The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

REC

Title: REC
Genre: Drama/Romance
Company: SHAFT
Format: 9 episodes
Dates: 2 Feb 2006 – 4 Apr 2006

Synopsis: Matsumaru Fumihiko is an average guy working at an advertising company. After being stood up by a colleague from work, a young up-and-coming seiyuu, Onda Aka, offers to take one of his movie tickets. On the walk home Matsumaru notices the girl lives in the same neighborhood as he does. Unfortunately her home burns down that night, and Matsumaru ends up offering his own home for Aka to stay at.

The Highlights
Artwork: Simple, but works well.
Story: Fragmented and cliched.
Pacing: Starts a bit fast, ends a bit slow.
Chemistry: Characters work incredibly well together.

REC was a show that I had little hope for going in, but it actually showed a lot of potential after the first episode. Even in spite of the excessively brisk pacing, the chemistry between Aka and Matsumaru really raised an eyebrow. The oh-so formulaic love story was set in place… but I thought that maybe, just maybe REC would break the mold. It may have been a bit of a pipe dream, but REC wasn’t a complete waste of time.

The artwork of REC was reminiscent of Honey and Clover. Muted colors and unique character designs made REC stand out in a stylish and endearing fashion.

The overall story and pacing is what eventually killed the show. The first few episodes make incredible haste, but the story screeches to a standstill towards the middle, only progressing again after an obvious plot-device. Much of the story was just too cliched to care about anyway. The saving grace of all of this was that the characters felt real. Aka and Matsumaru seemed like a young couple who weren’t quite sure what the other one was to them. Matsumaru, in particular was impressive, playing the average joe role perfectly. He was not your run of the mill do-no-wrong good guy and the way in which he would make mistakes or say things he’d later regret was refreshingly realistic. He’s a far cry away from your average perfect bishounen character or most male leads in today’s anime.

Despite the overly trite storyline and cheesy ending, REC actually wasn’t all that bad. It had some potential, but eventually followed the same route as far too many other romances today. It did stand out in its artwork and characters, but it wasn’t quite enough to be anything greater than satisfactory.

The Rating: 5
5/10

Reviewed by: DarkKanti

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