Six high school classmates are learning about life and love as adolescents. It isn’t going to be easy, but then again no one said it is. Kyoichi and Chiharu have been friends since childhood and suddenly find their relationship becoming more serious. Makoto is a computer wizard who believes there are set-in-stone formulas for love. Yumi and Aki are Chiharu’s friends and themselves are looking to cure loneliness. And Yoshihiko is a jock who is bored with everything and doesn’t know what he wants. Life is about to teach these kids a lesson for the ages.
summary by Kain
Highs: The second half, in particular episode 13; wonderful love songs
Lows: Xerox™ is jealous; the first half; those eye catches…
Boys Be… is the copycat anime. For the entire first half of this anime, it appeared to not have an original bone in its body; stories were ripped straight from its predecessors Video Girl Ai and the ilk. This series was setting itself up to be spectacularly… unspectacular. And then I watched the second half. It’s almost like two totally different anime, night and day.
But back to the first seven episodes for a second. Every episode is episodic in nature; you can essentially watch these beginning ones out of order as they involve different characters. The first thing any Western viewer should notice is a striking resemblance to a popular television show. Three guys and three girls dating each other? Boys Be… is Friends in high school; Kyoichi even has a Ross Geller haircut. The problem is the “love” relationships in the early episodes are so farfetched that they are unintentionally funny. Splashes of fan service also abound, especially in the atrocious eye catches, which are probably the worst I’ve ever seen in anime.
And then there’s the final six episodes. Gone are the blatant panty shots (for the most part) and unrealistic stories. Instead, the loose ends begin to tie themselves together which helps immensely with story flow. The relationships are now as authentic as relationships can get, and the characters exhibit more mature reactions to love that can only come with experience. The music is wonderful throughout, but in particular makes itself more useful in the latter half. Episode 13, in particular, ranks up there with the best episodes in any anime in the romance genre; Hayashibara Megumi does a brilliant job as Chiharu in this last episode and shows why she’s leagues ahead of other seiyuu.
I had my reservations after watching the beginning of Boys Be…, but I am glad I stuck it out to the end without passing judgment too quickly. This series is about that uncomfortable stage of life known as adolescence, and while it ain’t no His and Her Circumstances, it does a fine job… even if it isn’t the most original.
Boys Be… can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.