12 girls, 12 stories, 12 episodes. Sentimental Journey takes you to a journey through many parts of Japan, seeing many ways of life and love through the experiences of these 12 girls.
Sentimental Journey is a series of 12 separate stories, and one of the only things that are similar to each is the presence of “the guy”. This guy, we don’t know his name, nor we see his eyes, and he seldom speaks. We are not even sure if it’s the same guy each episode. We just know that “the guy” is a certain love interest of each girl, and some events or circumstances made him to separate with the girl. The presence of this guy serves as a girl’s memoir of a lost love, and in a way it plays along with the story at hand. If you ask me, it is a revolutionary concept at a time when harem anime is about to go boom.
This is also one of the very first ren’ai simulation games to ever have an anime series. The original game is called Sentimental Grafitti, and its concept is kinda interesting too. So you still have a slew of girls, but from the very start, they are already in love with you! So the object of the bishoujo game is to make one of them happy, and all others sad! Cool! Apparently, Sentimental Journey comes in as a sort of prequel to the game, because we see “the guy” touching each girl’s lives as a memoir. Whew, but when you think about it, how did this ONE guy make 12 moving trips to different locations in Japan, and make a girl in each location fall in love with him? Amazing! He’s like the king of all romance anime!
The visuals may be quite old, but heck it’s so classy in style, it’s oh too appealing. All the girls have beauty, not only in looks, but in voices, featuring seiyuu that I don’t quite recognize (probably because I’m too young for this old anime). Each episode is very appealing on its own. Each one is so interesting, you’d regret the recent anime for losing the quality of old ones like these. And to think that each girl’s story happens in just one episode means that the anime is extremely well-paced. I wished every episode would never end, because I liked each girl and each story. Sentimental Journey is an absolute treasure that sadly didn’t stand the test of time. I don’t think many would remember or even watch an anime this old. I could only hope that you guys could have journeyed through this at least once.
– Akira likes playing violin.
– Akira fell in love with a transfer student.
– Akira played the violin for him.
– The student went away.
– Akira lost her will to play the violin.
– Guy from Austria tries to convince her to play again.
– Eventually, she realizes that she likes playing the violin after all.
– Akira got over the transfer student, so she plays violin again.
– Chie is a band leader.
– She doesn’t like love songs because some guy hurt her once.
– A band member, Ryu, seems to have other plans.
– Chie tries to intervene with his personal life, but it turned into an argument.
– Chie thinks that she is breaking the band apart because of her own selfishness (the no-love song part).
– Chie tried to quit the band and ran her motorcycle away, Ryu chased but they got into a minor accident.
– Afterwards the truth was revealed that Ryu actually just wants to turn pro and couldn’t say it to her.
– At a gig, Chie rewards Ryu by letting the band play a love song.
– An older girl named Kotone met a traveller girl named Yuu on a long train ride.
– Kotone doesn’t believe in pure love (being in a bad relationship), while Yuu believes.
– Kotone follows Yuu in her journey because she wants to know what pure love is.
– Yuu tells her love story, meeting this guy who likes watching meteor showers at a certain far place.
– The guy promised Yuu to see it together again, but he moved somewhere.
– Despite the incoming tropical storm (they may not see the meteor showers due to the clouds), Yuu is still determined to go to the place to see the meteor showers.
– They reached the place, and it continues to rain.
– By extreme coincidence, the eye of the storm was there, just in time for the meteor showers to appear before them.
– The girls parted ways, and Kotone finally felt a bit happy about her life.
– Manami is a sick girl in the hospital.
– Manami thought she was going to die because she overheard her doctor’s conversation.
– Manami tries to write more poems to reach 100 before her time is up.
– Manami hopes her words would reach a guy she likes.
– Manami is slowly losing hope that she can finish the poems.
– Thankfully, the final results of her health say that she is actually a healthy girl. Her parents were just too worried about her to the point that she was taken to the hospital.
– She is okay now, writing for more poems and wanting to be a novelist someday.
– Kaho and Kyoko are friends and are both runners for a school team, and an oncoming championship event is nearby.
– Kaho wanted her grandma to cook them a special okonomiyaki (a Japanese version of a pizza or pancake) if they win a race.
– Kaho likes this certain runner guy, and she would have wanted to hand the baton to him in an actual relay race, but the guy moved away.
– Kaho keeps a baton memento as remembrance of her love and prays over it everyday.
– Kyoko tells Kaho that their family is transferring to a faraway town, so she becomes Kyoko’s coach.
– Kyoko notices that Kaho is not handing the baton particularly well.
– Kaho helps Kyoko pack things for the transfer.
– Outside, Kyoko told Kaho to forget about the guy so that she can concentrate on the relay, and this became a petty fight between the two.
– The next day, Kyoko called up and said sorry, and that they are already leaving by train that morning.
– Kaho and her grandma drove up to the station, carrying a special okonomiyaki.
– Kaho ran to the station, and just in time to hand over baton-style the okonomiyaki to Kyoko aboard a running train.
– Wakana is a priestess in training.
– Wakana is troubled by certain memories, specifically of one guy she liked from way back. She calls them her earthly desires.
– Wakana is also troubled about life and love, in which why people still love and remember people even when knowing that love may end someday.
– She goes to a nearby monk to seek help. The monk explains stuff, predominantly about life, love, and memories.
– The monk says that it all depends on her whether to see these earthly desires as a source of strength or a source of weakness.
– He tells a story about two best friends who loved the same woman, but chose the guy who was more truthful to her. The important thing is to be true to yourself.
– Wakana is finally enlightened, and it is revealed that the monk is actually the losing guy in the story.
– When Rurika was young, she and another boy was cleaning up at school, when she accidentally broke a fossil, and the boy said they should apologize tomorrow.
– Rurika was scared and didn’t go to school for a while, but afterwards she discovered that the boy apologized for the breaking himself, and that the boy moved away afterwards.
– Rurika promises not to lie again.
– Rurika was working at a store in place of her twin brother Masahiro, when suddenly a girl named Kasumi handed her a love letter, which was supposed to be for Masahiro.
– Rurika called up Kasumi, pretending to be Masahiro, for a date, but Masahiro has a real date himself.
– Rurika, dressed as a guy, had gone to the date on the theme park with Kasumi.
– After some time, Kasumi realized the lie, and Rurika apologized. Kasumi forgave her and said that it was like dating a virtual Masahiro.
– Tazaki (a talent manager) and Oki (director of a beauty pageant) has differing opinions about the current teen girls in Japan.
– Tazaki believes that any girl can be a sophisticated lady through proper training, but Oki doesn’t believe so.
– Oki challenged Tazaki into a bet, to turn a certain girl named Asuka into a lady, and join his contest.
– Asuka is pretty hard to train into sophistication, because she is a sort of a modern klutzy Japanese girl, but Tazaki almost succeeded anyway.
– Asuka, however, didn’t show up in the contest.
– Tazaki and Oki met again, saying that Tazaki won the bet, he wonders how, and so Oki told about Asuka.
– Long ago Asuka had promised to see a movie with a boy she liked, but she got sick so she didn’t go, and shortly after the boy moved away.
– Knowing a rerun of the same movie and hearing of a radio message that she thought was from the boy, Asuka had gone to the theater waiting for the boy for a whole day, but he never appeared. What she did that day was lady-like.
– This was why Asuka never showed up in the contest, and so Asuka ‘sophistically’ apologized to Tazaki, and promises to have another try at show business someday.
– Miyuki helps in their family’s kimono shop, she likes kimonos.
– Miyuki visits a certain old man who draws kimono designs, she likes his kimono designs.
– One day Miyuki’s grandfather decided to set up an arranged marriage for her, but later declined because Miyuki was very against it.
– Nevertheless, her mother set it up so she could meet the guy that she was supposed to see for the arranged marriage.
– The guy (Kaoru) was quite a klutz, and also was not ready for those arranged marriage and stuff, but couldn’t tell his parents.
– Miyuki tells Kaoru a story how she got into kimonos.
– She wore one in a kimono event, when a guy classmate saw her and says she’s beautiful in that kimono.
– Miyuki and Kaoru see the old man throwing his kimono designs to the river.
– The old man says that though he still likes drawing designs, he’s falling back into the times (the computer age allows computer-aided designs), and it’s time to let it go.
– Miyuki and Kaoru parted ways, and Kaoru also had the courage to call the arranged marriage off.
– Emiru goes to an old school building about to be demolished, and is trying to find a ramune bottle.
– Emiru has some sort of third eye, and is being chased by illusions from the ghost of the building.
– The ghost of the building apparently wants her body, but she refuses and continually runs.
– She finally found a room with a magic circle, which is very memorable to her, thanks to the ramune bottle which also has a spirit.
– Back when she was young, Emiru is quite weird because of her special abilities.
– Emiru met this transfer student, and they become close friends, playing at that one old school building room.
– The boy draws a the magic circle, and they found a ramune bottle.
– One day, the boy said that he was transferring away, and so he left a message in a bottle using the ramune as a time capsule.
– Back to the present, where Emiru is being lured by the building’s ghost again, and the ramune’s spirit can’t help and communicate with her.
– The building’s ghost wants her body so that it will live on even after the demolition, but Emiru said that the building will still live on through their memories.
– The building’s ghost was touched and didn’t haunt Emiru anymore.
– Emiru decided not to open the ramune bottle yet.
– It’s school festival time.
– Taeko likes shoujo manga.
– Chigusa likes Tetsuro, who is Taeko’s close friend.
– Taeko tries to bridge Chigusa to Tetsuro by teaching few things through shoujo manga.
– Taeko learns from her mother that Tetsuro is actually moving away.
– Taeko convinces Chigusa to knit a sweater for Tetsuro and confess before it’s too late.
– Taeko remembers her experience with a guy she liked, where she wasn’t able to confess her feelings before he moved away.
– Chigusa misinterprets Taeko’s closeness to Tetsuro, thinking that he likes Taeko.
– Taeko believed it for a while.
– At the day of the transfer, we discover that it is all a misunderstanding.
– Tetsuro actually likes Chigusa, and that he is actually just moving elsewhere nearby, and not transferring school either.
– All is well for Tetsuro and Chigusa, and Taeko wonders if spring will come for her…
– Honoka is afraid of boys and love relationships, but has a father-complex.
– She always has dates with her own father, and writes him letters everyday, still having to place it in a postbox.
– A postman always watches her drop the letter into the box.
– One day, Honoka’s friend finds one of those letters, tries to talk to Honoka that this is unnatural, and she must overcome her fear towards boys.
– Honoka stopped dropping letters into the postbox, and then the postman offered to play imaginary boyfriend for her.
– Honoka actually liked a certain boy from way back, but he had since transferred away. She asks herself if that boy is special to her.
– Honoka overhears a rumor about her father having a relationship with his assistant.
– It was a misunderstanding, because Honoka’s father just asked for advice on how to handle her as a daughter growing up.
– Honoka also had a talk with her friend, and she finally agrees about being open to boys and relationships.
– By that time, she stops writing her father letters, and rejected the offer of the postman. She will then try to write letters to the one she liked in the past.