Sasameki Koto

Alt title: Whispered Words

TV (13 eps)
Fall 2009
3.54 out of 5 from 2,943 votes
Rank #5,269

Shy, athletic Sumika is in love with her bubbly friend Ushio. However, Ushio is outwardly attracted to cute girls, something she never calls her friend-turned-admirer. Keeping her tender feelings a secret from the one she loves, Sumika continues to be Ushio’s confidante and companion, hoping that someday she can say how she feels. Whether it’s having a first kiss, cooking a meal or confiding in each other, Sumika, Ushio, Tomoe and their friends will experience the everyday joys of a quiet school life and touching romance together.

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Sasameki Koto AKA Whispered Words, is a 13 episode high-school (same-gender) romance, slice-of-life drama anime, featuring a little bit of comedy and love-triangles. This seems to be a serious and realistic depiction of homosexuality, compared to most attempts and unlike other ‘yuri’ anime, this isn’t necessarily a Shoujo (aimed at girls) anime either. It’s rather sensible and realistic, some may find it boring, so it won’t appeal to everyone. But for the rest of us who are okay with it, this turns out to be a unique and neat little story. I will disclose my hate of harem, ecchi, pointless pervy BS and love-triangles, so keep my perspective in account when you read this. Animation The animation quality is delicious. I watched it in 720p and the scenes are very beautifully and clearly animated. There’s no blurry lines or pixilation, the colours blend well and in general seem be on point and the motions are fluid. Perhaps because this is a shorter 13 episode anime, it meant that they were able to spend more time and effort into making it look good, nonetheless the wonderful animation quality is appreciated. Of course at times the looping animation seems a bit off, like one scene where one of the characters is happily swaying from side to side. It just seemed a bit cheap and cringey. The animation style didn’t stand out too much, but it appeared to be a gentler and relaxed version of the generic character designs, I was reminded of the character designs from the anime Bokurano. As I stated before, this doesn’t necessarily appear to be a shoujo anime, partly due to the lack of ‘bishuojo’ or ‘bishounen’, among the main characters at least. Even the models in magazines of this anime don’t appear to look starkly different. I can easily imagine the characters here being real people, and that’s a bit strange, yet unique for something because of animation style. Of course, there’s a little bit of ‘cartoonisation’ on occasion, like the moments where the characters eyes might turn into stars or the use of interesting facial animations (of the cartoony/anime style). All this animation manages to convey suitable atmosphere, matching the very theme that this anime intended. Of course, being a bit serious, there’s not much in the way of ecchi or fan-service here. They try to make out that Ushio has big boobs, which is nonsense. She appears to be a regular girl for the most part, her breasts don’t seem to be excessively large or anything. They aren’t too noticeable most of the time. However it does go downhill later with a creepy brother-complex sister of elementary school age. The first scene this character appears, she looks to be seducing her cross-dressing brother and later on, the character implies spiking (putting drugs into) other people’s drinks. The worst thing is that paedophilia/child pornography appears to be implied later on (direct quote: “action shot of an elementary school girl”). I’ve no problem if this sort of thing is depicted sensibly and seriously, but a light-hearted and comical approach just feels wrong. It does feature a bit of cross-dressing, but it’s a bit more reasonable, despite it partially being forced on the individual, which is the worst aspect of it. I’m reminded of Minami-ke right now… Sound The intro and outro music are great enough, but I was also drawn to the beautiful instrumental pieces played in the anime itself. One could easily chill out to the music of this anime, which is rather fitting for the anime itself, given the type of story and ambiance it’s going for. Neat little piano pieces and such remind me that while the musical style doesn’t vary much, it doesn’t need too much a variety of music. Other genres of music would change the feel of the scenes. This anime available in Japanese so subtitles will be required (unless you can perfectly understand Japanese). The voice acting is actually rather good and fitting, though I initially thought one character sounded a bit too feminine for his age. They fall into the ‘small & cute’ male character type that one finds in anime, but it turns out the voice was a good choice due to other reasons. I’m reminded of Makoto from Minami-ke. The main character Sumika also sounds very appropriate, she’s tall and not very feminine and her voice reflects that, so good casting for her. Sumika Murasame is voiced by Ayahi Takagaki, who voiced Otome Asakura in Da Capo, Lizbeth in Sword Art Online, Wakana Sakai in Tari Tari and Noe Isurugi in True Tears. Ushio Kazama is voiced by Megumi Takamoto, her only other notable role being Winry Rockbell in FMA: Brotherhood (still watching right now). Masaki Akemiya is voiced by Akaya Shimizu, who hasn’t done much voicing in anime at all. Kiyori Toriori is voiced by Emiri (Emily?) Katou, she’d had many roles including Sekine in Angel Beats, the Kinoshita Twins in Baka to Test, Kiko Kayanuma in Darker than Black, Tatsuko Gakumazawa in Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya (hereafter abbreviated to Fate KLP Illya), Kagami Hiiragi in Lucky Star, Teruki Maeno in Mnemosyne and Blair in Soul Eater. Azusa Aoi is voiced by Mayuki Makiguchi, whose only notable roles include Serena in Pokemon: XY and Mizune/Arisa in Soul Eater. Tomoe Hachikusa is voiced by Hitomi Harada, who was Kirika Misaki in Another, Mizuki Himeji in Baka to Test and roles in anime I’ve never watched. Miyako Tamai is voiced by Chiwa Saito, who voiced Chloe von Einzbern in Fate KLP Illya, Riko Aika in Kuroko no Basuke (woot! Except it went downhill after S1…), Anita King in Read or Die TV, Kim Diehl in Soul Eater, Might the Fool in Tower of Druaga, Hazuki in Tsukuyomi Moon Phase and a whole load of other characters in anime I’ve either not watched or didn’t enjoy (not worth noting). Characters The main character here is best designated as Sumika Murasame, a tall high school girl with glasses and black hair. She lives with her clingy housekeeper, father and 3 brothers (who appear to be triplets) with their family dojo. Almost a visual anime trope (in terms of design), Sumika is almost the prodigy girl, she’s smart and athletic, getting good grades from studying hard and sometimes practising her martial arts in her father’s dojo. She can hold herself in a fight, not that there is any in this anime. Due to both her height and her personality, she lacks femininity, she’s not into girly stuff and tends to wear ‘boring’ clothes and she’s even terrible at domestic work, cue ‘killer chef’. She’s the cynical smart one of the characters, trying to reason with the other characters. But in truth, she’s in a bit of denial with herself, since she has feelings for her best friend who doesn’t see her as a romantic option and she’s even capable of doing dumb things just to try and make her friend happy. One of four lesbians in this anime. Probably the most obvious lesbian character of them all, is Ushio Kazama, Sumika’s aforementioned friend. She lives with her older brother in a small apartment filled with books, they both appear to be bibliophiles and of course she does the cooking and housework. This cheery bubbly girl is a bit outgoing in her love of girls, she only likes cute girls, so unfortunately she doesn’t see Sumika as a love interest. She’s a very girly girl unlike her best friend and reads fashion mags and openly swoons at cute things. She’s almost creepy in her attraction towards other girls, but she is just a teenager being thrown around by physical infatuations. She tried to get into a girls-only school, but was too obvious with her true objective and was thusly rejected. She feels lonely in her sexuality, since all of the girls she’s asked out have turned her down (of course since they are straight). Almost all of her infatuations are unrequited crushes. According to the AP character page, she is supposed to have big boobs, but this is nonsense, her boobs are just fine for such a character and are not too disproportionate or too noticeable in any way. This isn’t that sort of anime. There goes the second of the four lesbian characters in this anime. Just a normal girly girl driven by her emotions like many teenagers. Kiyori Toriori (tongue twister name!) is the third friend in Sumika’s friendship circle, a girl who has an appetite and is often seen eating bread from a wrapper. Her personality is more passive, she doesn’t seem to have much interest in either boys or girls, and is just the happy-faced smiley friend who laughs at jokes and provides the occasional comic relief. She’s almost a trope character, she doesn’t mind what her friends do and is just nice to everyone, while maintaining a constant positive attitude. She’d almost be Minori from Toradora if she was killing off her own personality and feelings on purpose, in dedication to her friends feelings. Fortunately, she’s not involved in any love triangles here. The only male character in this anime, Masaka Akemiya falls into the ‘cute boy & cross-dresser’ trope. He’s very feminine, shy and weak-willed, i.e. a pathetic guy. His creepy younger sister called Manaka Akemiya, who has a brother complex, tends to sexually harass him and order him around. Much like Makoto from Minami-ke and he even has a reason why he’s doing it. He has an unrequited crush on Sumika and has noticed that she likes her friend Ushio. Both due to realising that Sumika is into girls and his aggressive creepy sister, he cross-dresses as a girl to get Sumika’s attention. Of course certain developments occur and there is more to this character, but I won’t spoil it. Overall, this means that there is a love triangle of unrequited crushes and this character is one of the corners… goddamn I hate love triangles. There’s honestly not much else to this guy, other than the fact that they are weak-willed, he is a very under-developed character. Miyako Tamae is a child-like short girl, who becomes good friends with our heroines. She is hot-headed and perhaps because she is short, she has a lot of vigour which is put to bad use. I.e. she is capable of being quite annoying, she’ll pull pranks and be perfectly fine blackmailing folks for her own gain. She’s capable of being horrible and perhaps she’s the character I like the least among these characters. While she is fairly girly, she is quite useless, unlike Sumika who is at least good at some things. The third lesbian and she’s in a relationship with Tomoe. Like Sumika, she’ll fantasise/day-dream about her woman often. Tomoe Hachikusa is fairly tall (not taller than Sumika) girl who is rather relaxed and gentle in nature, she’s also 2 years older (making her 18) than her classmates due to dropping out a while or something. She also becomes good friends with the girls as she is Miyako’s best-friend/lover. She’s casual about her life and while she might seem masculine in some ways, she’s mainly just a normal girl and can actually do things, unlike Miyako. She’s a nice pleasant individual, to juxtapose with Miyako, but she doesn’t disagree with her other half, but rather just let’s Miyako do whatever she wants. A mellow character and the last of the lesbians in this anime. Azusa Aoi is a quiet shy girl in the same class as the rest of all the other characters. She wears glasses and has short hair and appears to be a quiet, sensible individual. She lives with her parents ho own a Sake store and she really doesn’t appreciate it when folks like Miyako and Tomoe do ‘unwholesome’ things in the classroom. Turns out she has an idealised view of how friends should behave with each other and of ‘shoujo’ stories. She loves to read and is probably the biggest fan of Ushio’s older brother, who writes shoujo novels on the side under a pen-name (few people know his true identity) but isn’t too popular of an author. She idolises the very fiction he writes and bases her views on the characters in his stories. She also becomes decent friends with Sumika and it appears she may or may not have a crush on her. She’s a bit selfish and childlike, which puts a bit of a burden on Sumika at times. Story This is your typical high-school slice-of-life romance story… except it’s all girls and no guys (exception of Masaka and a few minor characters), and no harems in sight thank goodness. Though there are a few flimsy love-triangles, it’s nothing too major. It’s almost a slice-of-life story, with an arguable amount of ‘filler’ and not much progress to be made. This could be due to the simplicity of the goal of this anime’s plot, which appears to be to pair up Sumika and Ushio as a couple. They aren’t too far off at the start, since both are lesbian and they are best friends. That’s pretty much it for the story, love triangles get in the way so there’s no hope for the likes of Masaka. There are some bullshit moments in the plot, like Tomoe’s driving. She drives her friends to the beach, which is apparently her first time driving and she murders the car. I’m pretty sure you have to pass a driving test to drive a car by yourself and that first-time drivers aren’t allowed to drive without sufficient supervision. There’s also the otaku trio attack in a prior episode, how they were able to be reasoned with by a girl just baffles me. The issue with high-school romances is that don’t seem to go anywhere or have any end-goals in sight. It’s just filler and nothing happens, i.e. slice-of-life. Yet even those anime can sometimes be fun to watch, despite lacking a plotline. While here one may find that the end goal is for Sumika and Ushio to become a couple, one may argue they already act almost like a couple, due to the way they are best friends. Someone even mentions that marriage can’t be an end goal, simply because Japan doesn’t have any laws for same-gender marriage (at least in this anime anyway). So what does this story do? It depicts a good bit of romance, even if a lot of it is unrequited love. Something I usually hate in anime since nothing ever happens and the characters remain too shy to make any progress. And of course, this anime retains the same wishy-washy conclusion as the rest, which is disappointing as it essentially downgrades the plot to being slice-of-life. A major negative mark on this anime like many others. This anime does have a good grasp of what romantic love might be. It mentions that love isn’t something a person willingly chooses, that it just develops over time and one can’t help the way they feel. There’s also the pain of unrequited crushes, the anime questions whether one should give up on something that is unlikely to happen or whether they should continue. Being a cynical person who doesn’t believe in hope (why sit around hoping when one can try and do something to make things happen instead), I’d expect the former, at the very least after the person confesses their feelings. I really don’t like these one sided infatuations, there’s just too many and they don’t seem add much to the story. Conclusion It’s not a bad romance anime at all, that angle is pretty decent. Some folks may appreciate the human drama between the characters and their love-triangles/infatuations but it wasn’t my kind of thing. This is not something you’d necessarily watch for comedy since it’s not funny to all, I didn’t find myself laughing uncontrollably while watching this myself, but there were moments which I clearly saw as comedic moments. It’s not completely serious with the plot either, despite initial impression. I’d recommend this for folks with patience and tolerance for love triangles and ‘love that will never be,’ two things that go hand in hand and also for folks who like slice-of-life and don’t mind a lacking plot. It’s definitely not for everyone, that I can be sure of. This is fairly realistic in the way it depicts these girls, which is a pleasant surprise. It’s not too out there, despite a few strange bits. There’s a lot of places where it could improve, but I get the feeling that this anime was intended to be slow-paced and ‘chilled out.’ If one likes high-school romances, give this a go for something a bit more interesting and with a sprinkle of actual plot. Were there to be a sequel, maybe the narrative might has been reinforced, but alas, expect the usual. Family-friendliness Rating: 4/5 Contains inappropriate themes (lower is better) Overall Rating: 6/10 (higher is better)


There might be grammar errors or missing words in my review since I'm typing on my tablet Story: Sumika Marasame, a tall, athletic girl has been secretly in love with her best friend Ushio Kazama since middle school. They became friends in middle school because she was alone and had no friends. Ushio's former friends don't want to be around her because she's a lesbian. Sumika, who was a class president decided to  hang out with her. Thus, becoming friends. Sumika at first wasn't really in love with Ushio until their skiing trip where Sumika started falling for her secretly. The problem why Sumika can't confess her feelings to Ushio is Ushio only likes "cute" and "small" girls while Sumika is tall and athletic. Another problem is if Sumika confessed her feelings, their best friend status might be over. Later in the story, Ushio and Sumika met Tomoe and Miyako, the 2 girls they spotted kissing when they went back to the classroom. Turns out they're a lesbian couple. Tomoe wants to form a girl club where girls can only join. Sumika and Ushio later joined Im not going to get deep in the story so I'd skip some parts After Sumika and her friends enter their second year of high school, two first-year girls named Mayu Semimaru and Koino Matsubara join the female karate club. Sumika is troubled over her relationship with Ushio, which has an adverse effect on her karate performance, much to the disappointment of Mayu. Sumika starts to get more involved with karate training to take her mind off of Ushio and in doing so, inadvertently distances herself from her. Ushio breaks down in depression because of this distancing, which results in Ushio breaking her arm, but is able to make up with Sumika. Tomoe accidentally implies to Ushio that Sumika has romantic feelings for her, much to Ushio's surprise, and Ushio finally accepts that she has fallen in love with Sumika but decides to become less dependent on her friend before confessing because she believes love will always fail for her.  Im not continuing the story anymore, I'm tired. Animation: In my opinion, the animation is the best one I've seen compared to other anime's I've seen. This looks more like a mix of Western Animation mixed with Anime which I love. Sound: Sound got a low rating for me because they keep re-using it. It seemed like they were too lazy to make a new soundtrack for each episode. The opening theme and ending theme was ok. Not bad but not great either. Characters: People might disagree with me on this but the characters are good and excecuted perfectly. Most of the characters are funny (especially Miyako). Some of the characters that are not introduced in anime was introduced in the manga version. Those characters are Lotte, a German student. Mayu and Koi, best friends since kindergarten. Lotte is one of the funniest character's I have seen especially when paired up with Miyako.  Overalls: As you may have noticed, some of the stories I mentioned and characters I mentioned are not in anime. That's because the anime version covered 12 out of 53 chapters of manga. I'm guessing the anime version was for those people who hates reading because it's exactly the same as manga(except episode 12). If you have patience in romance and patience in character development then this is a show for you. If you want something quick then this is not a show for you.  You might also get dissapointed with the ending of anime series because the ending they showed was the ending of manga volume 1. If they were to continue the series and make season 2 (which won't happen) then they would cover the manga series volume 2.  In my opinion, the show is one of the best anime series I've seen. What I really love is no explicit scenes, kind of realistic lesbian relationship, takes time for things to develop, no breast kissing (looking at you Aoi Hana), and not a lot of kissing (looking at you Sakura Trick). If you're going to read the manga version then I recommend watching this series so you don't have to read the first 12 chapters of the manga. If you're looking for cuteness then this is also the show for you.

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