Thoughts on Bungaku Shoujo: Memoire

bungaku shoujo memoire

This entry won’t be long because there’s not much to say with this three-part OVA. I will say this, though: I’m not sure if I was supposed to watch this or the movie version first. It’s considered a prequel to the movie, according to MyAnimeList, but the way it’s shown makes me believe it might’ve been more worthwhile to watch after the movie. Regardless, I watched this with a friend and we decided to watch this first.

The episodes play out like this:

  • A girl is introduced.
  • Said girl shows her ambitions, goals, quirks, past, etc.
  • The story shows how each of the three girls (three episodes, mind you) are connected to a certain boy.

And that’s basically it. It’s almost like a one-shot character study while also trying to thread a string of fate between these three girls and the boy. My initial reaction to the end of this three-part OVA was “That’s it?” Otherwise, I couldn’t help but feel that this OVA series was nothing but fan service. Not the type of fan service one would normally think of upon seeing the term, but fan service in the form of “Get to know these characters better before the big show!” It’s essentially a teaser trailer for an upcoming production.

Since the subject of “character study” has shown up twice now, it’s fair to assume that this OVA series doesn’t really have any sort of plot. That assumption would be both right and wrong. The plot differs with each episode, but the plot is predicated by the characters’ actions and desires, rather than having an overlaying plot. What is the plot to Bungaku Shoujo: Memoire? Depends on which episode you’re viewing.

The characters themselves are predictably underwhelming. They each have their degree of initial likability (aside from girl number two), but the lack of any time to develop them only allows for face-value relatability. Each episode is the standard 24-minute-long airing with the inclusion of an OP and ED, so roughly twenty minutes per episode to showcase a single girl. The first girl eats books (not explained) and is wildly curious and romantic. The second girl has a bad home life and is controlling and clingy and dark. And the third girl is shy and incredibly self-conscious. Do those sound like tropes? Because they are. With little time to do anything with them, they’re nothing but that: tropes.

Animation is something that looked well enough to carry the series, but the character design felt a little rigid. The characters’ faces are somewhat scrunched up to a limited area on their face, resulting in a very large forehead covered by vast amounts of hair. Their chins are also very pointed, almost to a tip. If not for eye color and hair style, it might be a tad difficult to differentiate the female characters—hell, even the male character! With what is shown, I liked the characters appearance overall, but the male character left much to be desired. But hey, it’s an implied harem, so the male lead is guaranteed to be bland and uninteresting.

It’s not something I’d personally recommend. My tune might change if I watch the movie and it explains nothing of the three female characters, but for now, it’s time not worth investing. There’s just not enough meat to fill oneself with this OVA series. Though, others may prefer an appetizer before the main course.

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

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