9 of 25 episodes seen
The first 3 episodes were pretty fantastic actually. Slow moving, but the world building was top notch, the animation quality was excellent, the characters were interesting, the setting was pretty fascinating and weird, and the music was good. The pacing was slow but good. I was really, really damn happy for this show.
Then, everything after episode 3 has been absolutely terrible. There was apparently a change of director, and everything just went downhill. Pacing is awful and doesn't make sense, animation quality is absolutely shocking, camera angle rules are constantly being broken, the music is still okay but it's just absolutely terrible. Dropped.
If you don't believe me just see for yourself. Something awful happened in the animation studio. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
I will list the bad thing out of the way first: low budget, not as bad as Muv-Luv Total Eclipse. Fairly typical for josei though, so I'm not knocking too much off. The animation is simple and there are no moments where the quality is bad.
Now the good things:
The story is very touching. You will definitely come to care a lot for the characters. Hazuki (the male lead) is a likeable guy that seems very down to earth and believable. He is kind of infatuated, even obsessed with Rokka (the female lead) to the point that he seems stalker-ish in a loveable way. As for Rokka, you really do feel pathos for her as she laments over her dead husband in a series of flashbacks him, and you can't help but see great strength of character within her as she tries to "get over" him. Meanwhile, her dead husband (Simao) watches over her as a ghost, unable to interact with her, but silently observing her, like some kind of guardian spirit. The chemistry between Hazuki and Simao as they both try to fight over Rokka is absolutely hilarious; Simao's "cockblocking" gets to absolutely insane levels. This anime is a complete adaptation as well, meaning it adapted all of the manga. No crappy ending, it's complete and very fulfilling.
The soundtrack compliments the touching story as well. I think it's definitely clear that a lot of effort was put into the soundtrack. Although admittedly the OP isn't particularly noteworthy, I the ED is lovely and the piano music is great; it's very calming and fits so well that sometimes I didn't even notice it was playing. It's a nice contrast from the other stuff this season that is full of garish high pitched singing and synthesised Jpop. (that isn't to say I don't like the stuff, but it's just a nice contrast). Another nice contrast is that there are no highschools in this romance. Everyone's a grown up adult, and in the grown up adult world which is ironic given Simao and Hazuki sometimes seeming rather childish when they try to compete over Rokka.
Also, another thing I really admire about this anime is its simplicity. There are only four characters in its entirety, three main characters, and one side character. Without a ton of forgettable side characters to clutter the experience, I felt that the story felt very tightly focused. Not for once did I feel bored and waiting for the story to move back to the main characters, because there is literally no-one else. it's just Hazuki, Simao and Rokka. Miho, the side character is very minor and never feels like she is intruding on the plot.
Finally, the colour palette is pretty glorious. Flowers and botany play a huge role in this anime, and this gives the animators and artists plenty of opportunity to just go all out with the colours. The backgrounds in forests have this beautiful and subtle paintbrush like feel. Each episode is a joy to look at and a visual feast. If only it had the budget to match that artistic merit! Then I would be sad that 10 is the maximum score I can give!
In case you do not know, the demographic for the manga and this anime adaptation is "josei", so it's aimed at women 18-30 years old. But hey I'm a guy and I enjoyed it.
Josei is often neglected, people often skip over it thinking it's either for women or the drama is too heavy, but I say that this is a great anime to take a look in if you are a fan or if you are pretty new to josei, and it's a great anime in it's own right.