This anime has been on my radar for a few years now. Could you blame me with such a cute girl? However, my hesitance to go through with it is due to my experience with the manga, which, some time ago, I dropped due to its simplistic writing. I was in the mood a few days ago for a simple, romantic treat, and Rec seemed to spurn some nostalgic desire to revisit the series. While the anime adaptation doesn’t have the same longevity the manga sustained, it provides enough of the manga’s “charm” to make the ten-minute, nine-episode length enough of a harmless snack for romanticists.
It is by no means well-crafted. The dynamic between Matsumaru and Onda is a delightful one, but their mannerisms throughout are dictated by the movement of the plot and the tone it chooses. Matsumaru is a shy, gentle soul whose career endeavors leave him relatively self-conscious. However, when the plot wants drama, he finds himself antagonistic and cruel. No real reason for it; just ’cause. Poor Onda has to deal with this as her character stays similar all throughout, simply reacting to the stickiness of the situation Matsumaru causes with his mouth. The characters act out of character so long as the situation calls for it, and is extremely predictable the moment it starts. Fortunately, there is an air of maturity for the story of two young adults trying to make right of their relationship in a business-like world. The only thing is that the writing doesn’t feel very original.
For the time it was made, it has a decent style to it. It’s not always the most smooth, the most polished, but it has a sheen to it that makes it look timeless. The characters are distinguishable and cute, but exhibit a certain aloofness that makes the situations more goofy. One could consider this lazy shortcuts in animating, yes, but it makes for gentle atmosphere. It’s certainly not the most detailed experience, with lots of blending together of background elements to save time. It’s a product of a tight budget, one would suspect. They make the most of it, ensuring at least a pleasant view with a pleasant viewing.
It’s not the most romantic of romances, nor is it the most dramatic of dramas. Rec diverges slightly from its manga roots in favor of focusing more on the relationship of Matsumaru and Onda, and I feel it improves with that focus. However, it takes whatever cue from others of its genre to fill in the gaps left without an ounce of creativity. It’s recommendable for something a little more of a mature viewing, but it won’t exemplify something with a little more substance than typical high school romance.
The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.