Posted by psgels on 16 July 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



At the moment, there is no doubt for me that Aoi Hana is the best series to debut this summer season, and this episode only reinforced this. From the very beginning, it’s been a consistently excellent yuri series with believable and charming characters. I’m also really glad to see that the great animation wasn’t just something of the first two episodes: this episode yet again looked great, with detailed animated shots and some great artwork, despite the down to earth character-designs.

This episode also surprised me with how the two lead characters didn’t become a couple. Instead, Fumi started dating the captain of the basketball club, while Akira had simply been going out with her friends and is still looking. But then again, this is anime. Has there ever been a romance story in which two childhood friends did not fall in love with each other at some point?

I’m curious as to how many episodes there are going to be. Unfortunately, the episode page of ANN is completely messed up in this case, so there is no way of telling whether there are actually going to be 11 episodes, or whether there are going to be more. Interestingly, the manga this is based on only has two volumes. That’s pretty short for a manga, and yet it feels perfect for a short story like this one.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Very nice romantic developments, especially for Fumi.

13 Responses

  1. Perrin4869 says:

    I’ve been wondering:
    If this series were shounen ai, would the males following it still be following it? I mean no offense to anyone, but I know I wouldn’t…

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Perrin: actually, I enjoyed Junjo Romantica for what it was, until it became horribly paced and a downright cheese-fest.

    I think that one thing that’s wrong with shounen ai series that yuri shows manage to avoid is that they always make their characers way too feminine in order to attract fangirls, even though most gays are perfectly normal human beings.

    Yuri shows lack these exaggerated stereotypes. We have harems for that one.

  3. L189 says:

    According to MAL and Mahou there really will be 11 episodes

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Aoi Hana mango has 4 complete volumes and is still running

    http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=2577

  5. tealovertoma says:

    I saw one episode of Junjou Romantica and when the guy just started to lick the other guy’s foot I closed the episode.

    I think I’d watch a very well executed shounen ai, but that seems to be a very rare phenomenon indeed.

  6. The manga just published its 26th chapter, making it certain that a 5th volume is in the works, so there is plenty of material for an eleven episode effort.

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Okay, so that’s the last time I’m going to use ANN as a source for the amount of episodes/volumes of a series. And to be honest, MAL is an even worse source in that matter: they just go with the number that seems the most likely, without backing it up whatsoever. Not sure whether Mahou is reliable or not.

  8. Tracer says:

    lol it’s like they all of a sudden just decided turn up the animation quality. Reminds me of what J.C. Staff did with Kimikiss.

    But yeah, I agree on your comment that Aoi Hana is the best series to debut this summer season. Kenichi Kasai manages to do some of the best manga adapations I’ve seen.

    But my only problem is, did Akira feel jealousy when she saw Fumi with Yasuko? If that was the case then that seems a bit too forced and sudden (though it might just have been shocking to Akira).

  9. Kero says:

    @ Tracer “did Akira feel jealousy when she saw Fumi with Yasuko? If that was the case then that seems a bit too forced and sudden (though it might just have been shocking to Akira). ”

    She was just shocked. It’s still too early for Akira to develop any romantic feelings (for anyone). She’s extremely immature in that regard (that’s also the reason she was that surprised to see Fumi and Yasuko being so chummy with each other).

  10. TJR says:

    It’s Fuji TV. Nowadays, they only approve 11 episodes for most noitaminA and NOISE shows. DVD release information at CDJapan also confirms the episode count.

    As for BL, bear in mind that the genre is aimed squarely at fangirls and not the gay community. Indeed, the appeal is one of feminism (one partner may be weak, degraded, and submissive, but it’ll never be a woman in that position) and not an embracing of male homosexuality. That’s why certain characters are very effeminate – the writers want the relationship to resemble a heterosexual one (albeit with the loss of gender imbalances) as best as possible.

    On the other hand, Aoi Hana is directly aimed at lesbians.

  11. Howling-kun says:

    I agree this is the best of the season.
    UmiMono is a close second for me.

  12. aegd says:

    Dropped. Probably wouldn’t have bothered watching at all if I had know that it was a yuri shows.

    This along with the harm genre is probably my least favourite kinds of anime.

    give me more honey x clover or nodame cantabile please or something that can match up to them.

  13. Smithy says:

    Loving this series too. ^^

    Actually feel they did bump up the animation quality a notch, I mean just look at how intricately they animated Fumi and Akira’s hair in some scenes this week.

    What I love in this series is the contrast between Akira and Fumi. Akira is more outgoing, bold and worldly in some aspects but about romantic love she still doesn’t seem to have grown enough to even feel such emotions. Fumi on the other hand is meek, shy and easily impressionable but she’s had her heart broken and isn’t unwilling to dive into another romantic relationship, emotional and physical.

    Curious to see where this will lead to.

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:32 AM)
    If a series wants to be sophisticated about complex concepts like war and conflict, then it has to presuppose the fact that it is part of human nature. Resources are limited, and even aside from that, greed exists. There is no way to take out a few head figures to stop a war- there will be a vacuum that will almost immediately be filled by a similar, if not worse, individual. A world “where no one cries” or suffers, or dies, etc, cannot exist as long as we have free will.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:26 AM)
    F/SN delved into this deeply with the Shirou/Archer dichotomy, but then it pussied out at the decisive moment. Archer was right, his arguments made perfect sense, yet the arrogant naive Shirou had to pull thru by sheer will alone, and a vague hope and promise that he’ll find a way somehow. I swear, I’m not sure if Nasu gave in to pressure to make a so-called “good prevails” ending, or that he honestly believes in it. Looking at his material, I’ll bet on the former.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:22 AM)
    hehe … that’s why you don’t get me started on Eva or Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:20 AM)
    It also delved into the depth of what a desperate goodie-two-shoes people-pleaser protagonist would actually be like, and the reception he would get from his peers, specially the women. That alone right there was a deconstruction of the majority of shonen main characters.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:00 AM)
    There was no hype machine back then. The internet was still in its infancy. So when a show became this popular there was certainly some merit to it. The organic/machine hybrid mecha was relatively new, and the scene construction and cinematography was for the most part immaculate. There’s a reason why the mecha genre is divided to “pre-Eva” and “post-Eva”.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:53 AM)
    It also didn’t hurt that the character, costume and mecha designs were slick and attractive, done by the under-appreciated Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:31 AM)
    It came up with clever scenarios to common mecha tropes, and answered the questions that would arise from them:
    -Why do we use mechas with melee weapons against alien invaders instead of conventional weapons? AT fields on Angels.
    -Why use kids to pilot them? The Gehrin Project.
    -What happens when you put kids in sever combat situations? Extreme PTSD.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:27 AM)
    These types of deconstruction shows that are run-of-the-mill now didn’t really exist back then. Eva did afterall became the tropemaker for Gainax endings. To see the creator’s psyche twist in front of our eyes was incredible. The show went from a regular monster of the week mecha series to a deranged psycho-thriller by the end of it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:23 AM)
    Eva was fresh and quite unique for its time. Not that everything they did was original, but they certainly put their own twist on it. I also enjoyed the “fuck-you” ending of the tv series. Anno always defended it as intentional, but we all know it was really a budgetary constrain. well, at least we got the amazing End of Evangelion movie to supplement it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:21 AM)
    @K-of: yup Eva geek here, guilty as charged. In my defense, I watched it week-to-week when it aired back in 96, and the landscape of anime was a lot different back then.

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