A young man and his family are often forced by circumstance to move. As he has moved about the country, he has come into contact with different young women having a different impact on each of their lives. This is the story of those young women.
Generally, when you convert a romance/dating game into an anime, the resulting product tends to be pretty artistically but utterly soulless in regards to characterization. The typical conversions tend to have fairly boring male leads and a number of rather minimally developed females who exist only to fill the various archetypical roles that the original source material required. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Sentimental Journey is actually rather good.
Interestingly enough, you have no primary male character in this show. Though the influence of the mysterious young man is felt on every character in this show, the episodes that I watched made no attempt to link into any sort of overall plot arc concerning him. Instead, each episode is a tightly focused character piece focusing on a different girl. Despite the romance origins of the story, the stories are rather distinct in type and are not simply several repetitions of girls pining over some missing boy. Those hoping for your more standard pseudo-harem type situation will be painfully disappointed. All the episodes I watched took place in different locations with characters that did not have any apparent knowledge of the other characters.
It is in this aspect that I think people will either like this show or dislike it. As far as I can tell, there is no real overall series plot in the conventional sense and any individual episode could be watched and understood without seeing any other episode. The episodes though, as stand alone dramatic character development features, individually are engaging and bring each of their subjects to life. Some of the girls are likable, some are not, but they all seem to be real in their motivations and emotions.
On the technical side, the show features good character and background design work. The animation is adequate for the nature of the show, as it isn't the type of show that requires hyper-fluid animation to prop up an action scene or anything like that. The music is subdued but generally does a good job of helping to appropriately set or enhance the mood.
A pleasant surprise from a genre that normally is normally marked by harem shows populated with boring cardboard females and equally boring male leads. This show is nothing but character development, so those seeking some sort of deep plot or action, will want to subtract a star or two. — Jeremy A Beard
Recommended Audience: There is almost nothing particularly objectionable here that I can recall. We have a few emotionally charged themes (such as the imminence of death) that are featured that make this perhaps a bit too much for younger children.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Partial (6/12)
Sentimental Journey © 1998 Sunrise
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