Posted on 30 July 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



Oh, I so love how this series managed to bring its characters to life. The non-verbal communication between the characters says much more than what the dialogue can even hope for and the creators manage to do this with a lot of subtlety. It really gives all of the characters complex stories, rather than “A is in love with B but B is in love with C so A hates C”, or the like. There definitely is a love triangle going on here, but these five episodes have added a lot of detail to them to make them far away from your average love triangle out there.

In this episode, Kyouko finds out why she was rejected by Yasuko, and how Yasuko is in love with Fumi. I didn’t see any hate for Fumi at her, but just about every other negative emotion was present on her. Because of this, Fumi stops accompanying Yasuko to her rehearsals because she fears having to deal with Kyouko’s sad face again. Throughout, Akira keeps acting as the straight man in this romance: she isn’t loved or in love with anyone, but instead provides support for both Fumi and Kyouko in this case.

And I have to say that Yasuko has a very interesting way to show her affections. While Fumi act like a shy puppy around her, Yasuko instead shows her feelings very subtly: she mostly puts on a straight face in order to be the strong shoulder for Fumi to lean on, but there are a few times here and there in which you can see that she really likes to be with Fumi.

Kenichi Kasai isn’t the most consistent director I’ve seen. What I saw of Major (the first season) shows that he’s terrible at shounen series, and Kimikiss, while it did have genuine characters, did drag on for way too long, but his best works really are something else. Nodame Cantabile was awesome, and Aoi Hana also looks to be standing out in its own way with its attention to detail. And yes, some day I’m going to watch Honey and Clover. ;)
Rating: ** (Excellent)

5 Responses

  1. senerikfred says:

    Kenichi Kusai is as kickass as you can get for adaptations, but he can’t pull miracles out of something that sucked to begin with, probably. He’s one of those who can do great things with what’s already good, which is something to respect, though it’ll never get him credit for originality and will kill his consistency. People who can pull off 99% straight adaptations well really don’t get enough respect.

  2. hashi says:

    senerikfred makes a good point. Do watch Honey & Clover. It is an outstanding show, and I remember at the time it came out being shocked at how faithful it was to the manga: for the first few episodes, it was just about frame for frame. And it worked.

    Aoi Hana is the first of Kasai’s shows to equal H&C, for me, and it may even surpass it. Maybe I appreciated Nodame Cantabile less because I had already both read the manga and watched the drama.

    There is one scene in this ep of Aoi Hana that just floored me: when Yasuko senpai stroked Fumi’s hair. The way they animated that was just godly. I could feel the weight and texture of the hair.

  3. Theowne says:

    Aoi Hana is pretty good so far but having already seen Honey and Clover, it’s hard for these kind of shows to impress me that much. It’s still one of the better shows airing right now.

  4. supertauren says:

    The only problem I have with this show is it seems that all the students are lesbians. Now, I have nothing against lesbians and I understand this show is about lesbians, but it’s a little weird..

  5. Andiran says:

    @supertauren:

    You’d be surprised how lesbians and bisexuals are drawn to one another in real life.

    In my school for example, all the bisexual girls I knew all hung out in the same group. So it’s not surprising.

    And I actually only think that there is one lesbian in this anime, and that’s Fumi. I think everyone else is bisexual (Yasuko, Kyouko and Chizu) or just really, really friendly (like the Sugimoto fangirls).

    Seeing the girls go gaga over Yasuko for example is pretty normal in Japan. Girls like to show their admiration and respect for the “stars” in their school.

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