The series is based on a dating sim, but as these things go, it has one trait that makes it quite unique: it has two main male characters. That means that not everything is centered around a single character, and we get to see two romances blossom instead of just one. Another bonus is that there is no idiotic, girl-crazed friend hanging around the main lead.
Kouichi and Kazuki have been friends since childhood. They go to the same school and are even in the same class. Then one day, Mao, their childhood friend who is a year older than they are, returns from living in France. She will enter highschool to enjoy a final year of Japanese schoollife -- and she will be living with Kouichi. Obviously, his mother completely failed to mention this to Kouichi, leading to a curious situation when Kouichi is home alone when she arrives...
And so their school-life together begins. Mao quickly finds out that Kouichi is in fact infatuated with Yuumi, a quiet girl in the same class who helps run the school library. Kouichi is horribly passive and indecisive, so Mao (who is quite direct) brings them into contact with each other.
Kazuki is in the soccer team, and trains a lot with Asuka. Since she's a girl, she can't really join the soccer team, and since Kazuki isn't part of the regular selection, they spend a lot of time together on the field. It's quite obvious for everyone that Asuka is very much in love with Kazuki (especially when he gets his act together and starts playing soccer more seriously), but Kazuki is completely oblivious. Instead, he walks after Eriko, who is very smart and almost anti-social.
Meanwhile, Mao goes out with her classmate Eiji, who plays the saxophone. His ambition is not to take the entrance exam of a prestiguous university, but to play in a jazz band instead. He doesn't like his classmates a lot, since all they can talk about is their cram school -- instead, he has a job at a jazz bar where he practices and goes for concerts. Mao isn't very serious with her studies either, so the two of them start to hang out. Eiji falls in love with Mao, and they have a few dates.
The backdrop of all of this is the movie that the "Movie Research Club", that Kouichi and Kazuki are both members of, will be making to show at the school festival in the fall. Akira, the club president, charges Kouichi with writing a scenario. Yuumi helps him with determining the plot and the cast of characters, and their work on the scenario brings them even more together.
When the filming starts, it is decided that Kouichi will be the male lead, and Yuumi is cast as the female lead (and yes, the movie is a highschool romance -- with a kiss scene!). However, she has lots of trouble acting, so Mao is recruited instead. And that is where the problems start.
You see, Mao actually loves Kouichi, and when she confesses this to him, he starts to waver in his feelings for Yuumi. And then of course it is revealed that Yuumi will move away to another city the day after the school festival! The drama!
Plot-wise, the series isn't that different from some others we've seen. However, since there are two leads, we get double the relationships, and that also means that the story focusses on different characters throughout the series. That's quite refreshing -- 24 episodes filled with a single slowmance would be too much even for me. There's a bit of a slow patch towards the end of the series, but the first 20 episodes or so are quite filled with plot developments and random fun.
Visually, the series isn't that great. Some scenes are not animated smoothly or drawn well, backgrounds are static, etcetera. This one didn't have a lot of budget, and it shows in a lack of attention to detail. The character designs are luckily not overly cute, which is definately a plus -- but it's not like the series breaks new ground.
- Multiple leads mean multiple romances;
- Refreshing shift in focus now and then;
- Not overly cute (no squeaky voices!).
- Not very well drawn or animated;
- Doesn't innovate plot-wise.
If you're into highschool romances, this is a solid offering in the genre. But if you're not a fan, this certainly won't win you over. I'll give it a 7.