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Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi

a.k.a. Bluer than Indigo: Fate

ayaenishi-2
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Company: J.C. Staff/AiAoi Planning
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 10/5/2003 to 12/28/2003

A year after Kaoru and Aoi’s resolution with the Sakuraba clan, life at the Sakuraba mansion has been filled with a lot of noise and fun because of the addition of Minazuki Chika. Although many of their days are passed with laughter and delicious food, there are still various challenges and plights facing everyone.

summary by Eek

 

Reviewed: 04/29/2004 by
Grade: 41% av-Eek

Highs: Side characters developed some more; the romance takes a step

Lows: Far too little, far too late

I am not about to lie: I did not particularly like Ai Yori Aoshi but was more than willing to give Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi a fair chance. Actually, I really wanted to like anything in it but was never given an opportunity. All it had to do was build the romance and develop the characters with the time it was given, but it fails horribly.

What I did like was that some of the side characters were further developed, in little ways, beyond what they were in the original. Chika has friends in school and is a part of the swim team, Tina connects very well to Kaoru because of his disposition when she first met him and Taeko can drive like Kain at Otakon. In other words, there is not much added to these characters, but it is better than nothing. Another aspect of Enishi that takes some baby steps is Kaoru and Aoi’s relationship. Without spoiling anything, this is a long-awaited point in their romance; but like a poor marksman, it still misses the target.

And then there is what I did not like, which is just about everything else; it is hard to like an anime that is mostly non-comedic filler with rare moments that border on being redeeming. A large chunk of the problem is that the first eight episodes are useless. They are neither entertaining, enlightening or interesting to any moderate degree. While featuring fan service at random intervals, a lot of the episodes put the whole gang into typically mundane scenarios that make reading a dictionary look far more pleasurable. And then we are treated to some substance… but it is ephemeral. Another part of the problem with Enishi is that the only parts that are somewhat worthwhile come way too late to save it from going down hard, like strapping a PFD to the keel of the Titanic and hoping that it will keep the ship afloat.

I will forego discussing the lengthy list of Love Hina similarities. However, it seems that someone is just trying to capitalize on a popular franchise and milk it for as much cash as possible. If you liked the comedy in the original, you might find Enishi to be amusing. But take my advice: perform seppuku/hara-kiri beforehand; it will save you a lot of pain.

Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi may be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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