Akane Maniax

October 14, 2006

This is some sort of a sequel spin-off to the anime Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien. True to the OVA format, Akane Maniax has only 3 episodes worth approximately 30 minutes of love, drama, suspense and comedy. Okay, maybe not so heavy in those areas, just a bit here and there. Hey, what do you expect from a series that has only 3 episodes. Not much right? But I figured that it was okay since it’s short and doesn’t take too much time. I mean, that’s what OVAs are for too, right? To explain further subsequent events or to tie up certain things. Something like that.
 
So for this particular series, it focuses more on Haruka’s little sister, Akane Suzumiya. Also, the setting is set after the events of what happened at the end of its predecessor series, whereby Haruka and Takayuki broke up and the latter finally goes out with Mitsuki, who’s also Haruka’s best friend. Akane’s now all growned up and attending high school at Hakuryo High.
 
As seen in episode 1, we are introduced to some wild guy named Jouji Gouda. Yeah, he’s the new transfer student at the said high school. Arriving and is all psyched up to beat the crap out of the school’s baseball team. Something like, he wants to take over Japan through baseball kinda thing. But it sounded like a ridculous plan to me. Anyhow, he successfully beats everyone up including the coach. Just before the coach passes out, he told Gouda that he’ll never do so because he’s already a 3rd year student. Shock for Gouda! Yup, he didn’t realized it too and fell into some sort of depression.
 
His whole new classmates must have thought that he’s got many screw lose and wires crossed when they heard his introduction-cum-explanation story. Well, all this gloom is suddenly lifted when his homeroom teacher, Yuuko Kouzuki, asked the class rep, which is Akane, to help him to his seat. And when Gouda laid his eyes on her, it was like instant joy like totally falling in love with her at first sight. Yeah, you’ll see Gouda’s wild imagination and fantasies of her here and there, usually lovey-dovey kind, which is so contrasting to reality.
 
But the thing is, Gouda immediately proposes to Akane to marry him! Wah… So fast! And poor Akane couldn’t help feel embarrassed. Of course, she hit him away, as she’s not interested in that kind of relationship. Who could really blame her? After what happened to her sister and Takayuki. Though she forgave him, but I guess that event left some sort of a scar in her heart and made her think real deep. Furthermore, she got an SMS from Takayuki asking her to congratulate Haruka’s release from hospital. She must be feeling down and confused.
 
Unfortunately, Gouda came at the wrong time. Yeah, though he offered his umbrella but he went on to brag about love and that kind of stuff. This made Akane felt uneasy and she didn’t stay to entertain him, thus ran away. Gouda is confused over what happened. Did he say something wrong? Well, you should’ve guessed from her facial expression and body language that something’s wrong with her, pal.
 
So the next day, he asked Kouzuki for some advice on how to get a girlfriend. From the first time I saw Kouzuki, I knew that she was the scheming kind. Plus the way she dresses is way too sexy for a homeroom teacher. Anyway, she then asked Akane to take Gouda on a school tour, which Akane is quite reluctant of. But since Kouzuki said so, I guess she has got no choice. Uh-huh, Gouda’s daydreaming about being with Akane. He’s so happy that she’s giving him the tour. Until he caught a glimpse and said something about that tree. Remember that tree which started it all in Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien? I guess at that point Akane has had it with Gouda and stops the tour completely, walking away. Another wrong thing he said? I guess he’s left a bad impression of himself as hot-headed, annoying and simple-minded, huh.
 
But Gouda’s real stubborn, he’s determined to try again. He gate-crashes a meeting for the upcoming school cultural festival. I’m not sure what all that blabbing Gouda said, but eventually he said something like in order for the cultural festival to be successful, it should be renamed as The Akane Festival. Oh-oh. This even embarrassed Akane even further. So she and her best pal, Chizuru Sakaki giave him a good whack. And Akane’s determined to transfer Gouda to Chizuru’s class to get rid of him.
 
By the way, I wonder what’s that ‘match’ between Kouzuki and Marimo Shinguuji all about. Yeah, it’s during that cultural festival planning meeting. There’s some disagreement and Kouzuki challenged Marimo by showing her breasts. And because hers was bigger and Marimo’s low self-esteem, the latter backed down. What the?!
 
In episode 2, Gouda’s been transferred to Chizuru’s class. There’s a gloomy and evil aura around Gouda and as it gets bigger the rest of his classmates around him just quickly move away. This part so funny lah. Then he has another one of those visions (or rather illusions) where there’re multiples of himself discussing things and something like how this Gouda will die and a new Mk-II version will arise. And soon, he’s all hyped up again and the gloominess just disappears. Scary guy.
 
So his next ‘attempt’ sees how he tries to join the swimming club which Akane is in. Without thinking, he dives into the pool. Thing is, he can’t swim. *Smack*. However, Akane can’t just let somebody drown and has to jump in to rescue him. And after Gouda comes to, he was slapped by Akane for doing something stupid. Serves him right. Then there’s talk about how Akane scorns Gouda not being truly 100% devoted to his baseball club so how could he do so for the swimming club. But Gouda replied and said something like though he loves them both, he can only do 1 at a time and for the time being his basball interests is taking a back seat for now. Akane could’nt answer back. She just walked away.
 
Also, we get to see Gouda’s mecha battle fantasy. Yeah, it’s your typical good versus evil, with Gouda being the good guy and that Takayuki look-a-like, King Iresoryu, the baddie (he’s got 2 ladies flanking him too). And usually King Iresoryu has taken Akane hostage and it’s up to Gouda to rescue her. So there’s lots of that exaggerated mecha action. Will Gouda rescue his beloved Akane? Since it’s his dream, I suppose he will. But not just yet. It’s too early still.
 
Back to reality, Gouda relentlessly practices swimming. He seems to be putting a lot of effort into it and Akane seems to be noticing all of it. Once Gouda finished his rounds, he saw Akane observing him and they both had that usual talk. Seems at this point, Gouda has said the right things. About believing in oneself and doing the best one can. I guess even idiots like him have their up days. This made Akane realized and she couldn’t hold back her tears as she cried on Gouda’s chest. Much to Gouda’s surprise. Has Akane finally accepted Gouda? Is this the moment that Gouda’ve been waiting for? But he doesn’t seem to be enjoying it like in his fantasies, as he tries to comfort her.
 
By the end of this episode, we have that short cameo appearance of Ayu-Mayu in chibi form. Uh-huh, the chibi form of Akane and Chizuru was hogging the spotlight talking to viewers when Ayu-Mayu came barging in. Ayu’s still that arrogant loud-mouth brat while Mayu doesn’t seem innocent anymore, supproting Ayu’s actions, though she didn’t do any violent actions. And what’s with that machine-gun-shooting-and-taking-over-the-world-thing? Didn’t get it but it was funny.
 
Episode 3 begins with Akane having some weird dream about herself and Takayuki. Yup, some guilty conscience thing about the way she treated Takayuki and things like that. Then there’s a part where it’s said that Akane has some feelings for Takayuki? Huh? Did she? Don’t know. Eventually, she woke up in cold sweat and crying. I felt pity for her.
 
So in school, the cultural festival has begun and Gouda seems to be doing some yakisoba frying. Of course, his usual daydreaming fantasies of Akane is the fuel for his motivation. Yeah, then in his mecha fantasy he finally won, manage to rescue Akane and gave some advice to King Iresoryu and even the latter gave up (due to some complaints from his flanking girlfriends that this was too long and they wanna go home) with a smile. And what’s with that Kouzuki doing some strip-teasing thingy. Yeah, she’s dressed all sexy and letting perverted photographers snapping away happily. But I guess she won the school cultural festival contest that way.
 
Gouda finally gets to here that whole Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien story from Akane when they both meet at that tree at the end of the day. Must be nostalgic for Akane. At least now Gouda has heard the whole story. Still he manages to say the right words, in a way impressing and comforting Akane. Then Akane finally confessed that she was starting to like him. Before she could finish, Gouda is getting all excited and having his usual fantasy too.
 
But she dropped the bombshell. As she wasn’t sure of her feelings between Gouda and Takayuki she decided just to be friends. DOUBLE TRIPLE SHOCK for Gouda!!! He can’t believe he’s hearing it. He’s being dumped, I think. And we hear how Akane wants to go the America to further her studies and stuffs like that. As Akane left, a shocked Gouda sat there until the next day. Poor guy.
 
So the next day arrives, Gouda’s feeling really really depressed as he trudged to school. But this is the surprising part. His gloominess is lifted when he saw another cute girl (another classmate of his) passing by. Suddenly he got over Akane. What the? Talk about sudden change of heart. However, all this came to an end when Gouda found out that that girl already has a boyfriend (another one of his classmates) as is all lovey-dovey with him. Ah well, depressed again.
 
A limo pulls up in front of Gouda then. A sword wielding lady, Meia, invites Gouda to join her and soon his troubles will be over. And this Gouda suddenly fell in love with her at first sight. And in no time, he got into the limo and off they go, wherever that is and whatever they’re doing.
 
The next day, Akane and her classmates were talking about Gouda’s sudden transfer without saying anything. Like he was here just a while and now he’s gone. Like it’s all too soon and happening too fast. But Akane remarked and said "He’s the worst", smiling. Probably she’s happy for him. Though I thought that she’d be happier when he’s gone, but I kinda get the feeling that it wasn’t so.
 
Then the last part of the episodes show the characters of the series in chibi form receiving some contract from the producers and crew. Then the whole cast of Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien barges in, led by Ayu, starts whacking everybody. Even the innocent Mayu has changed! Yeah, she’s evil now, whacking everyone too. Whoa! It’s a really bloody scene at the end. All the Akane Maniax characters are down and we see Ayu saying something like ‘give us back our roles’ and the end a sentence popped up on the screen saying "is this sanity?". What does it all mean? I didn’t get the mindless violence. But it was so bloody funny (mind the pun) that it doesn’t really matter.
 
Overall, this whole OVA felt rather okay. Though it wasn’t a fairytale ending nor the Gouda-Akane relationship didn’t work out eventually, but I felt that it was the right way to end it all. Probably the storyline wasn’t really that much since it was so short as it was more on Akane’s conscience and Gouda’s attempt to win Akane’s heart. Drawing and animation wise, it’s also okay. It’s your typical anime drawing.
 
Since I’m not a big fan of mechas, I felt that many of Gouda’s mecha fantasies were just fillers. And the other characters in the series too, there weren’t much character development (that’s because it’s only 3 episodes long and besides as I’ve said it focused more on Akane and Gouda), most of them I see them as side roles only. If not for the Ayu-Mayu cameo appearance, probably I wouldn’t enjoy reminiscing about the series, since even the predecessor series was quite gloomy. At least this was less gloomy and more light-hearted as compared to it.
 
Good thing Akane’s happy and know what she wants now. And as for Gouda, he’s still an idiot the way I see it. But that’s his character. Can’t help it, can’t you. Just that I hope he doesn’t fall in love at first sight with the first girl he sees everytime he’s being dumped. Can’t go on living like this, can’t you? Or wait, maybe in his case, he could.