After taking one hundred secret photos and observing him from afar for months, second-year high schooler Yuki Kurihara has finally mustered up the courage to ask out her first-year crush Shinya "Momo" Momotsuki. Although taken by surprise, the bashful Momo accepts; however, he does not know the profoundly abnormal truth. As her strait-laced friend, Norika Mizuyama, has observed, Yuki has developed some unnerving—but nonetheless sincere—habits: taking pictures of Momo in secret, doing extensive research into his personal life, collecting his used straws, and even going "Momo watching."
Though Momo remains blissfully unaware of his new girlfriend's peculiar habits, he does notice some oddities in their daily conversations. Still unsure and nervous about his first relationship, Momo finds himself regularly getting into awkward interactions due to his inexperience, but nevertheless resolves to make his new girlfriend happy.
Momokuri follows Yuki and Momo as they shyly explore their newfound love, and also deal with the problems that arise from it.
OVA: "Yawarakakutte Yasashii Jikan (やわらかくって優しい時間)" by Yuki Kurihara (Ai Kakuma) TV #1: "Daisuki dayo Daisuki dayo Umaretekite Arigatou (大好きだよ大好きだよ 生まれてきてありがとう)" by Yuki Kurihara (CV: Ai Kakuma) & Shinya Momotsuki (CV: Nobuhiko Okamoto) (ep 1, 13) TV #2: "ETERNAL Explorer (ETERNALエクスプローラー)" by Mia REGINA (ep 2-12)
You know this type of anime that are so cute that one can't help but say "awww, this is adorable!"? Momokuri is one of it's finest examples.
Yuki Kurihara is a girl that is absolutely obssesed with Momo, mainly just because he's extremely cute due to his short height and a bit girly looking, calling Yuki a stalker doesn't make justice to her character, she knows everything about him: what he does, what he likes and dislikes... all before they start their relationship during the first seconds of the anime and without him knowing about it.
While this might look creepy and the perfect concept for a
yandere anime, Momokuri focuses in the cute parts of this, and gives us a lighthearted, happy, and absolutely adorable romance between this two characters. The side characters are also pretty good and represent well and realistically their paper of friends of the main duo.
Both art and pretty average, but fit well with the anime, special mention to the opening of the TV version, that I personally like a lot.
If you enjoy lighthearted SoL romances, or you're simply attracted to the "cute stalker girl" that Yuki is, Momokuri is totally worth the try.
Ok, so this ONA's title is Momokuri as in MOMOtsuki Shinya and KURIhara Yuki, two love birds where stalker girl really get's her man....make that "boy," basically a typical perfect situation, so:
Storywise, I'm gonna go for a 7 over 10, since it was set in a middle school where girl is a year older than the boy, a kind of romcom, where we see stalker girl who was seemly not satisfy with just being with the boy, that she has to go crazy mode on him, whch give the plot a whole new meaning "Madly in love," cu'z gir is reall as mad as a
hatter in love with the boy.
Art, it was ok to say the least, no panchira moment aroundso safe to say that the art, since I'm no art critic, is just decent enough, so a 4 over 10.
Sound, I'm just going nuts over Kurihara's VA, about her cutesy voice, and with the ending theme as well, for the rest I have no comment about them other VA's, but I do notice that the VA who did Sakaki Rio's voice was just too masculine for a 13 year old girl. Still, for this category, I'm giving it a 7 over 10.
Character, since this anime was all about Kurihara and Momotsuki, there wasn't enough challenge in their relationship, most of it was focus on their insecurities. If Sakaki Rio would have competed for Momotsuki's affection , then this ONA wuld have had some spice in it and yet I gave it a 6 over 10 just for the hell of it.
Enjoyment, I'm giving it a 6 over 10 since form episode one to 20 it would have already be a good, but making this ONA even though it was only 12 mins long per episode make this anime loose it's momentum up to the last. Onw would be in fact be force to simply skip the remaining 4 epiosde and just get to the 26th episode. Also, it was kinda irritating that studio Satelight, doesn't seemly follow a regular airing date and set it on a irregular basis and crammed of it for this entire month of July. So overall it was a 4 over 10 , since it was still decent enough to be viewed, but not that good to enjoy.
Every anime that focuses on romance requires some sort of unexpected developments within the story and plot. It should feature sudden developments that could have a devastating effect to the characters along with the events or narrative. There should be drama, emotional moments full of dialogue, and although optional, should introduce a cast of characters that you can fantasize together for your fan fictions that nobody cares about. Lastly its’ crucial that there are characters that viewers can make a personal connection with to understand them better! Momokuri throws away the standards of the typical romance anime, and curb stomps it to the ground while
laughing maniacally. It replaces the very essences of the romance genre with moe moe cuteness.
The best thing about romances is that they'll often feature a male or female protagonist. Through his or her journey, we are able to see their mental struggle, hard work and the effort they go through in order to confess their love. The story of MomoKuri ruins the very thing that makes a romance story romantic and deep. The whole story is a cute mess. From the very beginning the two main characters are already a couple, it’s just that Momo and Yuki have difficulties expressing their love verbally. The two have a difficult time trying to approach each other and act more like lovers instead of two awkward stalker creeps. What’s worse is that a majority of times where there were tense, serious moments that could’ve been romantic, it was quickly ruined by comedy. For example, "Momo is finally about to kiss Yuki and chickens out." "At that moment, when he’s too afraid to do anything, the story tries to take a comedic turn by doing random reaction faces while he’s freaking out." It ruins the mood along with the scene.
The comedic moments were not as funny as I thought they would be. In fact, most of the comedic scenarios came off as “forced.” Its’ like “ha ha ha, you laugh at this terrible turn of events right now” or “Yuki is a stalker with a loyal dogs personality” laugh right now. It was in poor taste in my opinion. Following this goo goo gaga story was like an unsatisfying road trip to a vacation destination with your friends or family. I was glad I was able to stomach the content. Otherwise I would’ve dropped it at the beginning.
My biggest hope for the story was that Momo would have a rival in love. I thought that it would be interesting if another male character who loves Yuki would be introduced. That way there is some rivalry and more intense declarations of love to the female. Then I hoped that there would be a rival for Yuki, Rio. Again things just didn’t turn out in my favor. It turned me off from the story even more. The pacing is pretty straight-forward. Each episodes plot is full moe nonsense or failed attempts to try and get Yuki and Momo closer. By the time you know the episode is over and you're watching the ending credits. The plot and story doesn't seem to get any serious until it starts reaching the last few episodes.
The story definitely is not something that I would consider watching this title again for. It's lacks the appeal that a standard or average romances title would have. I would say that maybe the writers were trying to be a little innovative with Momokuri however they just didn't do a good job stringing all together.
The characters designs were great; most of the background settings looked pretty nice. I didn’t have many concerns with the animation.
The quality of the show varied from time to time. I didn't like a majority of the animation they used outside of school. Nature background settings like trees, rain, grass looked like an animator just went into MS paint and added it into the final project. The skies and water lacked any sort of "realism" and the details of trees and grass were minimal. Now, this isn't a show that focuses on background settings as much as it does the actual characters. So its' only natural that they avoid putting much detail into make certain "environmental" elements and crap look nice. It appeared as if a majority of the focus went into making the characters as cute and appealing as possible for the fans who love overly cute or "moe" designs. You've got big detailed eyes in both males and females. Both male and female clothing are close to real life designer wear. They made sure to make those designs as cute as possible too. So if there's anything to be said about the art its' that it is satisfying to look at, it's just don't set your expectations too high.
Voice actors were pretty good delivering their lines. I was most impressed with Ai Kakuma's performance. She's definitely experienced when it comes to doing cute girls. I felt that her role as Yuki can definitely be something she can brag about her next try-outs. With Nobuhiko, I think this is my 3rd favorite role he's done acting like the "tough, cool guy" personality. The soundtrack was a little weak however it does fit the tone of the show. Satoshi Motoyama is an excellent sound director. So he has the experiences and knows who to get to give the show the "life" it needs.
The characters as I mentioned earlier are made to be cute... "moe." I honestly want to say that I did not like Yuki and Momo however; I did like seeing the progression the two made to finally became a full fledged couple. Rio seemed like she could've been a better candidate for Yuki however, it seemed like the director wanted to go in that direction, but later kept the two as senpai & kōhai. Respectful and kind to each other. it would've been great to see an antagonistic rival compete with Momo for Yuki's love and affection but because of the shows "moe" "fan-girly" friendly approach. It seems that the writers decided to keep with the route that worked best for them. I'll have to admit it does pay off.
Perhaps the best thing about Momokuri is that you often times I find myself being guilty of rooting Momo on. As much as I try and avoid romances, especially girly girl romances, I felt that I could indulge myself a little. Like, he has a QT 3.14 girl whose loyal, kind, forgiving, and a stalker. So why doesn't he man up and sweet talk her? He has so many opportunities to make their relationship closer but he keeps letting these opportunities pass. Sure, it was annoying and bothersome at first however; I found myself starting to enjoy this. I started to see what pattern and direction the show was going in and really had a fun time watching it.
Overall the show really is for those who are into "moe" characters. If you like sweet straight-forward stories with happy endings then Momokuri is totally for you. As for me, I'd probably skip on watching it again. I love shows that take on a much serious approach to romance. Shows that have a sense of realism in it. Lastly, Its' not bad to like stories that are cute. If you like it, don't let anyone judge you, enjoy while it last.
Art/Characters: When first seeing this art, I was a little hesitant, but overall it looked pretty cute and the characters seemed to be interesting, so I gave it a go. I was not disappointed after watching just one or two episodes. The colors are really bright and cute and the animation is fluid and easy to follow. Overall I felt that this show was really easy on the eyes. One of the other things that I really appreciated about this art style is how crisp the characters look. The surroundings are the same way, and because of this, it didn’t look like the characters were
superimposed on top of a background that was clearly a different style than the rest. As for the characters themselves, I felt that Kurihara’s character really stood out to me as a rather obsessive character, but it was just obsessive enough without getting to creepy and that made it really funny and cute to watch. As for Momo, the other lead, he was just a bit to oblivious for my liking, but he still gave off a vibe of someone who wanted to be in love and wanted to make sure things always work out. The opening did a really good job of showcasing the different personality traits of each character and that is always a plus that we hardly ever see.
Music/Sound: While this show had pretty generic music, I still really liked it. The opening song was one that I just could never skip because of how catchy it was. Normally when I come across a great opening song, it is a good indication of how much I will enjoy a show, and this was no exception. Not only the opening but the music that accompanies the scenes gives the show depth in places where it seems to lack, and this is highlighted really well in the latter half of the series. As for the sound there is a little bit of dip in the quality of this show, I am not too surprised, seeing as it was an Original Net Animation rather than a full-fledged production, but it wasn’t something that I can speak too negatively about. The music more than compensated for this, and that isn’t to say there wasn’t any sound, it was just very much overshadowed by the background music.
Story: Kurihara Yuki is a high school 2nd year who is just trying to make it along in her life, but Momotsuki Shinya, a first year at the same school, is the focus of all of her time. She spends a lot of time admiring him from afar; taking pictures, collecting his trash, and generally obsessing over him, all without Momo’s knowledge. But after Kurihara, with some help from her best friend Mizuyama, musters up the courage to confess her feelings to Momo, he agrees to start going out with her. Even though they start to date, Kurihara can’t seem to stop her collecting behaviors. The plot progresses as these two explore dating and friendships within their groups. There are twists and turns that really make the show easy to follow and fun to watch.
Personal Reflection: I really enjoyed seeing this show in the list of Summer Anime, I knew nothing about it but the art style was cute and the first episode was hilarious that I couldn’t stay away. I really loved how Kurihara wasn’t that creepy. An example of an over the line creepy character would be Kaho’s brother in Hatsukoi Monster (I go into more depth on that review), but there is just something about Kurihara that makes her less creepy and easier to pass off, even when the behavior isn’t much different. The problems that Momo faces when it comes to Kurihara are very real and not to out-of-character for someone who has never had a girlfriend before. There are times when Him and Kurihara have disagreements, or even outright fights, and rather than going back to normal in an instant (which would be extremely out of character for him, he grows and moves on from the problem after learning from it. Momokuri is a show of first-times, confusion, a hint of crazy, and a whole lot of funny; if that seems like something you are into, check it out!