REC - 01 [FIRST]

February 22, 2006 on 7:28 pm | In REC |

Roman Holiday

Sex on the first date? Scandalous! …Or is it?

  • Synopsis

“Fumihiko Matsumaru is an average salaryman with no girlfriend. He invited his colleague Miss Tanaka to a movie but was stood up. Right at the time he was about to toss tickets into a trash can, a cute girl appeared and asked him not to waste those two tickets. After movie and dinner, he escorted her home and found they live in the same neighborhood, yet unfortunately her apartment catched on fire hours later. Having nowhere else to stay, rookie seiyuu Aka Onda moved to Matsumaru’s place, and the two had started a ‘more than friend but not yet lovers’ relationship under the same roof while keeping this secret from their employers” (Anime News Network).

  • Episode Review

To be honest, what really pushed me to check out this anime was the controversy surrounding the implied sex scene. The excitement generated for me by other bloggers made me think, “Hey, maybe this isn’t just another romantic comedy.”

As random as the sex scene and storyline may seem, I actually think it is more realistic than most anime. I do think a girl in Aka’s vulnerable position at the moment, no matter how cute she is, would seek comfort in the arms of a kind man (lapse of judgment or not). She just lost all her possessions, is soaking wet in the rain, has no one to turn to, and this nice guy she met earlier comes by to offer an umbrella and a warm smile. It doesn’t matter how lame or awesome Fumihiko is. What matters is the situation. In that situation, in a vulnerable position staying at this kind guy’s house, I think it is most appropriate that what happened did. I don’t mean morally appropriate, but realistically, yes.

And I hardly find the scene controversial. As Jeff has already mentioned, the scene is nothing compared to the usual fanservice and other sexual content in anime, and this show is intended for more mature audiences. But so far there has also been no nudity or even “indecent exposure” worthy of note, either, which is much more “vanilla” than plenty of anime—even some shoujo.

Scandalous or not, REC still pleases the senses with what I think is good voice acting and an interesting storyline. I just hope it doesn’t recede into a formulaic cute-girl ugly-guy anime story, and that it keeps its realism up. I always need my fix on the usual, but I have higher expectations for this particular love story.

  • Character Review

Matsumaru Fumihiko: I’m not sure what to make of this average Joe salaryman, who hopelessly longed after a heartless bitch like Tanaka. Doesn’t seem to have a clear head or much of a spine, Fumihiko seems to rely on his work to forget his troubles, and is one of those people who seems to be unhappy no matter what the situation. I may be wrong about him, but we shall see. At least he is a kind guy despite the treatment he’s been given by women and people in general, and is a dreamer of sorts.

Onda Aka: Aspiring voice actress. Wow. Her cute ticket-imitation won me over completely. Despite her questionable decision to completely give herself to Fumihiko on the first date, Aka seems sharp for her age and young appearance. Maybe a bit whimsical, she still commands a certain amount of respect.

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