(One Room 2nd Season Episode 0: Hanasaka Yui's Prologue)
Airing before One Room 2nd Season, this episode is essentially a recap of One Room’s first 4 episodes.
The main character during those 4 episodes is Hanasaka Yui, a 17-year-old high school girl that has moved to Tokyo to concentrate on her entrance exams. She becomes your neighbor, and later discovers that you, the main character, are attending her preferred university. She asks if you could become her tutor and, as a kind gesture, you say “yes” and become her tutor.
Besides the final 25 seconds, everything else is basically Hanasaka Yui recapping to us
everything that had happened in One Room’s first 4 episodes. The remaining 25 seconds are new scenes showing a picture frame of Yui in a lovely suit, your calendar, and Yui in a white one piece dress, carrying a tan bag, and saying, “let’s go” indicting that you and her are heading to the beach. This episode serves as a prologue to One Room 2nd Season, where the first four episodes in that season reintroduces Hanasaka Yui as your girlfriend.
It's pretty boring and not worth watching, unless you like watching recaps or are curious about the new additional scenes.
As typical of most recap episodes, many scenes, seen here, are recycled from One Room. And, even though the studio, character designer, and animation director have changed, the art and animations still feel the same; that is, the character is cutely drawn and beautiful to look at, the backgrounds are plain, and the animations are still decent. Mao Ichimichi reprises her role as the voice actresses for Hanasaka Yui, and she does an excellent job, even though Hanasaka Yui is a very two-dimensional character.
It’s a recap. There’s isn’t much enjoyment to be found, unless you like watching recaps. To me, it was pretty boring and worth the times and effort.
Since I hadn't seen the first season of the work of art that is One Room, this prologue was somewhat of a godsend. By which I mean that I've seen clips of the first season and there's no way in hell that I'm sitting through that -- short episodes or not.
And credit where credit is due, this prologue did accomplish exactly what it set out to do, in that it gave me a good idea of what happened in the first season, while setting the stage for the season to come.
With that being said, this
4-minute recap makes it glaringly obvious that the first season (and likely also the season to come) had issues. The main gimmick is exactly that, a gimmick. It doesn't carry the show because the character, Hanasaka Yui, is about as vapid and dull as they come. This is a problem when the entire premise of this prologue is said character talking to "you".
I put "you" in scarequotes because it isn't really you. It is a character that has their own lines. We're just not privy to them. That's part of the... charm, for lack of a better word, because you have to guess what "you" says to Yui. It's usually pretty obvious, since the dialogue is just generic drivel. This is a problem since the conversations are our only way of figuring out anything about the characters. The dialogue being what it is also by extension makes the characters seem about as flat as cardboard cutouts.
The conversations are boring and the (mostly) first person perspective makes the direction seem lazy. It's just uninteresting shots of a girl in a bikini. I've seen hentai with better camerawork and more soul than One Room. It's also really strange to see a romance anime with only one character in it. Usually the chemistry between two characters is the foundation the entire romance subgenre is built on, so just having one character that's in love with "you" is a bold idea. It is also exactly as cringy as you might expect. I think just having it be a straight up fanservice show without any romance elements would've been the better option here. It's not really a believeable romance anyway.
Other than that, I genuinely think that this concept could work -- hell, the prevalance of galges/dating sims is proof that this works, but the execution here is just lacking in every single aspect. The voice actress sounds uninterested and uninspired, the soundtrack isn't really there most of time (when it is there it's generic), the backgrounds look like your average stock-backgrounds and the character Hanasaka Yui looks completely generic (although sort of cute in her bikini, I guess).
There's really nothing else to say about this since it's only 4 minutes long. It's a waste of time, but not a particularily big one.
Just personal scratch.
Advised, possible spoilers.
Opinion & Informal
Art: 7/10 Art quality was nice. It had detail and it was noticeably crisp. The style wasn't really interesting as it was just modern anatomy and proportions such as face outline and features.
Animation: 4/10 Reused from the original first season. No new animation aside from the panning of that single still-shot which was the ED.
Characters: 4/10 Decided to recap the first girl and not the other two from the first season which is a shame because I would have preferred a recap on the midget second girl. Character designs were obviously done to be appealing. The slight hand
gesture to move her hair aside but not actually moving it at all; instead sort of just touching the hair and making the gesture just to make it. The whole bath scene and afterwards was recapped just so they could have a "nape of neck" shot.
Plot: 4/10 Recap that recaps an original series that you can finish in an hour. I bet you they recapped this because no one would remember anything from the first season because of how forgettable it was.
Development: 4/10 Why was there a need to recap something that you can finish in less than an hour? What? It didn't even recap the other girls.
Music: 5/10 Same theme from the original series. No new soundboard or bgm. Sound design not applicable. I watched this prior to season 2 but hey better not be reusing the same music from season 1 in season 2 because if they do...
Conclusion: 4/10 Pretty much brings you up to speed with the first girl and gives a decent enough lead into season 2 I guess. It would be funny if they decided to only recap you with the first girl because the other two from season 1 aren't going to be in season 2. Oh wait, looking at the preview and cover art for season 2 makes it seem like they totally AREN'T going to bring back best girl which was the midget.