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Ai Yori Aoshi Vol. 1: Faithfully Yours back to product details

Very sweet love story until the new plot elements started
12345678910
written by hneline1 May 6, 2003 - 5:54 AM PDT
21 out of 23 members found this review helpful
First impression -- this is a very sweet love story between an old-fashioned girl and a kind-hearted boy. Awww!

Second impression -- what the heck is happening starting in episode 5 with all the panty and chest shots and this new girl who greets other girls by grabbing their breasts? Yuck!

Third impression -- hm, come to think about it, this is quite the shonen (boy) dream with our shy hero finding a cute girl who is completely devoted to him, cooks, cleans, does laundry, buys groceries, mothers him when sick, has money, is forgiving, blah blah blah, and he doesn't have to work at building the relationship or compromising at all because she's already in love with him. How unbelievable.

I love the gentleness between Kaoru and Aoi, and this anime starts off in a very shoujo (girl) style with both of them being shy and attracted to each other and stumbling around each other as they get to know one another. Aoi's traditional behavior is fascinating and I would love to see how she could resolve her upbringing with the modern world. I think that the relationship between the two would be interesting enough for a romance drama.

However, it looks like romance isn't good enough, so suddenly there are more women surrounding Kaoru (think of all the shows with one boy and countless girls vying for his attention) and cruder plot elements (some nudity, all females are well-endowed, that shocking fondling). If this show tones down those elements in the future and tries to develop Aoi's character more, it could become a good, character-driven romance. As it is, I'll probably watch another disk just to see if it can redeem itself but I'm not holding my breath after episode 5.

BTW, watch this in Japanese. The core of the plot is the difference between Aoi's traditional upbringing and Kaoru's more modern lifestyle. If you know anything about the Japanese language, you know that there are numerous levels of formality expressed in distinct grammatical elements as well as in inflection and tone. I think that these levels of formality and the subsequent subtlety in Aoi's relationship with Kaoru can be much better grasped in the original Japanese with English subtitles. The English dubbing sounds completely stilted with awkward phrasing and strange pauses because it's trying to capture a cultural quality that doesn't exist in English. Save yourself the headache and watch in the original language.

12345678910

(Average 7.63)
251 Votes
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