After literally running into Yuu Haruna, Fuuka Akitsuki and Yuu begin a stormy relationship which finds a common project in establishing a rock band. However, Yuu also has another girl he's known since childhood, Koyuki Hinashi, who's now a successful singer (and who wants to re-enter Yuu's life.)
Film critic Roger Ebert used to talk about the "meet cute", certain clichéd circumstances used to introduce the leads to each other in film romances. The opening of Fuuka is the very essence of this crossed with anime clichés- Fuuka doesn't just COLLIDE with Yuu, she LEAPS at him (for no apparent reason), they fall down, her panties are visible, she concludes (on the basis of very little evidence) that he's trying to take an upskirt photo of her with his cell phone, and so she PROCEEDS TO SMASH HIS CELLPHONE. Hey, we've got it all here- the "collision" meet-cute combined with the twin anime obsessions of panties and tsundere violence.
This is pretty much how the whole "romance" here is constructed, with the worst clichés from dozens of other anime shows as well as non-anime romantic films, though the requisite nudity is here mostly supplied by Yuu's three sisters, who he's living with, and who seem to typically hang around the house in their underwear and/or towels. (Later Hibiki, apparently the second oldest of the sisters (two of them are older than he) manages the ultimate combination- panties along with a towel strategically draped across her shoulders so that her nipples are covered and not much else.)
SO- plenty of fanservice here, though not that much actual sex- you WILL see an attempted seduction, though- which makes this a bit more restrained than White Album 2, the series that the general setup made me think of - which also had a rock band, triangular relationship, etc. Fuuka's rock band, called The Fallen Moon, includes, besides Fuuka and Yuu, a guy named Makoto Mikasa, a very handsome fellow who is gay and NOT a stereotype, which is pretty refreshing; one Kazuya Nachi, who was originally trying to lure Fuuka onto the track team and instead ended up getting shanghaied into her band; and a girl named Sara Iwami, who Yuu both did, and did not, know- he had been "tweeting" her under her Twitter moniker, "The Admiral", and had no idea that "The Admiral" was even a she. When she was introduced I thought we were going for a quadrangle rather than a triangle - she DID act pretty jealous for a while- but no, it eventually boiled down to Yuu, Fuuka, and Koyuki, the latter of whom I'll describe in more detail later. Sara's brother Hisashi, who's tried to encourage and help her in her musical career, was a member of a band called Hedgehogs, and Fuuka's band covers their song "Climber's High" a lot- which by a strange coincidence is also the opening song of the show- the show gets a LOT of mileage out of that song. For a show about a rock band, there did not in fact seem to be that many songs here, and often there was a certain sameness to them (a song introduced near the end of the show had almost the same opening as "Climber's High"), and it seems like the band can't really write a "hook" to save their lives, though I didn't hate the closing song that much, and I actually LIKED the melancholy one that ended Episode #6. (The songs in the show seem to have mostly been performed by a group called West Ground.)
But I suppose I should introduce Koyuki. As noted, she's supposed to be a rather famous idol singer, and she grew up with Yuu (until her parents divorced.) In flashbacks we see that she had a tendency to be a bit domineering/critical toward Yuu, and we'll see a little of that side of her personality re-emerge during her reunion with him; she can also be more than a bit manipulative - that part DID remind me of Setsuna Ogiso from White Album 2. She makes a confession to Yuu on national TV -in its over-the-top nature this somehow reminded me of Haruto's declaration of love to Yuzuki, in the presence of her nominal "boyfriend" Kyousuke, in Seo's A Town Where You Live; and later Koyuki has a stress-related condition that brings Yuu to her, just like Kyousuke's fatal illness did to Yuzuki in Town- in other words, the sympathy card gets played yet again. Yuu shows signs of being just as indecisive about who he REALLY wants as Seo's other male "heroes" were in both Suzuka and A Town; but the really weird thing about THIS show is that I got the rather strong impression that when he finally DID choose one, it wasn't primarily because he loved HER, it was because of something else that came as part of the package; he couldn't get what he REALLY wanted without picking her. Which really doesn't speak well of him, or of the future of this relationship. (The future of the relationship in the anime at least wasn't as bizarre as it apparently was in the manga, going by the description in the Wiki article- somehow girls in Seo's stories seem to all be pretty much interchangeable, in the eyes of his male "heroes", with only whims, or circumstances, determining who to be with at any given time. Oh, and the feelings of the women don't seem to count for much, apparently.)
I didn't find this one as deeply offensive as A Town Where You Live- it doesn't seem to have the same contempt for its female characters that that one did- but it's really not very good either; it self-consciously pushes all the buttons that we expect- including fanservice ones for the boys- and Seo's male lead here seems as shallow as any of his others (Yuu is more like a passive-aggressive jerk rather than like the active jerk lead of Town.) Even the music was nothing special, pretty inexcusable in a show about a rock band. I'll give Yuu points for his confessions of a lack of self-confidence, but still, a "love story" in which what the hero REALLY loves does NOT seem to be the heroine herself is just...wrong. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Yuu's sisters provide most of the nudity that gets thrown in to pad things out when the story isn't moving much, though there is a hot tub scene with Fuuka and Koyuki, and the inevitable comparison of breast size by the female characters. 16+ better.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Crunchyroll
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Fuuka © 2017 Diomedea.
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