Posted on 25 July 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


I’ve got to stop dropping these boring-looking series without giving them a chance… looking back at what I wrote on my first impression on this series, I realize what an idiot I’ve been, dropping this series in favour of… Binbou Shimai Monogatari. In any case, if you’re looking for good romance, then look no further, because Bokura ga Ita has lots of it, and then some more.

And what romance it is. The beauty of this series is that it just feels like it’s about a real couple, and throughout the series, they explore all of the common aspects of being a couple: rivalry, understanding and compromising for each other, truthfulness, breaking up and saying goodbye, but the common theme for this series is the fact that love can turn sane people into a bunch of inconsistent idiots; the contrast between common sense and your own feelings, and the 24 episodes do an excellent job of exploring said themes in-depth.

Obviously, the characters in this series are deep. About 50% of this series’ dialogue happens inside the characters’ heads, so at the end of the series, you’ll know exactly what went on in those multi-layered minds of them. They way they evolve throughout the series is also pretty amazing, and you can see the subtle changes that occur in just about everything in this series. The pacing is slow, but every single episode hardly ever loses focus on what’s really important in this series.

Let me place a warning, though, and a very important one. The pacing is incredibly slow, so you obviously don’t want to watch it if you generally like fast-paced series, but there’s one more thing to be aware of: the female lead Nanami Takahashi. She’s by no means a bad character, but the creators made no attempts to make her into something like “the perfect girlfriend”, or something similar. She’s weak, incredibly wishy-washy and hardly ever gets to the point she wants to make. I realize that this is exactly the creators’ intentions, but you do NOT want to watch this series when you’re frustrated, because she’ll just make these frustrations worse.

In terms of the production-values, this is a typical Artland series. The character-designs are very stylish, and the animation is consistent, yet you’ll hardly ever notice it. There are so many EDs that they make any Shaft-productions pale in comparison. I now also understand why Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino’s action-sequences felt so low-budget, because it’s just not something they’re good at, and instead they excel in style and subtlety (something that was plenty available in Il Teatrino as well).

This pretty much is exactly what a pure shoujo romance should be. My only real complaint is the ending, as it’s a bit too open-ended for such a series, but mostly because the manga at that point featured a very interesting plot-twist that was omitted in the anime, and which would have had so much potential if the creators included it in a second season somehow. But then again, then it would look a bit too much like a Makoto Shinkai rip-off, and this way Bokura ga Ita really has its own identity as a series.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

19 Responses

  1. Sapphire says:

    “…do NOT want to watch this series when you’re frustrated, because she’ll just make these frustrations worse.” hahaha i know exactly what you mean!

    I will definitely add this to my list :)

  2. apexantapex says:

    Let’s be fair, the lead male character often is an exasperating asshat too. ^^ (can’t remember his name)

    I couldn’t deal with this one. It’s a reasonably good story, more-complex-than-usual characters, and I like the art style quite a bit, but the angst blew the top of my head off. It wrung me out like a sponge, for some reason. I dropped it after ep9, after my chest started to hemorrhage.

    Call me weak, but there is enough sadness, disappointment, longing, and misunderstanding in real life — I do not have the moral fiber to voluntarily subject myself to it in anime. (For the same reason, I will not touch Air with a ten foot barge pole.) But a lot of people like that stuff, so bon appetit, I say. Just let me leave the room first. ^^

  3. Ez says:

    I loved this series!

  4. Sapphire says:

    Wait a minute… Two of the boys in the picture don’t have eyes… Creepy.

  5. lostty says:

    I actually dropped this series a long time ago as well. I just never picked it back up… though, after reading your review I think I might give it another try!

  6. hashihime says:

    This may be the best romance anime I’ve ever seen. Definitely in close competition with KareKano. I adored Nanami’s voice (Sasaki Nozomi). Her uncertainty and insecurity didn’t bother me. They seemed like a kind of real life I’m familiar with. And as annoying as the lead male was, he was also fascinating. It was perfectly clear why she was attracted to him, and vice-versa.

  7. Senna says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the male lead instead — Nana had her issues, but he was the reason I dropped the show. I didn’t want to watch an abusive relationship like theirs continue.

  8. Wyrdwad says:

    I liked this show at first, but it really fell apart for me in the end. Basically, there was one incident about 3/4 of the way through where Nanami stopped being a sympathetic character for me, and where I started to ACTIVELY DISLIKE HER. And while there’s something to be said for the writing quality necessary to achieve that, it made the last few episodes really difficult to watch – they weren’t just frustrating, they were ENRAGING, and I really wanted Yano to give the b*tch what-for. ;)

    Up until that turning point, however, I liked it quite a bit. But in the end, I thought ef -a tale of memories- did a better job making me care about deeply flawed characters… and was just a better show in general IMHO.

    But then, I’m also a huge Makoto Shinkai fan, and ef was practically a Shinkai work, so I guess that kinda stands to reason!

    … Then again, Bokura ga Ita was an Akitarou Daichi work, and I LOVE Akitarou Daichi’s stuff… so yeah… I dunno what I’m saying. Just ignore me. ;) Heheheheheh…

    -Tom

  9. helen says:

    The problem I have with this series is that I really couldn’t sympathize with the protagonists… throughout the whole serious, the doubt I have had for Yano’s genuine love for Nanami remains, and Nanami’s passive and stubborn nature has always bugged me. For about 90% of the time, she’s just staring at things and whispering “Yano…” talk about being stalkerish…

    The whole series was like a “Honey and Clover”-wannabe.

  10. Wyrdwad says:

    BTW, I’m going to keep bugging you every now and again until you watch Planetes! If you have the time to go back and watch Bokura ga Ita, you TOTALLY have the time to go back and watch Planetes, right? ;) And I seriously think you will *ADORE* that show. Just be sure to give it a fighting chance… while I liked it from episode one, a lot of people I know didn’t really start to fall in love with it until episode five or six.

    Either way, though, it’s a must-see!

    -Tom

  11. Westlo says:

    I have no idea why psgels continues to watch Geass yet won’t even touch Planetes or Ifinite Ryvuis which are clearly the Goro directed shows he would actually enjoy.

    Anyway…

    “But then, I’m also a huge Makoto Shinkai fan, and ef was practically a Shinkai work, so I guess that kinda stands to reason!”

    No it wasn’t, he did the opening for the game, that’s it.

  12. Wyrdwad says:

    I meant that ef had that Shinkai FEEL to it, and was obviously emulating his style… and with Tenmon doing the music, it was even MORE Shinkai-esque.

    Nothin’ beats a real Shinkai movie, though. 5 Centimeters Per Second totally blew me away… that, along with Millennium Actress, are easily my two favorite anime movies EVER, by a HUGE margin.

    -Tom

  13. Yanosgirl says:

    I found this anime to be actually quite perfect. Maybe it’s because I love character driven stories and I could tell the writer took the time to create complex characters to move the relationship forward. There’s a lot of pain in this anime for sure lol but because it was well written (IMO of course), you could understand the motives of each person. You could forgive the eternal screw up (Yano). And actually the most troubled character was my favorite. lol He wasn’t perfect, neither was Takahashi but you could see why they are perfect together. Their relationship continues to get stronger, despite their differences. The animation was kinda wierd sometimes but considering the stories emphasis on memories, I took it as a very artistic approach to the anime genre. Memories can be very abstract and that’s why it fit for me. I think the Manga is a definite must, but tragic. I’m hopeful for a happy ending though. Great Review. Thanks

  14. MarOucha.! says:

    Does there come’s a SeasOn 2 out of Bokuro ga ita ???? T_T
    Pleaass Tell mee ! I Hope Soo !!!!

  15. JayyG says:

    The manga is still not even done

  16. Molly says:

    I’ve only watched 13 episode, so far because I have to wait for the next 13 to be delivered from e-bay (>.>) … HOWEVER, at first I thought this anime to be … wishy-washy (?) and boring. It is slow-paced, but it gets interesting, especially as you see the characters unfold. I agree with you, yes, the main character is a bit … Bleh after a bit … :D … but it’s really good ^,^ I recommend it for anyone who liked Fruits Basket :)

  17. courtney says:

    i dropped it off at episode 9…..can’t take it…. >_

  18. ChaMooHyuk says:

    I find this anime romantic and cute and at the same time . .funny. . sad . or what we call melo drama .but its really fine to me . . i can carry real hard drama sitiation since im a korean . . i will not drop watching this anime

    this anime is perfect . . storyline . characters . graphics. .music and ost’s .all . . .

    I just dont like they put sex situations in here . . like the thing happened with Yuri Yamamoto’s sister (NANA) and yamamoto yuri herself . . and the thing Nanami “Nana” Takahashi they put on (u know what i mean)

    They should have like . . put a deep love expression on the characters by words . . they dun have to put sex situation in there . .

    well this is my personal comment . . but that part on BOKURA GA ITA keeps bothering me . . well idk . . it’s destroying the roles of the characters :(

  19. massu says:

    I have to agree with apexantapex. Dropped this one after ep14 after I couldnt take it no more and read how the plot will evolve. Managed to watch 2 episodes of Air before realizing that she will die in the end. I can pretty much forgive anything but the leads not ending up together whatever hardship there is in between. Another such very good show is Angel Beats. You dont even see it coming until the very end.

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  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 06:02 AM)
    Btw, Nise had some GREAT sound tracks :0
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:48 AM)
    @juno :(
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:37 AM)
    It’s basically all we wanted the first Tsubasa Cat arc to be from Bake. And it gives a great intro to Hanakawa’s character beyond her veil from Bake. Now you know what’s going to happen, so the start isn’t as powerful. XD
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:36 AM)
    Neko not important to the story…? ._.;;;
    It’s the whole start of Hanakawa’s affliction and it explains her relation and the cat’s motivation for possessing her. And her entire background… ._.;;;
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:11 AM)
    Didnt really detract too much though :/
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:08 AM)
    @Juno Yes, I did. I’d heard from someone that Neko wasnt really important to the story, so I just plowed through. :/
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:00 AM)
    @Friend: Broke down in Second Season? Wait, did you watch Second Season before Nekomono Black?
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 04:57 AM)
    Though senjyogahara remains very much unresolved, I feel. :3
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 04:51 AM)
    I always felt a little alienated from most of the characters emotionally, but that episode in Monogatari when Hanekawa broke down got to me ;(
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 04:40 AM)
    Nekomono was a step forward for me as it gave more attention to tsubasa and got me more focused on and interested in her character.

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