A story about love, music, and panchira.
From left to right: Fuuka Akitsuki, Koyuki Hinashi, and Sara Iwami.
Yuu Haruna is a teenage boy who’s obsessed with social media. He moves in with his three sisters in Tokyo after his parents move to America for business. While out buying dinner, he crashes into a cute blue-haired girl, Fuuka Akitsuki, who jumps into his path. She falls to the ground, and her underwear is exposed. Because Yuu’s phone is always up to his face, Fuuka assumes that he was trying to take a photo up her skirt. Drama and misunderstandings ensue.
If faithfully adapted, Fuuka would be a breath of fresh air in a sea of cookie cutter ecchi. Cliché setup aside, the characters have nuance, and engage in conversations that we can connect with. The story isn’t a harem with a gynophobic male lead, but a musical drama with lead who isn’t rendered useless by his insecurities. And, as an added bonus, the girls sometimes show off their knickers.
These are some of the hallmarks of the mangaka, Kouji Seo, whose earlier work, Kimi no Iru Machi, was adapted into an anime in 2013. While this adaptation remained true to the service in the manga—as seen in the webM below—the story fell victim to undersized episodes that skipped over several pivotal scenes, leaving many manga fans bitter.
Expectations for the Fuuka anime were raised a bit when it was announced that it would be receiving full-length episodes by Diomedea, a studio that hasn’t been shy about fanservice in the past (e.g. Campione, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu), and directed by Keizo Kusakawa, who headed the tits and ass-heavy Sekirei.
So, did the first episode deliver?
Before continuing, it should be noted that Fuuka is a sequel to Suzuka, and the first episode contains a Suzuka spoiler. While this review doesn’t include that spoiler, you may want to read or watch Suzuka before you start Fuuka.
Caps and Stitches
Magic skirt. Faithful to the manga, though.
I’m surprised they did this shot, and even added a close-up.
They could have easily cut this angle, but they didn’t. Good job.
And she slaps the fuck out of him.
The sisters. Best girls so far, in my opinion. One’s a loli, and the other two look like a college student and a MILF.
Even minor female characters are cute.
An anime original shot.
Hopefully this is redrawn for the Blu-rays. At that angle, her crotch shouldn’t be able to hide behind her leg. Very awkward looking.
Looked better in the manga.
Come on. Hold her hand better than that, dude.
There ya go.
They pussied out here.
This is how the fall was supposed to look.
Got dat ass right, though. One of my favorite shots from the first two episodes.
Just talking to Yuu brings Tama to the brink of exploding.
I wouldn’t expect many changes here in the Blu-ray.
The show is off to a decent start. The pacing in the manga was more balanced. There were several little moments cut from the anime that helped justify Fuuka and Yuu’s growing interest in each other. With that said, the girls were at least pleasing to the eye, and the panchira was generally satisfying.
Some may wonder—what is the appeal of panchira? In short, it’s about seeing a glimpse of the forbidden, catching sight of something that you’re not supposed to see. A sex-positive female friend of mine posited that if women weren’t so deathly paranoid about their underwear showing, guys wouldn’t be so interested in it. It’s the secrecy and mystery that’s alluring, provoking the imagination like a gift wrapped present. And because of its often voyeuristic and non-consensual nature, it’s become even more taboo than nudity. Even in the ecchiest of anime like Masou Gakuen HxH, where fingering was okay, the skirts are stretched and bent in weird ways to minimize panty shots.
Unfortunately, the fanservice in Fuuka takes a sharp nosedive after the first few chapters of the manga to build romance and drama, so we shouldn’t expect too much more in the upcoming episodes than a couple of fleeting non-nude bathroom scenes. But who knows. Maybe they’ll slip some extra ecchi or full nudity into the anime. Fingers crossed.