Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Media Factory
  • MSRP: Ą5500
  • Running time: 52
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Rumbling Hearts

Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Vol. #1

    March 17, 2005
Release Date: February 25, 2004


Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Vol. #1
© Media Factory


What They Say
This is the story of four high school friends, Takayuki Narumi, Haruka Suzumiya, Mitsuki Hayase, and Shinji Taira. Takayuki is drifting a bit and not really thinking about college entrance exams. After meeting Haruka he feels better about himself and starts moving in a new direction. When tragedy strikes, how will everyone handle it, and can they move on with their lives?

The Review!
Audio:
The only audio track available is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Japanese track encoded at 448 kbps, and it’s more than enough for this show. The audio is primarily dialogue, which comes through clean and clear. The ambient sounds are done well (lots of crickets and cicadas!), and on a good setup it feels like you’re right there outdoors with the characters.

Video:
The aspect ratio here is the original full frame one, and though it would have been nice to have a bit more of a cinematic scope if the show were done in widescreen, it works just fine as-is. These first two episodes are very bright and colorful, and there’s no banding despite the blocks of bold hues splashed about. On some pan shots minor aliasing is visible, but otherwise it’s a solid visual presentation.

Packaging:
The front cover art features a nice illustration of Haruka and Mitsuki by character designer Yoko Kikuchi. The back cover has your standard screenshots and episode summaries.

A first edition bonus is a very nice reversible DVD cover illustrated by the game’s CG artist, Baka Ouji Persia, featuring Haruka, Akane, and Mitsuki.

Menu:
The main menu is very minimalist, with no animation or fancy transitions, and features the illustration from the cover as a backdrop and the opening song playing while you make your selections. The submenus are just as plain, and though they get the job done, it would have been nice to have something with a bit more visual appeal.

Extras:
The opening and ending songs don’t kick in until the third episode, but oddly enough a clean ending sequence makes it into the extras despite not being used in the two episodes found onj this disc. The opening song also makes an appearance, set to clips from the show. There are also short trailers for several Media Works shows (Ikkitousen, Gad Guard, Divergence Eve, and Gravion Zwei), which incidentally have all been licensed and released on R1 DVD.

For an extra 800 yen over the regular edition, a real-life copy of the Mayaru no Okurimono storybook that plays a part in the show is included.

Content: (may contain spoilers)
Originally aired in the fall of 2003, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is based on the best-selling adult PC game of the same name by upstart software house age. Though not the first adult game to anime conversion, it’s viewed as one of the better ones due to the strong story and interesting characters.

Roughly translated as “The Eternity You Desire,” Kimi ga Nozomu Eien tells the story of four friends in an interesting way. In these two episodes, we’re introduced to everyone when they’re in high school. Takayuki Narumi is our lead male, and doesn’t seem to have a real sense of purpose. His buddy Shinji Taira seems to be there for him though, and the two have a good friendship. We also meet Mitsuki Hayase, a star on the swim team who’s friends with the two and possibly harbors feelings for Takayuki. Finally there’s Haruka Suzumiya, a friend of Mitsuki’s who is rather shy and quiet. She has a little crush on Takayuki and meets him with the help of Mitsuki.

Featured in the opening, ending, and packaging, the hill overlooking the town with a tree in the middle is an important location. The first event there happens quickly, with Haruka confessing her feelings to Takayuki and asking him out. After hesitating for maximum viewer tension, he accepts and Haruka is overjoyed. Mitsuki seems happy for the two, but we catch glimpses of her own feelings toward Takayuki.

The development of Takayuki and Haruka's relationship is fun to watch, with all the cute and awkward moments that most couples go through at the beginning. Little nuances like hesitating to hold hands for the first time really give the relationship some depth and gets the viewer emotionally invested. At first Takayuki seems unsure of his feelings, causing the fragile Haruka distress, but he gets things sorted out and they share their first kiss up on the hill.

The second episode is devoted largely to building up the relationship between Takayuki and Haruka, and along the way we’re introduced to her little sister Akane, who is bold and talkative, basically the opposite of Haruka. As they strengthen their relationship, Takayuki and Haruka clasp hands and make a vow to remember their feelings for each other through good times and bad. Takayuki starts thinking seriously about entrance exams and going to college, and overall has begun to change for the better due to Haruka’s influence.

To do something nice for Haruka, Takayuki purchases her a copy of the storybook she was reaching for the first time they saw each other. On his way to meet her, he runs into Mitsuki, who informs him it’s her birthday and takes him shopping for a bit. He buys her a ring as a present, and takes off for the train station to meet up with Haruka. As he walks up to the terminal, he sees an ambulance pulling away and a crowd gathering. Pushing through the crowd, he sees a destroyed area where a car crashed into someone, leaving blood and shattered glass all over the ground. As an officer reads the victim’s ID card, Takayuki’s eyes go wide and the book drops to the ground. Cue the excellent song “Rumbling Hearts,” and you have one heck of a cliffhanger!

If you’re not hooked by the twist, then watching the rest of the show probably isn’t worth the time. Though I was definitely drawn in, the development of Takayuki and Haruka’s relationship was a bit rushed, and it might be a bit of a stretch for some to care about the characters only two episodes in. By comparison, the game’s storyline plays out the same way, only it’s a couple of hours in before the accident happens. It’s nice to take a break with a show that doesn’t have magic, robots, fighting, or cute animals once in a while, and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien’s character-driven approach makes for a nice departure from the norm.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,Opening song clip montage,Clean ending,Media Factory trailers

Review Equipment
Sony KLV-23M1 23” LCD HDTV, Toshiba SD-4900 progressive region-free player via Acoustic Research component cables, Sony STR-DE897/S receiver, Sony SA-VE367T 7.1 channel speaker system.

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