The Moment You Fall in Love
Kotaro Enomoto has been next-door neighbor to Hina Setoguchi for many years- in fact, they're childhood friends; AND their older siblings Natsuki (Kotaro's sis) and Yu (Hina's bro) are a couple. So naturally- in the world of bad romantic fiction- Kotaro and Hina might have feelings for each other, but while Kotaro does have hidden ones for Hina, Hina, on the other hand, is attracted to one Koyuki Ayase- and hopes to make him hers when she starts at his high school.
Remember Natsuki Enomoto, the red-haired girl in sweatpants from Honeyworks' I've Always Liked You? Yep, here she is again, along with the guy she finally "really" confessed to, Yu Setoguchi. So now we have their younger siblings as a potential couple as well, except that THESE kids are NOT alright.
I might as well start with Hina. While still in middle school she has the alas-all-too-familiar anime first encounter with one Koyuki Ayase when he trips over her broom and, while sprawled on the floor, he sees her panties; she of course launches a tirade of invective against him, but somehow, and I STILL don't know how, this almost immediately changes to crushing on him, even though with his long curly hair, his delicate features, and his soft voice, he is not at all "traditionally masculine" like her big brother Yu, who she has a MAJOR Bro-Con thing for. When this happens, Koyuki's about to graduate from middle school, so Hina makes a point to get into the high school he's going to attend: Sakuragaoka High, the school everyone in I've Always Liked You goes to. If you remember anything about Koyuki from the earlier show, I think you can see how this all dovetails together; in fact, the current show is kind of both prequel AND sequel to that one, a larger chunk of a timeline that the events of I've Always Liked You sit in the middle of. The main difference this time is that instead of three stories we really only have one, a nominally triangular relationship even though I was never sure that Hina had any sort of romantic feelings for Kotaro at all purely based on what we're shown.
Kotaro, for his part, is into feigning that kind of brusque, dismissive attitude that teenage boys sometimes affect to prove their masculinity. In his heart he may feel protective toward Hina, but he's a coward in action, or rather in INaction. The show has one particularly revealing segment: Kotaro and Kodai (a kid with glasses) hang around with a boy named Shibaken, who's the "alpha male" in their little group- in other words, a perverted, sexist jerk. Shibaken pressures Hina and another girl, Arisa Takamizawa, into going to lunch with the guys, and once Shibaken has his little captive audience he starts harassing the girls with embarrassing questions, and it's Arisa who tells him off- apparently, for all his supposed desire to protect Hina, Kotaro still doesn't think enough of her to stand up for her against one of his friends.
Hina, by the way, levels charges of "sis-con" against Kotaro to counter his charges of "bro-con" against HER, to which I have a couple of observations. First, I wasn't sure how "bro-con" was pronounced before, but now I know: it's NOT with a long "o", but it's more like "bruh-con" (and the charge CERTAINLY fits Hina, to a T.) The other observation is that Kotaro doesn't SEEM to be a "sis-con"; granted, again, that he's pretending indifference and/or disdain to everyone, nevertheless his encounters with sis Natsuki seem to only amount to each one dissing the other (the first time we see them together it's Natsuki dishing out the insults, calling him "dumb"). Now I'm told that siblings can be like this toward each other even when they're actually fond of each other; I wouldn't know, I'm an "only". But nevertheless I see scant evidence for Hina's charge. And for all his cowardice and obnoxious tendencies, I kind of felt sorry for Kotaro, who winds up trapped on what, for him, must be the worst date, EVER.
Oh, by the way, a little note on Yu: he's still got a tendency to drag women around by the arm. I think I gave him a mulligan the first time around (in the previous show), but you don't get those for repeat offenses, pal.
Oh, yes, I can't forget the insert songs, which are Honeyworks' raison d'etre. There are five of them in the show, each tailored to some character's moods at that specific point in the story. One of them is cleverly used to actually partly TELL the story- the story is shown as still frames, with the song's lyrics supplying the "dialogue".
The fact that I didn't really like EITHER Hina or Kotaro was a bit of a problem here, especially since they're the protagonists. Nor do I hold out much hope for them as a couple. Honeyworks really needed to end the show with a sad ballad about doomed relationships. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: No, I don't think that YOU will see Hina's panties, if that's something you were hoping for. There's really very little fanservice here. A bit of boorish behavior though.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on crunchyroll
Review Status: Full (1/1)
The Moment You Fall in Love © 2017 HoneyWorksMovie
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