Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi 2 – 01 Review
Episode 01 – A Good Beginning Makes a Good Ending
Reviews by Saranaufogus and M0rg0th:
Review Disclaimer: Saranaufogus is basically going to shut her brain off while watching this series and enjoy what she sees on screen, so if you are looking for an objective review on this show, you better read M0rg0th’s review of the episode (because he activates his brain and doesn’t try to enjoy what he sees on screen since that’s what ‘being objective’ means seemingly…). =D
Onodera Ritsu has recently been promoted to program director for the magazine and is now in charge of chasing up the editors for their manuscript and to ensure that the magazines gets published on time. Naturally, as with the previous season, all his colleagues are never able to hand in their manuscripts on time, the worse culprit out of all of them is, the head editor, Masamune Takano.
In continuation from last season, Onodera’s first manga volume from the Love Star series by Mutou sensei has just been released. Onodera gets all excited and decides to visit one of the bookstores that stocks a high quantity of the manga to check out the sales. Over there, he meets Yokozawa who once again warns Onodera to stay away from Takano and twists his words into making it sound like he and Takano were dating.
The next day, in order to celebrate the success of Onodera having his first manga published and the good sales, Takano decides to invite Onodera for drinks. Onodera gets drunk at Takano’s apartment and they end up confessing their love. The episode ends with Onodera waking up the next day with love bites all over his body but due to his drunken state the previous day, he remembers nothing of what had happened.
I am so happy and excited to see this series on screen again. This is going to be my sit-back-and-enjoy series of the season. With this show you sort of know what you are going to get and if you did not like the first season then I doubt you would like this either.
There is something about all the series that are written by Shungiku Nakamura that is able to make me feel like the characters are all so lovable and “innocent”, which we all know to be wrong and untrue , but there is just something that makes me go “awwww…” after each scene. Perhaps I should write it off as the charm of the characters since they are so adorable (mind you my brain is currently turned off so either accept that they are adorable or wait for M0rg0th’s review), or perhaps it is the gentle humor in the scenes that makes everything seem fluffy and warm like bunny stuffed-toys.
As with the Junjo Romantica series and the first season of Hatsukoi, the animation suffers at the hands of Studio DEEN. It is quite obvious that the budget for this animation is not high (with the stiff character animations and endless panning scenes) and the soundtrack makes it sound like some tacky porno. But I guess this was something to be expected out of the series since it was never the aim of the series to be mainstream and thus highly profitable due to it’s target audience being such a niche market. The good thing is that the character designs are always nice to look at despite the fact that most of Nakamura’s characters look the same, I guess this is a case of ‘why fix something that’s not broken’.
I know some of you (*ahem* M0rg0th *ahem*) are wishing this episode was all a dream. But for me, this episode was such a dream to watch. =P
What I enjoyed in this episode:
- Takano’s ridiculous explanation to Onodera about what 94% of an editor’s job entails. LOL. That was ridiculous and cute at the same time.
- Onodera and Takano are finally “connected” and there is now some sort of tangible present situation that now connects Takano and Onodera as a dysfunctional couple.
- I found the drunk Onodera to be adorable and funny. I thought he was going to puke on Takano but Takano simply took advantage of his drunken state and pretty much harassed him. =P
- The lovely pair reminisced their High School times with the Senpai/Ritsu moment at Takano’s apartment
- Confessions, confessions, confessions galore!
What I did not like about this episode:
- Yokozawa. I really dislike his character. I really prefer the “antagonistic” character in Junjo, which was Usagi’s father, instead of Yokozawa who is just a crazy jealous person.
- No increase in the quality of the animation from the previous season.
Overall, This show just leaves a smile on my face and makes my day even better. I am glad that I have this show to look forward to each week as I know that the quality is going to maintain unchanged. You may take this statement however you want to since if you hate the show you are going to hate the show and if you like it then I am sure you would be happy with what this series has to offer.
Episode Entertainment Level: 7/10 – haters gonna hate and lovers gonna love it
(I am not going to rate the show but merely state how much I enjoyed it)
Well, but you do have to admit that the only time when Ritsu is amusing is when he’s an incompetent wimp ready to be made fun of… That’s at least how the series approaches that topic.
The series continues what you have seen in the first season basically and the first episode did nothing wrong in that regard but nothing new either. As a sequel this isn’t a new installment of the series as rather a continuation.
As an introduction it doesn’t really care about reintroducing every part of the plot but I don’t think it was necessary since the editor-part was executed rather rudimentary and more as a kind of comic-relief for Ritsu. The whole explanations about the publishing-business are fine and all but I don’t think they need to be that detailed. This is a pure romance show and it’s purely sentimental in its character-interactions with exception of the scenes that are purely comic-relief.
The structure of the series is pretty much the standard you’d a shounen-ai-series to have. The weak main-chara whose love-interest forces himself onto him, as always it seems the love of shounen-ai is all about power and infatuation. But the roles do restrict the characters a bit.
Ritsu for example is made ‘adorably helpless’ to the point of making him seem simply incompetent and as fretful as a teenager. His whole troubled love-life seems juvenile in the way its problems are caused. This may give the romance-story an innocent vibe but after all this building-up it simply makes things far too pathetic as far as love goes. There’s no discovery or adventure when all the drama of the romantic plot depends on a derp’s indecisiveness. It’s just like these shounen-series where the main-chara gets all emo and whiny simply stopping to do anything. And getting Ritsu to get himself drunk to show the ‘truth of the matter’ may be the kind of teaser a romantic plot should use but hell, remember this series has another twelve or eleven episodes to do… It’s clear where this is going and what keeps this thing from being a happy end is a marginal issue. So why the hell does this series need another whole season to finish the story?
Like I said, shounen-ai-love is about power and it doesn’t really help of course to cure Ritu’s derpiness when it’s all about him being dominated by his love-interest. I think, in this regard I think yuri-love with its goal of purity and friendship may be better for a long-running romance series as the slow build-up leading to its goals has a better potential for a balanced characterization instead of how in this case of typical shounen-ai-love is a kind of conflict where one side has all the coolness and brains while the other side seems like a stupid wimp.
I totally agree! At least when he’s dead drunk I expected him to be different than usual!
But as long as one can ignore the problems of the genre itself, this series is a fairly good romance-plot balanced by the comic-relief of the daily work of Ritsu where he plays a sort of straight guy with his idealistic aspirations while the rest are pessimistic based on a sort of realism gained by the experience Ritsu doesn’t have (ultimately, like I said, it does make Ritsu seem incompetent but hey, it’s always funny to laugh about incompetence, especially the one which is based on optimism). There’s nothing wrong with the way the episode was structured and the dialogues were written. It was nothing fancy and I liked how it didn’t get too pondering. It really concentrated on the feelings of Ritsu and each character’s opinion instead of following one certain message with the script.
They should check whether he’s a transsexual. He’s whining like a little girl…
The first episode did a pretty decent job of portraying a typical shounen-ai-love-story without getting too redundant. But as good as the characterizations are one can’t help himself but feel that the concept of the roles assigned to the characters distract them from following their own path. It’s also apparent that the story reached a point where it should look towards a conclusion but instead it seemingly gets another dozen episodes to do just that. I fear that the story will be too long-winded that way and an OVA with a straight-forward conclusion may have been a better option for this story.