Tag Archives: Winter 2017

Review: Fuuka, Episode 1: Fuuka!

Review:

Fuuka is an adaptation of the manga by the same name, the creation of manga artist Koji Seo. You may know Seo’s name from the manga/anime, Suzuka, from which Fuuka is a spin-off. Specifically, the series features the daughter of Yamato and Suzuka—the titular Fuuka—as a main character.
The story follows Yuu Haruna, a high school boy with a cell phone addiction who has just moved to a new town. In the grand anime trope tradition of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Yuu happens to be spacing out at just the right moment for Fuuka Akitsuki to collide with him. As the two recover from their collision, Fuuka mistakenly thinks Yuu is taking a picture of her exposed underwear, causing her to break his phone. Thus their relationship begins. This is also a good spot to mention that the series does have its share of fanservice. Some parts are worse than others, although nothing I’ve seen in the manga has come close to the level of fanservice that Suzuka was known for, so if you’re familiar with Suzuka than Fuuka won’t bother you. If what’s shown in this first episode bothers you, then you may want to refrain. In the case of Fuuka episode 1, it was mainly the source of low-brow humor—Fuuka repeatedly mistakes Yuu’s actions as attempts for upskirt photos, causing conflict between the two, while another scene where Yuu’s sisters are shown in their underwear (or a towel) creates an opening for Yuu to make commentary on living with women.
My comments on the fanservice aside (and yes, I had vainly hoped they would strike it from the anime), the beginning of Fuuka is very misleading. I will use my “advanced knowledge” of the series to say that much. At first glance, this looks like little more than a typical high school romance anime, complete with all of the tropes when, in reality, it is a band manga…it just takes a while to get going. Granted, you may have guessed that from the intro credits and all the talk of music but I don’t want you to write it off, just in case you didn’t catch that vibe. That’s not to say that this first episode is bad—it has more than its fair share of laughs and should have enough to keep newcomers around—it’s just to let those who may not be very interested in romance know that there is more to the show (though romance does play a part).
In terms of complaints, the only thing I can really say is that I’m not fond of Fuuka in her anime form. I’m not quite sure why; perhaps it’s the shade of blue they used for her hair, but something just feels “off”. Fuuka obviously suffers from “anime heroine” syndrome, in that she is the only female character with oddly colored hair (seriously, look at the scene where Yuu introduces himself to the class), but Suzuka also had blue hair, so as a sequel that at least makes sense. I’ll have to compare manga Fuuka and anime Fuuka side-by-side and see if I can figure it out. Regardless, it’s a relatively minor complaint, and if you can look past the fanservice, you will be in for a great ride with this story.

A Christian Perspective:

Okay, I’ll be honest: I don’t have much here, so in order to draw a conclusion I had to rely on my unfair advantage of having read the manga. Don’t worry, there won’t be spoilers, but I wouldn’t be able to say what I’m about to say if I wasn’t up to date on the manga. That said…
There’s no denying that Yuu and Fuuka’s relationship starts out on a weird note. Well, weird by real world standards….it’s sort of common in anime. Anyway, as I thought about this, it occurred to me that the situation is much like how God will sometimes use strange, confusing, even hurtful situations in our lives for good. Now, let me make a distinction here: I don’t think God would cause a situation like this, where a female’s underwear were put on display so that the male could be mistaken as taking an upskirt shot. This seems immoral, and we know that God doesn’t do or cause anything immoral (James 1:13); however, that’s not to say that God, knowing in His omniscient knowledge that this incident would occur, couldn’t work the situation out for good…because we know He can (Romans 8:28). Please note the difference between causing an incident and using an incident. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that Yuu’s life and destiny are going to change drastically because he met Fuuka and formed a relationship her…whether that ends up being friendship or romance, you will have to see.
In the same way, we often times find ourselves in situations that make no sense to us, yet sometime down the road—days, months, even years—we are able to look back and see how those situations started (or were part of) a chain reaction that lead us to a particular place. Maybe you lost your job due to budget cuts, despite being the best employee in your department, and despite countless prayers you never saw a distinct answer, but now you’re the head of another company, which never would have happened if you had been able to stay in your comfortable position from before. The point is that God can use the strange, the mysterious, the confusing, etc to work in our lives whether we realize it or not, and sometimes all we can do is go along for the ride.

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “j**z”, 1 “d*mn”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: You can see Fuuka’s panties while she is sitting on the ground after colliding with Yuu. Fuuka’s panties are again shown when she breaks Yuu’s phone. A third time when she is standing on the roof and the wind blows her skirt up. A fourth time as she jumps down from her perch, and then a fifth as Yuu realizes he may have inadvertently taken a picture of her skirt blowing up. One of Yuu’s older sisters is shown lying around in her underwear while his youngest sister runs in wearing only her underwear, with his second older sister walking in wearing nothing but a towel.
Violence: Fuuka slaps Yuu
Blood/Gore: None
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