Futakoi

October 7, 2006

You’re not having double visions here when you’re watching Futakoi. Yup, there’s really nothing wrong with your eyes or ears. You’re just gonna hear and see double that’s all. Yeah, so you could say that this anime has twice the romance, love, and fun, literally. However, it isn’t twice that long, as it’s that usual 21-24 minutes and spanning 13 episodes only.
 
To kick things off, we have this guy, Nozomu Futami, who’s returning to the town where he once used to live when he was young. In addition, his mom has passed away some time ago and his dad has been transferred to work overseas in Hawaii. And since Nozomu didn’t want to follow his dad, he decided to move back to this town. But this town is a bit different. In the sense that there’re quite a number of twins here. And Nozomu is gonna meet a few of them.
 
So the first twins he’ll meet are the Sakurazuki twins, Kira and Yura. I want to note that though these 2 are from a really really wealthy family, they seem naive of the outside world. Yeah, I guess that they’ve been locked up in their home for so long that everything whatever normal people does seems to be a real challenge to them, like taking an escalator. *Smack*. So their dad (who’s overseas and we don’t ever get to see his face) gives the 2 some sort of ‘tests’. Yeah, test number xx, do this, test number xx, do that. And they’ve got a protective old butler, Kenmochi, to guide them.
 
As in episode 1, Nozomu ran into the Sakurazuki twins at some convenience store. The twins dropped their purse and Nozomu proceed to pick it up to return it to them. Only thing is that the twins thought at first he was a pick pocket. And so Kenmochi sprung into action to stop Nozomu. Since Nozomu didn’t know what’s really going on, he left their purse at the cash counter and just got out of there. Later, the twins realize that it was their mistake and his intentions were sincere.
 
Meanwhile, Nozomu still fresh over that incident, manages to find the place he’s gonna stay, some sort of temple shrine. And the shrine owner, Miyabi Higaniku greets him upon his arrival. Well, actually Nozomu meets another set of twins when he arrived. This time Lala and Lulu, Miyabi’s twin kindergarten daughters and they seem to like Nozomu once they get to know him. You’d probably guess that their love is the innocent type. Uh-huh, they even said they’d both want to marry him once they’ve grown up. Plus, they have a goat named Billy. It doesn’t seem to like Nozomu that much, causing and giving him lots of trouble (usually kicking his belly). And Nozomu seems to tolerate it well. To make things worse, Lala and Lulu thought that they’re both getting along well! Ah, a different display kind of love.
 
Also the usual stuffs such as Nozomu needs to enrol in the local school. And which leading male cast would be complete without his supporting male buddy. Yup, Keisuke Kosaka recognized his old pal when they meet. Must be such a long time, huh? Plus, he finally gets to see his childhood friends Kaoruko and Sumireko Ichijou (yup, another set of twins) all growned up. Yeah, he previously thought that Lala and Lulu were them at first. But they’re glad that Nozomu’s back. Hey, what do you know, the Sakurazukis too are also new transfer students in Nozomu’s class. Mere coincidence?
 
Even Nozomu’s homeroom teacher is a twin herself. Yup, Ai Momoi is Nozomu’s homeroom teacher, whereas Mai is the school’s infirmary nurse. They seem pretty young to be teachers for their age don’t you think. Ah, maybe I need to get my eyes checked. Nope, just kidding.
 
By the way, you’ll also find out just as Nozomu, that the Ichijou twins has a secret fan club and the twins doesn’t really know of their existence. Led by Gonda (who looks like a typical bully) and a few club members, they sort of worship the Ichijous and are obssessed with them (all in secrecy and behind the twins’ backs of course). Also, they wouldn’t hesistate to threaten or pound any other guys who gets close to them. Yeah, even Nozomu’s got a warning from them already.
 
So in episode 2, Nozomu’s really in a pinch. He meets the Ichijous and the Sakurazukis at some shopping complex where Nozomu and the Ichijous once used to play while they were young. At the same time, Gonda and his gang are there too. So it’s really quite funny to see Nozomu trying to avoid being seen together with the Ichijous. A lot of near misses, though, but he manages to get by. By the episode’s end, the Ichijous and Sakurazukis became good friends with each other. Much to Nozomu’s relieve. Oh yeah, from time to time we’ll get to see flashbacks of Nozomu and Ichijou when they’re young and what they did. Must be nostalgic for them.
 
In episode 3, we see how incapable (perhaps useless is a very degratory term) the Sakurazakis are. They along with the Ichijous decide to bake apple pies for their dear Nozomu. You must’ve guessed it by now that those 2 set of twins have a crush on Nozomu. Ah well, the Sakurazakis really did mess up the whole work station, being overbaked and burned, things like that. But this doesn’t stop them from trying their best. And poor Kosaka, he really wanted to taste just anyone of those twins’ baked apple pies, but they said they’d reserved it all for Nozomu. Too bad.
 
Meanwhile, Nozomu learns about the legendary Curse of the Twins. There’s a Twins Mould near the shrine where Nozomu’s residing and Miyabi’s just telling him about it. Something about long ago there were 2 ladies, both twins, who fell in love with the same guy. Since they were so torn and worried that which one of them he’ll end up with, they turned into birds and flew away. So this mould is to commemorate that. I’m pretty much guessing it’ll turn out the same way for Nozomu and those twins. Except that they won’t be turning into birds.
 
I felt that episode 4 is just another opportunity for Nozomu to encounter another set of twins. Billy has fallen ill. So a concerned Lala and Lulu along with Nozomu took Billy to a nearby vet for a check-up. Unfortunately the vetinarian was out except for his shy twin daughters, Koi and Ui Chigusa. I felt that this episode is the only one throughout the entire series in which these twins played a part, albeit not that prominent one.
 
The Chigusa twins try to handle things while their dad’s out. Well, it’s all smooth sailing treating Billy until a blackout occurs, then those door to those animal cages opened. What’s so bad about animals on the loose in the building? Er… unless it’s a… CROCODILE!!! Luckily, eventually it’s a baby croc, so it didn’t pose much danger. And by the end, you’ve guessed it, the Chigusas too have a soft spot for Nozomu’s kindness. But like I’ve said, this is their only ‘prominent’ episode, therefore there won’t be any ‘chasing after his affections’ kinda situation.
 
More of that usual flashbacks between Nozomu and the Ichijous during their younger years in episode 5. When Billy ate Nozomu’s school notes, Nozomu had no choice but to go over to the Ichijou’s home to copy them. This really gave a whole new meaning to ‘my goat ate my homework’. It’s here as well that Nozomu will learn more about the sisters and we see that Nozomu is some sort of an astrologer wanna-be. Yeah, he seems quite familiar with the stars in the sky and knows how to use the telescope.
 
The gang takes a trip to the beach in episode 6. Here, Nozomu meets another old pal, Yuuya Hiyama. Most probably this is the start of the turning point in the series. As Yuuya is planning to be some aeronautics expert, he also plans to confess his long time love to Kaoruko. And after Nozomu hears this, throughout the series he has this sort of hesistant, unsure, torn, indecisive feeling about it. To me, I think he’s jealous and selfish in a way. Yeah, even if he and the Ichijous were just friends, the thought that he wants to keep them for himself (eventhough he didn’t mention it, but I felt it was like that through his body language) and doesn’t like other guys to confess their feelings to them, is just despicable. And he’s gonna act all weird whenever he is around them. And the Ichijous will be wondering if they did something wrong (of course they didn’t) and will be worried about him. Dumb guy.
 
The Sakurazukis invite Nozomu and his pals to their summer villa. Boy, it’s a really really really large mansion. And with so many butlers and maids to take care of things, no wonder the Sakurazukis don’t have to lift a finger. Here, the gang have some sumptuous meal, do some fishing, and all sort of fun stuffs. And that Kenmochi is really concerned for the Sakurazakis but Miyabi assures him that everything will be all right. She’s so relaxed. Also, they played some hide and seek in one of the mansion floors.
 
Nozomu stumbled upon a forbidden room, which is supposedly the Sakurazuki’s deceased mom’s room. Brings back memories too, huh. It is here too that the Sakurazuki’s confessed their feelings to Nozomu that they really like him. Now he’s got several ‘love problems’ and they’re double because they come in sets of twins. I wonder if such situation could be considered a harem too. Hehehe. Anyway, Nozomu’s now pretty torn between the Ichijous and Sakurazukis. Yeah, he can’t decide either. What a guy.
 
Well, episode 8 and 9, takes a little breather from that for a while, as Nozomu encounter another set of twins. This time, Nozomu spots a fraile looking girl, Souju Shirogane sketching near the Twins Mould. Okay, to save time, she also likes Nozomu and also has a sketch of him. And she has some sort of incurable illness and couldn’t stay long. But then her twin sister, Sara, seems to be a total opposite of Souju. Yeah, she’s the tough girl type. She boldly told Nozomu to cut all ties with the other girls and go date with Souju, since she thought it as her last wish. Wah… can like that one ah? And she despises him if she sees him with any other girls.
 
Somehow Nozomu manages to cope with Sara’s pressure. I mean, it’s not like he went on an outright date with Souju. Since at the same time his school is organizing some cultural festival, both the twins along with the other twins participated in it as well. The funny part is one magic show conducted by the Ichijous where they’d ‘transfer’ a girl from 1 box to another. Yeah, a simple trick, just put the 2 twins in each box. During the process, as usual Sara spots Nozomu with another girl and stood up and told him that usual stuff. Oops… I guess the people saw through their act. Must be real embarrassing. Eventhough the magic show was a failure, the audience had a good time laughing. I guess that’s not so bad. In the end, both Souju and Sara had to leave. But they promise that they’ll return again once Souju is much better.
 
Okay, back to that Nozomu’s strange spacing-out-whenever-Yuuya-mentions-about-Kaoruko. Uh-huh, it’s that feeling again in episode 10, as Yuuya told him that he plans to confess to Kaoruko during Christmas Eve. What’s he so worried about? He’s even got to out dinner at some fancy restaurant with the Sakurazukis, Kosaka, and Sumireko. Oh wait, Kaoruko’s not there? Probably that’s why he’s worried. She must be with Yuuya now. Yeah, that guy set up some meeting so he could confess. Nothing wrong with that, except that fact that Nozomu’s act is really getting to me.
 
Eventually, Yuuya manages to confess to Kaoruko. But Kaoruko turned him down, saying that she isn’t ready for such relationship yet. I think she has her heart with some indecisive guy (you know who lah). But Yuuya isn’t just willing to give up yet. He’ll be waiting until she’s ready.
 
Remember that secret club of the Ichijous? Yeah, Gonda and Yuuya had a face-off in episode 11. It’s the New Year and the gang are making their usual prayers at the shrine. So happens that Gonda found out that Yuuya has been seeing Kaoruko and wants to teach him a lesson (a fight, that is). If Gonda wins, Yuuya must stop seeing Kaoruko forever. If Yuuya wins, then he would continue to see Kaoruko without any hindrance. Sure, no problem. Unfortunately, Gonda lost. Nozomu who just got there tried to explain that Yuuya had taken some self-defence class and that’s probably why he lost.
 
Then this part is where it made Nozomu realized everything (hopefully). Yeah, Gonda explained that eventhough he and the other members will never be the Ichijous’ type, but just the mere sight of seeing them smile and be happy is enough for them. That’s why they wanted to protect that from everybody else who’ll take that away. Wah… Even a guy like Gonda can say such meaningful things. I guess this really woke up Nozomu. Yeah, he realized that even those Ichijou’s secret club were true to their feelings and he hasn’t all this while. And because of that, he didn’t notice the kindness of the Sakurazukis towards him until it’s too late. And he kept saying "I’m the worst". Yeah, you are pal.
 
Why? That’s because in episode 12, Kenmochi decides to transfer the Sakurazukis back to their former school, thus not allowing them to attend their current school at all, much to the Sakurazukis’ dismay. No matter how much they beg, Kenmochi seem steadfast in his decision. Furthermore, Valentine’s Day is approaching. And that Kosaka’s daydreaming how he wants to taste those chocolates made by the Ichijous and Sakurazukis so badly.
 
Anyway, just before the Sakurazukis are about to leave forever, they decided to see Nozomu just after school has finished and meet him outside the school gates to give him their home made chocolates they made during their ‘curfew’. Unfortunately, as they were to approach Nozomu, the Ichijous arrived first and gave theirs to him. All of a sudden, they have that ‘pain in their heart’ feeling. Could it be? And after the Ichijous left, they hurriedly manage to catch Nozomu and eventually confessing their feelings, saying that they wouldn’t lose to the Ichijous’ feelings. Shock for Nozomu. Now the real competition’s brewing. And that Nozomu guy now is more torn than ever. Seems like the Curse of the Twins is taking place. Speaking of which, the Ichijous too were recently quarelling among each other over Nozomu, when they realized about the curse then.
 
So in the final episode, we see how Nozomu races on his bicycle and chased after the limo that Kenmochi is driving the Sakurazukis in. What sheer determination he’s got. Yeah, he wants to try and stop him from transferring the Sakurazukis to another school. So it’s decided, he wants to be with them too. To cut things short, Nozomu manage to catch up with him and at the same time, his other classmates also appear to support him and begged for the Sakurazukis’ to stay on.
 
And when all seems hopeless after much persuasion, suddenly Kenmochi announced that the Sakurazukis has passed the final test set by their father, that is to make many friends. Phew. Yahoo! And everybody’s glad and relieved that things turned out this way.
 
In the final scene, we see the whole gang celebrating after finishing their exams. Funny thing is, how come those who attend are those main characters and what happened to their classmates? Even Gonda and his members are there. Yeah, he’s crying and sad that since now he’s graduated, he won’t be able to see the Ichijous’ smile. Awww. Hey, the Shirogane twins came back just for this party. Yeah, all the set of twins Nozomu met are there. And Billy’s still kicking Nozomu in the belly. Still can’t get used to him, huh. Well, Yuuya, he’s still there, still not giving up on Kaoruko. But this time, Nozomu seems to handle the situation better. And they all have 1 big photo group shot. The end.
 
In conclusion, I guess that this anime is just okay. Just your typical teenage love triangle-romance story and nothing really going overboard. Yup, no hentai scenes here. What do you expect? Even the animation and art seems ‘innocent’. Though there’re only 6 sets of twins total appearing in the series (you could’ve guessed them from the opening credits), only the Ichijous and Sakurazukis made an impact on the series. The rest were just like filling to make up for the numbers.
 
In addition, I had a hard time trying to distinguish the twins from each other. To me, they look and sound the same eventhough they wore different coloured accessories. So I was like going "er… is that Sumireko or Kaoruko… or wait… isn’t that Yura… perhaps it’s Kira…". Eventually I figured out that it must be that person lah, since the other twin mentioned the other’s name. Maybe I should have my eyes and ears checked.
 
And just like in most guy’s cases, where there’s a harem or rather several girls in love with him, he manage to stay away and avoid from choosing which ones he wants to be with. I guess that’s why men are afraid of commitment, huh? But I’m glad they’re all good friends and happy in the end.
 
PS: If they ever make another season, maybe they’ll put in a shocking storyline like the sudden appearance of Nozomu’s long lost twin brother. With him, there’ll be lots of mixed up and confused love triangles. Hahaha… Just made that up only lah. Not like anything like that would ever happen, unless I’m the writer (yeah, right).