One Room

July 7, 2017

VR is the rage these days. But the accessories are too expensive and perhaps too inconvenient for certain things. It is still at an experimental stage and while it looks potential for gaming, it is still a question mark for dating simulation. That’s right. If you’re a loner and desperately in need of a girlfriend from a first person perspective but you can’t afford those VR stuffs, then have this cheaper 2D version. A short anime named One Room. This anime features mainly from the views of viewers as we interact with our potential love interest before our eyes and usually occurs in a room, our room. Hence the name of this anime. Only, we can’t control our actions as we watch how we interact with her from our viewpoint. I guess it is better than dreaming and making out with your pillow.

Yui Hanasaka Arc

Episode 1
Yui Hanasaka just moved in next door as she gives us a souvenir as greeting. We ask about her school uniform and she tells us she wants to go to a university in Tokyo. As we bump to her in the streets that evening, we are such a gentleman that we help carry her stuffs home. Because of that later she comes to us looking nervous and shy. She wants us to help her study. Damn, and here I thought we are going to have a first episode confession and things escalating quickly.

Episode 2
We let her in to study. It’s getting a little late and she is feeling a little tired. She asks if we can keep doing this. The study. Sure, why not. No reason to turn down the only girl who wants to come to our place. Next day she has to come by again not because for studies but her water is out. We would have loved to let her use ours and lead to some hentai scene but looks like the place is having water outage. So we go to the public bath instead. I hope those views of watching her bath isn’t us peeping… We walk home together and she thanks us for everything. At first she was nervous when she came here but now feels okay.

Episode 3
To thank us for helping her study, Yui is going to cook for us. Mmm… Nice ass, I mean apron. Of course anything made by a cute girl would be delicious. She picks a rice from our face but gets embarrassed when she realizes it. When she tries to put away a book, a naughty magazine falls off. She flusters but ‘understands’ that we are guys. Later Yui is seen sad. Looks like she didn’t do well in her mock exams and will not be going to her first choice university. She doesn’t want to go to her second choice. So how? No, we’re not going to make love to soothe her grieving heart. Instead we go study more! Can’t give up now, right?! Damn it we’re nerds!!! She studies until she falls asleep at the table so we’re kind enough to put a blanket over her. She wakes up and notices this and wants to stay this way a bit longer. Hey girl, the bed’s a lot warmer. Wanna lie there?

Episode 4
Before Yui leaves for her second test, we give her a charm. We know what the results are. Heck, she doesn’t even need to say it. It’s all there in her big smile. As we walk with her through the sakura trees, she tells us why she wanted to go to this university. That is where her parents met so she thought of finding somebody wonderful too (you mean it’s not to study? Sorry, sarcasm). However she has already found someone wonderful. Guess who? She hopes we could do things together and stay with us forever. Yes! YES! Oh YEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Natsuki Momohara Arc

Episode 5
Our bratty little sister, Natsuki Momohara visits us. After ringing the door umpteenth time. Wait. We have a sister?! Oh, we might have forgotten how she looks like. Tee-hee! So she’ll be staying here for a while and yet she complains how hot it is. Yeah, we want to save energy that’s why we didn’t turn on the air-cond. And perhaps we love to see how sexy you are sweating. Oops! What is she, our mother to come check on us to see if we’re taking care of ourselves properly? Oh, the fridge is empty. I mean, it really has nothing! So she buys some stuffs and cooks for us. She wants to help wake us up for tomorrow but she herself got up late. We already left… When we come home from work, she is really concerned we really look worn out. She becomes a tsundere about being worried for us. And so she sets her rules for us on how to live properly…

Episode 6
What is she now?! Our wife?! Would like to have dinner, bath or her first? Sorry. No response. We’re not into loli types. She tries to be considerate by massaging our tired bodies like old times. We tease her if she has a boyfriend. Obviously not. She shoots back if she has one, he’ll have to be better than us! Natsuki must be bored staying at home in Tokyo. We even fight over which channel to watch. When she finishes cooking, she wonders why we aren’t at the table. Because the fireworks outside is so beautiful! She thanks us for working hard.

Episode 7
What is she now?! A slave driver?! Because she won’t let us sleep in on our day off and has her help clean the place. Then she stumbles into our naughty magazine, gets embarrassed and calls us the worst. Told you we’re not into loli types. When she is bathing and the shampoo runs out, she keeps bugging us to bring another one. And when we do, she calls us a pervert for looking at her naked body. So young so feminism already?! Sorry, we’re not into incest. And yes, those tits are small. She thought she could get back by us by burning away that magazine but then she realizes we have come home reek in alcohol. She panics but does enough to take care of us. Try not to worry her so much. Natsuki decides to stay a little longer despite mom nagging her to come home. But we drop the biggest shock bomb because we tell her to go home.

Episode 8
It’s heart breaking to see a sad loli’s face. However the reason we said that is because we blame ourselves for being pathetic. Natsuki argues we aren’t because we always worked so hard. So after we have a little chat, we go out to eat for a change of pace. She asks us why we don’t have a girlfriend (what a rhetorical question). Aren’t there girls in our workplace? No chance to meet? Whatever. She has hopes we will find one. I guess this settles Natsuki isn’t the kind to marry her big brother. Natsuki decides to head home the next day as we accompany her home via train. She’ll come visit her again. We go back and her rules so far she made as she stayed thank goodness only have 4 of them. The last one being to keep in touch with her once in a while.

Moka Aoshima Arc

Episode 9
Moka Aoshima is playing her keyboard at the park as we come to pick her up. She feels sad as a failed musician and is happy that we are treating her like a girl. What? She is glad we haven’t changed especially our dreams from young are still the same. There is only a reason why a girl would invite us back to her room as thanks. She likes us. Or she could be our childhood friend. Or both. So she goes through her old album and talks about how we moved away after graduation. She was afraid we had forgotten about her. We used to sing at a park and made a promise. If she became a musician, we would become a writer and made her to heroine. Too bad we’re both not doing well as we can see. The dream is still far. Moka won’t give up yet and will still do her best.

Episode 10
Moka meets up in our room to celebrate our success for entering the next competition round. Food, video games and Moka getting a little bit drunk after a few beer cans, complaining about other people ‘complaining’ she lacks sexiness. Really. She tries to feed us to prove otherwise but realizes maybe she needs to be flirtier. Then I guess it just goes downhill from here. Moka can’t hide her depression anymore. She wrote a new song but was rejected. She regrets being a downer at our party. But she is going to try again to sell her new song. And if that still doesn’t work out, she’ll quit. Don’t look at us with such sad eyes!!! Please!

Episode 11
Moka is playing in the park (with nobody around) when it starts raining so we have to pick her up. So back home she takes a shower as we see a rejected letter. Moka is trying real hard not to be gloomy but it is too obvious to hide. She feels sad like as though the world is rejecting her. It’s like she really wants sympathy from us because she’s telling us we don’t have to be nice to her too since we’re gunning to be a novelist. WTF logic? Next day, we learn she has come down with a cold. We are so kind to go visit her. Yeah, being next to her makes her feel so calming that she admits the reason why she relies on us. We stay by her side till we fall asleep. Next morning she feels a lot better. She has decided to give up and return home. Thanks for everything.

Episode 12
We hear Moka singing her song amidst the gloomy montage of her forlorn face, her younger days and the train trip back to her countryside hometown. So sad… She is surprised to see us here with her. She is sad she has no right to be with us because she gave up and that will only ruin us both. Then we hand her our novel manuscript. One of the lines read, “I didn’t run away. I was just resting a while”. With more ‘motivated’ lines like that, you can say it touched her soul. Oh sh*t! Don’t cry on and ruin my manuscript with your tears, baby!!! And of course we’ll wait for her as long as it takes. But it won’t be long because by spring, here she is back at our doorstep. Welcome home?

OVA
Swimsuit episode! For obvious reasons… Somehow, Yui greets us at our doorstep to give us a present. In a swimsuit. Yes, yes… Look at all her delicious parts… What’s this? She says this is her school uniform?! I WANT TO ENROL IN THAT SCHOOL OF HERS! Natsuki decides to help clean our room. In a swimsuit. She tries to open a stuck closet and when she finally does, a porn magazine drops out. She takes a look at it and flusters like hell before turning into the ultimate moral police we know. We visit Moka in her room. She is somehow in her swimsuit. Here is another one of those women logic whereby we are allowed to watch her in a swimsuit but she gets embarrassed when she notices us looking at her lingerie hung behind. I’m not sure if the swimsuit is going to distract us from Moka talking about the good ol’ days and promise we made. Please don’t start this depression thing again… Luckily she decides to motivate herself to do better.

Room For More Love
Well, it certainly feels a bit different but yet a bit weird. At least to a person who has never played a dating simulation game before. Okay, so I have played a dating simulation before. That was some free game online and many years ago (yes, that cheesy Love Hina and Galaxy Angels one). Therefore as far as I know, this is the only anime whereby the entirety (or a big part of it) of its view is from the perspective of the viewers instead of other angles. The whole series also feels odd because it is like watching the girls talking to themselves (although they are supposed to be talking to us) as they are the only ones with dialogue for their particular arc. Perhaps this is nothing new for viewers who have been listening to character drama CDs for a long time. But to me, this sounds pretty new and since I’m not used to it, it feels a bit awkward.

However the stories itself aren’t really something unique and feel pretty bland. After all, a story through the eyes of the protagonist, how much variety of a plot can one put in? I know there is porn but that is entirely out of context for this blog… Anyway the stories for the 3 girls I am not saying that they are uninteresting but they are hardly exciting either that it would make me want to have more of such ‘conversations’ and ‘views’ with them. Because Yui’s story is like a slow boring love drama unfolding. Natsuki feels like the brat and finally Moka’s arc is just filled with depression and gloominess, which isn’t really a great way to end the series.

Seeing that each episode lasts only 4 minutes, there is hardly any solid development to be expected from the girls. From first looks, they are pretty generic seeing that you have your generic classmate, your generic bratty little sister and your generic childhood friend. I am sure these are overused tropes in romance drama genres. Each of them has their own issues to deal with and in their own ways are of course supposed to love us as the silent protagonist who is seemingly a very decent, considerate and nice guy. Imagine a big majority of the drama developing in our room. Yeah, such a hotbed for relationship development… But somehow it never ended in sex because we’re too nice a jerk :'(.

Going back to the first person perspective, I did say that the first person view is not always 100% from our eyes. I have a feeling that it sometimes shows certain angles where if you think about it, would have put us in a very awkward position. For example that shower scene Moka was in. Don’t tell me we peeped at her bathing?! My best guess is that such awkward first person view angles are for some fanservice scenes because there are close-ups on the girl’s butt, thighs and boobs at times. So you’re telling me that we are this close to her and watching those prized assets, huh? Can’t be because the girl would have got embarrassed and screamed her head off. Remember, we are the nice guy. Overall, the artwork seems pretty decent. As long as the girls look cute, it overwrites everything. Well okay. Sometimes. At least the background sceneries are quite good especially the sakura petals scattering and all. Animated by Typhoon Graphics in which this is their first animation production.

An anime series having one of the smallest casts ever with Mao Ichimichi as Yui (Renge in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Rie Murakawa as Natsuki (Ageha in Kyoukai No Rinne) and Suzuko Mimori as Moka (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes series). It goes without saying that the ending themes are different and sung by the heroine of that arc. I thought it would be tailored to suit their character but it doesn’t sound because Harumachi Clover (by Yui), Aozora Yell (Natsuki) and Kibou Refrain (Moka) all sound like lively anime pop rock music. They aren’t bad to listen, though.

Overall, this is one of those animes that is cute but awkward at the same time. Well, there is still room for more development. Mind the pun. I hardly doubt that this would be turned into a full-fledged anime series with the usual 24 minutes of running time. That would be just unbearable. Imagine looking at a girl who is talking to you in a monologue for almost half an hour! Per episode! I think it would turn guys off. But oddly we can watch the same scene if it was porn for hours and then still come back for more.

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