Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Akkun to Kanojo

Original Run: April 6, 2018 - September 21, 2018
Number of Episodes: 25
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Based on the Series Created By: Waka Kakitsubata

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Akkun to Kanojo. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

For several years, Atsuhiro Kagari (voiced by Tatsuhisa Suzuki) has been dating his sweetheart Non Katagiri (voiced by Ayaka Suwa). Atsuhiro is madly in love with Non and would do anything for her. In Atsuhiro’s eyes, Non is his entire world, and he is happy to proclaim that to anyone who will listen – willing or not.

However, despite his true feelings, Atsuhiro can never bring himself to say anything nice about Non to her face. Whenever she is with him, Atsuhiro is only capable of insulting her.

Fortunately for Atsuhiro, Non doesn’t let her boyfriend’s words discourage her. She knows that deep down, he does care. Besides, to Non, Atsuhiro’s awkwardness is just one of his more charming points.

Atsuhiro and Non’s relationship may not be the kind of thing you would expect lovers to have, but they are lovers nonetheless. At the end of the day, they are at their happiest when they are merely spending time together – no words needed.

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Series Positives

Akkun to Kanojo was good. It found a great balance between being a short-form anime and having enough content to leave you feeling satisfied. At three-minutes a pop, this show flew by, and yet, being twenty-five episodes long, things never felt rushed, incomplete, or underdeveloped.

This is the perfect anime to watch if you just have a little less than ninety minutes to kill. On that basis alone, this is an easy series to recommend.

However, there was more to this show worth noting.

For one: Akkun to Kanojo’s premise was certainly something.

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I want to make it clear, I’m still not one-hundred percent sure how I feel about what this series did. There is something about a “romantic” couple where one of the partners – in this case, Atsuhiro – is incapable of saying anything positive about their significant other to their face.

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, that doesn’t sit well with me.

On the other hand, Atsuhiro was also madly in love with Non. To him, she was his heavenly angel that could do no wrong. She was the prettiest, cutest, and the most perfect person on the face of this Earth. Atsuhiro was obsessed, borderline – a.k.a., completely – stalkerish towards the girl he was already dating. Hell, he even plastered his room with photos of Non and religiously listened to recordings of her voice that he made.

Having now written that out, that makes two things about this show that should probably raise a few eyebrows.

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Be that as it may, Akkun to Kanojo managed to get quite a few laughs out of me. Often it was that very awkwardness which got to me the most. This series really went ham with poking fun at the tsundere trope (a character type who is outwardly cold but kind at heart).

Beyond that, the real strength of Akkun to Kanojo had to be its characters. This was where this show used its twenty-five episode run to its benefit.

For most of this cast, we were given an in-depth look at how they operated.

There was the aforementioned Atsuhiro with his lovestruck-bully complex. He was usually reliable enough to deliver a zinger or two on his own, but he was at his best when he had help. Specifically, Atsuhiro was great when he was paired up with his younger sister Chiho (voiced by Aisa Kouri) or his best friend Masago Matsuo (voiced by Keisuke Uedo).

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Chiho, like her brother, was obsessed with Non. Chiho also had an over the top lovey-dovey personality, but she was not afraid to shower Non with that love; often to the fury and annoyance of Atsuhiro. If there was a chance to be affectionate with Non, Chiho took it.

And if there was a chance to be affectionate with Non and Atsuhiro witnessed it, even better.

Masago was the most reserved character of this show. There wasn’t much that got under his skin, and he was, perhaps, too easy going. In fact, his go-with-the-flow attitude was as extreme as Atsuhiro’s love for Non. Since Masago didn’t let anything bother him, he didn’t have much – if any – shame. This was a problem for those who wanted to rile him up; for example, Chiho.

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That leads me to something else that surprised me about Akkun to Kanojo. This show didn’t just have one fun love story, it had two. The chemistry that was between Chiho and Masago was one of the highlights of this series. It even got to the point to where I was more interested in their relationship than I was with Atsuhiro and Non’s.

It was Chiho, not her brother, that was the stronger, funnier, and more impressive take on the tsundere character.

Overall, for how short of a sit this series was, I had a good time with it. I do find it a bit disappointing that this wasn’t a full-length series. I think Akkun to Kanojo could have made it work.

Then again, I am willing to bet many of you reading this review can already guess where the next section is going.

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Series Negatives

I want to start off by reiterating that I genuinely believe Akkun to Kanojo could have worked as a standard-length, twelve-episode anime. For it to succeed, though, this series needed to give more focus to one critical area/character.

Non was the most forgettable aspect of this show.

Compared to Atsuhiro’s obsessive love, Chiho’s backhandedness, and Masago’s not-giving-a-crap attitude, Non had nothing going for her. She was boring, and that was a tragic shame because she didn’t have to be that way.

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In the first few episodes of this show, Non was fine. She was energetic, silly, and understanding; and it was that last trait which was super important. It was thanks to Non’s understanding that Akkun to Kanojo worked in the first place.

Non was fully aware that Atsuhiro had trouble speaking his mind. There was even a time before the two were a couple when Atsuhiro’s sourness scared Non. After a few acts of unforced kindness from Atsuhiro, though, Non was able to see the person behind the frown.

Non knew her boyfriend loved her, and she loved him back.

That said, It was unclear if Non knew how far Atsuhiro’s love for her went. However, if she did, that would have made some of her actions much stranger.

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Throughout this series, no matter what awful thing Atsuhiro said, no matter what horrible name he called Non to her face, Non brushed it off. If anything, she thought it was adorable. There were plenty of moments that could have devastated her, and yet, nothing.

Then, Akkun to Kanojo did something that made no sense. Believe it or not, Atsuhiro actually managed to say something that did hurt Non. I’m not going to sit here and explain why one mean comment is worse than another. What I will do is point out how out of nowhere this instance was.

Given Non’s lack of concern to anything Atsuhiro said, when she did start tearing up, it was out of character for her. Granted, Non didn’t have much of a character in general. Nevertheless, she had enough establishment to make any severe and sudden change from what we did know about her appear sloppy.

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Finally, the longer this show went on, the less it could rely on Non being okay with Atsuhiro’s nastiness to drive things forward. Instead of having these two try and tackle this issue, Akkun to Kanojo began focusing on two other character’s relationship: Chiho and Masago’s.

There was so much more back and forth with Chiho and Masago. They both had extreme personalities. And while they didn’t clash, they did react. There was a ton of give-and-take between these two; enough to make a second, stronger romance-comedy series.

It’s never a good sign when a show’s secondary storyline is more captivating than its primary one.

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Final Thoughts

I will admit, I made what I said in the Negatives Section sound more of a problem than it actually was. After all, there wasn’t much time for this problem – or any problem, for that matter – to do any real damage.

This series was fine.

If you want a quick laugh and have nothing to do for seventy minutes, then why not give this one a shot? The comedy was funny, most of the characters were solid; this was a quick sit that should leave you quite satisfied.

I know I was, and thus, I do recommend Akkun to Kanojo.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Akkun to Kanojo? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

Post Editor: Onions

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