The story revolves around high school boy Ayumu Tamari, who has an illness that makes him start to turn to stone when he's stressed. Since he couldn't fit in with his class, after repeating a year, he declared that he wanted to have a "Sparkly youth" as well. To do this, he changed his hair and clothes to be more fashionable, and constantly checked for popular topics to stay in the know. In the midst of Ayumu's life of making a facade, his homeroom teacher and stone-loving geology teacher Kouya Onihara says that Ayumu's stone transformation is beautiful. Ayumu begins to become attracted to Kouya, who starts to give him advice.
I will have to start by saying that I was not impressed by the latest of Soubi Yamamoto's works. Having been a big fan of her previous animations (Kono Danshi Uchuujin to Tatakaemasu, Kono Danshi Ningyo Hiroimashita and Robotica*Robotics) I was super excited to watch Kono Danshi Sekika ni Nayandemasu.
I found that once the OVA had actually began, it was littered with clichés and thematics that belong to corny BL anime/manga, and often the 'romantic' lines felt rushed and forced. The exchanges between the two main characters, although endearing at times, quickly became irritating due to the corniness to the scriptwriting. However,
lines spoken either to other characters, or to the main character (Tamari) to himself were well written and generally enjoyable; sometimes humorous and sometimes providing an insight and a development into inter-character relationships.
The plot itself felt rushed; I accept that this was only a half hour long animation, but compared to the others of Yamamoto's works, it was too fast paced and the main characters did not seem to develop much during the OVA, but suddenly all at once it seemed like ALL their problems were resolved. I enjoyed Yamamoto's earlier works due to the feeling and emotion behind them and the slow burn that she artfully places into her films, but this one was without the raw feeling that made the others stand out to me. However, one aspect I did enjoy about the plot was the way that she dealt with social anxiety and the troubles of youth, as well as the lingering feelings and a 'stone heart' built from betrayal and loss. I would have liked to see these elements played up on more, especially in relation to the latter, as the theme about betrayal was only really revealed as a motive for Oni-Sensei towards then end, and his character development would have been so much more satisfying if it was touched upon more, instead of having it resolved in the last minute of the OVA.
The biggest issue I had with this was that Yamamoto's previous works were so philosophical and full of emotion and an insight into the human condition, but this felt overtly cheesy, and whilst I can see fragments of her old ideas coming through, they were overshadowed by a rushed romance and a forced script. Her scriptwriting has seemed to have gotten worse; the first KonoDan film was beautifully written; touching upon loneliness and the meaning of one's existence, grief and a love for humanity, all with a subtle underlying romance running through it. The second, whilst more overtly romantic, did not feel particularly forced nor did it completely lay aside the raw emotion that I have come to love from Yamamoto's characters and script. Especially with Robotica*Robotics (which I watched immediately before KonoDan, Sekika; bad idea, got my hopes up too high) the music and the script flowed so well with a shimmer of romance and love, but never disregarding what the short was about. Sekika however, basically ignored what made me fall in love with Yamamoto's scriptwriting in favour of an exaggerated, cheesy romance.
What was good was the art though. Absolutely beautiful, and the patterns and colours that Yamamoto excels at are drawn forth from the beauty in the crystals and the skies that she draws. Her style of drawing human characters has too improved. Softer and more proportioned in comparison to her previous style, whilst still retaining the ever present, very charming manner of animation littered with patterns and sometimes odd, but unique motion.
Music was okay, was never a fan of the ending songs since the previous KonoDan. Perhaps this comes with the more romantic elements that Yamamoto has woven into her script, but the ending songs never seem to properly reinforce the emotion at the end of her films, unlike with the first KonoDan and Robotica*Robotics, where hope and grief were enhanced by the music choices respectively.
Overall, I was disappointed. I jumped into this expecting a tearjerking, heart-rending beauty of an OVA, but what I got was a beautifully drawn, but shallow and corny romance.
Step it up Yamamoto, I'm going to rewatch Kono Danshi, Uchuujin to Tatakaemasu now to make up for that.
To start off with, let me just say that I am not one for long tedious anime reviews so this will be a short but concise one. So without any further ado let me begin. :D
I have personally fallen in love with all of the previous episodes within this 'Kono Danshi' series so when I heard of this new installment I HAD to watch it and surely enough I was not disappointed. The anime centers around a shy boy who then falls in love with his teacher. Along the way you are gripped with emotions of sadness, empathy and then overall joy.
It is a
romantic anime which not only focuses on romance itself, but also on the importance of friendship and the struggles which we sometimes face when making new friends. It also teaches one that although it might sometimes hurt to open up to people, at the end of the day, it is those whom we share ourselves with that make our lives interesting and enjoyable.
All in all, this was a wonderful romantic anime which will have you beaming with a smile when it's all said and done. Enjoy! :)
p.s. I also want to add that although the art-style is unique, it is quite phenomenal as well. Loved it!
I fell in love with the other two OVA's that were related to this series, and was excited to watch this one. The art style was unique like the rest of the OVA's, but this probably was my least favorite of the 3. The story is pretty cute (though a tad bit too cheesy for my liking), and the main characters in this have a lot of deep emotions that people can easily relate to (especially if you deal with being socially anxious). I think this OVA shared some great insight, even if I felt that the story was a bit rushed and at times