To Heart (1999 IMDb)

Categorization

Slice of life in a slightly twisted world. Very little happens, and what does happen is usually slow, downplayed and unconflicted. Based on an unusual sort of dating game, which helps explain the format.

Subject

Rude high-schooler Hiroyuki is lazy but paradoxically helpful, even to strangers, so he is well liked. A timid and traditional girl who is also quite central loves this boy, but doesn't tell him. They hang out a lot, together with an athletic male and a brash female friend. In most of the episodes, Hiroyuki meets some new girl with a quirk, such as a passion for martial arts or black magic, or just the quality of happening to be an android. Hiroyuki and his old friends get to know each girl, but it never gets very romantic. It's mostly just some people being nice to one another and becoming friends. There are some problems and inconsiderate characters, but never anything dark.

Commentary

Toothless feel-good stuff. The total absence of an attitude toward the marvelous elements—occult magic, androids, prescience—is the most interesting feature. Decent bonus material.

References here: Comic Party (2001), Azumanga Daioh (2002), The Wind Rises (2013).

Japanese production animation series