OP: 「この世の果てで恋を唄う少女」 (Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo) by Asaka
1996, the year that introduced us to the Scream, Pokemon, the Macarena, and one of the most influential visual novels of the 90’s, Konoyo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo Yu-no. After over 20 years and one remake later, we finally have an anime to commemorate the work that would go on to influence Steins;Gate, but has it aged well? Has the 2017 remake done anything to ruin any of the nostalgic flair? Or will they even be able to create a two-cour anime out of a massive visual novel comprised of over 1.3 million words?
If there is anything that has been untouched by time, it was the personality of the anime’s protagonist, Arima Takuya (Hayashi Yuu). Our story’s hero Takuya has a lot in common with the uncouth protagonists of the yesteryears, dreaming of a life surrounded by women and time to himself with his favorite adult “scientific document”. His colleagues and seniority figures certainly play into his desires with former history teacher Ichijou Mitsuki (Oonishi Saori) outright proposing to help him “feel better” if he is still upset about his father’s passing, a detail most of the school is well aware of. His homeroom teacher Takeda Eriko (Kobayashi Yuu) isn’t directly interested in him, but he doesn’t shy away from how he feels about her and her outfit. The only woman that he seems to not be drooling over is Shimazu Mio (Kugimiya Rie), the designated tsundere who he insults by asking if she’s on her period. His best friend is highly interested in her, but from the way she wants him on-board the history club for his father’s research, he’ll definitely be set up for some heartbreak.
Although it would be easy to dive deep into Takuya as a protagonist, there is also a ton of intrigue going on in Konoyo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo Yu-no as well. His step-mother Ayumi (Nazuka Kaori) happens to be in the construction crew of a site that is constantly afflicted by supernatural attacks. Mystery transfer student Kanna (Uchida Maaya) is privy to this detail and warns Takuya not to get her involved any further with the site. However, these supernatural afflictions only become more complicated when his father presumably sends him a Reflector Device that would allow him to cross Neumann space. After a fated meeting with the blonde elf girl Yu-No (Ozawa Ari), headmaster Ryuuzouji Kouzou (Kusunoki Taiten) goes after Takuya until he uses the Reflector Device to warp himself into a far different time or reality.
There is an air of mystery to Konoyo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo Yu-no that will make for an entertaining narrative. Some aspects of the story may feel dated, but its antiquated features and its trappings in the erotic visual novel scene add a sense of quaint charm to the anime. As if it’s a time capsule to the days of yore where you could easily find yourself romancing a mysterious girl in one scene and examining the fragile instability of the human condition in our constantly evolving world where the real and surreal begin to merge. I am concerned about how long the anime is considering that it is such a huge light novel and it could lead to the anime feeling constantly rushed if they go that route with it. On top of this, it would be a shame if they took out some of the risque elements of the game considering that the all-ages remake is likely to play a role in how lewd the anime is willing to get with its material. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a supernatural, reality-altering anime with some tongue-in-cheek humor, then Konoyo no Hate de Koi o Utau Shoujo Yu-no would be perfect for you.