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Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 14 July 2011 00:00
Akane Iro ni Somaru SakaAh, another generic, by-the-numbers harem romantic comedy. These come along as regularly as clockwork, and unfortunately Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka doesn't do nearly enough to make itself stand out from the crowd...

Junichi Nagase was a real delinquent in middle school, one nasty enough that he earned the nickame "Geno Killer", and it's by this less than flattering epithet that Yuuhi Katagiri first comes to know him when he rescues her from two thugs one evening. Needless to say, both are stunned when not only does Yuuhi find herself transferred into the same high school class as "the Killer", but that shock grows into outright stupefaction when Yuuhi shows up at Junichi's house with the mind-blowing announcement that she's supposed to move in with him! It seems that they're engaged, and since this is the first that Junichi and his younger sister Minato have heard of the arranged marriage set up by their parents, it's an idea that's going to take a little getting used to...

"Geno Killer", huh? There's the first place that Akane Iro puts a foot wrong, because based on what you get to see of Junichi in 99% of the series, the chances of him being delinquent enough to be considered a killer of any sort - even defenseless little bugs - is just about zero. Even on the rare occasions when you get a glimpse of those long-gone days, he comes across more as a clueless guy wanting to appear tough than someone who actually was. Characterisation fail, I think, as he's more the typical male harem lead, with minimal personality of his own and a crowd of girls who then latch on to him for no apparent reason. But let's move on and meet the girls, as they're at least interesting.

Bride-to-be Yuuhi is the heir to a hugely rich family, who are using her and Junichi to tie together two great families (yes, Junichi's family does have a particular talent, which is shown through the flashes that you see throughout the show of his mom and dad at work. It's not your normal nine-to-five, shall we say). Yuuhi, who is smart and has her own mind about such things, has agreed to stay with Junichi for a while - only to see what he's like. If he doesn't meet her high expectations, there'll be no wedding. All very well, in theory, but I'm sure you can tell where this is going.

Next up is Minato, his younger sister, who seems to have developed feelings for him - of the sort that little sisters really shouldn't have, and that lead to a certain amount of jealousy when Yuuhi and Junichi start getting along. Then there's Karen, another rich girl from their class at school for whom no amount of money is too large if it'll help her earn the respect of her friends; and Nagomi, the shy and reserved girl who seems to be keeping Junichi under observation for reasons or people unknown. And I do mean unknown, as that's one of a few plot threads that never really seem to go anywhere. Kinda pointless, when you think about it.

In fact, pointlessness is a theme that runs throughout the series. Karen's schemes to impress, the cuts to mom and dad, Yuuhi's efforts to make her own way - all kinda pointless. If you're thinking of watching this and you like coherent plot, then really, don't bother.

If, on the other hand, you want something with cute girls, a little bit of fanservice, and a reasonable amount of fun to be had from it, then you might just about get enough from this show to make it worth your while. Maybe. Where it works is in the light-and-fluffy stakes: the characters are nothing special, but they have fun together and in some ways that rubs off on the people watching. But to be honest, there are so many shows of this ilk around that when one like Akane Iro comes along - one that doesn't try to one-up the other shows like it but just settles for mediocrity - then there's no reason to pick it over other, better options. Not worth buying, but if you have an Anime Network subscription, feel free to give the streaming version a look.

Rating - ***