With Momokuri starting as a webcomic series illustrated by Kurose and published by NHN, it was only a matter of time before an anime adaption by studio Satelight would come into the picture that finally makes its way stateside in Sentai Filmworks’ release of Momokuri: Complete Collection. While I’ve never been a fan of comedy-romance shows, this series is presented with such a sweet innocence that I couldn’t help but love it.
The focus is on Yuki Kurihara who has had a crush on her classmate, Shinya Momotsuki – called “Momo” for short – and her affections for the young man may be called extreme in some regards. Yuki does what any high school girl with a crush would do by spying on Momo when he’s around and taking secret pictures of him. She collects anything he happens to drop like cups and straws to treasure as keepsakes when the photos she’s taken of him won’t suffice. While it’s a creepy hobby to be sure, it’s (mostly) innocent. Recycle and reuse, right?
Yuki’s fixation on Momo turns into a confession of love, but despite being called cute by everyone he knows, he admits to being inexperienced with the opposite sex. Momo and Yuki start dating, their antics ranging from Yuki constantly collecting his straws to her boyfriend being too shy to hold her hand. The relationship of the two slowly builds up as they become comfortable with each other and begin to realize there may be something special between the two of them.
The best way to sum up Momokuri in a word is ‘cute’, which I will defend until my last breath. I love kittens just as much as the next person, but this anime exists in its own realm of adorableness. Yuki strongly reminds me of the over-the-top ways a young high school girl will go through to attract the attention of her crush. While her fixation on Momo borders on stalking for the most part, she captures what it’s like to be at that age when a young person has a crush on someone. The near obsession with building up the courage to talk to the object of their affections or blushing when holding hands for the first time, speaks of an innocent love I haven’t seen in awhile.
That’s not to say the series doesn’t have its faults, but these are minor considering the nature of the content. The series delivers exactly what it’s selling – which in my opinion is satisfactory considering a couple of romance anime I’ve seen in my day and this one doesn’t venture too far from the formula. Yuki and Momo are often dashing about getting into trouble or blushing over the latest development in their relationship. In small doses, this kind of interaction between the two can be entertaining. Other times it did leave me wishing there was a bit more grit and depth to their characters to sink my teeth into. There are a few episodes where the story (or lack thereof) meanders along at a maddening pace while in others it’s easy to just sit back and relax.
The relationship between Momo and Yuki is a tad strange too, with tasteful fan service tossed in now and again. There are a few scenes where Yuki might show a little bit of skin, but the innocence of the situation helps to soften the blow while her new boyfriend is blushing in the background. The simple beauty of the love these two little, adorable airheads share though is the switch in gender roles throughout their relationship. Yuki is a ‘go get ‘em!’ personality taking the lead nine times of out ten with Momo along for the ride. Momo on his own is sweet and is teased good-naturedly by his friends for being cute and is too polite most of the time to say no to Yuki’s antics.
The Momokuri: Complete Collection is a feel-good anime series that captures the starry-eyed romance of youth that most can relate to. I love it for delivering a decent number of laughs and keeping its content fresh by switching up the gender roles. While this collection is Japanese audio only with English subtitles, the series never failed to keep my attention the entire time. People who need a nice pick-me-up will find themselves smiling long after the credits roll on this adorable anime couple.