Episode One-derland Mizuiro Jidai

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Plot: Yuuko has just entered middle school, and she’s quickly noticing how everything around her is changing. Her childhood friend, Hiroshi, is more mature and responsible, and she sees him a new light. Takako, her best friend, is also changing as she finds out that Takako has a crush on Hiroshi. While Yuuko is extremely supportive of Takako’s feelings and wants the two to be together, she can’t deny that this new light she’s viewing Hiroshi in is making her feel odd about the whole thing. When Takako convinces Yuuko to ask Hiroshi if there’s anyone he likes before she decides to confess to him, she overhears Hiroshi confess to Yuuko that he likes her.

Breakdown: This is a great first episode to a pretty decent looking slice of life/romance show. While Hiroshi is a little too perfect, he’s not Aoyama from Tokyo Mew Mew levels of perfect. He’s a very nice kid who also tends to be a bit rough, but really a lot better than most boys his age.

Yuuko is also a very sweet girl who really wants nothing more than to keep Takako out of trouble with the upperclassmen and help her with her crush on Hiroshi, despite her confusing feelings. She can be a bit scatterbrained, but also not nearly as bad as most shoujo protagonists.

I think I liked Takako most of all. While she is rough around the edges and a bit temperamental, she is still Yuuko’s best friend no matter what. While she doesn’t initially tell Yuuko about her feelings, she has no problem talking to her about them once her secret’s out. Yuuko even graciously, if not somewhat creepily, decides to share information on Hiroshi’s activities when he’s at home since she lives right next door.

Takako’s not afraid to stand up for herself, and she’ll do whatever it takes to solve her own problems on her own. I really like that.

As for the story, as someone who’s been in this situation in middle school, oh god I know dem feelz. They portray practically everything in a very realistic light, even down to the bitchy upperclassmen who keep getting on Takako’s case for skipping out on band practice. The girls want to be like their upperclassmen and are developing romantic feelings, Hiroshi wants to play sports and be more responsible while also developing romantic feelings; it’s real life. Well, shoujo real-life, but real life.

The art style is very dated and not that detailed, but it’s pretty decent. I especially liked Takako’s designs. Her hair and eyes are just perfect for her character. They made her look tough without making her look like a jerk.

All in all…

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I will eventually make my first shoujo step by step on this series as I really have high hopes for it. The series seems like a nice little slice of life/friendship/romance anime that would be a good watch.

Recommended Audience: Well, if the subs are to be believed, there is minor swearing. Other than that, E for everyone!

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