a.k.a. Ajimu Beach Story
Company: Nifty/Toho Music
Format: 4 episodes
Dates: 6/15/2001 to 2/24/2002
As high school student Nakaido Hirosuke waited at the train station on his way to school, just as he did everyday, he spotted a stunning girl and was instantly love-struck. So what did Hirosuke do? Make a complete fool out of himself, of course! But by sheer luck, once again Hirosuke runs into this beautiful girl whose name he learns is Ajimu Yasuna, and the two become friends. However, with rivals gunning after both Hirosuke and Yasuna, and with both unable to ascertain their feelings, they are certain to have rough sailing ahead.
summary by Keitaro
Highs: Memorable score; side characters full of life
Lows: Main characters are far too introverted; no originality whatsoever; poor animation
It seems as though a plague has been set loose amidst romance anime, and this show has caught a very bad case of it. We’ve all seen it before, in Ah! My Goddess, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and Onegai Teacher to name a few, and symptoms include a set excruciatingly dull main characters and wonderful minor characters whom do not get the screen time they deserve.
Though Ajimu Kaigan Monogatari was only released over the Internet to customers of Nifty-serve Internet provider, it clearly does not set the bar high for itself in terms of quality. Nonetheless, this anime does several things right. The music is a pleasant surprise and can compete with some of the best. On the other side of the coin is the story. No, it is not groundbreaking, and yes, it has been done before, but besides a lack of creativity there is nothing really wrong with it. Any romance fan should know what to expect from the start.
And then there are the faults, which can be seen without looking very hard. Though the show is strong in one or two areas, its inherent shortcomings hurt all across the board. This anime is very low budget and definitely shows it. The art and animation are lacking at best, and the seiyuu cast does nothing to give the characters any more life, the one thing they needed. The side characters are a hint at depth and personality, but of course with the focus on Hirosuke and Yasuna, a hint is all you get.
In a show that lacks originality and aesthetics to boot, characters are key. When a show lacks all of the above, there is little reason left to invest time into it.
Ajimu Kaigan Monogatari can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.