Yuki Sanada, our red-haired high school boy protagonist, transfers schools a lot. So he doesn't have a lot of friends. The place he is transferring to now is Enishioma (spelling?) a place right by the beautiful ocean. Yuki is terrible with introducing himself or talking in front of the class. He soon becomes reluctant friends with Haru, an alien, and Natsuki, a fishing prince. Natuski is the cold, straight man. Haru is the bumbling eccentric spontaneous one. The episode ends with Yuki speaking in past tense saying how little did he know, they would work together to save the world.
The episode also opens with a myth story about Enishioma, how there was a five-headed dragon who was persuaded to stop its destruction because of the sheer beauty of a goddess who smiled at him. This seems to be an obvious parallel to Yuki and a female classmate that he saw on the train on the way to school. Probably a love interest.
I'm pretty impressed with the visuals. Very summery. Also water imagery was used when Yuki would get nervous. So it's like he is drowning in water and can't say anything. It makes his face all contorted as if he is suffocating, which makes others laugh at him, which leads to his confidence going down again. The show really seems to want to do something with the whole water/drowning/getting your head above water thing. In a way by having friends, he is being "saved" from just being a loner again and not making friends.
The whole fishing thing is sort of interesting too, when you think of it in terms of people instead of fish. If I recall, fishing metaphors are also sometimes used to describe romantic relationships, like "oh there's more fish in the ocean", or "this person is a good catch". It also works with friends to a certain extent. There are a few scenes in this first episode that suggest that Haru actually purposefully wants to be friends with Yuki.
Did I mention that Haru decides to stay in the same house as Yuki? It seems that Haru and Yuki's grandmother made some sort of deal, that Haru becomes friends with Yuki and so Haru can stay at their place. But it is not explicitly shown, just implied. OMG ILLEGAL ALIENS< FUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.
Anyways, I found Haru incredibly annoying. It does not help that he is voiced by the same person that voiced Chizuru from Kimi to Boku (which I have watched). He's that guy that always wants to do stuff, and is always in everyone's face, and they're just like no, but he keeps repeating himself like an idiot....
Which brings me to my last point. Is this just going to be another slice of life? There was enough of a hint at the end, and some very brief scenes of a guy (around the same age), wearing a turban and has a pet goose, spying on Haru, that suggests there is some underlying grand plot that is going to be developed. I suspect that there will be some "bad guy" introduced at some point or some big problem they all have to solve together, but it's too early for that.
This show has reminded me both of Star Driver and Kimi to Boku. It has a similar art style as Star Driver (also both red-hair protagonists), and also has some sort of underlying plot that seems to be covered by day-to-day high school activity with friends. It's also like Kimi to Boku because you have a bunch of guys, that do stuff together. In this episode they go fishing, and most of the episode was just set-up and hints anyways, but if this show just becomes these guys going around doing random stuff, I doubt I'll enjoy it that much.
I'm also not really sure about the pacing so far. It sort of feels like this anime is trying to do too much. You have your possible romantic interest, an alien, weird friends, a beautiful ocean, something about a goddess, a potential spy character, and also hints at a 'save the world' plot. According to animenewsnetwork, this is only going to have 11 episodes. I know it's really early, but I have my doubts about how well this series is going to come together.
To be honest I'm not really feeling this one. It looks nice and all, but I said the same thing about Star Driver. And Haru's voice actor can make the most annoying boy voices ever. Ex. imagine me saying "But guuuyyysssss, let's doooo somethinggggg. Yuuuukkkiiii, coomee on." in a whiny, up and down inflected voice, over and over again. That's most of what Haru's character is. Besides being an eccentric alien.
I expect that we'll get a fuller explanation of how Haru is an alien, but for now we just see that 1. he has the ability to control fish (sort of, from one scene in an aquarium), 2. sometimes he has a triangular halo appear above his head and 3. he seems to have the ability to talk to his pet fish. These all go by in very very short cuts, maybe 5-10 seconds each?
Anyone else check this one out? Thoughts?