Real Girl 2nd Season

Alt title: 3D Kanojo 2nd Season

TV (12 eps)
4.019 out of 5 from 3,406 votes
Rank #896

The popular Iroha Igarashi and reclusive Hikari Tsutsui continue to navigate the tumultuous waters of young love and what it means to be true to yourself. As their relationship grows and deepens, new and difficult challenges threaten to break them apart. While they are committed to overcoming everything that comes their way as a couple, somethings may be too much for them to conquer.

Source: ANN

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Hoods Entertainment’s 2018 (season one, with season two following in 2019) romantic drama blends a little of Cloverworks’ 2021 title “Horimiya” and A-1 Pictures’ “Your lie in April” (2014/2015). Somehow it is as not as good, or iconic, as either but it is, nether-the-less, an extremely effective and entertaining show in its own right. We watched both seasons back-to-back so this review covers both as the two should be seen in their entirety to get the best of out of them. It starts as an otaku fantasy and ends as an otaku fairy tale – and these aren’t criticisms as this show is a real delight. Hikari Tsutsui is a studious 3rd year High School boy whose gloomy unsociable personality means he has no friends apart from fellow anime fan Ito Yuto. Then he meets a very pretty girl in his year called Iroha Igarashi. Like Tsutsui she says she “doesn’t need friends” and has a reputation as an awkward eccentric. Arguably this is a case of opposites attract but they are not so different as people think. It is just that he is unpopular whilst her good looks mean people are pre-disposed to naturally like her. As the two start dating their fellow students and families are mystified as to what Iroha’s attraction is to this shy nerdy boy. This feeling is also shared by the audience as, for the most part, the story is retold from Tsutsui’s perspective. It is hard to glean Iroha’s motivation in expressing & showing such a deep love and devotion for this boy so quickly in their relationship. When her perspective is included it remains disappointingly shallow and we never really get to know her character as much as we should. Season one concludes with the stabilisation of the couple’s relationship whilst Season two opens with events surrounding a School Culture Festival. The festival forces Tsutsui into an organisational role that he hates but he develops self-confidence and starts to win the admiration of fellow class-mates. The show’s appeal is in its portrayal of the pair, and their close friends, growing up in public. They visibly mature in the six months they initially spend together. They have their share of trials and tribulations yet they work through them in a mature fashion. The girls give Tsutsui a hard time as he struggles with his lack of intuition for female emotions. Few watching could fail to not have sympathy for him. His kindness and stoic nature soon wins him an oddball friendship group which includes female classmate Arisa Ishino (whom he turns to for relationship advice), first-year otaku loner Sumie Ayado (who suffers from being bullied) and (oddly enough) school pretty-boy Mitsuya Takanashi. Takanashi initially earns the hatred of everyone as he bullies Tsutsui in order to try and steal Iroha away. He comes to regret his mistakes and starts to admire Tsutsui. The complexities of this six-way friendship drives much of the plot. The dynamics of the three girl/three boy setup with its extremely diverse mix of characters becomes an endless source of fascination. At its conclusion the show displays considerable emotional depth. This is a friendship group that you will come to care for. Season two is arguably the superior to season one so make sure you watch to the end. That end may be a little too syrupy for some but for those of us who are saps for a happy ending it is just perfect. Their path together has been difficult but the six end up precisely where they deserve to be. You will love going on this journey with them. It has its ups and downs but it is worth it in the end. A glorious celebration of youth, love and growing up. A perfect slice of anime that everyone should watch. A great story with characters displaying fantastic chemistry. It really works so well. The critics may not have loved it but you should make up your own mind.

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