OP: 「Himitsu wo Choudai」 (ひみつをちょーだい) by Ars Magna
Ugly, yet Cute:
Going into this summer season, if I was to pin one series as the potential hidden gem, it would have been Jitsu wa Watashi wa. I’ve been familiar with the manga since before the anime announcement, and I’d heard about the zany comedy it had going for it. That, and the rather unconventional characters designs. I’m sure hardcore fans of the manga will be disappointed by the slightly altered art style in the anime, but I think TMS Entertainment has managed to catch the cute ugliness of the original with some success.
Yes, I did just say it was ugly, because it kind of is. Not in a gruesome or offensive way, but just that the character designs (especially for the male characters, and some of the females ones) aren’t the most aesthetically appealing. But equally, there’s something about that which I really like. It’s not polished – the manga even less so, and as a result even more expressive. I’m sure that many new to the series won’t like the character designs for how different they look, and long-time fans will be annoyed by how they don’t look different enough. Neither side will be entirely satisfied, but thankfully I’m somewhere in the happy medium.
A Slow, Worrisome First Half:
I had pretty high expectations going into this, and after about 10 minutes I was ready to call this a disappointment. Nothing was really happening, other than introducing our lead, Kuromine Asahi (Hanae Natsuki), a high school boy who is described as a ‘leaky basket’ by his closest friends. Essentially, he cannot lie. He has the worst pokerface, and he can’t keep a secret to save himself. He’s an open book, but if it weren’t for his inability to lie, I think he’d be incredibly pedestrian.
Most of the first half of the episode was just building up to his ‘confession scene’ that was briefly shown at the start. I found myself looking at how much time had passed and thinking: just get to the point. We also got introduced to two more main characters who failed to make much of an impression on me, other than the obvious tropes they embody. Aizawa Nagisa (Minase Inori) is the strict class-rep who doesn’t take any nonsense – though there’s something very bizarre and out-of-this-world about her behaviour. Seeing that she seemingly ‘rejected’ Kuromine last year was smirk worthy, but overall her introduction was rather forgettable. Akemi Mikan (Ueda Reina) is much more of an active problem. I can already see that she’s going to the dedicated to her scoop, which will become very grating when paired with her irritating attitude. Maybe I should find her funny? Maybe I’ll be proven wrong as times goes on, but at this stage, Akemi and most of the other characters just aren’t doing it for me.
A Funny, Charming Second Half:
Except for Shiragami Youko (Serizawa Yuu). Every scene with her elevated the episode to another level of enjoyability. It might be that just like her character archetype more, but newcomer Serizawa Yuu’s distinctive voice and her embarrassing vampire antics are just too difficult not to love. Oh yeah, Shiragami is a vampire. That’s the twist. I already knew that, since it’s basically the first thing you find out from reading a synopsis. It was obvious, but once we finally focused on this mysterious green-haired girl, I could feel myself smiling and laughing much more.
Nearly the whole second part of the episode takes place in that one classroom. It was a very long, very awkward scene, and I wouldn’t have it any differently. There were so many moments between Kuromine and Shiragami that had me giggling. The fact that the one boy who can’t keep a secret has to hide Shiragami’s vampiric identity has me interested to see what antics these two will get up to from here, even if isn’t the most original idea in the world – that doesn’t stop it from being fun! Hopefully we see more adorable (or emotional) reactions from Shiragami, and possibly a real love confession from Kuromine down the line. He really did shoot himself in this foot this time around, but it’s pretty much the foundation for the entire series, so he’s forgiven for the sake of the plot.
Overview – What’s Next?:
I’m glad that things got better once the focus shifted to Shiragami. It’s the hook of the series, and so far everyone else just seems uninteresting in comparison. There are some emotional moments in the way she’s had to live her school life in order to hide her identity, so I suspect Jitsu wa Watashi wa will dip its toe in more poignant moments from time to time. For the most part, however, I expect we’ll have plenty of gags thrown our way. If it’s anything like the drawn out confession scene in this episode, then this is a promising start to what should be a fun-loving vampire romcom.
Note: There are currently no plans to blog Jitsu wa Watashi wa on a weekly basis.
ED: 「Ienai Ienai」 (言えない 言えない) by Hilcrhyme