The story begins with Hanabi, a sixth-grade girl who is neither an adult nor a child. She deals with issues such as accidentally witnessing her homeroom teacher kissing, and worrying about experiencing physiological changes before her friends. The series depicts a 12-year-old girl's innocent worries and first love.
If I had to choose a word to describe this anime, it would be "cute". This anime was so adorable and cute that it really touched my heart. I judge anime based on enjoyment and whether or not it executes it's stated genres to perfection. For example, This anime was romance and it gave us a lot of romantic scenes. I fell in love with all the romance scene. The characters where also adorable and I imagined myself as the heroine, Ayase.
This anime explores topics like first love, growing up and friendships and relationships at a young age. I know a lot of people
are going to pass out on this anime because it is about children but I wouldn't recommend you doing that because it is a really good romance anime and focuses a lot on the two relationships in the anime. I can dare say that this "children" anime has a lot more romance in it then some of the other romance shoujo anime I've seen.
12-Sai in reality would an adorable anime with a great plot, story and ideas. The cuteness of following a bunch of pre-teens exploring adulthood, coming to grips with who they are would be great. The unfortunate is 12-sai does this in one of the most boring ways imaginable.
If your entire anime is based around the concept of children then don't make them unbearable. Unfortunately this anime and it's characters fall into the typical 'stupid characters' category where you end up screaming at the screen because they refuse to say anything that is comprehensible or fix the situation. This ruins both the story and your enjoyment
as you only get frustrated by the stupidy of the characters. Many people will attempt to defend this by stating that they are 12 so it makes sense however no 12 year old would act this stupid.
It's unfortunate that the art and animation are actually of over-par quality and contend with current season full length anime therefore it's a shame that it is wasted on this anime.
if the characters were more competent, this would get rated higher however then the story would not happen if the characters were not stupid.
12 years old???, then why do they act more mature than that????.
Ok look, LA knows this anime isn't for LA's demographic but LA is kinda a sucker for romance anime and LA watched the ONA for this years ago and wanted to see how this would get the full anime treatment that Houkago no Pleiades did.
12-sai follows the relationships of 12 year olds of Hanabi Ayase voiced by Ai Kakuma and Yuuto Takao voiced by Soma Saito as well as Hanabi's friend of Yui Aoi voiced by Juri Kimura and Kazuma Hiyama voiced by Shun Horie and follows their experiences and obstacles in first
love and follows some typical cliches of the romance genre.
If LA could analyze the two relationships, Hanabi and Yuuto's one is the more generic one out of the two, with Yuuto pretty much solving EVERYTHING that comes into his and Hanabi's relationship with his smooth-talking to coincidental incidents, if anything LA is reminded of Usui from Kaichou Maid-sama as the main character who "can do no wrong and EASILY fixes any obstacles in his and Hanabi's relationship", Yuuto and Hanabi's relationship right from the start is TOO stable and leaves little room for growth as LA's biggest annoyance to this relationship is Yuuto solving everything by himself and for a relationship with no flaws and hardly moves up (sure their 12 years old, but still!!, we get invested into a relationship for them to grow, not do the same things over and over and over again), is a hard relationship to get invested in. Yui and Kazuma's relationship however gives us something more than that, that of a twice shy relationship but with a role reversal we usually see in a romantic genre, the role reversal in this relationship is that the male is the tsundere while Yui is the headstrong *ahem* "give no shit what you think" character of the relationship and because Yui and Kazuma goes through their own obstacles by tandem from Hanabi and Yuuto's but they however not only resolve their obstacle but they give us character development, growth and depth (most noticeably Yui as a character development angle and Kazuma in a relational development angle) and for that, Yui became LA's favourite character of this series.
Onto the other characters, Coco is your typical "rival-ojou love interest villain" girl for Hanabi and she is HIGHLY predictable in failure due to Yuuto resolving everything, Coco...you just can't win...just give up and on speaking of giving up, the three idiots are WALKING ANNOYING COMEDIC RELIEF and their running gags of "wanting to emulate Yuuto's manly quotes" to just plain out causing some of the cliche obstacles thrown at the two core relationships, the three idiots really are double edged swords, they move the plot forward predictably but are also annoying useless comedic trio. Huh...LA didn't think that Maid-sama would have more relevance in this anime review but whatever. Marin at the very least have a purpose to be a thoughtful best friend to Aoi and Hanabi and when they are in doubt, they go to her for advice, IRONIC as most of her advice although thoughtful as being the friend of the both of the core female characters, her advice is unneeded for the most part. Finally rounding up the cast, LA will point out the "other" love rival to Yuuto and Hanabi's relationship by the name of Ayumu Tsutsumi voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara, well the biggest problem with him is that his screentime is soo low he just becomes a one-off "love rival" against Yuuto...he's by the by for a love rival, very forgettable in the long run.
In terms of voice acting, there tends to be LOTS of squeak that can get really annoying (LA is looking at you Ai Kakuma and the three idiots), however once again Yui's voice actor Juri Kimura was LA's favourite voice actor, she actually tries to sound like a 12 year old and actually ACTS like on to without the squeak aside from Juri Kimura, LA actually liked Sayuri Hara who voices Cocoa as a "playing against the type" role for Sayuri as she usually voices genki-type characters...this role as Cocoa for Sayuri is a complete 180.
In terms of animation by OLM, Inc who helms this anime from SynergySP from the OVA, they're character designs have similarities to the OVA's but more "sparkly" typical considering this is a typical shoujo anime, however with it's comedic moments, the animation goes full chibi with blank circle eyes animation and LA can see that it IS a comedic moment thus can be playful but in animation sense, LA can just see this as being "kinda lazy" and not take the comedic moments in a stronger sense. Overall, animation is janky between it's shoujo-romance and comedy moments.
With all these faults and promising elements to 12-sai has, overall, LA can easily say that IT IS a cliche storm of romance tropes just heavily toned down due to the demographic they are trying to show this anime too and to be completely honest as cliche as it is, it's still hits the mark at pleasing it's demographic, it's cutezy puppy love with no high-tension drama, but still having the typical romance anime tropes we see, it even makes sense from it's animation quality standpoint as it's chibi and comedic for the most part shows us the tone of the anime throughout.
12-sai is getting a 2nd season so if the 2nd season can do something MORE especially with Yuuto and Ayase's relationship instead of being the ever-stable relationship that never changes, then LA will honestly say that the 2nd season will be pointless. 2nd season hopes aside, 12-sai's first season at best is an "ok" romance shoujo anime in the cliched view of a 12 year old and that's not such a bad thing.
12-sai.: Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki tells the story of two 12 years old girls, Yui and Hanabi, it's a story how they found their first love and how they live that love.
Storie: 6 out of 10
There are many better romance story but what i liked about 12-sai is that they tell the story of two girls that fell in love for the first time, and each girl have different problems. It is a story show the innocence of a 12 years old girl (or at least what it should be).
The development is really slow, 1 little problem per episode and the end is always the
Art: 7 out of 10
The art is nice and cute, it fits the anime style.
Sound: 5 out of 10
Imagine the most generic background music to set the mood, that's it.
Character: 6 out of 10
The character development is slow and is always like:
1º: Girl is afraid or insecure
2º: Girl do many stupid actions
3º: Boy smiles
4º: Happy ever after or at least until the next episode
This is nice in a real relationship once a month, not in a 20 min anime every week.
Enjoyment: 7 out of 10
I enjoy it not because it has good or because the story is good but because it was a nice change of pace from the other animes.
Overall: 6 out of 10
If you like innocent romance give this one a chance.