Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Suzuka The Complete Series Box Set |
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod Inc Release Date: 07/21/2009 Run time: 575 minutes
Love Is Not a Spectator Sport! (Sad But True)
Colin Gross | NJ USA | 08/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If your anything like me then high school might stand out in your mind as those four awkward years when you realized you liked someone. Like "LIKE" liked someone. Unless your life was perfect at least one of these realizations probably led to heartbreak of one kind or another. This is where a majority of Suzuka's appeal was for me.
For the price you can get the entire series for (I believe I purchased it for just over twenty dollars), I would mark it as an excellent buy. Twenty six episodes are contained on four disks which have art(probably from the manga) on them and look quite pretty. The case is plastic and holds four dvds (two overlapping on each side of the inside of the box). Now onto the actual show!
Okay, so maybe that was a little vague. Truthfully this show contains elements of comedy as well as romance, but throughout the series the two are distinctly separated. This is to say, while those looking for a comedy fix might enjoy Suzuka thoroughly for all its awkward approaches by the main character, I found that the heart of the series lay well... in it's heart.
The main reason I found myself following this series was its tendency towards realism. Something not usually found in anime concerning love at first sight. Akitsuki Yamato is an incoming freshmen in high school in Tokyo who, while walking by the track one day, falls for a high jumper named Asahina Suzuka. Unlike many shows where the female lead visibly shows affection from the get go this series is paced so that you honestly can't tell whether all of Akitsuki's efforts to win the girl's heart will pay off until the very last episode. The characters develop at a steady pace and it never feels like the story is being rushed because of it.
While the music and backgrounds of Suzuka weren't awe-inspiring, they weren't bad either. Honestly I was more interested in the character's dialogue than the incidental music which would pop up whenever there was a chance for it to. The music was what you might expect from a romance series; long strings and heartfelt pianos with the commonplace wacky music for frantic scenes. This doesn't mean its bad, it just means that aside from the opening theme, you probably won't grow to remember.
Perhaps these things weren't that much of a downside considering that this series is primarily focused on the relationships (yes there are more than one!) of Akitsuki. I wouldn't really say this is a sports anime because even though the races are heart-pumping and necessary to the plot they only serve as a place for Akitsuki to dwell on his current girl troubles. Having watched this show through to it's 26th episode end, I must say that it left me wanting more. I wanted to further follow the characters I'd become emotionally invested in and see more, but I agree with the decision to end it where it did. It is really rare to find a show with such genuine emotion in it, and while it's not going to work as an alternative to a show like Love Hina which is more comedic, I think that it proves to be a much more memorable experience than its price leads you to believe.
Overall i give it a 4.5 (marred only by the music and lack of many extra features) to show just how under-rated and under-talked about this series is. If it can get a cynical 20 year-old bastard like me to tear up then it receives my highest recommendation.