Anime Meta-Review


To Heart


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-13 of 13
  • type: TV
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: shoujo
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title is a personal favourite.
  • made: 2000
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Okay, this is not shoujo having been released in a male manga collection, however it certainly draws from the genre. Indeed this anime has a `tainted' heritage, having originally been a hentai game for the PC. Thus some shoujo fans assume that it will be girls lusting after a guy, with lots of fan service and sex references, which is a shame because it isn't like that at all. Admittedly the story is limited by its heritage. It's set in a high school and follows a group of students, especially a male and female lead, as they interact with various other female students, each of whom gets their own story.

In all honesty I must also say that most of the females that are introduced are cute, and you can often see how the event might have lead to a romantic involvement. However in almost all cases the lead male and the story do not persue this element, with it seemingly clear that his affections are strongest for his childhood friend, who is introduced in the first story. Indeed a lot of the girls we meet are weird enough to power the story themselves, with either of the main characters getting dragged in through their good natures. Examples of weird include a rich black magic practitioner, a female martial artist, a tragic psychic and a maid robot. Some of the stories are also really good, because the laid back delivery and `mundane' nature of the environment brings the stories out. On the other hand if you are hoping for a story to link the series, or epic dynamic stories, you will be very disappointed. Indeed it would be possible to say that, by and large, nothing happens at all. If you don't like quiet character pieces feel very safe in avoiding this anime. On the other hand the `stillness' is what makes some of the stories so touching, aided by the fact that the scope is so small.

Regardless of the unusual story focus the production values are very nice. The artwork is bright and cheerful and attractive, especially the character design. The characters are well brought out given the number and the limited time and the dialog is believable. The voices for the characters, especially the laid back male lead, are excellent. I especially like the bravery of having a character who whispers, so that most of her lines are only indicated by those she speaks to...cute. The events are believable, and understated, even when the basis is weird. I will be brave and say that there is a hidden charm to this series, which you need to let build up, but I don't know how many will find it. The shoujo fans will probably consider this as peddling to males, while most males may find the mundane low-key stories boring. Bonus points for most of the girls being capable and active and the laid-back male lead being competent and likable.

I also thought i'd share this comment from the fansubbers (Sachi) as it is rare to see a fansubber venture a comment, and the words ring true to my experiences.

"This volume marks the end of the series. It's a series where there are no explosions and nobody dies. Heck, there aren't even any really vile people to hate. But we've enjoyed these very appealing characters, and wished that there were more to sub. We hope you have enjoyed this series as much as we have. Sachi."

Part of the energy for this review came from it being slammed, in my opinion unfairly, on alt.anime.shoujo with people bragging about only watching half an episode or considering it like `tenchi' or `ranma'. None of the sites I source from has a review of this title.

According to `gatts' on usenet the true lifecycle of this material is even more confusing. From a PC-Hentai game it became a playstation game, was ported back to the PC, became a manga, then the anime and has also been the basis for a PC fighting game! (Queen of hearts). Astounding.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:26 WST 2009