Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart Series Review: Treading A Very Well Defined Path

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Overview:

Miou likes to draw and Haruki likes to make films. The two of them also like each other but can’t seen to find the way to close the distance between them.

Review (some spoilers):

At six episodes, this was something I picked up midway through the Autumn anime season on Crunchyroll and while it isn’t really my style of show, the early episodes worked well enough. Excessively shy girl with crush on seemingly brash guy who also has a crush on her but is actually fairly shy seemed a fairly standard high school love set up.

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Enter the two male friends and two female friends, who will all of course end up together in the end even though it isn’t their story, as they support the main couple in their own way (I’m starting to think if I ever found myself trapped in a high school romantic drama anime I really should hope I’m part of the support cast because other than one or two major set backs they usually get their happily ever after much earlier than the main couple). Also the teacher who is also a family friend and offers his own counsel and gives the characters a gentle push at times. And of course the dead older brother of Haruki who happens to have a connection to Miou because we do have to insert some drama into what might otherwise be a non-event of two reasonable human beings falling in love and admitting it.

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About episode 4 things started going downhill a little as the drama started stretching out and the characters acted in ways that just seemed illogical even in the context of the show. While I will admit not everyone acts rationally all the time, their actions were at times outright detrimental to their own stated goals. And it dragged. They really let these characters mope too long.

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Then we got the final episode and any good will I felt to either of the main characters evaporated under the weight of the typical girl waiting for the guy trope. Why is she passively waiting? Why isn’t he contacting her? Oh, because it will be more romantic if they don’t speak for seven years and then he just shows up (and I would have flipped the table except that it is very heavy).

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Basically the ending just kind of kills the show for me.

So it is cute and sweet enough at first without being too nauseating but the story is overly long and they make up the run time by having us watch the characters sulk for an excessive length of time and then the ending will either be romantic if you like that particular sort of thing or will just annoy you if you think about all the times they could have said or done something. Basically, I would only really recommend this for people who love romance and watch pretty much any romance.

Episode Reviews:


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Karandi James

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Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart Episode 6

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Review:

I’ll get to a full series review of this shortly but I really look at endings like this and wonder about some romantic tropes that show up again and again. The girl waiting patiently while the guy goes off to pursue his dream might in the context of the show look adorable but other than sending her a DVD the guy didn’t even write. No emails, texts, letters, and not even a phone call. I don’t care how focused on his dream he was, if he neglects the girl for seven years and then expects her to be all smiles and gladness when he returns I’m failing to see romance and just seeing selfishness.

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Needless to say, while this final episode retains the tone of the rest of the show (so adorable for those into that kind of thing) and all of the students graduate and go off to their bright shining futures and all three of the girls and guys eventually get to their happily ever after all nicely paired up (so no relation to reality at that point) so basically this works as an ending. However, despite liking earlier episodes this ending just left a bad taste in my mouth.

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And I’m not just blaming the guy here. The girl has a phone and internet and the means to get on a plane. Nope. She decided to wait (as the show endlessly repeats). Only every time she said it I just wanted to slap some sense into her. Needless to say I won’t be rewatching this one but I’m guessing someone thinks this is a romantic conclusion.


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Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimetres Apart Episode 5

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Review:

For the first time I really found Haruki an annoying character. I kind of get what they were going for with him facing a crisis and losing sight of his dream, but to be honest it really felt like he was a sulking child for a lot of this episode. Glad they didn’t drag it into the last episode and by the end of this episode they managed to talk things out.

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Miou is still hesitant but actually comes off quite well through most of this episode as she continues with her resolve to finish the painting even though it is late and then confronts Haruki. There’s a lot of plot convenience going on with the perfect recorded message that is exactly what Haruki needs but it works and with only one episode to go I guess we shouldn’t be too picky about how things get rolling again.

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Now I’m just left to wonder if these two will actually confess before the end of the series.


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Karandi James.

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Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart Episode 4

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Review:

Miou continues to avoid Haruki with spectacular results if she intended to make them both miserable. While I get that she is feeling guilty and isn’t sure how to face him, her actions are incredibly illogical because there is no positive outcome that could possibly come from them. I also get she’s trying to be emotional not logical but I spent a lot of this episode wanting to give her a good shake.

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Enter cute (precocious – obnoxious) child at an art class where Miou can assist him and suddenly start to feel bit better leading to her opening up to her friends. Over cake they help her out and she decides to finish the art work (even though it no longer is going to be in the movie) and talk to Haruki (even though it’s probably too late).

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As adorable as this series has been this episode emphasizes all the things that annoy me about these sorts of romance stories with characters making mountains out of nothing and avoiding the path that would get things back on track for far too long.


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Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart Episode 3

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Review:

There’s not a lot to say about this episode as the relationship between Miou and Haruki hits some rocky ground over the reveal of who Miou’s saviour was. Most of the blame for the teen drama lands with Miou but at the same time she was kind of shocked so her poor choices through most of this episode kind of make sense even if they are just making the situation worse.

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Haruki’s frustration is also clearly understandable even if his actions and decisions are driving those around him away which doesn’t seem like a great long term strategy. And in his defense, he did try to talk to Miou and clear things up but when she runs away there is little he can do other than mope.

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Still, we do get to see Haruki’s brother and the influence he had on Haruki (part of me wonders who took the picture of the three of them given they were all in the picture and from the flash back there was no one else around, but that is kind of being nit-picky). The issue with dead siblings of course is that we only ever get to see one side of them, and in this case memories of Chiaki seem ridiculously rose coloured.

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Still, this story remains pretty sweet even as the characters veer into drama for the sake of it and misunderstandings with clear end points are set up. The only question is how long will they drag this particular issue out for before they actually talk.


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Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart Episode 2

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Review:

This sleepy romance continues to be pretty adorable even with the slightly over the top coincidence that this episode reveals by its end (so heavily telegraphed you’ll see it coming long before the heroine does).

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Still, it isn’t the overall plot that matters so much in a story like this and more the characters and enjoying their journey. On that, this anime has done an excellent job. The characters might all be types we’ve seen before but they aren’t lazily done and the interactions between the art club and the film club are pretty entertaining.

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There’s also some actual progress in the main relationship even if it does seem like things will derail a little bit next week.

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A very cute story continuing to quietly tell its story and do it well enough. Those who just want a romance will definitely enjoy (at least from the first two episodes).


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Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart Episode 1: How Many Times Can We Make the Characters Blush?

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Overview:

Under the cherry blossom tree at Sakuragaoka High School’s Entrance Ceremony, Miou Aida meets Haruki Serizawa for the first time. Ever since that day, their eyes chased after each other. Miou is reserved, while Haruki is very social. While many mistook them as a couple, their relationship remained a little more than friends. As they stop to sit on the steps of a deck on their walk home, Miou cannot help but ask, “Haruki…do you like anyone?” Haruki replies, “I do like someone …what about you?” Just 10 centimeters between their hands. It’s just 10 centimeters, but the distance remains.

– from Crunchyroll

Review:

This was kind of unexpected but from what I’ve been able to find out there’s going to be six episodes so I decided to give it a watch. Basically it is your standard high school romance. Which means it is doing all the usual things with the guy and the girl and the blushes and the friends and there’s nothing really noteworthy about this particular story so far. That doesn’t make it bad. If you happen to like high school romance stories, then this one is very functional, fairly pretty but not exceptional, and the characters are so far pretty cute.

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They are using Haruki’s film club as a way to be a little bit self-aware as well as to really shine a light on how Haruki sees the world and why his relationship isn’t going anywhere. Explaining things with dialogue in stories might be uncool but if he doesn’t tell the girl he likes her they aren’t ever going to end up together.

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And then of course, Miou drops the line I hate the most from any romance heroine and of course we hear it from so many of them. “It’s not like that.” Why not? And why insist that it isn’t?

Basically this first episode establishes the two main characters and their personalities. Much like Just Because, these characters are soon to finish school and are starting to make their plans for the future and I feel that is going to play more of a role as the story goes forward. As a set up, this works but as I said in the beginning, there isn’t really anything out of the ordinary here. Cute romance that might develop into something more meaningful but at the moment is happily playing it safe and by the numbers which makes it watchable but unremarkable.


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