Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo: Anata to Koibito Tsunagi OVA. This title is probably familiar to many of you, especially if you have read some of my posts in the last six months. I just would not shut up about it. This yuri anime is finally released yesterday. Thus, with much excitement, I watched it the first chance I had.
The story focuses on the relationship between Mai and Reo. It builds the entire OVA on one chapter of the visual novel. Reo is sick, so Mai stays over to nurse her back to health; though they are constantly distracted by each other’s passion. Admittedly, this plot is really weak. Even with bits of flash back, we get so little information on the backgrounds of the characters or the world of Sono Hanabira. The audience is thrown between the girls and left to pick up from there. The nonlinear (and nonexistent) plot just adds even more confusion.
However, what Anata to Koibito Tsunagi lacks in plot, it makes up for in its personality and relationship developments. Although it has little story, the anime really portrays the gist of the visual novel with a single chapter. Right away, we get a clear sense of the romantic love between Mai and Reo, and just how much they care for each other. Mai’s bathing Reo, helping her change, and other interactions all add so much to that. The flashback confession is also such a kyaa~ moment!
Furthermore, both Reo and Mai’s personalities are really well developed. Even without a strong story, Reo’s fear of being left alone just shines through her every little reaction to Mai’s words and actions. For example, the uncertainty Reo feels is beautifully simply and effectively portrayed when she pulls on Mai’s sleeves to stop Mai from leaving even for a short while.
Similarly, Mai’s personality is also strongly illustrated. It is clear how kind she is to Reo, but the anime commits to also showing her pushy confidence. I really loved the various ecchi scenes when Mai teases and forcefully convinces Reo to give in to her desires.
These details of personality are complemented by the beautiful animation. As I mentioned before, the animation is something I looked really forward to. The anime does not disappoint. Frame by frame, the work is just pristine. The way the contours of the body respond to touch and pressure is gorgeously done. Their expressions are so dynamic as well, making this such a pleasure to watch.
However, perhaps due to a directionless story, the transitions between scenes sometimes feel choppy. Certain cuts between the ecchi scenes are especially rough, jumping from one position to another awkwardly without showing the intermediate movements. Still it is something I can forgive, especially because of how tasteful the sex scenes are done.
This is perhaps my favorite aspect of Anata to Koibito Tsunagi: how elegant the anime felt. It was not as ecchi as I expected at all. (Of course you probably still would not want to watch this with your parents or young children.) I really appreciated that it is not just a lot of pounding away at each other’s genitals.
The ecchi scenes emphasize a lot of gentle touches and kisses. There are lots of cuddling, nibbling, licking, and kissing on the lips, necks, and collarbones. These intimate contacts have a lot more sentimental connotations than just plain sex. This allows for more focus on their love for each other rather than raw lust. Moreover, it keeps the anime really classy and gives fluffy atmosphere. Furthermore, actual insertions are tastefully subtle. When the anime does show the more naughty parts, it is with the backdrop of really sweet emotions. The OVA manages to be extremely poignant as well as sensual. This balance is just so delicious.
I really enjoyed watching Anata to Koibito Tsunagi. I would have liked to see more of the game incorporated, but at the same time, I loved how much detail is given to that single act and to the characters. From the choice of lines to the way the ecchi scenes are animated, everything pays attention to the most important thing, Mai and Reo’s love for each other.
*Someone made a really good point in the comments that perhaps this anime is best viewed as a side story add-on to the games rather than an adaptation or retelling. I agree with that.
More information on the Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo series