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From I”s

is-1
Genre: Romance
Company: Studio Pierrot
Format: 2 OVA
Dates: 12/9/2002 to 3/19/2003

Ichitaka has a crush on Iori, a swimsuit idol who studies in the same school, and the feeling seems to be mutual. However, Ichitaka can’t gather the courage to ask her out before summer break. As self-punishment, Ichitaka decides to travel alone on his bike through Japan. Little did he know that this trip would lead him not only to where Iori is working in a photo shoot, but to the place of a forgotten promise he made a decade ago.

summary by Griveton

 

Reviewed: 04/17/2003 by
Grade: 66% av-Griveton

Highs: Crisp art; satisfying ending

Lows: Divided story; fan service; unnecessary action elements; sub par animation

Based on the popular manga series created by Masakazu Katsura, From I”s tries to be both a sweet love story and, to a lesser extent, an adventure. It’s impossible to fit fifteen volumes of manga into two thirty- minute segments, and, thankfully, this OVA doesn’t try to do so. Instead, it narrates a self-contained story… sadly, falling short of its potential.

Although the art is crisp and clean, the animation could have used more work. While it’s not overly bad, I’ve come to expect more of such a recent anime. Character designs aren’t particularly memorable, but they’re well defined and fit with the tone of the series. The musical score doesn’t stand out, which is a mixed blessing; while the soundtrack doesn’t excel, it complements the scenes and fulfills its function without taking attention away from the unfolding events.

The biggest problem of the series comes with the unfolding of the plot. What started as a self-discovery trip and love story quickly gets bogged down by useless fan service and needless action scenes that contradict the character personalities; in one scene Ichitaka has a shy, weak persona, and in another he’s the reincarnation of Tarzan. Added to this, From I”s tries to juggle between two subplots which feel like they were forcibly related. It becomes evident that this OVA needed either another focus or a narrower story.

In the end, From I”s is a mediocre product. By trying to mix a completely unnecessary subplot with the Ichitaka/Iori relationship, this potentially good story was brought down to a forgettable experience. You’d be better off getting the manga.

 

From I”s can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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