Koi Kaze

Title:Koi Kaze
Love Wind
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: AKESAKA Satomi
Animation - A.C.G.T.
KISHIDA Takahiro
OKANO Kosuke
OMORI Takahiro
R1 License - Pioneer (Defunct)
TANAKA Ryoichi

Koushiro has lost his way in life. His steady girlfriend broke up with him because their relationship was not going anywhere and she tell him that she has fallen out of love with him, and his job at a dating service was not bringing him any measure of happiness. During his commute home, he sees a high school student on the train, and feels a strange spark of connection. The next day they happen to meet again, he approaches her and asks to spend some time together. In an amusement park, they spend some time and talk, where Koushiro finds himself opening up to her, shedding tears at the memories of his broken heart, and where he finds himself being comforted by her.

Later, during a visit with his father, he learns that his younger sister would be coming to stay in their house for a while. Nanoka is twelve years younger than him, has been living with their divorced mother, and is now in high school where she would have to commute twice as long to from her mother's house. And when Nanoka arrives, she and Koushiro are surprised to realize that they had met before on that day in the amusement park. Nanoka has always wanted an older brother - but how will Kouchiro find an appropriate attitude towards his 'new' sister, and what do these siblings want from their life?

[TV series, 2004, 12+1 episodes ("episode 7.5" was not aired in Japanese TV), 23 min. Based on the manga of the same title.]

1:41min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated vivio.lico [series:888#3078]
its something very rare... anime that I dont know what will happen in next episode. Its thanks to Koushiro's childish side,his living with his father and that he is not being able to solve such problems with womens, what makes him hard to understand. I haven't saw all yet but compared to him , his sister seem interesting.

Last updated Tuesday, February 03 2009. Created Tuesday, February 03 2009.
Buy 5 5 5 3 8 7 Xenoknight [series:888#2967]
Just finished and will write the review soon...

Its fine so far except for the unexplained first episode crush. It is forced on the viewer to believe the main lead likes the female lead for no real reason. After being dumped by his prior girl, he would rebound off a child?!?! Nothing triggers it, he just starts blushing when he looks at her. "FORCED" story foundation if you ask me but whatever.

"JUST FOUND IT DUBBED!" just so you know. See my page to read why that is important.

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Wednesday, November 12 2008. Created Tuesday, September 02 2008.
Buy 7 7 8 9 10 9 Ggultra2764 [series:888#1552]
Koi Kaze’s premise is not a conventional romance title. The series is an exploration on incest, one of the biggest societal taboos of humanity and it is sure to make many people uncomfortable upon first seeing it. I went through that feeling when I first heard of the series in 2005. And in an e-mail reply I got back from Koshiro’s English dub actor Patrick Seitz in that same year, it was surprising to him that the title was even licensed and distributed in America. Here’s a passage from said e-mail that I’ve kept for a while now:

“When Liam, the director, told me about the show's subject matter, I was pretty taken aback--not by the prospect of playing such a character, which I relished as the challenge it was, but at the fact that Geneon had slated it for a release in the first place. Like you said, who in their right mind is going to toss a serious anime serious about incest onto an unsuspecting (and largely unprepared) Western audience?”

The major strengths of Koi Kaze are the screenwriting and the lead characters. Both blend quite effectively at creating a believable focus on the awkward developments of Koshiro and Nanoka’s relationship. These two characters are at different stages of their lives and have different levels of understanding on the norms of society.

Throughout much of the series, Koshiro finds himself in an internal conflict over how to deal with the growing feelings he has for Nanoka. He knows such feelings are forbidden in society yet he is trying to be honest with himself. As a result, being around Nanoka makes him feel awkward as he quite often acts coldly towards her to hide how he truly feels.

Nanoka is just starting off high school and comes across as a naive girl at first glance. While not knowing of many of the societal norms expected of her, she is honest and direct with how she expresses herself towards others, especially in tense situations. The girl also has a playful side to her personality that she exhibits on occasion in Koi Kaze.

In regards to the development of this forbidden relationship, Koi Kaze carefully treads a delicate line with the handling of the relationship without giving in to the conventional clichés that are found in many romance anime titles of recent memory. The characters have their imperfections and all their decisions have repercussions that they grow to accept as the series presses on. In addition, Koi Kaze maintains a neutral position in how to make viewers judge Nanoka and Koshiro’s relationship. The series neither approves nor disapproves of the relationship and there is no clear ending to the series. Instead, we are just left to wonder what kind of future that the pairing will have and whether or not we could make the decisions they made if we were in their situation.

Beyond the two main characters, the secondary ones are a mixed bunch. Nanoka and Koshiro’s father, Zenzo, is constantly worried about Nanoka and is quite clueless over the problems between his two children. Koshiro’s co-worker, the lolicon Odagiri, often kills the mood of some of the tense situations that take place. Mother Makie appears quite level-headed with supporting her children, but doesn’t have much time onscreen. Koshiro’s girlfriend and Nanoka’s classmates do their parts at pushing each protagonist towards coming to grips with how they really feel. Koshiro’s supervisor Kaname Chidori is the best of the bunch with her role towards the later third of the series.

In terms of visuals, the artwork seems lacking as scenery is rather simplistic in detail and colors look rather faded. Character designs, while just as simplistic, show a good diversity of looks adding to the real life believability of Koi Kaze. Compare a rough and unshaven man like Koshiro to the innocent beauty of Nanoka to catch my drift. The soundtrack features soft, light tracks that do well to accompany the delicate mood of this series. The show knows when to play its music or to keep things silent during specific scenes.

Koi Kaze is a series that won’t be for all viewers. The themes of the series will keep some viewers from watching it and only those with an open mind would be able to take in what they see. If you are one with an open mind, then you can look forward to a mature, tasteful, and honest look at a controversial issue that has not been seriously explored in anime.

Last updated Sunday, June 27 2010. Created Saturday, January 05 2008.
Unevaluated 8 8 8 9 9 10 AstroNerdBoy [series:888#436]

I went into this anime with some trepidation considering the taboo nature of the subject of the anime. However, I do enjoy good writing and a good story, so I placed my feelings aside and watched the anime anyway. I'm glad I did, but because I cannot endorse the subject matter and I don't want to mess with the rating system; I will leave this as "unrated" and proceed on.

First, while I have a decent understanding of Japanese culture, I was still at a loss for how Koushiro and Nanoka had never seen each other since she was about a year or so old. I understand the divorce and Nanoka living with their mother while Koushiro lived with their father. But in the fifteen or so years that ensued, they not only never saw each other but never even saw a picture of each other? Their father had clearly seen Nanoka over the years (as noted in the OP sequence and the fact that they immediately knew each other at the park). Considering how doting their father was to Nanoka, I cannot believe that he had no pictures of his little girl on display or in a photo album somewhere. I also cannot believe that a mother would not want pictures of her son, nor made any attempt to see him over the years. Clearly, I don't know everything about Japanese culture. However, this is the premise you have to swallow in order to get into the story. I did something similar for Onegai Teacher so I can do it again.

I'd heard about the infamous episode 4. As such, I was afraid that things would be rapidly pushed to have the incestuous relationship begin. Instead, the writers take their time with that aspect. Episode 4 shows us clearly the path Koushiro is on, which then leads to the struggles he has with this. It is going to be difficult for most to accept this path and relate to Koushiro. So instead, maybe substitute another weakness of the flesh instead (sex, food, drugs, alcohol, whatever) that you might be going through and work from there. The reactions I think are very similar in that having feelings you know are wrong and acting on them, even if in a limited way, can be extremely frustrating.

As for Nanoka, her falling for Koushiro was more of a mystery, even though "Genetic Sexual Attraction" is supposed to explain it all. The reason I say this is because I remember a time when there was a girl at work who was SO hot. I thought about her a lot and after some time, managed to find a way to casually strike up a conversation with her to eventually ask her out. While she was physically still "hot," after talking with her, I lost any attraction I had for her due to her personallity. I mention this because Koushiro is mean to Nanoka in the begining. He gets very angry with her, especially after the events of episode 4. He puts her down and wants nothing to do with her. There's even a scene where he loudly farts, which chases her from the room. So one would think that any weird sexual attraction would disappear after all this. Instead, it only seems to make Nanoka more determined to push forward. As she did, I couldn't help but think of abused women who get the crap beat out of them, but then still return to the one who beat them willing to do anything for them. Some things I'll never understand.

The supporting cast is fairly well done. Odagiri is comic relief with his lolicon obsession. However, lolicon is so strong in Japan that his desire to hook up with high school girls (15 appears to be as young as he'll go) is just pushed aside as nothing serious. Of course, it gives another aspect to compare against Koushiro. Not only is he attracted to his little sister, but she's a lolicon-type girl giving him a double-whammy. But the comic relief provided by Odagiri is just enough to keep us from going over the edge without being a distraction from the story the writers are telling. More on the writers in a bit.

Nanoka's friends provided the much-needed comparision to show Nanoka 1) how normal love relationships should be and 2) how normal sibling relationships should be. Both are used fairly well over the couse of the series. Futaba-chan seems to suspect the truth about Nanoka, but has chosen to not allow herself to confirm this and live in denial.

Chidori was an interesting character. She's often trying to be one of the boys with the required after-work drinking sessions, mainly with Koushiro but sometimes with Odagiri (whom she also supervises). After Koushiro's breakup with his girlfriend, Chidori is there for him, more than just as his supervisor. Over time, I began to wonder if she were in fact interested in Koushiro, especially after he moved into his apartment and she started crashing there. Once she becomes truly aware that things between Koushiro and Nanoka aren't part of normal sibling relations, she does try to stop this runaway train. Even she was unprepared for how far things had gone, but her character raised several important questions. Why doesn't Koushiro be the adult here and put a stop to this? Does Nanoka truly know what she's getting into. Chidori knows that while Nanoka may feel that at 16 she knows it all, that is far from the truth. Chidori's final conversation with Koushiro was interesting in what it implied for the future, should Nanoka and he get off this ferris wheel.

Speaking of ferris wheel, there is a fair amount symbolism in this title, but it isn't so in your face to be distracting. The viewer is aware of it, but like everything else, the writers are careful to blend it in.

Speaking of the writers, I have to give a hat's off to them. I've not read the manga (Devil Doll is though), but I strongly suspect that the anime writers were very faithful to the orignal manga up until they had to go on their own. Even then, they were true to the spirit of things. This is a title which in the hands of poor writers or a bad director could have been little more than an excuse to expore a sexual fetish. That doesn't happen here. There are no ecchi or hentai moments. There's almost no fanservice. The two sexual event scenes in the anime are done very carefully. They aren't done for sexual arousal, but merely to allow the audience to know that this happened. That does not lessen the shock value of the first one, nor the desired impact of the second one. I have to give kudos to the writers for walking the fine line they walked. Otherwise, it would have cheapened the story.

Bottom line: While I won't give this a final review due to the incest theme, I will say that this ranks as one of the best-written anime titles I've ever seen. It is very powerful and despite its very taboo subject, the writers do an excellent job of presenting a story of right and wrong. Remove the incest and replace it with some other vice and many things that both Nanoka and Koushiro go through still apply. As such, I highly recommend at least seeing this title, but bear in mind that the anime's incest theme is designed to make you unformfortable, but in my opinion, does so without being offensive.

Last updated Monday, December 11 2006. Created Tuesday, December 05 2006.
Buy 8 7 9 8 10 chibi [series:888#2380]
Wow. Just....wow.

I finished this series in a marathon last night. Despite the disturbing topic, it is one of the best dramas I've seen, anime or otherwise. If you have friends who tell you anime is just for kids, dare them to watch Koi Kaze.

Koushiro is one of those guys who is just skating on the surface of life, never caring much what others think of him, never feeling anything strongly, which is why his girlfriend just dumped him for another guy. As such he's completely unprepared when his feelings for Nanoka begin to overwhelm him, lashing out at himself and Nanoka. Nanoka is harder for me to figure out. There's her obvious hero-worship of her Onii-chan, but it's hard to understand how the fantasy of her brother that she built up during their separation could withstand reality, since he acts like such an unkempt lump and a grouch when he's at home. Maybe I missed something here, but it seems too much like a plot device. She appears more emotionally mature than her schoolmates, not finding the boys near her own age very interesting, which adds to her isolation from normal school socializing and enhances Koushiro's attractiveness. Yet there's her naivete about where that attraction could lead which doesn't seem to fit with that maturity. In the end, Koushiro accepts how he feels about Nanoka and moves out of his father's home to protect her from himself. From his new (cheap) apartment he gazes at the ferris wheel where he had his last innocent moments with her, before he found out they were siblings. When Nanoka pursues him there, he doesn't have the strength to push her away -- This is the only strong emotion he has felt for anyone probably in his entire life, and he just can't walk away from his one chance even though he knows he should.

Koushiro's workmate, Chidori, and Nanoka's shoolmate, Futaba, provide the anchor of reality in the story, representing the social norms pressing against their relationship. I found it refreshing when Nanoka stood up to Chidori's meddling, contrary to the usual anime cliche. Futaba, however, never really fulfills her role since she only suspects Nanoka's secret, but never is given an opportunity to do anything about it. Koushiro's and Nanoka's mother is either blissfully ignorant, or knows what's going on and hides it too well; I can't decide which. I look forward to going through this series again when I learn more Japanese, I'm sure there are more layers of meaning in there that the subs can't convey.

Animation and art are good, but not great, though the characters are expressive, well-differentiated, and fit their roles. The music is uncomplicated acoustics which complement the atmosphere of the scenes well.

Addendum: I've watched a lot more anime since I first wrote this review, and I find myself repeatedly struck by how expressive Nanoka's face is compared to any other character I've encountered since. The range of emotions her artist was able to produce with just a few simple features, and the amount of effort put into the extra frames as those expressions change is worth special note. Somebody spent a lot of time in front of a mirror.

Last updated Thursday, January 04 2007. Created Thursday, November 16 2006.
Watch 7 8 9 6 9 9 Anonymous #1969 [series:888#1969]
This series is about two people choosing hell, because, for them, it is heaven.

To be more precise, before people jump on me, society will try to impose itself as if they are, or will be, in hell, but it is heaven for them, for choice they made was the only one which could bring peace to their minds.

I have joined this site for this site is the only site that had reviews which resonated with me. I have seen all the series, in Korean, and have also seen the manga books as well. I was surprised to learn that book 5 came out after the TV series, but that may explain why book 5 had more logical ending compared to the video: Koushiro does not quit his job and Nanoka decides to follow her mother's career path, as she have written in her elementary school. Nanoka's friend, Hutaba, manages to guess correctly about the relation as well, but she will not let anyone know that she guessed. In the manga, the main characters actually knows about the closing of the park, and there is no tree sign; they intend to live rest of their lives as it is, for good or ill, and will discuss it with no one but themselves. Other reviewers had it right, I can't suggest an minimum age as well, but I think the most sensible minimum age would be 21. In US, it has been classified as 16+; if Nanoka was that age before she met her brother, things would have been much different.

Most of all, I am glad that the writer decides to let the character live and carry the series to its full, logical, bittersweet end. The fact that they have different last name will only aid them hiding their affairs from the society in the future; it does not serve as sudden turn for the happy end like so many other stories, both in anime and lots of other fictions, including the famed martial art novels.

Here is whatelse I would like to add to the two previous reviews, both of them done wonderfully. I believe I see lots of deliberateness in the artwork, in choosing of the colors as well as deliberate imperfections of the characters. I have seen lots of anime and Nanoka is not even in my top 10 prettiest girl in anime, Chidori and Koushiro's ex-girl friend is deliberately drawn as typical anime love-interest characters, but had they chosen another face, perhaps more prettier, this anime would not have worked. The colors and simplicity of her dress is deliberately chosen to emphasize her innocence, in contrast to koushiro, looking more like poor manual laborer, and Chidori, a refined career woman. Koushiro and other male characters were deliberately simplified, to amplify their commonness, and to satisfy the fantasies of many, perhaps perverted, elder male audience. In fact, Koushiro's character, both the drawing and the traits, are opposite of the sterotypes in girl's fantasy comic book male characters, and this I believe to be very deliberate. Back-ground is very simplified, this is not a cheerful or grand story, and it helps to keep people's attention to the main character. Ironic thing is that it is this simplicity that helps overwhelm the audience. In the manga, you can tell when Yoshida Motoi, the creator of this series, decides to emphasize and hypnotize the readers; Nanoka's eyes are perhaps the pinnacle of Japanese Love story manga's drawing of female character's eye. It is a wonder.

Yet, all this deliberations would be in vain, if theme of the storyline was any different; These character drawing will be considered second rate with any other storyline. I also believe that this storyline would have felt empty and cliched with any other drawing, even if it of superior artistic quality; the artist knew when to lay back in order to emphasize when to really feel emphathy for the characters. Music is kept low, like the sceneries to avoid distracting the viewers, and used only when it is needed. A moral for other movies would be the old Chinese saying: why draw legs on legless snakes just because you have the luxury to do so?

The tragedy in this series lies in the fact that all this could have been prevented. The characters were repeated given escape routes and knew the consequences of their action. Chidori offered salvation; there were guys in Nanoka's high school who would have loved to get to know her better. Yet, in end, the real tragedy is the simple one of a boy running away from his feelings too long. Had he faced his mother and sister after the parent's divorce, he would have known Nanoka much, much earlier, thus episode 1 would not have been possible. In fact, he would become a boring typical older brother. Nanoka would not have developed her fantasy with elder brother and would not have looked him up like he was her father; yes, the complexes at work here is equally Antigone and Lolita. The character design clearly illustrates that this is somewhat darker than brother-sister; it is more like father-daughter, for their father is more like immature grandfather, and Koushiro was the one who acted like a father to Nanoka even when she was a baby. Had Koushiro discussed his feelings with Nanoka, the day after their date in the park, he would have been lessened of his guilt and she would likely have felt both repulsive and pity for her brother and actually grow into more like a mother-figure to him, a mother that Koushiro subconsciously wants. Even as late as episode 3, if he had heart-felt conversation with his sister, she would have understood the dillema and they would have reached a solution to society's satisfaction, for baring the truth have effect of calming the emotions, lessening the BLIND passion, and cooling the heads. By Episode 4, it is getting late, and by five, only miracle can avert what is to come. It is his mean acts and distancing that actually made Nanoka think more about him and it is his guilt that actually keeps him fixated on Nanoka. Sometimes, even a very embarassing confession helps, that is why there is this Sacrament of Reconciliation in Catholic religion, and these characters needed it for almost 11 years. ( from Nanoka's age 6 to 16, she is 17 according to manga, when they crossed that bridge and burned it behind them ) Although belated, Koushiro finally become true to himself; this is the reason why they could choose to live and face the consequence when it will inevitably come. Admitting their true feeling enable them to salvage what happiness that could be salvaged, even though society will frown upon it. Why-oh-why couldn't they have talked about themselves earlier, perhaps much, much earlier when they were both little. But thank goodness that they chose life.

I have viewed the series again with English Voice-overs. I commend the company for such an excellent translations and truely believe that the voice-talents did their best to convey the feelings. However, there are subtle difference in accents recognizable only to someone who knows both Japanese and English, and I must say that English voices carry less emotions or cannot emphasize the right words. I would have preferred slightly deeper voice for Koushiro and for Nanoka, that voice is only available in Japanese or Chinese culture, surprisingly not in Korean culture, for they actually teach young girls how to vocalise, but it might have been little better to use someone little younger, whose voice is actually little lower but also can shift into falsetto or nasal tone. The Vocie-actors should have used more range in dynamics and tones as well.

Last updated Tuesday, June 07 2005. Created Thursday, May 19 2005.
Buy 7 8 9 9 10 9 Philodox-dono [series:888#1931]
All right, all right: the fact is, Koi Kaze first caught my eye because of the synopsis on the back of the DVD. That probably says something about me. (The fact that my fiancèe was interested in watching it too may say something about her. ^_^)

Then, I popped it in and started watching.

And what I found was so much more profound, and so much more emotionally charged, than I expected. Devil Doll is right, I can't even begin to suggest a minimum age for viewing this, and the last scenes of episode four are as aback-taking as they are inevitable. But viewers with the ability to put their own moral imperatives on pause will find themselves rewarded with a story so tangible they can feel it. The characters in this world feel real, and as with the best characters in the best stories, it's easy to sympathize and laugh and cry and love with them. The ferris-wheel scene near the end of episode one, personally, drove me to tears.

One of the first things about Koi Kaze that becomes apparent is its realism. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the art. It's not your typical "cute" anime art style, instead striking a balance before real-life humanity and anime humanity, but it grows on you, and it helps cement the fact that Koi Kaze takes place in a world that is more like our own than the typical anime world.

That realism is another of Koi Kaze's shining points. The writing, and the characters, are firmly grounded in a reality where many of the more standard anime cliches are absent. There are no magic solutions, no hidden revelations about parentage (at least, as far as I can see from the first volume). Koshiro and Nanoka, and their relationship, stand and fall by themselves and by the vagaries of fate, and the cards are stacked against them from the end of the first episode. Some of the stacking is done by Nanoka's own unknowing hands. This DVD is rated 16+, and rightly so; while the closest thing to nudity are some brief underwear shots, the subject material is not only adult in nature but veers into taboo territory, and sex is discussed frankly in several instances; the final scenes of episode 4 alone justify the rating.

The focus of the story is on the siblings, and rightly so. Koshiro is a soul reawakening - and painfully so - to emotional life after a long numbness, and his efforts to squelch his growing desires for his younger sister are realistically, even sympathetically, depicted, and voice-actors Kenta Miyake and Patrick Seitz deserve praise for that (the two sound almost indistinguishable). In their turn, Yuki Nakamura and Tiffany Hsieh bring to life the innocent and precocious Nanoka with a convincing mixture of innocence, curiosity, and childish affection, effectively melding her loving - if sometimes strained - regard for Koshiro with some ambiguity as to just how unaware of his longings she is. The supporting voice casts do excellent work bringing the supporting characters to life, and making them more than just talking background (with the exception of Kei Odagiri; while his seiyuu plays him well, the character is, perhaps deliberately, a walking clichè throughout the series, although he has occasional glimmerings of deeper substance).

The music, while more low-key than many other anime, is perfectly in keeping with the series. The opening theme, and in particular the piece of BGM that plays on the DVD menu screen and periodically during the episodes, do an excellent job of mirroring the wistful longing at the heart of the series. After watching Vol. 1, I actually purchased the OST CD, which is a fine piece of digital musical media.

In closing, I have to admit - my entire exposure to Koi Kaze has been the first DVD, and I eagerly await the release of the other two. I don't know the ending yet. I've heard some vague spoilers, which have made me more determined to wait and see for myself. It's not an easy thing, with this series: there are only so many ways this kind of story can end, and the majority of them are not happy. And even a happy one might strain credulity. But.... I have hope. Hope that there is something there that Koshiro and Nanoka can make work, despite the deck stacked overwhelmingly against them.

Does it say something that I'm in open support of an incestuous pairing? Probably.

Fuck it.

I'm pulling for you two, Nanoka and Koshiro.


Review update (8/21/2005, 5:37 p.m. PST, composed while listening to the Koi Kaze OST):

"Any love is a flicker of light, and any kindness, whatever the form it might take, is too precious to be dismissed."

- Andrew Carey, from the afterword of "Amhran Gra Tokyo-3"

All right.

I have just finished watching Vol. 3 for the second time.

And I am still collecting myself emotionally.

When I picked up Vol. 1 on a whim, I don't think I ever expected what came next. I never expected this series to catapult to a permanent Top 10 position on my personal All-time Top 10 Favorite Anime and Top 10 Romantic Anime lists. I didn't expect to make an AMV using it, or to enter it in damn near every AMV contest I could find. I didn't expect to empathize so much - maybe a bit too much? - with the characters.

The thing I least expected was NOT to be heartbroken.

Or at least, not as heartbroken as I was expecting. That was something I was steeling myself against, after how Vol. 2 ended, and after spoilers that I couldn't run fast enough away from.

So.... so. I have now finished the series, and have reached a verdict on the ending.

Before I deliver my opinion on it, however, please allow me to pull out a soapbox for just a minute. I've long since reached the philosophical position (naive as some might say it is) that, as long as two people enter a relationship of their own free will and without coercion, and as long as the two are willing to accept any possible repercussions, then there is no justification for keeping them from being together.... be they man and woman, man and man, woman and woman.... or even brother and sister. That has doubtlessly colored my opinion of Koi Kaze, for good or ill, leaving me to view it with a slightly perplexed air of "Okay.... so what's the problem?"

My personal opinion on the ending? (Note: not having access to the manga, translated or not, I can only speak as to the anime version.)

For my money, it was as good a balance of optimism and reality as possible.

(Believe it or not, this may have been hinted at from the very beginning, in the OP theme. The final chorus in "Koi Kaze" replaces "pain" with "happiness" and speaks of, at least to this inexperienced translator's ear, of everything being all right as long as love is there.)

The series ends on what is unmistakably a positive note - Koshiro and Nanoka have acknowledged their feelings for each other, and deciding to live their lives together. We see Koshiro leaving his job, presumably to find one where his personal life will not be known to his coworkers (the fact that we see him leaving the apartment suited up, and that he could pay for amusement park tickets, may suggest that he's found one already). We see the two of them together, domestic and cute, relaxed and happy. We see Koshiro SMILING for more of an episode than he frowns or looks indifferent. We see Nanoka smiling and cheerful, apparently splitting time between Koshiro's place and their father's. We see them returning to where it all started, fully relaxed and content in each other's company, playing like little kids in the mud, and cuddled together aboard the ferris wheel. And finally, we see a Koshiro who is living, not merely existing, saying "I love you" softly, as if it's the first time he's really, truly understood what those words meant.

Is it smooth sailing ahead? Of course it's not. Koshiro still has to find a new job, if he hasn't already; if he has, he has to hide the aspects of his personal life. Nanoka has to continue splitting time between the house and Koshiro's apartment, a situation that may attract their father's attention; also, she has to keep her love life's details secret from her friends, although it's already a fair bet that Futaba half-suspects. And there are other, more subtle possibilities of misfortune: the amusement park being intended for closing, and the possibility of the rows of sakura trees being torn up, could be considered by some as foreshadowing.

In the one set of spoilers I read, lo those many moons ago, the spoiler-writer wrote about refusing to classify ep. 13 as a happy ending, despite its myriad positive aspects. The writer seemed to believe that the self-loathing and thoughts of suicide would return. I do have a response to that: "Well.... yeah. Those are definite possibilities. But you know what? Those are aspects of EVERY relationship, not just this one. There is not a relationship where one or both partners do NOT hate themselves, or consider leaving - be it walking out the door or jumping into the sea - occasionally. That's not a by-product of an incestuous relationship, that's a product of being in a relationship, period."

Because of that, I do not believe Koshiro and Nanoka's love is doomed to failure.

What do I think? I think they've faced their feelings for each other, and are willing to take their chances, and will do what it takes to stay together and in love. And that, my fellow fans, is as happy an ending as is possible, in the anime world or the real one.

Now, as to the state of the characters:

Nanoka and Koshiro.... there's nothing I can say about them that hasn't been, or wasn't said above.

Futaba.... the character that, I think, impressed me the most in the last few episodes. She is being a far better and more thoughtful friend to Nanoka than I expected when she was first introduced, going out of her way to try and cheer Nanoka up in ep. 10, and holding back from following her in the last episode. I think, soon, Nanoka will realize just how trustworthy she is, and, as Anonymous has said in his review, confide in her. She might as well; I think she knows already.

Chidori.... I'm still not sure what to think of her actions and reactions. She treated Koshiro harshly in ep. 11 (although yanking her into an alley and muffling her voice didn't exactly merit kind treatment), but how she treated Nanoka in ep. 12, with pretending to be Koshiro's lover, was even worse. I'm willing to believe that most of that came from trying to keep them from making what she perceived as a life-wrecking mistake.... but.... did anyone else get the feeling that she was acting out of an attraction to Koshiro, as well?

Makie.... does Koshiro and Nanoka's mother have an inkling about what her children are doing? (And I do mean "doing"; the last scenes of ep. 12 are unmistakably the prelude to and aftermath of sex, even if the most we see is Koshiro in boxers, and Nanoka with the sheets draped around her in a way that made me flash back to Maria-sama ga Miteru.)

In conclusion, let me say two things.

(1) For any who are interested in seeing my Koi Kaze AMV, which I believe is the very first one ever made (entitled "Have This Heart to Break", using Billy Joel's "And So It Goes"):


(2) In a paraphrase of the quote I used at the beginning of this update: Any kind of love is too precious to dismiss out of hand. I think Koshiro and Nanoka have discovered that, and at the risk of sounding naive, I think that lesson has been taught too well for them to be torn apart again.

Good luck, Nanoka and Koshiro. I'm still pulling for you.

Last updated Tuesday, August 23 2005. Created Wednesday, April 13 2005.

Buy 9 8 9 8 9 10 Devil Doll [series:888#752]
[Score: 88% = Buy. Other recommended non-Fantasy Romance Drama animes: Lamune, Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora, Suzuka, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Hachimitsu to Kuroba II]
  • Drama: Med/High (basically about terms like "wrong" and "right")
  • Comedy: None (except for one side character; "serious" is written all over this series)
  • Action: None (not even a hint of it)
  • SciFi: None (plain old earth, normal people)
  • Ecchi: None (I'd almost say "negative", given the incest/lolicon theme of this story)
Be forewarned: You should be very open minded to watch this series. (For once, you might disagree with my category selections that contain neither ecchi nor hentai; then again, I could not even guess a suggested minimum age for the audience.) But if you are, and you decide to continue watching after episode 4, there goes your reward with one of the most controversial stories you have ever seen. (I just read that the mangaka is a woman - I thought I'd mention this here as it might be important for the point of view this story is told from.)

This is probably one of the most intense narrations in anime to date, earning it my highest possible rating for "Episode story". No violence, no action, very little silliness. Few anime of this type come to my mind - and those that do are all amongst my favorites, be that Mimi wo Sumaseba (with the same focus on only two characters), Haibane Renmei or Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. This series is no laughing matter (despite the short SD appendices for each episode).

Koushiro and Nanoka both are characters that you need to relate to as to get into the show, and I sympathized with both, despite (or maybe even because of) their flaws and the mistakes they make. Both lead characters are given enough time and space to grow, illuminating their little yet important nuances. And both siblings show a lot of development during this series.
The role of the side characters in this show is probably different from most other anime. In a way they show what the lead characters are not, rather than acting as developing individuals. Even so they contribute a lot to the show (most notably Koushiro's office colleague and Nanoka's best friend during the last couple of episodes). And thinking some more about this aspect, I became aware of whom they represent as well: Us - the audience.

The critical point is how they manage to handle the basic storyline's sensible topic. This series is entering dangerous (yet very Japanese) territory and is definitely not for everyone's taste, and certainly not for children. But IMHO they did very well, focusing on the emotions of the siblings and showing exactly what was necessary to be shown. Your mileage may vary though.
The final episode disappointed me when I watched it for the first time. But then I searched the web and soon found out how many things I had missed... (watch out for the message at the tree and who might possibly read it; also consider the symbolism of the whole sandbox scene - together with the final line spoken in this series.) I'll have to re-watch this series a number of times to fully do it justice - and what better rating can I give a show?

As for the technical aspects I have nothing to complain about: The art is fine, the characters are drawn far more realistically than in most other anime (giving Nanoka a special charisma that is important for the storyline), and no problems with animation. The unobtrusive music with silent piano parts consists of surprisingly few themes that are repeated often, but I like most of them quite well. I have to explicitly praise NAKAMURA Yuki, the seiyuu for Nanoka (15 years old and her first anime role ever - all other seiyuu of this series appeared in other popular anime already) whose crystal clear voice is something I never heard before in anime.

While the series is based on a manga (which had 4 volumes released when the series was aired), this manga is still continued after the anime and not yet completed as of November 2004. It looks as if manga volume 5 will now follow the anime with only minor deviations. (EDIT: The manga has been completed in the meantime, with 5 volumes.)

Last updated Monday, October 11 2010. Created Monday, November 08 2004.

Other Sites
Official GENEON site for Koi Kaze http://www.geneon-ent.co.jp/rondorobe/anime/koikaze/index2.html
Japanese only
Wikipedia entry on Koi Kaze http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koi_Kaze
Wikipedia entry on "Genetic sexual attraction" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_sexual_attraction
Wikipedia entry on "Westermarck effect" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprinting_%28psychology%29#Westermarck_effect

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