Saeki Koushirou works as a wedding planner, but his own love life is a shambles. His background makes it difficult for him to commit himself wholeheartedly to love. The child of a divorced couple, he lives with his father. He has a mother and a sister, but he has not seen them in years. After being dumped by his girlfriend, a chance encounter with a female high school student shakes Koushirou's calm and awakens new feelings in him—but he learns that the girl is in fact his sister, who will now be staying with his father and him. Yet, the feelings in Koushirou's heart...
I have never seen any other anime that has had such a great impact on me, and I don't expect to find any either. Koi Kaze is simply outstanding in the way it handles this story, which is very much taboo in our society.
First of all, Koi Kaze lacks all those annoying anime clichés that usually put me a bit off when watching a series. There are no girls who are supposed to be 15 but act like they are 10 and speak with the voice of a toy rabbit. Instead, we get a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl who actually acts naturally.
Nanoka's voice actress does a brilliant job, she sounds natural, like she is acting with her own voice instead of making up a voice for the character. The character designs are also more realistic, with the characters looking a whole lot more like real people than most anime characters. Everything is kept serious and realistic in general.
Koi Kaze is not a noisy or action-filled series, but it's never dull either. As the story progresses, the viewer will sympathize with both of the two main characters, even though they in no way are perfect. They are two people, brother and sister (and the brother is significantly older as well), who are gradually falling love, and they can't help it. It's difficult, even painful, to watch, and it does make you think about what is to be considered "right" and "wrong". Before watching this I thought the concept to be clearly on the "wrong" side, but after watching it I concluded that I'm actually in no position to write off a relationship as such.
The music is also worth mentioning. It's not loud or dramatic, but rather simple and effective. There are a few beautiful piano pieces playing that do a very good job in setting the mood. The music never takes the focus off the story, but complements it very well.
All in all, this is a series I would recommend to anyone, heck, it might the single series I would strongly recommend even to those who don't normally watch anime. It's been a good while since I watched it, but the story never left me and it makes me want to come back and re-experience it. With absolutely no traditional melodrama or "in your face" symbolism whatsoever, Koi Kaze manages to touch, to shock and to offer something new to the viewer, and it's a story you just don't forget. It's that good.
Amongst all the adrenaline-pumping action, zany comedy, melodrama, and over-the-top lunacy of anime, there are a rare few series that go out of their to seriously deal with sensitive issues. Koi Kaze is one such series. It is a gentle, honest, and ultimately heart-breaking story that deals with an issue most other shows would avoid (or in the case off anime, play of as a joke). Needless to say the exploration of taboo is not something everyone enjoys. However, Koi Kaze explores its issue with a maturity and truthfulness that makes it a true gem.
The issue in question is incest (with a large age difference
on top of that), as the story follows the relationship between Koshiro Saeki and his younger sister, Nanoka. Now, incest is not exactly an issue anime shies away from, but it is rarely explored seriously. Usually, it is used in anime for shock factor, Hansel and Gretel from Black Lagoon for example, or to satisfy some strange otaku fetish. However, by dealing with the issue maturely, Koi Kaze depicts what people in this kind of relationship might actually be going through. The relationship between Koshiro and Nanoka is constantly in a delicate balance, as the two struggle with their feelings (especially Koshiro). However, it also packs more genuine warmth and feeling than most typical anime relationships, which makes the conflict with taboo all the more potent. While there are definitely some very discomforting moments that will doubtlessly be too much for some viewers (notably a scene that takes place in the laundry room in episode 4), they only strengthen the story and its themes.
The subject matter being as controversial as it is, puts tremendous importance on the characters, and luckily Koi Kaze is blessed with an incredible pair of leads. Koshiro is in his late 20s and is starting to feel the weight of his years, becoming somewhat apathetic and emotionally numb, but also having a deep rooted frustration, especially in light of a recent break-up. It is easy to feel his pain and sympathize with him even as he struggles with personal issues that are, in all honesty, pretty creepy. On the other side of the spectrum, there is Nanoka who is still in high school, and dealing with the insecurities of adolescence, particularly concerning boys. The anxieties these two characters face and the way they find comfort within each other feels so real, so plausable, that it is actually kind of scary. The rest of the cast falls strictly into supporting roles. They all have distinctive and believable personalities, but they just feel like background compared to the two leads. An exception is Koshiro's co-worker, Kaname Chidori (No, not from Full Metal Panic), who plays a pivotal role in the later episodes, and my personal favorite character from the show. There is also Koshiro's other co-worker, Odagiri, who is an intolerable pervert and failed comic relief; it would have been better if he had not existed.
On the technical-side, Koi Kaze is a mixed bag. The visuals, while not bad, are on the prettier side of unimpressive. The subdued color scheme is quite nice, and it is nice to see normal looking people in an anime, but nothing really pops out. The backgrounds are pretty standard and are what you would expect from any slice-of-life. The animation is passable, and at times quite good, especially in the sequences with petals or Nanoka's hair are being blown in the wind; but overall it certainly nothing to write home about. The music of Koi Kaze, however, is another story. The beautiful orchestral pieces, highlighted by piano, are just a joy to listen to. Even with the art being so-so, scenes are beautiful with this soundtrack supporting them. Add to that director Omori Tatahiro's cinematic sensibility, which makes the best of the visuals, and you have an impressive, if flawed, presentation.
Due to it's content, Koi Kaze is not an easy anime to recommend. Incest is an uncomfortable topic, added to that is the large age difference of the main couple, and may people will immediately (understandably) be turned off by it. For those who do get over the subject matter , you will be hard pressed to find a more mature, well-written tale of forbidden love.
There's only one way to put this series and that's simply amazing. The series Koi Kaze is one of those rare gems that truly stimulate the human mind and lets it's audience in on the real nature of life and how something like incest that might be grotesque to some can actually be something so beautiful. I'll admit I was a bit skeptical at first but Koi Kaze demonstrated how a masterpiece should convey it's characters feelings, emotions, and problems.
Koi Kaze is about an ordinary man named Koshiro who works as a wedding planner.He lives at home with his father and goes
about his daily commute as per usual. One day however a fateful encounter changed his life forever. Koshiro met a beautiful young girl named Nanoka on a train, As she was leaving she had dropped her pass, Koshiro picked up the pass and returned it only too notice that this girl was very young and very beautiful. A seemingly normal encounter one would say, "o' how mistaken you are". As fate would have it Koshiro was getting a house mate and that this person would be his long lost sister. Koshiro layed eyes on this new house mate only too find out that it was the girl whom he had met on the train. The road to love and incest soon followed as the characters fight their feelings for each other.
The animation was decent and at time the imagery was vibrant and quite elegant. The animation definitely fit the tone of the series. The audio quality was also excellent. The voice casting was perfect fitting each character well. The music for the series fit the emotional sequences to a tee. In all this series had a perfect blend of element for a Slice of life drama. every encounter the characters faced felt as though you could feel their pains and anguish. There were times were I actually felt nervous for the characters and how they went about facing there problems.
In conclusion Koi Kaze was simply a masterpiece. If anyone is looking to get into a Slice of life that deals with a topic that not many take seriously and wants a real life take on the subject of incest. Then please do give this series a watch.
Let me start this review by saying Koi Kaze is the most depressing story I've ever seen. A love that cannot blossom does just that gradually throughout the series, with the viewers’ sense of dread building along with the story. This isn't for kids.
There are MINOR spoilers when I'm describing the story/characters below. Nothing too major, but I thought I'd mention it in case the reader wants to go into Koi Kaze knowing near to nothing.
The plot of Koi Koze is very simple -- A brother and a sister who haven't seen each other since they were very little start living together (along with
their father) when 15 year old Nanoka (who had been living with the siblings’ mother) needs to move closer to her new school. The brother, Koshiro, is 27, meaning there's a 12 year age gap between the siblings. The two instantly have a connection and feelings for each other that go above simple friendship/family feelings.
Before the pair learns they are brother and sister, they bump into each other on a train after Nanoka drops her ID card. They later randomly bump into each again, ending up going together to an amusement park since Koshiro had just been given 2 tickets. They end up having a heart to heart, telling each other about their love problems, Koshiro ending up crying. They find out they are siblings when their dad meets them together as they're exiting the amusement park.
Koshiro's initial reaction to the sister revelation is to be nasty to her, hiding the conflict going on inside himself. He doesn't want to face up to his feelings for her, choosing instead to simply act like a bad brother. Nanako, being young and naive, initially has no idea about Koshiro's feelings and doesn't understand her own, leading her to be confused about Koshiro's transformation from nice guy to bad brother. She does manage to discover he does care for her due to his actions - concerned when she has period cramps, worried when she's out in the rain, jealous when she's talking to boys, etc.
As you might have worked out after reading the above, Koi Kaze deals with a taboo subject without really holding back. That doesn't mean incest is glorified here (if anything it's the opposite since the story is tragic); what the story does is show a true love that can never be in this world. Both parties don't want to feel how they do; they just do and cannot change it.
The series progresses at a slow pace as their relationship develops. At first it bothered me that nothing seemed to be happening, but once it gripped me the episodes seemed to be going much faster. Give it chance before dropping it.
With the focus being on the love between two siblings, the two get a lot of attention.
Koshiro is constantly in conflict with himself throughout the series. His brain knows what he's thinking and doing is wrong, yet his heart tells him otherwise. He tries to hide his inner conflict from Nanako by simply being a bad brother at first, attempting to push her away. His guilt over how he feels eventually drops down and allows him to be VERY friendly with her, but he still knows it's wrong to think and feel how he does about his kid sister.
Nanako, on the other hand, doesn't have the same conflict Koshiro has going on right from the start. Being naive, she takes his aggressive attitude as nothing more than him being a bad brother, not able to understand what reason he could possibly have to act the way he does. She does eventually start to understand that her own feelings are above and beyond sisterly love, leading to the feelings of both coming out in the open.
Both characters have a lot of depth, as you'd expect. The rest of the cast don't really get fleshed out very much, but that doesn't matter an awful lot when the 2 most important characters do get fully fleshed out, hence the high rating.
Art / Animation: 8.5/10
It looks and moves well enough for a show without any action sequences. The art, while not of the highest level, looks good enough to make Nanako look like the cutest thing I've ever seen.
There are no problems, the series is in wide-screen and it looks more than good enough for a series that doesn't have action driving it onwards.
I didn't like the soundtrack very much at first due to there not being many tracks that stand out. However, on reflection, I understand that the music used was pretty much perfect for this type of show - it's irrelevant how many tracks there are that I'd listen to away from the series; the only thing that matters is that the music fits the series and sets the right mood for whatever scene it's playing during, which the Koi Kaze soundtrack does.
Overall, Koi Kaze is one the best series I've ever watched...along with it being the most depressing and one of the most unsettling. If you can handle a tragic story, this series is unmissable.
Incest, loli, extreme gore, and cannibalism are just some of the subjects considered taboo but they are not really rare in anime. Can you guess which taboo anime shows have found their way to this list?
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