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Video Girl Ai

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Genre: Comedy/Romance
Company: Masakazu Katsura
Format: 6 OVA
Dates: 8/26/1991 to 3/27/1992

Youta has a crush on a girl, but can never find a way to let her know. One reason is that she’s in love with his best friend, the most popular guy in school. Youta rents a, uh, “video” to drown out his sorrows. Ai, the star of the video, suddenly emerges from the television and opens up a can on the poor boy! What caused her sudden appearance, was it a mistake or was it fate?

summary by Kain

 

Reviewed: 04/15/2004 by
Grade: 80% av-Kain

Highs: Amano Ai; cute music numbers; touching love story

Lows: The ending left a bad taste in my mouth

What a nice romantic comedy. Not a very long one (only six OVA), but sweet and to the point. This was one of my first anime, and my introduction to the multitalented Hayashibara Megumi-sama, the seiyuu for Amano Ai. Her acerbic wit, a sense of humor that often sends Youta to the emergency room, and her uber-kawaiiness (how’s that for combining three languages?) make her one of the most memorable characters in all of anime.

The story of how Ai tries to hook up Youta with the woman he desires, but instead ends up falling in love with him isn’t a new one. But it is executed so well and authentically that no one cares if the plot is stock romance.

Masakazu Katsura is a genius when it comes to infusing characters with real emotions and personalities. A viewer can’t help but feel genuine empathy for the plights of Youta and Ai. Watching this OVA series again makes me wonder why production companies have yet to realize that characters people can relate to drive an anime a lot farther than fancy animation or action sequences.

Add the catchy music and you would think this ranks as one of the best, right? Not quite. Every good love story needs closure, but the ending to this one left me dissatisfied. And I’m not the only one. You’ll have to see it for yourself.

 

Reviewed: 04/15/2004 by
Grade: 89% av-Kei

Highs: Wonderful characters

Lows: Familiar plot; an ending that didn’t fit well at all

When you sit down to watch this anime, the very first thing you see is a sign that reads “For heartbroken eyes only”. At the time, that message made me think that this was going to be the perfect anime for me. Well, it sure came close.

The greatest part about this anime, in my opinion, is the way one feels for the characters. Every shy guy in the world will sympathize with Youta; some girls will see where Moemi and Ai are coming from. With some emotional bond to the characters, you begin to feel attached to them and soon find yourself at the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen to them next.

Let’s add things up. Great characters + good (but a tad overused) storyline + Hayashibara Megumi = perfect anime, right? I wish it could be so. The last episode really didn’t seem to fit at all; this made an awkward ending for this short OVA series, and since its only six episodes, having one that doesn’t fit impacts it a lot. I personally believe the actions that take place in the last episode pass along a good message about a person’s love and feelings.

However, a less than perfect ending is no reason not to watch this wonderful anime. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll see impossible skull-crushing dropkicks delivered by a sixteen-year-old girl. =^.^=


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