Home > Episode Review, Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi > Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi 01: I came for the Yaoi but stayed for the awesome.

Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi 01: I came for the Yaoi but stayed for the awesome.

Masamune is so, so awesome.

Wow. Just, wow.

This episode was way better than I expected. It hit like, every note. Even the gay ones. Which I never knew I had.

Studio DEEN walks the talk. And damn do they walk it good.

Let’s start with the OP.

Flashy and unabashed. With bonus angel rabbit mascot.

The OP song is awesome. It’s definitely one of the rare OPs that I’d rewatch each episode. The only other anime OPs which I’ve not-skipped was Genshiken, and OreImo – but mostly because they keep changing the scenes. (Not that ClaRis is bad, mind.)

Man, this brings back Digimon season one vibes. With the distinctive guitar riff things that the K-On! composers like to put in their songs.

I still don't know who the guy on the right is, but he is awesome too.

Who even owns sewing baskets and stuffed bears dressed in immaculately-made little clothes anymore? So awesome.

Masamune's probably going to do this on an episodic basis, but they put it in the OP just in case.

What I like about the choice of song (male singer, pop-rock-ish) and the depiction of the characters so far, is that even with the kissing shots, I could probably make the case that Masamune is being a troll. A legendary troll.

Their clothes look familiar?

It’s the reigning king of all slash pairings – Death Note’s L and Raito.

I wouldn’t put it past Masamune to do this to troll Ritsu. I’m just surprised he didn’t insist on handcuffs.

Look at that smirk on Masamune's face.

I don’t know why girls are supposed to be attracted to this sort of guy. More on this later.

It's a girl! In a supposed Yaoifest anime! What could this mean?!

“I guess I’ll come here for two weeks and find a reason to quit.”

So it turns out that Ritsu’s been assigned to the shoujo manga division of his new publishing company, instead of the literature division which he originally interviewed for.

I don’t keep up with current Japanese literature, but aren’t light novels the only popular genre? I certainly hope no one still buys/reads/prints Ishihara’s rape stories.

By the way, I like this Ritsu. He’s a far cry from the wimpy, sensitive stereotypical Yaoi Uke which I was expecting.

Well this looks pretty normal.

No no, Onodera-san, you’re not working here.

Oh shi-

There must be some mistake.

I love the facial distortions and art shifts.

It’s the best I’ve seen in a long while. Anyway, Secretary-girl escapes.

It's the man himself. A legend among legends.

I know I said that I would never do a stitched screencap ever again, but Masamune is too awesome for me to not do it.

Yes, I’m aware that I’ve probably overused the word ‘awesome’. It’s not that I have a limited vocabulary. It’s just that Masamune – words fail me.

"Useless."

Suddenly every anime has a character who specializes in one word insults – always accompanied by the dramatic shade lines. Of course, I don’t think any of them is as classy as Masamune.

"Can you make this kissing scene more dramatic?"

On the job training. Ritsu is immediately dragged into a meeting with a mangaka.

DO YOU SEE THAT, DOODLER?

BEST MANGAKA ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH? YOU HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED DRAWING FRAMES YET.

"You've kissed before, haven't you?"

Omg this is the kind of awesome, double-edged dialogue I’m expecting from Masamune from now on.

Either the mangaka has kissed before, and he’s insulting her skills; or she hasn’t kissed before, and he’s pointing out how sad female mangaka’s lives are. So win.

"But even if you do it, you can't see yourself."

This is the set-up I’ve been waiting for. We know that Ritsu is trying to appear all jaded and mature and grownup. We know that Masamune is a troll of epic proportions. We know that mangaka-lady needs to draw a kissing scene.

There is only one way this will end.

GREAT SUCCESS

I’m not even sure if Masamune is gay anymore. I don’t even think he has a sexuality at all.

The more I watch this, the more I’m convinced that Masamune’s goal in life is to troll anybody and everybody around him. He is Legendary.

Intermission~

There must be more to that angel rabbit thing than meets the eye. I’m betting that it will involve epic trolling.

I was forced to kiss my boss. Fml.

Come off it Ritsu. We’ve seen the OVA.

We know that under your so-called ‘jaded’ exterior, you’re still very much the horny young Uke who desires a good Seme banging.

For once, a shota/loli who's drawn proportionately.

Flashback! Kind of strange that Ritsu ended up a raging homosexual. I don’t remember much male-love occurring in the great works of literature.

Unless Ritsu’s dad’s publishing company actually caters to a certain niche audience and those bookshelves actually house the Magnificient Collection of Yaoi Erotica, new revised edition.

How the magic is made.

I’m hooked. Sekai-Ichi is to publishing what Koe de Oshigoto is to Eroge voice acting. I’m a sucker for these behind-the-scenes sort of stories.

From the discussions with the authors and artists…

...to the watercooler trashtalk.

I’m pleasantly surprised by the realistic depiction of office politics. Even if it’s only a 10-second scene.

Far too many slice-of-life anime storylines either have no such conflict whatsoever, or resolve it within the next 10 seconds.

"Screw you! Then there's no problem if I quit this company right now, and make books that sell millions at another company!"

Of course, this isn’t realistic or rational. If you have a cushy job, why the heck would you want to quit it and work your way up somewhere else?

Although he is working for his dad’s company. And working for relatives sucks. You can’t ask for a higher salary, you’re expected to eat with them, and quitting is hell difficult. Unless they happen to own a multi-million dollar corporation/franchise and you happen to be being groomed to be CEO. Then that’s okay.

Btw, another stitch. I’m starting to enjoy making these.

Flashing back a little too far.

Apparently Ritsu can’t remember what his first lover looks like. Even after pining for him for 3 years and having hot sweaty mansex with him.

Must have been one hell of a breakup. Really, Ritsu. The guy probably did all sorts of weird kinky sex with you and yet you can’t even recognize him even though he’s in front of you and putting you down.

"Useless people are useless no matter what they do."

Oh and the cigarettes. I can’t remember the last anime I watched that included cigarettes.

Wait. Rio: Rainbowgate. But that was a cigar.

Woah dude. You're studying shoujo manga. All because Masamune dissed you.

Ritsu is stupidly easy to manipulate. But then again we wouldn’t be having a story if he wasn’t.

What’s there to study in shoujo manga anyway? It’s not like there’s any major divergence in plot, character or direction. I haven’t heard of any shoujo manga that was being praised for “complex characterization” or “intense, interweaving storylines”.

There’s probably a statement on the mindsets of females aged 10-18 in there, but I’m not going to get into that.

Aww, he DOES care!

Or Masamune’s trolling the viewers too.

Legendary, thy name is Masamune.

Apparently the staff go through a gay-zombie-gay cycle.

And they really, really love pink.

Extreme right guy must be tsundere.

I don’t know why Ritsu’s so annoyed. Wouldn’t anyone want to work in an office this happy?

Man, just look at that stone cold expression.

“If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny!”

"Man this crap looks half-assed."

Ritsu’s asking for it.

"You dumb piece of shit!" (Not an exact translation.) "That's a maiden's heart-throb panel!"

Look at that. Can a gay man be GAR? Oh yes.

"But what I don't get with such scenes, is why everything gets so white and randomly sparkly."

“And the abundant use of toner, and why the hair and clothing flow even though there is no wind. Even if it’s a manga, should the main character be allowed to reach happiness so quickly?”

Exactly! If the protagonist gets the girl within the first volume, how can you possibly milk the readers of their cash without resorting to fillers, character derailment, or anime/figurine tie-ins? A most insightful question, Ritsu!

"I can't shake the feeling that I've met you before."

Omg, Masamune too? How can you forget the face of the boy you buttraped?

Unless he’s still trolling. We are not worthy.

Credits!

The ED is just as good as the OP, but I’m not going to go more into it because this post is long enough.

Final Impressions:
As you can tell by the length of this post, I’m quite impressed by this first episode.

The dialogue is brilliant. Although there are some scenes which are a bit exaggerated (like the pink office makeover), by and large the conversations flow and the comebacks are snappy. I don’t get a sense of anyone saying anything for the sake of plot development.

The characters are believable and likeable. Ritsu is not the pussy I feared he was going to be. Seriously, in the OVA, he was falling all over himself just getting to breathe the same air as Masamune. But then again he isn’t in love yet/hasn’t realized his editor’s the same man who has had epic buttsex with him.

The art style works. I remember watching the OVA and hating the art. Somehow along the course of this episode I started to like it. Unlike OniiKoto’s art, which I still hate. The production values may not be terribly high, but the animation is fluid and it doesn’t contrast too much with the art shifts.

The direction is fantastic. From the OP to the ED to the pacing and the music, I didn’t once feel that a certain scene was draggy or unnecessary. Unlike other anime which I’ve had to skip scenes due to poor pacing, I could sit through every scene right to the end of the episode.

Of course, the ace in the hole is Masamune. (Haha)

I don’t know whether he actually loves Ritsu, and honestly I don’t care, because he is so laidback yet hardworking and he trolls. But he is never once unlikeable. Maybe girls like being trolled. Not that it’s ever worked for me.

Episode Preview:

In the vein of Genshiken, Ritsu explains some technical jargon relating to the publishing industry. Apparently working in a publishing company is hell on earth.

One last thing that I like about Sekai-Ichi:
There are girls here who relate to the guys in a completely normal manner. Maybe this is how Yaoi stories usually roll, but since I’m used to harem and K-On!/Lucky Star – either there is only one guy and his token retarded mate or there are no guys at all – this is yet another pleasant surprise.

You could write decent sociological essays with these titles too.

  1. enixfire
    April 11, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Yes! ¦D You hit the nail on the head! I’ve read a lot yaoi in my time and I have to say Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is rather good. The author really did better this time around since the last manga that I’ve read (I HATED junjou romantica with a passion). Also about the “Maybe girls like being trolled’ comment, I’m not sure about all girls, but as for myself I would rather be trolled than weighed on hand and foot any day.

    • JohnnyYandere
      April 11, 2011 at 1:11 am

      I can’t compare Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi with anything else mostly because this is the only Yaoi story I’ve ever picked up. Don’t hesitate to recommend any other good story though. I think I’m starting to discover my inner fangirl.

      And personally, I troll girls by waiting on them hand and foot. Girls should really try to troll the guys back :3

      • enixfire
        April 11, 2011 at 7:02 am

        Although I had read a lot of yaoi manga and am a horrid fujoshi, recommending anything to someone I don’t really know is like shooting in the dark. And not really aiming to put myself on a pedestal I’d say I have a pretty refined taste in the stuff. By that I mean I mean I enjoy men who actually could pass as men unlike those males that act as much or more so like girls. That being said yaoi is also something of a rarity in anime, most of what I’ve seen has been the subs by arrinfantasy and really a lot of that’s just been fanservice. From my knowledge I’d say Fuyu no Semi OVA was good, Gravitation was okay, Maiden Rose is really REALLY hardcore yaoi and with only 2 ovas it’s not much but I can say if it ever gets an anime and the mangaka writes more of the manga it’d be a good watch, the Araiso Executive Committee OVA is just old school goodness with constant cock-block & trolling TT-TT, FAKE is another oldy with constant cockblock TT-TT. And well…That’s really all the memorable ones…AH! Sometimes I wish to be in charge of deciding which yaoi manga get animes cause there really isn’t enough that have become viral and deserve to be.

        Frankly in the trolling department I’d say I fail horribly. In fact I can say that I fail at being a girl period. I’m far too much of a otaku to really care of my appearance, and I don’t have any of that female bitchiness/sassiness (bah, I’m practically a quiet/smart type in both speech and appearance when it comes to anything). I could go on a long tangent of self-hatred, but I’ll spare ya. You’re fun to talk to😀

    • JohnnyYandere
      April 11, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      Oh dear. I should have been a bit more specific regarding the genre. I looked up Maiden Rose because you said it was hardcore yaoi and then I discovered it was set during World War 1. -_-”

      Fuyu no Semi looks more promising. I like the setting, (I’m trying to review Hyouge Mono, but the only subs out right now are in Mandarin T.T) but it’s more war and bloodshed.

      Araiso Executive Committee appeals to me because I love noir. But then again, bloodshed. And the art style is too old school for my taste.

      I suppose I’m quite picky about my anime. It’s not just Yaoi, but I do demand a modern art style and I tend to prefer present day slice-of-life.

      And thank goodness you don’t care about your appearance. I mean, there are limits, but I distrust girls who spend far too much time fussing over their looks. Hell, I actually dislike makeup, but seeing that I’ve once used foundation to hide a pimple I’m in no position to criticize. Plus, you’re fun to talk to too.

      (Forgive me for not putting in another emoticon. I must attempt to maintain my persona’s manly demeanor.)

      • enixfire
        April 12, 2011 at 6:35 am

        Oh how to explain maiden rose~♥ (dear god I can’t help but just love this manga). I’d have to say it’s very similar in the regard to Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi that you come for the yaoi, but stay for the awesome characters. Personally I can see what you mean exactly when you say ” then I discovered it was set during World War 1. -_-” ” if it wasn’t for the fact that the characters make this manga I’d have left it after a few chapters. The premiss is a bit different than world war I however. There are two waring sides one which shares the resemblance of Europe and the second Japan. Leaving plot for you to read if you get interested in it the main draw is the pairing. Klaus although giving off the persona that he’s a sadist in the first few chapters (he kinda is though >.>; ) is some awesome figure from the European side that pretty much is like legendary. Taki is the pristine heir of the Reizen. Both are just two freakin’ bad-asses! Taki may have one hell of an uke face but damn can he break off from the stereotypical that is the can’t-defend-self-uke ( http://manga.animea.net/hyakujitsu-no-bara-chapter-11-page-9.html ). Plot wise if the mangaka would stop being so freaking lazy (1 chapter in like 2 months |||orz ) and actually write more of the story it’s would surely get a cult following….I feel like I need to get shot now for that fangirl speech |||orz

    • JohnnyYandere
      April 13, 2011 at 12:05 am

      My only gripe is that that particular fight scene wasn’t stylized enough. I mean, I can find epic fight scenes easily enough from youtube videos of martial arts matches or whatever, but it is from anime that I expect a little more physics-defying action. Heh. But then again the tone of Maiden Rose seems quite realistic so.

      Is there a Yaoi equivalent of Saki? Holy crap I love Saki. I don’t actually mind that the two main girls just refuse to admit that they’ve got the hots for each other because I’m always entertained by whatever new mahjong ability the author comes up with.

      Anyway, so sorry I have to entertain you with these posts while my Hyouge Mono review languishes. Once I get my break from work (which would be thursday) I’m going to clear my backlog of reviews. Which probably includes Sekai-Ichi 02, hurrah.

      • enixfire
        April 13, 2011 at 4:28 am

        Sorry I don’t know of any yaoi manga/anime that’s the equivalent to Saki, however, I do know of an anime with the same concept. Akagi is a mahjong anime about a kid know as Akagi who’s running from the cups (he was in a game of chicken and the car he was in flew off a cliff). Seeking refuge he enters a yakuza mahjong parlor and takes the place of Nangou-san a guy who unfortunate enough to owe the yakuza 3 million yen.

        I just started watching Akagi after your question so I can’t guarantee it’ll be great all the way through, but from what I’ve seen of the first 3 episodes it’s been great.

        As for that same feeling as you might like Bamboo blade, Princess Nine, and Softenni. I haven’t personally seen them so once again shooting in the dark, but hopefully they’re at least similar to Saki.

    • JohnnyYandere
      April 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      Ah yes, Akagi. I didn’t exactly like the art, but the facial distortions and probability defying play are epic. There’s actually an anime airing now, by the same author – Kaiji: Hakairoku Hen. Sequel to the original Kaiji (2007). I think you if you like Akagi, you’d definitely enjoy these.

      Haha, I don’t always have to watch physics/statistics defying anime! I actually tend to prefer mindscrewy, psychological-ish anime. But without too much sci-fi. Darker magic too, actually.

      Ghost in the Shell was just right. Paranoia Agent and Jigoku Shoujo (what little I saw of each) were also brilliant. I especially liked this one xXxHoLic episode when this girl is killed by her own selfish wishes.

      Yeah, I’m twisted, me.

  1. May 13, 2011 at 4:06 am

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