English: Ai Yori Aoshi
Synonyms: Bluer Than Indigo
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 11, 2002 to Sep 26, 2002
Premiered: Spring 2002
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.271 (scored by 31,100 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
There is no tragedy to make the plot a little more complicated (except the facts concerning the past of the main male character which I won't spoil for you), so all you can expect is love-love in every episode.
The motivation of each character is explained and you get to identify with the situation of a few characters, however there are some that only do what they do because they want and that leaves you with the feeling of emptiness.
I would recommend this anime if you want a light story of love.... read more
It's story is incredibly simple. It's a typical harem anime in the sense that the main male character is surrounded by five or six females who all have feelings for him. However it is very evident in the beginning who he will end up with. The story it's self does not know what it wants to be. It doesn't know whether it wants to be a romance anime that specifically focuses on the two main characters or a harem anime. Sadly because of this the series takes the horribly awkward approach and tries to do both things, but fails miserably at it.
It's harem elements are never flushed out enough to ever bring anything to the table, other than two or three episodes, most of which are filled with echhiness rather than the actual problem at hand. The feelings just linger throughout the series with nothing to make note of.
The two main characters are forced to hide their relationship, and thus have to "sneak" around in order to get any alone time. But this is incredibly misleading, because the backyard is like a different dimension of which no other character is ever allowed to step foot in. Even though the scene's done with the two main characters are done correctly and are very nice to watch, there are very few of them and very spread out through the series.
It's characters however are the weakest part of the show. Most of the characters in this series are plot devices use to simply keep the harem plot moving. They never try to confront their own feelings, they are barelly even aware of it throughout the series.
The main characters are just flat, nothing more. They aren't deep. Aoi is a character with very little emotion at all, expect that of the love she feels for our main protagonist Kaoru. Kaoru is a character i had hope for. He is the only character that even has a chance of development with the fact they actually take the time to explore his past. But instead of having him confront his past, the allow him to run away from it the entire series, and use the same three clips to show his "awful" child hood. He remains flat, undeveloped and almost unlikeable.
The art is nothing spectacular. It uses many still frames, and focuses on the characters faces a lot. Not to much attention to detail, at least nothing popped out to me. The characters have a very moe feeling, which is fine since they are really well done, with a lot of detail in their facial features. It's not bad but not great either.
The sound track of this anime is different. It's music when it's upbeat is pleasant and easy to listen to. However when every there is anything remotely bad happening it uses the most dramatic and mysterious music ever. I found myself thinking i was watching a murder mystery at many parts rather than a romantic comedy. It's original Sub is fine, but avoid the dub at all cost. Despite some decent English VA's it is awfully done, one of the worst dubs i have personally come across.
Overall if you are in the mood to see a lovely dovey anime with echhi scenes in it than you should give it a try. However if you are looking for an anime with any sort of substance than steer clear of this. read more
l i would definitely not recommend this anime (Regarding This is my opinion only) I literally had to force myself to watch the episodes.
Overall i'd give this anime score rating 4/5 At Best. read more
The story is like any other romance genre where a guy named Kaoru Hanabishi goes to college and then went home . On his way to the train station , he then meet a girl wearing a kimono and that is our lovely heroine , Aoi Sakuraba . She suddenly fall to the ground because she was push by someone . Then , you guess it . Her shiny knight came to rescue her . See ? It's like the same kind of stuff that happens a lot in anime . Girl in distress . Hero came to the rescue . Though i admit that this kind of stuff happen on other anime quite often . I can't say more on the storylines because im afraid that it will be like a spoiler .
The arts and animation here are average . Some sceneries and animation on Ai Yori Aoshi are beautiful and some are dull . Thats what you get from watching an anime that was from 2002 . I admit that because its from that kind of year , i was expecting this kind of arts and animation . But , it could have been better because other anime that was from 2002 has better arts and animation . Why can't this anime be like that ? I don't really know actually...
Moving onto the sounds , i won't lie that the voice actors here does sometimes annoyed me , but for me it was good . It doesn't annoyed me too much or too often to the point that i just wanted to drop the series . It tends to annoyed me where they try to make a comedy but fail because of the voice actors . The opening theme song and ending were good . Not too good . Nothing i like or didn't like about the opening and ending theme songs . All i can say is that the sounds for this are average .
The characters here does have its background and stuff . the girls in this anime tends to fall for the mc either its because she is a childhood friend or because he was so nice to her or to something that i don't even know . It could have been a better harem genre where at least give a true reason on why she likes him . Just because he was nice doesn't hold a true purpose here . The backgrounds of each characters also need to be improve because it just look like they were lazy to think about a background that they just put on whatever they can think off . All i can say is that it need some improvement .
Onto the enjoyment . I can't really say that i enjoy it too much but i can say that i enjoy it too little . Of all the comedy they were making , only some of them did make me laugh . Others didn't even reach me because it tries to hard to make jokes but fail to do so . I also didn't enjoy the story plot here because of the clicheness that exist in this anime . Either way , i didn't enjoy most of them .
Overall , i can say that this anime does need a lot of improvement on the characters , the story plot etc. If you were into a romance genre , this is for you . But , don't get your hopes up on other genre that exist here or hoping that this anime is not like any others out there . If you simply want to watch old animes that have romance in it , then give this anime a try . I must warn you that this anime is very predictable Where you can actually predict whats gonna happen next . Just like me . read more
First of all, the story. In my opinion, one of the 2 most important aspects of any anime. You can have crazy action, you can have ecchi-ness and nudity, whatever, but without an actual story that makes sense and that is fun to follow, there's nothing to be had from watching it. When I first heard of this anime, I thought it sounded silly - a man who's had some girl devote herself to him since she was little who plans on marrying him and giving herself completely to him. Who does that? But as I watched more and more into the show, I began to realize that it was exactly that point that made this story so unique and fresh. Karou already has Aoi-chan. She's his, will be his wife one day. But then you've got a twist that they have to hide it. Suddenly Karou is surrounded by other girls, and you've got yourself what appears to be a typical harem anime. However (I won't spoil) there's so much more that happens here and much later into the anime that just makes you root for everyone; Karou and Aoi and all the other characters.
What can I say? This one is beautiful. Attention to detail everywhere, from the outfits to the floorboards and walls. It would see that every scene is fully animated and given great care. There are several of those "awww" moments with the gorgeous backgrounds, the shading and texturing on the faces, all that jazz. I really can't say more here, as you just have to see it.
The only category I did not give a 10. It takes a lot for me to give an anime a 10 in sound. In this category I include the music as well as every little sound effect and noise and speech and everything else. The music was alright, nothing too special, nothing that blew me away. The sound quality, likewise. But it was the character's emotions in the voices that made me rate this as high as I did. You can feel true emotion pouring out. So well voice acted that at times, you want to cry right along with a character.
The other most important aspect to an anime. Without a good set of characters and the way they interact, what's left? A narrative about the beautiful landscape? No, especially in this show, the characters are a major driving factor. I would even go so far as to say that characters are what determine, develop and drive a story. That being said, Ai yori Aoshi brings us some of the most interesting and lovable characters I've seen in an anime. You've got crazies, you've got adorable cuties, you've got sensitives, hard-asses, uptights, lowlives, and nearly every imaginable kind of character, all represented amazingly well. The only other thing I can say about this category is that when you have such high quality characters interacting with each other, you're bound to have an emotional response, be it laughter, crying, anger, frustration or something else. I experienced all these while watching.
Well, as you can tell thus far, I enjoyed this anime. Like I mentioned before, I've watched it three times. There's just something about Aoi-chan that keeps bringing me back to watch this. Karou, likewise. He's a great guy. He genuinely cares for those around him, and especially Aoi-chan. The same parts that made me cry and laugh and get frustrated the first time had a similar effect the second and third time. I wouldn't doubt it if I watched it again, I had the same responses. Not much else to say, other than mentioning that the dialogue and story are what make this so enjoyable to me.
How do I feel about this anime overall? Well, obviously I loved it. One of my favorites. I rated it a 10 overall. Why? As I stated above, all these categories shine out. I truly enjoyed every aspect of this anime. I love watching the ending as it feels so resolved (even though they made a sequel, which is also good). I get such a good feeling after finishing this anime. If you at all enjoy romance and slice-of-life genres, then you must give this anime a try. read more
Like i said earlier, the story is very good about a girl who has been waiting her whole life to be with the guy she loves and how they interact with each other and the things that they have to go through to be together. It has lots of fun and interesting characters. Unlike traditional harem romances, they main character knows who he loves and wants to be with, unlike the usual premise where he has to decide by the end of the show. The main female character has no doubt of who she wants to be with also. The other girls are also fun and likable, in as much as you don't really find yourself rooting against them, even though you know what the primary outcome is going to be.
The art and music are also very well done. The art is drawn very well and is bright and colorful. There is a lot of good music in the anime, not just the opening and closing scores but also in the episodes themselves.
basically I really enjoyed watching it, to the extent that i have re-watched it 3 times. I really believe that if you like romance animes, that you will love this one. read more
STORY (7/10) :
As outlined in the synopsis, the story follows the life of the male lead - Kaoru Hanabishi and his fiancee Aoi Sakuraba. Early on in the show we are also introduced to a lot of other [female] characters that will accompany the male lead in virtually every episode. The nature of the story is very episodic and the plot progresses extremely slowly (think To-Love ru). The episodes themselves are mostly based on the adventures (or in some cases shenanigans) of the main cast.
Despite the show's romcom nature there is still some breathing room for a bit of drama but that aspect is unfortunately curtailed by this show's prime flaw - lack of realism. I can say this straight away - your investment in this series will be on a purely abstract basis. Real life harems are a rare thing indeed and difficult to achieve I imagine, not to mention that they would carry a lot of consequences with them (School Days anyone?). As such, the story is slightly detached from reality.
That said, there are plenty of positive aspects in the plot - it is extremely straightforward and doesn't require much thinking. It almost feels like an accomplishment to be able to understand every single plot point. The major strength however and prime entertainment value resides in Ai Yori Aoshi's comedy. While you will certainly find a lot of cliched slapstick moments here, you will also be surprised at the sheer amount of unorthodox comedic content, so to speak. As an example I can say that this is the first anime where I've seen the male lead successfully infiltrate and escape from a women's bath house UNDETECTED. Who would have thought that?
The characters are definitively likeable. The male lead shows a lot of kindness and understanding to the world around him, hence the rest of the cast is drawn to him like a moth to a flame. The female characters are diligent, hard working bunch of people and rational too. And so in a way you will like the cast simply because they are good, virtuous people.
However, the problem with this section is that there is little to virtually no character progression, something that has troubled me tremendously while watching Ai Yori Aoshi. Kaoru and Aoi start off as a shy couple and 12 episodes in (half way through) not much really changes. In the first season, at least, their development is minute and falls short of what I'd expect to see in a romance themed series. The writers of Ai Yori Aoshi could have definitively squeezed in a lot more focus on those 2 characters.
Likewise the rest of the cast stays tremendously underdeveloped and for the most part - shallow. I feel that the time that was used for some of the plot insignificant episodes (there's a lot of those) could have been used better to give the cast more substance and depth. More flashbacks, character exclusive episodes that focus more on the plot etc.
The animation in Ai Yori Aoshi is exceptionally good when you consider that it aired 12 years ago. Everything is fluid and crisp through the entire length of the series. The studio has paid attention not only to the characters but also static backgrounds and such.
For today's standards the quality of art in this anime would probably be considered average or sub-par. In comparison with recent animes I would have to drop 1 or 2 points from this section however I am being lenient here because I'm rating this anime in comparison with other works from around that time. Bearing that in mind, the artwork IS pretty good.
Likewise, the sound department of Ai Yori Aoshi maintains a high standard. The OST is truly original and features some really heartwarming pieces. The quality of the music is good, the music itself fits in perfectly with the overall tone of the series and additionally, there is a tune for every single occasion.
The only two minuses here would be the opening and ending song. They were fairly bland and I found myself skipping them after hearing them once.
The strongest aspect of Ai Yori Aoshi. I have enjoyed this anime a lot. Despite the numerous pitfalls (especially the underdeveloped cast) I liked the story for what it was. A stress free, easy to follow love story that is sure to cheer up even the most depressed individuals. Watching this anime is good for the soul. I'd prescribe Ai Yori Aoshi to any individual who feels that the weight of life is turning them into a cynical and harsh being. The sheer innocence and purity of the romance contained in here is staggering. I'm not delusional however and I realise the naivety of the plot, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Who doesn't like to immerse in a fantasy every now and then?
A truly appropriate rating for this anime would be 7,5. However MAL's rating system is rather limited and 7,5 would round up to 8 anyway so that is the grade I will go with.
To recap, the strengths : Heartwarming tale, good comedy, good art, good soundtrack, high enjoyability
Weaknesses : Shallow characters, slow plot progression, nearly non-existent character progression
All things considered however, it is still a very good anime. Solid 8 points. read more
To me the story feels like Love Hina yet more Japanese, the main plot is that Kaoru is a student and by chance meets a girl who is lost at the Tokyo Station, he helps her and so have it she is going near where he lives, Kaoru helps the girl (Aoi) out to find the house but yet to find a empty plot, so the note she had was wrong, it starts to rain and Kaoru lets Aoi come to his place to keep dry then he finds out who he is and thats the person Aoi was looking for.
This is all in the 1st episode (which i have to say is one of best opening to an anime i have seen) then the rest of episodes are like Love Hina with the day to day life.
I would put no more but with the great voice acting of all characters like Tina (whos voice is perfect for that character) and also Aoi and etc....
The animation skills are top notch and with a great story and music this is a perfect anime, unlike Love Hina there are a couple straight away but have to hide it from the world due to some reasons you will find out. The ending is quite good but was quite predictable, but i didnt see no wedding which is what i wanted to see but maybe its in the next season.
A nice mix of how the girls all get to like Kaoru was nice development and also the way its portrayed and stuff was amazing overall a MUST for any romance fans. read more
What makes this story different is that the main male character, Kaoru, is really sweet and he is a one girl kind of guy. True, he is tempted by his housemates a lot but at the end of the day he still truly loves his fiancé and it’s not hard to tell either.
As for the main female character Aoi, she’s basically obsessed with her husband to be and has spent basically her whole life training to be a perfect wife for him. She’s devoted herself to making him happy and she is constantly thinking about him, making it extremely hard for her to hide her undying love for him from the others. (I feel her character pushes the image of what a "typical women" should be and I some what dislike her character for that, you'll see what I mean.)
The plot isn't very complicated and is easy to follow, but that doesn't mean you’ll know exactly what’s going to happen during the whole course of the anime. The series ends on sort of a cliffhanger so the outcome of their relationship and what happens with their little family is unknown, but it’s not too hard to guess what will happen.
Over all this anime is truly beautiful. You learn so much about each character and it’s not hard to notice how happy and loving they all are towards each other. This anime won't hesitate to make you laughing, crying and possibly hanging onto your seat, but most of all it will have you wishing you were a part of their wonderful family. Watching how quickly they all go from strangers to practically brothers and sisters is truly amazing. read more
The message is very clear here and to me always staying true to ones feelings will overcome almost any obstacle that is put to prevent happiness.
Story: I liked the first part of the introduction story regarding the Sakuraba and Hanabishi family. It was interesting to see every character's background story covered in detail. In my opinion the story did not lack anything, it had comedy, romance, and serious moments as well.
Art: For an anime made around 2002 the Art was pretty good. Every character didn't look overused, and the animation was very well done. My only complaint has to be Chika-chan's tanning because she has lighter skin tone in the ares where she has clothes on. I honestly found it annoying with Chika-chan's skin tone lighter in different areas because it made it seem that she had some sort of pigment problem or she wasn't getting her skin vitamins.
Sound: Both Opening songs were fantastic. Honestly the way the Opening songs showed the past of the characters was very well done also. The second opening song is slightly different and in the end it compliments the true feelings of Kaoru and Aoi in the ending.
Character: I was surprised with the way Kaoru behaved throughout the entire series. I was expecting some type of multiple lover issues but that's not the case. Kaoru is a guy who is respectful, has true feelings for someone, and despite being surrounded by girls every day he doesn't let his manly emotions get the best of him. Every character's personality was very well done too. There was a lot of balance in this anime regarding personalities. I was also impressed with Tina because she was a very energetic girl who was open for any adventure, and to see her behave properly at home an not act all hyper was simply impressive.
Enjoyment: Every episode I enjoyed to the fullest. Comedy + Romance make it very interesting to watch in my opinion. The story also played a role because I wanted to know how things were going to end.
Overall: Even if there wasn't a 2nd season the ending was very well done and in my opinion this first season lived up to my expectations. I expected an anime that would make me laugh, keep me wanting for more, and also thinking about the message being sent: Stay true to your feelings and do not lose hope on what you are working for. read more
Kaoru Hanabishi, a college student who lives alone, met a beautiful but bewildered girl dressed in kimono at train station. He volunteered to guide her way to the address she was looking for, which looked like in his neighborhood but turned out to be an empty lot. Not knowing what to do next, Kaoru invited the devastated girl to his apartment and asked for additional clue -- a photo with two children whom Kaoru immediately identified as himself and Aoi Sakuraba, his childhood friend. It turned out that the girl in front of him is Aoi Sakuraba herself, his betrothed fiancée who came all the way to Tokyo to marry him. Her revelation was not only surprising but also reminded the deepest part of Kaoru's memory for why he left the Hanabishi family in the first place.
Well, what can I say? The romance between Aoi and Kaoru is really the heart of the show and I was really rooting for those two to get together and make it last with the drama of their families keeping them apart makes it more interesting, like a rendition of a classic love story……….
BUT………unfortunately, as the series starts strong, it limps into almost Love Hina/any harem category when the main plot is sidestepped by the additional characters of the story. I get that reason for their existence is that Kaoru can have someone as family to him considering his mother abandoned him and his family kicked him out of his home and I would be fine with that, if the characters weren’t just the basic harem archetypes…but then again, it could be worse.
Also, I’m impressed with how long they kept the secret of Aoi & Kaoru being together from the tenants as some other shows would have somebody knowing about it halfway….that or some of the tenants aren’t that bright.
But like I said, the only interesting characters in the show are Aoi and Kaoru and yet, there are some things that I don’t like about them. For example, Aoi is about as adorable as a character can be, but she is more like an otaku’s waifu dream and that’s not a good thing. She’s more of a fantasy self-insert character that only wants to be that guy’s wife and nothing more. Kaoru is the more reserved character but not the generic passive, simpering moron you see in most harem shows although that does lead to the next problem of why so many of the girls in the show are attracted to him. First, there’s the token American character Tina Foster, the very energetic and loud character whom loves animals, drinking a lot of booze, and can often play grabby hands once it comes to Taeko, the accident-prone and ditzy bespectacled girl who’s only purpose in the anime is being either cosplay fetish…..oh, did I forget to mention that she has big breasts? Miyabi, Aoi’s bodyguard, is the one character who at first, I thought I would hate but actually she’s one of the better characters of the show….well, her and the pet ferret. Mayu, the prodigy, is the worst offender of them all as she is the most annoying character of the show, up to Love Hina levels, as she keeps going on and on about being with Kaoru and often fights with Tina, which makes her more bearable in comparison and last is Chika, Taeko’s cousin, who looks up to Kaoru as an older brother, but thankfully, not in a creepy way.
The animation by J.C. Staff is very artsy in its own way. The scenery is like what most amateur painters would want to capture in their own canvas. There were a few mishaps in some parts of it, mostly the gag-based animation, but it still holds to being alright. The music is sweet and gentle as the show fits although the opening and ending themes do nothing for me other than skip through them.
The Pioneer (Geneon) / Bang Zoom dub was more of a miss than hit. Michelle Ruff as Aoi was convincing enough to enjoy it and Dave Wittenberg was listenable as Kaoru but Wendee Lee’s portrayal of Tina Foster was just unbearably obnoxious and grating as she tries to sound like a drunken Texan; Karen Strassman (or Kirsty Pape) and Sue Beth Arden’s performances were a bit too high with their voices and mostly irritating, coming from Strassman’s performance. There is also an unrecognizable Kari Wahlgren (Kay Jensen) as Chika and honestly, I thought it was some other actress doing that voice….and I checked the VA’s of this show beforehand.
FINAL VERDICT: The show does feel like another harem clone in the making if it weren’t for the romantic love story angle that kept the show from being bad, but you should give the show a chance to look at before judgment.
Story: Very Good 8
I like the romance on which the lead female character is so in love with the male lead that she herself went out of her way to look for him and also despite of other temptations of the other ladies involve he remains true to the female lead.
Art: Very Good 8
The art is ok so there is nothing more to say.
Sound: a decent number 4.
I hate the opening theme.
Character: a fair number 6.
There isn't much to say about the characters and about their roles, but I do have a lot of awkward questions about them- OK I know it's just an anime but I just like asking it anyway,so let's start:
Karou- Ok,so he's a college student, but what was he taking up in college? We do know that he and his grandfather never got along and he always ends up beaten with a bamboo cane in the back, good thing that he was still able to maintain his sanity and not sustained any spinal fracture. So for him to have those whip marks on his back his grandpapy should be using a whip not a bamboo cane or a some kind of kendo stick thing whatever.
Aoi- my question for this character is:
-Did she had a normal teenage life or was she just confined to learned how to cook, do origami, sing, do household chores or any other stuffs that traditional Japanese women do?
-Is she younger than Karou or are they at the same age?
-Did she actually attend school or was she just home schooled?
-Does she ever wore any other clothes other than a Yukata?
-Since she's rich,I wonder as to why didn't she enrolled in the same college as Karou?
Miyabi- my question for her is:
-Did she also enjoyed a normal teenage life or was she confined to be Aoi's Babysitter/bodyguard/ playmate?
-I wonder as to how old is she and if she's gonna get married?
- Now why does she have to attend college in Japan when she can go to any of the top universities in the US?
-If she's so clumsy, I wonder if she's as clumsy with her grades?
Enjoyment: a fair number 6
So far, even if this anime has a comedy tag in it, it is still the romance and drama part that is more profound.
Overall: It is a very good number 8.
No need for me to discuss.
Kaoru, a clumsy guy met Aoi which happens to be his fiancee to his surprise! What's happening in his life right now is nothing to complain about, why would he even dare to complain when at his doorstep a lovely & very charming girl is claiming that he is her husband to be? But it all goes down to a clan he left for a painful memories of his childhood...
Can Aoi make him forget that past? Is her love enough for him to marry her?
You'll enjoy this anime if you like comedy, school life and romance that progresses to real love :) read more
Aoi is basically your typical hopeless romantic, prepared to give her heart and soul to Kaoru-sama, who is much less than interested, with sporadic bursts of feelings for her at his own convience. The characters aren't very well developed in terms of their personalities and what makes them so in love, all we really know is that Kaoru has many girls attracted to him, and Aoi is relentlessly competing for Kaoru's attention. You know where it's going to end up, though, right? Yeah, because it's very typically Shoujo.
The plot is only as well-developed as the characters are, and at times it can be very good - just light hearted and fluffy. It's basically a typical boy-meets-girl harem Anime.
The art is very good, but it's more a Moe or "Kawaii" style than detailed. The men look somewhat Bishounen, and the girls just look "cute".
Overall, it's a very good anime, but very fluffy. read more
I watched this after seeing Love Hina and I still prefer this show. read more
If you like romantic stories with happy ending then you may enjoy watching this anime.
Ai is so adorable though her personality is a little two innocent. She seems way to matter of fact and logical. She also sounds like a broken record in that she keeps going on about becoming his wife. She feels much like a Mary Sue character in that with almost everything she does, she does well and the stuff she isn’t good at is done in a way that makes her more Moe (and now I’m thinking about Konata’s saying from Lucky Star ‘Clumsy is sexy…’) to the point where I just want to smack her. Luckily, she doesn’t go into the realm that I would want her to be attacked by one of the girls from When They Cry, but she sometimes gets close to it. Kaoru though seems well put together or else it’s because he is around crazy people. Sometimes I even wonder if they put him in the middle of all these crazies just to show how bland he really was. There are times though that I wish he wasn’t so easily pushed into doing things he didn’t want to do or would hurt Ai if she took it the wrong way. Unfortunately, both main characters are actually less interesting then the characters around them and the story just seemed to become dull just because I wanted to learn more about the characters and it wouldn’t let me. The arrange marriage thing is hard for me to think of in the modem day sense and makes me wonder if it actually happens still. There is a lot of fan service in this and it makes me feel really sad because it really didn’t need it!
Now we go into the extras and the reason why I call them extras and not supporting characters is this… they do not support anything. They are there to tear the two main characters apart and bring comedy into what could be even more boring story plot. I think without them, I would never have been able to get into the story. Their fun antics, although annoying at times, made me smile and laugh to break up the tension of a hard core sad areas. I do believe without them, the ending would not be as heart retching as it was because it seemed to have more meaning.
The artwork is so beautiful and shows a lot of detail throughout the show. The backgrounds are rich in detail for the most part but there are times that it looks rather low in contrast. The comical points are really odd looking, where most of the artwork during that time pretty much lacks. The opening is rather nice in following the sweet music for that. But seems almost like Ranma’s opening in how they made it.
The Voices are interesting, and Ai’s seems way too breathy. The English is a little off, almost like it’s a exact translation and I wish they would change it a bit. Some characters were a little creepy in voice and I was a little disappointed in that. The Japanese is alright even if it’s pretty standard for this type of show. The Japanese and English Ai sound very close to each other. It’s a little nice that way but also somewhat bothersome.
The music is so pretty for the opening and closing that I actually looked for the opening music on its own. The other background music is a little to sappy even for the happy moments and sometimes breaks the mood. read more
There are somewhat frustrating love triangles, and obstacles/antics that get in the way of the main characters finding happiness/alone time, but it's just your formulaic approach to a typical happy ending.
I liked this anime because it was a happy, easy-going, and romantic story. I had trouble getting through the fillers sometimes, because I just wanted to watch the relationship between the main characters progress, but overall I enjoyed it. It was a memorable story for me. If you typically enjoy rom-coms, then you'll like Ai Yori Aoshi. read more
OK, so while I'm rather late to the party with this anime, I feel like I should share my thoughts on it because I don't think the reviews made so far have really done the show justice. Apparently this is either the best, worst, or most mediocre romance anime ever, all in the extremes. In reality, this show isn't as black and white as that.
Ai Yori Aoshi has two devastating problems at its core, and these problems together only intensify in the damage they do. First of all, Ai Yori Aoshi thinks that having a "secret romance" is excuse enough to focus totally on the harem aspect of the story, and second of all, it thinks that romantic feelings towards the male protagonist counts as character development. This is ultimately why Ai Yori Aoshi is sitting at a 7 for me; when the supporting female characters take the limelight in their pursuit of Hanabishi we don't care about the female because we don't know anything about them, and since Hanabishi only receives screen time when talking to these females we don't know enough about him to care about the relationship. This creates a large amount of episodes that might as well be referred to as "filler", elaborating on no previous thoughts / emotions and creating no lasting effects or impressions for future episodes.
It is understandable that in a harem anime the male character should be easy to relate with, but goddamn, Hanabishi just feels like a cardboard cutout. Sure, he has had events affect his life in negative ways, but these events are not reflected in his thoughts or actions. Unless he is actually talking directly about the past events, his behavior is totally generic and standard of male leads in harem anime. We never feel (amongst other feelings) the crushing loneliness of having no loved ones around because Hanabishi never reacts to reminders about it, never shows any differing emotions when alone, never even THINKS about it except in snippets of dreams designed to remind you that this totally isn't your ordinary harem. A characters past should be consistent with their personality or else character development won't happen (ESPECIALLY with protagonists); Hanabishi is just a male character template with a big ol' sappy background story stapled onto his back.
Luckily, this means he can serve his purpose, which is basically being an emotional battery for the similarly poor character development cursing the female supporting characters. Tina, Mayu, Chika and Taeko are simply tools for creating awkward situations with Hanabishi, trading the romance promised by the shows beginning for a dry slapstick that proceeds in an episodic fashion of rinse and repeat relationships. Tina is blessed with about 2 minutes of background info in the form of some quick flashbacks, but beyond that you will know no more about the characters at the series finale than you did at the start. The romantic relationships they attempt to establish with Hanabishi feel forced in conception, cringe inducing in execution and undefined in conclusion. Also, half of the time these relationships will also lead to Aoi having concerns about her relationship with Hanabishi, and speaking of which...
Aoi was the reason I didn't give this show a 6 (or less). She is an awesome character; the likable part of her personality lies in her motivation and commitment to achieving love with Hanabishi rather than the love itself (see: any other character in the anime), and her attitude / personality is dynamic and changes according to whether she's speaking with friends, Hanabishi, strangers or relatives. She has clear and understandable emotions and has dreams and aspirations that we see her actively striving to achieve.
The criminal part is that for the better half of the show she is barely even seen.
Quickly fading into the background as nothing more than an observer of Hanabishi's interactions, Aoi is brutally forgotten by the shows story as it plows ahead and tries to force us to root for each individual female rather than the one we already love (or are meant to love at least). She had so much potential in the show, and not only is it squandered by the lack of focus on her, but the focus she does get (also the shows actual romance) is so repetitious it is infuriating. Every sparse romantic counter between her and Hanabishi simply involves them uttering each others names, discussing no pressing issues at great length and giving very vague reassurances when they do discuss these issues. The encounters then seem to be wiped from both parties minds, because sure enough next episode Aoi will experience heartache for a very similar (if not the same) reason and Hanabishi will be as predictably oblivious and non committal in his actions as always.
Basically, this show is an experience in wasted potential. Aoi was a great character and the last few episodes actually gave her a lot of the attention that she deserved and needed, but it is hard to overlook the stiflingly bland Hanabishi and the generic, under cooked personalities of the other girls. Perhaps the second season will have greater things in store for me, but for now I consider Ai Yori Aoshi rather disappointing. read more