Sekaiichi Hatsukoi (世界一初恋)
The anime contains two seasons, two OVAs and two short films. The first OVA (No love’s like the first) debuted March 22, 2011. The first season debuted on April 9, 2011 and ran until June 25, 2011 with 12 episodes. The second OVA (Hatori Yoshiyuki no Baai) aired September 27, 2011. The second season then ran from October 7, 2011 – December 22, 2011 with 12 episodes as well. Followed by the first short film (Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai) that aired March 15, 2014 and then the second short film (Propose-hen) that aired February 21, 2020.
This series has quite a large fan following as does the artist’s first series Junjyou Romantica (純情ロマンチカ). However, I almost didn’t give this series a chance until 7 years later (or longer). I was very much enamored with Junjyou Romantica at the time and since the series hadn’t even been completed, I found myself unable to invest time in another new series (and besides, I needed more Hiroki x Nowaki).
So fast forward many years later, while also moving on with lots of real life stuff, I found myself trying to clean up some old files on my computers and noted that I had Seikaiichi Hatsukoi sitting in a folder. Since it has been many years later (and finally, I have loosened my fangirl addiction to Hiroki x Nowaki….not really!), I decided to give this series another go. At this point, I have also not watched much BL anime in a long time.
I’ll be honest, I almost stopped watching after the first few minutes, because I had mistakenly assumed that the characters were still in junior high school (I have no idea why I thought that and Ritsu’s junior high school voice almost annoyed me). I am certain many people will disagree with me. BUT, I did give it a chance! I watched more and then happily realized this was not a focus on junior high school characters (I realize that they were in high school, but Ritsu struck me as junior high). It was a flashback. Whew! 😀
As like with Junjyou Romantica, the series focuses on the lives of 3 couples with some other side stories as well. There is the “main” couple, Masamune Takano and Ritsu Onodera (aka Case of Onodera Ritsu). Then there’s the story for one of the editors who works at the same place as them, Hatori Yoshiyuki who is involved with a manga artist, Chiaki Yoshino. And then there’s another editor who sits next to Ritsu, Shouta Kisa who has been “stalking” a book store clerk, Kou Yukina (aka Case of Kisa Shouta and also my favorite couple of the series!!).
It is interesting that this series also involves characters from Junjyou Romatica through a passing “connection”. It’s minor, but is funny when you think “Oh, they know Akihiro Usagi”.
The main story is that Ritsu and Takano had a romantic relationship before, but ended up going separate ways due to a misunderstanding and Takano moved away. They meet again when they end up working at the same publishing company, but at first they don’t recognize each other. Takano’s feelings naturally hadn’t gotten over Ritsu even though he went to college and continued on with his life. Ritsu pretty much blocked the whole incident from his memories, but then starts finding these emotions again with Takano. Of course, they are wonderfully neighbors now too!
The next couple that gets introduced is Hatori and Chiaki. I’m sorry to say that they are my least favorite couple. Poor Hatori! There is a 3-way love triangle in this story, although it is established that Hatori and Chiaki are the main couple. I just had a hard time feeling for this couple because Hatori gives so much of himself to Chiaki. Chiaki isn’t intentionally mean or anything, but he often doesn’t realize his actions and the consequences it has on Hatori, yet, Hatori forgives him every time. T_T It hurts too much to watch and gets me rather riled up every time Chiaki makes a decision that knowingly hurts Hatori, but doesn’t realize it.
So, let’s get to Kisa and Yukina. Kisa is one of the older characters in the series and is enamored by a clerk that works at the bookstore. There is a big age difference between Kisa and Yukina (about 9 years) and naturally, Yukina is a magnet to girls. As a result, Kisa doesn’t think he has a chance with Yukina at all. Ahh…I relate so much to Kisa on this. Age and popularity difference, Kisa thinks that Yukina wouldn’t even give him the time of day, much less look his way. Kisa, in his own right, isn’t bad looking or anything as he obviously sleeps around and guys pick up on him due to the fact that he looks much younger than his age (he can get away pretending to be 18!). So, it’s not like he couldn’t get someone if he wanted to, but his heart is set on Yukina. When Yukina takes notice and they have a chance to actually to meet, the story unfolds from there.
This series has 2 seasons out. I just recently purchased the manga all the way to 15, so I’m going to have to sit down and read them to see if more happens outside of the anime.
This is a series I can recommend to anyone who just wants a pure love story. I cannot resist a good drama love story with just a little bit of comedy in between.
|Cast (not full list):|
|Ritsu Onodera||Takashi Kondo|
|Masamune Takano||Katsuyuki Konishi (other notable roles: Agatsuma Soubi Loveless)|
|Chiaki Yoshino||Shinnosuke Tachibana|
|Yoshiyuki Hatori||Yuichi Nakamura|
|Shouta Kisa||Nobuhiko Okamoto|
|Kou Yukina||Tomoaki Maeno (other notable roles: Kousuke Oshiba Hitorijime My Hero)|
The order of the anime should be:
OVA 1 (No love’s like the first.) > first season > OVA 2 (Hatori Yoshiyuki no Baai) > second season > short film 1 (Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai) > short film 2 (Propose-hen)