Volume three of To Heart is pretty much more of the same, three
more stand alone episodes about a young girl going to school who has a
crush on the boy she's been friends with for years. This is a quiet
and very sedate show, one where nothing exciting ever happens. In this volume the main characters study together, help
with the school cultural festival, and come to the aide of a maid robot. While
it's not the most earth shattering series, it is nice change of pace.
Akari Kamigishi is a young quiet girl who generally wears her heart
on her sleeve but is very kind and thoughtful. She's been friends
with Hiroyuki Fujita ever since they were in kindergarten. One day
early in the year she dropped all of her books in a puddle and he, chastising
her for being so clumsy, gave her all of his books so she wouldn't get
into trouble. Ever since that day, she's had a crush on him, but
she's been too shy to say anything. Now that they are in high school
however, she's trying to work up the courage to tell him how she feels.
Hiroyuki on the other hand is pretty oblivious to how Akari feels.
He's a bit sarcastic to everyone in school, but he's a good friend who
will really come through in a pinch. Hiroyuki and Akari also hang
around with Shiho, a rather loud and boisterous girl, Lemmy, who grew up
overseas and is always saying clichés incorrectly and Masashi, a
nice boy who is one of Hiroyuki's best friends. Together the four
students try to help each other survive high school.
The disc starts off with an episode entitled A Tranquil Time,
and that pretty much sets tone of the disc (not to mention the series.)
Akari sets up a study group at her house, but the only one who doesn't
cancel at the last minute is Hiroyuki. The pair ends up in Akari's
room, where the hapless Hiro starts to realize how much he means to his
friend. She cut her hair because of a casual remark he made, started
collecting teddy bears because he gave her one, and has pictures of him
plastered all over her room. They spend a quite afternoon studying
and talking about old times.
In the next episode the school's cultural festival has arrived.
Class 2-B is going to have a tea room, but when their request to cook some
fancy food to serve is denied they start to panic. Someone talks
the class rep, Tomoko, into letting them decorate the class as a high class
tea parlor with accessories that they'll borrow from a student's parents.
The truck bringing the decorations is very late however, and they won't
have time to set everything up in time. Oh no!
The final episode on this disc was a bit different. The class
has a new student named Multi. She's not an ordinary student however,
she's a prototype robot. She's been assigned to the school as test
to see how she does interacting with real people. If she passes her
programming will be downloaded into countless other maid robots.
If she's unsuccessful however, her personality will be scrapped.
This volume was pretty much like the first two. If you enjoyed
that one, you'll dig this one too. I'm not sure how much adding a
SF theme helped the show. Not only that but if a company designed
a robot maid, would they really test it in a school? I also
understand that this is supposed to be a show with a relaxed atmosphere,
but this is so relaxed the show needs CPR. The conflict in the first
episode is how much studying the two will get done. You can't get
much more sedate than that.
I was also pretty disappointed that there were only three episodes on
this volume, but the price point is low enough that I won't lower my rating
because of that.
The next three episodes of this series are presented on a single sided
DVD which comes in a clear case with a reversible cover. Right Stuf
added a nice touch when it comes to the closing credits. They left
the original closing titles alone and then translated them (and added the
English voice credits) afterwards. I really liked that.
This disc presents the show with the original Japanese soundtrack and
an English dub, both in stereo. I alternated audio tracks while viewing
the DVD, and found both to be acceptable. I enjoyed the Japanese
track a lot more however. The female voices in the English dub were
high pitched and squeaky especially when they were excited, something that
is common in anime but irritating none the less. The Japanese voices
were the same, but it wasn't as annoying since I couldn't understand what
they were saying. Both audio tracks were clean and clear with no
distortion. There are optional subtitles in English.
The 4:3 image was fine. Made in 1999, the program has good colors
but the image is on the soft side, making it look a little older than it
really is. The lines aren't as tight and crisp as they usually are
in recent anime. On the digital side, there is only the most minor
amount of aliasing in the background, with fine lines having a stairstep
effect. This isn't a problem however and it doesn't greatly affect
This disc also contains some texts character biographies, a line art
gallery, and trailers. There are also some translation notes which
were very informative. These explain some of the traditions that
often take place during a school cultural festival, and how important cram
The next two "mini episodes" are also included. These three minute
shorts (with two additional minutes of credits) take place outside of the
show's continuity and weren't actually that entertaining. It was
nice that they included them however, as I'd be the first to complain if
something like this was left off.
This show isn't for everyone. There is very little conflict, hardly
any humor, and not much drama either. The program is sort of cute
and charming, but that's not enough to carry the whole series. Frankly,
I was hoping that the story would have picked up a little by new.
This would make a good rental.