By Dustin Cabeal
Initially, I wasn’t even sure I would review Seiren. Mostly because I watched the first two episodes back to back and still had no idea what the story was about when I was done. I kept watching and finished the first four episodes which are in a way a mini-series of their own. I say that because Seiren is, unfortunately, one of those shows you have to do research on which is the biggest problem with its story.
After finishing the fourth episode, I wondered if Seiren was based on a dating sim having watched a similar anime in the past. It wasn’t, but the catch was that the main character was going to have three stories, four episodes each, about a cherished memory with a different girl each time. In a way, it’s the same thing as the dating sim anime that I watched previously, but it’s not so heavy-handed on the “winning the girl's heart” aspect of the story.
The series introduces Kamita-kun, a boy who is easily teased by one of the prettiest girls in his class. Instead of romance, he decides to bunker down on his studies. When summer hits, he goes to a two-week camp for studying. The girl, Tsuneki-san, ends up being forced to go to the camp as well. They end up spending a lot of time together, and because people are annoyed by Tsuneki-san, she acts up more which ends up being alright for Kamita-kun. There’s some question about who turned her in for having a part time job which sent her to the camp rather than the beach with her friends, and suddenly Kamita-kun looks like the most likely suspect.
The overall story is crap. There’s no point to it, but the interactions between the two characters is actually entertaining. There’s innocence to both of them and even thought Tsuneki-san has a ton of confidence she for some reason lacks a lot around Kamita-kun. The ending to their storyline is quaint. It’s not very full-filling, but it does make some sense.
I’m not terribly opposed to the idea of Seiren. After all, a lot can happen throughout school and just because you’re rejected by one person doesn’t mean you stop and wait for them years later. In that regard, I think the story works, but showing the ending of this chapter happening in the future, spoils the next stories. At the very least, if the same thing happens in the next segment, it’ll be more dating sim than a slice of life. It’s not believable that he would wait for and date all three women in the future.
If the rest of the fourth episode had spent time building up the next relationship and then the final episode of the series wrapped up all three storylines in the future, that would be interesting and a bit more believable. By having each storyline wrap, it’s a bit awkward. It’s like, choose your favorite because as a storyteller I couldn’t. I hate that. I don’t mind the harem genre at all, but at some point, a story needs to just buck the trend and pick a damn character. To hell with the fans, at the end of the story it’s not like they’re planning on giving you more money and if they do stop, then they suck anyway.
I will stick with this series because I’m curious to see if they can do something more than a date sim anime which is by far the worst genre I’ve ever watched. It also means I’m only doing three reviews total for this series because there’s little to no point of tackling it episode by episode. It’s okay overall. The animation is beautiful; there’s not too much sexuality to it, but rather innocent discovery of the opposite sex while hormones are at their highest. Now that doesn’t mean there’s no sexuality to it, but nothing on the level of other shows and their fan service. We’ll see how Seiren turns out and hope that it’s a keeper.