Twenty-four-year-old Kirara is on her way to her wedding when she is killed in a car accident. However her love for her fiance is so strong that she is permitted to return to earth as a ghost to see him. But she is sent back 8 years in time, to when she and her fiancé first met. However her own meddling in the past may make her 16 year-old-self turn away from her would-be fiance.
There aren't too many solid, anime romances out there. The ones that do exist are usually taken up by the short-run relationship, lacking any sight into the long-run. The sequel to the anime series "Clannad", being "Clannad: After Story", is one of the few that decides to try and see relationships in a more mature light. Now, Kirara isn't particularly the same in how it goes about itself, but Kirara is a 40-minute long OVA that manages to create a story able to fit in emotions and development from both the short-run and long-run of a relationship. The difference is the time constraint, which leads
to different direction/directing, and the less innocent (but more believable) vibe the relationship emanates.
If one were to turn off the volume for Kirara on whatever viewing device they were using and watched the whole OVA in silence, it would all appear similar to a generic, supernatural ecchi. Since barely anyone would view it in that manner though, the impression Kirara gives off can become much different than what it appears in visuals alone. And mind you, the visuals themselves aren't bad. Kirara is fourteen years old, but the style is still very pleasant as it appears much like a well-proportioned and detailed television-series episode. It isn't exactly spectacular in how it looks as the age makes it technically a bit more bland color-wise, but it never presented a scene that featured wonky details or something below the quality bar it had set.
The sound-work is also great with many music tracks at play, much of them having vocals. If someone isn't a fan of vocalized songs in anime, than it can be safely assumed that this OVA isn't too compatible as at least a sixth of it has songs of that type playing. However, the very opposite could obviously be said to those who love vocals, and there's some good ones here. Most of them didn't stick too strongly after completion, but there are some bits that vaguely come to mind. The non-vocalized soundtrack features a lot of use of electronics and does work well in the execution. Overall, it did feel as though Kirara was a bit older than it was. It still does what it does well, however, and even somewhat unique.
The direction for the OVA was involved in some of the unique uses of the soundtrack, yet the whole experience directing-wise felt moderately new in terms of what anime usually does. The beginning decided to rush through the start and concretion of a romantic relationship within about two minutes. It starts off bringing an unsatisfactory mood that Kirara is biting off more than it can chew, but that feeling quickly diminishes a few minutes later. It takes a bit longer to completely understand the justification behind the beginning, but when it's understood it all begins to flow nicely. Beyond the very beginning's rushed content, the OVA immediately slows down to normal speed, which stays consistent to the end. Beyond pacing, the director does a good job in his own right while also making a few mellow or common scenes in anime become peculiar. This is done by mixing a tad unusual music than would usually ever be used in anime to complement certain points in the story.
Those points are comparable to many other anime as Kirara includes the aspect of high school in itself, but that shouldn't be a negative to high school haters in this case as Kirara treats it in the right way. There are a few scenes that take place in school, but most of it takes place in different locations in town and in the character's homes. The other possible negative people have already connected is with ecchi, and it should also be said that this series treats it in one of the most understandable ways seen thus far. For example, if Kirara were to have been a live-action movie that was shown in theaters, it would be expected that at least most of the ecchi presented here would also be occurrent in there. It all comes down to the characters and their pasts and motives, which are all developed surprisingly well for the lacking time available. That could be due to the fact that much of this OVA is conversations between characters. The consistent conversing was never dull, however, as it all feels to have been purposeful and leading to the coming developments.
Again, Kirara is able to properly develop multiple characters in its lacking run-time. It doesn't only develop them, but gives an unusual dynamic to their development. It could be said that the potential relationship has a direct effect on the current relationship, relating the long-run to the short-run directly. That is the difference to Kirara and Clannad: After Story in their treatment to the story. Clannad carries over forty episodes which allows it to go by each step of the romance aspect, while Kirara has to act creative as it's much more limited. While I haven't read the source material and maybe it wouldn't be right to give the story-telling credit to the staff, what we have here in OVA form is a solid and abnormal romance. This explanation may be a bit unclear, but it's difficult to explain what goes on without spoiling what little content there already is to enjoy.
To romance lovers, it would be hard not to recommend Kirara. It has realized and reasonable characters that develop their relationship, along with themselves, involving an unusual element from what most other romances contain. The emotions are all believable, but it should also be clear that there isn't much to be had in the drama department. The ecchi aspects are certainly something that shouldn't be the deterring factor to anyone's consideration as it can be assured that it all makes sense and is entirely understandable for the characters involved. The visuals are aged in a way that those who are too familiar with 16:9 and diverse, saturated colors might end up finding what Kirara has to show as unappealing. The story isn't particularly original, but the interactions between characters and how it's all treated is very much so. For those who long for more of the future of youthful relationships, Kirara is one on the list that satisfies that desire to a further extent than most.