Under the cherry blossom tree at Sakuragaoka High School’s Entrance Ceremony, Miou Aida meets Haruki Serizawa for the first time. Ever since that day, their eyes chased after each other. Miou is reserved, while Haruki is very social. While many mistook them as a couple, their relationship remained a little more than friends. As they stop to sit on the steps of a deck on their walk home, Miou cannot help but ask, "Haruki...do you like anyone?" Haruki replies, "I do like someone ...what about you?" Just 10 centimeters between their hands. It’s just 10 centimeters, but the distance remains...
Story: Romance anime, in general, tend to follow very formulaic patterns: there are a handful of permutations of the "stock and standard" archetypes, and studios make little effort to differentiate a series from the herd. It's understandable to a certain degree, as the goal of an anime series is to maintain a viewing audience and to make money – if it’s not broke, don’t fix it after all. Yet, even when a series sticks to these archetypes, a good story writer can turn the mediocre into the entertaining, and that’s precisely where Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart makes its mark. While it certainly has its share of the formulaic and the standard tropes, the series as a whole is an interesting, and very Japanese, approach to more mature take on youthful romance. As I have grown older, a certain measure of appreciation has burgeoned in me for romance which isn't just the lovey-dovey, feel-good shoujo fluff, and Our Love doesn’t set itself out to be a standard gooey romance. The setting is far more realistic than one would normally see in a shoujo, as the characters struggle to balance the ephemerality of youthful school life with the pending dread of looming adulthood. Life has its way of sticking a wrench in the wheels of relationships, in my case through ailing family members and a volatile career position, so it's nice to see a bit of this type of realism actively impact how the characters treat their romantic interests. Admittedly, there's a certain pleasure that one derives from watching a couple fall in love through a set of wildly un-probabilistic circumstances whose emotion seems to transcend all obstacles that gets thrown their way, but real people and real relationships require far more than passion to keep them intact. This tinge of pragmatism is where Our Love sets itself apart amidst the vast shoujo landscape: the romance isn't at all a riveting tale of fiery passion and a love which transcends all worldly boundaries. Instead, the series takes a far more fundamental approach, outlining the slow-but-methodical growth of a high school crush into a mature young adult relationship. Our protagonists are two teenagers who are fairly mature for their age, but each lacks fundamental life experience, and thus struggle to balance their emotions and deal with their naivete. Where most shoujo would throw the couple into an angsty drama with an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs to try to keep the story rolling, this series instead emphasizes both our main male lead, Haruki, and our main female lead, Miou, as two blossoming lovebirds who see the unfortunate reality that their lives beyond high school are on divergent paths. Though the overall tone is of the series is upbeat, interwoven is a tinge of sadness and melancholy that does not lead you into the false promise of a "happily-ever-after" closure to their story. At only six episodes, the story is short enough that I'll leave it at that to avoid spoiling much of its substance. While nothing about the writing impressed me with any sort unique twists or turns, there is a sort of expected bittersweetness to the tale that the series aims for and delivers well. Despite being rather predictable the execution is smooth, steady, and paced perfectly to deliver all the necessary story arcs in the allocated amount of episodic time. You can see everything coming from a mile away, yes, but the execution is such that it’s still very much an enjoyable ride from start to finish. Animation: The animation in Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart is not particularly impressive. It's standard and functional, but certainly makes it clear that the animation budget was not particularly large for this six-episode run. Recycling of scenes is obvious but not intrusive, and a lot of distance shots are used to minimize detail required in the characters. Generally speaking, though, if you're looking for shoujo anime to have flashy animation, you're always going to be disappointed. Sound: From the voice acting to the music, there is nothing about the audible experience of Our Love that will etch its way into long-term memory. Yet, the actors do a fantastic job capturing the internal monologues of their respective characters. The series is backdropped with a quiet and quaint musical score that thematically fits the series very well, stepping out when it needs to during dramatic moments to highlight moments of high emotion with a certain elegance. The piano pieces, in particular, capture the slow-rolling melancholy succinctly, and compensate for the mediocre artistic score to give the series a respectable aesthetic appeal. Characters: Haruki and Miou are an endearing couple who take their romance very slow, but not in a typical "oops the baseball team randomly showed up when I was about to kiss her and threw me into a pool" style. Yes, I'm looking at you, Tokimeki Garbage Heap ~ Only Trash~. As the series starts, both protagonists are a couple of high-school freshmen who don't know anything about relationships or life in general -- they're a bit shy, bashful, and awkward, and this leads each not to rush into things due to apprehension. Both have underlying dreams they wish to pursue in their lives, and as their romance starts to complicate their desire to chase these dreams, some drama and complication roll in. The series takes this steady pacing, though, which one would might normally expect to be mundane and monotonous if poorly written, and uses strong character writing to spin it in a very positive direction. For a six episode series, it’s very pleasing watching the characters grow and mature from naïve kids to struggling young adults. Yes, the story thrusts the couple into a bit of melodrama, but they're teenagers and melodrama is what teenagers do, so it's functional in a small enough dose. Far more enjoyable is watching the tragedy of life and duty pull them apart, and yet their romance struggles onward and the couple persists in the face of increasingly difficult circumstances. The show chronicles the growth of our protagonists excellently, and the writers clearly knows exactly what direction they wish to take the characters and tale. The pacing and precision thus lead into a more functional and mature take on the couple's feelings. Immediate emotional ups-and-downs fade in importance to their long-term happiness, and the end result is that the viewer is left with two people who form a very genuine-feeling, heartfelt affection for one another. Overall: All in all, it’s just very refreshing to see a high school romance anime contextualize itself as more than just a high school romance. For younger viewers, especially, it gives a far more realistic take on actual relationships, and correctly highlights that the happily-ever-after isn’t all gumdrops and roses. Our protagonists require a great deal of heartache, self-sacrifice, and sadness to be weathered alongside their passion and feelings of mutual attraction. The end result is just a clean, well-written, and solidly-paced romantic story that has appeal across the board for fans of the genre, and really sets the bar for what a very stock-and-standard series can do with just a tinge of creativity and good writing mixed in.
I'm never good at rating... Does it need a numerical rating if something was enjoyable? (So don't base your expectations on my numerical rating haha)Anyways, the anime was overall fun to watch because I was always ready for the next episode. Story - If you've watched/read a lot of shoujo, you'll find it has a lot of the genre's elements. The story is told very concisely that it only needed 6 episodes. Though I do wish I could watch 6 more episodes haha. For anyone who doesn't know, this anime has a prequel I've Always Liked You and these belong to a series called Confession Executive Committee Love Series(wikia it!(am I allowed to mention wikia?)). Animation - The art is pretty like the art in Confession Executive Committee Love Series' music videos. The animation itself is pretty good. No complaints here. Sound - The opening and ending songs are very bright and upbeat. It has the same vibe as the series other music videos. Characters - The characters are cute. Their backstories make them a bit deep. However, I felt that the combination of their cuteness, deepness, personality, etc... didn't feel right. It bothered me bit for a couple of episodes. But after the "deep" part was over it was all good. The anime itself was good. If you delve deeper into the series, you may have a deeper or different perspective than me. Anyways, enjoy the anime. And don't take my numerical rating seriously.
One of the anime that came out in the fall season. The instance I saw this series I jumped right on it and I was not disappointed. But let's not waste time and get down to business! Story- Our love has always been 10 centimeters apart is about the blooming teenage romance between Haruki and Miou. Over the course of the six episodes we see the two of them grow past personal obstacles in an attempt to close the last 10 centimeters between the two of them. Its nothing mindblowing but sometimes simplicity is the best route to storytelling. I recall people comparing it to Toradora and in some ways it is but there are differences between the number of characters and the length and budget between the two series themselves. Its rather interesting to see an anime made based on a music video, makes it feel short and sweet. Animation- Pretty well done for a romance anime, and my brother agrees with me on the fact that the characters were well design. Lay-duce really knows how to use it budget. Sound- The osts are nice and simple, not too overbearing and bring a nice pleasant atmosphere to the series. Characters- As I said before, both Haruki and Miou try to progress past their personal obstacles. SPOILERS For Haruki he has a bit of an identity crisis and for Miou its getting past blaming herself for the death of Haruki's brother. Before the two can enter a relationship they must conquer themselves. There are other characters who have their moments, but the story itself focuses the most on Haruki and Miou. Overall- I almost wonder if the anime could have been a bit longer, but maybe studio Lay-duce wasn't willing to risk itself doing that with all the other projects they have. Some people were complaining about the main characters seperating for seven years before reuniting at the end but to be honest it didn't really bother me. SPOILERS A lot of series have done it: Inu-yasha, Strawberry 100%, and also Toradora. At the end its the love that's worth the journey. This anime really helped me get over the disappointment of Juni Taisen, Welcome to the Ballroom, and King's Game. The ideal short and sweet teen school romance anime!
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