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Aoi Hana Episode 1 Once-Over

July 3, 2009
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Aoi Hana OP
JC Staff finally gets it right.


With a lot of shoujo-ai adaptations falling into poorly contrived plot devices, it’s a refreshing change of pace to see a yuri Anime that doesn’t feel like 30 minutes of doujin fodder.

The first episode of Aoi Hana excels in areas that other yuri Anime fall short of. The animation is stellar, and is considerably reminiscent of Koi Kaze in terms of character design and scenery. The music matches the atmosphere of the show; easy-going and whimsically charming.

aoihana1

Just one episode in and we’re already treated to a bevy of intriguing subplots and endearing characters. Fumi, of the bookish and soft-spoken archetype, must say goodbye to her beloved cousin, with whom she apparently shared a mutual love interest. The cheerful Akira still remembers all of Fumi’s childhood quirks, despite not having spoken to each other for nearly 10 years. All of the side characters are given their own little subplots as well, like Fumi’s classmates and the theatre club. What works best about all of this is that it flows so naturally that the viewer doesn’t feel suffocated, which is enhanced by the beautiful musical score.

Koi Kaze was a proper comparison in that, much like in that show, Aoi Hana isn’t afraid of being indecent; there are some scenes that are definitely not family-friendly.

If the first episode is any indication of how the rest of the show will play out, Aoi Hana is a must-watch.

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