Here’s another short teenage romance drama story. This time it’s the year 2001 production Ajimu – Kaigan Monogatari (beach story, that is). If you’re thinking that since this is a series where the setting is near the beach, there’s gonna be lots of sexy girls in bikinis, then you’re totally off the mark. Well, of course there are, but not so much as it would be the main theme of the series for perverts alike to gawk at.
 
Since this is also a short OVA, this series has only 4 episodes and each episode is approximately 30 minutes. So you could also say that you could finish it in just about 2 hours. Yeah, I was wondering why they didn’t make it into a movie since it has that movie length. Maybe it’s because the producers wants to leave a little suspense for the viewers? Maybe. But let’s get on with the story, episode by episode:
 
Episode 1
We see a girl, Ajimu Yasuna, who looks like a cross between the serious version of Excel of Excel Saga and Naru of Love Hina, getting ready for school. Then the scene changes to Hirosuke Nakaido, a 17 year old high school student, rushing late to catch a train to school. Since it’s slippery, he slips and saw a profile of Ajimu there. He’s saying how cute she was when he bumps into SURF girl. That’s an abbreviation for Short, Ugly, Rude and Fat girl. I can’t believe that I actually stayed up all night just to think about an appropriate name to give her! Oh well, it’s more like SURF girl bumps him away as she pushes and forces her way in. Yeah, this girl has no real lines except just grunting away. Because of that, Hirosuke misses the train and said to himself the beginning of some feelings (love at first sight lah).
 
The next day at the train station, he managed to get a glimpse of her waiting in line, boards the train this time, but just observes Ajimu. The following day, as he waits, he noticed Ajimu isn’t there. The train arrives and Hirosuke gets on. But as the train prepares to leave, Ajimu arrives in which, Hirosuke blocks the train door and asks her to hurry. Just then SURF girl bangs into him and tells him not to be pushy. Luckily, Ajimu too managed to get on.
 
At school during recess, Hirosuke and his friend Kazuki Izumiya are chating while watching some girls playing volleyball. Kazuki mentions that Hirosuke met a girl this morning, which caused Hirosuke to near choke, and got hit by a volleyball. Then Kazuki thinks he should approach her and voice acts how he’d introduce himself to her and all that. Yeah, that was what Hirosuke planned to do this morning but he didn’t get the chance as she wasn’t at the station. Kazuki continues that she may be going to a foreign school in Vienna because she’s carrying a violin case and seemingly acts in an aristocratic manner. In class, Hirosuke’s not paying attention as he’s got his mind on Ajimu and wishing how he’d knew her name. Meanwhile back at Ajimu’s house, Ajimu has some flashback of watching a plane taking off before we see Ajimu wearing some face mask because she actually caught a cold.
 
Next day at the train station, Hirosuke saw her in that face mask and thinks that she’s caught a cold. It must be contagious as other people there seems to be sneezing too. Then this is the funny part. Inside the train, Hirosuke tries to approach her and strike a conversation. But as more and more people got on board, they started pushing him and he’s in a tight spot with Ajimu. Somebody’s racket’s poking Ajimu’s butt (like ahem ahem) and Ajimu thinks that Hirosuke’s a molester and shouts out loud that he’s one. Hirosuke spotted the racket and says it’s a misunderstanding. As the train officials pushes SURF girl in, Hirosuke then ‘squeezes’ closer to Ajimu and their lips met! The 2 are in shock. So for the rest of the trip, they’re like holding each other. Must be uncomfortable.
 
At school, Kazuki saw and laughed at Hirosuke’s face swollen with slap marks on both his cheeks and heard the whole thing. But Hirosuke’s daydreaming how soft Ajimu’s lips were and how good she smell. Then Hirosuke came back to reality when he’s been hit by a baseball this time. Kazuki receives an SMS and tells Hirosuke to come with him tonight to meet 2 college girls and will be posing as 20 year olds. Hirosuke’s not in the mood but Kazuki says a wound from a girl must be cured by girls. What kind of theory is that. Anyway, Kazuki soon gets hit by a rugby ball. Why do these balls keep flying here? Bad or rookie players?
 
That night at some bar, the 2 guys went on that date with Kazuki telling the girls, Suzue Takemoto and Kyoko, about Hirosuke’s slapping incident, much to his embarrassment. After Hirosuke relives himself, he bumps into Ajimu. While he picks up her ukelele, he saw and stared at her bra. Ajimu recognizes him as the molester but Hirosuke was quick to go apologize on his feet. Later, it seems that Ajimu’s performing there with everyone listening. Suzue and Kyoko recognizes her. Looks like Hirosuke’s in awe over Ajimu’s performance, but sneezes.
 
Later Hirosuke approaches her while she’s resting but Ajimu got off and left quickly. The bartender known only as Master, gives Hirosuke a tissue to wipe his running nose. Maybe she doesn’t wanna get infected again. Hirosuke manages to catch up with Ajimu outside and explain to her that morning’s incident but she just cycles off with Hirosuke sneezing again. Just then Suzue appeared and said to Hirosuke that he’s got a cold from kissing her and that he doesn’t stand a chance. When Hirosuke asked about Kazuki and Kyoko, Suzue told them that they’ve left for the beach. That flirt. Suzue continues to tell him Ajimu’s name and since because it was quite odd and funny, it’s easy to remember. Also, how she transferred last year and there were many guys after her.
 
Hirosuke then found out that Suzue’s just a high school student too. Looks like she lied about their age just like them. Before Suzue leaves, she tells him that Ajimu’s a regular at that bar and performs on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and also performs on every 1st Sunday of the month at the beach.
 
At the beach, Hirosuke’s watching her performance and his sneezing seems to be annoying the crowd and Ajimu. Later, he apologized to her for interrupting her performance. They both had some talk when Hirosuke suddenly faints on her. Ajimu must be thinking that this must be one of his molesting tactics. Wrong, girl. He’s for real. At the clinic then, Hirosuke resting with Ajimu sitting next to him. She’s thinking about the things he said and whispers sorry. When he opened his eyes, she sneezes. Oh well, she’s got the bug again. Or is it the love bug…
 
Anyway, I just want to note that, even though this anime is set in Japan, don’t be surprise if you find several Hawaiian theme or setting. I mean, this is a beach, right? And probably the producers think that one of the best beaches in the world are the ones found on Hawaii. Just guessing.
 
Episode 2
We see Hirosuke rushing to the train station as he saw Ajimu in line there. They both greet and have a little chat. As they got on board, Hirosuke got stuck between the door. You should pay attention to your surroundings. At school, Kazuki’s showing Hirosuke a magazine with pics of Suzue as a model. She looks hot! Then Kazuki asked him about this morning on the train, in which a flashback as the train moves, Ajimu partially loses her balance and fell on Hirosuke. She apologizes for calling him a molester and stalker. He also apologized for saying weird things on the beach. Yeah, lots of apologizing talk. But the funny thing is that we see SURF girl running outside and trying to catch the train as it passes her. Too bad, she didn’t manage to get on.
 
Back to present time, Kazuki gets an SMS to meet someone somewhere. At the same time, Suzue watches Ajimu playing handball and looks like Ajimu’s spacing out looking at the airplane flying above and nearly gets hit by the ball. Hirosuke buys the magazine Kazuki showed him earlier on. At the train station, Hirosuke bumps into Suzue and they both had lunch. She’s asking whether he’s confessed to Ajimu or not but Hirosuke says that sounded like a joke. Suzue then wonders if Ajimu has moved on from her special someone and asks Hirosuke to try and find out more 1 more time because if he’s gonna be rejected, better to do it sooner. Uh-huh. A waitress then gives them a free plate meal on the house, which Suzue angrily rejects them. Hirosuke asks why, but Suzue says that they probably mistook her for someone else. I wonder what does that mean.
 
Later, we see Ajimu playing the ukelele at the beach alone when Master comes along and compliments her playing. Then some vague talking about Ajimu’s boyfriend. Later as Ajimu performs at the bar, Suzue tags along Hirosuke there and wonders why Ajimu’s playing since it’s not her usual day. Hey, Kazuki’s there too. I guess, they’re all gonna be regulars there. As Ajimu sings on stage, Suzue got up there and dance. Then some flashback fo Ajimu’s boyfriend walking out and plane chasing scene before Ajimu starts to cry in her shaky teary voice as she tries to control her emotions. But she couldn’t as she stops playing and cried on her knees. So pitiful. Hirosuke runs there and tries to give her a handkerchief (passed by Suzue) . Back at home, Hirosuke’s thinking about Suzue’s words on the moving on part.
 
Next day, Hirosuke missed the train but Ajimu managed to get on. At school, Suzue and Ajimu met and they both complimented each other for last night’s performance. Suzue asks her if she could have back Hirosuke’s hanky and whispers that she plans to confess to him this summer break. But Ajimu says that she’ll return it to him personally. Suzue then asks her to return it soon as she doesn’t want Hirosuke to go look for it.
 
Next day, Hirosuke receives a call from Suzue asking if he got plans for the summer break. He says he has a part time job. Suzue then invites him to have lunch with her after he has finish with his job. Back at Suzue’s home, her dad’s not happy that her pic appeared in that mag. She soon tells him that she’s going out later but forgot where :)
 
Hirosuke’s doing his last delivery and passes by Ajimu’s house and accidentally saw her changing through the window. Crash! Keep your eyes on the road. Ajimu looks out and saw him. The 2 then are sitting in the living room with an ‘uneasy atmosphere’. Ajimu’s mom asks if Ajimu wants to ask him to her room. They both remain silent. Mom then asks the package is from who and Hirosuke answered it’s for their neighbour.
 
In Ajimu’s room, the 2 had some chat when Ajimu’s mom asks her to come down for a little while. As Ajimu leaves, Hirosuke picks up and looks at a face down photo, which is a picture of Ajimu with a guy and a girl. Ajimu then comes in and apologizes when he saw that Hirosuke had saw the photo. She tells him that the last time she saw him was 2 years ago. Some comforting words from Hirosuke before Ajimu gives back the hanky. Hirosuke suddenly remembers the plan to meet Suzue. Yeah, that girl’s waiting at some spot for him. Since Hirosuke’s not showing up, she’s walking off and bumps into Kazuki who’s doing some part time job at a flowershop. She asks him if he wants to have lunch.
 
They both did. Kazuki says that Suzue wants to set them up as he also thinks those 2 are a good pair. When Hirosuke arrives at the spot, Suzue’s already gone. Of course lah. Then Ajimu plays her ukelele by the beach alone and thinking about her ex and the things he said the her, like how he likes her song and this time he’s going for real. Ajimu continues playing and thinks of what Hirosuke said earlier on with Master watching from afar. Then the scene changes as we see an airplane landing at the airport and some guy in glasses returns. Looks like Ajimu’s ex.
 
Episode 3
This episode opens with Ajimu performing in front of her mom’s shop, Hirosuke and Kazuki doing their part time job. A big gust of wind blows Ajimu’s music sheets away which also caused Hirosuke to fall off his bike. In the shop, some talk about some movie which’s supposed to be Ajimu’s dad favourite. So happens to be Hirosuke’s favourite too. He then invites Ajimu out for lunch, which she agrees.
 
During lunch, som talk about what they aspire to become in the future. Kazuki then arrives and put a flower on Ajimu’s ear and says how the 2 look like an item now before going off to sell more flowers. Master too arrives but collapse shortly. Hirosuke and Ajimu helped him up and Master says he’s just tired from preparing things alone. Looks like Master’s setting up some stall here too. They also saw Suzue and Kyoko there with the latter bashing up some guy. Suzue whispers to Ajimu on how they both look like a pair, much to Ajimu’s embarrassment as she denies. Master then asks Ajimu to perform to the crowd. While she’s doing so, Hirosuke’s making some ice kacang. When both their eyes meet, they blush. Suzue, working as a waitress, asks Hirosuke "When will the relationship start". This girl is eager to see some ‘action’.
 
Meanwhile, that guy in shades, Yuuma Otomine, is seen asking for directions and arrives at an inn looking for a room. At the inn’s reception, some talk and joke on double suicide with Moe, Kazuki’s little sister and helper at the inn. He seems kinda sporting though. Later that night, Hirosuke meets Ajimu at the bar and remembers the setup made by Suzue earlier on. Hirosuke seems nervous and guilty sounding. Ajimu leaves first saying that he’s probably waiting for someone. Meanwhile, Suzue is some Japanese dance class, therefore she can’t come. Hirosuke asks Ajimu to wait and needs to tell her something. She says he wanna confess isn’t it but he says it’s about Suzue.
 
Then he asks what kind of person is he (her ex). A short flashback of him but Hirosuke says nevermind and leaves but Ajimu says she wanna have a moment with him and told him that person in the photo died in an accident a year ago. Some comforting words from Hirosuke as he asks herto play that song again, which she does. Hirosuke then picks up an orange seashell and gives it to herat the end of her performance. Looks like Suzue’s watching them from afar and has that flashback when she’s young and having trouble catching rabbits, so a young Hirosuke helps her to catch them all. So I see Suzue does know Hirosuke.
 
At the video store, Ajimu saw a video she wanted but SURF girl grabs it away first. Haih… Thought I haven’t seen her quite awhile there. At the inn, Otomine telling Moe he just came from London but she’s laughing and doesn’t believe him because he sounds like some Japanese dialect. At Ajimu’s home, she’s playing to herself and thinking. Then in Otomine’s room, he unveils a painting of Ajimu playing the ukelele and says he’ll come to see her. Ajimu removes the photo from the frame and puts it in her drawer.
 
Next day, Hirosuke forced to play croquet with grandma and her old folk friends. He meets Moe and Otomine with Moe introducing them both to each other and says he’s staying at the inn. Grandma crows up to Otomine and asks him if he’s hurt. He then says something like are you blind, in which, grandpa replied "No I’m not, I’m the one who saved you from danger". Though Otomine doesn’t know what she’s talking about, I think that the reason why he didn’t die in that accident was because this grandma saved him. Now it makes a little sense.
 
Ajimu’s mom happy for Ajimu because she thinks that Ajimu has found her special someone, much to Ajimu’s embarrassment. Kazuki asks Suzue if she wants to go with him to the fireworks festival tonight and also suggests inviting Hirosuke (which he already did). Meanwhile, Hirosuke and Otomine are still against each other at the croquet match. Though Otomine lost he says he’ll get his revenge. Don’t worry, no ill feelings between them. Hirosuke then suggests to catch goldfish at the festival, which Otomine agrees.
 
At the festival, the 2 have their competition over several events. It’s funny that Moe felt left out and yelled "What am I to you guys!". Yeah, they’re so engrossed and ignoring her. Hirosuke then bumps into Kazuki, Suzue, Kyoko and Master. Uh-huh, Hirosuke’s surprised that Master and Kyoko are together but the latter 2 went off together somewhere. Kazuki asks why Hirosuke’s here and he says it’s a long story. Then Suzue asks isn’t he supposed to be with Ajimu, which caused Otomine to be a little surprised. Shortly, Ajimu arrives and saw Otomine. She too is surprised and can’t believe that it’s him. Otomine then says "Hi, it’s been a long time". Yeah, 2 years could be a very looooong time.
 
Episode 4
It’s raining and Otomine is apologizing to Ajimu for calling her to meet him so early. Ajimu says she’s really angry for lying to her and says why he left her like that. He hugs her and apologizes. Some I’m-sorry-I-won’t-leave-you-again talk. Anybody would get angry since you’ve never told her that you’re not dead from that accident. While Moe’s cleaning Otomine’s room, she saw that Ajimu painting when Kazuki passes by and say she shouldn’t touch customer’s stuffs. When Moe says something about that girl in the magazine is Suzue, Kazuki plays dumb and leaves for his part time job. Hmm… There’re some hints that may suggests that Moe likes Otomine. Or is it just that onii-chan complex?
 
Then we see Otomine and Ajimu together in a train. Ajimu’s unsure about her feelings and saying to herself the Otomine she loves is right in front of her so is it a dream? Later Kazuki and Hirosuke met and the former seems to know that Hirosuke’s been called by Suzue to meet her and explains that Suzue has eyes for him since the first time they met but Hirosuke says she’s too mature for him. Some talk like what you’re gonna do about Ajimu and what’s gonna happen to her, he’ll go back to that guy and stuffs.
 
Ajimu and Otomine are seen having some ramen. A boy sketches Ajimu and when Otomine sketches a portrait of the boy, it made him very happy. Meanwhile, Suzue asking Hirosuke to go out with her or he can wait till Ajimu rejects him. She also says that he’s playing the waiting game and if it’s over between them, she wants him to give her an answer. Suzue then pecks him on his cheek and wishes him good luck before running off.
 
Otomine then asks Ajimu if she wants to take the relationship to the next level since he wants to be with her but she says it’s too suden. He then asks is there someone else she likes. Ajimu replies she doesn’t know. Back at Kazuki and Suzue, Kazuki’s asking it didn’t went well with Hirosuke and also says that it didn’t went well for him too. Kazuki asks Suzue if she’d like to go surfing with him. Ah, I see, this guy has a crush on this girl. Some love triangles here.
 
Ajimu’s watching some video she bought about some angel and hope thingy. She’s really moved while watching the tape. Hirosuke comes home to find Otomine playing video game with his grandma. Sorry, grandma won. Hehe. Then the 2 guys talked about what Hirosuke’s gonna do with Ajimu. Some realizing words from Hirosuke on his love and feelings on Ajimu before they both said simultaneously "I’ll never be that kind of guy", surprising each other. Otomine tells Hirosuke that he proposed to Ajimu (gasp!) earlier today and for his and her sake, he should break up with her. But Otomine guy said things in a very nice manner. Yeah, not like those usual jealous get-away-from-my-girl kinda guys. Otomine’s cool.
 
Ajimu then receives a call from Hirosuke and the latter says that they should stop seeing each other in order not to put her in a spot. He asks her to listen to his feelings and after putting the receiver down, Hirosuke notices that Otomine has left his glasses on the table. He rushes and manages to give it back to him. Then an old lady comes by to ask them for directions. After Hirosuke gives the directions, she crosses the road when suddenly a fast truck is coming her way. Hirosuke then dashes to push her away.
 
At the bar, Ajimu’s gonna use the phone when it rang first. Oh oh, bad news. We then see Hirosuke’s lying in a coma at the hospital with all his friends there, Ajimu’s desparately asking him to open his eyes from the outside as she has lots to say to him. Otomine approaches to comfort her. Ajimu wanted to say something byt Otomine says she doesn’t have to say it. I wonder what it is. Suddenly Hirosuke’s condition is getting worse. Ajimu rushes in and puts the orange seashell in his palm. She then remembers something and goes off quickly. She manages to hail a taxi back to her home and gets her ukelele. Since she didn’t ask for the taxi to wait, she has to run back all the way to the hospital.
 
While running, she’s thinking about Hirosuke and crying when she suddenly trips. What’s this? SURF girl’s there in front of her. To my surprise, SURF girl picks Ajimu up and pushes her way through the line waiting for a taxi and throws Ajimu into the next taxi (poor other guy, being rudely bumped off as he’s getting in). As the taxi goes off, Ajimu says thank you as SURF girl and the other people there just stood there and stare. I’m thinking that SURF girl’s role is just for this part other than comic relief.
 
Ajimu finally arrives back at the hospital and starts singing her song next to Hirosuke in a shaky and teary voice. It seems there’s no effect as Ajimu cries. Poor girl. A teardrop drops onto his palm holding the seashell. Suddenly Ajimu felt a grasp on her hand. Hirosuke has open his eyes! Everybody’s relieved too.
 
At the end credits, we see Otomine leaving the inn happily as he waves goodbye. I suppose he realized that Ajimu’s happier with Hirosuke. Also, Moe’s holding that Ajimu painting in her arms while Kazuki and Suzue become a pair of surfers. Looks like this 2 have become an item too. So is Master and Kyoko. At the hospital, Moe shows Hirosuke recuperating in the hospital bed a different painting of Ajimu with the remarks "Having H in mind now". H must be Hirosuke, I guess. Ajimu then shows him a cartoonish sketch with the words "I’ll be back" on it as everyone laughs.
 
At the train station as Ajimu is seen waiting, SURF girl and Hirosuke are pushing, rushing and racing with each other. Ajimu just smiled at them. Finally, Hirosuke narrates he managed to get out of hospital bed and it’s really the beginning even though summer has ended. Ajimu and Hirosuke looked at each other and smiled as they looked over the blue ocean.
 
In the end
Overall, I like how this short anime turned out. Yeah, that’s because of the happy ending. About Ajimu and Hirosuke’s life together after that would be a totally different story. Nice development of the story and the few characters. I could also say that the drawing, animation and art are quite satisfying.
 
Though the ending song, Orange, sung by Saeko Chiba (who’s also the voice actress for Ajimu) is quite a nice song. I still prefer the acoustic version the best, though it’s shorter. Uh-huh, it gives you that Hawaiian feeling and makes you want to lie on the beach and do nothing. There are also other songs sung by Ajimu during the show which are quite catchy. But I can’t seem to find them anywhere. The opening theme, Futari No Prologue, is equally nice as well, though I felt it’s more of a pop song.
 
Each of the animation for the ending credits are different. Meaning the first episode shows the sketch of the characters in swimsuit (even SURF girl’s there. Ugh… so disgusting), the second episode shows the characters in chibi sketch form, while the third episode shows the headshot animation of the characters. Of course the final episode shows how things are being tied up as the credits roll.
 
Speaking of SURF girl, that’s one character I really find amusing and love to hate. Yeah, I mean, you’ll definitely meet such people in this world but even such people have their good sides and they may help you at times when you least expect them to. So if you’re on a beach vacation, you might one to watch this short series to suite the occassion. I think it’s quite fitting. Of course at other times also can lah.

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