Anime Meta-Review


End of Summer


By Date



This Page


Title Info

  • alias: Classmates
  • alias: Doukyousei
  • seen: 1-4 of 4
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • genre: erotica
  • form: sub
  • source: asian
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Sun Apr 1 19:06:20 EST 2001
  • mod: none

Erotica warning...this material contains sexually explicit content. Why am i using the term erotica rather than hentai? Easy, that's because while this anime includes sex it is not perverse (the literal meaning of hentai) to any but the most arch-conservative.


The story begins with the start of the summer vacation, as the students are given the chance to focus on something beyond schoolwork. And in particular we meet one young male student. He seem's a nice enough bloke, not a genius or a bishounen but basically a regular decent guy. And, like many guys the world over, he's extremely interested in women, although he's perhaps a bit more active acting on his interest than most. In particular he's fixated on a beautiful, and incidentally wealthy, young girl named Mai. Of course he hasn't actually formed a relationship with her, there's a large difference in their social class and the swim coach has better looks, more money, and a similar interest. But hey, he'll give it a good shot.

While this girl is the focus of his love, and the background story for the series, there are several other girls who intervene. They're classmates, generally friends or at least acquaintances, and they're trying to live their own dreams over the summer vacation. The stories are interesting and our lead, being both somewhat sensitive and a friend to these girls, get's drawn into their stories. One is a frustrated athlete, one rejected by the object of her desire and one is having difficulties in a relationship due to immense shyness. And then there's mai herself, who it eventually turns out is as much a prisoner of her families wealth as anything else. And, in all these cases, it seems that the lead can do something to help them.


Yeah, I know, it's fairly damn formulaic. Indeed it's extremely similar to `First Loves', which I think is by the same people. Basically a shoujo inspired, but male oriented, romance leading up to a sexual encounter per episode. It's somewhat artificial, it's definitely hyper-compressed, but even given that it's not bad.

But at the same time it's sort of worth championing. The stories are somewhat believable and are quite warm and romantic. We see the guy trying to be helpful and the girls have enough character and personality to seem complete. It's simply far too rare to find an erotic anime that does have character and romance in it. And, what's even better, is because you come to know these characters the actual sex (which is moderately explicit) holds a lot more meaning and seems more erotic. Rather than watching `people' engaged in sex you have `characters' choosing to engage in sex. The difference is pretty important. It also means that tentacles, demons and rape are not required (and good riddance).

That said this isn't going to compete with real shoujo, or the better male `romance' stuff. Because it is compressed, and in order to sell the OAV's there must be a different girl in each episode, the character depth is reduced. And while it does have enough complexity to make you believe you're seeing a real story these are really pretty stock premises and characters. It'll obviously be a while before we can get the true complexity of anime in an erotic title...but this is an example of something on the right path. In addition i'm somewhat bothered by the need for the partner to be forgotten in the time between the end of one episode and the start of the next. Although we do see them again, and there's a suggestion the story is not over at the end, but the `one off' nature of the encounters is sort of disappointing. Then again, I must admit that because this was an asian region DVD the sub-optimal translation caused determining character to be more interesting than it should be.

The production values are good. It's got a somewhat shoujo appearance but little of the style, and the line work is direct and straighforward. The characters look good and express emotion or mood well. The girls are attractive while being allowed to look like young girls, although i'm not going to even try to guess exactly what age they're meant to be. The sex is neither overly explicit or offensive although it is fairly detailed. The music was minimal and the voices were good. All in all it's not something I'd buy, but if you want anime erotica then this is a superior example of it.

Other Reviews

  • Anime Review review The Anime Review considers this as being a serious anime title rather than `hentai' which is quite a compliment. While he considers it flawed, especially in the lack of follow up to the sex, but find it an almost "noble failure". The review is well worth checking out (3/5).
  • Lord Carnage review Lord Carnage only has a small comment, and also gives us the text from the back of the box. Still, he can't bring himself to call it `hentai' and considers it to be touching human drama. He also firmly recommends it (4/5).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:17 WST 2009