Fumihiko Matsumaru is an average salaryman with no girlfriend. He invited his colleague Miss Tanaka to a movie but was stood up. Right at the time he was about to toss tickets into a trash can, a cute girl appeared and asked him not to waste those two tickets. After movie and dinner, he escorted her home and found they live in the same neighborhood, yet unfortunately her apartment caught on fire hours later. Having nowhere else to stay, rookie seiyuu Aka Onda moved to Matsumaru's place, and the two had started a "more than friend but not yet lovers" relationship under the same roof while keeping this secret from their employers.
The episodes of Rec are titled after movies featuring Audrey Hepburn, Onda's dream idol. The opening sequence also contains many glamour shots with Onda dunning Hepburn's famous costumes in various movies, such as the pipe-holding shot of Breakfast at Tiffany's and the afternoon dress with a flamboyant hat in My Fair Lady.
REC only spans ten episodes (counting the DVD special) and those episodes aren't even full-length, yet it manages to be more heartwarming and entertaining than many longer series. It isn't groundbreaking at all, but if you don't hate predictable romance anime, it is a perfect way to cheer you up when you're feeling a little down.
Onda Aka is a rookie voice actress who one day encounters the salary man Matsumaru Fumihiko, who's been stood up by his date, in front of the cinema. Long story short, Aka makes Matsumaru watch the movie together with her and the flames of love are ignited. Later the same night, Aka's apartment catches fire and she is taken in by Matsumaru. Romantic events ensue, but when waking up the next day, neither of them regards themselves as a real couple. Incidentally, they end up working together with the marketing of Matsumaru's latest invention: a leaf-shaped crisp. Aka is - of course - voicing the product's mascot, Neko-ki - a tree with a cat's head.
The focal point of the story is, not surprisingly, the development of the two main characters' relationship and how it is affected by Aka's rise in popularity; is it right for her to prioritize her career even though it leads to her not being able to spend time with Matsumaru? Though the story is far from original, I still really cared about Aka and Matsumaru. Because REC is, unlike most other anime belonging in this genre, not full of unnecessary melodrama or supernatural elements - it is realistic, and that makes it so much more engaging.
Animation studio SHAFT, of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and ef - a tale of memories fame, is responsible for the animation. REC's visuals don't impress at all, but they suffice; Aka is heart-wrenchingly cute and Matsumaru is... well... ordinary. Backgrounds and the like are good as well.
The seiyuu (voice actors) did a great job with all the characters, including the minor ones, enhancing the warm atmosphere of the anime greatly. Music was always fitting though far from memorable. The opening wasn't my cup of tea, but, then again, I couldn't care less.
To summarize, REC isn't the most innovative romance anime around, but it's realistic approach to the genre makes it refreshing and the chemistry between the characters (who are the series' greatest strength) is wonderful and Aka and Matsumaru's feelings toward each other feel genuine. I would not have complained had it been longer, but it's shortness may also be a strength; it never got even close to boring, even though I watched it all in one sitting.
A highly recommended anime to all romance fans. read more
REC, incorporates real life problems with a warm feel. This story is basically life, while trying to understand your feelings with a cute spin here and there, but serious when it needs to be.
Art is good, borderline amazing.
Soundtrack is good, character voices were cute, well portraying of the characters.
Character development is great, you end up liking the characters and somewhat can relate to their problems as time goes on.
Why did I like this anime?
It was pretty damn cute, life problems mixed in with a 'I love you, but wait do I really?' type of feel. It relates to life problems and is somewhat humorous and serious when needed. Very good anime, feeling of satisfaction I must say.read more
There is nothing quite like sitting down to a nice down-to-earth anime. Sometimes those are are hard to find, yet here we are with Rec. It is the story about a guy and girl living under the same roof. Seems kind of cliche, until it actually gives a legit reason: her house burned down (sorry I saw the title and the burning house and immediately thought of mix tapes, I'm so ashamed). I know the length of the episodes seems intimidating, but it was not bad at all. I applaud the series for actually giving us something to enjoy while putting it in half the time frame of most other series. Now, lets dig into this...
Short, yet effective, those are the best words to summarize this. We have our guy, Matsumaru, waiting outside a movie theater. Why, you may ask? He got dumped. By a woman whom most viewers will probably dislike. He then meets a 20 year old girl named Ako, and will precede to find solace in getting plastered with her. They will then walk home and everything will be over. Or so they thought. Sucks when your house burns down. So that's how we come to them living together. He works for a candy company and comes up with ideas for them to use. She is a novice voice actress. Throughout this series they have to deal with success while also balancing the feelings they start to have for each other. That's it. It's a nice, simple story to unwind to after a stressful day. It is not a bad story riddled by plot holes, nor is it an absolute masterpiece. It is just a refreshing look into the real world of business.
The art is average. It is along the same lines as the story, refreshing, yet not stunning. It uses mildly dull colors so it's not going to vomit rainbows in your face. The leading girl looks quite cute, and this series emphasized that. The guy was pretty standard for an anime protagonist. Overall I gave the art a decent score because I thought the art was fitting to what the series was aiming for.
The weakest aspect. Not much to say here. There was no op or ed. You have background music and sound effects when the title roles on screen. Although those could be humorous at times. Really there was nothing bad about any of it as far as I could tell. It did what it had to do and didn't leap over mountains to give us auditory pleasure.
This I thought was great. For such a short series they really managed to capture the people we really care about. The male protagonist is just a man trying to rise up in the business world. The leading heroine is just a female voice actress trying to accomplish her dream. Throughout this series we get to see them both succeed and fail, and what it does to them afterward. We have all had times where we failed at something and took it out on others, that's where our male protagonist has trouble. We have all had moments where we had to do things we didn't want to do for our benefit, and that's where our heroine had trouble. It was pleasing to see such relatable problems on anime characters, and the series did a great job at portraying them. The rest of the characters are there to act as foils for the relationship of the two. We have Ako's manager who is strict, yet understanding. We have Matsumaru's co-worker who tries to cheer him up and let us know he is not a complete loner at work. And we have the woman who stood him up, who acts as an inciter of jealousy in Ako. In the end, she helps us realize the depth to which Ako cares for Matsumaru. Only problem I have is that Ako is all touchy-feely with Matsumaru in the beginning but then flat out denies they're together for most of the series. We know better, right?
A fantastic little series I thought. I happen to love romance anime and this is one that would be a disappointment to miss. I enjoyed the down to earth setting, story, and characters. They were a good break from witches, warlocks, super power lolies, and everything else anime sometimes throws at us.
A cute little series. If you are into romance with the occasional hint of comedy and drama, this is one anime you will most certainly not regret.read more
What is a better day to post a review for Rec than Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn’s 85th birthday? Audrey Hepburn was a huge inspiration for the show’s aspiring voice actress Aka, and the show embraced her movie titles and movie quotes in each episode.
I warn you that you may not like this show if you’re expecting a steamy hot romance. It's more about the development of a romance. Some people who watched Rec, including me, rated it with a very low score, because it’s incredibly boring at first viewing. However, Rec is different from most other romance anime and not as cliché. It reflects on reality by displaying the disappointment and challenges of balancing a professional life with a private life. Rec revolves around an aspiring voice actress (Aka) and a marketer (Matsu) dealing with the struggles and pressure of work. One problem I had was that their relationship happened quite fast with Aka moving into Matsu’s place the same day they met, because her place burned down without any given reason. On a positive note, Rec goes behind the scenes of the media industry and excitingly shows the transition of a popular seiyuu, including the advertisement and work inside the studio.
There are a few problems I had with the characters. If it were not for the revelation of Aka’s age (20 years) and scenes of her drinking beer, this show would seriously appear as a lolicon. She literally looks and sounds like a little girl, while Matsu looks like an old man despite being 26. Matsu can honestly get pretty annoying. He is a loner who is desperate for a girlfriend and relieved when Aka walks into his life. This causes him to act perverted at times, and it may be entertaining and funny for someone who enjoys anime where a guy constantly experiences rejection. I honestly didn’t like it. Apart from that, Aka and Matsu are strong as a pair. They show support and feelings for each other as they work together in their career. The supporting characters contribute to the pair’s relationship by revealing life’s disappointments and giving advice that has an impact on them. They also participate in each of their careers and show how the media industry works in Japan.
The artwork looks old as if it’s from the 1990s instead of the 2000s. It resembles something out of a childrens’ book. The colors are bland. The backgrounds are plainly drawn, and the only activity are from the main characters. The rest of the society is still. The character design was average. The females were the only attractive characters in the show, and the males could not nearly compare. The settings, including recording studios, are drawn realistically as it suits the atmosphere of voice actors and advertisers.
The OP, sung by Kanako Sanai (voice of Aka), is pretty good, but it could be unattractive to others. The truth is the lyrics of the OP describes the show perfectly: “Don’t give up/Embrace all of your worries.” Not only does it describe their relationship, but it says not to let life get you down at the worst of times. The seiyuu expressed appropriate emotions for situations, including jealousy and excitement. The background music and sound effects fit the atmosphere well.
Rec is an anime that you’ll have to rewatch with a different mindset if you did not enjoy it the first time. Honestly, the few people that scored Rec below a 7 were bored out of their minds just like I was. I planned to drop it during my first viewing, but it didn’t make sense for me to drop an anime that only has nine 12-minute episodes. I couldn’t stand the anime, and the OP was completely annoying at first. After rewatching it, I actually enjoy it more than other romance anime, and the OP is one of my favorites. As I mentioned earlier, this is the most realistic romance anime out there as it features the complications of relationships because of busy careers, which is the primary reason why my score changed from a 6 to a 9.read more