Maybe I'm just getting too old for these high school melodramas. Alright, I AM too old for them. Which may be the problem I have with these sorts of shows. Because Suzuka is filled with so much melodrama and teenage angst that only Peach Girl has so far topped for me.

So here's the story:
Yamato Akitsuki has transferred to a new school. He is going to live at his aunt's boarding house/bath house, where only females live (can't remember if that's a rule, or that's just how it turned out). Rather like Love Hina (and Ai Yori Aoshi, and every other damn story like this), he somehow becomes a live in handy man and janitor. On his way to his aunt's building, he passes by the school he will be attending and witnesses a girl performing the high jump. He falls instantly in love with this nameless girl. And boy is he surprised when he gets to his new home to find out that she rents the room right next to his. This is Suzuka Asahina, one of the stars of the track team.

For ridiculously complicated reasons that are revealed later, Suzuka is incredibly cold to Yamato, who is basically throwing himself at her at every opportunity. In fact, in order to gain her admiration, he joins the track team as a sprinter (but it completely back fires and she hates him even more). Turns out he's an excellent runner, and soon rises to the top of the team; but his sole purpose for running is Suzuka's affections, and you better bet his talent waxes and wanes depending on the current status of their relationship (or lack thereof). The guy is a total tool. He's not doing it for himself, or for his team, but all for the sake of a girl who often will barely speak a word to him. A girl who, in fact, he himself wonders why he even likes. He admits to himself that Suzuka isn't at all charming, that she has a bad temper, throws tantrums, is incredibly inconsistent with her feelings, and is in fact rather a bitch (MAN she's a freakin' bitch). "She's not charming at all. But I still like her." Er, what? Sounds like Yamato needs a good smack. OH WAIT. Suzuka already did that NUMEROUS times, and it didn't help.

Suzuka is so frustrating. She leads Yamato on for a few hours, and then the very next day glares and yells at him. She goes to him for comfort during a storm, and then "bitch bitch bitch" all the next day. He confesses, she turns him down. He confesses again, she starts screaming at him. He tries to call her on her shit, she slaps him across the face...repeatedly. When he finally decides to try another girl (an adorable and sweet girl named Honoka who has been in love with him for years), she gets crazy jealous and tries to put herself into his life. What. The. Fuck. I would never put up with a crazy bitch like that if I were a guy, no matter how hot she was (and she's really not that great looking; there are other female characters far more attractive than Suzuka who are all over Yamato). She's been emotionally scarred by events of her past, but that gives her no reason to treat Yamato the way she does. It's a small excuse for her behavior, but it hardly excuses all of it.

The animation of the show is so-so. Music is average. The story is all over the place. The athletic events are not at all well represented. Yamato runs the 100 meter sprint, which takes like 11 seconds. I swear they spent 3 minutes on him running some race, plotting out his moves, etc. There's no way he'd ever have time to think about it that much in 11 freaking seconds. Even if you consider the idea that time "slows" in those situations, to the person, there's still no way for him to think through that much in one race, or to change what he's doing within the race.

It's not a good sign when the main characters of a show are completely unlikeable. The only thing that makes it tolerable is Honoka, and she really gets a bum deal in the story. I should also note that Todd Haberkorn (who I mentioned before in my xxxHolic review) voices Yamato in the English dub. He's still annoying. If this interests you at all, all 26 episodes are currently available from FUNimation.

Image: Honoka, Yamato, Suzuka


xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: Awww, no way... too old? So in the battle between pride and pretend, have u forgotten how to play? ^_^

Kris said...

Wow, that was a quick reply! I just posted this! No I just...got tired of HS drama in JR High. Yes I wrote that in the right order. :)

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: Haha, fair enough. As long as I don't overdo, and continuously switch from genre to genre, I never get tired of it, lol. >_<

Stier said...

Maybe it's not that you've got older, it might just be the fact that you're more mature now

xJAYMANx said...

@Stier: Sure, more responsible. But who wants to be more mature? ^_^

Kris said...

I'm hardly all that responsible, lol. But I've always sort of been "the mature one." Kind of mothering all my friends, etc. I have plenty of moments of immaturity, but I don't care much for juvenile humor. And it's clear I have a strong distaste for melodrama.

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: Hmm, maybe I just need a clearer definition of what u mean by "melodrama". Do u mean an overly soap-operatic type of drama?

Kris said...

Yeah, probably. Where they blow things out of proportion, and always focus on the negative, and there's just drama drama drama.

xJAYMANx said...

@Kris-chan: LOL, well, if it works for "BSG", then why not... Oops, that's "blow things up" not "blow things out of proportion", lol. ^_^

Kris said...

No, no. There's been moments of BSG (particularly in the third season) where I groaned and complained about all the stupid drama. It's the main reason why I feel the third season is the weakest of the four.

Jax said...

So I took it upon myself to watch a few episodes of this since it's currently free on Hulu and I gotta say...This could have been great, but settled for the bronze.

I don't need to watch it all to know what is going to happen. I just can't stand to watch anymore as Yamato throws himself at this stuck up bitch when he has Honoka (who instantly appealed to my Otaku side) ready to cook dinner for him while he is sick.

I think on the comments at Darkstar someone said it reminded them of Love Hina...I just can't see that because Keitaro never fell instantly in love with Naru like this fool did. Their relationship grew but there were never any instant feelings.

Kris said...

Well, any harem anime where the guy moves into an all female dormitory is usually compared to Love Hina. Love Hina is a sort of standard of the genre, as it's popular and well known.

But yeah, Honoka FTW. She actually moves on to become a model, and gets herself a real man.

Suzuka and Yamato have sex and get pregnant while they're in high school, quit all their track dreams, refuse their college acceptances, and then get married. Yamato gets an office job; Suzuka stays home with the baby.

Jax said...

lol is that seriously what happens?

I mean points for realism since that is what would probably happen, but damn. I guess in the end I'm satisfied since Honoka had a happy ending.

Kris said...

Yeah it does. I speed read the manga to see how the story ends. His friend is all "Yamato why haven't you slept with her yet?" So duh, like an idiot, he makes a move, and she gets pissed. She brings over this movie that has a bunch of love and sex scenes in it, and he's like "Ooooh does this mean she wants that too?" But when he tries she gets pissed and walks out on him.

And then some days later they're talking and she's like "Yeah, I actually want that too." So they do it. And she gets preggers, while they're still in HS.

So her high jump career is effectively over, because they decide to keep the baby. And Yamato is all "OK, I'm not going to go to this fancy college I got accepted to through track. We'll get married and I'll get a job and take care of you." So she decides not to go to the college that accepted her, either. (Duh, it was for track, too).

Arima (his track rival, that blonde kid) gets all pissed and is all "If it were my girl I'd make her get an abortion because track is most important. So WTF man, now you can't race against me anymore, and I'm pissed."

And at first Suzuka's dad is like "Fuck you, you fucked up my little girl's life." And then I guess he gets over it? So they move in together at Ayano's place (they sort of combine the use of both their rooms), and have their baby, and then they get married.