Asatte no Houkou – Anime First Impressions

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Asatte no Houkou was fairly high on my list of Fall 2006 anime to watch mainly because it wasn’t an h-game harem anime or a lame shounen anime. It’s more like a slice of life anime with a twist. Asatte no Houkou is the story of a girl who wants to grow up and a woman who wants to start over.

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After both of their parents died four years ago, Hiro has been taking care of his little sister Karada. Although she’s young, Karada doesn’t want to be a burden to her brother. She wants to grow up so people stop treating her like a child. Shouko is Hiro’s ex-girlfriend who returns to the town after four years. It looks like Hiro dumped her to take care of Karada. But he didn’t even tell Shoko he had a sister!

There’s also Amino Touko, who is friends with Hiro (but not his girlfriend) and Amino Tetsuya, who goes to the same school as Karada. It seems like Touko could definitely be a love interest for Hiro too. Tetsuya seems waaayyyy too into Karada. PEDO!

The gimmick of this anime is that Karada and Shouko get their wishes. By wishing at some shrine, Karada turns into a (hawt!) adult and Shouko turns into a loli little girl. Wackiness (or drama) ensues.

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So the story revolves around the complex relationships between these five characters. The whole age changing thing is really gonna throw a wrench into this system. Like Tetsuya’s gonna freak when he finds out that Karada’s all grown up! Shouko can’t really get back into a (legal) relationship with Hiro. I’ll be interested in seeing how Touko reacts…

The anime can either go into wacky situational comedy mode or serious relationship mode from here. To be honest, I’d be happy with either one. Judging from the first episode it looks like they’ll go the emo route.

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I’ll point out here that J.C. Staff (my B.F.F.) is the studio behind Asatte no Houkou. In my opinion, they can do no wrong. The animation and backdrops look really good and set the mood nicely for the story.

The character designs are also really good. Karada is really cute in kid form, and really hot in adult form. I like how Shouko looks really cynical both in adult and kid form. Just because she’s a kid doesn’t mean she has to act like one right? The only complaint I have is that Hiro looks like an h-game protagonist half of the time. Seriously, it’s creeping me out!

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I like the OP a lot. It sounds a bit old fashioned, but it works well in the context of the anime. It’s natsukashii! The ED also has a kind of nostalgic feel to it. I think both add a lot to the anime.

Download the OP: “Hikari no Kisetsu” by Suara
Download the ED: “Sweet Home Song” by Yuumao

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In the midst of all the h-game conversions and shounen fluff, it’s nice to see an anime that relies on complex interactions and relationships. The art is just really nice to look at too. I’m going to put Asatte no Houkou on my definite watch list for this season.

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22 thoughts on “Asatte no Houkou – Anime First Impressions”

  1. I’ve really been looking forward to this anime but was kind of worried about what kind of path they would take. I couldn’t tell if it was going to be super serious, or what, but it looks like a good mixture of a few genres. Also, I’m glad you did a write-up about it, AND you seemed to enjoy it. It looks like I’ll be watching this if someone manages to sub it.

  2. The animation really looks great. It looks like it will be a solid show, fun, enjoyment, sentiment, awesome! I’ll be watching as well, someone will probably sub it, but if not I could manage to catch the raws in the spare time.

  3. Asatte no Houkou was my most awaited series and it didn’t disappoint. If anything, it exceeded my expectations with the engaging cast, beautiful backgrounds, and fitting mood. It’s like Zettai Shonen, but better.

  4. Am I the only one disturbed by the blatant loli fanservice in this episode (and judging by the preview, in the rest of the series)?

    I do apreciate the melancholic atmosphere, I do appreciate the romantic drama with real human characters instead of cardboard cutouts, I do appreciate the consistent and fitting visual style… but I can’t get over with the hardly diguised lolicon aspect that runs behind the whole thing.

  5. I agree completely. I really had no expectations of this show and was delighted by the intelligence, beauty, and emotional touch of the first episode.

    A couple of things: I think this is not the town where the melancholy girl and the elder brother were bf/gf. I believe they both moved by chance to the same new town. And I would rather call her melancholy and beaten-down than cynical. She seems as if she will be a complex character. I certainly hope the situation will be played for emotion rather than comedy. And I don’t see loli fanservice, just a cute little girl. I understand it’s possible to see it the other way, but I think there’s a difference. For loli fanservice, watch (or don’t watch) Sumomomo Momono.

  6. If I didn’t know that lolicon existed, I’d probably never think that the show was even slightly loli. But knowing that it does exist, I can see what you mean, kikuchiyo.

  7. @hashihime:
    If I understood correctly, they mentioned that they were together in America a few years ago, but the boy suddenly (and without a word) left the melancholy girl (her name is probably Shouko), because his parents died and he wanted to take care of his sister.
    Shouko says at the beginning of the episode that she came to that little town to “begin everything from zero”, and it was clear that the meeting with her ex-boyfriend was completely unexpected.

  8. >>> Tetsuya seems waaayyyy too into Karada. PEDO!

    We have a small problem here as Tetsuya and Karada are in same class, thus their age is at most 2 years apart. There is a mention that Karada looks younger than her age, which I believe is 11 or 12 judging from the dialogue, and Tetsuya looks mature for his age as well. The question is, can you call someone a pedo for liking someone their age? Should we define pedo by the female’s look or relative age to the male counterpart? In Anime world, that is rather serious question, as Saeki Kyoushiro from Koi Kaze could qualify as a Pedo judging from how Nanoka looks.

  9. Hmmm. I totally thought that Tetsuya was older, like almost as old as his sister (who is quite developed).

    I was guessing that Karada was more like 8, but if she’s going into junior high, she’d be around 10 I think.

    I was watching this raw, so I probably missed quite a bit of stuff that was implied.

  10. I too was thinking that this would be a nice series until ep. 2.
    Which left me furious. The unrealistic charachter development was painful.
    To do nothing after the initial ‘switch’, go to sleep [after shouko turning off the phone probably knowing that Karada’s bro is freaking about his missing 10yr old sister!]
    wake the next day and STILL do nothing. Except go back to the shrine only to say, [what] NOTHING when Hiro shows up and mistakes them both for other people.
    Come on. Do you REALY find this interesting?

  11. Agreed with hashihime and MrWasabihead. How can you say it’s not your conventional shounen-service anime? You have the cute little “sister” who needs to be protected from the jealous evil ex-girlfriend.. Your little girl cooks and takes care of you, and look cute in her little kiddy clothes and bows. BUT it’s ok to be a pedo because she just LOOKS young, she’s actually in middle school. Which makes it legally better. AND that’s not all. You get to see her grown up into a “hot and sexy” woman, all within the same episode. Satisfies both the loli and bishoujo complex. Oh and the h-game protaganist? If that’s not a sign of “your typical shounen anime”, I don’t know how dumb those other ones are. I’m sure Hiro’s position is like every otaku’s dream. Hiro’s character is as flat as pancakes. If there’s any character depth in Hiro at all, I don’t see it going anywhere good.

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