Archive for the Aoi Hana Category

Aoi Hana – 11 (END)

Posted in Aoi Hana with tags on 09/26/2009 by Shinmaru


A good, sweet ending to one of the better romance series I have seen lately.

What I think this final episode reinforces most is how much stronger Fumi gets every day. Sure, she has a relapse of feelings for Sugimoto (a perfectly understandable, human moment), but she does not wallow in despair about it like she might have done at the beginning of the series. Instead, Fumi talks it out with Acchan and moves forward a bit. And when Fumi sees Acchan and Kou in the store together, although she completely misunderstands the situation at first (without knowing why), she does not make a big stink about it or get overly emotional and awkward (aside from a bit of jealousy on her part). Instead, she lets things play out, has fun with Acchan and her friends and then everything is cleared up later when Ikumi texts Acchan. Fumi is even able to have a good laugh at how ridiculous she acted! Speaking of, she even smiles and talks openly with her friends in the opening montage! Fumi may still be a bit stilted at times, but she has grown so much comfortable with everything around her.

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Aoi Hana – 10

Posted in Aoi Hana with tags on 09/23/2009 by Shinmaru


Damn. Best episode of the series so far. That screenshot says it all — Sugimoto got told by Fumi.

But saying that, I must also add that I really appreciate how understated everything is in this episode. There are no overblown dramatics at Kazusa’s wedding. Sugimoto’s flashback about how she fell for the drama teacher is actually quite reserved. And Fumi putting Sugimoto in her place is a strong, quiet moment. Fumi does not flip her shit telling Sugimoto off; instead, she lays it out for her straight and true. Sugimoto is selfish, and she needs to grow up before someone like Fumi can accept her.

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Aoi Hana – 9

Posted in Aoi Hana with tags on 09/19/2009 by Shinmaru


. . . Wow. Before this episode, I had not considered the thought of Ikumi x Fumi for even a moment, but it is kind of interesting how hints of that have come about.

This pairing does make a whole lot of sense if you think about it. They have the shared heartbreak of tumultuous relations with Sugimoto, although the paths followed by each are quite different. (I think, after that good cry, Fumi is largely over her infatuation with Sugimoto, while Ikumi is still clinging to it as long as she can.) Unlike Acchan x Fumi — which really does not strike me as that believable since, you know, Acchan is not a lesbian — Ikumi x Fumi actually seems like it could happen. The two were a bit awkward around each other when Acchan first introduced them, and when Fumi went out with Sugimoto they did not see that much of each other, but now that they have something in common, they are getting along quite well.

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Aoi Hana – 8

Posted in Aoi Hana with tags on 09/18/2009 by Shinmaru


So, Fumi and Sugimoto are broken up now. Not entirely surprising, but it is a shame.

About the very end . . . I believe Fumi and Sugimoto are definitely finished, and Fumi does not have an unrequited love for Sugimoto floating around in her heart like Ikumi does. Acchan jokes that Fumi is putting up a front when she says she does not love Sugimoto, and she is to an extent. However, that front is not protecting love Fumi still harbors for Sugimoto so much as it protects Fumi from really feeling what she has lost. But when she speaks to Ikumi, someone who truly loves Sugimoto despite all the pain it causes her, all the good memories come flooding back to Fumi, and it really hits her for the first time that she has really lost something. But she will get through it.

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Aoi Hana – 7

Posted in Aoi Hana with tags on 09/16/2009 by Shinmaru


My view of Sugimoto is softening ever more now, even after the emotionally tumultuous ending of this episode.

This episode — particularly the way Sugimoto acts around, and is treated by, her family — has me more convinced than ever that many of her actions that hurt people are unwillful on her part. She is just as emotionally confused as Fumi, but it is more difficult to see because Sugimoto projects such an aura of calm and confidence outside of her home. I think the doubt that Fumi has in her right now aggravates Sugimoto to an extent, because she is not used to having anyone other than her family look at her that way. Catching what seems to be a regular dose of shit from her sisters, especially Kuri, probably made the whole thing affect her that much more.

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Aoi Hana – 6

Posted in Aoi Hana with tags on 09/14/2009 by Shinmaru


I love that Aoi Hana can deftly avoid obvious plot points while still remaining wonderfully emotional.

Case in point: The above screenshot comes from a familiar scenario. Sugimoto loved her drama teacher in the past but claims the past is where those feelings are buried. Yet when she receives a rare compliment from the teacher, Sugimoto’s emotion overwhelms her, tears pour from her eyes and an intense blush creeps across her face. And, of course, Fumi walks in at just that moment. But her reaction to it is more sincere than overblown. Instead of running away and crying, Fumi sits with Sugimoto and talks it out, airing her fears that Sugimoto loves someone other than Fumi. This is where Sugimoto assures Fumi that, while she did indeed once love her teacher intensely, that love is far away in the past where it belongs.

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Aoi Hana – 5

Posted in Aoi Hana with tags on 08/22/2009 by Shinmaru


It sure feels nice to watch Aoi Hana again! Wish good subs would come out quicker.

But, wow, I nearly forgot how fantastic this series’ visual style is. It’s not really super bold or in your face; there is more of a subtle, quiet beauty to it that meshes perfectly with how the story unfolds. It reminds me of the impressionists and post-impressionists I studied way back when in Art History during high school. Always really liked that style of painting. Even little scenes like Fumi sitting in the balcony watching Sugimito rehearse for Wuthering Heights are interesting to watch because the visual style is such a pleasure to look at.

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