So this is going to be the first full review on this site. What makes this review more special is that this will be also be the first multi-person review on the site. chigaimasu and I have both seen this show and can review it. We hope to do plenty of multi-person reviews as they could add a different element to this site. Expect more reviews soon with the end of the fall 2007 season. – koneko-chan
Myself; Yourself follows the story of Sana Hikada who moves away to Toyko during his childhood. Five years after moving away, Sana returns to his hometown for high school. Living by himself in an apartment managed by one of his childhood friend’s parents, Sana seeks to have a normal high school life with his childhood friends. However, Sana wonders why one of his childhood friends, Nanaka Yatsushiro, acts so different now than from what he remembers of her from five years ago.
koneko-chan – Myself; Yourself starts off as kind of a mix of a slice of life with a sprinkling of fanservice. But there are plenty of hints in the first few episodes that the show has a serious undertone. About halfway through the series, the show really starts to pick up speed with its drama. This is also where the core plot begins to fall apart. The show tries to present most of the plot arcs at the same time, sometimes juggling between three arcs an episode. The viewer is left wondering who is this show really about as the show hovers between a group-centered or an individual/couple-centered plot focus. Some of the plot arcs are not particularly interesting and are also not necessary (Hinako). The end result is a rushed feeling within the main arcs and a somewhat incomplete ending. This is rather disappointing since the show does execute quite well within an arc. But discontinuous and shortened main arcs are what hurt the show’s plot.
chigaimasu – For me, the plot seemed to suffer from trying to put too much into a small amount of time. You get from the third episode that there is a lot more than meets the eye for Sana. Slowly, but surely, you get the same feeling about everyone (well, except for the “well-endowed” Aoi). This leads to a very interesting amount of intrigue to MS; YS. But instead of allowing the Sana story to flesh out, or let the Shuri story take on more detail, Myself; Yourself fills 3 episodes bringing out a story of a minor character (Hinako), that, very honestly, added very little to any of the major players. Losing those three episodes ended up meaning a lot, because as a result, most of the other arcs took a serious hit in development, and ultimately, conclusion. The ending seemed rushed, and in some sense, lacked some definitive closure. Not to mention some minor plot holes, and leaves the viewer a little more wanting. It could have so much better, too. A serious letdown in the storytelling department.
This screenshot has me proping my “Nanaka for Saimoe 2008!” flag. Which reminds me, for someone who finds his way to the doghouse too much, I never see many girls that scowl cutely like this. Just a thought, I kinda wish they did this more often. Maybe then my ears can slowly heal from a long history of being yelled at. – koneko-chan
koneko-chan – In terms of character design, the characters look a bit dull for its genre. Although realistic hair colors is a nice change of pace from the more vibrant hair colors. The characters themselves are quite varied. They start off a bit stock but they tend to grow on the viewer and some characters can be impressionable. Character depth is highlighted nicely with the quality of the voice acting in the series. The solid voice acting helped to maintain a realistic feel to the regular conversation and allows for the show to shine during the heavy drama parts. The voice acting from the main girls (Nanaka, Shuri and Asami) is well executed due to the quite a solid cast list (Ami Koishimizu, Yukari Tamura and Mai Nakahara respectively). The characters overall are more than enough to be quite memorable.
chigaimasu – One of the hooks of Myself; Yourself has to be the characters. They are normal teenagers with some typical, though, of course, greatly exaggerated, teenage problems. If you’re into teenage drama stories, then you can easily find yourself enthralled by one, if not all of the characters in MS;YS. The voice acting is very good, and the character design may not wow people, but it’s pretty solid. What comes through in the anime is that the characters are relatable, and that’s great. They are a good reminder that we all have some baggage of one form or another, but that’s ok.
koneko-chan – The art and animation quality is respectable but by no means is it eye popping. Some scenes are visually appealing especially where a considerable amount of colored lighting was used (ex: sunset scenes and fire lighting). Most of the drama scenes are solidly well animated which contribute well to the feel. But art and animation quality overall is about average for the dialogue heavy nature of this kind of genre. Sound and music is solid but is not particularly spectacular. The music is well timed which once again reinforces the drama component. The ED is caught my attention and is enough for a consistent play on my ipod. Myself; Yourself is no KyotoAni production but is good enough in its production to execute solidly.
chigaimasu – To be honest, I don’t recall much in terms of music outside of the OP and ED for Myself; Yourself. Perhaps it was because of the dialogue heavy nature of the the show, but it’s not coming back to me. I can recall one piece where background music was used, near the end of the series, where it was very well done, but not much more otherwise. I will say though that the OP and ED are very catchy pieces of work that you should give a listen. Artistically, it was very average. There wasn’t a lot to fault about it, but there also wasn’t a lot that made you think, “Wow, now that looks beautiful.” Regardless, don’t let the average art production dissuade you from at least taking a look.
For those who’ve seen my previous post, perhaps Hinako is next year’s Saimoe tournament winner? – chigaimasu
The Good – Really good voice acting, Strong drama feel, Catchy ED
The Bad – Unfocused plot, Rushed story, Slightly dull character designs
Overview – 8.0/10 – Could have been great with the proper plot fixes. I am probably overrating this series a bit but this is mainly because the show still left a good impression on me. Despite its plot issues, the series still has a certain aura which is enough for most to follow the show through. Myself; Yourself is still a good watch if you can deal with the plot inconsistencies and if you like romance dramas.
The Good – Believable characters, Good “take home” message
The Bad – Really poor story planning and execution
Overview – 7.0/10 – I really wanted to like this one. After the first 4 episodes, I knew the “take-home” message of the animation, and I thought, if they do this right, this will be a very memorable anime. The characters did not disappoint, and the art was good enough to put the pieces in place. But with the botched story planning, and rushed ending, the ship sprang a leak. Now, instead, viewers are left wondering what could have been.