If you are tired of watching very long drama series about love because of the time taken to build up the relationship and all the obstacles and problems that come with it, maybe it is time to take a break and watch a short anime about love. If you are still interested in romance genres anyway. Koitabi: True Tours Nanto may be a short anime special with only 6 episodes lasting 7 minutes each and divided into 3 different arcs (read that as 3 different short love stories), but it isn’t anything complicated and just straightforward. About love relationship of the characters in each arc, of course. So don’t expect this to be something great and grand. Just consider this like an appetizer or a break before the next heavy main course.

Youji & Chiaki

Episode 1
Youji Sugawa has been dating Chiaki Ousawa for 5 years and he thinks he wants out. They aren’t the lovey-dovey type too as you can see from their interactions like as though they are stretching and putting up with this. After visiting Buddhism exhibition, Youji mentions he has made up his mind to transfer his job near the beach since he was raised in the mountains. You know what this means, right? And with Chiaki saying she cannot handle long distance relationship, he is surprised that she agrees to breaking up. That is when he thought he has never looked it things from her perspective. Since they are going to break up, they go on a last date at Toyama, the place where they first dated. Well, she doesn’t look too enthusiastic. He compliments her as beautiful after noticing she puts on a little makeup. It made her a little embarrassed. At an outdoor stage, Youji imagines he is like Romeo asking for Juliet’s hand in marriage. He suggests they hold hands while walking together since this is going to be the last time.

Episode 2
Chiaki although has decided to break up with him, she still loves him. She is amazed at the festival parade. Then he temporarily leaves her to go get something. This has her thinking how his selfishness of running off on his own always made her feel being left behind. Remembering that break up talk, what she actually wanted was for him to ask her to come along. She wanted to go with him. Didn’t their time together mean anything? Youji returns with a pair of slippers he bought that he thinks she likes. She comments he might be selfish but is sometimes too kind. She can’t believe they’re breaking up. The festival climax has the paraders destroy each other’s float. This is supposed to be the exciting part of the festival. Chiaki couldn’t understand why the people would destroy something they have spent building so hard for the last 6 months. It feels like their relationship. She wished they have fought more often. She laments they’ve been dating for 5 years and she was scared to take the next step. They’ve spent so much time together but couldn’t tell him how she felt. She then loses it and screams to him. If she really wanted to break up with him, she wouldn’t have followed him to Toyama. She runs away and thought he wasn’t coming after her. But here he is. He says something that feels like it’s a good ending because they hug.

Haruki & Aoi

Episode 3
Haruki Yokokawa is the son of wooden sculptor and he plans to continue his father’s tradition. He is also childhood friends with Aoi Shindou. They are always close to each other so it is no wonder that friends always tease them if they’re dating and they’ll blush and deny that. Therefore it is no surprise (okay, it is) that Shiori confesses she likes Haruki although she doesn’t pressure him for an answer now. Good thing or not but at least he tells this to Aoi who is just furious! I mean, her best friend falling for her childhood friend and didn’t even tell her anything? You can hear Aoi just screaming her head off to Haruki. She tells him and I mean, really tell him to tell him everything. Everything! How can he when she’s strangling him? Thank goodness for the rain that breaks her stranglehold and cools some heat down. Taking a shelter nearby, Aoi is impressed with a cute frog sculpture on a building. Haruki soon carves one like it and gives it to her as a sign of confession. He didn’t say it but hints about it. Aoi wants him to say it but he wants her to guess it instead of him saying it. Another argument in the works?

Episode 4
The class is on a field trip. It has been 4 months since Haruki confessed to Aoi but he feels there is a wall between them. Aoi seems like avoiding him and even during times when they were together. Of course Shiori talks to Aoi if she is still interested in Haruki because unlike her she was clearly rejected. So please stop this. All Aoi could do is just deny what she says. Eventually this leads her to say that she has always liked him since young and doesn’t think he can fall in love with her. That’s why it’s better not to say anything and she’d rather keep their friendship instead of tarnishing it for a relationship. So when he confessed, she imagined things would be different from what they are right now and feels embarrassed to look at his face. She is happy he confessed but still feels that can ruin their relationship. Guess what? She’ll be double embarrassed to learn Haruki heard all of it. So their friends leave them to reconcile. As she is so embarrassed, Haruki will do something even more embarrassing. He sings out loud his confession to her. Wow. The entire town could have heard him. Haruki says that being in a relationship is about living good and bad times. So nothing is going to change. When it’s time to leave, Aoi also starts singing aloud she likes him.

Takumi & Natsuko

Episode 5
Takumi Nishi is about to take the cable car up when Natsuko Ishikura seeks his help to fix a broken vending machine. Natsuko is impressed with the large cable car and expressed her wish to ride it once before the race. Turns out Natsuko doesn’t know how to use a vending machine so Takumi teaches her to put in the money first before pressing the button of the drink of her choice. There. Easy. Next to the cable car station is a parking lot where racers practice their drifting. Takumi is impressed by one and when she turns out to be Natsuko, he starts blushing-cum-panicking when she waves to him. Wow. I didn’t know he could wheelie his bike like that. On another day, Natsuko pleads to Takumi to go ride with him in the cable car. The operator allows them. Takumi is impressed she could drive a car like that but she considers it normal. She too is impressed he can ride a bike like that. Was that normal? As they continue their conversation, once they reach a certain height they could see the breathtaking view of the mountains. Natsuko admits she was watching him for a long time and wanted to see the thing that he liked the most. Also, the vending machine thingy, that was a lie too. Sorry.

Episode 6
Natsuko is in a greenhouse where she works. She picks up a flower and starts biting it. She is surprised that Takumi is here and wonders if he has seen it. Natsuko narrates they first met at the cable car and ski park. He was the kind of guy who likes natural sceneries but recently he has been acting strange as he now likes artificial landscapes. She can’t guess what he is thinking. She observes he is impressed with the mixture of manmade and natural landscapes and how they are beautifully complementing each other. However there is one thing Natsuko is unsure of: Does Takumi like her? In a rock climbing activity as she watches him pull off reckless moves, this causes a flower from his pocket to fall off. Yup. It is that flower. What is the meaning of this? So he wanted to taste it? He loses his footing when she calls him a pervert. However he dismisses it because it means he really likes her a lot and therefore not a pervert! So does this answer your question? And the first kiss of the series reserved for the last scene of the last episode?

The Love Journey Continues
Are you disappointed? Are you refreshed? Are you touched? Are you ready to move on? Like I have warned you, don’t expect too much from this show. We have seen the different scenarios of people in love and it all depends and boils down to your perspective in the topic of love and romance. Some may say they are heart-warming while others may find it just typically normal. Or even boring and nothing much. Well, that is why this is such a short and light show to begin with. Me? I’ve never been in love like that before so I don’t know. Haha! Damn. That just made me feel like a loser :(.

One thing amazing about this short series is that they showcase the actual locations of Nanto (the place where all the stories are set in). You can see some of the real photos of the locations that are used and referred in each episode at the end credits. It is remarkable how they reproduce and redraw such locations and buildings to almost exact precision. Well, I am not familiar with this Nanto region but I guess it must be a snowy and cold place but the sceneries are breathtaking nevertheless. This I guess is the saving grace of the short series. Although it doesn’t make me have that feel of wanting to go visit the place. Thus it makes me wonder if this special is made in conjunction to promote this city. Maybe it is.

Some of the seiyuus are recognizable such as Yuka Iguchi as Natsuko and Ayahi Takagaki as Aoi Shindou. The rest include Kaori Nazuka as Chiaki (Nunnally in Code Geass), Yuuki Masuda as Youji (Fujimaki in Angel Beats), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Haruki (Inumuta in Kill La Kill), Makoto Ishii as Takumi (Arthur in Tears To Tiara) and Tomomi Watanabe as Shiori (Tomoyo in True Tears). Apparently while I was looking at this list of seiyuus, something hit me. Because it feels like a reunion of True Tears as all of them had leading roles in that 2008 anime! Coincidence?!

Different story arcs feature a different song although all of them are sung by Eufonius and personally, I thought they sound the same. Oh, Eufonius is another reason why I thought this was a True Tears reunion since they sang the songs of that series. The ending themes of this show are (in order of the arcs) Sympathetic World, Kimi No Inryoku and Paslaptis. Perhaps I was too engrossed in the still photos of the sceneries instead of paying attention to the songs. Oh, here is another damn reason why I think this is truly a True Tears reunion. Both animes are made by P.A. Works! Now, this is more than just coincidence… And then the series’ name: True Tours… True Tears… OMG. So close! I have become this paranoid to smell a conspiracy behind this?! Truly fearsome… I wonder if True Tears was also set in the same location…

Whether this short anime is to promote the place or even subtly promote the concept of love (I guess it happens anytime, anywhere and to anybody), for those looking for something light and not heavy to follow, this should be just right while you are taking breaks from those convoluted, confusing, complicated, twist over twist, plot over plot, over dramatic romance love stories that are just getting crazier and crazier by the season. So you see, it doesn’t take an incredible or complicated plot to get a love story going. You can see its beauty in the simplicity as shown here. Now, only to get my own. I hope I don’t have to go all the way to Nanto just for it.

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