Jun 28, 2012
basementfire (All reviews)
Watch the series from beginning to end. The first 5 episodes are slow, but it definitely picks up from there. The pacing of the story is like that of a swelling wave: first you don't notice how slowly it's building up, and then suddenly it's 30 feet high and growing more impressive by the second.

At first, I rated this anime an 8, but right now it's a solid 10, and it wouldnt have been without the earlier episodes to build it up to the final and beautiful conclusion.

The anime isn't exactly slice of life, if I had to pick a genre, it would probably fit best in that category in terms of feel.

Characters: 10
The story starts off with two main protagonists: Yuki (Japanese: Winter Snow) the red head with a fear of being stared at, and Haru (Spring), the innocent alien whose complete lack of self-consciousness allows him to bond with everyone. The story then expands to include Natsuki (Nastu=Summer), the reclusive fishing Prince with family problems, and Akira (Aki=fall), the indian who grew up friendless and claims that friendship is unnecessary. Each of these characters has a problem that they try to deal with on their own, but is unable to overcome until they accept the help from their friends.

Haru is the most polarizing character of the bunch. Because he's an alien, he inadvertently says or does some very, very offensive things. Like, "wow please just get punched in the face now" offensive. If you hate the series because of Haru, or because the plot is too slow, just stick with it, because I promise it gets better.

Plot: 10
Yes, there is some plot. From the first episode, you see that an fishy alien (Haru) comes down to earth and meets the socially-anxious Yuki, and asks him to fish with him. Plot wise, the anime goes deeper into how Yuki masters each fishing technique (shounen-style) from his tutor Natsuki, while Akira, the DUCK officer, tries to observe Haru without drawing suspicious. While this might not sound exciting enough to make you keep watching, I promise you it is better than it sounds. And that the main draw of the anime isn't exactly the plot as it is the character development and the forging of friendships

Perhaps the most beautiful part of this anime is seeing how each of these characters manages to change dramatically from the start of the series to the end, especially when you notice that a development in one character manages to spur maturity in another, and etc. Isn't this how we mature as people in real life, as well?

- Pacing Note -

First 5 episodes - slow, but the effort the show puts into developing basically every character and story you'll run into makes the emotional payoff from these episodes worth it. You have to pay attention, because there are so many beautiful little details scattered throughout that I didnt notice until I rewatched them (after episode 11)

All episodes after the first 5: just ridiculously amazing. The plot resurfaces after seemingly been shoved aside for awhile, and everything just picks up.

- Overall, this a beautifully drawn anime with a relatively simple (though eccentric) plot of how these 4 really different people meet, become friends, and change each other for the better.