Born from a much loved, but lowly ranked concubine, Genji Hikaru is called the Shining Prince and is the beloved second son of the Emperor. Although he cannot be an heir to the throne of his father, Genji spends his life surrounded by every pleasure and love. And yet, his one longing in love is something that even the power of an Emperor can never give him.
One guy going around seducing various women may seem like a pretty dodgy premise for an entire series. But it manages to avoid being just a trashy harem anime by delving into the characters of each of the women and Genji himself.
If you've seen some of the previous work of director Osamu Dezaki, you will recognize his style in this series: a lot of pan shots and still frames with artful use of filter effects. Apart from helping make a fairly limited animation budget look good, this technique also punctuates the emotion or intensity of a scene and highlights the beautifully rendered costumes
and environments. It's almost like watching a shoujo manga come to life. Even when I found myself thinking "What is he doing? Why is she angsting so much?" I couldn't help but be caught up in the emotion of the scene.
Basically, if you're the type who likes romantic period dramas with lots of gorgeous costumes and soap opera relationships and a bit of political intrigue, then this is absolutely the anime for you. If you're not necessarily a fan of those things, but can appreciate an artistic and well-made interpersonal drama, then do check it out anyway.
This is an underrated gem. The visuals are stylized, but quite beautiful and well suited to the subject at hand. Centering on the amorous encounters of Hikaru, the series does in fact feature several intimate scenes, but they are not explicit and to focus on them is to miss the larger point of the work. This is ultimately a poetic, lingering examination of longing, attraction and the multi-faceted nature of love, all set to a dramatic and moving soundtrack.
If you are familiar with the "Tales of Genji", this is pretty much a anime adaption about it. While there is a bit of inaccuracies with it especially in the closing of the anime, certain things hold true such as Genji is playboy from the Heian period and is in love with his stepmother who is technically not that much older than him.
My initial reason for watching this anime was to understand the text form of the story better since reading wasn't always my strong point especially when there are many other classes which had my priority (and the fact that anime was enjoyable). Having
watch through the first 5 episodes, I was impressed on how well they kept up with certain facts such as the women he had slept with, the look alike of the women (central theme of the book if you ever read it).
Not much can be said except that I wish they didn't use modern animation to portray a Japanese classic, but rather use something from "Samurai Horror Tales" to make it more nostalgic. It was quite interesting how the anime portray some aspects of it such as evil spirits and some part of Japanese culture during that period.
Please note this review is based on only 1.5 episodes, so I could be wrong and maybe things got better...
While this anime is full of pretty things, and has a wonderfully soft and slow pace to it, what I have gathered is this is essentially a series about a dude boinking ladies in old timey Japan, but in a nice way... so 'romantically boinking ladies' in old timey Japan?
He loves ladies, and he loves to love ladies. And they love him. Like most dudes in real life who go around romantically boinking ladies, he's looking for... *something*, but despite the pretty and ALL the
sighing, I really didn't care enough to stick with it and see if he found what he was looking for.
The art itself is very good, the backgound music does well to set the scene and you can tell that there is going to be suitable character development, that they aren't completely *wooden* (hehehe, sorry, not sorry for the pun). It's just that I found the story uninteresting and it failed to hook me in.
PS: steam strategically covers all the swimsuit areas, so get your minds out of the gutter, it's not about the boinking, it's about the romance. And the wistful sighing.