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Somber Reviews - Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi Anime
Anime: Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi
Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi is a boy's love manga series written and illustrated by none other than Shungiku Nakamura, the same author of Junjou Romantica. In fact, Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi is the spinoff series, and takes place within the same universe. Nakamura began writing the series back in 2008, and the series is still ongoing at the time of this post.
Let's digress from the manga, shall we, because we're here to talk about the amazing anime adaptation that was made in 2011. Produced by Studio DEEN the director Junjou Romantica, Chiaki Kon, carries the viewers through another heartfelt, boys love series.
The anime has two seasons, a few OVA's and an upcoming movie to be released in May of 2014. For this review, we will be focusing on seasons 1, and 2, of the anime.
Let me begin by saying that this is without a doubt, a boy's love storyline. There is plenty of romance, it has a large number of heartfelt moments. Some people even claim that it's actually better than Junjou Romantica, although, that remains a constant debate.
Just like with Junjou, all of the central plot, and subsequent problems, come from the romantic triangles that the characters find themselves. Sometimes the dynamics get a little messy, as characters face denials in copious amounts. Questions of sexuality run extremely high, as a running is denial of love for another man. As characters struggle to find themselves as individuals, they tend to grow as a couple as well.
Mirrored from Junjou Romantica, there are three main character pairings in this series.
You may like this series if:
- You don't mind watching two males on screen kissing, hugging, and sometimes briefly referencing adult themes.
- You enjoy romance anime that follows several different characters.
- You enjoy Shungiku Nakamura's other works.
- You've watched the series Junjou Romantica, and liked it.
- You've read, and liked the manga.
If I had to sum this series up in one word, it would be "Commendable".
It's a good series. I will say, I am more partial to Junjou Romantica, because my favorite pairing is in that anime. The problem this is a spinoff series, so it's easy to compare the two. Sometimes, too much. It follows the same kind of story style and structure, though, it can be argued that this series has more heart than Junjou does.
To be honest, I would agree with that.
All three character pairings in this series are less edgy, less forceful, and just all around loveable. Does that mean it's better than Junjou Romantica? No, not at all. It doesn't make it worse, either. Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi can stand up on its own merits.
The visuals are wonderful, although it does share the same flaw that Junjou Romantica does, in that the characters look very similar. That's not a bad thing, for me, personally. I like to think of both series as one big universe, working together. These guys are all just living their lives, and these pairings just happen to be gay.
The openings and endings go above and beyond expectation. They motivate the viewer, and draw us in. That's what I look for in anime music. The soundtrack is masterfully done, and I would argue it's probably one of the best I've heard when it comes to boy's love anime.
Time for caveats.
Just like with any other boy's love series, adult men are in romantic relationships with other adult men, and that's not everyone's thing. However, if you want a good starting anime, that isn't too graphic, this is a pretty solid choice. There are times, however, where the relationships seem almost too fluffy for their own good.
The series doesn't have an English dub, so, you'll have to read subtitles if you can't speak Japanese fluently. Just keep that in mind.
As stated above, there is a lack -a very overt one- when it comes to the art style of the characters, So just remember that as well.
Cast Your Vote
What do you think about Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi?
I honestly like Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi. If you like the genera, strongly urge you to watch it if you haven't seen it. It'll be worth your time, and it may even become your favorite boy's love series.
As with all of my reviews, based on a score of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest possible score, and ten being the highest, I will give this series a solid 8. I have to give it the exact rating as Junjou because it is just as good, if not better in some respects. The choice just comes down to personal preference.