Sawako Kuronuma doesn’t fit in with her classmates. She really doesn’t fit in. With her straight black hair and unfortunate creepy grin, she’s quickly labeled a spook and nicknamed Sadako, a character from a popular Japanese horror. But little do her classmates realize just how kind and loving she really is until one fateful encounter with the popular boy Kazehaya pushes her forward in speaking out for herself. As her position with her classmates slowly begins to change, so do her feelings towards the young man who saw beyond her creepy aura and was the first of her class to truly understand her.
The violence in this show is extremely light to non-existent. There’s not even really slap stick comedy (although there is humor, just not that kind). The worst you’ll see is, well, actually a threat or two. But even that’s not all that graphic.
This department is pretty light too, actually. At worst you’ll find a d-mn or two.
No actual nudity here, although you will catch a comment or two implying something (one character is rumored to have beded hundreds of men). But that’s the worst it gets in this department too.
We have a traditional New Years episode, and we get to see the main characters pay their respects at a shrine, praying at the alter. If you’re easily offended, this might rub you the wrong way, but like all aspects of the Japanese religion, it’s pure tradition and does not seek any converts. So don’t expect any talks about God or eternity or anything in this show.
Ah, and there is quite a bit mentioned on ghost stories and such seeing as how Sawako resembles a ghost at times. Actually quite frequently in the beginning.
I originally only saw the live action of this years back. I really enjoyed it because it doesn’t just focus on Sawako and her love life, but on her life as a whole. First and foremost she establishes deep friendships with two other girls and the trust and love they have for one another is amazing. I’ve seen more “chick flicks” than I’d care to admit and seeing healthy relationships with other female characters isn’t usually a big deal in this genre. But for this show it made a world of difference, making Sawako a full and rich character with a life outside of the love interest.
Thankfully the live action is very much like the anime that went before it. Sawako is given time to establish relationships with others besides Kazehaya and those relationships prove vital to her as a character. Although this is very much a romance, the strong friendships the heroine has with other girls really makes this series a keeper in my mind. It’s sweet and cute and funny. That plus the healthy relationship she has with the main love interest makes this show a real joy to watch.
Of course, it also means the ridiculous drama found in typical shoujo shows will be a bit more painful to bare from here on out…. But such is the price to pay for watching a better show, right?
Personal rating: 10+
Official rating: n/a
Genre(s): Romance, comedy
Legal streaming: Hulu