Tired of all the high school love drama and romance? So I guess it is time to go back further where love is seemingly more innocent and almost straightforward without all that complicating drama. Well, almost. 12-sai Chicchana Mune No Tokimeki S2 continues from where we left off from the first season about 12 year olds facing the dilemmas and problems about love. I suppose adults and teens don’t give a damn or take it seriously when such young kids fall in love together when they haven’t even yet and some just starting hit puberty. That is, if your 12 year old sister is the one with a boyfriend. See if your father or big brother will be up in arms against it.

Episode 1
The girls are at an age where some are developing breasts. Thus a clear division of those who wear bra and those wearing undershirts. The girls are asking about Yui’s bra size when they heard a commotion outside. Hiyama is trying to get rough with some of the boys trying to eavesdrop on the girls changing. Later Yui thought Hiyama noticed her new hairclip. But when it is just to pick up some dirt on it, she gets disheartened. She didn’t like it. WTF. Because of this, fellow cram school classmate, Inaba Mikami seems to be moving in and hitting on her. His charming and assuring words make her easier to talk to him. Shortly, Yui spots a pimple on her chin and freaks out. Time for Marin sensei to tell how to properly take care of it (thanks to what her sister tells her of course). One of them including not stressing up like giving a big hug. This spreads to other girls so instead of a blatant hug, they want to borrow Hiyama’s jacket to squeeze! WTF. Lucky that guy tells them all to bug off. Yui is embarrassed by her zit that she can’t face Hiyama. He thinks she is down because of other girls asking to borrow his jacket but is relieved it was just her zit. Apparently this doesn’t sit well with her. Because when she got a new hairclip he didn’t notice. Now she got a pimple and he noticed. WTF right? She continues to hide her face but he wants her to talk facing him. As they struggle, she trips and their lips almost touch. Want to bet somebody snapped that juicy bit?

Later Yui talks to her friends that she might have kissed Hiyama. All in good timing, Hiyama calls to invite her to his home. Master Marin thinks he is trying to set up a good mood for a real kiss. And here she is at his home all nervous. She disagrees watching movie or listening to music since Marin said those are the right atmosphere for a kiss. So they play video games instead (Yui won). When she notices his photo album and wants to look at it, he is against it. Oh no. Don’t ruin the mood. So why did he call her to his house then? To give a book on how to take care of pimples that she seemed so concerned about. Disappointed? As she leaves, she is still distraught with everything that has happened that she bumps into Inaba. Naturally that guy tries to take advantage by soothing her heart. Luckily Hiyama was following her and stops him. He proclaims himself as her boyfriend (no, not her little brother), takes her by the hand and they walk away. Hiyama reveals he was against letting her go through the photo album because one of an old school trip photo has her sleeping in a funny face. He bought that photo and wanted to give it to her but forgot all about it. Yui realizes he has been worried about her for a long time. Even if that kiss wasn’t a real one, she still loves him. When they return to school, Eikou and co have put up an article with picture proof that Yui and Hiyama kissed. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Yeah, they’re so free that they want to spread the news! Eventually this reaches Inaba’s ears and he definitely can’t leave Yui in his hands.

Episode 2
Eikou has spread the news so far as to cram school. Now Inaba makes his move by inviting her out to the mall. When Mikami (there’s another female student in cram school of this name) and her friends call out Yui, Inaba fears they are going to mess her up. Actually they are impressed with her and want to know more. They look up to her for this sort of romance stuff? As they walk home, Yui notices Inaba talking to another girl and wonders if they’re going out. Mikami and co want to know what Yui and Hiyama talk about often so Yui has to call Hiyama? Halfway through, he hangs up! Huh?! And then he is seen rushing from the horizon! He mistakenly thought Yui was ‘surrounded’ by bullies. This is the thing if you don’t let people finish their sentences. Mikami and co decide to give the lovebirds time of their own and let them walk home together. Of course the next day, they’re begging for the juicy details. Nothing much happened. Hope you’re not disappointed. When Inaba asks Yui about the invitation, she reminds him he can’t invite her so easily because he is going out with someone. However he tells her that girl is just a friend. Then he confesses he likes her! Wait. What?! But the other girls also want his opinion and he too says he likes them. Wait. WTF?! Yeah, Yui is just as confused and embarrassed. So Yui talks about this playboy Inaba to Marin but there’s nothing much you can do about it because such jerks think all they need to say is those 3 magical words.

Inaba spots Yui doing walking back after an errand and helps her carry her stuffs. As usual, he speaks in a charismatic and charming way. But halfway through, he sees a girl waiting for him and goes to hear out her confession! Of course he said no and Yui still doesn’t think it is right. But Inaba tells her he says those words to all the girls who like him because isn’t a happy thing to like him? Narcissist? Yui tells him off he needs to respond properly and if he treats everyone the same, no one would want to be with him in the end. In cram school, Yui hears Mikami is called by the teacher for entering a classroom suspiciously alone with a boy. Yui feels it is her fault because she encouraged Mikami to confess. When she enters the room, she hears Inaba voicing his opinion. He tells the teacher off that he can only lecture them if their grades go down after this flirting. Otherwise do a better job teaching! OMG! He has no words in return. Later Yui is amazed at Inaba for talking back to the teacher and he cheekily mentions he was cool enough that she might fall for him. She finds the part of him where kissing comes easily to him to be remarkable. This makes him fluster and note that one should kiss someone they only really like. Yui finds out he was helping out his friend and notes she likes this part of him than his ‘normal’ self. This makes Inaba fluster further. Then his eyes get serious. He won’t hold back now.

Episode 3
Time to take a detour to Hanabi and Takao. What’s this? Their relationship has progressed to a point where they are going to kiss with a romantic sunset scenery? Too good to be true. It’s just a dream and she kissed her stuffed doll. Hanabi also has an older brother and thanks to the series’ art and his laidback forgetful attitude, I thought he was like the most 3 years her senior but this guy is already in college! When Hanabi hears Takao might be in trouble, she runs into class only to find Eikou and co setting up a ‘trap’ to see who will come to Takao’s aid. Takao is pretty cool about it and is glad she would come to his aid. With the class swooning over this, we are then reminded that Kokoa b*tch is still around to try and get her hands on Takao. She hasn’t given up yet because she thinks Takao is dating Hanabi just to make her jealous! Oh dear… For the Parent’s Day, Hanabi plans to introduce Takao to her big brother. But when she consults her other friends, they’re like in shock. Is it taboo or something? But when she says Takao is looking forward to seeing him, they heave a sigh of relief. However they warn her about the embarrassment if a family member knows she has a boyfriend. Yeah, it’s really that big deal. So as she ponders if she should let big brother meet, she then casts aside her doubts and just wants him to look forward to the day. When she tells him about watching a romantic movie that involves kissing him, his comments that she is just child prompts her to think the meeting might not be a good idea. Because you know, they’ve already kissed.

Hanabi’s brother arrives in class and everyone they can tell they are from the same feather with them acting so similarly. He spots the boyfriend-girlfriend quotes from Eikou on the wall. Hanabi is afraid to reveal who those quotes originate from. Sharp Kokoa realizes what is happening and takes advantage of the situation. She sits next to Takao and threatens to tell big brother about their relationship if she doesn’t give in. When Hanabi reads her essay in class about her dearest mother, stupid Eikou had to interrupt and point out isn’t Takao the one she likes. This makes her not only very embarrassed but fearful her brother will find out. Although Takao is the one who tells him to stop, it is Eikou’s mother wrestling for being noisy! I can’t believe all that happened. Shouldn’t the teacher have disciplined Eikou or something? Anyway, at the end, Hanabi can’t bring herself to introduce the guys so Takao goes home first. This prompts big brother to wonder if he really likes her. Hanabi realizes what she needs to do and rushes out to catch him. Takao understands her fears and didn’t want to force her. Despite he can’t meet his brother today, they’ll do so another day. He won’t hate her for it and is really happy she came after him. They make a pinky promise they’ll love each other forever. And to think Hanabi once used to wax lyrical about her big brother and wanting to marry him?!

Episode 4
Time to go back to Yui. She still receives chat messages from Inaba. Even more confusing her, he says he is serious but he is talking casually to other girls. She doesn’t know if she can reject him the next time and because of her gloomy face, Hiyama has to go talk what’s bugging her. But a worse possible time because Inaba is at the school gates. So he is here to tell her he will have her fall in love with him and then he’ll confess again? He knows she is going out with someone now but will still wait till she falls in love with him. As expected, here comes Hiyama. Time for the guys to showdown. Inaba fires first and boldly says he is more suited for Yui. He is more mature than him and can protect her better. That newspaper rumour about them makes Hiyama the worse because his girlfriend might be hurting. Therefore Inaba is different and won’t make her cry. Last warning shot: If he isn’t serious, step aside. All true points and Hiyama can’t fire anything back. Hiyama is out for a few days because of a cold. Yui gets a call from him and she remembers their promise to make him some chicken rolls. But she might have unintentionally hit his nerve because she says she didn’t expect him to call. He fires back. If it wasn’t him, who the f*ck was she expecting then? Right after he hangs up, Inaba messages her. In no time Yui naturally chats with him. In class, Yui and the girls make wish bracelets. After they’re done, Yui and Hiyama tie one for each other. While Hiyama’s wish is to have his allowance increase, Yui wants to be with Hiyama forever. As Yui attends cram school, she suddenly realizes she lost her bracelet. Panic mode. Inaba becomes serious to help her find it and assures this has nothing to do with the confession. It seems Yui dropped it in school and Hiyama spots it and picks it up to deliver it to her. When Hiyama finds her searching at the park, because she will not say what she is doing (in fear he will get mad that she lost the bracelet), Hiyama isn’t too pleased that she isn’t telling him things. It gets worse when Inaba is around. Hiyama loses his cool and quickly gives her missing bracelet. Yui earnestly didn’t want him to worry, that’s why she didn’t say but Hiyama might have crossed the line telling her to stop playing the good girl and to stop deciding how he feels for himself. Worst case scenario: Yui starts crying. The face all guys dread to see their girl. Inaba takes her away and tells off Hiyama: He’ll be taking her. You lost your chance.

Episode 5
Hiyama has always known he loved Yui. Like last year during the class’ kimodameshi, Yui switched with Hanabi to pair with Eikou but that dumb kid left her alone in the dark so Hiyama had to go find her and found her paralyzed by the darkness. Before Yui realizes it, Inaba has taken her to the amusement park to cheer her up. They sit the Ferris Wheel but he didn’t know she is afraid of heights so he tells her he would prefer her to refuse rather than hold it in. This has Yui wonder if this is how Hiyama felt. Because Yui still cannot get her mind off Hiyama, Inaba takes her bracelet and ties it to a balloon to let it fly it away! Forget about him! Apparently Yui still loves Hiyama and goes out of her way to get back that balloon. Man, that lucky kid who got the free balloon can go places. Yui is forced to enter the haunted house. By that time Hiyama has arrived (because Marin sensei told him where such fighting couples would end up – lucky guess?). A bit of a showdown between the guys before Hiyama steels his determination and illegally enters the haunted house to find her. He hugs her when he does so. When they exit, Inaba clearly understands his position. But he reminds them if this is what Yui wants. She’ll get hurt even more. Hiyama admits they might fight and cry more often but he doesn’t want let Yui to worry this all by herself. If that happens, he’ll be the first to be by her side. Yui cries but this time they are tears of joy. When Yui returns to school, she has to bear teasing from her friends they might have kissed in the dark. Worse, other girls heard rumours the duo had break up and they think of trying to hit on Hiyama! Time to take action and strike first. So Yui heads to Hiyama’s home where they can talk but ends up helping him clean the public bath. Hiyama tells her he is working hard so he could save enough to buy a handphone. Then they can talk with each other all they want and when she needs him, a call is enough for him to come to her side. Aww, how romantic. They could have got their first kiss with this right atmosphere had not Hiyama’s grandma interrupt. Almost got caught there. Yui is glad after their fight, they are more like a couple now.

Episode 6
The class will be doing a Cinderella play. Eikou and co wants Takao and Hanabi to play the main characters so they can have a real kiss. However Kokoa disagrees because Hanabi is too short for the role and thus lacks balance. Tsutsumi is made the director because everybody thinks he knows everything. All the girls unanimously agree with a resounding yes to have Takao as the prince. As for Cinderella, Kokoa self-proclaims she is perfect for the role but Tsutsumi disagrees. Instead he wants Yui to helm that role. What about Kokoa? The evil stepmother! Hanabi will be one of the mice. Remember, he is the director so he gets to decide. And I guess the friends are okay with each other taking on those roles. As long as it’s not evil Kokoa, right? As practice begins, Takao is natural while Yui is a little stiff. Oh, Kokoa excels very well in her part… She’s so naturally evil… Hiyama helps Yui rehearse her lines but he is getting most embarrassed doing it. One day when Takao and Yui are practising alone, Hanabi spots them and from afar they look like so close together. She becomes self-conscious because their height makes it compatible for each other. Not to worry because Yui is thoughtful enough to know this is bugging Hanabi so she goes talk to her. This helps alleviates her worries and gives Hanabi the much needed motivation. Yui practised too hard till her voice is a bit sore. Kokoa thought she can swoop this chance to take her role as she too has remembered all the lines. However Hanabi and Hiyama want to continue supporting Yui as Cinderella. And once again Kokoa’s evil plans are foiled… Practice carries on and thankfully Yui heals on the day of the play. We don’t get to see any single shot from it but we know it went well. In the end, Hanabi gets to play a bit of Cinderella as she tests out the glass slippers in the backstage. It gets better with Takao praising her for doing a lot to support Yui and despite she didn’t become a princess in the play, she will always be his precious princess, his Cinderella. He pledges his love to her forever. Aww! How sweet!

Episode 7
Oh, if you think Tsutsumi is going to try his love for Hanabi again, you’d be disappointed. Especially Marin. So freaking disappointed that she thought he wanted tips for his lingering feelings but instead he wants advice for a friend from his old school of his whom he rejected and she still continues to bug him to go out with her! Let’s just say none of the tips Marin gave (courtesy from her sister anyways) is desirable and it makes you think what kind of things her sister does… And it seems this girl Ami still hasn’t given up because she is waiting outside the school gates and trying to get Tsutsumi to go out with her. She tries to draw motivation from Hanabi and Takao that they’re dating so they must also date. WTF?! Then stupid Eikou and co had to spill the beans about Tsutsumi’s love triangle with Hanabi (from last season). He explains and assures he is no longer interested in her. However thanks to Ami having women’s logic, to prove that he doesn’t have feelings for Hanabi anymore, date her! WTF?! Even more so, a double date! So the date goes on well as Ami notices Tsutsumi interacting well with Hanabi. Yes, this is just normal friends in our eyes but you know Ami’s women logic… The ultimate ‘proof’ came when Tsutsumi accidentally drinks from Hanabi’s straw. Because he flusters about it, this makes Ami sad. Then as the ladies are in the toilet, Ami lies that Tsutsumi is gone so that she can take her to a secluded place to give her a piece of her mind! WTF?! She blames Hanabi that Tsutsumi is still in love with her. And if she is gone, he can totally look at her. Girl, WTF?! Of course the guys realize something is wrong when the girls are taking too long and go find them. They see them in a stand offish position. Surprisingly Hanabi lies to cover for Ami saying that she tried to go off on her own and almost got lost, that’s why Ami is crying. Doesn’t make sense… Next day, Ami apologizes to Hanabi for making her do that. Hanabi is okay with it since she understands how she feels. This in turn makes Ami realize why Tsutsumi fell in love with her. Marin finds it odd that Ami has never confessed to Tsutsumi the entire time. She was too shy about it?! But not shy to bug him to go out with her?! Apparently there was a promise Tsutsumi made to her too. A promise not to fall in love with anyone else when he transferred school because the old pals said they looked like the perfect couple. She can’t give up on him. This has Hanabi reflect on her own circumstances. Remember the first time she said about not liking boys? It’s back to haunt her.

Episode 8
Because of that, Hanabi is down thinking that if promises could be broken, could this mean their forever promise won’t be forever if Takao changes his feelings? WTF?! Not another women logic! As suggested by Marin to ascertain Takao’s feelings, Hanabi tries to act and look mature. Like being taller. It won’t last since her ‘shoes’ are made out of toilet paper rolls. WTF. Trying to give him advice make her sound like a grandma. Trying to write a romantic memo only to have Eikou and co trying to read and the best way to destroy the evidence is to eat it. WTF. Finally she sums up her courage to ask him out on a date in which he coolly agrees. The outing is fun, nothing much happens. I wonder if Hanabi is trying for a Princess Leia hairstyle. Anyway they make an appointment for the next date at the park. However as Hanabi waits, he never turns up. Kokoa who heard about the date purposely pops up to rub salt into her wounds that Takao has stood her up and broke his promise. Oh no. Hanabi feeling sad. WHY YOU LISTEN TO HER, DUMMY!!! When she returns home, her brother informs Takao called and his grandma suddenly collapsed and he sent her to the hospital. Hanabi is relieved but since she feels embarrassed to call Takao in front of him, she drops the idea. Next day in school, Eikou and co has spread news that the duo have broken up, courtesy from an exclusive from a certain b*tch. Takao quickly rushes in to dismiss all that. Since they made up, Eikou now changes his story of their miracle reconciliation. Guess which b*tch is the only unhappy one? However Tsutsumi can still see Hanabi troubled. He talks to her if she is fine the way she is. She tries to be tough saying promises aren’t absolute. Is she sure about that? Try saying that by looking in his eyes. Then she reveals what is bugging her especially about the promise that won’t last forever. Then he goes talk to Takao for not doing anything when Hanabi is suffering. Though Takao’s method is to wait patiently till she wants to talk about it, Tsutsumi disagrees with it because as her boyfriend he should worry and think things through together. Otherwise he will take her away. No way, Jose! Takao finds Hanabi. A little talk of assurance that his feelings won’t change and before you know it, they’re back to like they’ve always been. See, nothing complicated.

Episode 9
The class takes a field trip to Tokyo. At first Hiyama is being a bully trying to pull Yui near the edge of Tokyo Skytree. This prompts a granny to note him to not bully his sister! This disappoints Yui but Hiyama quickly replies that she is his girlfriend. Feeling better? They visit the aquarium and somehow Yui got lost! Luckily she is found but not without getting a little scolding from Hiyama. Then the couples enter a jellyfish veil event in which the girls will sit in a veil that looks like a jellyfish (I thought it was penis heads!!!) and the guys have to try to find them in one go. Because Inaba’s school is also on a trip here, this means the old rivalry for Yui is back? Takao goes first and finds easily Hanabi because she is probably the only one with twintails and her nervous trademark has them twitching like hell. Inaba goes next and he too could easily identify which is Yui because of the wish bracelet on her ankle. But being the considerate guy he is, he picks one of his admirers. Phew. Finally it is Hiyama’s turn and he picks Yui. The pairs then take a commemorative photo but why is Yui looking so sad? She observes Hanabi and Takao acting like a real happy couple but they themselves aren’t. Could the kiss be the key? Why you complicate things lah?! That night when everybody has a pillow fight, they suddenly have to go pretend to sleep since the teacher is coming. Yui is hiding under the blanket next to Hiyama and the close proximity means her heart is beating fast as she prepares to kiss him. However he rejects her by getting out of the cover. Oh dear. This breaks her heart as she runs away! How did this get complicated? He chases after a sobbing Yui but they are discovered by a teacher who makes them clean the toilet for breaking the curfew. So they talk things out, Hiyama believes they should take things at their own pace. He doesn’t want Yui to try and kiss him because he is the one who will be doing that. What do you know? Hiyama kisses Yui! Finally! Surprised? Happy?

Episode 10
The class will be doing a singing event. When the teacher calls to select a composer, Kokoa immediately nominates Takao. And since all those girls want to see him in a suit, no objections! Next, the one who will play the piano… Kokoa immediately volunteers herself. So that’s why… However Yui can play the piano. Time for Kokoa to work her devilish magic because she tells her if she really wants to stand out so bad after the Cinderella stint. Hiyama hates girls who stands out… Gulp. WHY YOU LISTEN TO HER?! Apparently there are also alto and soprano groups. Hanabi is distraught she is not in Marin and Yui’s group. Same case for Yuuna as she isn’t with Anzu and Kanon. Because so, Hanabi can’t ask Marin for some love advice as she is worried if big brother would accept Takao as her boyfriend (students are encouraged to bring their guardians to the singing event). Thus Kanon and Anzu helps her out. Yuuna starts to feel the strain in their friendship when her friends prefer talking to Hanabi. This is where evil Kokoa comes in. She warns her about Hanabi’s habit of stealing other people’s things. They should do something to teach her a lesson. In class, Hanabi is stumped why many of the girls aren’t talking to her. Tsutsumi notices this and warns Kokoa of doing such pointless things. Of course Kokoa and her groupies are further planning how to alienate Hanabi but Yuuna wants out. When she returns to her friends, she sees them so close talking with Hanabi like they have been best friends forever, that is when Yuuna screams she hates them. Obviously Hanabi seeks Takao’s advice. Obviously the best way to find out why she hates her is to talk to her directly. Obviously. When Yuuna is missing, Hanabi wants to go look for them but Anzu and Kanon hesitate. They’re fighting, right? Even so, they’re still friends! They find her resting in the infirmary and her hand injured. Apparently Eikou bumped into her that made her drop her friendship memento. As she tried to retrieve it, she slipped and fell. The friends talk it out and reconcile. There, solved. Easy. Hanabi is further motivated when Takao reminds her about their promise of their second kiss. Though, it still makes her embarrassed just thinking about it. New problems crop up with the teacher ‘pressuring’ Yui to take the entrance exam to a better middle school and Hiyama just found out about it. Why the long face? Hanabi’s brother finds a photo of little sister and her boyfriend together with words “Always Forever”. Does this mean…

Episode 11
Hanabi realizes her brother has seen the photo. He tells her straight he is against it. Wait. What?! No chance to explain? So when Hanabi complains to her friends, you bet master Marin is back to give more advice to continue her love. You bet Kokoa is going to screw things up because she confronts Hanabi that their love is not real and they will definitely break up. Nothing lasts forever. That’s only in fairytales. In any case if that happens, Kokoa will give up on Takao. Let’s hope so… Meanwhile Hiyama is also having his own worries. He believes Yui who is now going to take the exam is going further away from him. He is afraid she will leave him. Takao advises him to treasure every second they have even if their love seems like for kiddies in which they are right now. So Hanabi gets her advice from Tsutsumi and Yui from Inaba to get back on track. On the day of the contest, Kokoa talks to Hanabi that she plans to tell her big brother all the bad things about Takao and make him worry so they’ll have to break up. Evil! When Hanabi disagrees, Kokoa pretends she pushed her and her hand injured. Her evil genius acting means everyone is blaming Hanabi for ruining their hard work. Suddenly a voice tells them to stop this crap. It is the class president! First time speaking out! He tells them this is their last performance together and not to ruin it. But what about the pianist? Takao believes they have trained hard enough to sing without any accompaniment! Oh Kokoa, you’re no longer needed!

After the performance, Hanabi looks for her brother but to her dismay Kokoa has already spread lies to him about Takao. She blames her for that unrealistic forever promise that traps him. Hanabi tells her off she isn’t and even if their feelings change, liking someone is a feeling that can’t be stopped no matter how hard you try. She will do her very best to have Takao like her forever! Wow. Drama in the middle of the hall. Kokoa won’t give up and reveals about the kiss. However big brother tells her to shut it or risk revealing her injured hand was fake. Time to back down. But now big brother wants to have a little family talk with Hanabi. He wants her to wait till she is a little older because no matter what kind of person Takao is, he will still worry. I have a feeling this won’t change even when they’re adults… But anyway despite Hanabi wouldn’t want to worry him, even if she gets hurt she will still be glad she fell in love with Takao. Big brother is glad she has matured a lot and gives his permission. Not sure what a little means but Hanabi also has to tell their parents and whenever she goes out on a date. I hope it’s not for stalking purpose. With Eikou bugging this scoop, big brother and Takao now come face to face for the first time. Big brother gets emotional blaming Takao for making Hanabi do all the work to make him accept her boyfriend? Wouldn’t it be more awkward if Takao intervened? With big brother (somewhat) accepting him, he invites him to come over to his place next time. It dawned to me big brother is much shorter that Takao… However the one thing big brother still can’t believe is that the kiss wasn’t a lie. I hope this doesn’t change everything.

Episode 12
More embarrassment for Hanabi because Eikou and co have put up an article about Takao and Hanabi getting married! Well, it isn’t technically a lie since big brother approved of them. So what does that lead to? Marin suggests for the lovebirds to go out on a special Christmas date. Hanabi needs to muster her courage that won’t be necessary since Takao invites her out. It’s less obvious for Hiyama and Yui because he gives her tickets to the amusement park. We see the stark contrast in their Christmas date because Takao and Hanabi are like the happiest couple, shopping together and exchanging gifts. Hiyama and Yui on the other hand are more reserved. It might look like he is a dick wanting her to go to haunted house and riding high rides with him but he promises he will always be there for her. When Hiyama tells Yui to take the exams, this has her wondering if he really cares for her. Doesn’t he want to be by her side? Eikou and co are put a stop in their snooping by Tsutsumi. He tells them about their pathetic state. No girlfriend and bothering real couples. Don’t be a dick. So what they do? They have a manly party together. Technically, not forever alone, right? Meanwhile Inaba is on an outing with his harem. Surprisingly Kokoa joins them since one of the girls is her piano classmate. I suppose she is not nursing a broken heart? A bit of anxiety in Takao and Hanabi’s date too when the atmosphere is almost right to kiss but he backs off. She wonders he has forgotten the promise. Later he explains he didn’t forget about it. He wants their second kiss to be the ideal because the first one wasn’t really it. Hiyama invites Yui to his home for dinner. As they wait in his room, Hiyama mentions he will be lonely without her in middle school. Even if they are separated, he will be by her side and loves her. Yui jumps to give him a big hug and also says she loves him. Mood only to be ruined when mom calls for dinner is ready. Takao and Hanabi are at the brightly lit up Christmas tree. She thanks him for becoming her boyfriend and in turn she loves herself even more. The moment is ideal enough for them to have their second kiss. Nice Christmas tree and nice fireworks. Nothing tops this. Hanabi thought he called her first name but he was referring to the fireworks. If you saw the first season, you’ll get the joke. Hey, at least that didn’t spoil the mood.

Little Kids, Big Love Drama
Well, well. Just like a fairytale, a pretty good ending to the series. Only this kind of 12 year old love might be more realistic and plausible to happen in real life because kids are simpler, more sincere, more innocent and purer than all you grownups. Whether their love changes in time is yet to be seen and another different story. But I am not sure if this would be the end of this series because technically when the next time comes around, they will be a year older! This means they can’t do a series under this 12 year old name anymore, right? Ah, technicalities.

This season feels more like it has a fair share and split between the 2 couples. Instead of Hanabi and Takao taking a big bulk of the limelight, Yui and Hiyama also have their drama and relationship under scrutiny and developed as well. Despite both couples love each other very much, we can see the very contrasting and stark methods and style their behaviour tells us when it comes to handling their relationships. The more cool and outgoing type will be the Hanabi and Takao pair. So cheerful and happy with each other all the time that those forever alone and without any significant other would definitely be sick with their happy-happy sparkling display. On the other hand if you are the shy and reserved type, Yui and Hiyama show us that love can also be demonstrated in a subtle way. My guess is that Hiyama isn’t all that cool as Takao as he is trying to be a real man. I mean, real macho guys don’t display their love outright, right? They might not show it but it is there. It’s real. You just need to read the atmosphere and understand each other a lot more. Both sides have their insecurities. This is after all their first experience in love.

Because of all that, Tsutsumi is now relegated to an observer and a shadow supporter of Hanabi. Like as though he is waiting for that one moment whereby Takao screws up and he will be taking Hanabi for his. I mean, it is not like that guy has totally given up on Hanabi, right? Because feelings can still change in the future, right? So he is like brooding and watching over Hanabi and gives advice whenever the time calls for him to do so. It’s nice to see him have an episode of an ex-classmate who still has a crush on him but that just feels like a side distraction. The same thing I feel for Inaba too. He is like Hanabi’s Tsutsumi but for Yui. Just that this guy is still a playboy and friendlier. Hey, am I seeing some sort of pattern? Takao and Hanabi are a lively couple and Tsutsumi is the brooding one. Hiyama and Yui are the not so cheery one but Inaba is the lively one. Kinda inversed? So now Takao and Hanabi already had their second ideal kiss. What’s next? Oh, no impure thoughts please. They might be starting love at a younger age but when you compare them with today’s kids, I think they are much better off because I can say they have better quality of love. Don’t you agree?

So I thought Marin would surprise us by getting a boyfriend this season but I guess I was thinking too much because that girl’s role is just to be the sensei in giving relationship advice based on what her sister tells her. Speaking of which, her sister must have gone through lots of different experiences of relationships since Marin has an answer to almost every issue. Hanabi’s big brother looks like a nice guy and at first it confused me when he was against Hanabi having a boyfriend. Because I thought didn’t she tell him that he wanted to let them meet although they couldn’t? Was it big brother had an impression that Takao was just her friend and classmate and nothing more? Or maybe Hanabi just told Takao about her intentions about it but not really her big brother then. Well, I’m glad it worked out in the end because we definitely do not need another ‘evil’ character who has malicious intentions to break them up. Yeah, you know who I’m referring to.

So I thought Kokoa was cast aside when she didn’t make much of an appearance or impact in the beginning and middle of the season. But it seems towards the end she comes back with a huge vengeance to remind us all why we should hate this b*tch by playing the most vile and most evil of all characters for a 12 year old. Imagine what kind of girl she would turn out if she faces the same problem once she hits her teens and adult life. It is a good thing that Kokoa’s plans always backfires and in a way it only serves to deepen the relationship between Hanabi and Takao. You can say that despite her role as an evil harbinger of breakups, she might as well be a blessing in disguise for them in this case. Or perhaps you can say Kokoa’s failure is just a simple way of karma getting back at her.

Just like my views on her from last season, I believe that Kokoa is still out to pick on Hanabi and using Takao as an excuse to do some of the awful stuffs onto her. Because she doesn’t seem to be that heartbroken that Takao continues to date Hanabi. It’s like as though the hate is strong in her… And I always can’t believe that Hanabi has to actually believe in what she says. For the umpteenth time. I know it is for drama effect but after knowing her character so well, you would think Hanabi would be wise enough to at least take it with a pinch of salt and trust Takao instead of starting to worry like the end of the world is looming if they break up. Yeah, no wonder she is still a kid in this sense. Which actually makes sense.

Last and not least, do I have a feeling that Eikou and his goons are having more idiotic moments this season? Sure, they are naughty and pain in the ass but it feels like here they have gone up a notch since they constantly do not stop bugging and teasing the lovebirds. The slightest thing, they scream the biggest scoop. That or they still take quotes and words of wisdom from whatever Takao says into their collection. Yeah, life is so boring that they resort to watching the development of their classmates’ love and making fun while they’re at it. Future paparazzo… If Eikou’s mom realizes what he has done all this while, would she have given him his much deserved punishment? The biggest surprise this season was the class president opening his mouth and we hearing his voice the first time. I thought it would be some falsetto because you know, for funny effect and that he has never talked so long. But he sounds rather decent and okay.

AOP who sang the ending theme in the first season now sings the opening theme, Ano Ne Kimi Dake Ni, a lively anime pop piece. The ending theme is Yuuki No Tsubasa by Machico which sounds like a moderate paced anime pop ballad. Just like in last season, they reuse all the variety of weird BGMs that would raise an eyebrow or two like that male chorus and Christmas-like waltz. Just weird. Still weird. Can’t really get over them each time I hear them. Art and drawing style remains pretty much consistent and the same like last season. Cute kids with big bright sparkly eyes. Even with Kokoa in full evil b*tch mode looks more like a cute evil b*tch. Oops… Only Eikou and his groupie still look like they came out from Chibi Maruko Chan…

Overall, this second season and the series as a whole may not appeal to hardcore anime fans and those series that are in the mainstream. It feels like it is targeted for tweens and this series provides some sort of soft cushion and transition if they ever get into the grittier and darker elements of the anime genre. Some decent character development as well as love insecurities and issues to deal with but it will all sort out because the power of love. I mean, where is the fun and ‘controversy’ of seeing pure 12 year olds dating each other? Maybe 20 years ago it could cause some sort of controversy but these days of modern day society it is considered acceptable. Because nowadays kids are more inclined to stuff their face in their Smartphones (noticed how these kids here have none! Hooray!), stalking others on Facebook, trolling everyone on Twitter, posting unsavoury pictures on Instagram, watching and wasting time watching YouTube videos, getting addicted to online mobile games, reading and getting mad at fake news articles and a whole load of other first world problems. Yeah, so busy and no time for true blue love alright.

Apparently there have been ongoing OVA episodes for this series ever since its first OVA back in 2012. In fact, that was the only episode I watched. Because nobody subbed the rest of the episodes (it even had a second season of OVAs) and since I wasn’t really such a fan of elementary level boys and girls falling in love, it fell off my radar as quick as I finished that only episode. Hence it was a big surprise when I found out that it was going to be adapted into a TV series, 12-Sai Chicchana Mune No Tokimeki. I know I said I wasn’t a fan of such demographic for romance but there is this small hidden part in me who wants to go back and see to where such love was pure and innocent. Before hentai and online porn corrupted me forever… Seriously…

Episode 1
This is exactly like the first episode of the OVAs. Only extended with additional scenes. Boys will always be boys. Under Hiyama’s ‘guidance’ the other guys flip up girls’ skirt. Yui Aoi tells him off so he claims he doesn’t want to see hers since she is wearing pants. When the other guys decide to do so the next time she does, Kazuma Hiyama snares at them. A signal like saying, “Stay away from my girl!”? In class, the boys continue their naughty ways by saying out loud the girls’ popularity. Kokoa Hamana is tops. When they are going to read the least popular, Hanabi Ayase tries to stop them. Cool Yuuto Takao takes the paper away. The teacher cannot understand why her class is the only one where boys and girls don’t get along. In her bid to have them so, she will have a recorder test next week. As the sitting is paired with a boy and a girl, this means they are forced to practice with their partner. Kokoa wants to be paired with Takao (he is paired with Hanabi) but the teacher tells her not to be picky. Kokoa then threatens Hanabi not to make a move on Takao. Hanabi promises she won’t since she has no interest in guys. Yui is starting to experience her first period. Hanabi helps her to but tampons at the drugstore. While Hanabi and Takao are practising at the rooftop, they see their teacher kissing another fellow teacher! This shocking scene has Takao follow suit and kiss Hanabi too! This makes her wonder if this kiss is a big deal because to Takao it doesn’t look so.

Yui’s period hurts during PE. The boys start taunting her. Hanabi shoves Eikou for being the biggest jerk, telling him off for being a dick. Okay, she didn’t say that but I’m pretty sure it is along that line. As Yui rests in the infirmary, the boys come in to apologize for being insensitive. Later, Takao tells Hanabi that it was his first kiss too and apologizes it might not be her ideal one. Hanabi realizes he was as nervous as her. Kokoa then ropes in Hanabi and the other girls. They are going to sabotage and mess up the recorder test. It should be easy for her since Hanabi did say she was uninterested in him. The teacher is appalled that the test sounded horrible. Like as though no one practised. Hanabi is in a dilemma to sabotage or not. If she doesn’t, she will be ostracized. But seeing Takao’s cool face, screw Kokoa! Theirs is the best by far and in harmony. It is no surprise that Kokoa confronts her about it. The boys find out about the sabotage and that is when Kokoa throws the blame back to Hanabi saying that she is the mastermind behind it. With crocodile tears, it is easy to see why the boys are almost convinced. But Takao dismisses it all. He knows Hanabi will not do such a thing. With Hanabi hiding behind his back, the boys egg on them to kiss. Here is another shocker for all of you. Takao claims they have already done it! Outside, they know they’ll be teased but Hanabi continues to hug him and confesses she loves him. His feelings are mutual too.

Episode 2
Yui’s bath is broken so when she visits the public bath, she finds out Hiyama’s family runs it. While changing, Hiyama tries to stop his naughty little brother from running about and accidentally stumbles upon her naked body. Hanabi notices that many of the girls are starting to wear bra. Kokoa teases her that Takao will dump her for her childish undershirt. So Hanabi and her friends later go out to buy fitting ones. Yui is surprised that a boy from next class, Mori confesses to her. But he gives her time to think. Her friends couldn’t help eavesdrop on it. Since Hanabi has some ‘experience’, they ask her what it feels like to fall in love. The boys are at it again as they touch the girls’ arm. Yui tells off Hiyama thinking he is behind this again. That guy admits nothing except he asserts he doesn’t like her. This makes Yui reveal that someone confessed to her. Curious now? Whenever Yui visits the public bath, she avoids talking to him at the register. Then she realizes her key is missing and becomes distraught. Hiyama goes out his way to help her find it. She is so relieved when he finally finds it stuck in the drain. Hiyama is radiating with coolness and it makes Yui believe she has fallen in love with him.

Yui goes to see Mori and rejects his confession and adds she has someone else she likes. Strangely, he touches her arm and then leaves quickly. Is that some sort of defeated gesture? Too bad her friends are eavesdropping again as they bug her to reveal her love. The pressure has her spill the beans it is Hiyama. Yui feels awkward passing Mori. But how can Hiyama shield her if he is smaller than her? Better than nothing. The girls are making crepes and supposedly give it to the person they like. Hiyama will not accept from Yui. Wow. They aren’t official and they are already quarrelling like the real deal. Then Hiyama gets into a fight with Mori. After the teacher reprimands them, rumours have it that Hiyama was taking out his frustrating after getting scolded by Yui. Yui believes he isn’t the kind to pick and fight and tries to find out what happened by asking the girls in Mori’s class. They reveal the recent trend of touching girls’ arms is believed to be because the softness is the same as a girl’s breast. Mori has been bragging about Yui’s ‘breast’ ever since and when Hiyama heard about it, he quickly gave him one in the face. Hiyama might not want to tell the truth either to prevent this incident of Yui’s ‘breast’ spreading around. Later Yui sees Hiyama at the bath house to thank him. She hands him a crepe she made for him. Then she confesses she likes him. Before she runs straight home, it is his turn to confess he too likes her. Am I seeing a pattern here?

Episode 3
With Yui and Hiyama acting weird, her friends could guess they must be dating. The awkwardness has them spill the beans and it soon spreads like wildfire that the class has another official couple. Yui would soon learn how popular Hiyama is as there are a few other girls wondering who his girlfriend is. Better not cross paths with those b*tches. It is suggested that they go on a double date since the nervousness would be lesson if they had a friend around. The girls are the ones initiating to ask the guys to go on a date and they agree. So before the duo can jump right in to start dating, Marin Ogura teaches them the finer points. She’s such a pro thanks to her sister. Both sides meet up and have a swell time at the mall. They follow Marin’s to-do list but eventually the only thing they can’t do is kiss. Still too early for that. Hanabi easily holds Takao’s hand. As Yui summons her courage, they realize Eikou and his pals have snapped pictures of them. Knowing they’ll be in for a teasing, they split up and easily lose them because Eikou and co are such dumb asses that they took each other out by bumping into each other. After they reunite, Hanabi realizes she has lost her Panda Rabbit toy that Takao won for her at the crane game. Wow. She’s acting like it’s the end of the world. Don’t panic. Retrace your steps and find it. Eventually they did and Hanabi is such a happy girl again. At the end of the day, why does Hiyama looks like he isn’t happy with the whole thing? Then he quickly ends this double date and takes Yui’s hand to go somewhere. Ah, I suppose he wants to spend time alone with her. And Yui finally gets to hold his hands. Albeit for a short while because you know how embarrassing it feels for young kids to be seen doing so. But it’s better than nothing.

Episode 4
Ayumu Tsutsumi is the new transfer student from Tokyo. Hanabi knows him since kindergarten and has a penchant of acting like an emperor! It is no surprise he bosses her around but with Takao to the rescue, he even warns him of not laying his hands on his girlfriend. Don’t worry. He won’t steal his short flat chest girlfriend. Despite Tsutsumi being popular, he doesn’t intend to be friends with everyone and acts like a lone wolf. Yui feels sorry for him and thinking the need to get to know him better, she gives him a profile to fill out but he ignores it as usual. Because Hanabi doesn’t a profile of Takao, Kokoa takes this chance to become a b*tch and brag she has got his since the first day of class. She shows off photos of him and would exchange it for something she has. Since Hanabi won’t give in to her demands, Kokoa shoves her. Takao catches her. He explains Kokoa’s misconception that he only gave his profile to her because she was special. In fact, he never gave Hanabi one because his likes and dislikes change. He would prefer to tell it to Hanabi in person by his side. Just ask and thou shall know. So cool! A dance test is coming up. Tsutsumi mocks Eikou’s lame moves. They almost fight when Hanabi tries to stop them but accidentally sprains her ankle. Then she goes to talk to Tsutsumi how she just wanted him to make friends since he looked so lonely. When the teacher realizes the CD is missing, Eikou accuses Hanabi of stealing it. Of course it’s not her. When it was the previous teacher who had forgotten the CD, Eikou brushes this incident off but Tsutsumi forces him to apologize to Hanabi. Tsutsumi’s dance moves are so cool! Everyone loves him but oddly he can only think of Hanabi. And that strange feeling in his heart? We know what it is. When Hanabi accidentally trips, Tsutsumi thought he could catch her. I don’t know where Takao came from but he was fast enough to catch her. Am I seeing some sort of pattern? But Tsutsumi does not seem happy at this sight.

Episode 5
When Hanabi enters class, everyone starts interrogating her for answers for being a two-timer. Eikou picked up Tsutsumi’s profile in which it states Hanabi is the person he loves. Takao pretends to be mad so Hanabi had to assure he is the only guy in the world she loves. With Tsutsumi claiming somebody else wrote it on his profile as prank, the commotion quickly dies down. Hanabi seeks Tsutsumi’s advice to get a present for Takao. Thing is, Takao’s birthday has passed! That’s why she thought of making it up with a date this Sunday and giving him a belated present. I’m sure Marin the pro has lots of tips but Tsutsumi brushes them off because they’re expensive. He offers to accompany her to pick a present. I suppose it is part of Tsutsumi’s plan to sabotage the present. Despite Hanabi reminding him to remind her of the time so she could meet Takao (she doesn’t have a watch), Tsutsumi doesn’t tell her when the time comes and instead hangs out with her at the fast food joint. This is why Takao is stumped when Hanabi didn’t show up. And then he spots Hanabi with Tsutsumi. Panic time. At least for Takao’s level. Frantic search. Seeing Hanabi smile so happily makes Tsutsumi regret and ponder if he had only been nicer and held her hand earlier, she would have been his. When Hanabi wants to leave, he grabs her arm. When they see Takao spotting them, Tsutsumi takes her hand and run! He tries to confess but Takao has caught up. Confused Hanabi still believes in Tsutsumi that he didn’t do anything wrong despite he claims he knew she was late and wanted to make her miss her appointment. Takao takes her away and she thinks he is mad at her. Well, he is for secretly being with Tsutsumi. But he forgives her knowing that she has been thinking about him the entire time and forgot her own birthday. So it’s today? He gives her a necklace present and a magic hug that whooshes away all the fears and doubts. It’s nice to be young and in love.

Episode 6
Eikou and co must be having a field day teasing Hanabi. She laments she didn’t get to buy Takao a present. Tsutsumi is still sulking and tells everyone just to shut up. One of the female classmates plan on confessing to her crush. Here comes Marin the pro. When she suggests creating an event to confess and that the upcoming marathon would be perfect (she can use the excuse of serving him drinks after the race), I don’t know how the responsibility ends up having Hanabi to set it up. She confides in Takao about it and Tsutsumi looks even more agitated. Then Takao confronts him and just warns him if he likes her, don’t hurt her. During the race, Tsutsumi didn’t come back and it can be assumed he got lost (since he was newly transferred). So Hanabi goes out her way to find him. Seeing her radiant smile again, that’s when he confesses he likes her. He wants her to dump Takao and give him a chance. It is natural when Hanabi returns, she is acting strange and her friends can tell. It is no surprise when Yui talks to her privately, she can tell Tsutsumi has confessed his feelings to her. Well, everyone seems to know Tsutsumi has a crush on Hanabi. Except Hanabi. Realizing it took him a lot of courage to confess, Hanabi needs to reply him. But what should she say? Before she could think up an answer, things are heating up between Takao and Tsutsumi. They are challenging each other in the next marathon for Hanabi. Takao explains he accepts Tsutsumi’s challenge otherwise he will not give up. Don’t worry. We trust that he will win, right? So I guess the other girls are also rooting for Hanabi since their confession failed (because the guy friend zoned her). This has Marin to suggest giving Takao a kiss as reward if he wins.

You can bet Kokoa is taking advantage of this as she goes to conspire with sulking Tsutsumi to help him out. Otherwise would he like to see Hanabi giving his rival a kiss? During the race, Takao leads and is predicted to win. Halfway, he stumbles upon Kokoa who claims she cannot move because her stomach is really painful. He stops to help her while Tsutsumi thinks he is not taking this match seriously and continues running. Hence it is a shock when the girls see Tsutsumi reaching first. Seeing Hanabi is worried about Takao and wants to go look for him, Tsutsumi takes her to where he is. Hanabi misinterprets Kokoa’s pain as her period so this made b*tch girl refute all that and she was just faking it. She then accuses Tsutsumi of wasting this chance to steal Hanabi when he reveals he hasn’t crossed the line yet. That is when Hanabi slaps her! It’s a big deal for this show! As Tsutsumi has already told his feelings, she won’t allow her to insult her friend. Kokoa thought Takao’s help meant he dumped Hanabi but he replies that this was what Hanabi would have wanted. He will definitely help those in need no matter who that person is. Since the rest isn’t over, the guys resume and Takao crosses the finish line first. Then Hanabi thanks Tsutsumi for confessing. Although she likes him but it is on a completely different context to Takao. She hopes he understands. From what I understand, he isn’t giving up on a long shot yet. When Takao teases Hanabi about his reward, she flusters but is ready to give him a kiss. He starts laughing at how cute she was doing that. Though a kiss isn’t the reward he is seeking for, he’ll have it another time.

Episode 7
Yui is surprised but happy that Hiyama asks her to walk home with him from school. So Marin thought Yui was going to give Hiyama a kiss after that but of course that’s still a step far away. This has Hanabi wondering if she should ask Takao the same but Kokoa is here to pour cold water on her hopes. After mocking her childish taste, Kokoa even wonders what is it that Takao likes in Hanabi. This causes Hanabi to scratch her head on what Takao likes about her. Hiyama remembers it has been a year ago when he caught Yui crying after seeing a picture of her own drawing of her mom. Eikou and co as usual were doing a class poll about the most popular girl (Kokoa of course) and mentioned Sakura as he least popular one. This really made her cry! Seeing this, Hiyama talked to Marin for advice. She revealed that Yui’s mom passed away. Hiyama continued to observe his classmates. Takao accidentally read Hanabi’s notebook that she liked macho men (though she clarifies it was from some spy movie). Eikou plays baseball in class during cleaning and accidentally hits Yui. She didn’t cry and after reprimanding them, she laughed happily with her friends. So why is Hiyama unhappy? He screwed things up by telling her he doesn’t want her to smile like that. Huh?! At the playground he apologizes to her but still somehow ends up arguing with her. Not until he almost tripped on his shoelace and they laughed it off. Though he told her to laugh at happy things, subsequently they continued to argue a lot. Hanabi manages to ask Takao what he likes about her. He says she looks like a puppy! Does this mean her status is just a pet? But which boyfriend would give his pet a necklace as present? Ah yes, the answer that dispels all doubts. After reassuring their love, they spot Hiyama coming by and hide. Seems Yui had been waiting for him and fell asleep. He waits by her side till she wakes up in which she thinks he has drawn some funny stuffs on her face. He wouldn’t do such a thing. Because her face is already funny enough! Was that an insult? But Yui is happy to know Hiyama is trying his best. Despite running his mouth at times, he is actually a kind person.

Episode 8
Yui ponders over Hiyama’s mom calling him by his first name. Well, duh! She would love to call each other by their first names. So we’re going to have Marin sensei guide our clueless girls in love and give them tips how to call their loved ones so. Like Hanabi she thought of calling herself via third person but Takao continues to call her by her surname. Yui’s is simpler. She doesn’t have the courage. When all the girls bug Hiyama for his handphone number, he tells them off he will never give it out. Yui thought she was included in the pack but later on Hiyama personally gives it to her and only her. Because she is special. Aww… So the first time she texts him it felt nervous but it was great. Hanabi ponders over using an imaginary boy to make Takao jealous but he overheard it and she fears this might lead to some weird love triangle. But even after all is clarified, he still calls her by her surname. So she challenges him to a duel who can read and write more book comments, the winner will have the loser do something. Of course Hanabi lost but could have won had she read lighter books. His wish is to grant her what she wants. She realizes making him call her first name is impossible and settles for just walking home with her. She gets happy when he whispers her name in her ear. Turns out to be the fireworks (hanabi) festival he is talking about. Darn. Too good to be true. Yui sends a personal text to Hiyama but she never got a reply the entire night. Yeah, she was literally sleepless… Next day when she confronts Hiyama about it, he tells her his parents came back and need to give the handphone back. You know what? She blows her top saying he should have told her that sooner! Like a true fine woman she’ll grow up to be, she hates him and ignores talking to him! Fine woman indeed… Then she comes to her senses this can’t go on and apologizes to him. At this time he has gotten the handphone back and she is embarrassed he has just read her feelings. She thought he was looking down on her feelings but he says he isn’t used to using mails to express his love. It will be better if they just call and talk to each other. He manages to call her first name. But one time offer only? He can’t say it again despite her pestering. But it made her love her name even more.

Episode 9
Yui excels in maths and piano that it sometimes makes Hanabi feeling a little jealous… But it is a good thing her honest nature has her point this out to Takao and it is already a good step forward knowing such feelings. Unfortunately she accidentally slips and surprisingly Takao who was so damn close to her didn’t catch her this time! Ultimately she sprains her ankles. But Eikou thinks she is covering up her period. The incessant taunting has Yui put her foot down that is not true. Because Hanabi hasn’t had her first period yet! Whoops! Everybody heard that… So of course Yui tries to apologize but Hanabi still feels hurt since she said it in front of Takao too. A little argument and then the inevitable. Their relationship strains. The duo avoid each other so obvious that their boyfriends even notice. But they are wise not to get involved between a fight with their girlfriends. Let them settle it themselves. However, remember what Takao said about the need to help others? Yeah, so I guess he can’t leave this saga alone. With Hiyama talking to Yui, Takao also talks to Hanabi about how close the duo are. They were always together, smiling and doing things together. This gives Hanabi the resolve to reconcile as she remembers how Yui became her first friend in school when nobody did. Yui even protected her from dumb boys who teased and even dared to hit a girl! Hanabi sees Yui being confronted by bullies at the riverbed. They are from the same piano class as her. They claim she stopped piano classes because she fell out with them contrary to what she told others that she wanted to concentrate on her studies. Yui then reveals she quit not because of that but more of because she ran away. The bullies continue to mock her. It is Hanabi’s turn to stand up and tell them off. When Takao comes by, his handsomeness has those bullies retreating! What the heck is the deal of such girls backing off after seeing hot guys?! The duo reconcile, own up their shortcomings and continue being best friends forever. Please, no yuri thoughts when they start hugging and say I love you to each other.

Episode 10
Today is Tanabata. In a bid to make the boys and girls get along, the teacher has Takao and Hiyama in charge of tonight’s star observation since Takao is a hit with ladies and all the boys trust Hiyama. Hanabi and Yui feel embarrassed if they are to write their love wish and hang it up. So Marin tells the girls of a useful Tanabata ‘spell’. They need to take a picture of themselves with the guy they like. If the guy finds out, the spell is worthless. This means the guy will be relegated as a background thingy. Kokoa hears this and hatches her plan. After using her charm to borrow Eikou’s camera, she proclaims herself as in charge of this plan. Due to the limited number of films, she selects girls to be taken photos with. Of course this is part of her plan to single out Hanabi as she cries crocodile tears Hanabi has already had enough and just this once she would like to be happy. Gullible Yui agrees although we can tell she doesn’t like this one bit. The plan goes smoothly for the other girls. When it is Kokoa’s turn, Hanabi on pretence lures Takao to talk to him. As she leaves, Kokoa comes out to hug his hand and hurries for her photo to be taken. That is when Hanabi won’t take this sh*t anymore and blocks the shot! Wow. She really covered the entire of Kokoa’s portion. So Takao seeks an explanation. But he didn’t get mad although he hints that they’ll be together for the rest of the day and night so isn’t that more than enough? Kokoa confronts Hanabi later. With 1 more film left, it becomes a tussle between Kokoa, Yui (didn’t have her shot yet) and Eikou (wants his camera back). But they trip and the last shot is taken under Yui’s skirt! Hiyama is so fast to snatch the photo and gives it to Yui. And nobody saw the picture! At night at the rooftop, we see various wishes from decent ones (Hiyama wishing for his grandma’s health, Yui wishing to become a better pianist), simple ones (Hanabi wants fried chicken), ‘amazing’ ones (world conquest!) and desperate ones (a certain somebody wants a certain guy to wake up and be her wife!). Well, we all know Kokoa is being disappointed since things didn’t go her way. While watching the stars, Hanabi thought she spotted a UFO but it’s actually a satellite. I thought it was a shooting star?! Hiyama steals previous secret pictures that contain Yui and Hanabi and gives it to them. I guess the ‘spell’ is still valid then? While Hanabi forgot her dream, Yui had an embarrassing dream of Hiyama and can’t tell others.

Episode 11
Earth to Hanabi. You can stop dreaming about your beach romance with Takao. An unromantic scene for Yui too when she is staring at Hiyama’s awesome football skills only to have the ball hit right on her head. So to make things up, he invites her to the pool in which his cheeky mom gave so he could enjoy with his girlfriend. Since there are 4 tickets, I guess they have to invite Hanabi and Takao too. So the first order of the day is to get appropriate swimsuits and this is where Marin sensei comes in. She’ll have the perfect swimsuits to suit your insecure needs. It isn’t anything risqué but Hiyama isn’t as cool as Takao commenting on Yui’s swimsuit. So much so he wraps his towel around her like a mummy! The double pool date could have been wonderful had not Eikou and pals are here to ruin the fun. Because of Yui and co being conscious, this sets up accidental close proximity for the naughty trio to watch and tease. At this rate they won’t enjoy the outing. Thus when Eikou suggests Hiyama a volleyball challenge, he accepts with a condition that if he wins, they will have to leave. It seems hardly fair with Hiyama against 2 of them. Even more puzzling is how the rest wonder why Hiyama is playing with them in the first place. Eventually Hiyama wins and the shocked trio must keep their word. Takao then confronts Hiyama about his doing and lectures him about leaving his girl alone on a date. This should be perfect lesson because a couple of creeps are trying to hit on Yui! Can’t they tell she is underage?! Then here comes Hiyama protecting her and proclaiming to be her boyfriend (at first the creeps thought he was her brother) and that was enough for them to go away. Once Hiyama’s intention is made clear, they restart their pool date and have fun for the rest of the day. Hiyama apologizes for leaving Yui alone but she is happy he protected her. Back in school, Hanabi is distraught that she forgot to put sunscreen and now she is tanned. Don’t fret. Takao invites her to the fireworks festival.

Episode 12
Although Takao and Hanabi are set for the fireworks festival, it won’t be a double date this time. On that day itself, Hiyama will be helping his family clean the bath house. Eikou and co are trying to rile up Hanabi so they can know when and where the couple will be dating. This means each time Hanabi wants to get close to Takao, the 3 Stooges will always be there waiting to hear the juicy details. Hanabi gets an idea after watching her friends. Using a recorder, she relays a private message to Takao so they can make meeting arrangements at the festivals. While the duo meet up, Yui goes to the bath house to help out Hiyama. She meets his mom first and the latter is so ecstatic to meet her that she hugs her. It’s like she is already her daughter-in-law, eh? Takao and Hanabi’s outing stumbles into an obstacle. Kokoa is there and she is trying to get close with Takao. When she wants to watch the fireworks with them, Takao declines. B*tch girl tries to force Hanabi to let them but since she won’t, Kokoa resorts to calling the rest of her classmates (including the 3 Stooges) to gather. Now they can all watch the fireworks together! B*tch. We can see Kokoa bragging her yukata while Hanabi’s is almost in shambles. Buy you think Takao cares? When it is time for the fireworks, Takao makes a smart move that he is going to go get something he forgot. Because he hints that Kokoa has been following him ever since, she is forced to stay put with the rest in order to avoid having the rest get a wrong idea about them. Wait. I thought it was what she wanted? With Hanabi following him, they leave the rest of their classmates and head to a secluded spot to watch the fireworks all by themselves. Takao returns the recorder and she accidentally plays it in which Takao records he wants to watch the fireworks again with her next year. She is so happy to hear it that she keeps replaying it. Meanwhile Hiyama and Yui also watch the fireworks from the bath house. It’s small but being together makes it all meaningful. When she leaves, we notice another boy staring at her.

Never Too Young For Love
A seemingly ‘cliff-hanger’ at the end?! Don’t fret. There is more to come when the next season arrives (which is in the midst of airing right now). Uh huh. It feels like the love escapades of these 12 year olds are in abundance so much so that they need another season for it. If Hanabi and Takao can have their own love triangle, why the heck not for Yui and Hiyama? That would be fair, right? Something tells me that this is to satiate Hiyama x Yui fans. But I suppose we have to wait for the next season to find out more.

Plot wise, it is pretty much what you would expect to see when 12 year olds date. Though, I am not sure in Japan if that age is legally safe for young kids to be out by themselves dating. It seems pretty normal seeing them building their relationship. Normal date in the mall, normal date at the pool and normal date at the fireworks festival. Nothing scandalous. And it felt like the biggest ‘threat’ was the love triangle that ended as fast as it came. What proceeds in the remaining episodes felt like normal generic relationship building scenes as mentioned. Oh yeah, not forgetting Hanabi’s slap on Kokoa’s face. I know people don’t pay much attention to kids’ fighting but it feels like a big deal to have a b*tch slap in this series itself.

I’m sure the series also tries to tackle the subtle issues like bullying and girls during this tender age facing their first period and the discrimination and stigma that comes along with it but nothing that is too serious because eventually despite all the taunting and mocking, even the naughtiest boys will be made to apologize and repent on their actions. Somewhat a bit unrealistic because in real life we all know how things don’t usually go over so smoothly. Especially when bullying can last very long and a very painful scarring effect on the rest of the victim’s life. It’s like those factors were completely taken out as the kids here go about living their normal everyday life without such long lasting percussions. I’m not saying I know these stuffs or am an expert but I can tell that real life is not as straightforward and rosy as painted here.

The characters aren’t as unique as one would hope for. After all, they are all only 12 year olds so how bad do you really want them to be? I mean, wouldn’t it sound terrible if the kids here were given tragic backgrounds? Wouldn’t you like to see brooding 12 year old boys with a dark past? In that case, wrong anime. Therefore if you are looking for unique characters that would really stand out, look elsewhere. They feel as generic as they are in real life. I mean, in every class for kids their age, you would find one or more of such generic tropes (or all of them). Be it the popular kid, the b*tch, the naughty ones, the cheeky ones, the big bully, the loner and perhaps the nerd and least popular kid. But sometimes I can’t help feel that all this feels a little unrealistic. Like an elementary version of teen romance. Despite an adult writing this romance story and I am very sure all adults have gone through their phase as a kid, hence the ‘experience’ of falling in love in that age (assuming the writer did so), one would wonder if this is correctly portrayed as human interaction and relationships are difficult and not as stereotypical as mostly portrayed in here even for 12 year olds. Again, I’m not saying I am a pro in human relationships nor do I have a degree in psychology but it isn’t as simple as seen throughout the series.

So we have our main protagonist boys, Takao and Hiyama. Both cool and popular among the girls. But that is it for them. Nothing else extraordinary. While Takao is a cool cat in handling his relationship with Hanabi, Hiyama is a little nervous and shy as his love counterpart. That is pretty normal even in real life standards, right? I’m sure we have even forgotten how Hanabi told us outright that she was not the slight interested in boys. That was even in the first episode. One ‘special’ incident to turn it upside down. The power of love? Plot convenience maybe. So while our quartet may still be struggling to find their footing in love, hey at least they have got a head start from the rest so by the time they reach their teens, they would have become ‘experts’. We hope their love would last a lifetime. Till death do them part. But let’s not get too far and too grim with this series. Besides, this series kinda feels similar to Kimi Ni Todoke, Sukitte Iinayo, Bokura Ga Ita and Kaichou Wa Maid-sama whereby popular boys fall for unpopular or normal girls. Only difference is that this series doesn’t seem to have another girl who is more popular than Hanabi and Yui. Not just yet. Kokoa, you say? As far as I can see her subjective popularity is only limited to her class and based on Eikou’s personal list.

Finally there is Tsutsumi. He is the closest guy in this series to look like he has some sort of ‘real life problem’ thanks to his moody and lone wolf outlook. His role as far as this season is concerned is to provide some sort of love rivalry and triangle to the main pair but as mentioned, that was quickly resolved. Then he becomes somewhat irrelevant for the rest of the season. That’s the thing about love triangles. Somebody has to lose. And it is Tsutsumi in this case. Can I blame Hanabi for being naïve enough not to notice his developing feelings? Or was she too deep in love to Takao that the thought of other guys would never like her ever crossed her mind? I suppose after all the bossing around from Tsutsumi (hence her projected mentality of his state of behaviour) as well as the numerous teasing from Eikou and co about her stature and chest, she wouldn’t think herself as Miss Universe material in the eyes of other guys. Tsutsumi looked like he isn’t doing anything now. Maybe wounded lions need time to recuperate before striking back. Laying low for now…

Kokoa as expected the typical b*tch for the series. It feels like when she grows up she can become part of the Mean Girls sorority. Annoying as hell she is, it feels like she is portrayed so, so that we could hate her and make Hanabi and Yui more likeable. Does it? Although it seems that Kokoa does like Takao, I have come to believe that this isn’t the case. It feels like the main reason she is trying to snatch Takao away from Hanabi is because she doesn’t like Hanabi. It is just to spite her. I have come to noticed that if Kokoa does really like Takao, she would have taken more ‘extreme’ action but what I see here feels half-hearted. Because when she loses out like when her plan backfires, she doesn’t seem to be really in dire regret. It’s like, “Okay, plan failed. No big deal. Try again next time”. That kind of vibe. Even though Hanabi and Takao are officially a couple, that still didn’t stop Kokoa from trying to snatch Takao. If she was desperate in wanting Takao to look her way, she would have continuously exhaust all options like what Wile E. Coyote would have done in his bid to get the Road Runner. But her attempts are sparse and little.

In fact, I don’t even think Kokoa wants to be Takao’s girlfriend. During her cohorts with Tsutsumi throughout the marathon, she didn’t really say their collaboration was for her to take away Takao. You know, I scratch your back and you scratch mine. It was just for Tsutsumi to steal Hanabi. Maybe her part was implied and she didn’t want to make it sound obvious like a dorobo neko. For the Tanabata festival where she borrowed the camera from Eikou, she doesn’t necessarily need to go through all the trouble of taking photos with other girls. She could have just borrowed the camera and used it all for herself and Takao. And there were a few other times where Takao coolly dismisses her but she doesn’t take it too personally to heart. If she was really in love with him, she would have been quite devastated (even for her age). But we see her brush it off easily like it didn’t matter. So do you not agree with me that Kokoa’s intention isn’t actually to become Takao’s girlfriend but rather to pick on Hanabi?

And the rest of the other characters… Well, I don’t think there are much of them because we have Marin who seemingly plays the pro in dating advices. It is like as though she is a dating expert-cum-consultant-cum-counsellor-cum-guru-cum-mentor-cum-advisor and knows what needs to be done courtesy of what she learnt from her elder sister. I take it that she prefers seeing her friends date. Because if she knows so much of such stuffs (whether they are workable or not), why hasn’t she got a boyfriend of her own? I mean she is pretty cute herself, no? Maybe it’s her obvious hair bun that sits perfectly right at the top of her head. Sticking out like some sort of permanent oversized bump or anthill antenna. Yeah… Sometimes it might seem a little weird like as though there might be some little alien inhabiting it and controlling her body. No kidding!

As for Eikou and his pals, they are like the baka trio of the series. I know boys like them are the naughty kind for their age but it is their role in this anime to be the comic relief as well as remind our lovebirds of their place because you can bet they will never stop taunting whenever they get close together. Their idiocy goes a step further as they always feel compelled to write down ‘awesome cool quotes’ they believe flow out from Takao’s mouth. Yeah like, WTF? I believe one of them has no dialogue at all (that specky kid who is supposedly the real class rep but nobody cares or remembers about) and he ‘communicates’ via writing on boards or notepads like Gintama’s Elizabeth and Special A’s Megumi. Besides, I feel like as though the trio look like they came out from the Chibi Maruko Chan series. You know, their weird hairstyle and simplistic silly mug.

On a trivial note, in some episodes I noticed there seemed to be this odd looking lady who is a salesperson in just about any shop that our protagonists patron. Not to say that there are doubles of her but as long as they are visiting a certain shop, you can bet this lady is sometimes there to serve them. What makes her creepy is the fact that her face looks like a pale classic Japanese horror ghost mask! Sometimes it just gives you the creeps even though she is perpetually smiling and no other facial expressions. No, seriously. Is that really her face or is she stuck looking like that? Oh, and she sounds creepy too.

The art and drawing remain the same as it was. At least for the first OVA that I have watched. It feels like it is pretty much targeted for younger audiences since the characters are looking extremely cute with wide doe-like eyes. Eyes so big that it might take up almost a quarter of their face. Yeah… And we find such Japanese anime art to be extremely cute, right? Interestingly, this series is animated by OLM, the same studio that brought to you the world famous Pokemon (and all its other spin-offs, movies specials and OVAs – yeah, a whole bunch of them). And you thought Pokemon was just for kids, huh? Remember the Pokemon GO game phenomenon a few months ago? Not so for kiddies, right? OLM too produced other animes ‘for kids’ like Inazuma Eleven, Youkai Watch, Wedding Peach, Doubutsu No Mori and that Agatha Christie adaption as well as not so suitable animes ‘for kids’ such as Steel Angel Kurumi, To Heart, Gift: Eternal Rainbow and Gunsmith Cats. But we’re not interested in all that, right? Maybe except for Youkai Watch. But that series itself isn’t as big as Pokemon for now. Just saying…

The opening theme is the same as from the OVA, Sweet Sensation by Rie Murakawa. Cotona Mode by AOP is the ending theme feels like another generic anime pop. One thing I noticed is that this series has a wide variety of the strangest and weirdest BGMs. What do I mean? For a genre that revolves around the romance of 12 year olds it is just odd to hear BGMs ranging from one that sounds like it was meant for Christmas to a bizarre men voice choir to slow classic rock and to one that has this uncanny resemblance to Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal! WTF Smooth Criminal?! Well, not exactly a spoof or anywhere near but just when I heard the low notes plucking of the electric guitar, it instantly reminded me of that song. I don’t know. Somehow hearing these BGMs just makes it feel out of place but yet so amusing.

Overall, this isn’t the kind of series that you should be referring to if you own child is going through his/her phase of relationship problems at a tender young age. This series can come off as cute, funny and innocent but sometimes silly and unrealistic. Well, aren’t all movies and TV series are? You can’t have best of both worlds and being flawlessly perfect at the same time. So I guess these lovebirds had it better than us otakus for experiencing the good nature of romance and love at their age. The only thing similar is that we are both still virgins by the end of the season. Holy sh*t!!! Sooner or later we will all learn the ‘finer and advanced aspects’ of love one way or another. Better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all.

It’s that age where you are neither a kid nor an adult. Ah, those teen years. But this anime I’m going to blog isn’t about teens with their raging hormones going through a rebellious phase. Instead, 12-sai ~Kiss, Kirai, Suki~ as the title suggests is about a 12 year old elementary school girl with the issues of kissing and first love. Not to mention bully victim too. So young and already facing so many of such issues in school. It’s like preparing them for the real world. It’s like starting them young. Who are we to blame?

Kiss, Hate, Love
Hanabi Ayase and her friends are discussing what kind of perfect kiss they would like. For Hanabi, she likes the wild kind. Bad boys. Really? This cute girl loves those types? She certainly doesn’t look like it. Yuuto Takao teases her for acting like an adult but she asserts she is one. She spins so much that she almost throws up. She lets us know she really wants a boyfriend but is too embarrassed to ask them out since those in her class lack delicacy, rough and violent. Hey, isn’t that her type? A naughty boy reads aloud a poll that all the boys voted for the most popular girl in class: Kokoa Hamada. She loves hearing it and wonders if it is because Takao also voted for her. Sorry girl. He didn’t vote for anybody. When the boy is about to read the last place finisher, Takao takes it away from him because this is making their teacher cry. Seriously? She is sad they can’t get along and will pair them up boys and girls for a recorder test. Kokoa wants to work with Takao but is shot down. Since Hanabi sits next to Takao… Later in the toilet, Kokoa warns Hanabi not to make a move on her future boyfriend/husband. Takao is out of her league. Hanabi assures her she won’t because she is not interested in boys. Boy, that’s a relief for Kokoa as she snuggles him like a best friend. Hanabi and Takao practice on the rooftop but the former sucks. In time, she improves. They see their teacher kissing another teacher in a room! I guess the kiss is infectious because they too get caught up in the mood and kiss! That for your information is Hanabi’s first kiss. Next day in class, she is flustering about it but Takao seems pretty normal. This makes her think that kiss meant nothing and he is some sort of a gigolo. Later as they practice together, Takao apologizes for ruining her expectations for a first kiss. He feels guilty for making her depressed all day today. She clears it up that she thought the kiss meant nothing to him but is relieved he felt the same way she did.

When they are cleaning, the boys are messing around especially the naughty ones who think they’ve caught some disease by touching Hanabi’s table. Only Takao helps around. It’s like Takao and Hanabi could exchange telepathic messages of thank you and you’re welcome. Hanabi feels guilty of her lie to Kokoa and needs to tell her. Don’t need for that. Looks like from their reaction she already could guess. So Kokoa and the other girls approach Hanabi and tell them of their plan to mess up the recorder test just to show the teacher they can’t get along. Hanabi must play along or else she will make her regret it. During the test, the girls purposely play out of tune but when it is Takao and Hanabi’s turn, they are in sync. This doesn’t please Kokoa as she stands up to make her voice heard. Does she know what she has done? Hanabi says although boys tease and make fun of her, she doesn’t want to be like them. The boys realize the girls mess it up on purpose and want to know who the mastermind is. Kokoa quickly puts the blame on Hanabi, lying that this was her idea and she threatened the rest to do it. With crocodile tears, the boys force Hanabi to apologize to her on her knees. However Takao stops them and says Hanabi would never do something cowardly like this. All the other girls agree and point out Kokoa as the culprit. As Hanabi cries and hides behind his back, the class starts teasing them the lovebirds they are and to kiss. Takao shuts them up and reveals they already done that! Biggest shocking news they’ve ever heard! He takes her out as she is still clinging on his back. She can’t show her face again knowing they will be bullied and teased from now on. Even so, she still loves him. He too.

And They Call It Puppy Love?
I suppose if you love shoujo type romances but with the protagonists a little younger, then this might be your cup of tea. Love knows no bounds, right? So why not at such young tender age too? It’s not like they’re going to do anything extreme, right? Assuming that their love relationship is maintained as pure and innocent as it is. Initially I thought this anime was an old since the art and drawing although is your typical sparkly wide-eyes cute pretty little girls and good looking little boys, but to my surprise it is a recent production. As recent as April 2014. Because I thought the art of such shoujo romance genres look like from that era like Kodomo No Omocha, Full Moon Wo Sagashite or even Suki Desu Suzuki-kun. Maybe all shoujo romance types have this kind of art and you can’t run far from it.

Besides the romance, this show also discusses about the issues of peer pressure and bullying. Yeah, it’s sad that it even exists at such young stage. Girls like Kokoa can grow up to be real b*tches in real life if they’re not brought back to the right path early. We need more people like Takao to just stand up and do and say the right thing even if it is against the popular majority thinking. Though, I can’t say if the kiss would be a right thing. Oh, what the heck, I’m all for love and peace and not war so it’s okay. I mean, they see adults doing it, right? There you have it, the bad influence. So why not as long as they love each other? And perhaps Hanabi can be more honest with her feelings instead of lying about the kind of boys she like or is not interested in love. Which girl wouldn’t dream of having such prince charming, no? Unless…

Although the ending doesn’t say much and it just confirms our lovebirds as an item, my guess that this single OVA was released just to promote the manga that is currently ongoing. Test market? Besides, at the end of the episode it did remind us that the manga is on sale and to check it out. Like any other of such genres, there is potential to turn it into a weekly anime series if there is good response. The ending theme, Koi No 12-sai by Utataneko Kageki Dan although sounds like your typical lively anime pop, the amusing part is that some parts of the singing uses the synthesizers to make the voice sound like a robot. Cute. In the end, this isn’t the kind of anime that sticks in my mind for too long since well, I never really did experience such things in my early school days. Never a bully victim, never had a first girlfriend and definitely never had a first kiss (still waiting for that!). Such a boring childhood…