This series made me wonder if English homes really are so nice looking…

Summary:

A middle-school Japanese girl named Shinobu goes to live in England for a week at her mom’s friend house.  Her mother’s friend has a daughter around her age, named Alice.  Although the two girls don’t get along well at first (partially due to language barriers and their own wacky personalities), a small accident eventually brings them closer together.  The week quickly flies by and Shinobu has go back home to Japan.  The two girls tearfully shout “hello!” at each other, with Shinobu speaking in English while Alice replies in turn in Japanese.

I really quite like the water color-looking backgrounds.

The best way to break the ice is by baking cookies!

In Japan, a few years later, Shinobu goes to school and is surprised to see… Alice!  It turns out that she’s transferred to Shinobu’s school and will be living with Shinobu.  Her Japanese has also gotten a lot better while Shinobu’s English is still… terrible.

Guess who!

Alice is still shorter than Shinobu, aww.

My Opinion:

This was such a sweet series.  It reminds me of Aiura, except with an actual (sorta) plot.  Even though it might just look like moe-bait, there isn’t actually any fanservice here, unless you count “girls acting cute” as fanservice.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for long-distance friendships, but this series really drew me in.  Shinobu’s and Alice’s antics at the beginning of the episode (when Shinobu stayed in England) were just really cute.  As was the scene where Shinobu had to go back to Japan.  I can tell that this series is going to be very “slice-of-life,” and frankly, I don’t mind that.  Alice being the foreigner in the group brings a somewhat different twist on the “four schoolgirls” trope in anime.  Both girls also seem to have a fixation on each others’ countries (Alice is obsessed with Japanese culture, while Shinobu is obsessed with English culture), so that’s sure to be entertaining to watch.

I’m not usually fond of high school-life series, but this is one of the more interesting ones I’ve seen.  There’s just something so soothing and calming about this that I can’t help but love it.  The animation is quite nice, though the art style may be a bit too cutesy for some.  There was some English spoken in this series and it’s… passable!  It seems like the VA for Alice’s mother is a better English speaker than Alice, though.  Because the more Alice talked in English, the more apparent it was that it was just her Japanese VA trying to speak English…  But still, I commend the effort.

Overall, I quite like this.  It’s obviously not for everyone, and I’m sure some will find this type of series boring.  But after a long day’s work, I can’t help but smile while watching this.  It’s a relatively inoffensive series that’s manages to have cute girls being cute without it seeming forced.

Out of five for this episode:

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Urgh, I really want to blog this, as something this simple will be easy for me to blog.  My schedule’s pretty full but… we’ll see!

Seems like Alice’s friend (the blonde girl in the back) will eventually transfer to Shinobu’s school too…

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