After having to deal with jealousy from his co-workers for working under his father's name, prideful literary editor Ritsu Onodera is determined to establish himself in the industry. To accomplish this, he quits his job at his father's publishing company and transfers to Marukawa Publishing. But instead of being placed in their literary division, Ritsu finds himself working as the rookie manga editor for the Emerald editing department, a team that operates under extremely tight schedules in order to meet deadlines. There, Ritsu is introduced to the infamous editor-in-chief Masamune Takano, a persistent man who strives for results.
As it turns out, Takano is actually Ritsu's high school love, and it is the aftermath of that heartbreak has caused Ritsu's reluctance to fall in love again. Now with the two reunited after several years of separation, the reestablishment of their relationship is marked by Takano's vow to make Ritsu say that he loves him again.
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi follows three couples that are interconnected within the manga industry, with each being subject to the budding of first love.
Some may argue that this anime is just another BL anime focused on fanservice for the girls. While I'm not totally denying this, I do have to say that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. Unlike Junjou Romantica where it's just SEXSEXILOVEYOUSEXSEX every episode, this actually has a pretty good story.
It's simple, sweet, and straight to the point. Some may view that as a good thing while others may disagree and claim that's a bad thing. Personally, I thought the story was fairly well done considering this is a BL anime. One of the biggest flaws, however, is
that the drama is kind of forced upon the viewer...but since this is a Shungiku Nakamura series, we all know the drama isn't going to end in heartbreak or tragedy; you know all of these guys are going to eventually end up in a relationship and live happily ever after because, well, that's just what happens in her works. The drama is there to interest the viewer, but it doesn't necessarily serve a big purpose within the story. Do I think that's a bad thing? I believe if it's a device to interest the viewers, then go for it.
Deen did much better this time than in Junjou Romantica, that's for sure. The backgrounds have a more soft feeling about them, and it reminded me of Hourou Musuko's background art (if you haven't seen Hourou Musuko, the gist of what I'm getting at is that the background art is done extremely well). So the backgrounds are beautiful, that's fine and dandy. But the characters? I don't mind that they're all bishounen/"bishies" because that fits in with the theme, but...ugh, the faces. And the hair. They're all identical. I'm not talking about the color of the eyes and hair, but the shapes and styles are basically all the same. It's just a little thing but it bugs me when I get the characters confused since they all look too similar.
It's really nothing very special. The opening is upbeat which fits Sekaiichi Hatsukoi considering this anime is a lighthearted romance/comedy, and the ending is more serene. As for voice acting, it was simply alright. The ukes sounded girly and whiny and the semes sounded manly and rough. Too bad that, like the art, everyone sounded the same. It was a mediocre performance on the seiyuu's parts.
Character is where the series starts slacking, because they're all so stereotypical and it can get REALLY annoying after a couple episodes. All of the ukes (Ritsu Onodera, Chiaki Yoshino, and Shouta Kisa) have the typical I-don't-want-you-to-kiss-you-even-though-I'm-obviously-in-love-with-you-so-I'm-just-gonna-keep-pushing-you-away-because-I'm-stupid attitude, whereas all the semes (Masamune Takano, Yoshiyuki Hatori, and Kou Yukina) won't give up because they know the ukes are undoubtedly in love with them. There's slight character development, but not enough to drastically change their attitudes or anything. It's the average stuff you see in BL which is why I rated it as such.
I like this series, don't get me wrong, but some major flaws and the ending prevented me from giving this a 9/10 like I would have originally put as my enjoyment score. I looked forward to watching a new episode every week, but it simply didn't astound me like some other anime has done. I'd still consider it a favorite, but objectively speaking there are quite a few weaknesses within this series.
Overall: 6.4/10, rounded to 6/10
Sekaiichi Hatsuko isn't atrocious, nor is it a masterpiece. It's slightly above average. The story and art are nice, but that's really all this anime has going for it. If you like BL, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're wondering whether you should dip your toes into BL by using Sekaiichi Hatsukoi as your starter series, you might finish up episode 12 and feel pretty underwhelmed.
I decided to give everything this season a shot, and as far as breaking out of my comfortable genres I thought that even BL wouldn't stop me. As a straight man I found it slightly hard to enjoy the romantic moments this is true. However, as I knew beforehand you can find some good stuff in the most deceiving places.
Like the start. I found the setting introduction was pretty funny, and the initial backstory was pretty interesting between Takano and Onodera. A long lost boyfriend from 10 years ago ends up as your boss in the hectic manga section of the company, the section you
didn't apply for. The attitude between the two is pretty funny with their constant bickering. This does make it slightly difficult for the relationship to develop however, as there is even more issues than just Onodera's attitude. Unfortunately, the story is left unresolved and leaves you with a horrible sense of un-fulfillment by opening up more plot.
The cause for the lack of resolution is the introduction of the two other side couples. The first is between Yuu a popular oblivious mangaka and his childhood friends who became an assistant and an editor. The second between a editor whom has given up on successful relationships with good looking men, and a good looking manga salesmen. They aren't bad stories either, but eventually after episodes 5 through 10 you wonder what happened to the main story. Of course, neither is two or three episodes enough to deal with these new sub-plots either.
I found Hatsukoi to have a surprisingly good sense of humor, and for me that is what I enjoyed the most. However, this pretty much disappeared as things got more serious farther into the stories which is a shame. With the waning of the humor the show turned, metaphorically, into the Uke crying rape and leaving the Seme to scratch their heads at the situation. Seriously, I thought that the female tsunderes were bad, but the male ones can be just as annoying.
For me Hatsukoi started out as an enjoyable show and then turned into somewhat the dreaded show. Of course, if you enjoy BL which would be a logical assumption, then it is a good watch. The issues about the story are somewhat resolved as there will be a sequel leading the once crappy ending into something more acceptable.
Feedback and questions are welcome! Thank you for spending time to read my review!
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, you say? Now, looking at the picture right there at the top, you might think that this is just Junjou Romantica again, seeing as how both series are rather fluffy yaoi with the exact same art style. You'd be right. This is, more or less, Junjou Romantica season 3, even taking place in the same setting but with a different main cast.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Let's dive deeper into the deep depths of the phenomenon known only as "Sekaiichi Hatsukoi".
Actually, the depths aren't that deep. This is one of the shallowest anime I've ever watched. Like Junjou Romantica,
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi focuses on not one but three different couples. Well, I say "different". Each of the couples has one "bottom" and one "top". The bottoms all look the same, as do the tops. It was the same deal in Junjou Romantica. The character designs aren't very varied, to be perfectly honest. The couples' dynamics are very similar, too. Often to the point of being completely identical.
You see, the top is in love with the bottom for some reason or another. The bottom is completely clueless about this affection until the top sexually harasses the bottom in some way or another. The bottom then goes into full-blown tsundere mode, as he completely ignores the top's advances, while said top keeps going "WHY DO YOU NOT ACCEPT MY FEELINGS" or "I WILL MAKE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH ME" with occasional additional sexual harassment. Repeat this formula twice and et voila! You have a 12 episode yaoi series.
How wondrous! How magnificent!
Okay, there's a slight bit more to it than that. I actually had high hopes for the third couple, which seemed to be basically... based on physical attraction and nothing more. Of course, by the end of their introductory episode those hopes were dashed and it was on to the aforementioned formula. But enough about that. If you've seen Junjou Romantica you know full well what to expect.
On to the other aspects of this work of art.
The art and animation is rather lackluster for 2011. I mean, okay, it's Studio DEEN. They're not exactly the most financially stable studio. Hell, they're not even the best known for high quality stuff. Anyone see Higurashi? That was a very ugly show in more ways than one. Basically, it looks exactly like Junjou Romantica, a show from 2008. Not terribly ugly, but not exactly breathtaking.
As for the BGM, I hardly even noticed it. I'm not too hot on the ending theme, but the opening theme, sung by Shuuhei Kita, is admittedly very catchy.
The characters are about as three-dimensional as a piece of paper being ironed while being run over with a steamroller made of pancakes, but they do have some rather nice voices. I mean, Hiroshi Kamiya. He can make just about anything better with his... very lovely voice. Too bad his character is relevant for all of one episode.
Now, if you liked Junjou Romantica, you'll probably like Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. I mean, it's pretty much the exact same thing, but with less steamy gay sex. Junjou Romantica's absolutely hilarious fits of melodrama are still on display here, but either they're just not as amusing or I've been desensitized towards them. At any rate, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi isn't too bad a way to kill some time.
Just don't go in expecting anything with substance.
You will be sorely let down.
I give this show a 6/10. It's unremarkable but I kind of like it, even though I'm not exactly in its target demographic. Unless I've somehow turned into a 13 year old girl overnight.
That would be an interesting experience. More interesting than this anime, at least.
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is the first shounen-ai anime that I have ever seen, so I was skeptical at the beginning of course, but after only the first episode I was already sure that was a very well done anime.
The story it's nothing out of the ordinary, but still not so predictable. Even though the themes are simple they are well explained, the timing it's perfect so that you can feel what the main character feels (at least, I felt it).
There are three love stories but they are different to each other so that the viewer won't get bored. So yes, 9 out of 10 because
nothing is left unsolved (the story continues in the second season though), every event matters.
Nothing much to say, the animation is fine but nothing spectacular, I don't like very much the drawings but that's my personal opinion, everithing's fine, nothing extraordinary.
The opening and the ending are fine, they could be better but they do their job. The soundtrack it's not memorable but it fits the moment.
The characters are very well developed, they let you know what they think so that you can understand the reasons under their behavior. Throughout the story, the characters behaviors are always in line with their personality, and that's the real strenght of this anime.
This anime made me remember how I felt when I fell in love for the first time. I thought I would never feel again like that.. So I recommend this anime because it's not superficial at all, instead it's deep and intense.
Overall: 8 (I have to consider sound and art.. but enjoyment is more important!)
Yaoi anime and Boys' Love (BL) anime are some of the most recognizable and popular genres in the medium. Have you ever wondered why they are mostly aimed at female audiences and what makes them so irresistible? Come to the dark side for a moment and peek into the magical world of BL fandom.