Keitai Shoujo

July 18, 2008

Here’s another one of those pc dating simulation games which have been adapted into an anime series. Keitai Shoujo is more of an ONA and has only 6 episodes. Not only that, each episodes are only 5-6 minutes long. I know that these days the SMS have their own lingo and abbreviations but to adapt that ‘shortness’ in here as well?
 
So as one could have guessed from the name of this series, the theme must revolve around handphones, right? Yes. Handphones are inventions and a modern convenience that we all can’t live without today. Look at how it has evolved from a solid heavy piece of iron when it was first patented by Graham Bell (forgive me, I forgot the year) to something smaller than our palms which holds several versatile non phone-like functions like taking pics. Hmm… Wonder if you could call it a handphone anymore.
 
But besides that point, the main point of this story is about this main male protagonist, Hiro Aida. From the looks of it, it’s going to be some sort of a short harem love comedy anime, doesn’t it? Well, it is. As the short synopsis from Anime News Network states, that this Hiro guy gets to meet different girls in each episode who does normal things. So is there anything out of the ordinary here? Well, it also does mention how the only similarity is that each of the girls uses their handphone. See, we can’t really live without them these days.
 
Call 1 – Ichiru Mishima
We see an SMS message to wait at the usual family restaurant after club activities. While the other school girls are warming up for a run, Hiro is watching them and the SMS message reply goes "I got it, I’ll be waiting". Hiro’s friend, Keisuke Kotaka (your typical loudmouth other male side character) waves, calls and meets up with him. The girl’s run starts and soon ends. Keisuke is saying how Ichiru is so cool and asks if Hiro wants to go over. Hiro says he can if he wants. Keisuke then says is there any feelings and Hiro’s reply is that he was in the same class with Ichiru since junior high so he doesn’t feel anything now. That’s what they all say. Though Keisuke says that many people are interested in her, including himself. Ichiru spots them and waves. Keisuke energetically waves back but since Hiro isn’t waving back and walks away, that smile on Ichiru’s face turned upside down. So we know that this girl has some feelings for Hiro but that guy obviously doesn’t know about it. Childhood friend excuse.
 
At the family restaurant, Ichiru and Keisuke are having desert. While Keisuke is blabbing about stuffs, Ichiru has her usual sad expression on her face and pretending to listen to this chicken backside. She SMS why Hiro didn’t come and that guy SMS back that Keisuke looked interested in her and thus left them both alone. Hiro no baka! Back at her home, that’s what she said after reading that reply SMS. Okay, so it was just an unenergetic "Baka…".
 
The next day, Hiro is walking to school when Ichiru in her high spirits passes by and greets him. They had a little chat before she runs off and Hiro soon follows. Another SMS shown: "I’ll be waiting today". Ichiru is getting ready for the race when she spots Hiro, who is waving at her. I guess this is enough to lift her spirits and make her happy. She waves back energetically and seems pretty confident. So girl number 1. Nothing concrete yet. Will she just be happy loving him from a distance?
 
Call 2 – Sayo Tomoe
Hiro and Keisuke are walking downstairs and discussing some science fiction terms as Sayo walks by in an opposite direction. A couple of naughty boys are running and chasing each other. They accidentally bump into Sayo and made her fall off the stairs. Luckily, Keisuke grabs her in time. She stood up and whispered "Thank you". She seems quite shy. Keisuke introduces himself and guesses that she is a 2nd year and starts asking more questions about her (seems like an interrogation for a timid girl) but she just stood there silently. Finally she speaks up and says that he’s just a person she met today. While Keisuke is feeling happy and thinks this is fate, Sayo continues that she can’t give her personal info to people she has only met. She apologizes in a soft-spoken manner and leaves. Hiro is trying to withhold his laughter behind when Keisuke says that she’s not his type and walks away. Yeah, he probably scared her away. Remember, don’t talk to strangers. And Keisuke looks pretty strange… If you know what I mean.
 
Hiro receives and SMS: "How long are you going to take, Mishima is already here". He then comes out of the teacher’s room and SMS back that the homeroom teacher was lecturing him for a long time and he’s coming now. Hiro passes by to see Sayo outside in the rain, holding a wounded bird in her palms while sitting on the ground.
 
At the family restaurant, Hiro relates this to Keisuke and Ichiru and notes how sad she looked. They wonder who she is and don’t even know her name. Ichiru asks if Hiro is worried and the latter is taken aback a little but replies not really. Ichiru is looking a little worried. Why not, her crush is probably having feelings for a girl he just met. We then see Sayo coming out from the faculty room with a bird cage. That bird is now healed and Sayo seems happy. It’s evening and Hiro is on the school rooftop when he hears Sayo playing the piano while singing in the next building. He thinks of sending and SMS to Keisuke about her singing in the music room but decides not to and discards the message as he enjoys her music. Girl number 2. Showing some signs of interest here. Can’t blame Ichiru for being worried.
 
Call 3 – Miya Gotou
In the city, Miya is sending SMS to her pals when 2 guys show up and try to hit on her. Miya texts to her friends to go karaokeing but she’s being hit on. Hiro and Keisuke walking and talking when the former spots a girl in their school uniform ahead. Hiro asks if Keisuke knows her and he says a little and soon come to know that the 2 guys are hitting on her. "Those bastards… even though I haven’t gotten to do that yet…".
 
Anyway Miya asks if those guys have a car and they said yes and is parked nearby. Miya wants to go to the beach, in which they also agree but then she says she’ll go get a boat from a boathouse she knows. The guys are confused. Miya mentions her hobby is lure fishing and I’m pretty sure this isn’t what the guys had in mind. Though they said they haven’t done it before, Miya then suggests to go egging, which is interesting for beginners and starts to explain its terms and meanings to them. The guys then decide to ‘escape’ by making up an excuse that they had some previous engagement and thus can’t go anymore. After they left, Miya SMS: "They’ve stopped flirting with me. I’m going now, so tell me the place". She rushes off as Hiro and Keisuke watches her go by. Haha! That’s a pretty slick move to get guys off her back. Though during Miya’s conversation with the guys, she was texting to her pals at the same time. Though the subbers didn’t sub nor translate that part, I’m getting the feeling that Miya’s telling the entire situation and probably cursing and teasing how dumb those guys are while being hit on, to her buddies.
 
At school, Miya arrives at the Anime Study Group room. Keisuke greets her and says he’s been waiting for her as Miya smiles. Hiro receives an SMS from Keisuke how he has become friends with the girl who repelled those skirt chasers from the other day. Yeah, he’s planning on introducing her to Hiro soon, and asks him to relax. Hiro is smiling and says to himself what is it that should be so relieved about. Uh huh. Miya may pull the same trick on him. Thus girl number 3… Hey, Hiro has never even come into conversational contact of her. Is this possible in a potential harem anime?
 
Call 4 – Momoka Fujimiya
Momoka receives an SMS from Ami on why is she taking a road where she always gets pranked by those naughty kids and that she should’ve been faster if she had took Peach Fragrance Street. Momoka is outside Hiro’s house and later when Hiro leaves for school, a group of little kids zoom pass him. But those kids flip up Momoka’s skirt, revealing her kiddie bear panties. The brats tease and taunt her for wearing such a thing though Momoka says she likes it. So young and they have a potential to become perverts. Momoka yells back at them but they continue running away. She then realizes Hiro is watching it all from behind, gets embarrassed and runs away.
 
Momoka is replying through her SMS which says because the house of her senpai she’s interested in is on that road but decides to change that sentence of hers to tired of walking the same way every day and that it’s just for change. Well, the same thing happened again. Those brats flipped up her skirt and Hiro saw the whole incident once more. "Deja vu?". Got that right. In class, Keisuke is surprised and says out loud that Hiro managed to see Momoka exposed but luckily, Hiro manages to shut his big mouth. Keisuke then asks the place and time of when it happened and Hiro thinks he just wants to go see. True. Keisuke whips out a camera and says that if he doesn’t use it, it’ll be a waste. I think his entire life is a waste.
 
The next day, the mischievous kids are waiting their chance to flip Momoka’s skirt but Momoka is standing right behind them, catching them by surprise. As they run to escape, 1 of them tripped and bruises his knee. Momoka helps him up and Hiro spots her walking with that naughty bunch. At the park, she cleans up his wounds and politely tells them that they shouldn’t do such things. They understood and regretted their actions. She then puts a bear plaster on the wound and that boy thinks it’s cute. Momoko thinks so too and blushes as she feels happy. Hiro, yet again plays the role of a watching by-stander, smiles after witnessing the whole thing. Hiro then receives an SMS from Keisuke: "Why didn’t it come!!!". Well, that Keisuke pervert is seen sadly waiting at that spot where it’s supposed to happen but (un)fortunately, nothing happens. Wait there all you want. So girl number 4 admires Hiro (read: has a secret crush) and as usual, Hiro doesn’t show any obvious chemistry for her. Is her bear panties a turn on or turn off? Yeah, won’t be surprise if he prefers mature women. Unless he’s a lolicon…
 
Call 5 – Ayano Yamada
Ayano is coaching a member student at her archer club. Hiro, Keisuke and Ichiru are calling her handphone but she’s not picking it up. Hiro wonders if she has forgotten that they’re going home together and decides that he’ll go and call her. A club member informs Ayano that her handphone was ringing, surprising her. Hiro arrives at the clubroom and is being told by a member that Ayano is still here. He knocks the door and opens it, only to see Ayano changing. She gets embarrassed and mad. Like any natural reaction of a girl who’s modesty has been outraged, she slaps him while telling him to open only after he hears a proper answer. I can’t help but laugh at that funny sound Hiro made after being slapped.
 
The quartet are walking home and Keisuke and Ichiru thinks Hiro should treat them all to the family restaurant for that incident. As they argue, Ayano giggles, which caught their attention. Ayano says that she’s just thinking about how nice their relationship is. Hiro says it’s more like an undesirable yet inseparable relationship. Ayano just smiled.
 
Ayano SMS to Hiro that she’s got a match and suggests for them to come cheer her on. During match day, Ayano misses her target. I see, she needs Hiro’s presence to do well. Hiro soon arrives late and mentions to Keisuke that they found out he skipped cleaning. As the trio cheers Ayano on, Ayano hears Hiro’s voice. Hiro shows her a thumbs up and with that, Ayano gets her confidence back and hits the bullseye. Isn’t it amazing that all she needs is to see and hear him and that she’s like back on top.
 
Later at the library, Ayano picks out a book of poems when she receives an SMS about forgetting another promise again. It’s raining as she rushes outside the school gates to meet Hiro who tells her Ichiru and Keisuke have gone ahead first not too long ago. While walking, Ayano tells him about being engrossed in a book. She say some lines of a poem on rain. Hiro says he knows that one and is from Basho books but Ayano gives out a heartily laugh. Hiro wonders if he had said something weird but she says that it’s bad for it to be just the 2 of them and for them to hurry meet up with the rest. Ayano rushes ahead as Hiro catches up. So girl number 5, another classmate-cum-friend. Are we seeing any love chemistry patterns yet?
 
Call 6 – Epilogue
I thought I was being shortchanged when they start re-showing this episode as Sayo’s episode 2. Luckily, I stuck around and find out by the end of it, there are additional footage. I guess the story continues from there. It starts off with a message "Then Hiro comes across the cell phone girl, Rin. With Rin’s guidance, Hiro has woken up to true love. However at the cost of a visit that turned into a little farewell…".
 
At the park, Hiro is in a little panic, holding tiny Rin in his palms. Rin says that she’ll soon disappear but Hiro thought she’s going to disappear if he doesn’t get her. Since it’s Christmas Eve, he will confess now. Rin apologizes and says her lifespan’s a bit terminal, happiness of a cell phone girl matches the happiness of her owner and if Hiro becomes happy, that would be enough for her. Hiro still can’t believe that this is happening and pleads for her to stay with him till the end and watch him over. Rin mentions that the only thing left is for him to have the courage to confess. She apologizes once more and says she enjoyed the times with him. Rin points out that the person he loves has arrived and is waiting. Rin stars to glow and vanishes in a flash of light. Hiro can do nothing but wipe the tears from his eyes.
 
As Hiro walks towards the crowded area where people are seen counting down to light up the Christmas tree, he rushes upstairs and greets Sayo, who in return greets him. Hiro says he has something important to say to her and confesses that he loves her and wants to go out with her (so fast?! Probably time is running out. Haha). Sayo blushes and says that she loves him too and will be very happy to be with him. She takes his hand and continues saying "I love you" and he vows to stay by her side forever. The duo stare at each other next to the lit up Christmas tree.
 
End of call. Time to reload…
Okay, that little cell phone girl made a really short appearance here and I’m thinking, that of all the girls, Hiro chose that one? And when Rin disappeared, did he went to confess to the 2nd one he liked? So why Sayo? Let’s see… He can’t have feelings for Ichiru because they’re childhood friends. And according to anime rules and legends childhood friends must stay as childhood friends. Who am I kidding. I just made that up. But you know, if childhood friends were to fall in love with each other, it’ll get messy and complicated. Don’t want that to happen. Hiro too can’t choose Miya because of her two-faced character. She may be saying one thing upfront but meaning another thing behind on her handphone. Looks can be deceiving. He can’t choose Momoka because well… bear panties. That says it all. And obviously not Ayano. Why? Because she slapped him! Don’t want a violent women, doesn’t he? Be careful. She’s an archer and there’s a probability that she may strike his heart on the mark. So it all goes down to this safe bet, Sayo. She’s soft-spoken, kind to animals and plays great music. What more could a guy ask for?
 
Err… so my theory why he chose that twintail Sayo isn’t totally that accurate either. Well you see, I later found out that at the end of each of the first 5 episodes, there will be a poll that viewers can vote via SMS to see which girl Hiro wants to end up with. And the results of this poll will be shown in the 6th episode. So that explains why Sayo’s entire episode was initially shown. This also shows that many viewers seem to prefer Sayo as their main choice. Me? Well, urm… not that I have a particular girl in mind but if it goes down to just looks, in my humble opinion, I think Ayano looks is the prettiest among the lot.
 
In addition to my short research, I found out that the game synopsis is about girlfriend-less Hiro (he should’ve just opened his eyes a little wider. Man, 5 gorgeous girls have some sort of feelings for him and he doesn’t know it) who after downloading the cell phone girl Rin, is told that he has to get a girlfriend before Christmas or else Rin is unable to return to her own world and will forever vanish… along with his handphone. I have a sarcastic comment. Probably Hiro doesn’t want his expensive handphone to disappear… Hahaha. Just kidding. Since Hiro got a girlfriend at the end, I wonder will happen of Rin. But that doesn’t really matter.
 
The drawing, art and animation seems pretty standard and would cater to those bishie fans. The opening theme, Rensoku Jet sounds quite lively and upbeat while the ending theme, Mirai Angel sounds more like a video game dance song. Both themes are sung by the seiyuus of the 5 main girls. Speaking of the ending credits animation, I kinda notice that they show still pics of the girls, which I think are from the game. Except for the 6th episode, in which the end credit is in the middle after Sayo’s rerun episode and it shows several scenes in the other episodes in addition to the usual end credits.
 
I wonder if having such handphone convenience could lead to one having find true love. Well, probably in no time, a handphone will have this feature of love matching service. Oh wait, isn’t there such services already? Probably the hidden meaning the series is trying to portray here is that handphone and love have 1 thing in common. Communication. You can’t have good connections if one doesn’t have good communications, right? It’ll be better if one is a smooth operator. Signal is always clear and available and the batteries don’t die out as fast as they should. And my first love will always be anime… Argh! Can Rin please hook me up with a 3D girlfriend instead! Oh yeah, I probably need to download her from some website first. How much does it cost? Well, love should be priceless.
 
Keitai Shoujo