What They Say:
Hasekura Kohei will transfer schools ten times. His new school, Shuchikan Academy, is on an island he lived on for a short period before when he was younger, Tamatsu Island. There awaited him the student council vice-president, Sendo Erika.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the adult visual novel game of the same name, which has naturally spawned all manner of manga, light novels and artbooks through which fans can get what they want, the 2008 game is finally getting its anime adaptation subtitled Akai Yakusoku as produced by studios Zecxs and Feel, both of which have done some interesting works over the years. With its origins as they are, it’s little surprise that we’re introduced to high school student Kohei who likens himself to a migratory bird at the start. He’s spent most of his life traveling from school to school because of his father’s work and he barely remembers any of them. He’s on the move again and has arrived at his new school, the Shuchikan Academy. As it turns out, he was actually here when he was younger and ends up coming across some familiar but now older faces, even if one or two of them still acts pretty childish.
While not an unusual idea, it has a rather nice ring to all of it as we see Kohei feeling a bit more at home here this time. He’s spent so much time changing schools that he tends to not remember anything from the previous one, but seeing these familiar faces who are all very glad to see him return to their lives is rather warming to the heart. His return didn’t start off too well as he ran across Erika from the school council and she seemed pretty nice and friendly to him until she suddenly screamed out, something that surprised another student who only knows her as bright and outgoing towards others, which means he may have given her some kind of reason to be afraid. With a show like this, it’s typically telegraphed from the start who the lead will be most interested in by who he meets first, so this certainly sets up an auspicious meeting between the two likely leads.
Not that there aren’t a ton of other girls running around here. While Kohei gets one male friend from the start, he’s running into a lot of young women, and young girls, who reside at this academy who are all charmingly cute or have that sort of attractive normality to them that’s appealing. Even the Sisters of this academy have their appeal, which will grab fans of hot nuns. Much of the episode is used to introduce these various characters and the overall setting of the academy on the beautiful island. It is done cutely as Kohei has a booklet from when he was younger that shows off all the buildings and overall map as done in crayon. It’s a nice little throwback to his prior time spent here that humanizes it all a bit.
As the episode goes on, we do get more introductions as well with a couple of other guys, including Erika’s brother Iori, and an amusing bath scene in which Kohei makes a mistake when being sent into the wrong room. Mostly at this point it’s hard to really get into any of the characters outside of Kohei who is getting the most attention as it’s a parade of characters as he goes through the various rooms, makes introductions and gets a feel for some of the very mild interpersonal struggles that occur. The main reinforcement comes from the way Erika and Kohei interact, or more the way that Kohei has to react to how Erika deals with him on a few occasions after their first meeting. As an introduction to what’s presumably the main players of the series, it’s nicely done if unexceptional overall but gives you enough to want to watch more to see what will come of it. Kohei’s not a wimp and the academy has a potentially interesting secret about it that could make it much more if treated right.
Fortune Arterial’s another in a long line of adult games making the transition to the mainstream (which included a PS3 game as well) so there really aren’t any surprises here in a way. It has some really nice if simple animation and character designs, it shows off its origins with the way it introduces everything and it gives us a good variety of girls to be interested in while taking place in a fairly beautiful setting. The edge to it all comes in the form of Erika who has gone from being very friendly to almost rude about things. The reason for her attitude is interesting when revealing by her brother, and it makes me curious as to the truth of it and the why of it as well. The opening episode comes across as decent with a heavy dose of familiarity, but it does give you the hint that it may be something more right at the end. And that comes before a truly beautiful ending sequence, both in terms of the character artwork itself but also the overall design of it. It’s one of the few closings that I found recently that really merited a full watch. With Fortune Arterial, I’m cautiously optimistic about what it can be.
Originally Streamed By: Crunchyroll