About to enter junior high school, Karada Iokawa is a cheerful and reliable girl, who hates being treated as a child more than anything. After her parents' deaths, her older brother, Hiro, comes back from studying abroad to take care of her. His ex-girlfriend Shouko Nogami, a composed yet sometimes childish and stubborn young woman, follows him to Japan in order to find out why he left her. Between the two girls, the atmosphere is tense, which eventually leads to Shouko calling Karada childish.
Later, Karada stands before a shrine praying to grow up. Little does she know that the shrine wishing stone would grant her wish. As Karada grows older, at the same time, Shouko, who happens to be nearby, finds herself a child once again. With their ages now reversed, Shouko and Karada must come to terms with one another and ultimately themselves.
Never before have I ever been glued to an anime as much I had this one. I started it, and for once paid attention to the first episode from start to finish, no pausing. Its THAT good. Its a shame not many people watch it...
STORY - 10/10
Karada is a young girl who hates being treated like a child and who wishes to be grown up. Shoko is an aloof, unhappy young woman who has just returned from overseas. When they meet by coincidence one night at a local shrine where they both like to make wishes, they exchange ages.
Ive never seen an anime where
people exchange bodies, minds or anything. So, seeing something like this was a new deal for me. However, the plot is so much different than just switches. It may move really slow at times, but the character development and story is amazing. The story focuses more on Hiro and Shouko's relationship, and the drama that Harada is put through after just being 12 years old. I even cried all the way through one of the episodes.
I really liked the art, its just... The entire time I was watching it, i kept thinking "Karada looks like Ahiru from Princess Tutu..." I dont know why. There really wasnt anything special about the art, its the typical shoujo. :D
I think... Out of all the anime Ive watched, this one had the best BGM OST. The piano pieces played were beautiful and fit the show perfectly. The voices where amazing too, since the same actresses played the younger and older character. Im seriously hooked on the opening song as well, Suara's voice gives it a unique feel.
The character development in this story was amazing. Without it, the story would be dull and not even worth watching.The characters where great too. It amazed me at how TINY Harada was, and she was 12! Shouko, the dismissive one... Well I didnt like her much. Now, my favorite character was Tetsu. 6th grade, mistaken for a highschooler. He was too CUTE. and for the Kansai-Ben fans [ahem... moi~] Tetsu spoke it, so thats a big plus. Hiro was adorable too, for a 28 year old. And for being a junior high student, Kotoko wore some SKIMPY~~ outfits. But other than them, all the characters where lovable.
I watched this ALL in one sitting. (Well ok, I got up to make food. A girl's gotta eat) If you like light-hearted, tear wrenching shows about REAL life with a hint of magic, then this one is for you. Actually, even if you DONT like shoujo themes, you might even like this. Its for everyone! :D
The story then flows through both of Karada’s and Shouko’s life with their new ages, and how they come across the problems and emotions that take place. Karada is concerned about her brother, Hiro Iokawa, doesn’t know where she has disappeared to and to get him to believe that she is actually his little sister. We are shown that the two girls come to deal with their problems differently which then reflects their personalities a bit more to the viewer. Karada is shown to get depressed, having some emotional stress and brought to tears quite easily showing off more of her child like qualities. Shouko
on the other hand seems to get on with what has taken place while being rather quiet and calm about her situation. However, what goes on inside her mind and what she is thinking may be a different story.
There are several other characters of which are involved in this short story that gives use a nice amount of different personalities between each of them. Karada’s brother seems to be quite a misterious guy whom of which covers his eyes with his hair quite a lot. Then you have Karada’s school friend, Tetsu, a young male who appears to care about her more than just friends. Then ofcourse his older sister and another female friend whom of which seem to be people that support the other characters. Throughout the twelve episodes we learn a little more about each one, their relations with each other and feelings about certain issues.
The story is developed quite well in twelve episodes although with a slow pace between them where Karada can face problems which arise that don’t always get resolved in a single episode. Some episodes we are given some flashbacks which add more to the development of characters with more insight to reasons and relationships, and how they came across adding a few new twists to the plot. The aren’t exactly too much of a surpise however, but not easily expected either. The series isn’t always full of emotional and sad moments since there are some happy times with some light comedy and romance added in their too.
The art uses a lot of soft, warm colour tones throughout the series, which suits the overall sunny weather nicely and keeps a consistant blend between everything. Character designs were rather good but there was nothing exactly unique or special about each one. There aren’t really any similarities though, which keeps a distinctive look between them, hair and clothing styles are the most noticable area for this. Hiro’s character design was rather depressing during several scenes where you rarely see his eyes and the facial hair suggests a lazy mood to the guy, while Karada as a child smiles quite a lot using a few more brighter colour tones for her hair and clothes adding a more cheerful look to her character. The child and adult versions of both Karada and Shouko have a resemblance between them so the viewer can still tell they’re still the same character which was also another good point as it added a bit more realism to that event.
Scenery has also been done rather well keeping the consistant blend of the warm colours in them to detail each of the scenes and make sure the characters fit into them. They aren’t exactly over detailed but give the viewer a general idea of the location or setting the characters are currently at without using any lines to define them more. The art almost feels much like paintings in many areas throughout the series, but overall they were decent with a beautiful exotic look to each one of them where light helps add to the atmosphere quite a bit. Animation is moderate throughout without anything too special to note about, where simple actions such as talking or moving are again done in a simple manner.
Again to be brief in this area there doesn’t seem to be any major problems with the sound anywhere in this one and keeps a moderate approach to the usage. No problem with the voice acting either which some well chosen voices that worked and suited well for the characters. Both the opening and ending themes are calm in tone, while the latter has a more slower pace to it. Bother were good songs, enjoyable to listen to especially the relaxing ending which uses a fitting sequence at the end of each episode. Background music seemed to be calm melodic tracks but I yet again cannot exactly remember much about them.
An interesting story mixed with its emotion and drama, during a slow pace per episode with some developments between the characters. Decent background and character art using a lot of warm colour tones and blends, moderate auid and animation throughout. An enjoyable watch.
This is a story of amends and of redemption. It is a tribute to the age-old aphorism, "Maturity comes with experience, not age." But most importantly, Asatte no Houkou shows that you can craft an alright drama with any trope, even the most tired or comedic.
Such are the main merits of an anime with a ridiculous premise. In this case, our protagonist, Karada, is a 12 year old girl who is insecure about her young age. Tiny and always feeling left out, she makes a wish in frustration to a local altar—a wish to become an adult. To her dismay, this rash wish is
mysteriously granted, swapping Karada's age with that of her older brother's ex-girlfriend, Shouko, and vice versa. The problem? Karada and Shouko loathe each other, yet they're left to work together in secrecy. Or so it goes for a little while.
Here is where execution saves the day. The story, not once played for laughs or thrills, takes itself completely seriously. Unlike a lot of similar dramas, this focuses on how the supernatural element affects every character's life in one way or another, no matter how minor. It follows the reparation and strengthening of these interpersonal relationships throughout this group of friends, and in that sense, its small scale is a double-edged sword. It provides enough for character development, but limits the scope of a potentially vast story. This all roughly balances out in the end, but it's still very disappointing to think of what it could have been.
Meanwhile, Karada has to focus on what being an adult really entails, whether it's through buying new clothes or finding a job, and Shouko needs to outgrow her apathetic tendencies. The scenes detailing these conflicts are some of the best the storyline has to offer, giving a great insight into what each character is struggling with the most. There is a strange sense of terror that comes with either of the two being put in danger, and that privilege isn't abused; since it's only invoked a couple of times, it manages to stay fresh and intimidating without becoming contrived, although Karada's thou-must-cry backstory cuts it close.
Audiovisually, it's as conflicted as the story. While the art is soft and somewhat refreshing, it's awfully plain (albeit acceptable) overall. The animation itself is a little more mediocre, with mouths refusing to move in some scenes, and shading done almost haphazardly. Thankfully, it's all redeemed by some of the best audial presentation I've experienced in the medium. Aside from dialogue cutting through, it is almost like an ambient soundscape at times. There are layers upon layers of unobtrusive sound effects, accompanied by the occasional acoustic music when necessary. Never too much or annoying, it balances this harmony of atmosphere and song flawlessly, and definitely knows when to be quiet. My only gripe was that I could fall asleep to it.
Even though Asatte no Houkou is by no means the greatest anime you'll ever see, it is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. Or an inconsistent treat, if that's more up your alley. Memorable for the fact that none of it takes place in a school or on a battleground, but memorable nonetheless. It's cute at its worst and compelling at its best, so what's there to lose—a few years?
I watch all of this anime as it was coming out, and I was not entirely pleased by it. The graphics worked, but I wasn't impressed. They seemed rather drab and uninviting. The characters also seemed to blend into one, with only a few of the secondary characters actually standing out. They all had the same set of emotions which consisted primarily of feeling bad for him or herself. Whether about the past, present, or future, all they did was look off in the distance and sigh.
It was a bit slow, but it was only twelve episodes, so it was not unbearable. If they
stretched the series out any longer, I probably would have bailed half-way through.
My major gripe with the anime is the direction they took it in. The main plot revolved around an older woman turning into a child, and a child turning into an older woman. Now, with a plot like this, it sounds like a great opening for a comedy. Originally, that's what I was looking forward to. Instead, we are given an anime that shovels on lame drama about the two struggling to hide themselves away from everyone, and generally complaining about their state. I was ashamed of the series. They could have put in so many laughs.
The reason I watched the anime the whole way through is not because I loved it, but because the story was gripping. You wanted to find out what happened as you watched it, but that was about the only reason I hung on. If you are into dramas, great. You might find Asatte no Houkou enjoyable; but stay away if you are looking for a light-hearted comedic romp.