We've finished watching Mahoraba ~ Heartful Days. My fist episode review is here.
Ryuji wants to become a children's book author. He has to go to college in Tokyo for that, and since the commute is too far, he takes residence in the apartment building run by his mother's niece, Narutaki-so. The place is run by Kozue, a sixteen year old highschool student. The residents are all... colorful characters: the beer-drinking and loudmouthed college student Momono, the scary Kotomi who is Kozue's best friend, the lazy and poor Sayoko and her lively daughter Asami and finally there is Haibara, a bum who does little more than fishing, who insists people talk to his hand-puppet dog Johnny instead of to him.
Ryuji has some problems fitting in, and it takes him some time to get used to the general weirdness of the place. From the start it is obvious that Kozue likes him very much, a fact that is not lost on the rest of the residents. Bit by bit, Ryuji gets to know them better, and starts to become part of the daily life in the apartment building.
The landlady has a secret, though. Kozue has multiple personalities, and when certain conditions are met, certain personalities come out. For instance, when Kozue is scared or surprised, a violent and brawny personality comes out. There's also a little girl, a shy girl, a cosplay maniac.
I was worried that this multiple personality thing would be played out solely for laughs, completely ignoring the extreme circumstances that usually give rise to such a condition. While the MPS is the source of some laughs, it is certainly not the only source. Also, towards the end, it is revealed just what happened to make Kozue the way she has become, and the last few episodes deal with the subject quite adequately.
Also, the different personalities of Kozue all have a distinct voice. The seiyuu of Kozue impressed me immensely with how she handled that.
All in all, a charming and funny story with a great cast of characters.
- Appealing character designs;
- Great cast of characters;
- Story-book segments are funny;
- Great music;
- Funny when possible, serious when it is needed.
- Lacks any sort of action, which is a deal-breaker for some people.
I'll give it a 8.5.