Posted on 24 December 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Asatte no Houkou


Wait, an actual slice-of-life series that I actually enjoyed? Yes, it is possible. While I normally find pure slice-of-life series rather boring, sometimes one appears which adds something extra. In the case of Asatte no Houkou, the result turned out amazing. This is one of those rare anime which creates a very strong mood and atmosphere, and stays in this atmosphere for its total number of 12 episodes.

First of all, the concept is brilliant. Everyone who’s seen either anime or American cartoons probably has run into one of them: filer episodes in which two characters switch bodies, grow older, grow younger, etc. Still, all of these episodes focus around comedy. So, what happens when a series actually comes and takes a serious look at it? Well, that’s what you get with Asatte no Houkou. It focuses two characters, living normal lives, and shows how their lives are affected when something supernatural happens to them. Karada is a child, who longs to be an adult. Shoko is an adult who longs to be a child. Their wishes get fulfilled, and they learn that their wishes may not have been too smart.

For this anime, some wonderful characters were created. Shoko and Karada react entirely different to the things that happen to them, and that’s the beauty of it. Each of the episodes are so incredibly touching, you can’t help but feeling along with the characters, and if you’re a bit of a fast crier, this anime will probably leave you crying at multiple times.

It’s actually very hard to pinpoint some kind of bad point to this series. It has been so incredibly well developed, that it doesn’t seem to have any obvious flaws. If I had to name one thing, then it would be that at times, this anime likes to let characters run into each other through a deus ex machina, though unlike shows as Wolf’s Rain, this doesn’t really hurt the series. I’d say that if you’re looking for a sad, realistic story, you’ll definitely want to try Asatte no Houkou out. :)

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And so it has ended. Phew, it surely has been one great ride, from start to finish. Like I said, so far Asatte no Houkou is standing on the #1 spot for the shows released in the fall season. All that’s left is to see whether another show can take its place. Heh, it surely won’t be easy.

Regarding the ending, it was a great ending, another one of those heavily emotional ones. Still, how great the individual scenes may have been, the ending didn’t have anything special. But then again, a special ending is extremely hard to do. I’ve only seen a handful of shows which really managed to impress me with their endings. Still, Karada really shined during her scenes with both Shoko, Tetsu and Hiro. Shoko also reveals that she hasn’t really been honest with herself, and that when she saw Karada, she indeed longed back to her childhood. Hiro also managed to cut his hair, and it seems that Kotomi has found the wishing stone. She kept it with her all this time, and at the end of the episode, she returns it to Shoko, after she understood everything that had happened. Because of this, Karada and Shoko get returned to normal. I’m having sortof mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’d be interesting to see how Karada and Shoko live the rest of their lives, though on the other hand, it does provide closure.

Also, this has been the first series I managed to watch entirely raw (not counting Himawari and Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club, I still don’t consider their seasons individual seasons). It’s been quite interesting, and I managed to enjoy most of the series, even though I didn’t understand the literal meaning of each of the sentences. Still, the show used fairly simple dialogue and more often than not, I could understand the meaning behind the characters’ sentences fairly well. Still, there were also disadvantages. I did miss the small details, for example, I missed the entire story about Kotomi’s father. Only after he called her again, I realized that she had troubles with him. Remembering names also went a bit tougher than usual, and even while writing this entry, I had to look up Kotomi’s name. Still, I did find that it’s good to read up on either episode summaries by other people, or watch the show subbed after a few weeks. Especially with the latter, though, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting lazy with that. ^^;

Still, now that I’ve been watching raws for longer and longer, I do have to say that my Japanese skills are making progress. Okay, it isn’t much, but I can understand the dialogue much better than half a year ago.

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Great pre-ending episode. Even though nearly everything it’s been doing is build up for the final episode, we do get to see Karada telling Tetsu about what happened to her. Unlike Hiro, however, he doesn’t believe her. Asatte no Houkou has really been the best anime to air in the fall-season so far. But then again, most other shows have yet to even reach their halfway mark, so there’s still a lot to happen.

It’s interesting to compare the time when Shoko told Hiro with this episode. Why didn’t Tetsu believe Karada, while Hiro did? One of the major factors probably is the fact that Tetsu’s an idiot, just like his sister says. Though the circumstances also aided a bit. An angry Shoko is much more imposing than a shy Karada. Still, I think the message needs to sink into Tetsu for a small while. The final episode will definitely do something with this.

Shoko was awesome when Karada phoned her again. Her reaction was SO different from the first time she called. She acted extremely calm this time, and actually listened to Karada, instead of yelling out of surprise. I think that she also realized that isn’t the proper way to tell someone to come home. The end of the episode also shows the two of them, going on the train to try and recover Karada. The final episode will probably show the confrontation between the two of them and Karada.

Posted on 9 December 2006 with categories: Asatte no Houkou


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Just when I thought that this series couldn’t get any better! That was such a lovely episode, fully centred around Tetsu’s and Karada’s relationship. I’ve seen many reactions on the fifth episode by other people, claiming that that they expected Karada to reveal herself to Tetsu, but I’m SO glad she didn’t, as because of this, episode ten turned into a real masterpiece. :)

Tetsu actually confessed! In front of Karada, who he thinks is just a girl named Satou. This must have hurt Karada a lot, seeing as she tried to run away desperately, only to find out that Tetsu still keeps searching for her. I also nearly cried after Tetsu collapsed in the rain, got carried to bed and had a small conversation, half awake. That was such an emotional part, I couldn’t help but love it. :)

I must praise Asatte no Houkou for being able to deliver an actually good love-relationship. There are so few anime which actually manage to do this. I think that so far, this really is the only one who appeared during the fall-season. Other series with romance elements, like Kanon, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge and others really try to force this relationship onto the viewer (although I do admit that the latter did have some creative moments, like the ping-pong-kissing-scene). Asatte no Houkou really succeeded in making me sympathize with its characters.

As the episode focused on Karada and Tetsu, there wasn’t much of Shoko and Hiro in this episode. They just appeared in one scene, where Shoko packed her bags, and went off, to live on her own. This means that Hiro will be living on his own, if things keep up. I think that he still doesn’t know what to do, after Karada just ran away from him, two episodes ago.

Oh, and Karada was just way too cute in the few flashbacks we saw. ^_^;

Posted on 1 December 2006 with categories: Asatte no Houkou

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No Shoko-episode this time, surprisingly. Most of the episode actually follows Tetsu, when he hears that Karada has disappeared, and starts to search for her. His part in the episode was fairly light. He runs into Kotomi, the two of them start to pass out folders with Karada’s picture on it till the sun goes down. As Tetsu doesn’t have anywhere to sleep, Kotomi mentions a hotel which a few of her acquaintances are running, and suggests Tetsu to spend the night over there. And guess what? It appears to be the same hotel Karada found herself a job in. The next episode is promising to be very interesting. Remember that Tetsu still doesn’t know what happened to her. ^^

But the great moments of the episode were the ones in which Tetsu wasn’t involved. In contrast, Shoko’s and Hiro’s worries are everything BUT light, which made the scenes in which they appeared very emotional. At one point, Karada also gives Shoko a phone call, in order to make her stop worrying about them, and at the end of the episode, the two of them have a rather heavy conversation. It seems that Shoko also realized that Karada knew that Tetsu wasn’t her real brother. It’s interesting. Hiro seems to have convinced himself of the fact that he is the big brother. He’s always convinced himself that Karada never knew about her true parents. Shoko makes him see that in a rather emotional moment.

The past few episodes have also been focusing a lot on Karada. What about Shoko? She’s really been on the sidelines for the past few episodes. Does she also get into problems in the final episodes? Something does tell me that she still has a role to play in this wonderful anime. :)

Posted on 25 November 2006 with categories: Asatte no Houkou

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That was truly excellent. This really has been one of the more awesome episodes of Asatte no Houkou, and that has to say something, with such a high-quality series. It mostly follows Karada, who has run away from home, because she discovered a picture of Hiro and Shoko together. Therefore she figured that she’s a hindrance in their relationship. I also must warn you. The next paragraph contains a spoiler you do not want to find out before watching the episode. If you haven’t seen episode eight of Asatte no Houkou, close this window NOW. Seriously.

The plot twist in the middle of the episode was a beauty. At one point, Karada also thinks back of the time when she was still living with her parents, and this shows us something very interesting. Karada KNEW that Hiro wasn’t her real brother, she just never told him that she knew. The reason she was crying when she saw Hiro for the first time also isn’t because she was extremely scared or sad that her parents died, like Hiro suspects. It’s because she knew she had nobody left, and then suddenly, a person who isn’t related to her in every way arrives and plans to take care of her. This also SO explains why she’s trying to be so independant. There’s this guy, who she isn’t related to in every way who sacrificed everything in order to take care of her. He has no obligation to do so, so she felt like she was a huge bother to him. That’s why she started to do the housework on her own. Brilliance. :)

The actions which take in present time also were a great to see. As Karada is now on her own, she has to find a job and a house, though as she never solicited before, she has no idea how things go, and she’s probably extremely scared of talking to random people. I can indeed imagine how scary it must be, especially when you don’t have any house or telephone, or you have to lie about your date of birth.

In the end, Karada spends the night in a child’s playground. But then the cliffhanger comes. You’d think that Hiro would be able to get Karada back without any problems, though then the opposite appears to be true. Karada may be scared and inexperienced, but when she makes a decision, it really becomes clear that she’s not backing down from that decision easily, instead of running around in circles indecisive.

Also, what about the next episode? The cliff-hanger definitely focused on Karada, and it only made the problem bigger. Still, by the rules of Asatte no Houkou, the next episode will be another Shoko-episode. What will it focus at? Will Shoko get angry at Hiro, at his constant desire to chase after Karada? Will she help him? And what will become of Karada? Will she turn better, or will she turn worse? This definitely was an awesome episode. It’s very rare for me to really like a slice-of-life series, though somehow, Asatte no Houkou is currently leaving a huge impression on me.

Posted on 18 November 2006 with categories: Asatte no Houkou

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The first four episodes of Asatte no Houkou have been really emotional. Right now, we’ve got ourselves three episodes, which are about the opposite, as they’ve been really peaceful, and because of that really great to watch. The next episode, the emotional scenes will probably return again, as Karada discovered that Shoko and Hiro were once lovers. Right now, she’s boarding a train. Probably because she wants to leave the two of them alone.

Following the usual pattern, this episode again is a Shoko-episode. It’s centred around Hiro’s birthday, which, of course brings back memories. Karada also spends about three quarters of the episode, baking a cake for her brother. Shoko is encouraged by this and helps her out a bit, even though she’s horrible at cooking (and really shows that this episode).

It’s another highly atmospheric episode, in which not much happens. Though for some reason, Asatte no Houkou turns keeps to amaze me. It also made the perfect use of the small bits of comedy, involving the different character’s quirks. ^^

Posted on 11 November 2006 with categories: Asatte no Houkou


This was such a warm episode. I couldn’t help but love it. It’s strange, as usually, I’m not really into slice-of-life series. But when they actually turn out good, they really turn out GOOOD. And Asatte no Houkou proves that once more in this episode. Like expected, it deals with Karada and Tetsu meeting each other again. Surprisingly, Karada actually does not reveal her identity. Instead, she follows Tetsu around a bit, the two get a bit familiar, and Tetsu shows her a place the two of them used to often visit. (I loved the flashback, in which small Karada refused to accept help, it just shows how much she’s changed after the incident).

There’s one thing that I finally noticed during this episode: this anime likes to play with shadows. There aren’t many anime which actually show the shadows of trees, or other objects, on the characters. In fact, I can’t remember any anime who attempted the same. They either use fancy light effects or don’t bother giving their characters shadows at all. The way Asatte no Houkou deals with these shadows really makes the environment part of the anime. I like it. :)

I wonder when Tetsu will find out what happened to Karada. During their little date, there were enough of subtle resemblances between the small Karada and the grown-up Karada, though at the moment, he believes they’re related, and Karada finished the episode with writing him a letter, explaining that she was currently at her mother’s for a while. Still, this doesn’t solve the problem. At one day, he will find out.

Asatte no Houkou is a wonderful anime, in my opinion. The fact that it’s featured around such a small concept allows it to fully explore it. Still, that does give it the same problem as .Hack//Sign: it’s a slow series. There’s nothing wrong with slow series. In fact, the slow pacing really is what makes these series awesome. But the fact remains that it might be too slow for some people. If you’re looking for a series in which lots of things happens at the same time, stay away from Asatte no Houkou. Far away.

Posted on 3 November 2006 with categories: Asatte no Houkou

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After the previous episode focused on Karada, this is another episode focused on Shoko. I think I’m starting to see a pattern. If things go right, the next episode will focus on Karada again, and she probably has to confront Tetsu with the way she’s become. It’s a choice the creators made, and it does make sense. So far, it’s worked out extremely well.

Like I said, the current episode focuses on Shoko. It’s a light episode, compared to the previous ones, but that doesn’t make it less awesome. Karada, Hiro and Shoko now are living in one house, and they’re starting to turn into a family. The episode focuses on Shoko, getting used to the lifestyle of a child again. For starters, Karada now sees her as a little child, and treats her that way, trying to place as less of a burden on her shoulders. You can see that Shouko’s rather pissed off because of that.

We also see Shoko, visiting a child’s playground, trying to imagine what the life as a child would be like. When she used to be a child, she never played with the other children, as they’d often say that she was a boring girl who’d never play with them. During her first visit, she runs into a new side-character. Kotomi. She seems to be an acquaintance of Tetsu, and, as she just thinks that Shoko’s a cute little girl who doesn’t have any friends, she actually asks a couple of playing kids whether Shoko can play along. So cute. ^_^

In the end, Shoko ends up playing till sunset with a bunch of children, and actually haves fun at it. Then it also seems how much Karada has attached herself to Shoko, as she actually starts to get very worried when Shoko doesn’t return home. This’ll probably be used in the later episodes. I can’t wait. ^_^

Posted on 28 October 2006 with categories: Asatte no Houkou

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Seriously, there were a lot of garbage-shows in the autumn season, though the anime that actually were good, really turned out extremely well. Asatte no Houkou is no exception to this rule, and this episode only strengthened this. It focuses on Karada this time, and her relationship with Hiro. It was in one word, beautiful.

Last episode, we left off with Shoko telling Hiro about the new Karada. It takes about half an episode for this message to sink down into his mind, much to the annoyance of Shoko and sadness of Karada. The second half of the episode takes place during the summer festival, at which Shoko attempts to bring Karada and Hiro back together. She lets the two of them be alone for a while, and Karada starts to cry in front of Hiro. So sad. Ah well, it did bring the two closer together, and it seems that they’ll be living together again.

Shoko, also definitely changed. You can definitely see this when she’s alone with Karada. In the first episode, all we see of her is her cold side, as she’s constantly reminded of the sad memories Hiro left her. But she’s so cute when she attempts to calm down and comfort Karada.

The question now remains: how will this anime continue? There will probably be some time dedicated to allow Karada’s classmate to accept what happened (dammit… what was his name again?), and the next episode will probably also focus on Karada and Shoko, picking up their lives again. But then what? There’s still lots of time that has to be filled. And remember that the “however…”-part from the description of this anime has yet to happen. =)

Also, notice Karada’s ribbon on her Yukata? That was so cute. ^_^

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