THEM Anime Reviews  
Home Reviews Extras Forums  
 
AKA: 愛の若草山物語 (Ai no Wakakusa Yama Monogatari), Story of Love's Green Grass Mountain
Genre: Jousei (women's) slice-of-life
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 5 minutes each
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: PG (some adult themes)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Here Comes Koume
Notes: Based on the manga by Reiko Terashima.

Part of the omnibus show Ai no Awa Awa Awaa (Modern Love's Silliness), which ran between August 1 and September 30, 1999, also featuring the notorious Ebichu Minds the House.

The Japanese title is an allusion to "Ai no Wakakusa Monogatari" (Story of Love's Green Grass) ... which is the Japanese translation of Louisa May Alcott's novel "Little Women" (which itself has been made into anime).
Rating:
 

Little Women in Love

Synopsis

This series of shorts about a two young women living their daily lives in modern-day Japan was animated by Studio Gainax, and directed by Hideaki Anno. Basically, they worry about their love lives while being badgered by their mom to find a decent guy and get married.

Review

Well, I would have enjoyed this better but for three things. I saw this in raw Japanese, and while I'm fairly functional as far as getting to important places (like Comiket, or the men's restroom), I couldn't quite follow the mostly dialogue-driven plot of this series. I also caught this in the middle, so I really jumped in too far to catch anything that happened previously.

However, the long and the short of it is that Little Women in Love was paired with Ebichu, and nothing is quite so blunting on the effect of a gentle slice-of-life show like Little Women than being placed directly after a shock-value sex comedy. That can easily be blamed on the director - after something as jarring as Ebichu, Little Women seems relegated to being filler between the shows that everyone else wants to see.

The animation is quite simple, Gainax foregoing its glossy "not-so-big-budget" style for a "no-budget" computer-generated style that looks like it could easily have been done better by my wife's classmates at graphic design school. While faithful to the manga (I would imagine), it's not exactly eye candy. But it's not terribly distracting either. The music is, well, just there, nothing to even bother remembering. The characters are probably going the strength of this series, but the linguistic barrier (and the total lack of anything remotely resembling action) prevented me from really getting into the show, despite the high-powered seiyuu cast in it. Frankly, I'm the wrong demographic anyway.

If anything, Little Women and its companion piece, Here Comes Koume are a curiosity because jousei (women's) manga doesn't get animated often, and gets to the States intact even less. However, it's not worth sitting through Ebichu to get here.

I'm not even sure why they bothered animating this.

Hampered by bad placement and worse directing, Little Women in Love is a potentially decent example of jousei that's just in the wrong place at the wrong time.Carlos Ross

Recommended Audience: Unlike Ebichu, absolutely nothing objectionable to speak of. Children and teens wouldn't be interested in listening to twenty-somethings complain about being single, and they wouldn't be able to sit through Ebichu to watch it anyway!



Version(s) Viewed: VHS, raw Japanese
Review Status: Partial (2/12)
Little Women in Love © 1999 Gainax / Group TAC