Apr 6, 2016
hellococo (All reviews)
This was one of the first anime I have ever seen. It has introduced me to anime overall and to Okonomiyaki, therefore I feel obligated to stand up for it and promote it a little! Despite all personal involvement, I think it is heavily underrated on this platform. Yes, it is shojo, yes it has some stereotypical storyline, HOWEVER it is very well done and considering when this show aired (1983) it can be seen as some sort of trailblazer/pioneer in its segment.

The overall plot might not be based on the most creative idea: Yaeko, the girl next door, living alone with her dad Shigemaru (Okonomiyaki restaurant owner) and Go, the rock singer starlet (dyed hair = evil) on the rise, meet coincidentally and eventually happen to fall in love with each other. Of course this relationship has to face several obstacles, as they're pretty different and live in completely different environments but luckily the pair is connected additionally through Go's adorable little brother Hashizo and his sidekick, Juliano the cat (who's the secret star of the show).
You'll witness the life, struggles and good times of these main characters, as Go and his band Bee Hive are pursuing their career and try to become famous throughout Japan and later worldwide.

Even though we all have heard of this or similar stories before, each individual episode in this anime is well thought through and entertaining. They're hardly any repetitions and I can't remember any fillers.

Typical shojo, we have a heroine and her life and feelings are in focus. Yaeko is a sweet girl, helpful, loving and caring, however she's also opinionated and speaks her mind. In that sense she's not that typical shojo dummy that can't solve a problem by herself or is completely and hopelessly devoted to her man.
The same goes for the rest of the characters. You'll find some stereotypical traits in all of them, however they're all very different inside and out, which keeps it interesting. There's also an antagonist and even some character development as people change their ways throughout the show, according to the experiences they make.

The art is ok. Nothing too amazing, however it's an old show and keeping that in mind, it's pretty forward and conform with its zeitgeist. Some people can't stand to watch these old shows for various reasons, I however find them endearing.

The music is the main topic in this anime and it's very well done. Seen as the whole story evolves around musicians, the creators have put a lot of effort into the fictional group Bee Hive and their songs. They're all pretty catchy and were professionally arranged for the first time and are repeatedly played during the show (paving the way for NANA and so on).

The show was incredibly popular in Europe, especially in Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Italy hyped it so much that even a live-action soap opera was modeled after its example. The actual Bee Hive group from this show was awarded with gold and platinum discs. The songs were translated in every country's individual language, which might also be a reason for its huge popularity.

Overall I found it very enjoyable and worthwhile. I was lucky to be able to watch it on German TV in the early 90ies, and therefore able to watch it translated into my mother tongue. I can see that it's a downside that it doesn't seem to be fully subtitled in English :/