Good Morning Call

February 17, 2007

There’s a good reason why a one off OVA is short. Firstly, you don’t have to worry about if the plot ever thickens and what’s going to happen after that nor do you have to worry about keeping track about 1,000 names and personalities of each and every different character. But the bad thing is, if it’s too short and the story is damn good, you couldn’t help wish that the producers could have made a little more episodes on this series.
 
That’s the same case here with the OVA Good Morning Call. Yup, there is only 1 episode in this series. Just 1 episode. I’m not sure if I could even call it a series, but nevermind that. In addition, this OVA is only 20 minutes long. Yeah, I had that perception that if it’s gonna be 1 episode, heck it should at least be 30 minutes long.
 
Sometimes I can’t help wonder why producers make such a short series. Maybe the producer suddenly got that idea of something popping right out from his head. Then at the spur of the moment, he/she decides to make a series out of it. But unfortunately has no further materials/contents/substances to further contain or make it into a few episode series. Yeah, felt like they just dumped their whole idea into that 1 show and that’s it.
 
However, this show isn’t that bad afterall. Besides the short 1 episode reason why I decided to watch this show, another reason was because it’s a love comedy for teenagers (school life, that is) with some drama (not that much). Uh-huh, it’s like you 3-in-1, all cramped into 20 minutes of showtime.
 
So the show starts off with the two 15 year old protagonists, Nao Yoshikawa and Hisashi Uehara, both having a little ‘argument’ over the place that they’re gonna stay. Looks like they’re both surprised to find out that they’re gonna share the same room. But before anything could happen, due to some circumstances, the place has been closed down by the Akudoi manager, leaving them both in a lurch.
 
But I think they managed to get the place back again after they both had a discussion with the grandma landlady. Yeah, that grandma landlady is so short that even when you squat down, you still have to bend your head downwards to talk to her. Hahaha. Anyway, Nao then suggested to Hisashi that they both lived together. Hisashi was reluctant at first, but Nao put up her ‘pitiful’ act saying that she can’t afford to pay with her money and started to cry and that kind of stuff. Of course, which guy wouldn’t fall for that. Plus, Nao seems pretty and kawaii.
 
And so it begins, Nao’s life with Hisashi. From there on, the 2 became an official couple. Wow, that’s really fast, in terms of the storyline, that is. Yeah, Nao seems to like it. You know, getting all chibi and shy with that shrieky moe voice tone, "Ah… he’s staring at me…". *Eyes rolling*. Anyway, Hisashi’s 16th birthday is coming soon on 17th June and Nao plans on buying him a present.
 
Meanwhile, at their apartment, Yuri Uehara (I think it’s Hisashi’s sister) is having a little chat with Nao telling Nao how some hairstylist guy named Kenji Asai wants Nao to be his model for an upcoming Hair And Makeup Contest because of Nao’s beautiful hair. And that Yuri even had the cheek to say probably that Asai guy has a crush on her because Nao reminded him of his own girlfriend. Well, you could see that initial jealous reaction from Hisashi, though not that obvious (yeah, it seems he lost whatever RPG game he was playing maybe because he overheard their conversation).
 
Uh-huh, you could also see Nao getting that blushing, high pitch squeaky voice moe moe mode, as Yuri gives her Asai’s contact numbers. While Nao leaves the room to contact Asai, Hisashi then mentions about them meeting that Asai guy in the streets before. Yeah, some still shots of them meeting him. The way they show those flashbacks is like as though it’s shown before in some previous episode, but remember, this is the one and only episode.
 
Of course, Yuri gets up close to Hisashi and cheekily mentions that he may be a litle jealous of him already, which Hisashi denies. Hmmm… Hey, Yuri’s chibi face looks like Yukari’s chibi one of Paradise Kiss. Close. Hey, Hisashi lost another RPG battle there. You shouldn’t lose your concentration there, boy. And while the 2 argue, Nao’s already on the phone with Asai who’s glad that Nao’s accepted to be his model and wants to start practice soon next week after school.
 
So Nao checks her daily planner and decides to set a date on 7th June. The next day, Nao and Yuri went shopping. Uh… lots of that chibi chibi moe moe mode from the 2 as they try and love the clothes they put on. Girls will be girls. Heard of this joke? Some women’s mind is a complex one. Yeah, a shopping complex one. HAHAHA! Sorry, no offence intended. Because of that shopping syndrome, Nao later realized that she had forgotten to buy a present for Hisashi and looks like she’s spent quite a sum there.
 
While the 2 girls are talking over things while having some cake, we find out that Nao had previously asked Hisashi indirectly what he wanted for his birthday present. His answer… a personal computer. As though she could afford that. Of course not lah. Yuri suggests food, but Nao says that since it’s the first time they’ll be celebrating his birthday together, she wants everything to go perfectly well. Yuri then says if it’s a present from her, anything will make him happy. Then Nao gets into that chibi moe mode saying how embarrassing it was. I wonder what’s that girl thinking. Ahem ahem.
 
Meanwhile back at a convenience store where Hisashi works part time, he seems to be reluctantly hearing from his scatterbrain colleague Jun Abe about how the latter’s saving some money so that he could go on some date with a girl named Tsukasa. Uh-huh, some long distance love dating relationship. Just then, the store’s daughter, Nanako, comes in and asked Hisashi to come with her for awhile. Looks like Jun’s taken in by her beauty. That pervert.
 
In the storeroom, Nanako proceeds to give Hisashi his birthday present. Initially, she wanted to give him on his birthday tomorrow, which is the 7th of June, but Nanako’s thinking that he may be busy going out on a date with his girlfriend. Hey, wait a minute. Hisashi’s birthday’s on the 7th? I thought it was on the 17th? Well actually, Nao’s got it all mixed up in the first place. Anyway, Hisashi denies and says he’s got other jobs to do on that day. Then suddenly, Nanako gets into a chibi moe mode (reminds me of Miwako of Paradise Kiss) blabbing about the 3 most important lover’s events: Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, and birthday and that how Hisashi’s such a poor guy.
 
Yeah, I think that Nanako has some sort of a crush on Hisashi (though we won’t see it throughout the show) and chiding how could his girlfriend leave him alone on his birthday. Well, you shouldn’t poke your nose into other people’s businesses. Same thing with that Jun guy. Back at work, this guy seems to be telling Hisashi not to be shy and assuring him that Nao maybe planning a secret surprise preparation for him, making Hisashi blush. I wonder what that guy’s thinking.
 
On 7th June, Nao gets all dressed up and is going to the practice. Meanwhile, Hisashi who’s taking a walk, happens to meet that grandma landlady, who also like a ‘kay poh chi’ asking that today’s supposed to be a love-love birthday between him and Nao. I guess those 2 are really a hot couple. Everyone seems to know about them.
 
Hisashi returns back to his room, greatly anticipating a surprise from Nao but finds the place dark and Nao’s not in too. Thinking that Nao may still be springing a surprise he decides to wait. But he finds some signs that Nao may have gone out. Later that night as Nao returns, she asked him if he has eaten dinner, only to be given that cold stare. He then noticed Nao had put on some makeup and she told him that she went to see Asai to be his practice model. Hisashi then got up and just said he’s going to bed. That’s it. Nao must be wondering what’s going on. Why is Hisashi acting so strangely. Yeah, not only he’s jealous, he’s become cold too. And it’s gonna be like this for the next few scenes. Hisashi giving Nao the cold shoulder. I didn’t know guys were that picky if a girl forgets his birthday. Maybe a girl I would understand. But a guy?
 
The next day on her way to school, one of Nao’s classmates, Marina Konno, came up to her asking Nao about her love-love birthday with Hisashi. But Nao wasn’t quite sure who Marina’s refering to at first. And Nao couldn’t believe it when Marina told her it was Hisashi’s. Yeah, Marina even took out her ‘Nice Guy Data’ notebook (must be another one of those gossip queens or boyfriend desparate or matchmaker) and double checks it. Sorry Nao. You lost. Hahaha. That next ‘I-can’t-believe-it’ scene looks like from South Park.
 
Back at home, Nao apologized to Hisashi but told him that at least she still remembered his birthday, even though it’s on the wrong day. Hisashi isn’t too happy still and reply back that she couldn’t even remember her boyfriend’s birthday and on top of that, went out with another guy on his special day. I love the part and the grunt sound made by Nao as some hiragana words strike her stomach. Then Nao asked if he remembers her birthday. Hisashi quickly responds 7th July. Hehe. Yup, looks like their birthday is only 1 month apart. Shouldn’t be that hard to remember, right?
 
Nao wonders if Hisashi’s still mad at her, but he told her to forget about it since he didn’t expect anything (like real). He then grabs a couple of milk pudding from the fridge and starts to eat them. Nao thinks that maybe it’s his way of making up by eating milk pudding together. But as Nao’s gonna take it, Hisashi quickly grabs the second one and eats it himself. Shock! Yup, he’s still mad alright.
 
In Nao’s room, she’s thinking of what to give him as his present. Then later, while Hisashi’s playing his video game, Nao in her chibi moe mode (reminds me of Kare Kano now) says that her love to him is his present and then maybe a kiss, and then perhaps something. I think I know what this girl’s thinking. But Hisashi says to get him something else and hurry up, much to her dismay.
 
The next day, while Nao’s walking and still thinking what to get Hisashi, she stumbles across the place where she and Hisashi were ‘evicted’ from the Akudoi manager a year ago. Yeah, some flashbacks like we’ve never seen before but as though it was previously shown like them being a couple and such. Oh, and nice background music too, with all those strings playing. Gives out quite a good and suitable atmosphere. Then Nao spaces out when she remembers that little argument she had with Hisashi the previous night about that do you remember my birthday line.
 
Back at the convenience store, Jun’s ‘irritating’ Hisashi with that ‘I-know-you-gave-her-a-kiss-for-your-birthday’. Seems that Hisashi’s not to fond of it either. Jun then says Nao’s gonna see that Asai guy again today and wonders if it’s dangerous because Nao looks like his girlfriend, which means that she’s his type. While Jun’s still blabbing about love snatching and such, Hisashi looked a little spaced out before telling Jun that he’s good enough to take care of the store and leaves. See, next time you should just keep your big mouth shut. But in a way, I guess Hisashi realized things.
 
Meanwhile, Nao and Asai are having a walk together at a park. Hisashi’s really rushing there. We find out that Nao decides to tell Asai that she doesn’t want to be his cut model anymore because she doesn’t want to have any disagreements with Hisashi. Asai said he undersood and how she reminded him of his girlfriend. Yup, seems that Asai fellow longs to see his girl too. But he mentions that she’s faraway in Kyoto.
 
At the same time, a short chubby girl (looks pretty rather than your typical fat ugly girl) seems to be lost when Hisahi bumps into her. But before Hisahi could leave, she asked him if he could show her the way to the salon. Too bad, Hisashi even has to take her there, since she got lost since this morning. That’s a pretty long time. Hey, maybe that’s why she got lost, that name card has no address and has only the salon’s name (maybe it was behind the card. I dunno, that’s what I saw).
 
Before you know it, Hisashi guessed that she must be Asai’s girlfriend. She then got into that chibi moe mode, blusing and embarrassed. Reminds you how similar she is to Nao, huh. Call it fate or because the show’s near the end, Nao and Asai came walking by and saw the 2. The girl, Haruhi, gets very happy to see Asai again and in tears rushed to hug him. Same with Asai. As those 2 embraced, Nao and Hisashi decides to leave them alone. Ah by the way, nice guitar pluckings in the background music.
 
While Nao and Hisashi were walking together, Hisashi told her how Haruhi’s running away from some arranged marriage and Nao telling him how Asai decides to quit his job after the next contest and be with his girlfriend. Then Nao apologized to Hisashi for getting his birthday all wrong. Hisashi asked if she had given him any presents. Nao says not yet. And as expected, Hisashi took Nao by her hands and kissed her. Looks like that makes up for the present.
 
The 2 walked home hand in hand happily. A happy ending? Not quite. Back at home, Hisashi’s wondering where his milk pudding has gone too when Nao said she ate it. He then asked her why didn’t she buy more. She replied because she has some meat left. And he said that meat is even his! Oh boy. I didn’t know this guy is so possessive, and wants everything. Kiasu betul. Now at least we know his true colours. And I thought guys don’t have this kind of ‘problem’. Nao becareful. A last message from Nao saying "Ha… From now on it’s gonna be trouble…". Yeah, so true.
 
Overall, this anime is quite funny (I love those chibi moe mode parts) and okay to me with some nice background musics here and there. Though this anime shows the name of the characters when it first introduces them, I felt that it was just a short lived thing. Yeah, with a few characters, it’s a sad thing that it’s just one episode. Not much character development for the other characters.
 
Plus, I also found out later that this OVA was based on a very small part of a manga of the same name, which is supposed to be quite popular too. Now this explains all those flashbacks and other things. Maybe the producers felt that the manga version is still better and one should go read it if one is interested in the development of the other characters, crushes and love triangles of other characters on Nao and Hisashi.
 
Though the characters here seems pretty and handsome, typical to your teenager bishies, I find the colouring a little old and dull. Probably this is quite an ‘old’ production (year 2001, that is. That’s a pretty long time in anime years) and since it’s only 1 episode, why put so much time and effort on the finishing touches. So if you love very short teenage romance with a happy ending, then you should try this one out.