What’s it about ?
Softcore bondage porn… without any actual porn.
Nana, the female lead. Over-achieving high-school student, extremely popular, nearly top of the class… especially since she’s recently found a new way to relieve her stress.
Kaoru, the male lead. He’s an ugly runt with a face that perpetually looks creepy. Very impopular, with a reputation of perversion. In contrast, his voice sounds perfectly normal and reassuring, which is essential when guiding Nana through her new experiences… i.e. bondage and S&M play.
Very cheap. There’s no OP or ED animation, and the animation doesn’t hesitate to cut corners. It tries a bit too much to ape the original manga’s artstyle, which sometimes looks a bit awkward when animated (especially when cross-hatching shading is involved). Still, it does the job.
The soundtrack is firmly stuck into porno synth mode, although not to the point of being distracting.
Well, it’s a very faithful adaptation of a borderline-hentai manga. You know the drill.
Still, I like the choice of focusing entirely on Nana’s viewpoint. This episode is entirely about her and how she discovers she actually likes this perverted stuff. Kaoru is just a catalyst, someone who gives her access to this new world and challenges her when she’s not being honest with herself. If you pay attention to the flashback early on about their first session, you’ll notice that it’s Nana herself who initiated it all by stumbling on a fetish outfit of his and trying it on. (You might wonder why he happened to possess expensive leather clothes that fit her perfectly. Good question.)
Now, the corresponding manga chapters had a much deeper look into Kaoru’s thoughts and motivations during all this, but this first episode isn’t interested in that angle at all, keeping it firmly in the background (you might get hints from how his reaction shots contrast with his perfectly calm and in-control voice, though).
Overall, it’s an interesting adaptation that gets to the emotional core of Nana’s character. On that plan, it’s a success.