Talk about your drastic tonal shifts. This shows starts likes it’s going to be the least self-conscious and most emo show you can imagine with its darkly poetic ruminations on cherry blossom and one’s place in the world. Then, it shifts gears into amiable high school wackiness like you’d see in a John Hughes movie. Then there's an out-of-nowhere injection of video game style super moves!
Perhaps it’s got teenager-ly hormonal mood swings?
As it would happen, I actually watched this episode once before (in the first incarnation of this column.) I probably made some joke about the title making me think of the Irish music group that Enya used to be part of, so I’ll lay off it here. This Tomoya dude’s probably the single most appealing lead I’ve seen in any anime show so far. He’s got Ferris Bueller's smoothness, Lloyd Dobbler’s charm and Max Fischer’s proactivity. He can get away with being a nice guy while still keeping some of that bad boy cool, and his voice actor’s seriously channeling Justing Long.
You know, continuing this show would actually be totally up my alley. It’d be nice to watch a show for this column that, just for once, doesn’t reach its high concept past the moon for some Earth-threatening conclusion where nothing’s really ever resolved. This looks like it’d just be about characters and their interactions, and I’d be totally into it for that were it not for the aforementioned bouts of maudlin monologues and the too-far-from-form slapstick super moves. I understand this was based on a video game, but I still prefer the more restrained humor of Tomoya’s butting heads with the rugby jocks, Nagisa’s borderline psychotic parents and the purple-haired chick who's way too interested in her lil’ sis’ business over any FMA-style non sequitor morphing/chibiness. We’ll see. This is certainly a contender.
And by the way… what girl tells fortunes with a playing card deck instead of the Tarot? Was something lost in translation here?
Watch this episode "On The Hillside Path Where The Cherry Blossoms Flutter" here and decide for yourself.