Monday, October 19, 2009

Sasameki Koto Anime: My (Late! > <) Early Impressions

Even though the first chapter of the Sasameki Koto manga (the heartbreak-in-the-library chapter, which the first episode covers) is more melancholic than the bulk of the early chapters, I was still a little nervous after watching the tear-drenched- but still extremely good- first episode. (Especially when I read Carl Kimlinger's summation of Sasameki Koto as "steeped in sadness", and thought "Wait! That's not how it really is!! At least not until the end of volume 3!! o_o; And even then there's levity!") Would AIC truly do (consistent) justice to one of my all-time favorite best-friends-in-love stories? *clenches fist* *cue dramatic string instrument music in the background*

But then *music grows pleasantly light and mellow* *hand relaxes* episode 2 rolled around, and brilliantly captured the fine balance of humor and drama that was present in chapter 2 of the manga (the Akemiya-discovery chapter)!! ^_^ Call me a sadist (or masochist, for identifying with both Sumi and Ushio to some extent), but I can't get enough of those humorously awkward, "Sumi's-doing-damn-near-everything-humanly-possible-to-get-Kazama-to-notice-her-but-Kazama-keeps-missing-the-boat" moments, like when Sumi shows up with a frigging bouquet of roses while wearing the exact outfit that Kazama thought looked cute on her the day before. I can give Kazama a pass for not reading anything into the outfit- but I can't think of anybody who would randomly give somebody who they consider a mere friend a bouquet of pink roses. ^^; (Sumi should have gone the extra mile and sprung for a dozen red roses...and a heart-shaped box of Godiva...with a boom box iPod playing "In Your Eyes"- subtlety is lost on Kazama.)


While the anime hasn't reached the part of the manga that made me fall head-over-heels in love with the series yet, it's still off to a great start- perhaps more so, in a way, for people who haven't read the manga and created a very specific vision of what the anime should "feel" like. Myself, I'm just enjoying the ride. ^^

And it's a silly thing to note, but even though the theme song didn't really stand out to me (despite having Kiyoura Natsumi's lovely vocals), it made me think of this quote:

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other
but looking in the same direction together."
-Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Story: B+ (But the series will reach new levels of awesome soon with Tomoe, Miyako, and Aoi being added to the mix.)
Art: Sometimes B, but B+ when it needs to be. Ikeda's distinctive original character designs are captured well, and emotions are conveyed expressively. My biggest nitpick is how the frames of eyeglasses disappear when they cross over the characters' eyes.
And a small oddity I've noticed that doesn't detract from anything- I'll have to check the manga again, but Sumi and Ushio's town in the anime seems to have an awful lot of sunsets.
Overall: B+

Here's hoping that the anime as a whole lives up to the original material! ^^ *crosses fingers*

Oh, and while all of the seiyuu were well-cast, I thought Takagaki Ayaki really nailed Sumi's character. ^^

Plus, here's a piece of fan art from pixiv I thought was cute. :) Sumi trying to score high on the Sasameki Koto kissing app. lol

Note how her lips are bleeding from too many tries. :P

No comments: