Sep 27, 2008
Rec (Anime) add (All reviews)
Tenchio (All reviews)
REC only spans ten episodes (counting the DVD special) and those episodes aren't even full-length, yet it manages to be more heartwarming and entertaining than many longer series. It isn't groundbreaking at all, but if you don't hate predictable romance anime, it is a perfect way to cheer you up when you're feeling a little down.

Onda Aka is a rookie voice actress who one day encounters the salary man Matsumaru Fumihiko, who's been stood up by his date, in front of the cinema. Long story short, Aka makes Matsumaru watch the movie together with her and the flames of love are ignited. Later the same night, Aka's apartment catches fire and she is taken in by Matsumaru. Romantic events ensue, but when waking up the next day, neither of them regards themselves as a real couple. Incidentally, they end up working together with the marketing of Matsumaru's latest invention: a leaf-shaped crisp. Aka is - of course - voicing the product's mascot, Neko-ki - a tree with a cat's head.

The focal point of the story is, not surprisingly, the development of the two main characters' relationship and how it is affected by Aka's rise in popularity; is it right for her to prioritize her career even though it leads to her not being able to spend time with Matsumaru? Though the story is far from original, I still really cared about Aka and Matsumaru. Because REC is, unlike most other anime belonging in this genre, not full of unnecessary melodrama or supernatural elements - it is realistic, and that makes it so much more engaging.

Animation studio SHAFT, of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and ef - a tale of memories fame, is responsible for the animation. REC's visuals don't impress at all, but they suffice; Aka is heart-wrenchingly cute and Matsumaru is... well... ordinary. Backgrounds and the like are good as well.

The seiyuu (voice actors) did a great job with all the characters, including the minor ones, enhancing the warm atmosphere of the anime greatly. Music was always fitting though far from memorable. The opening wasn't my cup of tea, but, then again, I couldn't care less.

To summarize, REC isn't the most innovative romance anime around, but it's realistic approach to the genre makes it refreshing and the chemistry between the characters (who are the series' greatest strength) is wonderful and Aka and Matsumaru's feelings toward each other feel genuine. I would not have complained had it been longer, but it's shortness may also be a strength; it never got even close to boring, even though I watched it all in one sitting.

A highly recommended anime to all romance fans.