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Asatte no Houkou (Episodes 1-2) PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Now in Japan
Tuesday, 07 November 2006 00:00
Title cardFitting in somewhere between Nanaka 6/17 and Disney's Freaky Friday in idea - just without the comedy - Asatte no Houkou takes two girls and sees what happens when their ages are swapped.  Young Karada soon finds out that being grown up isn't all it's cracked up to be, while Shouko gets a chance to rediscover her youth - but can they both come to terms with what they've become..?

1 - Wishing Stone
Karada Iokawa is a young girl who can't wait to be grown up.  Shouko Nogami is an unhappy young woman who has just returned from overseas.  The two meet at a local shrine where both make wishes, and Shouko finds herself reclutantly drawn into spending time with her - partly as she knew Karada's older brother Hiro before she left for a stay in America.  After an awkward day at the beach together, Shouko and Karada coincidentally end up at the shrine where they first met.  The shrine is a wishing stone, and their encounter there sees the two girls unexpectedly switching ages..

Shouko & KaradaAll grown up

2 - A Chance Encounter
Hiro begins to worry when Karada doesn't return home.  Back at the wishing stone, the two girls are trying to figure out - and come to terms with - what's just happened to them.  Shouko's taking it surprisingly well, but for Karada the shock's almost too much to handle.  They head back to Shouko's apartment, as much to get Karada into some clothes that will fit as anything else, and next day return to the shrine to see if the wish's effects can be reversed - but the wishing stone has disintegrated overnight, leaving the two girls trapped in their new forms.  Meanwhile, Hiro has figured out that the shrine is one of Karada's favourite places and heads there to see if he can find her - he does, but doesn't recognise her...

New formsNo recognition

The stone has granted Karada's wish, and she's discovering that you should be careful what you wish for, in case you get it.  Touko just seems to have been caught in the magical backwash, but she's far happier with the outcome than Karada is.  Hiro, meanwhile, is doing his best headless chicken impression while he tries to find out what's happened to his little sister.  All told, it's not exactly a feel-good story, so far at least - no-one's really happy with the situation, with poor Karada getting the worst of the emotional damage - she sees it as her fault, and with the wishing stone destroyed there's no obvious way for the girls to get back to normal.

I'm curious to see what happens next.  There are a couple of routes the story could go down from here, some leading to at least making the most of the situation, some down darker paths, so there's plenty of potential here to make something really intriguing.  What I'm hoping for is some way of lightening things up - I don't think Asatte no Houkou needs to go down the comedy route, but these two episodes are quite emotionally taxing, and so not the easiest of episodes to watch.

So plenty of potential here - the idea's not the newest, but the implementation tries to do something a little different with the premise.  I'll be keeping an eye on this for for a while yet.