Rumbling Hearts

Alt title: Kimi ga Nozomu Eien

TV (14 eps)
2003 - 2004
Fall 2003
3.636 out of 5 from 10,234 votes
Rank #3,882

Narumi Takayuki is a normal high school student with a crush on Mitsuki, the school's swim star -- that is, until he receives a profession of love from his friend Haruka. But amidst the beautiful budding relationship, tragedy strikes when an accident occurs, turning Narumi’s life upside-down. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a compelling drama about one man, and the choices he must make for love.

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StoryIt is my belief that telling parts of the story will really spoil your first time experience watching KGNE, so I’m not going to reveal much about the actual storyline. Story is the one of the strongest aspects of KGNE. When I first read a similar synopsis, I thought that it was pretty cheesy. This theme is a common theme that reoccurs throughout most romance anime. As a regular hentai watcher, I have seen my fair of romance and usually I’m left feeling disappointed. But after finally finishing KGNE, KGNE to my great surprise really delivers great drama and romance. The director, Tetsuya Watabe, found a way to really take this concept further. Firstly, what sets KGNE from most anime is that it aims to immerse you into the animation. Many times the animation was so good that I lost track of time, forgot about the animation, and got immersed in the story and characters. With that important point accomplished, I was able to focus on the beautifully written script of KGNE. KGNE’s story aims to be close to reality as it possibly can. The main characters are faced with decisions and situations that could occur in real life. This is ingenius because unlike other anime that focuses on something fictional or futuristic, KGNE always feels down to earth and realistic. As a result, you seamlessly associate yourself with each character’s predicaments. The story is so beautifully written that many times you probably would be asking yourself what you would do in the character’s situations or whether you could have coped with it. To me that is a true sign of a well written script. Moreover, the story is filled with many twists and surprises that doesn’t allow you to predict what is going to happen next, intensifying your yearning for the end. KGNE isn’t your typical anime pepped up with lots of comedy and action, it is just the opposite. There are a bit of comedy relief scenes, but they by no means deter you away from the main story. KGNE is mature and tries to depict reality as close as animation without special effects would allow. Tetsuya Watabe’s ability to present realistic relationships is what really makes KGNE special. Furthermore, he was even successful in presenting an underlying message. He tries to point out through KGNE that we all in many points of our life are faced with very hard decisions. These types of decisions determine our future, and there is never a "right" answer. The more we drag out these decisions, run from them, or wait for something to happen, the more suffering and pain we endure. These types of decisions are always going to be there, and time is always cruelly passing us by. It is up to us to find our way through these decisions because no one is going to help us. This underlying message is effectively carried out and is yet another sign of KGNE’s well written script. AnimationAnimation overall was well done. Female character design was given much thought. All women are portrayed to be very attractive. They have big, glassy eyes, nice flowing hair, and fair-sized breasts. In contrast, male character design barely had any notable characteristics. Male characters are typically taller than the women and their eyes have less depth and color - pretty much what you see in most anime. Additionally, because the setting of KGNE progresses from high school days to adult life, each character undergoes noticeable physical changes. The two main female characters are seen nude, but its really only breast shots, so it shouldn’t be a big problem for most viewers. There is a very small number of few love scenes, but nothing explicit. They show just enough to show that they’re making love. The opening and ending sequences are nicely done. The opening sequence is typical, giving short glimpses of the characters involved in the anime. The ending sequence highlights the close friendship that all of the main three characters share. Background animation is nicely detailed. I believe that the director tried to depict reality the best he could without the aid of special effects. Many times characters are walking on the streets lost in their thoughts, only to be rudely awakened by busy people like that on the streets of Tokyo, Japan. SoundSound overall was good, but not perfect. Many times the background music could have been much better in expressing the current mood or atmosphere. KGNE music is soft, colorful, and sometimes sorrowful. I've listened to the 2 KGNE TV OSTs, and unfortunately I think that the KGNE soundtrack for the actual game is better. The KGNE TV contains many of the same songs from the game, but they are arrangements. There are many original songs from the TV OST, but they couldn't match the songs from the actual game in my opinion. On a special note, the opening song, "Precious Memories" and the two end songs, "Rumbling Hearts" and "Hoshizora no Waltz" were composed and sung by Haruka’s seiyuu, Minami Kuribayashi. The OP theme isn’t as gripping as I would have liked it to be, but it has a nice flowing tone. The ED theme matches KGNE’s drama theme perfectly. The final ED theme "Kimi ga Nozomu Eien" by MEGUMI is very beautiful and a perfect ED theme for the series. Seiyuu voices were excellent. They all put so much feeling into all their characters. My personal favorite is Mitsuki’s seiyuu, Tomoko Ishizaki. I don't think she has done any voice acting besides for Kimi ga Nozomu Eien TV and the game, but I thought she performed Mitsuki’s character really well. CharactersWhile the most notable downfall of many anime is underdeveloped characters, KGNE really excels. The important ability to connect and associate with characters in any anime is vital to keeping them memorable. All the main characters, Takayuki, Mitsuki, and Haruka, are all well developed and have distinct personalities. Takayuki loves both Mitsuki and Haruka. He is portrayed as an average male human, struggling with his relationship between Mitsuki and Haruka. He is equally kind to everyone, but this ends up being his biggest weakness. Mitsuki loves Takayuki deeply, but is mentally weak due to various events and stresses. She is a hard worker and excels in swimming. She has an outgoing personality. Haruka also loves Takayuki deeply, but unlike Mitsuki, she is mentally strong. While she may be shy at times, she always tries to express her true feelings to Takayuki. Since KGNE’s setting starts in high school, and progresses into adult life, all the main characters mature and develop to varying degrees. Moreover, support characters found in KGNE are not merely introduced and cast aside. They instead actually support the main characters. In KGNE, support characters indirectly help the main characters through their problems. Some even have troubles of their own that are similar to the main characters. This results in effectively portraying the idea that everyone has problems with decisions about our futures. It is not just limited to romance. OverallAn important point to note is that Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (KGNE) is actually based on a hentai-game (H-game) made by Age. I did not find this out until after I finished the series, and I was happily surprised and relieved. While watching KGNE, there was no reason for me to ever believe that it was based on an H-game. This was quite interesting to me because the only other H-game based anime that accomplished this non-H-game feeling was Comic Party. But even with Comic Party, its anime plot was quite different from its H-game plot. From what I heard, KGNE doesn’t deter completely from its H-game counterpart. Typically, if an anime was based on an H-game, like Triangle Heart, it is made so painstakingly apparent. I’m so glad that KGNE didn’t turn out to be a disappointment like Triangle Heart. I don't think I have to point out that I really enjoyed Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. In fact, I keep KGNE very close to my heart. From a literary perspective it is brilliant, successfully illustrating the hardships of real life. If evaluated as a drama/romance anime, it truly stands out amongst the rest. It effectively immerses the viewer into the world of KGNE and allows the viewer to fall in love with its well developed characters and well written storyline. I definitely recommend KGNE to romance and drama lovers. I can probably describe KGNE as a great soap opera. It is a must see. It accomplishes what soap operas on television can not. In real life, I really don’t watch much television, but occasionally I take a peek at the soap opera channel. I’m not sure whether it is a gut feeling, but I’m always reminded that despite all the great acting, it just looks so fake. Though I would like to say everyone should watch KGNE, this is a drama/romance anime. There is much dialogue to sit through, and there isn’t much action at all. People who are looking for a comedy or action driven anime probably should not watch KGNE. As for re-watchability, KGNE has a great re-watch value. Even though the second time around you probably would not be so surprised by all the plot twists and surprises, but there are many other aspects like character development and viewer immersement that is worth re-watching.


Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a dramatic, romance anime (with tragic elements) that far exceeds expectations. I was in a bad mood since the last anime I watched was School Days, which is nothing like this anime! Not only did this make me feel much better, but it reminded me that I love romance anime, when they are done right like this. This is the definitive romance anime! It also does something that few other animes do (I can't think of any bar DBZ) and it even does it properly: passing of long time. This anime contains mature themes and those of a younger audience may find it boring/soppy. Due to the rapid plot progression, I'll do the review spoiler free with a pseudo-spoiler (concerning the early episodes) section post review. Animation/Sound The first thing I noticed when I started watching this, was the surprisingly great quality of animation. The shadows and shading were much better than some anime I've seen, that were produced years later. The style is generic, but it is best suited for it. There are no ecchi elements, despite there being some cleavage that is too obvious, everything is well within context. The opening theme, which doesn't appear until episode 3, was surprisingly great. Both the opening and ending can be a bit misleading about the content of the anime, but it's fine since they are introduced at an approriate time. The other music was also very appropriate and enhanced the atmosphere of the scenes, but not so amazing that I'd want to get the soundtrack, despite thinking that hearing the opening. This anime is in Japanese so you'd need subtitles for it. Or actually... its in English too? I didn't know that. I can't comment on the quality of the English dub in that case. Actually I couldn't find the dubbed version, so that explains it. Characters The characters, are human, to say the least. There were moments when I thought I hated some characters, but in the end I realised how thoughtfully these characters are done. I felt like I could really understand the thoughts and feelings of each of the main characters. Due to a certain plot element, I will be referring to the characters as they are in the majority of the anime. Takayuki Narumi is the male protagonist of this anime. He goes through a lot and his mental progression, throughout the series is clear. His behaviour may seem negative at times, but I feel it is justified given the state of his thoughts and feelings at any given time. Heck I'd even commend him for acting so 'nicely.' One character describes him as 'too nice a person' and I'm inclined to agree. This factor also means he amost always listens to and considers what others have told him to do. Almost spoilery, but I could really empathise with this character. He appears a bit lost, when it comes to his life goals. The only negative is that this another character who is in the anime trope of not having any parents exist at all. Haruka Suzumiya is a rather shy and lovestruck girl. She is a very peaceful, yet emotional individual. She has a good suppoting cast in her family, who are also done surprisingly well. I was pleasantly surprised at how she appeared episode 3 onwards (more in the spoiler section). She loves reading picture books and wishes to study child psychology so that she can author them one day. This character is amazing at how she sees the world. I hope people can learn from her example. Mitsuki Hayase is Haruka's best friend and very often considers her friend's feelings, though sometimes there's nothing she can do. A complicated character to say the least, she likes swimming, aquariums and everything to go along with those things. She has a bit of a dirnking problem, which in combination with her thoughts and feelings can lead to her doing questionable things. Overall, she means well and tries her best to do what's right, even though there may not be a right answer. A very human character, complete with the understandable imperfections that we all possess. Akane Suzumiya is Haruka's younger sister and is very supportive of her sister. She looks up to Mitsuki and hopes to be a swimmer just like her. Initially she might seem to be rather judgemental and spiteful of others, she turns out to be an understanding character who learns to empathise with other's situations. This character really grew on me. Other characters aren't too important, Shinji can be aggressive at times and he isn't honest with himself. Both the doctor and the parents seem to be evil mean people at first, but we soon learn that they suggest the harsh things, only because they are concerned for others. The hotheaded, foulmouthed waitress Ayu Daikuuji was most certainly the worst character in the anime and it would have been better without her. Story The story. The beautiful romance and drama. It really shows how something so simple can change many people's lives. I was expecting this anime be a typical highschool love-triangle anime. I hate love triangles in anime. But it actually did it well. Without spoiling everything, it is an emotional rollercoaster ride that tugs at the heartstrings and retains its own integrity by still being unpredictable. A lot of things happen rather quickly and it utilises flashbacks to really show the backstory of certain characters. I don't think I've ever seens such a beautiful romance story in an anime. There were many points where I felt I should have cried. And a bonus... (saved for spoiler section) it really breaks the mold. However I can see some people getting upset at the ending. Fair enough, but its better when it is something you don't expect. Conclusion All I have to say now, is go and see it! You might have difficulty finding it in English, but the Japanese audio is done very well. If you are normally disappointed by romance, then by all means watch this one. This is a must watch anime! If you don't like this, then you can only be a heartless frost cavern. This anime reminded me why I enjoyed romance anime in the first place (before being bogged down with the terirble stuff and giving up on the genre till now). Family-friendliness Rating: 5/5 Context-justified (lower is better) Overall Rating 10/10 (higher is better) V-SPOILER SECTION-V Story: This is actually an adult romance, not a high school romance. In episode 2, Haruka ends up in a coma after getting hit by a car while waiting for her boyfriend: Takayuki. The thing that was most important here, is that Takayuki was late and he even says, if he wasn't late then everything that ends up happening wouldn't happen. Takayuki and Mitsuki are a couple 3 years on and the story really starts when Haruka inevitably wakes up. From episode 3 onwards, the world is 3 years after that event. The characters are in their early 20s, assuming they were 17/18 at the start. With the exception of Akane, who is a high school student. They really show that the characters have grown into adults, they actually look to have aged. Something that I have only ever seen in one other anime (DBZ). Well done. This also means the romance is now between adults. About Takayuki's character, it is shown clearly his severe depression after losing Haruka and being told by her parents that it's best for him not to see her. It's a massive hurdle for him to get over and become normal. Most importantly Mitsuki was there for him when he hit rock bottom. Like a guardian angel. She helped him get back up on his feet. That pain resurfaces when Haruka wakes from her coma. ENDING SPOILER< Haruka is a surprisingly understanding character when it came down to Takayuki's feelings. I was absolutely stunned she'd let him go. I felt like crying at that point. >ENDING SPOILER Mitsuki is all over the place with Takayuki. When it came to the hotel scene, I initially thought it was stupid, then forgave her for her mental (and drunk) state. But in the end it seemed like a stupid thing to do. Maybe it really showed how depressed and unhappy she was without Takayuki. I felt the same for Shinji, but he was kinda cheating on his girlfriend, despite it being apparent he loved Mitsuki all along. Maybe a bit weak for not going after her after she broke up with Takayuki? Also the ending almost had me in tears. Surprisingly a happy ending for everyone.


Story - I liked this one because the romance started early and got right into it instead of waiting till the final 5 minutes of the last episode like most do. The two start their relationship early and you watch it develop for the first two episodes. After that... well it sucked. Not that the show sucked. Just the idea at the end of the second episode sucked. My only thought was "thats a shame". I was mad but I kept watching. The rest of the show had a depressing feel to it but it added to the drama. There were a lot of little things that made me keep watching like wondering how it would end. At first you hate the dicisons some of the characters make but you have to get over it when you realize it's nobodies fault with what is happening. The only people I can really blame for all the drama in the middle of the series are Haruka's parents. But they were only being good parents. So basically everyone was just really unlucky. Not sure I wanted it to end the way end did but I can't find a better solution so I'll just stick with it. A great story. I just wish they could of left out some of the depression. I would of liked if maybe it was just a love triangle without anyone getting physically hurt and not taking us to three years later. Animation - There was nothing I could find wroing about the animation. I seemed alright even for it being over 7 years old. Sound - I just watched the whole series less then a day ago and I already forget the opening and ending themes. I don't recall any of the music either. So I guess I can say it wasn't very memerable. Other then that the voice acters were good and they fit each character and I felt every emotion. Characters - A lot of new characters showed up in episode three and they each somehow helped out the main characters get on the right track. Like I stated above I can't hate or blame any of the characters for what they did because it wasn't anyones fault. I would of liked a little less depressed personality and a little less nudity from certain characters, because it was a little silly. It won't go down as one of my favorite cast but they weren't bad.

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