Sekaiichi hatsukoi was my introduction to the BL genre, seeing as I am a huge BL fan now I know hatsukoi must of done something right. In this review I will mainly be covering the main couple but will touch on the other character at the end of the review. This review is also very opinion based and may be bias, just a heads up. This is also my first review every so some feedback is welcome!
The anime follows 3 different couples, the main couple being Onodera Ritsu and Takano Masamune. Ritus is the son of a successful publishing company who has been accused by his co-workers of riding his father’s coat tails. Angered by this he quits his father’s company and joins Marukawa Publishing only to find he's been placed in the shoujo manga department despite being a literature editor previously. A little while after being placed in the department he finds out his boss, Takano, is actually his old high school lover who broke his heart causing his personality to become rather jaded. He then finds out the heart break was all a misunderstanding and Takano swears that he will make Ritsu say he loves him again.
The anime is a romantic comedy than looks at the daily lives of manga editors in a comedic fashion. The mix of comedy and romance really fits together well and makes the anime a lot of fun to watch.
Onodera Ritsu as a character for me was very refreshing. Despite being exceptionally Tsudere and evasive I actually found he resistance rather satisfying. Often in these types of anime when a character swears they will never fall of the main dude, about an episode later they are dating them like they never said it. Ritsu on the other hand sticks by his word for the most part and actively trys not to fall for Takano, despite the fact he is already in love with him. For the most part Ritsu maintains a good balance of denial and acceptance when it come to Takano, but later in the series drags these feelings on a bit to much to the point where as a watcher I started to feel irritated. He knows later on he is in love but still tries to avoid Takano which was frustrating but still admits it enough to start a sexual relationship with him which makes his character a bit contradictory
Takano Masamune is the seme in this relationship and has a very "hands on" approach when it comes to demonstrating his affection. As a character he is very honest and blunt, saying things how they are and refusing to sugar coat anything. He is very controlling and demanding in his work and likes to abuse his authority in a comedic way making him an enjoyable character in the series. The only problem I have with him is his very physical approach to handing his feeling for Ritsu. He will often molest Ritsu or be very forceful despite Ritsu's protests making some of the more intimate scene very uncomfortable to watch. Despite this side I still found him an enjoyable character.
The soundtrack as a whole is decent. The opening and ending themes are enjoyable and the character songs are nice as well. The rest of the soundtrack in my opinion was forgettable and not something I'd go out of my way to listen to, but suited the scenes they were used in well.
There are two other minor couples in Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, the first being between Hatori and Chiaki. Hatori is Chiaki's manga editor and childhood friend who has been in love with him for years. Chiaki is a complete airhead and doesn't notice his feelings and Chiaki's assistant Yuu also has a thing for Chiaki. This is in my opinion the most frustrating and least enjoyable story in Sekaiichi hatsukoi. Chiaki as a character can be frustrating and the love triangle is more of an annoyance than a drama as the viewer already knows who Chiaki will end up with.
Kisa and Yukina are the final couple in the show. Kisa is a 30 year old editor who has never fallen in love, all of his relationships have either been one night stands or completely sexual. Despite this he finds himself falling for the prince like Yukina and soon realizes he's in love but believes he will never be good enough for Yukina. This is possibaly one of the best stories in the show and as a viewer I found myself rooting for Kisa and Yukina's relationship. The story between them is completely believable and the most realistic in the show as Kisa has feelings and thoughts than any normal person would have making them a very enjoyable couple.
In all the story between Ritsu and Takano takes a more realistic standpoint than other BL animes would. While other BL animes would have the main couple sleeping together by episode 2, sekaiichi hatsukoi takes its time to build the relationship to create a more realistic story. The main problem with the story is the molesting scenes and the parts where Takano takes advantage of Ritsu, however with these types of scenes being common in BL animes it shouldn't effect fans too much.
Overall Sekaiichi hatsukoi in my opinion is a 8.5 out of 10. The story is good and most of the characters are enjoyable, the only real let down for me personally is the couple of Hatori and Chiaki and the overuse of molesting to advance the story. If you can handle this however then this anime should defiantly go on your to watch list! :D
I love this showwww! It is so good man...the back and forth between stories and the dialogue was just everything. Even when I worried it would get cheesy, it didn't. It's BL which I love and its very romantic. My favorite storyline is Takano and Onodera, though all three are good. I just can't wait to watch part 2. This show is super addictive and pretty much a giant ball of fluff. It reminded me a little of a fanfiction the way it plays everything out, but don't take my word for it, just watch it.
Story: like I said, I loved this. It's pretty much a slice of life anime but cleverly placed within a manga editing company. This leads to a lot of funny moments and almost 4th wall breaks. I watched the OVAs first so I knew the background on four of our six main characters and as the show goes along, you switch between the 3 storylines. The characters are all tied together by the fact that they work in the same division. There's a lot to love here. I don't really think I need to go into the story too much because you should just watch it yourself.
Animation: Very well done. The characters, though similarly drawn, still look gorgeous and I love the scenery but the key elements are as follows:
Music: I wasnt too much a fan of the opening music, but the ending theme was really good. However, the OST for this show is probably one of my favorites of any anime I've seen. It was beautiful and placed perfectly throughout the show, leading to tears and smiles and all the other feels. I just adored it.
The Characters: as I stated earlier, they look similar but their personalities all differ giving the viewer a variety of people to identify with. All of them were strongly characterized and played beautifully by the voice actors as well. I watched this subbed and it was wonderful. I also enjoyed all the love scenes which there are a lot of, and all the revelations which there are also a lot of. It was just so good.
Overall: I'd recommend it and I'd definitely watch it again. I loved it.
Back last year, when WGFL was first green-lit to have an anime TV series, I was really happy. I didn't know anything about it other than...
a) It was by Shungiku Nakamura, creator of Junjo Romantica.
b) It was about two guys who dated in high school but end up working in the same publishing company.
My expectations weren't amazingly high. Not because I thought it would be bad, but because I was determined to be as neutral as possible, even after watching the introductory OVA. I didn't want to look like a Junjo and Junjo only fangirl, and I'm kind of stepping off the BL train (until they can get better stories and characters), so this is going to be one of my last BL series I watch.
Well, I don't think I got anything much out of World's Greatest First Love. It's pretty much Junjo Romantica all over again, and while the first few episodes were okay, it really didn't do much for me.
The stories that concern the romantic lives of Ritsu Onodera and Masamune Takano, Yoshiyuki Hatori and Chiaki Yoshino and Yu Yanase, and Shota Kisa and Ko Yukina are all sweet little self-contained stories, and yes, I'd much rather see BL TV series than terrible OVAs that skip immediately to rolling in the hay, as if the animators know that the fangirls are just going to skip to that portion of the video anyway. (Much to fangirls' disappointment, there's not that much ravishing going on in this series.)
But... I think it's the characterisation that really threw me off on World's Greatest First Love. All the semé in this series were overly possesive douchebags, with the exception of Ko.
While the Ritsu and Masamune coupling was okay at first, it soon turned into Ritsu blushing and whinging and thinking about Masamune every single waking moment, and Yokozawa bullying the poor guy with a neverending slew of 'MASAMUNE'S ROMANTIC LIFE WAS RUINED FOREVER BECAUSE YOU DUMPED HIM!!!' I just didn't see any love or chemistry between them. I like them as a couple, but I feel the anime could have done better to develop them.
The Hatori, Chiaki and Yu storyline on the other hand... oh dear gods. I really didn't like it. Hatori was just a massive creep. In fact, he's almost a carbon copy of Usami from Junjo Romantica (left), only difference being that Hatori works in a publishing company, whereas Usami is a successful author with a side-gig of writing adult novels. Now, I like Usami, despite his incredible possessive-ness, but Hatori just took the cake. Expressly forbidding Chiaki from going anywhere near Yu, or showing his body to anyone except Hatori... urgh. There was just no real romance there, just Hatori being a creep and Chiaki trying to fight him off but still being such a bloody doormat that his resistance was futile.
To be honest, I would have much preferred for Chiaki to get with Yu, because Yu seemed to be much more fun-loving, caring, and generally had a better personality. But we can't all be my favourite coupling, I suppose.
Speaking of favourite couple... let's move on to Yukina and Kisa, the bookshop worker and the manga editor. I find their relationship somewhat adorable and somewhat silly, because it's based on the fact that Kisa happens to have edited most of Yukina's favourite books. Being a fan of the author I can understand, but not the editor. Anyway, their tender little relationship grows over time, and is done quite well in the space of two episodes, even though there really should be more.
There are 13 episodes in this series if we count the OVA. 2 episodes (15%) of Yukina and Kisa, 3 episodes (23%) of Hatori, Chiaki, and Yu, leaving us 8 episodes (62%) of pure Ritsu and Masamune non-romance. I feel maybe they could have cut out a few of the Ritsu and Masamune episodes to better develop the other couples...
Now, I was really worried about the art direction in this series to begin with. I was pleasantly surprised that the art wasn't quite the spindly piano-fingered, thick-necked, trapezium-shaped faces that were oh so present in both the anime and the manga of Junjo Romantica. It still had the look of it, but Ritsu and Masamune weren't so bad. However, Hatori has to have the most spectacularly square-shaped mandible in anime history. The animation was okay in this series, and it used a lot of panned stills, chibi moments, and minimal animation to a fairly decent effect that I can't shave points off of for. I'm watching a BL slice of life series, I'm not looking for the most exquisite piece of animation I have ever laid my eyes on.
When talking about the music, there isn't much to credit. I barely remember any background music in this series (mostly remembering talking and talking and more talking). However, the opening and ending song eventually grew on me. I used to think the opening was this obnoxiously loud pop song, and the ending was a dull ballad, but they weren't so bad after several listens.
This being a slice of life series, there wasn't any grand overarching story. It was just couples being drawn together and going through their various problems. Ritsu was stuck in a job he didn't like, Chiaki was a stressed manga artist, and Kisa was 30 but didn't feel like he'd accomplished anything with his life. In comes the semé characters to kick them up the butt (or more than just that), stick their tongues down their throats, and remind them that true love conquers everything. Just not publishing deadlines.
All in all, I was rather bored of this whole series by the time it ended. The drama was a bit silly at times, the couples weren't that great, and it was basically Junjo Romantica but set at a publishing company. (Well, actually, the very same publishing company who publish Usami's books from Junjo Romantica, I believe.) But there were some very positive things about this series. It was nice how realistic the publishing company setting felt, rather than just being your stereotypical office job. Ritsu and Masamune have to crunch figures, write tonnes of spreadsheets, talk about colour pages and black and white pages and even attend sales meetings to determine how many books will be published. It may sound really boring, but it was quite interesting to see how manga gets published, whether it's in magazine or volume format, and this lent a certain grown-up feel to it.
I'm glad this series is about. It's a fairly mature romance that while it does pander to BL fan-girls at times, does have a heart and a soul and there are some genuinely decent and heartwarming moments. However, I'm afraid I'm going to have to give this series a 5/10 for the characterisation of some of the uké and the semé. As I've said above, they could have done a lot better than just having pushy, coercive semé for 2/3 of the couples and ukés who unfortunately have a condition where their thoughts are always audible and they never cease.
If I had it my way, Yukina and Kisa would be the star couple, but unfortunately I'll have to stick with what I've got: volumes 3-5 of the manga and episodes 8 and 9 of the anime.
I luv this anime its not simply bl or sex every time it has more of a cutesweet sensitive feel to it I belive it will Satisfy any boyxboy lover i also belive that even if you are qa hardcore yaoi lover this will have a fresh taste to it its simply to cute to resist it has nice art the strort is good and new to me that is
The numbers don't work, right?
I wanted to like this anime. I don't normally go for yaoi storylines, but the plot review seemed compelling and I was in the mood for something a little more adult in theme and weight. Unfortunately I found myself bored.
The main character was a self-proclaimed "jaded" adult, but was in reality a frightened man afraid to risk being hurt. The love interest was two-dimensional and there was a serious lack of character development or backstory on him. Although I am told there's a manga somewhere with his perspective I can't help thinking that information would have been far more useful than the four episodes spent on Chiaki's little love triangle. There was too much in that relationship arc to cram into the twelve episodes that should have moved the Onodera/Takano relationship forward.
In the end I felt like the show was stagnating in attempting to force fangirls to squeal over pretty boys and I found myself waiting anxiously for more information on manga editing than actually caring about the characters.
As stills of OCs with short backstory summaries on DeviantArt, I may have been able to care about the relationships. Had it actually used the first half of the season to show the initial relationship and then jumped ahead after his heartbreak (or even just the first episode) I might have cared about Onodera. In the end I just turned it off and never went back.