and the side stories are also interesting as well. Basically each of the side stories is there to introduce and develop the rest of the characters in the show, who are mostly girls. There are also several flashbacks throughout the series about the experiences the characters went through in childhood that adds a nostalgic feel to the anime and helped to connect the viewer to the characters.

Animation 6/10

The animation is done in a rather simple generic way. This doesn't detract anything from the anime as the animation isn't meant to be anything out of the ordinary. The girls are all made to look cute and the expressions made by the characters makes them endearing to the viewer. There are also a lot of rather pretty scenes of the ocean that are not exactly spectacular but do add to the summer romance feel of the anime.

Sound 4.5/10

The sound does nothing to make the anime stand out in any way. There are just a few simple background tunes that somewhat set the mood for what is going on in the anime. There isn't an actual opening or closing song for this anime. The voice actors do a good job though Nanami's voice does get somewhat whiny at times.

Characters 6.5/10

The male protagonist Kenji is a refreshing change from the average lame male protagonist that have no redeeming qualities. He may be somewhat lacking in being considerate when it comes to general things, but he goes out of his way for someone he cares about when its something important. Nanami is an interesting female lead that does her best to look out for Kenji and ends up getting teased a lot for it. Despite that she isn't like the generic female leads that chase after the guy for no apparent reason. Their relationship with each other grows due to the connection they have after going through several experiences. There's not too much that's special about the rest of the characters in the series. They do at least spice things up and make it more interesting rather than detract from the show though. There are some good back stories to these characters throughout the anime as well.

Overall 6.5/10

I gave this anime a somewhat low score to try to stay objective, but honestly this is one of the better romance/ slice of life anime out there that you could watch. Featuring a decent cast of characters that also features a story that at times can also be heart-rending, this anime does a better job of showing a developing romance than most other anime out there. If you are a fan of heartwarming romance stories then I would recommend this anime. If you don't enjoy watching a romance blossom without having something more surrounding the plot then don't bother.

7/10 story
6/10 animation
4.5/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
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Wingedkratos's avatar
Jan 27, 2011

My review of the 2005 Slice Of Life/Drama/Romance anime, Lamune.

Story

The story revolves around a male lead named Kenji Tomosaka and a female lead named Nanami Konoe and a host of other characters living out their lives, going to high school, going on vacation, and spending their free days at their jobs or doing various hobbies. They meet a mix of new people and some not so new people they had met at least once as a child, eventually healing emotional wounds they received as children or dealing with feelings they had since they were children.
The story/plot wasn't bad, but it was definitely wasn't anything extremely unique. It was touching near the end however... Since character development had seemed to be already developed due to everyone knowing and meeting each other in the past, there wasn't too much focus on it (That I remember anyway.)

Animation

For a 2005 anime, the animation was relatively decent compared to others I have seen in the past. Nothing seemed to be lazily drawn but nothing was extremely spectacular either. Yet it was...above average for an older anime I suppose. The characters movements seemed nice and fluent and the scenery/backgrounds were pretty decent for an older anime. The only thing I didn't really care for were the animations for the beginning and ending theme, which didn't strike me as very impressive. I pretty much skipped past them after watching them once due to this reason.

Sound

The sound quality was generally average for an older anime, aside from a few times when it seemed to be reduced or the voices sounded strange on certain episodes. I am unsure of whether or not this is due to the video/player itself or it was that bad in the original, but I am going to assume that the original wasn't the problem. The music in the anime was nothing special or catchy most of the time, but when the creators wanted to make a scene sad, they definitely picked some good music to go along with it.

Characters

While the characters did not have any extremely unique personalities, I felt that most were not just crappy quickly thrown together ones, but maybe I'm just not seeing it. Either way, at least they weren't that boring (IMO) except for Hatano, who I found sort of annoying and pointless for the most part.

Kenji- The male protagonist of the story, who is somewhat immature and rude at times. He has had feelings for the female protagonist since he was a child, but has problems confessing due to being too shy; often trying to change the subject or pretending to be joking when he is close to confessing. However, despite seeming like sort of a bad person at the beginning, it turns out he's not such a bad guy after all. Though he does have some problems with not caring about school, and the only thing keeping him from dropping out is Nanami, his childhood friend he is in love with. He has liked motorcycles like his dad and grandpa since he was young and received his grandpa's motorcycle which was passed down to his dad. Despite having a motorcycle since he was little, he is still lacking much experience actually fixing one and never has successfully fixed one that didn't break down that same year. Another thing he enjoys is hermit crabs, which he used to collect as a child. As a teenager, he sometimes takes them to school in his backpack for some reason.

Honestly I could never decide if I liked his character or not. He sort of annoyed me a lot with how he treated Nanami sometimes. Though he might have been teasing her, sometimes he did some pretty mean things that I would have never considered doing, like punching something in half that a girl I liked cherished...just an example. Overall he turned out to be an okay guy in the end I suppose and came through for Nanami when she needed it. Was it just me or did all the other girls that liked him only like him for his looks and not his personality?

Nanami- The "main" female protagonist of the story, and a sweet but timid girl. She's a bit of an airhead at times and much like the male protagonist, she has problems admitting her feelings and usually fails to even if she works up the courage to actually begin telling him. She has had feelings for Kenji since they were children and grew up with him. Ever since she was a child, she has enjoyed tending to and growing her own garden of vegetables and other things; her favorite being watermelons. Something that she has been doing since childhood is claiming some watermelons as her special watermelons (Even though they are exactly the same as others) and saving them for herself. She has a special glow in the dark hair clip in the shape of a fish that she says is very special to her, but where it comes from is never revealed in the anime. She seems to have an extreme fear of blackouts and lightning.

I happened to really like Nanami and thought she had a pretty likable personality compared to the other characters. Unlike Kenji, I didn't have any problem with the way she was portrayed in the anime. As a matter a fact, she has the exact personality of a girl I'd like to meet in real life one day.

Suzuka- Kenji's brave younger sister who practices martial arts with her dad in a dojo. Like Nanami, she has a sweet and caring personality and has had a strong bond with Kenji since they were children. She enjoys stargazing but stopped doing so because of an incident between Nanami, Kenji, and herself as a child. She is best friends with Nanami and sees her as somewhat of a sister.

I liked her personality as well, but not as much as Nanami's of course. I hated that she was basically the only female in the story who does not seem to have a possible or potential love interest, which sucks because she has a great personality and she was definitely interested in dating > : It was such a shame to see her get left out like that.

Hatano- Kenji's "best friend" who acts extremely immature at times, which seems to cause him to be harmed in some way by Kenji's cousin, Hikari. He has an obsessive crush on Hikari which leads him to be used constantly by her for various things, usually a punching bag. Though he has a crush on Hikari, she does not feel the same way about him and sees him as little more than another annoying person. He likes to claim that Kenji and Nanami are a married couple in order to cause them both to blush.

I understand that in general Hatano isn't a bad guy, but I honestly did not care for him in the least. I found his character to be extremely annoying and pointless, and his role as the comic relief character didn't really interest me in the slightest. He just wasn't funny and all he did was hit on Hikari most of the time, which she also found annoying.

Hikari- Kenji's attractive (At least as far as the boys in Kenji's school are concerned) cousin who visits him, or more specifically the beach in his area during the summer. Hikari, Nanami, and Kenji were all friends as children and enjoyed going to the beach together. One day on the beach, they happened to come across an oyster with a set of pearls on it, but since there were three of them they couldn't split the pearls evenly which made Nanami explain that Hikari should keep them. Little did they know that Hikari had a problem with this all throughout her childhood to the point where she was willing to risk drowning just to get a third pearl just to share the pearls between Kenji, Nanami, and herself since she was unable to as a child. Like Hatano, she likes to call Kenji and Nanami a pair in various ways and attempts to hook the two up from time to time. Since she was bored, she somehow got herself into Kenji's school in the middle of the school year.

I am not sure how I feel about Hikari's character. I liked her more than Kenji for sure, but out of all the females, I probably liked her the least. I guess she seemed like sort of a brat at times, but it's not like she was a bad person or anything. I got the feeling that she may or may not have some small hidden feelings for Kenji; and considering this is Japan, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch if she actually did now would it?

Hiromi- An extremely shy girl who has known and been in love with Kenji since they met once as a child right around the time she moved to Kenji's town. She has been trying to get close to Kenji ever since she had been going to school with him, but has never progressed very far due to shyness. She used to help run a shop with her parents as a child, which is where she met Kenji for the first time. Despite the fact that she is in fact she, when she works up the courage, she becomes a lot more brave than you might expect from her character.

Hiromi...well I'd like to point out that my favorite type of personality for a girl in real life to have is shyness. It should come as no surprise that I happened to favor Hiromi's shy personality, but it doesn't mean she was my favorite or anything. I don't really want to spoil anything, but I didn't really like what happened during her last scenes in the anime. You'll find out what happened when you watch .-.

Misora- A motorcycle riding girl who comes from the city and manages to get herself stuck in the country because of her motorcycle breaking down. Coincidentally she lands right near Nanami's garden, who when asked for water by Misora, gives her an earthworm instead for whatever reason, causing her to pass out. She is later brought to Nanami's mother's shop where Kenji offers to fix her bike, but messes it up and makes her have to wait for parts to come in. She is then allowed to stay in Kenji's house for the remainder of her time and is later able to somehow get into Kenji's school because apparently there was another empty seat, much like there was one for Hikari too.

Mosora wasn't anything too special. I guess she had an okay personality but nothing about her really struck me as extremely interesting. If you watch the anime and really think about it, she is completely irrelevant to the plot and if she was removed, the main plot would not have changed in anyway. Though this isn't important, the way she looked reminded me of Yui from Angel Beats! at times.

Tae- A responsible and reliable girl who happens to be the Student Council president of Kenji's school, and his senpai. As a child she had been taking care of her younger brothers and sisters, being rewarded with a piece of candy when she did good. However she felt sad because she as never given a pat on the head like her younger siblings received. Despite all the responsibilities she already has, she volunteers her time cleaning up the environment and helping the community. She seems to have met Kenji briefly when they were children, and seems to have a fondness for him, but it is unknown as to whether she has any feelings for him or not.

Tae's character was alright for the most part. I liked how she really cared about the environment and took an interest in making things look good. I like those types of characters. I have to wonder if she had any feelings for Kenji or not. Since this anime was basically almost a harem, I'm willing to bet she might. With the way she looked in the anime, she sort of reminded me of Yuuno from MM!

Overall

Honestly I only started watching this in 2011 and expected this to be boring, but this anime piped my interest on the first episode, which is unusual for an anime, since most "first" episodes are usually pretty boring. I think it was Nanami's personality that drew me into it though. Her personality, though not new, was very good and she didn't annoy me in anyway. *gasp* The anime moved along nicely, though I sort of wish there were more episodes involved, and to be honest, although the parts near the end were really good and brought some tears to my eyes, the ending sort of ruined it for me because a certain thing did not happen between the two main characters. You'll know what I mean if you watch it. After watching the first episode, it may give you the impression that this anime has a bunch of panty shots or something of the sort, but the truth is that you'll only see such thing around 3 times throughout the entire anime.

I would recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys romance anime, but if you are looking for an anime with a bunch of panty shots or nudity, despite the impression you might get from the first episode, you will rarely find any of that here.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
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