THEM Anime Reviews  
Home Reviews Extras Forums  
 
AKA: 夏色の砂時計 (Natsuiro no Sunadokei), Hourglass of Summer Colors
Genre: High school romance / dating sim with supernatural elements
Length: OAV series, 2 episodes, 30 minutes each
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: 13+ (adult themes, fan service)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Hourglass of Summer (the game), Air, His and Her Circumstances, Kanon, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
Notes: Based on a clean (non-hentai) dating simulation game by Princess Soft. The game is available in the United States on Interactive DVD from Hirameki International, and is highly recommended.
Rating:
 

Hourglass of Summer

Synopsis

As the summer approaches, Makimura Koutarou has his eyes on his shy but beautiful classmate Serizawa Kaho. The last week of school, he decides firmly that he will ask her out, although his friends do not believe this will work. He goes to sleep with thoughts of summer and Kaho in his head. But when he wakes up, it is the first day of the next school year.

When he arrives at the opening ceremony, he is greeted by his grief-stricken classmates, who mourn the untimely death of his girlfriend, Serizawa Kaho! When did he and Kaho start going out? How did she die? And why did he skip his entire summer? As he faints from shock, he wakes up on a day in the middle of summer. He now must live his entire summer, with each day in random order, while trying to answer all of his questions. And finally, once the cause of Kaho's death is known, can he use his "day dropping" miracle to change the black future he glimpsed at the Opening Ceremony?

The above synopsis works for the game and the anime. But if you're watching the anime, be sure to fast-forward all that x3.

Review

I would like to open this review with my thoughts on the game that this anime is based upon.

A good way to describe the Hourglass of Summer game is immersing. It spans an entire summer, and you must live out each day of that summer (though not in chronological order) from the viewpoint of Makimura Koutarou, the main character. This is a VERY long game, folks, and I personally enjoyed every minute of it. It definitely takes its time building up the characters and situations, and it's all one big puzzle that you have to piece together (and of course, in the tradition of all ren'ai visual novels, the decisions you make on each day ultimately decide what type of puzzle you end up building). It helps that it has such great, developed characters (no pun intended). Another thing I would stress about the Hourglass of Summer game is that it takes its time. By becoming such a commitment for the gamer, it reaches unprecedented heights as both a game, and just an entertainment experience period.

The one thing I continually thought as I played the game with delight is how good of an anime it would make. There was one thing though: unlike almost every other title in this genre, it would have to be a long anime (26 episodes at the minimum) to be anything other than a disaster. I soon found that an anime version, this OAV, did in fact already exist. Then came the bad news: two thirty-minute episodes. Things were not looking good.

The poorly drawn full-frontal nudity in the opening did not help to assuage my fears.

Although I knew that the incredible, almost "epic" storyline of the game could not be told with any quality in one hour, I had no idea it would be this bad. But alas, the Hourglass of Summer anime looks like a preview. In other words: very quick scenes shown on the screen with no transition between them, and little coherency whatsoever. For a fan of the game, such as myself, it was absolute agony, because those "scenes" were right out of an excellent game, as well as those "characters", but hacked and rearranged almost beyond recognition (and certainly beyond quality). To have to accept this as the one and only anime (or adaptation of any kind) of the Hourglass of Summer game is painful. But I realize most of you haven't played the game, and may not have the bias that I inevitably do. But I really don

Bottom Line: Due to this anime, I lost two hours this Daylight Savings Weekend. Thanks a bunch. Connor McCarty

Recommended Audience: Absolutely nobody. When the exact same thing is presented so much better via the game, why waste your time on this? As for age appropriateness, with general romantic themes, on top of a bunch of forced fan service that certainly WASN'T in the game, I'd say teens and up.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (2/2)
Hourglass of Summer © 2004 Princess Soft / Hourglass of Summer Production Committee