Just as Kaoru begins to adjust to hiding his love for Aoi while living with three other girls, a new girl arrives! Mayu Mizuki has been living abroad with her parents, but has returned to enroll in college and pursue her c... more »hildhood crush on Kaoru- but will Aoi give her the lessons she needs to reach Kaoru?s heart? Meanwhile, Kaoru secretly starts multiple part-time jobs to buy a special gift for Aoi, but Aoi suspects Kaoru is avoiding her. Will their love be able to withstand the pressure of doubt and new distractions?« less
"Ai Yori Aoshi - Vol. 3: Hugs & Kisses is the third DVD in the "Ai Yori Aoshi, Faithfully Yours" series. "Faithfully Yours" is not to be confused with the sequel series, "Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi." Hugs & Kisses contains five episodes, 11 - 15.
Episode 11 - "Debutante" - The debutante is annoying, spoiled, but lonely Mayu Miyuki. Having met Kaoru when she was a child at a family picnic, she is very attached to him and wants him to spend all his time with her. She railroads in and makes an instant enemy out of Tina.
Episode 12 - "Kiss" - Mayu plants one on Kaoru. Aoi hears about it from Tina and Tae, and is devastated, but keeps it to herself. Meanwhile, Kaoru is spending the night with Mayu! How will Aoi handle this news? And how will Kaoru handle himself?
Episode 13 - "Star Festival" - This episode takes place during the Japanese holiday where, once a year according to legend, the Celestial Maiden and her lover are allowed to meet. It is a joyous time to make wishes. All of the gang have wishes. Will they come true? Plus, it is Aoi's birthday. What will Kaoru get her?
Episode 14 - "Servant" - Guess who's wearing a maid uniform and helping out (as badly as Tae) at the Sakuraba mansion? Mayu wants to learn to be domestic to impress Kaoru and land him as a husband. Unaware of the real nature of Aoi's and Kaoru's relationship, Mayu is loud and stomps all over Aoi's feelings, calling Aoi "the caterer."
Episode 14 - "Feelings of the Heart" - Wow!!!!! The best of the bunch. An extraordinary episode, a tearjerker. Since Kaoru and Aoi are from prestigious kimono-making families, and love and appreciate kimonos, the viewer will get to share in those feelings in a big way. I love this episode, and I appreciate this series for it's intimate look into Japanese culture and tradition."
Cool Romance Comedy
Aburenbo Shogun | Waipahu, HI United States | 07/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not to much slapstick, It even has a little drama. All of the characters are instantly likeable. Unlike Love Hina this show sports a [great] english dub. Damnit I think I started a new anime addiction."
More tender feelings of the heart
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 08/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just when things got settled in the Sakuraba mansion, the arrival of Mayu Miyuki, who has spent the past four in Britain, ratchets Kaoru's distress glands even more. Four years ago, Kaoru, still in high school, befriended a crying Mayu, angry at her parents for ignoring her at a large party and learning that they would be gone during Mayu's birthday. Since then, she has developed a passionate crush on Kaoru. Indeed, she flies towards him on the Meiritsu College campus, and gives him a hug and kiss, the latter which freaks out Taeko and especially Tina, whose feelings for him are still bubbling on the surface. What a debut for the debutante, who has skipped a grade each in middle and high school and transferred to Meiritsu! And it's hate at first sight between the refined and snobbish Mayu and the more casual Tina, who calls her "jarriko" (brat in Japanese) and plucks her off Kaoru when she clings to him.
I first saw the first two DVDs of the second season, and upon seeing Mayu, was turned off by her rich brat persona. However, upon seeing the first season proper and the circumstances involving Mayu and her parents, I felt a deeper sympathy for her and sheer anger at her parents. Mayu is "a bit stubborn but good deep down." And Mayu knows this, as she tells Kaoru to scold her if she does something bad. But given how often her parents are gone, she is very lonely, and an invitation to dinner at her place turns into spending the night with her for Kaoru, as he realizes her sadness and makes her happy. However, upon hearing how Aoi is a good cook and cleaner, Mayu decides to learn domestic chores from Aoi, but her rambling on about how she's going to marry Kaoru emotionally rattles Aoi inside.
In Japan, 7 July is Tanabata, the Star Festival, where people write wishes on paper and tie them onto bamboo branches. Tanabata also happens to be Aoi's birthday, and Kaoru decides to make this a real party for her, but the state of his checkbook has him busting his a- on various part-time jobs in order to buy her a fetching white dress of miniskirt length. A variation on the manga, which featured a darker coloured Victorian-style dress. However, his frantic schedule worries Aoi, causing her to think she has failed him as a fiancée and now dislikes her. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.
One of my favourite episodes is "Feelings of the Heart," where Kaoru and Aoi go shopping, with the latter wearing a dazzling pink kimono instead of her usual indigo. Turns out it belonged to her now departed grandmother, who told her "kimonos soak in all the feelings and emotions of their wearer. So to wear a kimono is to wear the feelings that the kimono felt." In a twist of fate, the two end up at the station where they were reunited, and go to Kaoru's old apartment. This serves as a review of how they met, but with some more details added. Aoi breaks down in tearful joy when the usually wishy-washy Kaoru tells her for the first time he loves her.
Aoi says the following in a perky loving voice during a magnificent sunset scene. "No, I will worry. It is my nature to worry. From now on I will continue to worry. Because I cannot stop thinking about someone dear to me. ...So, is it all right? I will worry more and more and trouble you, Kaoru-sama." See, this is what I'm talking about! Is it any wonder that Aoi Sakuraba has become my ideal? A good cook, good worker, and a tender, trusting, and caring person, and who looks ravishing in a kimono. That episode has a different ending theme, "Akai Hana" or "The Red Flower" also sung by The Indigo, who does the usual ending theme, and finishes up another wonderful set of stories in the series."
More than just "cute".
Bryan Weber | San Angelo, TX | 07/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alot of people are dismissing Ai Yori Aoshi as just another Oh My Goddess or Love Hina. They couldn't be more wrong. While both are well known romantic comedies, they lack something at their core that fills this series...a sense that their is something real to it.
There is a genuine warmth to Kaoru, and to Aoi as well. This disc provides them with yet another obstacle to overcome; a stuck up rich girl named Mayu. Mayu knows Kaoru from some time before, and is carrying a crush on him. And while she is outwardly obnoxious, it is to hide a deep fear of abandonment.
Meanwhile, Kaoru must continue to hide his relationship with Aoi to prevent a scandal within her family.
Add to that the financial woes of trying to earn enough money to find a birthday present for Aoi, leading to yet more miscommunication, and you have more than just a romantic comedy. There is real drama here, and through it all, there is real hope for the two lovers to come together."
Some jiggling, some laughter, some tears...
Jason | Chesapeake, VA United States | 07/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you've made it this far into the series, I needn't go on about the technical aspects of the disc...I'll talk more about story line. While the second disc didn't have very much in the way of relationship development, disc 3 (Hugs and Kisses) has some very significant developments. Unlike the Ranma 1/2 series, Ai Yori Aoshi does not keep you waiting for something to happen. While a couple of the episodes struck me as little more than fillers and side stories, they too have a part in the main story line.
Though liberally splashed with crude jokes and jiggle humor, the stories on this disc play an important role in character developments. Granted that Kaoru and Aoi are the MAIN characters, the series would not be as much fun as it is, were the others not there. Yes, it does appeal to the fanboy masses...but really...who wants to see a TOTALLY serious love Anime. The humor makes the smiles just that much sweeter...Personally, I enjoyed this disc, and can hardly wait for the remaining two disc to release!"