With this week’s eighth episode two arcs are complete, and we’re one-third of the way through this adaptation. I’m new to the material and have no preconceptions, but I can only be honest and say that, compared to the Haruka arc, this arc made very little impression on me.
I didn’t hate the Kaoru arc – or the character, either. I just didn’t find it especially interesting. Kaoru’s family drama seemed rather lame, and there just wasn’t much chemistry between the two leads. And I didn’t like Junichi as much in this arc either – I thought he was much more engaging as the sneaky-assertive puppy dog slowly seducing Haruka without her realizing it. There was a real snap to the romance between them, a little dangerous edge. Here, the relationship was pleasant enough – I have nothing against the childhood friends meme. But it was just a little too nice, with no real passion to it, and Junichi came off rather vanilla. Or plain yogurt, if you prefer.
Now, interestingly, after pairing Junichi off with an older girl and then a classmate, we now get to see how he interacts with a girl younger than he is, 15 year-old Sae. I have no idea what to expect but my hope is that we’ll get something a little edgier like the Haruka arc. When it comes to romance series – and really, this is six romance mini-series in one bucket – I’ll take edgy over bland any day of the week.