Remember how you never got a nice romance in high school ‘cuz you where too much of a wimp, even though girls where messing with you, still you’d be like “nah no one likes me”. Seiren.
A take off from the Amagami series, this show is basically three romantic tales of our hero Shouichi with a different heroine. So unlike the normal visual novel/dating sim type stories we go through different paths instead of one steady one with bits inbetween. This arc is about Hikari, a classmate of Shouichi’s who teases him and in a basic sense, knows what she wants and how to get it. We are dropped right in on the story, these two already know each other and in their first encounter Hikari is sitting on Shouichi’s desk to make him excited over the though of “hey a butt was just here”. She then invites him for lunch with her friends and jumps in on a study session with Shouichi and his friend Ikuo, getting him to tutor her making Shouichi jealous. Later our hero goes on a trip to the mountains when suddenly Hikari appears soaking wet and climbs through his hotel room window like a woman possessed.
This was an odd start to things. We are dropped right in on the action and it moves along at a steady pace. We can tell Hikari and Shouichi have known each other for a bit and now Hikari is starting to make her moves. She messes around with him a bit but there isn’t a whole lot of chemistry felt between the two. Shouichi is just kind of awkward. There is another connection with his older sister, Tomoe, who is up against Hikari in some Santa contest, I think she won or…I dunno I guess I missed something. Dude plays this weird toilet themed game with her. With Seiren we will be getting three different self contained romance stories and judging by the feel of things they will get to business fast. This is great as 2016 was lacking a real romantic show. Seiren has a more realistic and grounded tone and seems to focus around natural situations. Shouichi is just a kind of self insert character as these male leads are. and by the nature of the show we don’t have to pick best girl ‘cuz we get it all. Personally I prefer one romantic path but I think it will work fine with shorter and faster paced stories like this.
The pacing is pretty quick here so there’s no real moment of gooey love. Just Shouichi admiring the butt mark on his desk and creepily watching Hikari work at a restaurant. This first episode feels pretty underwhelming but I think it’ll pick up next episode, this was just the set-up. I really like the idea of this show, I did not finish Amagami SS but I’d like to. This more grounded take on romance is great.
Now let’s talk about the best part. The characters are beautiful in this show. The art style is wonderful, very realistic characters that still have detail and enough distinction to look different from more then a hairstyle change. My word the girls are stunning in this show, even the guys don’t look too bland. It’s a seriously nice look. The only issue, it doesn’t move very well. The animation is really not great, and though the detail is kept throughout the actually movements can feel a bit awkward, as well as some of the faces at a distance. So it’s pretty character art with animation sacrificed. There is some ecchi content here but it feels like stuff that would occur naturally. Judging by the OP I can see this show getting lewd at times which in the right context could be very good and meaningful instead of cheap. But we’ll see where it goes from here. The OP song was pretty good! and each heroine gets her own ED, this one was alright. Voice acting was great across the board.
Overall the first episode of Seiren was not quite all there. Although I feel good vibes about what’s coming nothing was overly gripping about this episode expect for what I think it could lead to. I was a bit bored by the second half and didn’t feel any real spark between Shouichi and Hikari. I like Hikari and her teasing playful personality but the two didn’t really spark, Shouichi is so plain. But naturally that’s the point of a self insert character. The character designs are great, animation not so much. Still I’m in it now so let’s see where it goes! I am hoping for some great ani-romance this year.