Ai Yori Aoshi
Released Year : April 11, 2002 to September 26, 2002
No of Episodes : 24
Genre : Comedy,Drama,Harem,Romance,Slice of Life
Plot : Kaoru Hanabishi, a college student who lives alone, met a beautiful but bewildered girl dressed in a kimono at a train station. He volunteered to guide her way to the address she was looking for, which happened to be in his neighborhood, but turned out to be an empty lot. Not knowing what to do next, Kaoru invited the devastated girl to his apartment and asked for any additional clues to her destination. She supplied him with a photo of two children whom Kauru immediately identified as himself and Aoi Sakuraba, his childhood friend. It turned out that the girl in front of him is Aoi Sakuraba herself, his betrothed fiancee who came all the way to Tokyo to marry him. Her revelation was not only surprising but also reminded the deepest part of Kaoru's memory for why he left the Hanabishi family in the first place.
Our Review : Ai Yori Aoshi is a very straight forward one dimensional anime. There isn't anything else i could say to describe this anime other that. It's a typical lovey dovey through and through, but nothing else.
It's story is incredibly simple. It's a typical harem anime in the sense that the main male character is surrounded by five or six females who all have feelings for him. However it is very evident in the beginning who he will end up with. The story it's self does not know what it wants to be. It doesn't know whether it wants to be a romance anime that specifically focuses on the two main characters or a harem anime. Sadly because of this the series takes the horribly awkward approach and tries to do both things, but fails miserably at it.
It's harem elements are never flushed out enough to ever bring anything to the table, other than two or three episodes, most of which are filled with echhiness rather than the actual problem at hand. The feelings just linger throughout the series with nothing to make note of.
The two main characters are forced to hide their relationship, and thus have to "sneak" around in order to get any alone time. But this is incredibly misleading, because the backyard is like a different dimension of which no other character is ever allowed to step foot in. Even though the scene's done with the two main characters are done correctly and are very nice to watch, there are very few of them and very spread out through the series.
It's characters however are the weakest part of the show. Most of the characters in this series are plot devices use to simply keep the harem plot moving. They never try to confront their own feelings, they are barelly even aware of it throughout the series.
The main characters are just flat, nothing more. They aren't deep. Aoi is a character with very little emotion at all, expect that of the love she feels for our main protagonist Kaoru. Kaoru is a character i had hope for. He is the only character that even has a chance of development with the fact they actually take the time to explore his past. But instead of having him confront his past, the allow him to run away from it the entire series, and use the same three clips to show his "awful" child hood. He remains flat, undeveloped and almost unlikeable.
The art is nothing spectacular. It uses many still frames, and focuses on the characters faces a lot. Not to much attention to detail, at least nothing popped out to me. The characters have a very moe feeling, which is fine since they are really well done, with a lot of detail in their facial features. It's not bad but not great either.
The sound track of this anime is different. It's music when it's upbeat is pleasant and easy to listen to. However when every there is anything remotely bad happening it uses the most dramatic and mysterious music ever. I found myself thinking i was watching a murder mystery at many parts rather than a romantic comedy. It's original Sub is fine, but avoid the dub at all cost. Despite some decent English VA's it is awfully done, one of the worst dubs i have personally come across.
Overall if you are in the mood to see a lovely dovey anime with echhi scenes in it than you should give it a try. However if you are looking for an anime with any sort of substance than steer clear of this.