Kuzu no Honkai
Romance; Drama; Psychological; Ecchi*
High Schooler Hanabi Yasuraoka is completely head-over-heels for her homeroom teacher and childhood friend Mr. Kanai; Classmate Mugi Awaya is completely head-over-heels for his music teacher and previous private tutor Miss Minagawa. However, when the two find out that their crushes have fallen for each other, the two heartbroken students enter into a temporary relationship to deal with their loneliness and need for physical contact. As the two explore their relationship of replacement and lies, Hanabi learns about the hidden feelings of those around her, the true nature of the woman she’s lost to and even what it’s like to be on the other side of a one-sided crush. And she’s not the only one. The road of deceit, using and moving on that’s ahead of her will teach her just the kind of person that she is.
This is not a comprehensive list of every individual use of strong content, merely a guide to show you how extreme it gets and how strong it tends to be. Also, the tags I’ve given each segment (e.g. Very Strong Language) is based on my own system and does not necessarily reflect the tags the BBFC (or other national equivalent) use. According to my system, the ‘Mild’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Strong’ and ‘Very Strong’ adjectives are based on strength, not on volume. Now, obviously, the strength of any type of content is subjective; what I consider strong might just be a relaxing weekend for you. Hence, I have added an explanation for my decision to allow you to make your own informed decision.
Please also note that the ‘colourful’ language I am referring to here is based on sentai FILMWORKS’ English Dub. The Japanese Dub may (and probably does) differ.
Strong Sex References
As a series that deals with the sexual exploration of its characters, it should come as no surprise that there are strong sex references here. That being said, these are surprisingly tame in terms of the dialogue. The series rather plays on making a lot of implications, relying on the context and reactions of its situations and characters to convey its meanings to the audience.
The most common one is of course the references to sex itself, whether it be a character who has had sex, plans on having sex, or is having sex. As mentioned above, the spoken references themselves tend to be quite tame. When the scenes come around, unsurprisingly, there is subtle moaning present. These are the most common occurrences.
However, there are a few more explicit references, the most explicit of which is probably where a female character implies that a male character (shall we say?) ‘dirtied’ her uniform. Again, no explicit description is used, but the reference is fairly obvious, nonetheless. Needless to say, the stain itself is never seen, either!
Many episodes feature sex scenes between characters, foreplay, or the aftermath of such events. The scenes lack any detail, with the most explicit sequence depicting a female character’s hand movements as she pleasures another female character. The scene is shown from outside the sheets of a bed, so even these movements are partially obscured.
No thrusting or equivalent is shown throughout as the scenes usually cut before the scenes would go so far.
Some scenes show characters licking others across their bodies and the like, but none are explicit. They merely feature some moaning.
Mild Sexualised Nudity
Although bare breasts are seen in some scenes, no nipple detail is shown and only side-views, cleavage and under-views are present. There are no explicit front-views.
Genitalia are also never visible.
Some uses of ‘crap’, ‘damn’, and other mild terms.
Reasons to Watch
This is the difficult part. I don’t want you to see this entry as an oversized ‘DON’T WATCH THIS’ post. Equally, I don’t want to influence your opinion with a biased review – there’s a reason this website is called ‘Anime Insights’ and not ‘Anime Reviews’! In this section, I’m going to try to convey to you some of the reasons (in no particular order) that I’ve seen this series’ fans give for enjoying it!
A critically-acclaimed exploration of painful first love and exploration of identity.
High production values (i.e. excellent artwork and animation) with direction that’s been celebrated for capturing the beauty of the original work without loss of quality or creating a soap-opera-style piece.
A more emotion-powered romance drama filled with duality and realism, featuring a praised emotional music score by composer Masaru Yokayama (works include Your Lie in April and Plastic Memories)
Barrier of Entry
Watching twelve episodes of characters making bad decisions (especially those you may be able to relate to) could be too demanding/torturous for some. The weight of this series could also turn away binge-watchers, who may find it equally difficult to watch more than one episode in each sitting.
For some viewers, the tastefulness of the sex scenes may make certain interactions hard to decipher (e.g. how far a couple actually went). In most shows, this isn’t really that important, but in this one it is; considering the protagonist herself is so cautious with it, it’s important to understand when or if she actually crossed that boundary, since it’s part of her development in the story. In a similar vein, those looking for a more explicit production or approach may be disappointed by the series’ lack of said extreme content.
Uso no Hibana by 96Neko (Ep. 1-12)
Heikousen by Sayuri (Ep. 1-12)
Animation Production: Lerche
Director: Masaomi Andō
ADR Director: Shannon Reed
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu
ADR Script: Marta Bechtol
Music: Masaru Yokoyama
Original Creator & Original Character Design: Mengo Yokoyari
Animation Character Design & Chief Animation Director: Keiko Kurosawa
Art Director: Tomonari Suzuki
Lead Voice Actors
Chika Anzai as Hanabi Yasuraoka
Nobunaga Shimazaki as Mugi Awaya
Lead Voice Actors (sentai FILMWORKS)
Avery Smithhart as Hanabi Yasuraoka
Greg Cote as Mugi Awaya
For Your Anime Dictionary
*Ecchi is anime’s version of softcore pornography. Though sex scenes and even pixilated genitalia can be present, it’s rare (particularly in the genitalia department). It’s much more common for Ecchi anime to contain less explicit detail. In this case, it’s pretty tame.