(12 episodes would be ideal, of course)
What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a romance manga series about the love lives of kids, well, aged 12.
(Quite a number of OVAs were released over the last couple of years by a different studio ; from what I can gather this adaptation is restarting from scratch.)
Hanabi, our female lead for this episode, is your average sixth-grader. Helpful to her friends, not fond of the boys in her class being gross, and not afraid to call them on their bullshit.
Takao, the nice-looking boy that half the girls in her class have their eyes on, wasn’t even on her radar. It’s obvious he doesn’t crave the attention either (given how much time he spends alone on the rooftop), and it turns out he’s a rather decent guy. Neither of them have much of a clue how to proceed beyond the awkward first kiss, though.
Aoi is one of Hanabi’s best friends. Bigger and probably slightly older, she’s starting to struggle with the way the female body changes at this age. When her first period isn’t crippling her, though, she’s actually rather outspoken and ready to call out the boys on being assholes.
Hiyama is the informal leader of the “bad boys” of the class, and as such gets an earful from Aoi when some of them start flipping girls’ skirts. Actually, he quite likes her, but he’s so awkward about it that his warning of “be careful, my friends say they’re going to target you next” becomes a context-less “don’t ever wear skirts again !”.
Kokoa is your standard-issue bully : all sweet and smiles in front of Takao, but the venomous ringleader of most of the girls otherwise. Takao doesn’t fall for it when Hanabi comes into her crosshairs, though.
While the first episode is mostly about Hanabi & Takao, I get the impression that the show will alternate focus between them and Aoi & Hiyama.
Very shojo indeed, including the inevitable romance bubbles. Doesn’t look half-bad, though. And thankfully, no fanservice whatsoever.
What did I think of it ?
Wait, this is the show no simulcaster is touching with a 10-foot pole ? The mind boggles.
This is your standard romantic comedy, except that instead of the usual high-school bullshit, you get grade-school bullshit, and the characters feel more genuine about not having much clue about all this love and sexuality thing. Frankly, it feels very refreshing, and the portrayal doesn’t feel exploitative in the least.
I’m liking this a lot, and it’s a shame nobody is picking it up.