Friday, February 03, 2006
I was looking forward to Rec enough that I watched the first episode raw--granted, I missed 90% of what they said, but it was enough to generally get what's going on. The heroine of the show is Onda Aka, who by chance runs into twenty-something salaryman Fumihiko in front of a movie theater. His girlfriend just turned him down, and he's about to throw away two movie tickets in disgust when Aka stops him, not wanting to waste them. He gives her a ticket and she drags him into the movie with her--and she starts reciting the lines, later explaining she's a seiyuu tamago, a voice actress in the making.
On the way out of the theater, Fumihiko sees his girlfriend, but she's hooked up with a guy who looks like a yakuza--he's crushed, but Aka drags him to a local bar for drinks to cheer him up. Yakitori too...damn, I miss good yakitori, if you're ever in the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo there's a great yakitori place there. Back on topic, Fumihiko gets stuck with the bill since Aka has no money, but as they part for the night he feels a little better about getting dumped. Still, Fumihiko and Aka go their separate ways, and don't even end up getting each other's names.
Later that night, Fumihiko hears sirens and goes outside to investigate--an apartment building nearby is in the process of burning to the ground, and sitting on a swing in the rain in her pajamas is Aka-chan, looking stunned. He goes up to her and asks if she has relatives or friends she can stay with, and she says no--so he offers her his place. Aka takes a shower and Fumihiko offers her the bed, while he'd sleep on a futon on the floor...but Aka starts to cry over losing everything in the fire, Fumihiko comforts her...and Aka kisses him! Not just that, but they end up sleeping together! No, they don't actually SHOW them sleeping together, but kiss + falling down together on the bed + fade to black = 99% chance they did the horizontal mambo.
Up until that point, Rec looked like your typical anime romantic comedy--usually the pattern is they'd slowly get closer together, he'd do things like accidentally walk in on her in the shower and she'd throw something at him, et cetera, and at the end of 13 or 26 episodes they'd realize they liked each other, and they'd kiss at most. Not the case with Rec, noooo...they sleep together in the very first episode! Not only that, it's only a 12-minute episode! That's what, less than 1/50th of the airtime it took for Keitaro to kiss Naru! Fumihiko is rounding home plate 10 minutes and 58 seconds into the show, and that's even counting the opening credits! Don't underestimate salarymen, I guess...
On a US TV show this wouldn't be surprising at all, but it definitely surprised me to see things move this fast in anime. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, since it gives the potential for Rec to explore how their relationship grows, and breaks it out of the usual anime romantic comedy pattern.
Overall, I really liked the first episode--Aka is incredibly cute, which doesn't hurt, the animation was pretty good, and it's going a different direction than anime like this normally does. It's only 12 minutes and 9 episodes--I guess that's about movie length when you add it all up, but it seems short for a series like this. It'll be interesting to see where they go with it next week--it ended with Fumihiko waking up alone in his apartment, but he's going to see Aka-chan again somewhere he wouldn't expect to soon.