I love the To Heart anime. I love that anime so much, that I really wished nothing will get wrong about the new series which is called To Heart ~Remember my Memories~.
Alas, I was wrong.
Being an anime-only fan of To Heart, I can already expect that I may not deserve to say bad things about To Heart ~Remember my Memories~ (hereby named as To Heart R for clarity), clearly because I haven’t even played the entire game nor understood it fully. For the bishoujo game players, To Heart R is a big treat. They get to see the new stories that happen after the original game. To Heart R is not a direct sequel of To Heart, and because of this, I am trying hard to separate them.
Technically, it’s an absolute shame. The art and animation levels are more of a stock market from the first 2/3 of this series. Sometimes good, sometimes horrible. I know that the producers of this anime are trying to make an accurate art rendition of To Heart using the original game’s character designs, and that’s fine with me. However, the massive and radical differences of the designs between each episode really make me sick. The same character in ep. 1 may not ever look the same in other episodes. Thankfully, the latter part of the series have gotten it right, which makes you wonder why they didn’t do it that way from the first time through. Yup, even before Mahou Sensei Negima, anime like To Heart R is already suffering from varying sakuga levels.
The story is, for me, something up for debate. On one hand, it was nice that they had a full forward story approach, as opposed to the filler-ish nature of the first series. On the other hand, one can argue that the series has been too focused on Multi. Multi’s plotlines run deep through every single episode of To Heart R, in that you may think they are really leaving Akari behind, despite her being the main girl. For fans of the iconic HMX-12 robot, To Heart R is a dream come true. For non-fans of Multi, To Heart R became too unfair to the other characters.
The biggest complaint I had with To Heart R is of one character itself, and that’s Hiroyuki. This is really the biggest disappointment that made me want to ask if his attitude is really that way in the original game. To Heart R’s Hiroyuki is the most insensitive, indecisive, and inconsistent bishoujo male lead I’ve ever seen. It’s an extreme reverse to To Heart’s Hiroyuki, the bored but kind male lead. There is a reason for the girls to love Hiroyuki of the original To Heart, because he is really kind and helpful to all of them. To Heart R’s Hiroyuki, yea sure he’s kind too, but I really can’t see it that way. For one, his “cruelty level” to a person is proportional to how close the person is to him. It means that he is somewhat mean to Masashi and Shiho, and to the worst extent, he is really mean to Akari. He is also hot-headed, and shouts a lot, especially when things don’t go his way. He is impolite to the elders he talks to throughout this series.
I really wonder how the To Heart R Hiroyuki made 3 girls in love with him. Yes folks, 3 people confessed to him in this series, as opposed to 0 in the first. And I really hate how he handled their broken hearts. We all know Akari is the main girl, and Hiroyuki is destined to be with Akari. But those 2 other poor girls got the no answer while Hiroyuki is still confused about his priorities, and Akari is being jealous. Therefore, the 2 busted girls didn’t have the chance to to make themselves worthy of Hiroyuki’s affection at all.
I want to say something good this time about To Heart R. Well, the OP and ED are really good. The OP reminds me of classic bishoujo game music, while the ED is a new rendition of a popular To Heart song. There are also multiple cameos of characters from the new bishoujo game To Heart 2, which I liked very much. The voice cast is almost the same as the first series, which is one of the best ingredient of this anime. Back in 1999, many of those seiyuu are already relatively popular. In 2004, the same seiyuu cast made To Heart R one of the most spectacular lineup of voice talents in recent history. I never thought I could see Yui Horie and Ayako Kawasumi together in an anime again.
I really want to say many more things about To Heart R, but you may be bored about this absolutely biased rant. Sorry that I am biased towards the original To Heart anime, but that’s my true and honest opinion. To Heart R is actually an ok anime, but because of so many reasons, I can’t find myself to liking it.