SSBS – Boys Over Flowers | Episode 1: Declaration of War!


Plot: Makino Tsukushi has enrolled in the very prestigious Eitoku Academy, and she has done everything in her power to stay to the background. She wants nothing more than to make her final years at the school to be peaceful and uneventful. However, when she butts heads with the biggest bullies in school, a four man group called the F4, they declare war on her, making her a target of vicious attacks from not only them but everyone in school.

Breakdown: I have no super-interesting backstory with this one. In fact, I’m pretty unfamiliar with this series. Though, still, I adore these older titles.

The OP has a very 60s/Detective Conan music feel to it, if that makes any sense. It’s pretty catchy, though I will admit that the sudden heel drop sound in the middle kind breaks the rhythm.

Our main character is a fairly poor girl named Makino Tsukushi who is currently enrolled in a prestigious high school, Eitoku Academy, with a lot of rich kids. She has two more years at the school before she graduates and only wants to make those final two years be peaceful and quiet.

One day, she sees a boy being bullied by a gang of four guys, all of which are sons of the richest families in the school, for getting dust on one of their pants while cleaning. They are known as F4.

While many students, especially female ones, find them attractive and cool, they are feared by just as many students. What’s worse? When the F4 is against someone personally, the whole school turns on them, making them a target for schoolwide bullying.

They start kicking around a garbage can, and Tsukushi wonders why the boys are the way that they are, especially considering they’re getting so bent over something as minor as dust. One of the boys, Rui Hanazawa, picks up the garbage can and returns it to its proper position to the chagrin of his friends who want to leave the mess behind. Tsukushi gets flustered when Rui gives her a glance before leaving with his friends.

After standing up for her friend, Makiko, when she accidentally falls on the leader of the F4, Tsukasa, Tsukushi ends up as the next target of the F4’s bullying. They officially declare war on Tsukushi and, as a result, the entire school starts bullying her as well.

What’s even worse than their terrible bullying is the fact that Makiko keeps avoiding her and refusing to talk to her in order to avoid getting bullied herself, something that she expressed concern for earlier. Makiko wanted to solidify her friendship with Tsukushi to ensure that she would never abandon her if she was bullied like a lot of other people would, yet she has become the very type of person she had worried about.

Tsukushi refuses to cry in front of her classmates and has an outburst outside of the school when she again meets up with Rui who just laughs at her anger towards him. Despite her attempts to actually speak with him civilly, he just suggests that she leave the school.

Tsukushi goes on the offensive stating that the F4 has bullied several people out of school in the same manner, but she didn’t even want to go to the school to begin with. She only went because her family wanted her to. Before she can even finish speaking, Rui leaves stating that he doesn’t care as he has no interest in other people.

Makiko meets with her in the bathroom. She sneaked out of class to find Tsukushi’s desk that went missing from the classroom earlier. While she is visibly remorseful, Makiko can’t bring herself to stick with her in public. Tsukushi understands and tells her that she should leave before she ends up getting in trouble. Before she rushes out the door, she hands Tsukushi a voice recorder in the shape of a frog that bears a recording of Makiko apologizing to Tsukushi.

Despite gaining a newfound resolve and a better respect for herself, she is still the victim of harsh and even violent bullying. As she’s being assaulted (and nearly raped?) by a group of boys from the school, Rui appears again telling them to let her go, even though the boys are directly under Tsukasa’s orders.

Tsukushi is very grateful to Rui for what he did, but he merely says he doesn’t like stuff like that (violence, sexual assault or possibly both? I mean, I have to assume it’s sexual assault because the F4 has to have been violent with plenty of people) before leaving. Again, Tsukushi gains a second wind and becomes determined to carry on through this.

The next day at school, Tsukushi comes prepared to battle against the bullying. When the F4 shows up, she kicks Tsukasa in the face, plasters a red slip on his face and responds to his war declaration with one of her own. Now excited to face the school year, Tsukushi prepares for war.


There are a bunch of things that I liked about this first episode. For starters, Tsukushi is a great character. While the bullying does affect her, she also comes back with a vengeance. She won’t stand for this behavior whether it’s to her or others, and I really respect that. She’s also notably hurt by Makiko’s somewhat betrayal, but she has enough maturity and understanding to forgive her for it.

While I am a bit miffed at Makiko for not standing up with Tsukushi when the only reason Tsukushi’s even in this mess is because of Makiko, I also understand her position. It takes a lot to stand up to others and stand with your friends, especially when the bullying is this bad. Does this make her a coward? Maybe, but then again we all have to look within ourselves and ask if we’d honestly do the same thing.

Plus, she kinda made up to her a little, and she’s clearly beating herself up over her decision.

The F4 (which stands for Flower Four, by the way. It’s supposed to highlight how pretty the guys are, but what a dumb nickname to allow to stick when you’re trying to be intimidating) are realistic bullies. They’re entitled little shits who act like they run the school because their daddies are the richest in the land and most people follow them either to be cool/popular or because they’re afraid of them. They are a bit over the top, but it’s not anything terrible. They’re not like supervillains or anything, they’re just assholes.

Rui…..*sigh* I don’t know what to do here. The worst part of this episode, in my opinion, was Rui. Tsukushi is obviously falling for him even now yet, despite the fact that he saved her once, there’s no denying that he’s partaking in the bullying merely for staying loyal to the F4, and he even seems like he mocks Tsukushi about the egg in her hair from the bullying. He states that he doesn’t care about her story or problems, he has no interest in other people at all, is never going to give any secrets or info on the F4 and wants her to leave the school.

The three main points of Tsukushi’s interest in him are the fact that he’s cute, he picked up a garbage can and he saved her from those boys. That’s it. That’s what separates him from the other jackasses and makes him so cool.

And really, when you think about, Rui had to have known that Tsukasa called for that attack. They stick together so much that he was probably even there when he did it. If he really was a good guy who secretly cared about her, he’d stop the attack before it started not after it was already happening. For all we know, it was a fluke he arrived at the right place at the right time considering how far she ran away. If he were just a few minutes later, she could’ve been raped or at least seriously injured.

He’s not as much of a douchenozzle as his friends. That’s it. Yet Tsukushi is putting him on a pedestal. Until he actually steps up a bit and shows that he has a true caring bone in his body and not just a ‘I don’t like sexual assault’ attitude, I can’t see much that isn’t dumb about this crush.

Then again, I also developed a crush on someone who bullied me simply because they opened my stuck locker to help me get my lunch money out when I was really hungry one day……Hey, cut me some slack. I was 11. She’s like 15. And the situation is different. And shut up.

The art is actually pretty bad for early/mid ’90s. I would’ve guessed it was mid ’80s. The animation is also just okay.

The music also seems stuck in the ’80s, most notably the OP. The BG music is fine, but spots of silence seem awkward. The ED is decent, but not very catchy or memorable.

The sound effects, though, ech. I don’t know what went on in the sound booth, but there are scenes where a lot of action is going on yet there are so few sound effects and those that are there seem weird or aren’t making enough noise. This is especially prominent in the attack sequence that starts with no music. The silence mixed with the weird sound effects makes for a very odd sounding scene.

All in all, I expect this series to become something pretty good and I did enjoy this first episode just fine, but the Rui thing will definitely keep bothering me until he gets some development in him.

Next Episode….

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Episode One-derland Mizuiro Jidai


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 in which she’s viewing Hiroshi is making her feel odd about the whole situation. 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 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. She doesn’t initially tell Yuuko about her feelings, but 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.



I will eventually make a 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.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Episode One-derland: Hitohira


Plot: Mugi Asai is an incredibly shy girl who gets so nervous in crowds that she sometimes loses her voice entirely. However, in times when she’s particularly excited and forgets where she is, she proves to have a powerful voice. During one such time, she yells after hearing her acceptance into the school. She is soon drafted by the drama research society, but can a girl so shy really be in such a club?

Breakdown: Hitohira’s first episode does a fairly good job at establishing our main characters with only a few dangling in the wind. Mugi is very shy to the point where she can lose her voice entirely in crowds or if she feels she’s embarrassed herself in front of someone. I can relate to her situation pretty well, so it does break my heart when she’s in particularly stressful social situations.

Mugi’s a very nice girl, and her shyness doesn’t really get irritating to me like it sometimes did with Tama of Bamboo Blade, but that was really just with the volume of her voice sometimes. I will say that her voice….I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t really seem to fit with her character design and personality. It seems more suited for someone older and more outgoing, which might be for sometime in the future when she performs on stage and improves her vocal ability. However, her VA should have the range to make her default voice a bit more fitting.

Kayo is Mugi’s best friend and one of the only people that Mugi can talk to comfortably. She understands Mugi’s situation and tries to help her out, but this first episode kinda makes her seem mean about it sometimes.

For instance, Mugi tries to write out what she’ll say in the class introduction so she’ll be more comfortable talking in front of the class when called upon and Kayo tells her to ‘stop making such useless things.’ She seems to have more of an attitude of ‘you really need to get over this’ without addressing it as a real problem. I haven’t seen enough of her to say she’s a bad friend, and she really doesn’t seem like it, but her attitude at Mugi’s situation puts me off a bit.

Nono is the president of the drama research society and one of the founding members. She’s a very calm, reserved and interesting person. There’s also Kai who is a bit rambunctious, but doesn’t seem like that much of a trouble maker. I liked him. I also thought the short scene where he smiles at Mugi when she’s looking at his drawing was cute.

Another founding member of the club is Takashi who doesn’t get explored much. He seems responsible and somewhat boring so far.

Risaki is another founding member of the club, and she’s really loud mouthed and kinda violent. She’s Kai’s older sister, but that wasn’t relayed in the first episode. I don’t particularly like her so far.

We skew off from this main group to follow a girl named Kanna who is so incredibly moved by the drama club’s performance of a play that she immediately joins the club.

The club’s current president, Sakaki, is barely here, but she seems fairly kind and humble. It seems like she can’t do the club anymore or is quitting or something at the end of her scenes.

The show does a very good job at starting our story off with smooth pacing. The story itself is pretty interesting, and does enough with its story to seem unique.

The art is nice. It’s a toned down shoujo style. The girls are cute, and aspects like hair and eyes are exaggerated of course, but the eyes aren’t gigantic like they commonly are in shoujo shows. They’re at just the right size to look nice and expressive without being distracting. The overall style of the eyes was also nice and natural. The character designs weren’t horribly memorable, but they were good. The one I remembered most out of all of them was Takashi because his hair is so weird.

The overall art is very detailed and the animation is fluid with only a few small hiccups I saw. However the colors can be downright ugly, especially inside the school. I hope you like orange and brown.


I mean….eugh. The uniforms on their own are perfectly fine, I actually really like them, but when they’re put in such an orange and brown classroom….eugh. The walls are yellow-orange, the desks are orange, the floor is brown, the uniforms are light brown for the guys and beige-ish orange for the girls with brown skirts. The only color of contrast in this whole room is green and that just makes it more ugly.

I feel like this school is what the fairy godmother would’ve made out of the pumpkin if Cinderella needed a school for some reason.

It would be better if the colors weren’t so muted. It just melts into a pile of earth toned mush in front of your eyes.

The music is okay, but completely forgettable.

I’m interested to see how this will go in the future, and the first episode was a really easy watch, when they weren’t in that classroom, with plenty of interesting moments and room for growth.



If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at