「ぼくたちは、ほんとのこころを、かくしてる」 (Bokutachi wa, Honto no Kokoro o, Kakushiteru)
“We’re Hiding How We Truly Feel”
I feel like I always say this, but it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged a shoujo romantic/comedy/slice-of-life, and I think I need more of these in my life for some feel-good anime. Fukumenkei Noise is exactly what I expected going into the premiere of a shoujo manga. There’s a lot of music, signing, some signs of early childhood loves and of course – a love triangle at the center of it all. The story starts off rather predictably. We get a flashback of our main protagonist, Arisugawa Nino (Hayami Saori) humming to herself the same tune over and over again in hopes of seeing the boy that left her years ago. On her first day of high school, she (along with many other students) are greeted by a live school band and on stage, is none other than Yuzuriha Kanade (Yamashita Daiki). Kanade (or Yuzu as Nino calls him) is the young boy that wrote the melody which Nino has been singing nonstop, but unlike her, he seems less than thrilled to see her after all these years. She’s obviously a little heartbroken by his rejection but still decides to help the band by stepping in as their lead singer. During this entire ordeal, we see flashbacks of Nino’s life with another young boy named Momo who seems to have captured Nino’s heart earlier on. We don’t see much of him yet, but Sakaki Momo (Uchiyama Kouki) is seen overhearing Nino’s performance at the end of the episode. How the three of them will interact is yet to be determined, but it’s obvious that there’s a love triangle in play and we’ll see who ends up winning Nino over.
From first impression after starting this episode was that the character designs weren’t my cup of tea. There’s something about their pointy faces, large eyes/mouth and that hair that isn’t super pleasing to the eye for me (does it look greasy to anyone else?). The manga certainly looks better, but if anything, it’s not a huge deterrent from watching the series. Second of all, the music is supposed to be a key component for this show and it was just…alright. It’s not as amazing as say Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or if I were to throw it way back, Full Moon wo Sagashite which had a real artist singing songs for the anime (and voice act). Hayami Saori, who plays Nino in the anime, does actually sing her own songs in the anime but I can’t shake the image of her being a seiyuu. Until recently, Saori has sang a few opening and ending sequences for anime that she’s been a part of, but all very anime-esqe. Unfortunately I don’t think this show really demonstrates her voice range or capabilities since rock music isn’t really her style. She’s much more suited towards the ballads and soft pop songs. Anyway, overlooking the fact that I don’t think Saori’s singing fits this role, I don’t mind the music and I hope it becomes more of a discussion point in the story and not just a plot driver. It wouldn’t hurt to see Saori/Nino improve their singing skills or even change styles over time.
While I’m not a huge fan from first impressions, I think the story and characters will be the driving force that keeps me engaged with Fukumenkei Noise. It’s clear from the get-go that this will be a love-triangle type of romance story and from the comments that I’ve read, it’s quite unpredictable who Nino will end up with. I haven’t read the manga myself, but there are two directions that the anime can take that would interest me: a) Nino focusing on her passion for music and the two boys help her develop those skills to be a great singer; or b) if the love triangle is very prominent, please do not drag it out. Just confess to Nino or maybe Nino will be the first to confess? I don’t know, but what I hate more than my favorite ship sinking, is if no one gets chosen or Nino “loves them both”. That’s not very realistic to real life and most shoujo will drag this confession or pairing out to the end to keep you guessing. I think it’d be great if the story has her dating one person but end up with another because why not? And this gives fans of both ships something to be excited for. Anyway, I’d love to see a different type of development for Fukumenkei Noise and as long as it can keep me entertained and guessing (but not in a frustrated way), then that’s all I can hope for. I clearly have high hopes for this one.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Story strongly revolves around a love triangle which can be a good or bad thing. So far, typical shoujo which I do enjoy. Not my favorite character design, especially Nino. And I’m not into shorter boys… >_> Poor Yuzu. #アニメ覆面系 #fukumenkeinoise
ED: 「アレグロ」 (Allegro) by 早見沙織 (Hayami Saori)