Hatsukoi Limited

Author: Lince

 

Have you ever watched a soap opera? This anime reminds me of some of those. It feels so complex and hard to follow the relationships, but for some strange reason it's...easy to follow. I know I just contradicted myself, but the fact that the plot is easy to understand when the plot doesn't feel easy to understand is just... I don't know... it's weird...

Plot

The story centers around a group of teenagers [Primarily girls] who live ordinary highschool lives and face the challenges that love brings them as each of them try to manage their love lives.

That's it. That's literally the plot in a nutshell... at first glance...

This anime catches you completely off guard, and I mean COMPLETELY. Coming into this anime, I was expecting cliche all over the place, but I got a slap in the face and woke up to the fact that I was going to be in for a very good watch once I hit the first episode. Trust me, this plot doesn't look like much on paper, but once you get into the meat of the episodes... things start to heat up really fast. The anime focuses on many different relationships at one time which is where the plot feels difficult to understand. You're trying to keep up with all of these different relationships and all of these different conflicts at the same time, and on paper it looks impossible to follow. But this anime surprises us yet again with it's ability to effectively move us along the plot. Even with all that was happening, it was easy to follow and led to a very original plot structure since all of the characters tend to develop in what I like to call "overlapping archs." This is the term that I use when one character arch begins before another arch finishes. This is a risky plot structure because it's difficult to execute, but if you do it well, you can get an amazingly realistic and colorful storyline. Hatsukoi Limited... got it way right. Huge props to the writers for the story. But wait... THERE'S MORE! They throw comedy in there too! And the comedy that is used is actually funny in my opinion. It took a lot of the stress off of me after watching some of those serious moments that made it all the more pleasant to watch.

There were some things about the plot that I felt the writers kind of "cut-corners" though. Some things that happen have you scratching your head and make you think to yourself "Can this actually happen?" I'm not going to spoil anything, but believe me you'll know what i'm talking about if you watch the whole thing.

Suggested audience? Definitely teenagers. This anime deals directly with teens and their love lives and a middle schooler isn't going to understand the complexity [and sometimes randomness] that this anime brings to the table. Adults can definitely enjoy it too, but I can't offer any reasons since...well... i'm not an adult. If I were to guess it'd be because most other romance animes take place in highschool.

Some of the plot points this anime goes through are a bit cliche, but as long as a plot point is executed in a unique way, it can still serve a great purpose to the story, and many of them did so. So when you see parts of the anime and think "There's a part like this in every romance anime..." Think again about what makes this part special to the anime, and you'll realize it's different most of the time.

Last point about the plot, I LOVED the ending! This is one of those rare animes where after I watched the ending, I just wanted to get up, run outside, and scream at the top of my lungs in joy. The writers tied everything together really well, and the whole scene even makes me a little emotional thinking about how well it was executed and how well the characters were placed in just the perfect positions for one of the better endings i've ever seen. Sure there may be one or at most two loose ends that might not make sense... if you decide to go critical on it, but overall this ending leaves you fulfilled and really makes you feel great for watching the anime all the way through.

Wow, I had more to say about the plot than I expected...watch out guys, this may be a long review...

Characters

The characters for this anime left a huge imprint on me. Currently, I remember every single character involved in the plot, what their personality is, who they were in a relationship with, everything. But many characters played much larger roles than most of the other characters that I would have loved to see a bit more of. Another thing i'd like to mention about this anime, there's absolutely NO MAIN CHARACTER. This is a huge win in my opinion because it makes each character equally as important as the other characters and really shifts the anime away from that cliche high school romance anime. But back to the characters, those characters who played a much bigger role in the story were just flat out awesome.

To name a few, you've got your cold in the face but warm in the eyes tsundere Enomoto Kei, the fun Arihara Ayumi, the busty swim star Watase Meguru, the giant of a teen Zaitsu Misao, his dreamy younger brother Mamoru, the pervy Kusuda Etsu, and the hot and sexy [totally blows all other characters away in terms of sexiness in my mind] Yamamoto Misaki.

Now if you're going to go google Misaki right now since I mentioned how sexy she was, let it be a warning that you will need tissues or a cleaning rag...

All pervy jokes aside, the character descriptions make it sound like an ecchi anime, but it's really not the focus. So after viewing this set of characters, I have one thing to say; this is not even the entire cast. There's more characters that I didn't mention, but boy this lineup really surprised me since the writers managed to get a little bit in for every character considering they only had 12 episodes. They could have made some of the characters better, but this was a solid aspect.

Animation

There's no problems with animation here. Everything is clean and the characters really look amazing. I'm not going to lie, when I first googled some of the characters to see what they looked like before I watched this, I was impressed by the character designs. They may seem normal to an everyday anime viewer, but to someone who watches nothing but hentai over long periods of time, a really cute and innocent looking character really does put a little sparkle in my pant... err ehm... my day.

Overall, the animation was a plus. Nothing too flashy, but the designs were great in my opinion.

Audio

The seiyuus do a great job. I always think seiyuus do a great job though, probably because I feel japanese voices just match with anime characters. For someone who prefers to watch subbed anime like me, this anime will take no time to get used to and the voice acting is very enjoyable. For those that are dub lovers and want to give this a shot, you'll need to get used to it... I can't offer more advice than that. It's just a shame though that many awesome animes like this one go unwatched because some people just can't watch subs. I understand the fact, but if you're even remotely tolerant of subs, just give this a try and see if you like it. I for one found the voices to be very fun and enjoyable.

The intro and outro themes are very good. Not great, but very good. They're fun, they're energetic, and they're really good ways to open and close anime of this type. I had no problems with them.

The soundtrack within the anime in my opinion was another very good aspect. It's not a very memorable soundtrack, but while you're watching the anime it really makes it more enjoyable. Overall, you'll be glad the soundtracks are there.

Closing Notes

This anime was worth my time and more. It had a unique storyline, with memorable characters, a good audio soundtrack, good voice acting by the seiyuus, and overall it was a very enjoyable experience. Last but not least, it was great with it's genre. The theme of romance never slept so the viewer never had to sit and wait through a filler episode in which there's no development [There's some form of development in every episode I believe, and a TON in others]. This anime is also be very cute and very heartwarming. Looking back on some scenes, they honestly make my chest tighten a bit and my body warm up... No that doesn't mean i'm horny you perv... it means that I remember the emotions I had when these scenes played out to the dot, and that says a lot about the memorability. Re-watch value? Go ahead and re-watch it! It's only 12 episodes, and I honestly loved it when I watched it the second time around.

Final Ratings

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Animation: 8/10
Audio: 8/10
Comedy: 8/10
Genre: 10/10
Re-Watch Value: High
Averaged Overall: 8.5/10
Personal Overall: 10/10