Lamune ~Glass Bin ni Utsuru Umi~
Ramune ~Glass Bin ni Utsuru Umi~
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Trinet
Music - FUJIMA Hitoshi
SATOU Mikako
YANASE Natsumi
Two childhood friends have spent many summers growing up together. When Tomosaka Kenji first moved to a new village many years ago he met a special little girl at the beach, at a time when ocean was shining like ‘lamune’ (Japanese for lemonade). It was only the next day did he learn that the girl he met was his next-door neighbor but a special bond between them had already been formed. The two kids grew up together, sharing a view on each other’s bedroom windows separated by only some two meters of distance. And then suddenly during the summer of their second high school year, the relationship between the two friends slowly begins to change...
[TV series, 2005, 12 episodes, 23 min; produced by Trinet Entertainment; English fansub by C1; The DVD release of the series contains 90 seconds of additional scenes for each episode, with a strong tendency towards fan-service.]

Kenji's girls in the photo from left to right: Tomosaka Suzuka (blue hair, Kenji's younger sister), Sakura Hiromi (brown hair, Suzuka's classmate), Nakazato Hikari (orange hair, Kenji's older cousin), Ayukawa Misora (pink hair, random visitor & biker girl), Isawa Tae (dark violet hair, senpai and school council member), and Konoe Nanami (light violet hair, Kenji's neighbor).
1:29min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
Nana, Hiro, Suzu, Miso, Tae, Hika, 1
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 7 6 7 6 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1246#1552]
To be honest, I wasn't sure if I could rate this series either a Rent or a Watch. But after giving it enough thought, I chose to give this title a low Rent rating.

After seeing enough dating sim adaptations of anime, I've pretty much seen all there is to the genre and nothing too big stood out for me with Lamune. A number of elements to it reminded me of certain Key titles and To Heart. Like To Heart, this series is a slice-of-life anime title with no elements of fantasy or sci-fi found in it. Typical of all dating sims, Lamune features the male character's interactions with several female characters who meet a number of archetypes typical of the genre and retain the cute and submissive qualities that dating sim addicts would adore. Like Kanon, this series focuses on childhood friends with a relationship that eventually turns into love. And just like Kanon and Clannad, the male protagonist has a male friend whose role is to play the comic relief character. It's not that I necessarily hate these archetypes since this title has enough of them. But, there's nothing really fresh with them either.

There are a couple noteworthy things that I can give Lamune kudos for with its slice-of-life genre. The show allows itself to function as a slice-of-life and not get too hooked into its dating sim roots. Unlike To Heart, there are a wide range of emotions expressed by the characters depending on the situations taking place. In addition, the show doesn't fall into the traps of angst and melodrama that I've seen of enough anime adaptations of dating sims.

Lamune is very likely not gonna get much attention by dating sim fans due to its slice-of-life approach. Not to mention, I couldn't find very much that stood out with it compared to other dating sims I've seen. So depending on your tastes, you may love or hate this title.

Last updated Monday, February 02 2009. Created Monday, February 02 2009.
Watch 5 5 5 3 4 4 Xenoknight [series:1246#2967]
What a drag...

What the hell is with this title anyway! I've never wanted to delete an anime off my computer faster than with this title. I can't believe I wasted 6 hours watching this crap. There is a LIMIT to how nice a title can be. So many if not every dating sim will give that "nice" emotion throughout the entire series until the usually sad or happy ending.

MAKE NO MISTAKE! If it wasn't for my blasted bleeding heart, I wouldn't hesitate to give this anime the "Avoid" rating!!! I felt disgusted with the mediocracy of this title. It was sub-par the entire way through until episode 10. So, the anime is only worth its weight for 3 episodes!!!

Ep. 11 and 12 tried to squeeze what little interest I had left and FAILED miserably. That was so sudden what happened to the main lead that I almost laughed. I thought to myself, "this is about the only thing they could do to give the viewer courage to watch until the end." I mean come on, I think I smiled twice the entire series. There was NO harem element even though that would've saved this series as there were plenty of girls. Only one girl besides the female lead made a move but sucked and then moved away in the end. (V V)

NO laughs, NO fanservice (not even a little drop), NO tears, NO emotion at all. It was just "nice" until the final episodes and those were up in the air due to the sudden tragedy. It was such a "textbook case scenario" that I wanted to just give up right at that moment. If nice is the only thing your looking for, then this title will do it for you.

Trash, Garbage, Waste, Filth, Dirt, Dust, Grime, Soap scum, Absolute waste of time!!!

If you would like a nice anime that doesn't resort to desperate tatics to keep the story alive, try Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na and the better Gift Eternal Rainbow as they will do much better in terms of laughs and story. I want to feel bad for this anime but sub-par is and will forever be sub-par. No point in being nice, is there?

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Monday, February 02 2009. Created Wednesday, August 27 2008.
Rent 8 8 7 7 9 8 Dreamer [series:1246#2279]
I thought this was pretty good really. It started a bit slow.., but it "slightly" picked up from there. The series had a simple nice story that eased you into it. Sometimes, a simple, ordinary story without a bunch of heavy drama, mechs and blood does the trick.

Last updated Wednesday, October 18 2006. Created Wednesday, October 18 2006.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:1246#628]
Watching the first episode of Lamune left me scratching my head, since nothing particularly memorable had been revealed and I still didn't have a clue what course this show was going to take. Yet, somehow I've watched every episode to date. Lamune isn't a stand-out comedy, (and the romance is very restrained) but it has a pleasant silliness to it as it depicts a sort of idealized lifestyle in a small town in Japan. As such, I consider it a completely "harmless" show to watch when I'm stressed out--and sometimes that's just what I need.

Last updated Tuesday, February 07 2006. Created Tuesday, February 07 2006.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:1246#1573]
2 Episodes Watched
I'm not quite sure what to say about this show. It's OBVIOUS that Kenji and Nanami are destined for each other, but by the end of the 2nd episode we see a teeny bit of conflict. I hope the 3rd episode develops something or I may drop it.

More as I see more

Last updated Friday, November 18 2005. Created Friday, November 18 2005.
Buy 7 7 9 7 10 9 Devil Doll [series:1246#752]
[Score: 85% = maximum "Buy-". Other recommended non-Fantasy Romance Drama anime: Koi Kaze, Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora, Suzuka, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Hachimitsu to Kuroba II]
  • Drama: Med/High (increasing heavily during the last third of the series)
  • Comedy: Med/Low (decreasing during the show)
  • Action: None (with a few exceptions in episodes 10 & 11)
  • SciFi: None (plain old earth, normal people)
  • Ecchi: Low (kawaii girls in school uniforms; the extended DVD version adds a bit of fan-service)
This series started really slow. Very light-hearted, yet not overly silly - somewhere in the middle between Suzuka and Ajimu Kaigan Monogatari. And it did look as if nothing would ever be moving at all - the distance between the two leads remained the same for quite a while. But this series is like a landslide: When you least expect it the movement begins, carrying along each and every thing and person. Don't be fooled by the obvious "boy surrounded by cute girls" scenario (which has to be blamed on the dating sim game this series is based upon): This anime is as much of a comedy as Kanon or Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. Which means, in the end it is no comedy at all. Keep your tissue at hand instead.

Tomosaka Kenji's 'harem' includes:
  • his silly younger sister Tomosaka Suzuka,
  • his tomboyish older cousin Nakazato Hikari (whom Kenji's best friend at school obviously has fallen for),
  • Suzuka's shy classmate Sakura Hiromi,
  • the responsible school council president Isawa Tae-senpai, and
  • Kenji's neighbor Konoe Nanami (who's teasingly nicknamed "husband & wife" with Kenji by everyone).
A sixth girl Ayukawa Misora with a motorbike is introduced in episode 7, and Kenji's classmate Hatano serves as the comical relief guy.

All of these Characters are likable although at times Nanami appears a little too naive, Hikari is rather annoying and Suzuka can be plain stupid. Despite being a loser at school Kenji is an interesting male lead, not the usual wimp for once but a nice, funny and responsible guy; so it's not surprising that several girls will be interested in him, albeit nothing even close to "love" or "going out" will be expressed until the middle of the series. Like in Suzuka things start to take shape when a catalyst enters the stage, but the development as such will be a surprise to the audience unless they listen to the ED song very thoroughly.

Each Episode contains a flashback to the childhood times of the characters (all the girls are childhood friends of Kenji) plus some present time development based on that background story. Slowly but surely you will be able to see all pieces of the puzzle - in this aspect the scenario has one more similarity with Kanon.
Animation and Sound are probably the weakest aspects of this work. The girls look nice but not very individual; some of the movement (walking, driving etc.) is mediocre. Art is standard anime level but not very detailed. Don't expect Ghibli quality. The music is hardly noticeable through most of the series which will significantly change in the final episode though. The OP song is a flat standard J-Pop tune, the ED song sounds almost hysterically happy (despite its very different lyrics); some of the girls' voices are just too thin, putting too much focus on making them sound kawaii. Then again, Hikari's seiyuu did a great job in making that girl as unnerving as possible...

Despite this formidable cast of girls the main question is not which girl will get this guy: Everyone takes the two leads being a couple for granted very early on - even her mother does a little of that "married couple" teasing at times, and Hikari is using every opportunity to bring them closer together. Instead the series focuses on the incremental development of a relation over a long period of time, covering influences from outside as well as personal doubts and fears; as such this anime is an interesting psychological study rather than anything else.

All in all this is kind of a telenovela - but one of the best I know in anime form. Just don't expect this to be the usual Romantic Comedy, don't ask for lots of fan-service or embarrassing scenes, don't ask for weaponry or robots. The action element is very low as well - but if you think that means no suspense then at least the final two episodes will prove you dead wrong. There are wonderful dialogs at times but the humor is more subtle and occasionally relies on thorough knowledge of events in the past.

Be sure to watch this anime if you can stand clichés - and tragedies. Yes, you heard me.

Last updated Wednesday, August 10 2011. Created Tuesday, November 15 2005.
Rent Jan-Chan [series:1246#967]
This is very much a slice-of-life romance story between two childhood friends who seem destined to be together.

With no monsters or magic, and with very little drama, the story of Kenji and the little girl who lives next door to him unfolds over twelve episodes.

While this story did not really do all that much for me, tis very hard to fault because its just soooo nice, innocent and pure.

Last updated Saturday, May 22 2010. Created Saturday, November 12 2005.

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