Want an anime to make you smile even when you’re feeling down? Want something that makes you ahh at its sweetness and purity? And most of all, something that makes you think, “Why can’t I have relationships like this?”
Join Gouda Takeo on his incredibly heart-warming journey to find true love, experience high school struggles, and aid everyone who ever meets him by doing as many good deeds as he possibly can. If there’s a cat stuck in a tree, Takeo will rescue it. If a child falls into a river, Takeo will jump in. If a friend wants to confess to his crush, Takeo will help him arrange it.
However, it’s not the deeds Takeo does that make him such a likeable character. It’s the way he’s presented. The description ‘big heart’ fits him perfectly. He’s pure, kind and just good. He’s the type of friend who will always help you without even thinking twice about it, even turning a simple thought or wish expressed into an action in order to make the person expressing the thought happy. And although he can be a bit dense at times, if you explain things to him he will take pains to remember them and act upon them in the future.
What then, is the catch? Well this should be obvious from looking at the cover. He’s not conventionally good looking. And because of this, no girl is able to recognize his good character until the female protagonist from the story comes along. Luckily she ends up being less shallow than every other girl that has existed up until this point, and thus we have our story.
This girl though, Yamato Rinko, is really something in herself. She’s just as pure, kind and sweet as Takeo (with the addition of being shyer and somewhat smarter). This essentially creates many scenes filled with what we colloquially name ‘fluff’ – that is to say, adorably sweet scenes in which the characters radiate such happiness that you can’t help but smile. They don’t even have to be doing much (and often they really don't do much), just chatting or something and you’ll still enjoy watching them. Although an exaggeration of a normal relationship, most people would probably view something similar to this – with their mutual love, respect and acceptance – as relationship goals.
Their relationship progression does slow down as the series goes on, but although that's a little irritating it actually fits in with the characters' personalities and how you'd expect them to behave.
I will note here that if you binge watch this show in a couple of sessions or less it might end up being sickly sweet and a bit of a turn-off, because it is after all comprised of many episodes very similar in content. Rather, if you just watch a couple of episodes every now and then it will stay fresh and enjoyable.
Now we turn to the third protagonist, the ‘best friend’ character. Sunakawa’s character is also portrayed remarkably well, as a character who often appears apathetic and emotionless but shows his real feelings through what he does, rather than what he says. His looks are on the opposite end of the spectrum to Takeo’s, and this is a recurring theme in the series, but the parts where he appears mainly highlight how caring and loyal a friend he is to Takeo (and by extension Yamato). It’s almost impossible not to wish you had a friend like him. In addition, he is actually developed quite well as a character by himself, and piques a lot of interest. Issues concerning him are resolved well and realistically, in particular his family drama.
As for the supporting cast, watching them is hugely enjoyable too. Each of them brings something to the story and helps it develop, although they are mainly used as a catalyst for the main romance. None of the characters are obnoxious, all of them are quite pleasant and a lot of them are given decent backstory which helps flesh out their characters. There is an entire set of episodes dedicated to Sunakawa's sister that creates an interesting little diversion from Takeo and Yamato.
The OP and Ending themes were a good fit for the story. They matched the overall tone perfectly, with the light and cheerful music. The Seiyuus were talented (my only complaint here was the incredible high pitch used for Yamato which seemed a tad unrealistic for a 16 year old girl, although I guess it’s more common in Japan) and the rest of the music was easy on the ears.
The Art and animation were lovely. They were attractive (with a lot of pastel tones being used), and the high concentration of flowery and sparkly effects went together so well with the characters' reactions.
I suppose I haven’t really covered the plot, but then again there’s not much to say about it. It’s a story of how a romance buds and develops, and however well done it is, that is essentially the full story. Oh well. I’ll just use this as an example of how an anime doesn’t need a focussed plot to be good.
Now to conclude. I thought this anime was great, and personally connected to some of the characters and events portrayed on an intrinsic level. The lack of focussed plot did prevent me from giving it a higher score, because, sweet as their relationship was, I would have loved to see them take it a little further in the amount of episodes that had been allocated.
It was still a really enjoyable, really fun watch, though, and one I would most definitely recommend to any fan whatsoever of the romance genre.