Alternate title: A Town Where You Live
Manga adaptation by Gonzo
Not available for streaming.
Premise: Haruto is a junior who moves to Toyko in pursuit of his first love, Yuzuki Eba. Living with his sister, he meets Asuka and Kyousuke, classmates at his new high school. With his single-minded attempt to find his lost love, he becomes an outcast in school, and Asuka tries to fix that.
Marlin’s Verdict: Not the right time.
Learning the true nature of this story definitely cleared things up a lot. I can see where the animation team was going starting the story in medias res, but the execution really left a lot to be desired. For a story to work telling it in the middle, the story in the middle has to hold up well enough to allow details about the past to slowly gather and influence the future. With what we get in this episode all we know is that Haruto’s moved from Hiroshima to Tokyo to pursue a girl. This gives us context to his devotion to her, but absolutely nothing about the girl herself. We don’t get any of the hints of how close they were except for this one overt gesture and it really makes it hard to swallow that he’d do this just for her when we don’t even know what they’ve been through.
The animation also suffers from a bit of laziness, but not a terrible amount. The most notable part comes early on we have to either believe Haruto’s sister knows how to powerslide, or that she’s mastered Love Lab‘s swan walking. It also suffers the common shounen romance problem of having creepily placed fanservice that doesn’t serve any reason. A good tip if you want to use fanservice: make it natural. Don’t just have a guy be like “LOL I can see your panties.” and have the girl react, which is literally what happened, it just makes the entire exchange shallow and makes our protagonist sound like a total creeper.
You can really tell Haruto is the same actor as Sentarou from the well scored Kids On the Slope. Hell, if I didn’t know any better this entire character just seemed to be Sen in a slightly scrawnier body. The whole accent thing was kinda silly, but it did help us get a better feel for the characters of Haruto and Asuka, both out-of-towners, both dealing with the pressures of the big city in different ways. This is honestly the best part of the episode for me. Once the two got acquainted I started warming up to their characters much more quickly. Still, the problems I have are still a bit more than I’d like. I’ll give this show one more episode, but if nothing really improves I’ll probably let this one go.