Faithfully Yours  - Ai Yori Aoshi - DVD 1

Join Aoi Sakuraba as she tries to find the young man that she was promised to marry, after being apart for 18 years she leaves home in the hopes of find him. As she struggles to find her love with her only clues a worn piece of paper with directions on it and a picture of her and the young man she’s destine to be with. Will she be reunited with her love?

The first episode starts off with Aio Sakuraba on her way to meet her the young man that she was promised to marry, but only to have the engagement broken off by her family. After arriving at the Tokyo Subway station Aoi becomes lost while trying to switch trains. While struggling to find her way, and becoming more and more confused with the busy Tokyo life. Karou Hanabishi comes to distraught young women’s rescue, helping to fix Aoi’s broken sandal and guiding her on her way.

Karou, worried that she might get lost again and being the gentleman that he is. He decides to help young Aoi on her way to meet the man that she loves and will hopefully marry. Sadly the directions that Aio has leads her to an empty lot, the shattered Aoi breaks down and begins to sob, but Karou being there to help her again decides to allow her to stay at his apartment until she can figure out what to do.

During the stay, Karou asks Aoi if she has any other clues to identifying the man she is to marry, Aoi pulls out a picture of herself when she was a young girl in this picture there is a young boy that Aoi is desperately seeking. Karou quickly discovers he is that young boy in the picture. Aoi is excited to by with Karou, but he is very reluctant to be with Aoi because of past experiences with his family.

The first disc comes with 5 full episodes of Ai Yori Aoshi. The first episode seemed a little dry, the story didn’t have much to offer, However as you progress through each episode the story begin to develop a more focused plot, involving among other things Karou and Aoi’s growing love for each other and the conflicts between their families. There’s a definite increase in humor and with the addition of a few new interesting characters that bring a whole lot of excitement and trouble with them. Without trying not to give anything else away, as you watch the story progresses, it just becomes more and more hilarious, with some serious undertones. With almost a Love Hina feel, but I’ll try not to say anything more then that.

The animation for this series, was very well done, very clean, very crisp all the characters and the scenery is very well drawn. There isn’t any use of CG in this series, but I don’t think that would be appropriate in this anime series.

I found the video quality on this DVD is, well perfect. It was crystal clear; I saw no micro blocks or aliasing of any kind. The audio properties for the disc support both English and Japanese. I have to say the Audio quality for this DVD was excellent, it was crisp and clear, with no hint of scratches or static.

The menu features for the DVD were excellent, the opening selection screen included a picture of the main characters, if you wait a few moments you begin to see the picture morph to show other moments in Karou and Aoi’s life, from small children to adults. The music for the menu selection is very appropriate a soft, romantic melody really helps to set the mood for this series.

Sadly, the only thing that I was disappointed with in this DVD, were the extras. Although, they included a music video for the opening song, a conceptual art gallery for the two main characters Aoi Sakuraba and Karou Hanabishi. Other features in the extra section include, the trailer (US Version), and previews for upcoming pioneer releases. I found they just didn’t offer enough, I would love to have seen interviews with the voice actors or artists. Hopefully on the next disc we’ll see some cast interviews. Perhaps even some behind the scenes work on series.

So far Ai Yori Aoshi is a great series, it has everything necessary to be a very memorable one, hopefully I’ll have a chance to see the next DVD so I can learn more about the story and what will happen to Aoi and Karou. I would have to say this is a good buy for those looking for a good laugh, while watching a group of interesting characters as they try to get along.






Impact Rating:7/10

Total Score: 82.5%

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