Based on a H-game with the same title released by Cocktail Soft in 1998, With You: Mitsumeteitai focuses on love triangle between the main characters who were childhood friends. They were separated because one of them had to move to Myanmar (an Asian country formerly known as Burma). After six years, they are re-united again and the story begins...
A few things are required when telling a romance story, chiefly being that there actually be resolution to the ROMANCE! But sadly within the romance genre, With You ~Mitsumeteitai~ doesn’t stand alone in regards to its epic fail. I seriously doubt even fans of the source material will even enjoy this uninspired adaptation.
The romance genre, and overwhelmingly the one involving harems seem to be dominated by H-Game and visual novel adaptations and this series is no exception. Like most, I haven’t played the game so I cannot make judgments based on how well it adapted the game's plot. Perhaps it’s
unfair to compare, but I know that these adaptations can be made successfully into wonderful series’ such as Kanon, Clannad, and ef. Though nobody is certainly going to confuse this for a KyoAni project by any means.
With You ~Mitsumeteitai~ storyline is typical harem fodder. The uninteresting male protagonist suddenly is reunited with his childhood friend after six years out of the country. Of course this causes friction with the resident childhood friend and tsundere who is in love with our dull pillar of masculinity and but can't tell him that. As a side note...you know it is possible to have other story ideas. I mean that story premise I just gave you could apply to 90% of the harem romances ever made. Throw in some mysticism and some track and field activity and you have the makings of a bland story that falls flat on its face before even leaving the starting blocks.
The plot meanders around and never develops anything satisfactorily. It starts off as a sports drama but beyond the first half of the first episode none of those storylines are ever developed or pursued any further. There is some uninteresting mysticism that is eventually resolved but like every other plot element the viewer is unlikely to care about it anyway. Even the leads "reason to run" which is seemingly important to the story in the beginning is completely meaningless when the revelation is made at the end. Speaking of the end, well there isn’t one. Nothing is really resolved in terms of the romance and the confession of love is completely meaningless and typical of harem-romance anime considering the end. So in the end I found myself scratching my head and wondering just what the point of the whole thing was and who I had to see to get that hour of my life back.
Characters are also listless, boring, and lack any originality. The male lead is so bland that even though I am writing this less than an hour after viewing I can’t even remember his name. I know guys are dense but honestly nobody is this thick headed. You don’t care about him let alone any of the rest of the cast. Naori, well even though I am a fan of tsundere characters, I can see why some people hate them when I watch her. There is nothing original about her as she acts, behaves, and hell even looks like 99% of the other tsundere in anime. It seems as though it’s only these characters that ever show any real feeling or emotions in these types of stories. Naori constantly pines over the lead just praying for her to show him even a smidgeon of affection in return, but at least you get some genuine feelings from her where as none of the others in the cast give you any reason at all to believe they even know what love is. Her main competition is ultra moe stereotype Manami. She’s pretty much the polar opposite of Naori in personality. But with her you don’t get the same feelings of affection that you do from her rival and basically the only way you can be convinced she has this deep love for him is because the story tells you so.
Don't let the cute pic on the series page fool you, artistically this anime is horrible. Just watching it you might assume it was produced during the dark ages of the early 90s but I was shocked to see that it’s not even ten years old. Besides hair color the cast pretty much looks identical, the characters with a few exceptions are not very attractive and the backgrounds and settings are as uninspired as the story and characters. The sound isn’t any better; the music is a relic and would be more suitable for something made twenty years earlier.
Really unless you just absolutely loved the game this was based on, I see no reason why anyone would want to watch this. There is nothing to recommend as it pretty much sucks equally in every category.
Update: Q: "Does it contain any nudity or ecchiness?"
A: Despite being based on an H-Game this show is quite safe to watch, there is no nudity. There is one scene in the second episode which seems questionable but things are averted before getting out of hand. You should not have any qualms about the viewing content in "With You".
I watched "With You" by streaming it so the actual quality of the video wasn't all that great and may have hindered the Art and Sound aspects some. I tried to compensate in my scoring and reviewing.
It honestly wasn't too bad, just a
little weird and perplexing. The biggest downside is that everything is crammed into 2 episodes. I felt like the story kept being rushed in attempt to finish as fast as possible. Also at the end there isn't a feeling of completion like anything really happened.
Due to the quality of the videos I was watching, it is hard to get an accurate gauge of the true quality in the art. From what I could see, it wasn't outstanding and some of the scenes had some fairly poor animation quality. For only being two episodes long it could have been fleshed out a bit more. The character designs were one of the highlights, I felt they were pleasing to the eye. Many of the backgrounds seemed a little dull, there wasn't much detail or effort put into them.
The sound was mediocre. It didn't stand out and just kind of blended in and was there. The ending theme was eh, okay, nothing special. Sound effects were the highlight of the sound experience. There was a decent array of sounds used and nothing seemed really out of place. The voice actors were decent, they seemed to fit the characters fairly well.
I felt like there was a lot of potential here but similarly with the Story, it is too short to really flesh out the characters. The three characters involved in the love triangle are obviously the most important characters but it was hard to actually feel or sympathize with any of them. There were a few other characters that had major roles but in some cases you don't learn much about them, sometimes not even their name. Very little to no background information or history is given on the characters which made it hard to have any emotion for the characters.
I wasn't expecting much from this show as a whole, so it didn't disappoint but there was nothing memorable. The length is just way to short for what they were trying to do. Four episodes would have been much more efficient. There was a little bit of comedy sprinkled in and the romance was mediocre. The show ended in a slightly unexpected manner but it seemed to wrap up quite quickly and it all didn't make much sense either.
I wouldn't go so far as saying With You is a bad show but it's not really good either. I realize the budget was probably fairly small but it really would have needed at least another 2 episodes to give everything more time to build up. Also the actual quality of the execution for it all was lacking as well. Once the show finishes you feel like you didn't go anywhere and nothing really happened. There was a decent amount of potential here but a few more episodes and a little more effort put into polishing the show would have bumped the score up to about a 7.
I wouldn't recommend this show unless you're looking for another show to just add to your list. The one benefit is if you do watch it, it's short so you can get it out of the way quickly.