Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart

Original Run: November 25, 2017 - December 30, 2017
Number of Episodes: 6
Genre: Drama, Romance

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10cm Datta. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Haruki Serizawa and Miou Aida (voiced respectively by Kenichi Suzumura and Aki Toyosaki) first met when they started high school. Through their shared love of the arts, Haruki with film and Miou with painting, the two instantly formed a deep connection. Since then, the pair have been near inseparable, and most just assume they are already dating.

Although Haruki and Miou have mutual feelings for one another, neither of them have developed the courage to voice them. Now in their third and final year, they are forced to think about their futures.

With the possibility of separation very much real, Haruki and Miou finally seem ready to close the gap. Sadly, an unfortunate revelation will tear a rift between them. If things don’t get cleared up soon, what could have been a destined romance, might slip away.

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Series Positives

When I sat down to watch Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10cm Datta (IBK 10), I assumed it would be a straightforward romance anime; and it was. However, it was only when I began preparing to write this review did I realize this show was only a small facet in a much larger media franchise.

IBK 10 is the latest addition (as of the day this post went live) to the Kokuhaku Yokou Vocaloid series created by HoneyWorks. Along with the television anime, as well as several musical singles and albums, the Kokuhaku Yokou brand spawned two 2016 films, Zutto Mae Suki Deshita and Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan o.

Since IBK 10 wasn’t a bad watch, I don’t dread the thought of returning to this series. If the films maintain what this show did, then we’re in good shape.

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Disregarding the full scope of the franchise, IBK 10, as its own product, was, like I said, pretty good. If you’re looking for a simple love story without a lot of drama, then this show will suit you nicely. And with its six-episode runtime, the series is perfect for when you have an evening with nothing to do.

I’ll admit this now: There wasn’t much to IBK 10. It never broke away from the standard, nor were there any surprises. This series stayed in a comfortable safe-zone, and I’m not saying that as a negative, but you should still know what to expect. Then again, I’m not sure how many of you are expecting anything from this show, but for the one person who is, maybe calm yourself.

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All that notwithstanding, what IBK 10 did do and the story it told worked and worked rather well. For starters, Haruki Serizawa and Miou Aida were one of those romantic pairs that made sense. Not only were they a strong match, but it was also easy to understand why they fell for each other.

Both Haruki and Miou were artistically minded, and they each had a lot of pride for their work. Haruki had his films and Miou her drawings, and they saw the world in ways that complemented their respective mediums. They could look at what one another did and form interpretations that most people would overlook. They went to each other looking for advice, thoughts, and encouragement.

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And yet, what sold Haruki and Miou as a couple was the way they admired one another’s passion. For Haruki, when he watched Miou paint, he saw a gentle, beautiful girl who could capture any emotion with a brilliant blend of colors and imagination. For Miou, when she looked on as Haruki made his movies, she saw a boy filled with unbreakable confidence, who took abstract ideas and turned them into concepts anyone could understand.

These two were integral in each other’s lives. Thus, when a wall suddenly rose up between them, the resulting spiral was devastating.

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I won’t go into too much detail, but that wall was attached to the time when Miou nearly died as a child.

For Miou, other than merely surviving the incident, she was grateful to have been given the chance to make her art and develop a relationship with Haruki. Unfortunately, Miou didn’t have a high opinion of her self-worth. Therefore, when she learned the full extent of what occurred the day she was saved, she immediately blamed herself. As repentance (for something that was not her fault), Miou cut herself off from the people she cared about. This included Haruki, who was utterly blindsided by this change.

Since Miou wouldn’t explain the situation to anyone, Haruki had no place to go to find answers, and he became lost. Something that was once so sure in his life, his friendship with Miou, was suddenly gone. This caused him to assess everything else he thought he wanted; mainly, his desire to become a filmmaker.

As an aside, the scene that illustrated Haruki’s disillusionment was the best moment of IBK 10, without question.

To put things as plainly as I can, what this series lacked in flash, it made up for in pure solidness.

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Series Negatives

The scenario Haruki and Miou found themselves in was surprisingly fascinating to watch. Them actually dealing with the fall out of what happened, and then their subsequent reconciliation, was what turned this show into a delightful love story. That much was for sure. There was just one problem.

IBK 10 had some issues getting to that point.

To be frank, how Haruki and Miou got into their predicament didn’t make much sense. Yeah, I know how things went from point A to point B. What I’m saying is, though, why did point A ever need to happen in the first place?

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Miou was a young kid when she had her accident, but she was in her final year of high school when this story took place. If I had to guess, that was at least a five-year gap. Apparently, in that entire time, Miou had never been able to meet the person who saved her. She didn’t know what this person looked like. She didn’t even know their name. Why did it take so long for her to learn the truth?

There is no reason I can think of that would justify why this had to be a great mystery.

For the record: I am deliberately trying to not give away more than I must. I know damn well the main reason why Miou couldn’t meet her savior. Nevertheless, “meeting” and “knowing” are two different things. The way Miou found out, coupled with when she found out, was a bit of a stretch if you’re asking for my opinion.

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My current vagueness is really dampening my argument, and therefore, part of me wishes I had liked this show less. Had that been the case, I would be far more open to giving spoilers. However, it sort of doesn’t matter since this series didn’t do a great job of setting up the big reveal in the first place. It was quite obvious what direction this story wanted to go in, and that made everything more unfortunate.

Luckily, when it was all over, the ends seemed to justify the means. Also, it helped that IBK 10 was only six-episodes long. After all, there was very little time to worry about how the story got anywhere.

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Final Thoughts

Every now and then, I think it is good to watch something that isn’t all that difficult. As it happens to be, this series was just that. I mean, yeah, it certainly didn’t hurt that this show was also well-made, and it nailed what it set out to do; simple though it may have been.

In just a handful of episodes, we were given the story of two people destined to be together. By the end, you want them to succeed because they brought the best out of each other. Or, at least, that is what I wanted.

This could very well prove to be my entry to a much larger franchise, and if that is true, I’m looking forward to it.

Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10cm Datta has earned a recommendation.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? How would you advise Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10cm Datta? 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.

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