Akane-iro Ni Somaru Saka

August 16, 2009

Here is another one of those drama-harem-comedy-romance genres based from the H-game and adapted into an anime series. I must really dig such shows to even watch Akane-iro Ni Somaru Saka without giving it much thought when I skim through briefly that it was categorized under such genre.
 
However I find that the anime version is not so ecchi and does not contain much adult or explicit material as compared to the PC game. Not to say that I have played such eroge games before, but after reading so much of this kind of genres, I’d pretty much get the idea of horniness. Of course, with the H-stuff toned down, viewers will be treated to a milder fanservice instead.
 
Basically, we start off in episode 1 to see a new girl in town. She is Yuuhi Katagiri and she seems to be lost to her destination when she is being encountered by a couple of thugs. It won’t be right to start off the series with the girl in need to get ‘violated’ so herald a guy named Junichi Nagase, who is just passing by. The thugs recognize this dude as Geno Killer and start shivering when he gives them that evil stare and flee for their lives. Yuuhi is grateful.
 
With the start of the new school term, we are introduced to the other characters who will be making their appearance frequently or so in this series. Like their homeroom teacher, Seijirou Sugishita, who is a hot looking stud that would make any girls swoon and fall head over heels. Then we have Junichi’s ‘close’ friends Fuyuhiko Nishino and Tsukasa Kiryuu, the pair who are responsible of distorting and twisting lots of facts and rumours about Junichi so much so that is how that poor chap developed the nickname Geno Killer, though it is true that he was a delinquent in junior high but not as exaggerated and worse that it turned out to be today. Furthermore, everyone loves screwing around with Junichi, even Sugishita! Boy, they love it. That Junichi guy must be the most patient guy in the world. Of course the occasional outburst. But he can’t change history, right? Then we have the filthy rich lady-like personality class rep, Karen Ayanokouji, the student council president, Mitsuki Shiina, who if I’m not mistaken is very popular because of her idol status, and just like the rest of Junichi’s pals, likes using him to do whatever favours for her council. Junichi’s such a useful guy. Then you can’t have a guy like him without a sister who is a year his junior, Minato. This gentle girl always look out for her nii-san and you get the feeling that the siblings aren’t blood related (though not mentioned in the anime, based on the game, I found out that they aren’t). But the most amusing character has to be the enigmatic and monotonous-sounding classmate of Minato, Nagomi Shiraishi. She gives an impression like she’s an alien spy and there is a cloud of mystery surrounding her presence. You can’t help but like her weird character.
 
In this episode, to Junichi’s surprise, he finds out that Yuuhi is the new transfer student in his class. Since they’ve known each other due to their initial encounter, I guess the rest of Junichi’s pals are excited to play up something new. So expected of them. This is so when Yuuhi asks Junichi out but to his disappointment, it was just a cup of tea to express her gratitude for saving her. The next day, new girl Yuuhi seems to be attracting lots of attention from her classmates about her so called date so when Junichi confronts Yuuhi (I suppose he’s trying to clarify about that date thing too), some weird stuff must be running through his mind and this made him kissed her right in the middle of class while everyone is watching! Since Yuuhi is your typical tsundere girl, she beats Junichi up (including a painful kick to his crotch. Ouch!). To make things worse, later back home, while Junichi gets treated from Minato, they get another surprise when Yuuhi turns up at their doorstep as she is going to stay at their home. Why? Well, she says she is Junichi’s fiancee. Woah. Just like that after a kiss? And we see Nagomi spying on them with some super hi-fi set in some unknown place. It’s going to get even hotter now. By the way, you’ll also noticed that in each episode, there will be short clips of a pair of husband and wife super spies going around the world doing James Bond-cum-Indiana Jones style missions like saving people or diffusing bombs. You can guess that they are Junichi and Minato’s parents. At least, it beats the typical mundane reason of working overseas in some corporate company and a reason why they’re always not home. Cool parents? You decide. Plus, you get to see Junichi talking with his inner self during ‘tense-what-to-do’ situations.
 
So in episode 2, we find out that Yuuhi’s dad has actually arranged for her to get married with Junichi. Yeah, it’s like their meeting was so fated. Since Yuuhi doesn’t like the idea, she decided to go and live under Junichi’s roof to see and judge for herself what kind of person her future husband would be. Didn’t expect to turn out this bad, eh? What a way to make a bad start and impression. It’s understandable that Yuuhi still can’t forgive Junichi for her first kiss. In addition, Yuuhi’s temporary residence mustn’t be made known to the rest of the class. Or else we can see what kind of schemes they’ll come up with, right? There’ll be no end to Junichi’s ‘torture’.
 
In this episode, expect more teen angst from Junichi because Tsukasa and Fuyuhiko add oil to the fire of those already outrageous rumours and we see Yuuhi accompanying Minato shopping. Since Minato is responsible for meals at home, her cooking skills are top notched. Minato thanks her parents for those superb skills because she learned them while living with them in the jungles (?!) when she was young while plain lazy Junichi stayed back in his comfort zone back home. In contrast, Yuuhi’s culinary skills… well, let’s just say it’s better for her to stay away from the kitchen. Other developments include, one night the power in their house went out and groping in the dark, Junichi accidentally touched Yuuhi’s boobs. More hatred and misunderstandings for that poor guy. Yuuhi gives him a cross arm lock submission move as punishment. Yuuhi befriends Minato even further when the duo shares the same bed (no yuri acts, pleas). Lastly, Yuuhi’s sleep talking and walking behaviour has Junichi play a little prank the next morning (a hair dryer?) but Yuuhi’s a heavy sleeper and continues sleeping on the floor.
 
In episode 3, hot teacher Sugishita goes missing and was last seen around the abandoned school wing. Thus Mitsuki rounds up the usual gang (including poor Junichi) to go look for Sugishita. While Karen is obviously afraid of the supernatural (even if she’s denying it), we learn that the real scheme is to set up Junichi and Yuuhi together to see what will be their reaction together so they split into 2 groups with the duo together while the rest in another. Sneaky busybodies. As Junichi and Yuuhi continue their search, they bump into mysterious Nagomi and I don’t know what they’re talking about because Nagomi activated a trap door and has the duo fall into it after they asked if she had seen Sugishita. Expect close proximity but at the same time, keeping their distances. Including Yuuhi’s torment towards Junichi including using him as a stepping stone to try and reach out. Too bad she’s just too short. Expect more tsundere quarrels especially that stolen first kiss bla bla bla. Oh so typical. I’ve seen too much of this kind of show. Because they’re being so noisy, they awakened Sugishita who’s been sleeping down there. So that’s where he was. So the reason for venturing into this place and staying here was because he got kicked out of his apartment for making to much revving noises with his motorbike. So the trio managed to get out and are reunited with their pals out there, including Minato who is worried sick about her brother but relieved when she finds him safe and sound. Sugishita learns of Junichi’s engagement but decides not to fuss over it. Finally, we see Nagomi communicating with don’t-know-who and that she’s going to keep an eye on Junichi. Interesting…
 
In episode 4, Karen invites her pals to her luxurious cruise party. This confirms it. She’s damn filthy rich. So we see the girls get to choose and wear evening gowns from Karen’s extensive collection. They’re in a dilemma because they want to eat a lot but yet look gorgeous. Junichi notices Minato’s sexy back and tells her to cover up a little and we all know that he likes her more than just siblings’ sense even if he doesn’t admit it. Because the ship’s chef has got seasick, Minato helps to prepare food and shows her awesome culinary skills. You’ve got to love Nagomi cheering Minato on to cut the fish! Then Nagomi makes a human bone soup and I don’t think anyone in their right mind would want to taste that. While waiting for food, Karen entertains her guests with her super lame party jokes. Just damn lame. Why doesn’t she just learn to keep quiet? Perhaps she doesn’t want to be seen as a bad host? But her jokes are so bad that David Letterman turn in his grave. When the food is ready, Minato wows the crowd with her super tuna cutting skills. Since Karen is so kiasu and won’t let Minato top her, she has one of her crew initiate her ultimate back-up plan. That crew dresses up in an obviously lame octopus monster suit taking over the ship while Karen tries to play heroine and save her guests. Lamer! However, it seems Yuuhi is the one who is terribly frighten by it! I can’t believe it either! In her panic, she sets off some fireworks prematurely and causes the ship to be on fire. Junichi notices Minato and Yuuhi not part of the evacuation and rushes back in to find them. Thankfully, they’re both safe. Yuuhi in tears, hugs Junichi in her scared state and in the end no one is seriously injured. Back at school, Karen apologizes and would like to make it up to them again. I think it’s better if she’d just keep the bad jokes to herself next time. And yes, you’ll also notice how Yuuhi have developed a fear for octopus whenever she encounters one. Poor girl so traumatized…
 
Junichi is supposed to invite Minato out to watch a monster movie and Yuuhi insists on coming along after feeling insulted that Junichi thinks such movies aren’t her type in episode 5. But since Minato remembered that she has made plans with her pals, looks like it’ll be just Junichi and Yuuhi. Seems like a date, right? I don’t know why but Yuuhi found the movie so touching that she cried! After the movie, Yuuhi once again attracts trouble when she spills some food on his shirt (why do they easily like to pick on girls like her over trivial matters?). Luckily, Junichi’s there to leave up to his rumoured Geno Killer name to scare them off with his manliness. Junichi and Yuuhi continue their so called date as they bump into Mitsuki in the park who spots them together. Yeah, she doesn’t plan to keep this a secret from the rest. I guess this beats watching romance drama on TV. During evening, Yuuhi’s hat got blown off so Junichi recklessly tries to retrieve it but he fell into the river and causes Yuuhi to panic. Yuuhi continues to be frantic even when they get back home as she tries to treat Junichi and even thinks he is dying! Luckily Minato comes back and restores order and the cure for Junichi’s situation is ramen. That simple? Well, she does live with him for a long time, so she knows his habits. Yuuhi and Minato takes a bath together as the former learns a little more about their past. Something about Minato joking that she’s adopted and can’t clearly remember her past (how convenient). The next day, Junichi is back to normal and in school, everyone is talking about Junichi-Yuuhi date. Such a hot topic. See, it’s so hard for Mitsuki to resist keeping it a secret. Furthermore, this has been confirmed by Nagomi, who was at the movies too.
 
To make up for her blunders, in episode 6, Karen invites the gang once more, including Sugishita, to her family’s hotspring inn. She really wants to redeem herself. Your typical hotspring episode and I don’t want to elaborate much because it’s so typical (including that gang’s usual screwing of Junichi). Because Karen thinks Junichi isn’t enjoying himself, she decides to take the gang (except for Sugishita who is dejectedly playing video games alone with student council member Aya) to a hidden hotspring up in the mountains. Karen sure has some failure complex. Serious one. After trekking a long-winded route, they finally arrive but to Junichi’s horror, the open air hotspring is a mixed bath. Everyone finds out that there are bears occupying the hotspring. But not to worry because Minato seems to be able to get along well with them! Is this the years of jungle training all paid off?! Expect a little fanservice but both genders are being separated by a rock. Then I don’t know why, but Junichi’s inner voice got the better of him to unleash his perverted side. By the time Junichi loses control of himself and decides to be the perverted lead character and take a peek, luckily the girls have already left (they went somewhere to interrogate Yuuhi’s relationship with Junichi. Still can’t resist, eh?). It would’ve been devastating if the girls had seen his perverted side. And oh the rumours too… While Karen is relieved that her redemption is successful, poor Sugishita is still playing video games alone…
 
The school cultural festival in episode 7 sees Junichi’s class doing a yakisoba stall. Yuuhi and Karen try to make the perfect (or at least edible) yakisoba, but unfortunately, there were lots of ‘sacrifices’ before they came up with an edible one. Yeah, a panda as part of the ingredients? Meanwhile Junichi has been ‘kidnapped’ by Nagomi, Mitsuki and Sugishita to initiate some grand plan of theirs, which is to defend the festival from some threat. To Yuuhi and her classmate’s horror, they find out that Minato’s class is also doing a yakisoba stall and is much more popular than theirs. The absurdly long queue is proof of it. The gang thinks that Minato’s tennis outfit is the reason why she’s pulling in the crowd so Fuyuhiko suggests putting on several different outfits and finally a nekomimi swimsuit! I guess this one is good enough to attract customers. If they can live with the fact of those ogling eyes, that is. The festival comes to an end when an announcement is made for everyone to gather outside the school field. We see that Sugishita’s grand plan is to have Junichi in some experimenting mecha taking on a giant monster octopus. Yeah, it’s that octopus again, sending Yuuhi into panic mode. After all that hyped and preparation, as Junichi gets ready to take the first step into battle, the mecha self-destructs in just 1 step! Yeah, poorly made alright. How disappointing. But I suppose if you look at it in another way, it’s quite grand, right? What’s this about Sugishita saying about room for improvements for the next model? Want to bet Junichi will be the guinea pig again? At the end of the day, Yuuhi gives Junichi another round of serious beating after another round of bickering. Falcon Punch! Just kidding.
 
Episode 8 focuses on Tsukasa. At the start, we see her handling the school’s sports festival because Mitsuki fell ill. Then I don’t know why, the relay race has Yuuhi frantically running away from a bunch of loser guys and Junichi in that octopus suit. Why is he wearing it? Do people get their kicks out of Yuuhi’s fear too? Tsukasa shows Junichi an embarrassing picture of him getting pound by Yuuhi and she intends to put it for some best media contest. This causes Junichi to tease Tsukasa back which prompts her to remember her childhood dream to be a voice actress. Aside from that, we see Junichi fantasizing Minato in a swimsuit and the gang of Junichi, Fuyuhiko, Tsukasa and Aya playing some Life board game with them talking about Tsukasa and Junichi’s bad luck causes him to land on a spot that says go back to start because you went to hell. WTH?! I don’t know, I find that amusing. Tsukasa decides to follow her dream and goes for an audition with the rest supporting her. However on that day itself, Tsukasa became nervous and lost her voice, thus failing her audition. Tsukasa spaces out near the river bank that evening when Junichi spots her and talks to her to give her back her self-confidence. With that, Tsukasa vows not to give up and work harder as the duo joins Minato and Yuuhi returning home from shopping. If you think that Tsukasa will fall for Junichi, then don’t hope for it. There is absolutely no chemistry between them because I think she prefers to watch and tease Junichi and Yuuhi.
 
Tsukasa’s photo won her first place in the Best Amitie contest in episode 9. But this part is a little disturbing because we see Fuyuhiko and Sugishita clashing over Junichi! WTF?! Are they gay rivals over him too?! In this episode, Junichi’s birthday is coming up so Minato plans a surprise party for him. Initially tsundere Yuuhi didn’t want to get involve but reluctantly has to when she says how she wants to help Minato (not knowing she was planning Junichi’s birthday). Yuuhi is sifting through a gift magazine and thinking the best present to get for Junichi when Karen notices her so she proceeds to give heaps of books relating to birthday gifts. Seriously, does one need to go through all those pages just to find the perfect gift? Because Yuuhi still can’t make up her mind, Karen suggests investigating what Junichi likes. That night, Yuuhi sneaks into Junichi’s room and goes through all his stuff (people, remember some may find this an invasion of privacy) from his watches to figurines to music collection. Finally Yuuhi finds several porn mags and gets real embarrassed but starts reading it out of curiosity. Hehe… Naughty naughty. Minato catches her in the act but isn’t surprise of what Yuuhi is doing and points out how Junichi likes blonde with big boobs! She does know her brother well. Since Yuuhi says how Junichi’s got everything and wonders what more he could want, Minato suggests baking him a cake. Erm… Yuuhi cooking? Can or not? On Junichi’s birthday, that guy obviously knows that the gang are making preparations because they made him wait for a long time. When it’s done, Junichi is greeted happy birthday from them and soon receives presents from them. Even his parents send a totem pole present for him (?!) while an opal ring for Minato. Ah, the vast difference in treatment. And what’s this? Nagomi being a present herself wearing only ribbons so that Junichi can do whatever she wants with her? Junichi then tastes Yuuhi’s cake. Everyone seems not to like it except for Junichi who thinks it is delicious. Is his taste bud dead or just unique. This makes Yuuhi a little happy but Minato feels an uneasy feeling in her heart although her brother is happy. Jealousy?
 
In episode 10, Yuuhi falls sick and since Minato has to go to school, she leaves her in Junichi’s care. Of all the people in the world. Some close moments which causes Yuuhi to fluster but nothing much. Since Junichi is running late for school, he’s going to leave Yuuhi all alone when Yuuhi tugs him and wishes for him to stay by her side a little longer. So tsundere. I expected that. They had a chat about from the time Yuuhi moved in and since indecisive Yuuhi couldn’t tell whether Junichi was the good or bad guy, she starts crying when Junichi suddenly kisses her! Erm… Is that a way to shut somebody up? Talk, blush, bicker. It’s the same damn repetitive cycle. Make up your mind already. Do you hate or love him? So when Yuuhi comes to school, she is surprised that Tsukasa and the rest are talking about how close she and Junichi are (even in the presence of Minato). Then Mitsuki says how Junichi is the kind of guy who prefers girls to take the lead when Yuuhi denies her feelings for him. Another shocking development is that Karen joins the conversation and declares that she actually has feelings for Junichi! I didn’t know that. Nobody does. Until now. Karen declares Yuuhi as her love rival and at this point Yuuhi’s cover of staying with Junichi has been blown. Well, everyone knew about it from the start. Just that they didn’t make a big fuss. At the same time, Fuyuhiko talks to Junichi and the former seems to tell the latter to choose between the 2 ladies or else he’ll end up losing them both.
 
At the rooftop, Yuuhi comes into contact with Nagomi, who seems to be interested watching them and suggests an idea to help her get closer to Junichi. That night, Yuuhi comes into Junichi’s room dressed in a maid outfit (some idea Nagomi has). Though embarrassed, the duo sat down and chat. They both confessed their feelings for each other as Yuuhi snuggles closely to him and kisses him. But that mood is ruined when Junichi panics after Yuuhi says she doesn’t need the maid outfit anymore. Looks like he has maid fetish. Yuuhi kicks him. It makes you wonder whether it’s the outfit or Yuuhi herself which attracted him. The next day, Yuuhi leaves home so that she can report her findings to her dad. Once she leaves, Minato collapses onto Junichi and in tears apologizes for her little selfishness while saying how she just wanted to stay like this for a little while. Junichi then remembers Fuyuhiko’s words. Is Minato relishing this last chance to be with her brother before she loses him forever? Yeah, Minato claims that she is his sister so any lover’s kind of relationship is a no-no. Yeah, right. Not in this kind of show. And yes, the eternal dilemma for the harem guy. Who to choose.
 
In episode 11, Yuuhi reports her findings back to her dad and has good words for Junichi. But Yuuhi insists on rejecting the engagement and wants to do it on her capacity rather than from her dad. Yuuhi goes back to Junichi’s home and the usual bickering. She also sense something amiss between the siblings and tried asking Junichi but as usual he said everything was alright. This causes a rift in their relationship which is pretty obvious when they’re in class. As expected, their pals gather around to discuss what happened between the duo and each coming up with their own ideas. By right Karen should feel happy since it’s her chance to gain Junichi’s attention but why is she so panic? Thinking of perverted thoughts that has happened, isn’t she? Even Yuuhi got dragged into this ‘meeting’ and tries to cover up what happened. Later we see Nagomi communicating to someone about watching this upcoming trial. That evening, Junichi has been stopped by a couple of MIBs supposedly sent by his dad and is soon whisked away. He informs Minato about it and he won’t be back for dinner so Minato and Yuuhi had a little chat while making dinner (surprise, Yuuhi can make curry!). The conversation included how Yuuhi felt she could be herself here unlike in the past when she had no friends and didn’t think she would fall in love in this house. During dinner, Yuuhi says that this is her last meal here because she intends to pack up and go back to her own home. Though Minato is fine if Yuuhi continues staying, Yuuhi implies that she would be a bother to them and thus announces that she’s nullifying her engagement with Junichi. Minato breaks down and starts apologizing but Yuuhi forgives her even though she wondered why they had lied to her. So Minato comes clean and finally admits that she loves Junichi (more than siblings’ sense, that is). As they both reconcile, Junichi finally reached a base after a long journey and his parents makes a grand entry… Landing with a Harrier jet. Wow.
 
It seems that in episode 12, Junichi’s dad mentioned how those MIBs are imposters as he blasts them away. He tells Junichi that they’re abducting kids for some experimental project before flying off to another world saving mission. That’s it?! WTF?! Junichi comes home and since Yuuhi is still upset, another argument ensues which has Yuuhi blurted out that she’s breaking up with him. Because that guy is pretty dense, he receives a further slap across the face before a goodbye punch. Looks like Yuuhi’s leaving for good. Because of that, Minato too decides to leave the house next day as she feels she can’t leave Yuuhi like this and the house was originally his to begin with. Junichi’s harem is crumbling! What is that poor guy to do? Minato says he has to figure out himself or no one will be happy. Yeah, that answer, right? I guess he has to use his head for once. So where does Minato stay? At Nagomi’s place! Unfortunately, nothing more revealing about Nagomi’s character as I hoped it would be except that she has been watching them for a long time. After Junichi gets some advice from Fuyuhiko and Karen (still in the blur of what to do. I mean, he apologized but they’re still the same as Tsukasa said a girl’s heart is harder to understand), he remembers how Minato came back to the house alone to take care of him and Junichi himself isn’t too fond of having somebody else in his house. But I guess he got used to it. That night, Sugishita takes Junichi out on a ride on his motorbike to a beach to have a manly talk with him. In a nutshell, just do it. In the end, Sugishita went off and leaves Junichi having to walk all the way home. Meanwhile, Yuuhi is seen sleeping at Karen’s house (of all places? Maybe it’s better than her own). As Junichi arrive home, he is confronted with his inner voice, which is his delinquent past, and they both have a confrontation. It’s like he fighting with himself. In the end, Junichi shouts out he loves Minato. I guess he has chosen, eh?
 
The next day in school, Junichi’s pals spot a different atmosphere around him and he wears a pair of gloves now as a seal for his other inner self. After school, Junichi bumps into Minato and he tells her that he loves her because he can’t live without her. With that, Minato is overcome with emotions and hugs him. Yay. Now they’re back together while all their other pals watches from afar in relief. Except for Karen who is more panic and shock now knowing that Junichi has chosen forbidden kind of love in the form of his sister. Sister complex lah. Later we see Nagomi burning all the files (supposedly on her observations on them) and Mitsuki comments that it must be hard. Another strange thing is that, that are 2 Nagomis! OMG! Perhaps a reason why she could appear in odd places at odd times? Back home, Junichi prepares to enter the bath with Minato in a swimsuit (is this what Junichi fantasized?) when Yuuhi busts in and decides to continue staying at their place to keep in check those immoral siblings as she kicks him underwater. Just like that? Maybe she don’t want to admit that she still isn’t giving up on Junichi. Meanwhile Junichi’s parents are seen holding up a file similar to the one Nagomi burnt as they’re having a friendly conversation with Yuuhi’s dad. They’re saying how Yuuhi isn’t going to give up and Junichi’s is an idiot as they give out a heartily laughter. Whatever it was, I guess they’re approving Junichi’s relationship.
 
Uh huh. That’s it? So much for an ending. I’m not saying that it is bad but it felt like a rush job. I also felt that it could’ve been done better. Throughout the whole series it’s always been pointed that Junichi is going to end up with Yuuhi. Arguing couples always end up together, right? Then towards the end, it suddenly turned out Junichi opts for his sister. I could understand that guy for his choice because obviously Junichi has been received a lot of pounding from Yuuhi ever since she arrived while Minato has always gently treated him with care. I don’t blame that guy for having a lethargic attitude because he has been constantly being screwed by his sadistic pals who seems to enjoy it and the beatings he received from Yuuhi. You can say he is one ‘tough’ guy. And I can’t believe Karen’s role didn’t take off in Junichi’s harem. Does that guy even know that rich girl likes him? It could’ve been ‘better’ with a threesome. Ah well, what can you expect from a short series.
 
I was rather disappointed with Nagomi’s character as I was really looking forward for more of her enigmatic character to be revealed. She turned out to be just a side character in the end and her narration of whatever trial upon Junichi was so mild. It didn’t turn out to be anything dramatic or whatsoever. So is she an alien or just a spy for Junichi’s parents or Mitsuki? And what about Junichi’s parents going on a world hopping mission? Was their short appearance meeting with Junichi was just to save him? I guess they show short several clips in each episode so that viewers won’t forget in the end who they are when they meet up with Junichi. Also, I wonder what happened to that short gay rivalry between Sugishita and Fuyuhiko. It would’ve been interesting to note that Junichi isn’t just attracting the girls. Or maybe those guys just want to have the exclusivity in screwing Junichi.
 
There is an OVA episode filler entitled Hardcore. Yeah, and I can guess by the name it means you can see the girls’ tits, butt shots, fanservice pose and ecchi stuffs. Everyone is invited to Karen’s private beach island for vacation, including Sugishita. You know what that means too. Girls in their swimsuit. You should see Minato and Tsukasa’s swimsuit. Some may say it’s a turn on and some a total violation. Except for mysterious Nagomi who dons a school swimsuit to ‘balance’ it up. Expect ecchi turn on situations like the girls changing into their swimsuits, rubbing sun tan here and there, skin to skin contact, oohhh… Then the usual Junichi teasing and calling him some immoral animal, Fuyuhiko a little upset because the girls seem to gather around him, the girls have fun in the water, the guys play volleyball, Junichi getting hit and blown away by Sugishita’s super serve, Nagomi thinks Junichi has swimsuit fetishes and forces Minato to wear school swimsuit back at home so the duo argue which leads to the other girls thinking that they are getting along pretty well. And unknown to them, the girls drank their drinks laced with unknown substances which makes them go daring. Oh yeah.
 
The fun part begins now. That night, Tsukasa approaches Junichi and tries to seduce him. She unzips his zippers with her mouth! YEOW! Embarrassed Junichi quickly runs away. Now notice this trend whenever Junichi meets a girl. Fuyuhiko narrates that girl’s statistics and other biodata, that girl narrates back her wishes while viewers get to see their ecchi pose and her stimulating licking/sucking a foodstuff, and Junichi snaps out from his daydream with a slightly perverted look. Too turn on! Junichi runs into the jungle and bumps into Karen. She also starts seducing him and unzips his zippers with her mouth! WOAH! As usual he runs away and the next girl is Mikoto Tachibana (another student council member). But before she could do anything, Junichi runs away when he sees Tsukasa and Karen coming. But he falls off the cliff. He opens his eyes to find himself on Aya’s lap. Same thing. Then it’s Mitsuki’s turn. See the pattern? Soon it’s Yuuhi and finally Minato. By that time all the girls have caught up to him. He can’t hold himself and is going to unleash his inner beast when Nagomi comes by to swiftly chop everyone unconscious. The next day, the girls are lamenting their bad dream while Junichi ponders it to be between heaven and hell at the same time. Sugishita is eating like a glutton and says how he’s going to train the guys up, sending shivers down their spine. Then things indicate it may be part of Mitsuki’s plan as she says how the effect may be too strong. Did she fell for her own trap? After the end credits, a short nonsensical Macross parody battle with Junichi’s Geno Killer mecha saving the world by sacrificing himself. But it turned out to be a dream. Lastly, since viewers didn’t get to see Nagomi during that Junichi seducing part, she does one now. As usual she ends it in an enigmatic way by saying "If you want to dream, go dream while you’re sleeping" and presents another Nagomi standing next to her. She sure is mysterious right till the end.
 
By now, I should have been able to identify the voice of Yuuhi which is Rie Kugimiya. She is the queen of tsundere and her voice definitely suits tsundere characters like Yuuhi. Her other tsundere roles include Shana of Shakugan No Shana, Nagi of Hayate No Gotoku and Louise of Zero No Tsukaima series. I guess the reason why many fans like it when Junichi chose Minato in the end because ever popular Aya Hirano voices her. That’s right. It’s that quirky voice of the self-proclaimed God character Haruhi Suzumiya from the series Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Still I couldn’t recognize her until I found out and was surprised. Other seiyuus include Wataru Hatano as Junichi (Yuuto in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu, Tomokazu in Yumeria), Akira Ishida as Fuyuhiko (Shin in NANA, Narumi in Gakuen Alice), Marina Inoue as Tsukasa (Tsukiumi of Sekirei, Kyoko of Skip Beat!), Emiri Katou as Karen (Kagami in Lucky Star), Rie Tanaka as Mitsuki (Suigin Tou in Rozen Maiden), Ryou Hirohashi as Nagomi (Tamaki of Bamboo Blade) and Rikiya Koyama as Sugishita (Kogarashi in Kamen No Maid Guy).
 
The opening theme, Hatsukoi Parachute, by Hashimoto Miyuki sounds like a generic pop song for a PC game turned anime series but it wasn’t so appealing to me. However, for a short series as this, there are 10 different ending themes! So much so, I can’t remember each one of them since each ending theme is different and are sung taking turns by the female casts of the series. Some are upbeat and some are slow ballad. The drawing, art and animation is catered as today’s bishoujo’s standard with the colouring and hue to be quite bright. But I have got to mention that the hairstyles of certain female characters are a little outrageous. Like Yuuhi and Mitsuki’s hairstyle seems to remind me of a bird because of how they spread wide open. And then Karen’s hair accessories resemble giant balls… On a trivial note, each of the episode titles are named after a colour (mainly scarlet), though I’m still wondering how is it related to that particular episode.
 
Sadly, I could say that this is one anime that is forgettable as what started out on a promising note, took a downturn towards the end. But still, there are some funny moments to remember like Yuuhi beating the crap out of Junichi (no, I’m not a sadist), Yuuhi’s tsundere personality (can’t get enough of it. So moe!), Yuuhi’s fear of giant octopus (any girl in an ecchi series should) and oh wait… Why is it all on Yuuhi? Okay, so I also prefer Minato because she looks cute and pretty (not because she was voiced by Aya Hirano, mind you). So would you choose a pre-arranged fiancee or a sister who isn’t blood related? Tough choice, isn’t it? And remember, don’t make a mountain out of a molehill especially rumours. For better or worse.
 

Akane-iro Ni Somaru Saka