What it’s about: Itou Makoto is your standard hapless Japanese teenager. He has a crush on Katsura Kotonoha, a girl who commutes to school on the same train, but has no idea how to translate his desires into an actual relationship. In the end, it takes a girl from his class intervening and pushing him every step of the way to initiate things. But once the shine of Itou’s new relationship begins to wear off, his eye starts to wander.
Why you should watch it: From the description, the show might appear to be your standard school romantic-comedy anime. And indeed the first few episodes fit into that genre pretty well, albeit with the relationship moving a great deal more quickly than is usual for that kind of show. The reason for the “rush” through the initial relationship stage becomes apparent once the groundwork is laid.The show transitions first into a drama and then into a tragedy, with things going seriously off the tracks. Itou proves himself to be a surprisingly realistic incarnation of your typical teenage boy, flush with hormones and with no real sense of responsibility or consideration for others. The phrase “harem deconstruction” gets thrown around a lot, but I’m not quite sure how accurate that is.
Caveats: Things take a while to really amp up. The show is infamously controversial for some of the choices it makes. It’s also quite hard to discuss without spoiling too much. The character designs lean towards the “ridiculously large eyes” end of the anime spectrum.
Themes: Teenage stupidity and its consequences. Lust, love, and limerence.
Similar works:Genji Monogatari Sennenki. But bear in mind that it’s aimed at a different audience – older women rather than younger men.