Anime Quick Information

Title: Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi - Episodes 13 to 24 Streaming
Genre: Boys Love
Studio: Studio DEEN
Type: TV Series
Year: 2011
Running Time: 4hrs approx
Rate this anime:
Average Rating: 10.0

darkstorm's review

darkstorm scored this with 5/10. Disagree?

The second season to ‘World’s Greatest First Love’ continues on from the previous season; it’s been a while since Onodera started at the manga company to get away from his father’s shadow, and in turn re-established a connection with his ex-high school boyfriend Takano. After a season of ‘now I hate him, now I love him’ with forced kisses and blushing cheeks, the last 13 episodes of the series are mostly more of the same but with several spikes in emotion and punches-in-the-stomach to the plot that the previous episodes lacked.

Like the first season, episodes 13 - 24 carries 3 different love stories whilst also introducing another couple into the equation later on. Let’s first focus on the main couple who seemed to have had no developments between series with Onodera still denying his feelings for Takano, however with the opening episode ending on Onodera having drunken sex with Takano, you’re made aware that the writer’s have grasped the fact that little has happened over the past 13 episodes and decided to do something about it. Over the course of the 2nd season we see the couple have a lot of open conversations about their past, their relationship, how they feel now, etc. The art of conversation can be seen as mundane on paper but this simple act of talking when they failed to do so previously makes us understand them better and their tender moments sweeter as every conversation gets them to closer to happiness. Although they never out rightly come out and say ‘we’re in love and are a couple’ at the end, you’re given enough of the picture to know that’s how it’s ended, making the time invested watching this series not entirely wasted. 

The next story to step into the spotlight is the love triangle between Yoshino, Tori, and Yuu; their 2 episode arc is equally the most frustrating and exciting of the whole series. It’s frustrating because Yoshino is completely incapable of being able to make up his mind. Despite being with his boyfriend Tori for a year he still acts as he did when they first kissed; denial of his feelings, blushing away and naive to the max – making it incredibly annoying to witness in the midst of the fight going on between his love rivals (to the point of it getting physical). Yuu’s actions and Tori’s reaction to punch him is interesting to watch but the conclusion is so underwhelming that it doesn’t match the drama it built up. This is on top of seeing the very apparent hurt on Tori’s face, so Yoshino just comes across as spineless and unlikable.  

In turn however this 2-parter is quickly followed by a very strong one-off episode dedicated to a new couple in the story. Based off an un-animated side story from the manga Junjou Romantica; it stars wannabe novelist/successful editor Ryuichiro Isaka struggling on whether to give up his dreams of writing and his feelings for his assistant and long-term friend Kaoru Asahina. I haven’t read any of the manga that the short it’s based upon but it doesn’t matter; the episode is very self contained to the point where I got Ryuichiro’s struggles and Kaoru’s love straightaway, with their whole love story played out and concluded within one episode. No loose ends, no cheap tricks, just one small story with a decent ending; the best episode of the series by far.

And last but not least we come to the final couple of the story; Kisa and his ‘perfect boyfriend’ Yukina are on rocky roads due to Kisa’s busy work schedule, and worries that Yukina doesn’t seemed fazed by Kisa’s constant cancellation of dates. After a series of misunderstandings, Kisa breaks it off and calls an ex for a quickie, until Yukina shows up to sort things out. Kisa unfortunately suffers the same way as Onodera and Yoshino; he avoids direct confrontation, easily mistakes a situation for the worst and solves his problems by running away, but surprisingly Yukina doesn’t put up with it. He goes to Kisa’s house directly, immediately gets to the point by asking what’s wrong and offers information about himself just so Kisa can feel better about their relationship. Yukina is a very sweet character and differs to the other love interests in the story due to his happy attitude and youth, the story has a satisfying conclusion as well.

Animation and music remain unchanged, the opening and ending themes may differ but there’s nothing memorable here.

After a 24 episode ride with Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, was it all worth it? Admittedly the manga environment was very interesting in the first season but nothing overly new was added for the second half of the series. The multitude of love stories were very half baked in the first half of the series, however did mostly reach emotional conclusions during the latter half. Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi may have balanced itself out over time but it doesn’t really warrant a complete watch as there's nothing here outside of the manga environment that hasn't been seen or done better elsewhere. I originally watched the series due to its positive reviews of the first episode and was curious on whether I was missing out on much after giving up yaoi several years ago; the eventual answer was no. Unless you’re very much invested in this genre and very forgiving of its flawed clichés; don’t bother. 

At the time of writing this review, episodes 13 - 24 are streaming on Crunchy Roll.

Screenshots (click to pop out)

Review Information

Score: 5 out of 10
Review By: darkstorm
Date Published: Tue, 3 Apr 2012
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