OP Sequence

OP: 「いつかの、いくつかのきみとのせかい」 (Itsuka no, Ikutsuka no Kimi to no Sekai) by fhána

「たとえば」 (Tatoeba)
“For Example”

This show gives me hope.

It’s a small glimmer, not without its flaws, but Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou may very well bring out a formula that doesn’t really need to be changed.

First, let’s talk animation and visual quality, the easiest topic to discuss. Brains Base was wise in their visual design decisions, since the animation direction affords a lot of flexibility in achieving a balance between drama and comedy. Overall, the soft whiter color palette lends the show to its easygoing atmosphere, especially when combined with the rougher thicker sketches for all the characters. Current trends in animation often default to warmer colors and cleaner outlines, which helps makes shows feel refreshing when they break from this standard. Instead of making everything contrastive, Kawaisou is smart in using high-contrast art for two things–comedy gags and highlighting dramatic scenes–resulting in a show that’s always visually exciting to watch.

As for animation, I am pleased with whoever was in charge of cinematography and storyboarding, because the flow of the gags in the show are pleasant to watch. The exaggerated scenes seem to flow in and out of the banter naturally, with carefully selected visual transitions that help weave the joke together. Now, the usage of text might be too much for some, but personally I feel it adds a certain cartoony-manga atmosphere that lends well to the inevitable literature themes we’ll see later. In-between drawings surprisingly have held up well, making screencapping a pleasant experience. Of course, the non-transitive scenes are beautifully drawn as well, with the character designs pleasing to look at, especially that of Kawai Ritsu’s (Kana Hanazawa). Although it’s only the first episode, Ritsu is quickly becoming my favorite character when based on look alone–praise the animators for making her eyes so captivating to watch!

But, before I go on a whole rant about Ritsu, let’s move on to talking about the story and characters. So far, there is nothing surprising about the story–in fact it rings very much like certain romantic comedies of the pre-2000 variety, where the focus isn’t on a love triangle or multiple love interests, but rather the simple trials and tribulations of a high school male lead–in this case Usa Kazunari (Iguchi Yuuichi)–where the story is basically getting to know the girl he fancies, all while making friends along the way. His type is a very uninspiring male lead– having a desire to live out his youth fruitfully, strained relationships with parents, absolutely stricken with a girl at first sight. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, but don’t be looking around here if you’re seeking a revolutionary male lead. Ritsu herself isn’t the pinnacle of unique either, as her character comfortably fits within the framework of a dandere. However, these two interact with each other very well, even from episode one. Passing aside the slight creep-factor one gets when Kazunari spies on Ritsu, the innocent interactions the two share with one another is adorable. Ritsu, although quietly absorbed in literature 90% of the time, shows some spunk and genuine care for others the other 10%, even if she’s not really open to it. Kazunari hasn’t had his own time to shine yet, but I suppose we’ll see some of his developments come episode two.

As for the supporting cast, they’re all lively enough to enjoy, but for the sake of brevity, their focus will be deferred for episode two. What I do want to discuss though is the story itself, which by today’s standards is pretty unoriginal. The setup is a well-trodden road, with missing parents, shared living quarters, and quirky housemates with an anything-but-normal landlord. So, where’s the redeeming factor? Is the show doomed to make older women seem unappealing, bookworms amazingly cute, and all that standard romantic jazz?

Perhaps so, but once again, the tried and true isn’t such a bad thing to re-explore. The enjoyability (independent of its final rating) of a romantic comedy relies heavily on how well we like the characters and how they treat one another. How much do we approve of the pairings being made? Yes, a good plot with twists and character revelations is always a good show, and actual laugh-out-loud jokes are a great addition (though for a romantic comedy, producing smiles is acceptable enough in my book), the real core lies in how well the characters mesh together.

A show that immediately comes to mind when I see Kawaisou is one called Maison Ikkoku, a rom com from 1986. Although the setup of the characters is different, the basic dynamics between cast members ring very similar to one another–the cute couple that’s adorable to watch is supported by a crazy side cast that slowly peels away the hidden problems each character faces. Now, the same formula has been repeated several times since 1986, but we still make them. Thus, even though Kawaisou is not groundbreaking, it is framed around a working formula that gives it hope for a romantic-comedy deprived crowd.

I will continue to blog this for the three episode rule since I’m not completely sold on blogging it (though I will be watching it for sure), but I definitely will say that this is an offering for those looking for a less actiony, more smile-inducing show this season.

Full-length images: 17.


ED Sequence

ED: 「My Sweet Shelter」 by Hanazawa Kana, Satou Rina, and Kanemoto Hisako



  1. That was horrid. Save for above-average animation by Brains Base, everything in this first episode absolutely annoyed the heck out of me. Cast full of noisy, annoying weirdos that consistently spewing random crap at audience. The Masochist guy in particular just grated on my nerves. I didn’t find any of the jokes funny either, as frantic and shrill they are, none of them managed to land or seemed to be thought through very much. Doesn’t help that the MC was painfully bland. Instead of making the jokes from other characters funny through decent tsukkomi comeback, all he could do is freak out and getting annoyed. And don’t get me started with the girl whom he’s a crush with, since she’s no less bland than him. There’s also the drunkard big busty, but virgin, chick that really didn’t work. The only characters that did not get me bang my head against the desk is the dormitory oba-san, but i’d rather kill myself than watching a show solely for an old granny.

    Came here expecting something like Sakurasou, but this one was total disappointment. Oh well, there’s still Isshuukan Friends so i won’t hold a resentment towards Brains Base.

    1. You honestly came in watching this with the wrong expectations. This is like a throwback to the old rom-coms of the pre-2000s and I loved every second of it. While I adore Sakurasou and it is definitely one of my personal favorite anime in the last few years, this is no Sakurasou. To me personally, this feels like a revival of an older type of romcom that seemed to be dying out in anime, but with this my hope for the rom-com genre that doesn’t involve harems has been rekindled because I love this shit. There’s just something about watching youthful romances like this that just makes the romantic inside me all giddy.

      With all that said, this show is for people who like rom-coms and don’t mind the slapstick comedy it delivers with it’s eccentric characters that may or may not be made for comic relief. It’s understandable if you don’t like the characters since this is one of the shows that ride heavily on how you enjoy the cast. Though what I really just want to say is that you should probably give this another chance. Watch it again, but with different expectations and an open mind. Who knows?y You might enjoy yourself. That’s what I did and I had a blast watching the first episode of Bokura wa Minna Kaiwasou.

  2. It’s almost asking to be called a ‘SAKURASOU-CLONE’

    It’s still different enough from it for me to believe otherwise (for now), but that still doesn’t change the fact that almost everything about this show oozed predictability. It may be entertaining to a degree, but I see very little ambition in this story.

    However, the one positive about the show is that the love interest actually seems believable when compared to mashiro (literally a blob of moe).

    1. Where in heaven’s name did you get the idea that this was a Sakurasou clone? Sakurasou is one of the few anime in recent years where they used the old idea of teenagers living in a dorm together and whatnot, but it’s definitely not the first. There are so many of those, and this is just a revival of the old rom-com style where a guy likes a girl who lives in his apartment complex. This is not Sakurasou, but an anime that’s almost like a tribute to old rom coms of the 80’s and 90’s.

      1. I didn’t say it was necessarily a clone, it’s just that sakurasou aired pretty recently so I was saying it’s hard for viewers NOT to correlate the two somewhat. But I do have to admit that I haven’t really watched all the older rom coms, so I’m no expert. Every show I’ve watched that had students dorming together wasn’t really set up in the same fashion (collection of wierdos in one building).

        Regardless, I’m not sensing anything very unique about the show either way. I guess it’s not bad as long as you enjoy it. From an execution standpoint, I think the show does well in what it set out to do, but putting my personal biases into play, the show was kinda boring.

  3. Kawaisou‘s manga creator is Miyahara Ruri, who also made the very entertaining Love Lab manga(which got a good adaptation last year, I hear).

    PS. Zanibas, you are not covering Nobunaga the Fool anymore??

    1. The director was also in charge of Blood Lad, which did well in the timeframe it was allotted.

      Also, news on Nobunaga the Fool later tonight.

      P.S – Sorry, I lied. Wednesday.

  4. wow…funny i dont think i hate this series at all though…despite the needless glimmers and rays. and i dont think its gonna be harem at all. Supposed the two girls would tease Usa-kun, but harem? naah~

    all in all, im looking forward for this one; Sakurasou-ish or not, i love Ricchan already. The OP has proven that despite her expressionless demeanor, she has wild fantasy XDDD

    onion warrior
  5. I think people should stop comparing it with Sakurasou and judge it on its own merits. By the way, the artwork and general atmosphere remind me of Suzuka, although Ritsu seems harder to deal with than Suzuka already!

    1. It’s a derivative work, so people will call it a clone no matter what people say.

      Oh well, like I have only watched 3 other SOL anime about an apartment/dorm so maybe people know others that can be compared with this.

      >Love Hina

  6. Sakurasou or maybe Love Hina I’d say. Thank god Ritsu isn’t another Narusegawa though,she annoyed the hell out of me.

    At any rate,3 episodes should be more than enough to decide if people like this show or not( heck,I’d say some of us could decide from just this episode). I’ll be watching it and consider it my relaxing anime of the week – you know,that show that calms you,makes you smile & stuff like that. I’m almost sure it’s not gonna get better than this I wouldn’t expect anything more.

    I’ll only drop it if the characters start being annoying which I didn’t have an issue with so far but eh,you never know and I’m not entirely sold on them either.

    1. The Kanji for their last name is the same.
      井口 祐一 is Iguchi Yuuichi.
      井口 裕香 is Iguchi Yuka.
      Though they may or may not be related. Cousins at most probably. Too lazy to google.

      1. Since the Japanese version of Wikipedia on either person has no mention about it and on top of that, in Yuka’s part it says her family has 5 members, her parents, 2 sisters and Yuka, so I strongly guess they are not related. Actually there are quite a few Iguchis in Japan.

  7. Not so eager about the animation and art, but this looks to be my guilty comedic pleasure of the season, unless Soredemo (which I haven’t watched) usurps that place.

    To be honest, nothing really stands out for me here, but it’s only the first episode, so I’d give it the three-episode rule as well.

    And though it’s somewhat inevitable, let’s stop comparing. It’s pretty much a waste of time to do that since there are plenty of similar shows in the past that have been made. Either you skip this and keep quiet for the subsequent episodes, or you stick with it to see how it goes.

  8. I found most of the characters to be annoying before anything else – the protagonist most of all. I realize he’s supposed to be a bog standard audience substitute, but for a modern series, this show feels like it’s desperately adhering to the formulaic romance of the past. Will we ever get a romantic story that doesn’t do this love-on-first-sight shit? It’s so shallow.

    While this might be the first “sweet non-harem romantic comedy” in a long time, it doesn’t seem to be the one I was waiting for.

  9. I think people are comparing it to the wrong shows. This has a taste of Honey and Clover for me, which does mean I’m instantly hook… for now (note that I’m not expecting it to be anywhere near H&C quality).

    This is not Sakurasou in the best of ways. The humour sticks with me better than Sakurasou, it doesn’t lend itself to the usual fan-service comedy that many of the shounen romance go for. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and you can see that clearly. The characters are likable (at least for me). I don’t mind the “attracted at first sight” beginning. Like Zanibas I’m a big supporter of formulaic anime done well.

    Visuals are nice and distinctive, with a slight old sheen to it. Colorful palette is used and effectively too.

    Maybe it’s just my nostalgia showing through, but I’m glad this anime exist, and I hope it will continue to be just as good as its first episode.

  10. I dunno why people are hating on it so hard. But then people are hating on Captain Earth too and I thought that was fucking awesome. Crazy ass people with crazy ass opinions. How dare they be different to mine!

    But seriously, I thought it was great. It seems like it’s going to be an interesting series with the characters introduced so far. Shirosaki is awesome but Mayumi is stand out my favourite so far.

    P Ko
  11. I thought it was pretty solid. It didn’t wow me in the first episode, but I’m willing to watch some more and see how things develop.

    Though not sure we’ve been lacking in romantic comedies in the past while. It wasn’t that far off from Sakurasou and even Mikakunin de Shinkoukei was just last season. This feels a bit more like a classical nod to the past, so maybe it’s more unique in that respect.

  12. While sakurasou is one of my personal fave anime, what comes first to my mind after watching this is Ai Yori Aoshi, which was a great anime of it’s time, in my opinion. From what i’ve seen so far, seems this gonna be an enjoyable ride. 🙂

  13. I’ll definitely wait and see how things go.

    With each new anime I watch, I try to go in with a “clean slate”. Yes, it’s easy to make comparisons to other anime as you watch, but it’s not really fair to call it a “clone” of anything else (much less hate on it even if it is similar to another anime). Otherwise, a majority of anime would technically be “clones” of another one.

  14. Strangely enough, I rewatched the episode and found it funnier the second time around. Partly I think it was due to being distracted by the text splattered all over the scenes the first viewing and secondly, I think I was able to view the denizens of Kawaiisou more positively (or in the words of Hitchhiker’s Guide: Mostly Harmless). Either the quality of the show will depend on the wacky supporting characters, or there will have to be some major development in Ritsu to make her more interesting besides her looks (oh, and Zanibas, I agree fully about those eyes!).

  15. The animation and colours and backgrounds were all gorgeous. I loved them. The characters were dreadful though. The MC whose main goal is to find a girlfriend, the love interest who is needlessly physically abusive for comedic effect, the unfunny masochist-pervert, the older lady alcoholic with terrible taste in men and large breasts. Only the landlady was tolerable.
    If this show is two cour I imagine it could become quite good, but if it’s only one cour I don’t think anything interesting is going to come of it.

  16. From my experience, almost every show that features a -sou has been awesome.

    Sakurasou: awesome.
    Mahoraba (Narutakisou): awesome.
    Hidamari Sketch (Hidamarisou): awesome.
    Love Hina (Hinatasou): …didn’t care for the anime, but the manga was good, so it gets a pass.

    Looks like Kawaisou will join the ranks of awesome “-sou” anime.

    Also, Sumiko-san is clearly the best.

  17. Comparisons again… The comparison between KLK and TTGL a good example. And the comparisons are starting again this season. I honestly can’t see how people want to enjoy anime if they keep trying to make their own experience so sour. A reviewing eye isn’t bad, but it’s still entertainment.

    Anyway, an interesting pilot episode, albeit lacking in impact when I watched the pilot episodes of some other anime today. Then again, it’s slice of life. Not gonna blame it for what it can’t do. None of the characters stood out at first glance, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that would change in a blink. I’ll stick around and watch this one.

  18. If the show wants to make older women seem unappealing, it fails miserably at it. I mean, the granny is clearly the best character so far.

    Weird that so many people compare this to Sakurasou and hate on it because of that. Maybe it’s because I didn’t watch Sakurasou, but I’m loving this so far.

  19. My initial impression of this anime is that the animation looks pretty stunning. It’s not like it’s the best I’ve ever seen but it seems so soft, bright and colorful. Something you see a lot less in anime these days, at least done well that is.

    Seems like a very slice-of-life anime so far and I like it quite a bit. I’m definitely watching next week to see how this goes, even if it is kind of a cliche rom-com.

  20. I read the original manga. I think that it is a completely different story as Kawaisou and Sakurasou.
    Harlem theory out of the question.Show Spoiler ▼

    To be the same author as Love Lab, people of insight will be able to convince story goes according.

  21. I rather liked the show, thought I did feel like it was to “shiny”? All that talk of Sakurasou just brings me down… the ONLY show in all my years of watching anime, where I completely flipped the eff out when Show Spoiler ▼

  22. I’ll give it three episodes. I like the idea and the premise. The throwback really is interesting, as I’ve been getting annoyed by all the harem/love triangles. It’s just that the masochist and the drunk virgin really put me off, they seem to be there just to sell the show to the people who feed off of sexuality. The two main characters seem bland and uncreative. I can see how this show can end up well, but it’s not barking up my alley.


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