Ai Yori Aoshi

Type: Literally means “Bluer Than Indigo”

Ai_Yori_Aoshi

Synopsis: Once upon a type there was a boy named Kaoru, who grew up in wealthy but unloving household. After making the resolve to live by himself, he one day bumped into a young woman. This young woman turned out to be Aoi, his childhood friend and arranged fiancee. Though Kaoru resented every part of his upbriging, he still fell in love with Aoi, who never stopped thinking about him. And they lived happily ever after, proving that obsession and near psychotic devotion is the true path to fufillment.

Pros: This is one of those anime that I started years ago, quit, then rewatched later. In this case, I watched the show in Japanese and did not dig Aoi’s extremely traditional character and the general melancholy of the first four episodes. Little did I know that after rewatching it in English, I would find the drama to be my favorite part of the show. The show is basically a harem anime, but it’s strongest plot element is the relationship between Kaoru and Aoi. There moments alone are very sweet, which was strengthened by the fact that the show got through their romantic hardships early on and focused more on their day to day lives as a couple (secret though they may be).  Fiction in general tends to glamorize the act of falling in love (or out of love), but often times, the strongest couples are those that share the little moments. And although I doubt I’ll ever see an anime couple watching junk TV on the couch together in their pj’s, I still enjoyed Kaoru’s and Aoi’s private moments.

Cons: If you break down the show, its heavy melodrama in the beginning, light on the end, and general harem comedy in the middle. The middle part is what drags the show down. While you may think this show is about two people, it’s actually about a group of girls living in a dorm-esque mansion with a guy. It’s basically a blander version of Love Hina. I did, however, appreciate that most of the characters were of college age, because that made the fan service a lot more understandable (we all do dumb stuff in college). On a personal note, I really disliked Aoi’s character traits. She was very much the traditional, kimono wearing, soft spoken, “ideal woman” type that dreams of nothing more that cooking and cleaning for her man. In theory, there nothing wrong with having marriage as one of your life goals, or wanting to take care of your significant other. But having that be your defining characteristic of your main female protagonist is very sexist. What’s I’m saying is, I wish Aoi had some sort of habit outside the home. Maybe fishing.

Watch it?: Watch the first four episodes, and the last three, your call on the rest. (3/5)

Best Episode: Tina Foster

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Always love an American girl in my anime, especially if she’s immediately ticked off at an English person

Best Episode: Ep. 1-4, “Fate, Supper, Separation, Living Together.” (good stuff)

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