Image Source: Animated Meanderings
I am an admitted sucker for romcoms, and especially the slice of life romcom. At the start of every new anime season if I see in the description “romance” and “comedy” I immediately plan to pick up the show for its duration, and oftentimes regardless of its quality I make it all the way to the end. Fortunately Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou has absolutely been worth the time spent watching it, with each episode delivering laughs and a constantly developing romance making me increasingly care about the male and female leads.
The show, which is adapted from a manga, tells a story that after the first sentence will sound like a Maison Ikkoku clone. High school freshman Kazunari Usa moves into a boarding house, named the Kawai Complex, and shares the home with four other people including the bookish Ritsu who is his romantic interest from the first scene of the show. But despite this conceptual similarity the attention given to the secondary characters on the show helps give Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou a distinct feel that separates it from Maison Ikkoku and its doppelgangers.
Characters such as the crude pervert Shirosaki, with whom Usa shares a room, the single and desperate Mayumi, and the manager Sumiko Kawai all help give the show a wide number of characters to focus on throughout an episode. This has helped make the romantic storyline between Usa and Ritsu not feel overbearing and has allowed it to develop slowly without ever once feeling forced.
Fans of anime who have taken to ignoring romcoms because of either the proliferation of harems or the heavy focus on fanservice need not skip over Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou for these reasons. There is no harem storyline to be found and while the humor can often be sexual in nature the more typical fanservice tropes are not present. The slow burn on the romance between Usa and Ritsu allows the show to escape from the overly-emotional trap a number of romantic shows can fall into as well. Overall this show has trended more towards the comedy side and less to the romantic side. Those looking for a simple slice-of-life comedy with no interest in romance could definitely find themselves enjoying this anime.
With Brains Base at the helm you can expect great production. An artistic trick used in the entire show is heavy focus on sunlight, sun glare, sun rays, and anything else coming from the sun. At times it feels out of place and it causes everything to glean and shine a bit too much. However at other times it looks lovely and helps bring out the open nature of the Kawai Complex, which is a traditional Japanese boarding house in both spirit and architecture. As a slice of life show this artistic touch has gone a long way.
The character designs are all very unique and each character stands out both for their personality as well as their appearance. The voice acting, with Kana Hanazawa at the helm as Ritsu’s seiyuu and one of my new favorites Yuuichi Iguchi as Usa, has been top-notch. Unfortunately the music has not blown me away, but in a show with heavy focus on the dialogue and comedy it has not detracted from the experience in the way it would from a suspenseful thriller.
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou is a worthy addition to the romcom and slice of life genres and one both fans and non-fans of these genres should check out. With the final episode airing this weekend you have a few days to get caught up on the previous eleven episodes and prepare for what may be a rewarding conclusion. Of course with it being adapted from an ongoing manga there always exists the chance we see a second season down the line, something for which I am in complete favor. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou will make you laugh and it will entertain you as you watch Usa’s and Ritsu’s developing love.