Review: Fuuka, Episode 1: Fuuka!

Screenshot taken from: http://www.crunchyroll.com/fuuka/episode-1-fuuka-728441

Screenshot taken from: http://www.crunchyroll.com/fuuka/episode-1-fuuka-728441

Review

Fuuka is an adaptation of the manga by the same name, the creation of manga artist, Koji Seo. You may know Seo’s name from the manga/anime, Suzuka, from which Fuuka is a spin-off. Specifically, the series features the daughter of Yamato and Suzuka—the titular Fuuka—as a main character.
The story follows Yuu Haruna, a high school boy with a cell phone addiction, who has just moved to a new town. In the grand anime trope tradition of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Yuu happens to be spacing out at just the right moment for Fuuka Akitsuki to collide with him. As the two recover from their collision, Fuuka mistakenly thinks Yuu is taking a picture of her exposed underwear, causing her to break his phone. Thus, their relationship begins.
This is also a good spot to mention that Fuuka does have its share of fanservice. Some parts are worse than others, although nothing I’ve seen in the manga has come close to the level of fanservice that Suzuka was known for, so if you’re familiar with Suzuka then Fuuka won’t bother you. If what’s shown in this first episode bothers you, then you may want to refrain. In the case of Fuuka episode 1, the fanservice is mainly low-brow humor—Fuuka repeatedly mistakes Yuu’s actions as attempts for up-skirt photos, causing conflict between the two, while another scene where Yuu’s sisters are shown in their underwear (or a towel) creates an opening for Yuu to make a commentary on living with women.
My comments on the fanservice aside (and, yes, I had vainly hoped the director would strike it from the anime), the beginning of Fuuka is very misleading. I will use my “advanced knowledge” of the series to say that much. At first glance, Fuuka looks like little more than a typical high school romance anime, complete with all of the tropes when, in reality, it is a band manga… It just takes a while to get going. (Granted, you may have guessed that from the intro credits and all the talk of music.) That’s not to say that this first episode is bad (it has more than its fair share of laughs, and offers enough entertainment to keep newcomers around); it’s just to assure those who may not be very interested in romance that there is more to this show than a love story.
In terms of complaints, the only thing I can really say is that I’m not fond of Fuuka in her anime form. I’m not quite sure why; perhaps it’s the shade of blue the animators use for her hair, but something just feels “off.” Fuuka obviously suffers from “anime heroine” syndrome, in that she is the only female character with oddly-colored hair (seriously, look at the scene where Yuu introduces himself to the class), but seeing as Suzuka also has this color hair and is Fuuka’s mother, at least the genetics make sense. I’ll have to compare manga Fuuka and anime Fuuka side-by-side and see if I can figure this anomaly out. Regardless, it’s a relatively minor complaint, and if you can look past the fanservice, you will be in for a great ride with this story.

Christian Perspective

Okay, I’ll be honest: I don’t have much here, so in order to draw a conclusion I had to rely on my unfair advantage of having read the manga. Don’t worry, there won’t be spoilers, but I wouldn’t be able to say what I’m about to say if I wasn’t up to date on the manga. That said…
There’s no denying that Yuu and Fuuka’s relationship starts out on a weird note. Well, “weird” by real world standards (these things are sort of common in anime). Anyway, as I thought about their relationship, it reminded me of how God will sometimes use strange, confusing, even hurtful situations in our lives for good.
Now, let me make a distinction here: I don’t think God would cause a situation like this, where a female’s underwear were put on display so that the male could be mistaken as taking an up-skirt shot. This seems immoral, and we know that God doesn’t do or cause anything immoral (James 1:13); however, that’s not to say that God, knowing in His omniscient knowledge that this incident would occur, couldn’t work the situation out for good… because we know He can (Romans 8:28). (Please note the difference between “causing an incident” and “using an incident.”) Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that Yuu’s life and destiny are going to change drastically because he met Fuuka and formed a relationship her… Whether that ends up being friendship or romance, you will have to wait and see (or read ahead in the manga to find out).
In the same way, we oftentimes find ourselves in situations that make no sense to us, yet sometime down the road—days, months, even years—we are able to look back and see how those situations started (or were part of) a chain reaction that led us to a particular place. Maybe you lost your job due to budget cuts, despite being the best employee in your department, and despite countless prayers you never saw a distinct answer, but now you’re the head of another company, which never would have happened if you had been able to stay in your comfortable position from before. The point is that God can use the strange, the mysterious, and the confusing to work in our lives, whether we realize it or not, and sometimes all we can do is go along for the ride.

Content Guide

Language: 2 “j**z,” 1 “d*mn”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: You can see Fuuka’s panties while she is sitting on the ground after colliding with Yuu. Fuuka’s panties are again shown when she breaks Yuu’s phone, a third time when she is standing on the roof and the wind blows her skirt up, a fourth time as she jumps down from her perch, and then a fifth as Yuu realizes he may have inadvertently taken a picture of her skirt blowing up. One of Yuu’s older sisters is shown lying around in her underwear while his youngest sister runs in wearing only her underwear and his second older sister walks in wearing nothing but a towel.
Violence: Fuuka slaps Yuu.
Blood/Gore: None

The Bottom Line

 

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Rob M.

Christian, anime fan, and gamer are a few words you could use to describe me. I've been a Christian since 2012 (and thought I was one prior to that), although I'm far from having the Christian walk down pat. At one point I started thinking about how I could use various things for Christ, and eventually put my thoughts to action, resulting in Cosplay for Christ (my attempt at a cosplay ministry) and Christian Anime Review (my review blog). As you can imagine, I enjoy playing games, watching anime, and going to anime conventions. I also like to build Gundam models, fiddle with the guitar (occasionally), and listen to music (mostly Christian rock and metal).

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