Ai Yori Aoshi: An Old Favorite

By Shamus
on Oct 27, 2007
Filed under:
Anime

Steven is writing about Ai Yori Aoshi. It’s very interesting to see his reactions to the series. (My own synopsis is here.)

Ai Yori Aoshi is the second anime I’d ever watched, right after Cowboy Bebop. I really enjoyed it, but as I took in more shows I looked back and wondered how much of the appeal wasn’t the newness of anime itself. The show has a slightly different premise than the standard harem comedy (in this case the lead character is fully committed to one female at the outset, instead of being some sad-sack who can’t make up his mind) but it still hits all the harem comedy tropes: You’ve got one guy surrounded by a few pretty and unaccountably single girls, you have your beach episode, the harvest festival, and many chances for the guy to fall into preposterous and compromising situations with the girls. All the girls dig him, although some do so more overtly than others. Then there a plot justification to keep him from just running off with his chosen girl. Add fan service and stir.

I still can’t be objective about the show. I’ll always view it through those rose-colored glasses that only a new otaku can wear. Now Steven is watching it, and he’s seen easily an order of magnitude more anime than I have. I’ve been eager for him to try the series, although I really expected him to stop somewhere on the first disc because he’d seen it a hundred times already. The fact that he’s sticking with it means the show probably isn’t the crap I feared it was. The fact that he’s not crazy about it probably means my own appreciation of the series is more than the show would normally merit.

Some of my old posts on the show:

Synopsis
Why I like Aoi Sakuraba
About Tina the American and her breast-grabbing

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11Just 11 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Katy says:

    I couldn’t get into that show. Too contrived. But it was drawn prettily?

  2. maehara says:

    Ai Yori Aoshi’s at its best when it’s doing Ai/Kaoru romance stories and dealing with some of the issues the had coming together and staying that way – like the first few episodes or episode 25. The comedy/harem aspect was okay, but it just didn’t have the same sort of appeal for me. Here are some thoughts I put down about the series at the time.

    Shame that the second season (Enishi) went more down the comedy route than even the first one did…

  3. Alex says:

    It’s “Bebop”! Gaaahhh!

    (I wouldn’t correct you on most things, Shamus, but Bebop! Not as bad as that one guy who called it “Cowboy Bepop” and pronounced it as “Beep-opp”, but still!)

  4. Shamus says:

    Fixed.

    Dangit, what doesn’t auto-correct know the proper spelling of Bebop?

  5. Davesnot says:

    Yeah.. _Why_ doesn’t it? :o)

  6. Katy says:

    Oh man, Cowboy Bebop… I LOVE the track “Blue” from the OST. T________T Beautiful~!

  7. Taelus says:

    As far as the Cowboy Bebop OST, I’m a bigger fan of Space Lion, but then, I think that’s because of the series ending.

    Anyway, not that you don’t get a slew of recommendations from everyone, but if you’re really looking for some great anime to pick up after Bebop, I’d go with Rurouni Kenshin and/or Bleach. They’re both excellent. Of course, if you’re looking for something with a great deal more humor and don’t mind it when the show itself is utterly nonsensical, go for Excel Saga.

  8. Sem says:

    I have the same with Love Hina. First anime show I watched. I saw it again about a year ago and I liked it less then the first time but not as much as I expected (seeing it’s a standard harem show). The nostalgia made it better than the show normally would merit.

    Naturally after 7 years of anime the newness starts to fade a bit -_- so I became a lot more pickier and tried some weird anime that experiment visually or story wise. For example Soultaker goes completely crazy with the color scheme.

    I would also want to recommend http://www.anidb.net. It’s essentially an anime database with user reviews & ratings, genres, short summary,… Makes it rather easy to quickly find anime based on your preferences. If you make an account you can even add your favorite shows and let the system search for the user who matches your taste the most. The assumption being that the shows he/she has seen but you haven’t will be to your likening. Unfortunately it only lists fansubs and from your blog I’m guessing you don’t watch those so that’s a disadvantage. Still, you could use it to find some good shows and rent/buy the DVD if available.

  9. ArmySyko says:

    I caught Bebop after watching Robotech and Voltron as a young tyke. Then I moved on to Rune Soldier Louie and a couple of other things. Overall a great set of Anime.

    I was mixing Macross Zero, the new Area 88 and Ai Yori Aoshi all at the same time. I thought AYA was pretty touching in comparison to everything else that I was watching at the time. It was pretty good and the last episode still catches me funny some 5 years later.

  10. Carl says:

    I’m not into anime as I once was but do enjoy it from time to time. The very first anime I saw was a bootlegged copy of “Vampire Hunter D” still in Japanese but captioned. During that time I also enjoyed episodes of some other animes that I can’t recall the titles right of the top of my head. My wife got hooked on “Full Metal Alchemist” and I enjoyed it as well. One that I eventually want to watch is (and I probably have the title incorrect) is Irresponsible Captain Tylor. I friend of mine described it to me and it sounds like something I’d enjoy. Another one I get a kick from is Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. I never really got into Cowboy Bebop as an anime but I have several related audio CD’s. I think the music is great.

  11. Adam says:

    I think I liked this anime a lot because it broke the mold a whole bunch.

    With the sterotypical harem comedies (Love Hina), there’s a whole lot of strife between the two characters that are supposed to end up together.

    There isn’t really that strife between Karou and Aoi. All the tension in the show is external to their relationship, so it gives a more… romantic? feel to it.

    It’s a direct opposite feeling to something like Everybody Loves Raymond, where I just want to kill Ray’s wife because all she’s doing is yelling or Love Hina’s Naru, where she’s usually just beating the crap out of Keitaro.

    Now I want to re-watch all of these anime. Thanks a lot, Shamus.

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