BUNGAKU SHOUJO MEMOIRE 2ND OVA REVIEW. (the other OVAs bring the series down, The only interesting is this one)
A few months back I saw a OVA prequel of a light novel called Bungaku shoujo, at the time I wasn’t quite sure of what was I getting into, but I was pleasantly surprised by it, I decided to watch it because I was looking for a more dark perspective on the romance genre and that’s what I got for most part, I even watched the movie who pales comparing it to the prequels but that’s a topic for another day, keep in mind these OVA´s
have completely different purposes and stories, Now without further a do Ill start my review:
The story centers around a boy named Inoue Konoha a boy who likes to write, and its shown that he has talent for it.. Has a kid konoha met a girl called Miu Asakura a girl with a cold attitude that doesn’t get along with other kids, everyone “hates” her and she can be called a loner. She can be also considered a pathological liar, she lies for the most trivial things but for me I can interpret it has a method she has to try to affirm and get the attention of others, she does not care about what others say but deep down she shows sorrow because what she really wanted was someone to rely on and interact with, it’s a common thing among children and human in general, they strive for emotional connections and seek romance in this world. Consequently it also shows our greed and obcessiveness over something we hold dear, and sometimes it gets the best of us.
It’s a bitter sweet story with a decent direction and presentation and has great atmosphere. It stays focused troughout and doesn’t try to diverge from it, being a single OVA is very limiting yet they made something worth watching, this however is much more well explored in the LNs.. , this OVA has all had great ideas, great direction and presentation, the setting while being quite generic also fit (another fucking highschool setting), I give it a 6 because it doesnt have a ending (its continued in the movie) and because it was indeed rushed.
The art was solid for most part, sometimes some re used footage but very rare, other than that the character designs were generic, and the characters look like robots sometimes (Production IG) The backgrounds were pretty simple and it didnt had anything to the overall atmosphere and tone settled by the show wich wasnt a good thing, especially when I am a sucker for atmosphere.
The sound was pretty forgettable but fitting, the opening was suave and melancholic (fitting the show´s themes). On this case the soundtrack actually contributed to the atmosphere, (even being forgettable) like I said above it fitted the show.
The VAs did a pretty good job, especially Aya hirano wich was amazing while voicing Miu.
I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding this, the problem is that despite Miu Asakura being a great character the rest of the cast is just bland and uninteresting, most of them just being mere plot devices, one of the main things I absolutely love about this OVA is the fact that it has Miu has the MC and it shows you Miu perspective of the world, it was a great move by the writer.
Even if Miu is a great character I still stand for my point that a single character cant carry a show no matter how good it is. Its meaningless when the same character doesnt have anyone to interact with and influence others with the ideals and motivations they couldve introduced in the others.
Inoue is a bland ass MC for a show, he is absolutely annoying and bland, he almost comes off has a self insert if it werent for his reactions and motivations towards MIU, he is just forgetable
Miu´s parents was just there to provoke victimization that isnt necessarly bad in this case since it was needed to introduce us to Miu´s situation, the same goes for Miu´s classmates wich they show understandable reactions to her gimmicks, it all plays to Miu, they all rely on Miu but in the end they build their own grave because like I said " a single character cant carry a show no matter how good it is" .. and well Ill keep saying that because the side characters are just moved by reactions nothing else, bland like a sheet.
I clearly enjoyed the show, because Miu was the MC, that alone gives me the confidence to give this single OVA a 6 out of 10. I just hope for a remake just featuring Miu and her perspective on the world, without the bland ass characters.
Edit: This review is for the first of the three OVAs for this series.
Bungaku Shōjo Memoire, a three part OVA series produced by Production I.G., is the prequel for the recently released Bungaku Shoujo Movie. Although it is a three part OVA series, each OVA by itself is a standalone OVA with little direct connection with each other. The first episode of this OVA series, titled Yume Miru Shoujo no Prelude, focuses on the story of Touko Amano (天野遠子), the main heroine in the subsequent movie.
Also, a little note here: I have NOT read the original light novel source material, so you could say that
I'm starting with a clean state regarding the Bungaku Shoujo franchise.
The story itself is somewhat peculiar, focusing on Amano’s love of books (and literal eating of them), and her subsequent run in with both tragedy and love, although love not quite in the way that you would expect. The tragic moments took up a rather brief minute or two in this OVA, with the death of Touko’s parents while she was a child. They didn’t linger or overdramatize the tragedy, and simply moved on. The lasting impact of Amano’s father words of wisdom, however, are clearly seen through his daughter’s personality. There some wonderful series that have an intense focus on the theme of how loved ones are never truly gone as long as they are remembered, shows such as Cross Game and Touch.
However, due to the brevity of this particular OVA, such themes could never be fully fleshed out. The plot explores other aspects of the main character in more detail, such as the budding love of a young girl for books of all flavors, the social anxiety that comes with being a part of a niche fandom isolated from others, and an innocent fascination to explore the boundaries of your own interests.
The true strength of this OVA is the dynamic, always-enthusiastic-and-filled-with-energy main heroine, Touko. Her sheer level of pure, unadulterated love of books really shines through in her actions, ranging from jumping through imaginary fields of raining candy and talking cats after reading a wonderfully imaginative story, to being all giddy and smiley while explaining the wonders of today’s literary class lesson to her classmates who fell asleep in class. She is truly a wonder to watch, with absolutely no restraint in showing her love and appreciation of literature. Her love for books is so extreme that it’s almost fascinating; you can’t help but wonder what it’s like to be so carefree and passionate about your interests.
She is truly a joy to watch, but not everything is all good and happy for her. In the scenes where she is hanging out with other girls, you could tell that she has trouble fitting in with others, precisely because of her overflowing love of books; she simply cannot properly socially interact with her peers unless they also love and appreciate books, which unfortunately they do not. There isn’t an explicit focus on this, per say, but it is touched upon towards the beginning of the OVA, and is more darker in tone in contrast to Touko’s light hearted antics.
And here is where the major flaw to this OVA presents itself; it touches upon some very interesting themes and ideas, but it never fully immerses in properly fleshing out any of them. Because this OVA is only 22 or so minutes long, there simply isn’t enough time to properly develop and explore some of the ideas presented in this OVA. How I see it, this OVA was overtly ambitious about what it wanted to accomplish, but the end result is that it developed each idea moderately well, rather than polishing a single idea to perfection. An episode or two more to this arc could have done wonders for this particular story.
However, just because the OVA was all over the place doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. This OVA still has it’s charms and is by no means a bad OVA. It’s truly a wonderful watch that tells the story of a young, enthusiastic girl and her books; I almost guarantee that this will bring a smile to your face.
Overall: 8.5/10 (rounded up to a 9 on myanimelist)
Production Quality: 8.5/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9/10
this is a copy of my original review (^.^), which could be found here at https://blogs.emory.edu/animec/2010/07/17/bungaku-shojo-memoir-i-yume-miru-shoujo-no-prelude-ova/
As soon as the words came out that Bungaku Shojo was going to be animated as a film and OVA trilogy, I was very excited to hear the news as one of the loyal fans of the Bungaku Shojo light novel series. The opening theme of the OVA gave me a initial impression that was very positive; not only it was a good way of introducing the major characters in the novel, but it was also visually pleasing, especially with the surreal background of sunset shining on Amano’s face with a slight red hue and the beautifully-rendered colored marbles flowing out of Amano’s hands. Later,
the quality of the visuals remained solid with the episode itself with no apparent drop in quality. However, I was slightly annoyed that some of the drawing felt bit angular such as the hairstyle and the jaw of certain character’s face. On the other hand, I think it had the advantage of keeping the characters crisp without any unnecessary details that would distract viewers from enjoying the overall mood of the story.
The classic music in the background matched well very well with the overall atmosphere of the show, which was light-hearted and calming in the most part yet dramatic and serious in some crucial moments. Also, the lightening effect was employed with precision for similar purpose as above, as the shadow caused by the sunset fills the most of the screen when Amano finds about the retirement of Miu Inoue and it is again filled with bright light when she discovers and meets with Konoha Inoue at the school.While there’s really nothing particular to note about the side characters’ voice acting, I really liked the decision to use Hanazawa Kana for Amano’s role as her youthful and energetic voice fits well with the literature girl image. (Just to note, Hanazawa does also very good job of acting quiet girls like Fujiwara Sora in Sketchbook and Sengoku Nadeko in Bakemonogatari) To be frank, I also really look forward Hirano Aya and Mizuki Nana’s voice acting in the future episodes of Memoire OVA.
Even though Bungaku Shōjo did not seem to be a high-budget production, I should give credit to the director, Shunsuke Tada, for keeping the OVA consistent with the novel while making efficient use of the available resources. Overall, the OVA should be appreciated by the fans of Bungaku Shōjo, while remaining enjoyable for those who have faced the series for the first time.