OP Sequence:

OP: “Hatsukoi Parachute” 「初恋パラシュート」 by Hashimoto Miyuki (橋本 みゆき)
Watch the OP!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Show Streaming ▼

ED Sequence:

ED: “Sweet Gift” by Kugimiya Rie (釘宮 理恵)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Show Streaming ▼

「あかね色のファーストキッス」 (Akane Iro no Faasuto Kisu)
“Madder-Red First Kiss”

First Glance:
It’s a little bit concerning when I can go through the cast list for a show and instantly recognize every single name on it (in Japanese) off the top of my head, but that’s what we have here with Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka—quite possibly the romance comedy of the season. In a mouthful, we basically have three-quarters of the Lucky Star cast, two leads from Gundam SEED, two-thirds of the ARIA cast, a couple of girls from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, plus Kugimiya Rie and Hatano Wataru playing the two leads. Throw in the ever-so-funny Koyama Rikiya (Shinigami-sama in SOUL EATER) to play the teacher Sugishita Seijirou, and we’ve got series that’s overflowing with too much talent. Question now is, does it have the production quality and substance to go along with the cast?

Since I’ve been eyeing this show a lot more than the others this season, that question’s been on my mind for a while. Much to my delight, the first episode didn’t disappoint one bit. Based on an adult visual novel developed by feng, Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka may inadvertently turn some viewers away, but my experiences with visual novel adaptations has been surprisingly good. It’s been so good in fact that I actually look forward to them quite a bit, since they generally have interesting characters that can be easily adapted into a romance comedy—my favorite genre. With that said, I absoluted loved every minute of the first episode, with each of the characters quickly showing their little nuances that will undoubtedly carry on throughout the series.

Fans of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu should make an easy transition over to this series, since Ayase Yuuto’s seiyuu now plays the surprisingly similar Nagase Junichi. Being a fairly level-headed male protagonist unlike the ones you’d typically expect in a harem-like series, Junichi reminds me a lot of Yuuto, except he’s a bit better looking (subjectively speaking). Between these two series, Akane Iro no Somaru Saka comes across as more of the type of show I was hoping for in Nogizaka Haruka, primarily in the comedic department. Here, we also have much more interesting male sub-characters in the form of Junichi’s friend Nishino Fuyuhiko and teacher Sugishita Seijirou, who add that extra comedic flair when it comes to our male protagonist. Add Inoue Marina into the mix as classmate Kiryuu Tsukasa and you have the sarcastic teasing element that was sorely missing in Nogizaka Haruka.

So wait, it’s not all comedy though right? This is where Kugimiya Rie comes in as Katagiri Yuuhi, a new transfer student at Junichi’s school who was helped out by him on the first day. Having not caught his name though, she takes an unexpected interest in him, only to be kissed the next day when Junichi misunderstands things. Being the rich, strong-willed, stubborn girl that she is, Yuuhi naturally doesn’t respond well to her first kiss being taken away, but later moves in with Junichi and his sister Minato as per marriage arrangements by Junichi’s parents. While I’m sure hearing “strong-willed” and “stubborn” will make most most people think of Kugimiya Rie’s typical tsundere roles — Louise, Shana, and now Taiga in Toradora! — Yuuhi’s actually really cute and timid for the most part, making me feel that this is how a tsundere should be. (Note: I love tsundere characters when they’re portrayed well.) Rie doesn’t use her usual high-pitch voice here, so it’s not deafening when Yuuhi blows up either. As such, I find her much more amiable than Taiga as well. Yuuhi aside, other notable appearances this episode were Tanaka Rie as the student council president Shiina Mitsuki, and Katou Emiri as the assertive, class-rep-like Ayanokouji Karen.

Production-wise, TNK did an impressive job on this series, which I feel is miles ahead of their work on School Days. Much like Rosario + Vampire, Akane Iro has lush colors that pop out at you, fluid animation, and cute character designs — all of which simply add to the overall appeal. The opening song is performed by Hashimoto Miyuki, which instantly made me think of her catchy songs in SHUFFLE!. In what seems like a rarity this season, there’s an actual opening sequence rather than a video collage of episode scenes too. As for the ending song, it’s performed by Kugimiya Rie and sounds a lot better than Rie’s usual songs, since it’s not overly silly like her Zero no Tsukaima ones. Length-wise, I have yet to confirm from an official source how many episodes there will be, but given the current pacing, I think a good single season series is preferable to a stretched out two-season one.

Anyway, romance comedy of the season — I’m making my stake on it here. If I turn out terribly wrong, we’ll address that when the time comes. I have high hopes that this series will turn out to be just that if the first episode was any indication of things to come.


Notable Cast:
– Nagase Junichi (長瀬 準一) : Hatano Wataru (羽多野 渉)
– Katagiri Yuuhi (片桐 優姫) : Kugimiya Rie (釘宮 理恵)
– Nagase Minato (長瀬 湊) : Hirano Aya (平野 綾)
– Kiryuu Tsukasa (霧生 つかさ) : Inoue Marina (井上 麻里奈)
– Ayanokouji Karen (綾小路 華恋) : Katou Emiri (加藤 英美里)
– Shiraishi Nagomi (白石 なごみ) / Shiraishi Yutori (白石 ゆとり) : Hirohashi Ryou (広橋 涼)
– Shiina Mitsuki (椎名 観月) : Tanaka Rie (田中 理恵)
– Tachibana Mikoto (橘 ミコト) : Hadzuki Erino (葉月 絵理乃)
– Nishino Fuyuhiko (西野 冬彦) : Ishida Akira (石田 彰)
– Sugishita Seijirou (杉下 清次郎) : Koyama Rikiya (小山 力也)
– Fujimiya Sai (藤宮 彩) : Kobayashi Yuu (小林 ゆう)
– Nijou Aya (二条 亜矢) : Fukuhara Kaori (福原 香織)
– Yocchan (よっちゃん) : Toyosaki Aki (豊崎 愛生)


  1. Oh hey, you like romantic-comedies too. Whoo.

    So yeah, I thought this was a pretty good premiere episode for the series, myself. Hopefully the rest pulls through, not like Da Capo.

  2. this was a great episode, i knew they were gonna kiss from the description, but the whole episode itself turned out to be fun, and the end was even better, it was expected but still.

  3. While the original H-game does have pretty good characters(I assume Nagomi, the spy girl in the ending squence of this ep could get very popular and Yuuhi’s tsundere certainly won’t disappoint) and interesting plot(surprise engagement, tsundere, spy movie flavor and all) but lacks real appeal on its storytelling especially in action and conspiracy sequence.
    With a competent combo of the director and the chief scenario writer from School Days(the latter also wrote Utawarerumono anime), and tons of talented voice actors, I think that this show could be one of those cases where the anime version is actually better than the original. And judging from the 1st ep, it will very likely be up to my expectations.
    Anyway, basically it’s tsundere comedy, so relax and enjoy the ride folks.

  4. I’ve been waiting for this, especially with the premise that the main protagonists have been set up in an arranged engagement. Makes you wonder how they’ll work it out.

    Though admittedly,
    Minato is IMHO a real beauty the way she’s been designed. I almost wish she was the protagonist girl instead. And I agree with hobli, she looks kinda like Nanoha Takamachi.

    Sailor Enlil
  5. “While the original H-game does have pretty good characters […] and interesting plot […] but lacks real appeal on its storytelling especially in action and conspiracy sequence.”
    – calde

    Well, the original PC game was very, very campy. Deliberately campy, especially with the “action and conspiracy” stuff, because it was going for comedy in those parts. It seems that a lot of the story got re-written/re-worked, though, in the PS2 release. And now, of course, they’ve made a big point with this anime that it was going to feature another original story that was going to focus even more on comedy (though they’ve kept some of the game elements, at least in the first episode). I think it’ll end up being a matter of preference as to which version people who’ve seen them all will like best. So far, I have to say that I liked the storytelling in the first episode of the game a bit better, but we’ll see what they do next.

  6. Well, this was the primary series I had intent to watch this season. Seems like a good start. Characters seemed reasonable (I like the character design, too). If it stays balanced in momentum, it should flow fine. So yeah, it really is up to the production cast and quality.

    In terms of duration I hope it’s a simple 12 or 13, as 24+ would seem overkill (unless the PS2 version was that much longer, which I don’t know). I was concerned the PS2 exclusive character wasn’t in the show since it didn’t show up on cast lists I’ve seen, and now I’m relieved it has every PS2 notable, rather than just every PC notable.

    I think I’ll enjoy this, or at least attempt to watch it all the way for sure. Thanks for the snapshot.

  7. Seem better than I though although it hasn’t yet caught my interest, unless most of the shoe that I intend to watch end up being total crap, which isn’t that likely because at least I am pretty satisfied with 3 of them so far.

    But I guess I will keep in touch to see how this series will go, in case that you continue to blog it.

  8. setsuke:
    If you mean blog this series, I’m not sure yet. The amount of time I can commit this season is questionable, but we’ll see how I feel about things after the slew of premieres. Right now, I’m just focused on getting these snapshots out so that people have a good idea of what’s airing.

  9. I’m interested in this show because of it’s cast and since I usually like H-game adaptations but I’m worried that it’ll go the School Days route. I hate School Days. Please, TNK, prove me wrong.

  10. Just watched it (has nothing to do)

    I’ll give this a pass for now…. may come back to it later, but doubt it.
    Not a big fan of the ero-game turned romantic comedy genre…. and as for pure comedy, Hyakko beats this without breaking a sweat.

  11. Episode one didn’t convince me. I still get the feeling of awkward direction and storyboarding that I got from the same staff’s School Days and Amenaideyo. The cast is terrific, though. And the set-up at the end looks very promising, so I’ll definitely keep watching. I’m liking Kugimiya Rie better in Toradora, though, and Hirano Aya better in Hyakko.

  12. i’m having negative thoughts on this anime already.

    the character designs are not appeasing at all; they’re too scrawny — not enough substance. then again, i can’t decide what’s good for others except myself.

    and second, i feel like a fucking idiot for stating my opinion here, when i can talk about it in person with others who share common interests. i’m not pointing fingers. i honestly feel this way. i’m sure we’re all the same, but i’m just more below the average person in intelligence.

    pussy cat, dots, sausage, hot dog, banana, shaved, Virginia, analogy, raspberry, cherry, tuna, muffin, bottom, soko, tops, bosom, chest, naka, spread cream, stick, corn dog, hot, atsui, hard, pumped, gigantic, huge, rocket, hair, spandex

  13. Pretty good episode. I was totally confused with the rawr and the video quality was terrible. The new sub version is so much better and the story is actually pretty good. Could turn out into a nice romance/comedy along the lines of Pastel or DaCapo.

  14. as:
    Seeing as that’s a direct shot at me, I’ll simply say:
    1.) I was clear in what I felt about the series, so I don’t how that warrants the “school girl outfits” remark.
    2.) If you’re not happy about what I’ve written and just want to complain, please feel free to write your own review as I’m sure everyone’s dying to read it.

    On a general note, I find it interesting how I get insulted for simply trying to get the word out about new series by providing screenshots, background info, and some personal impressions, in an attempt to help everyone make their own informed decisions. Because of this, I’m often left wondering if such remarks are from people trolling the site out of envy at RC’s popularity. Funny thing is, they forget that it’s still a blog and a place for writers like Omni and myself to say whatever we want. Last time I checked, I don’t get paid for this and still work a full-time career job, yet people will use any opportunity they can to criticize us like we’re running a service here. I guess it comes with the standards we’ve set for ourselves, but I find it ironic how people are quick to complain but are too lazy to do something themselves when they think they can do better.

  15. The sister is obviously not blood related.

    You can tell in these kind of series.

    Imouto-san was probably adopted or a cousin whose parents died in a car crash so they live together now as “siblings”.

  16. Careful divine, if you feed the trolls, they’ll only get stronger. Best to just ignore them :p

    I dunno where to start with this one, such beautiful characters popping up all over the place with tons and tons of really interesting personalities, now I can’t wait for the next episode to come out :> Oh Junichi, you really are dense if you think it’s a good idea to kiss a girl you’ve only ever met twice~

  17. minato… hot sister is hot plus they are blood related… should they follow yuuhi’s route then again.. i played the game and i somewhat understood some points but to fully appreciate the game one has to read all routes <__>

  18. @ divine

    Hahaha, yeah. I guess you should just ignore those people. Some people are just… uugh..

    @ Algester

    Wait, so are they blood related or not or it depends on what route you take? I still remember your facepalm on the forum somewhere about that but that was all I remember.

  19. @ divine
    Please ignore them. I have little slow internet and it took quite time to finish just one episode. Your articles has helped me so far to choose anime that suit my taste. I’m really grateful for RC and your hard works. Ganbatte !!

  20. I don’t know, I think I’ll probably end up liking Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu better than this series but I’ll still follow it none the less. I prefer Hirano Aya to Kugimiya Rie though. I feel like she would have made a better lead.

  21. Divine, quick question: how sure are you on the notable cast? If I was looking at the VA list for the PS2 game of this anime, I would believe it, except the anime’s main site’s cast list is shorter. (Or are they just hiding surprises since not all characters have been introduced, or it’s only as long as how much they have aired?)

    As of now I’m satisfied with what I’ve seen.

  22. Hmm yeah that too about Minato – she’s winnable in the game so the animators could figure her into the plot and add some drama to Yuuhi and Junichi’s “relationship” (Love Triangle anyone?)

    Sailor Enlil
  23. @X
    At that particular scene only the girls were present. Methinks it’s early in the morning before Homeroom (judging from the fact that there were a few “good morning” greetings) so the boys haven’t arrived in school yet (Junichi and Fuyuhiko were the first boys to arrive).

    Sailor Enlil
  24. This has been one of the few series this season so far that I’ve felt I want the next episode immediately after watching the first episode. I hope it keeps up to that level.

  25. I read through comments and notices all my impressions are already said, loved Nanoha-chan like imouto and also thought drawing style reminded me of Sola, both facts that just raise my opinion of this series, Nanoha-chan Banzai!


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