OP Sequence

OP: 「Sweet Sensation」 by Murakawa Rie

“Kiss ・ Hate ・ Kiss”

「キス・キライ・スキ」 (Kisu ・ Kirai ・ Suki)

The Unwatched Gem of the Season:

I’m not psychic or anything, but it seems that 12-sai will be a forgotten series in a few week’s time. Shojo anime are rarer than they should be, and don’t attract the same numbers as an action showstopper or a battle shonen, but 12-sai is likely to receive little to no attention, which makes me rather sad. I wasn’t sure whether this was going to be a short or full length adaptation, and I didn’t know if the production would be lackluster (as the PVs didn’t give much away), but this first episode proved that there’s more than meets the eye here. And sure, those eyes may be googly and massive (like how non-anime viewers think every anime character must look like), but if you can get past that aesthetic, then there’s a lot to enjoy here. This season has quickly proved to be one of the best in years, but its the under appreciated series like 12-sai that fill in the cracks, remaining reliable in case the main attractions start to crumble part way through.

Sweet Shojo Romance:

It seemed that some were concerned about a romance anime dealing with 12 year olds, but let me just say there was nothing skeevy about this premiere (which, according to those who are familiar with the series, was basically all the material from the OVA that finished airing last year). While I doubt many had a primary school experience like this (I sure didn’t), that doesn’t matter too much especially if you’re a fan of shojo romances. It’s plenty of what you’d expect, but there’s a sweetness here that is not parceled with an arrogant, irritating, or abusive male lead that we’re supposed to assume is lovable despite common sense.

The character designs are somewhat similar (just don’t stare at their eyes for too long…) but the four main characters are distinctive enough that I quickly found myself liking their personalities and the various interactions they had with one another. This week was mainly focused on Ayase Hanabi (Kakuma Ai) and her falling in love with her classmate, Takao Yuuto (Saito Soma). It was filled with shojo bubbles, teary eyes, and confusion over a young girl’s pounding heart, but it was rather surprising to me that they actually kissed midway through of the episode. And it seems like their relationship is now official. What I thought would take the whole series ended up resolved in the premiere, which has me looking forward to wherever their relationship goes from here.

Overview – First Impressions:

It’s classic shojo with a younger cast that many aren’t used to, but that’s what makes it distinctive enough to give it a shot. It’s an endearing first episode, and more mature than you may expect, as puberty and adult love are touched upon as well. Of course, it’s all through the eyes of these children (and they are children, not matter what the opening line states), which makes it all the more interesting. I just hope this little gem gets more attention than it is likely to receive. Give it a shot and see what you think; it may just end up on your watch list, even in a season as packed as this one. It’s a definite keeper as far as I’m concerned!

ED Sequence

ED: 「Cotona MODE」 by AOP



  1. this actually looks quite adorable; ima check it out. You know what shoujo needs an anime adaptation: taiyou no ie; no idea why one hasnt been greenlit yet. it will probably happen soon tho

  2. Earnest

    That’s what I kept thinking while watching this show. No hook, no sci fi, no wacky characters, just honest, straight forward slice of life

    I feel like these types of shows are a rarity these days

    1. I’ve only read two (shoujo) manga before that addressed (first) periods. One was by Shinjou Mayu – so you can imagine how awful that was, and the other is another Ribon manga: Nekota no Koto ga Ki ni Natte Shikatanai. Oouta handled it best.

  3. I am reminded SO MUCH of Kodomo no Omocha – same age group, similar character design etc – but it’s a lot more down to Earth, kind of like Ashiteruze Baby. I’m positive I’m going to LOVE this! :DD

      1. i saw this character design sometimes in Anime Music Videos. Where she was used for dancing scenes, even with some instruments

        So her design goes far way back it seems

  4. For a minute there I thought this was from the same author as Full Moon wo Sagashite. That’s what the character designs reminded me of. Interesting series indeed Samu, and it does have that classic and nostalgic feel. It’s curious to see what the direction of this series will go, since couples have already been established as early as the pilot episode.

  5. A shame Crunchyroll didn’t pick this one up. There’s another reason why this show will be criminally overlooked: no official subs. It took me a while to find good subs.

    This season is packed, and the good shows keep rolling in. For now, I’m going to keep 12-sai. It’s pretty cute, and I liked how it dealt with certain sensitive matters.

    As people mentioned above, the designs are reminiscent of Kodocha, but Kodocha is nothing like this one, since it’s pretty much wacky and crazy comedy.

  6. I love these type of shows, don’t know why we can’t get so much shoujo anime these days I’m not a action type genre person so it is good to see something like this. somehow reminds me of marmalade boy and that other anime i have forgotten but it never got all the episodes

  7. I’ve been a bit petty and salty about 12-sai getting an anime adaption when there are better shoujo out there to adapt, so I skimmed through all the released tanko to be slightly less petty about it…
    It’s alright. Very cute and fluffy but also incredibly generic without the strong writing to compensate for it. It’s boring as hell to me, but I’d imagine the anime would be a breath of fresh air for those who don’t read any/a lot of shoujo.

    Nekota is still the superior coming-of-age shoujo about 12-year-olds currently being serialized though. I’m salty as hell.

  8. i’m glad Japan’s finally acknowledging that little boy characters exist again and can have boy x girl kid relationships again. been a long time since we’ve seen this type of love story in anything excluding erased.

  9. Romance in 12-years old? Everyone here is so cute and the innocent love they showed… If I still remember, my 12-years old life was full of jackstones and preparation for an entrance test for an exclusive high school.


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