Suzuka: The Complete Series S.A.V.E.
DVD | Box Set
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Yamato just transferred to a big city high school, where the slacker finds himself smitten with track star Suzuka – but she’s totally out of his league. She’s pretty, popular, and she’s got something to prove. When Yamato joins the track team to impress the steely beauty, he sees that running the race isn’t enough. He’ll have to go the distance if he wants to break through to Suzuka’s guarded heart.
Episode 19 actor commentary with Brina Palencia, Caitlin Glass and Rob McCollum
Textless opening song - Startline
Textless ending songs - Aoi Field, Kiminokoto
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The animation is beautiful, and very old in its style - hand-painted. The extras include trailers for Ouran High School Host Club, if that gives you an idea of its age (2005 was its release year). It is 26 episodes long, run-time of 610 minutes, English and Japanese dubs, along with subtitles.
I felt, upon finishing the show, like the ending was quite sad in its own way. The sequel, Fuuka, is much the same. I personally think this author is very bittersweet, and that is very unnerving to me. I loved this anime, but I will be avoiding other works from this author.
Theres a tear jerker scene in here involving a carnival date and the night after that, where the english dub even made me want to grab some tissues and feel all choked up inside.
Maybe I'm just a little girl trapped in a 23 year old man's body but I love the impact this anime tries to make.
Story: The story in this anime is more or less based upon a love triangle scenario. Yamato Akitsuki is just starting high school in Tokyo, when he falls in love with Suzuka. Suzuka is a track star, as well as Yamato's next door neighbor. Meanwhile, a young girl named Honoka Sakurai has been in love with Yamato since she was very young, and now she wants to make her move. The story is well paced, and is purely character driven. The complex emotions of the characters were well portrayed, as was the subtle character development that occurred as the series progressed. Suzuka herself pissed me off sometimes, but other than that everything was expertly done.
Dub: The dub for this anime was fantastic. Funimation is my favorite dubbing company for a reason. Todd Habercorn and Leah Clark were great as Yamato and Suzuka respectively, and Brina Palencia (who is one of my favorite voice actresses) was perfect as Honoka. The side characters were also great. No complaints at all with the dub (except maybe the dubbing of the opening and ending songs, but that doesn't really matter).
Animation: The animation is one area where Suzuka was fairly weak. To be fair, this anime was from 2005, so you can't expect something too eye catching. Also, since this is primarily a romance, the animation doesn't need to be amazing. That being said, I felt it could have been done better at multiple points. I will say that some of the backgrounds look great, but other than that, the animation was completely average. Either way, this doesn't make or break the show.
Music: The music was pretty good. I will say that the op and ed songs were bad, and I didn't like the music played during the comedy scenes. However, this is balanced out by the fantastic music during the drama scenes. It tends to be very soft music, and it is perfect for the show. In particular, I have to mention the piano tack Tooi Hi no Kizuato for being not only the best track in Suzuka's OST, but for being one of the highlights of the anime.
Overall: I really enjoyed Suzuka, and I think it's certainly worth picking up for any hardcore anime fan. I would give Suzuka an 8.5 out of 10.
This is one of the best romance animes I've seen. It's a very touching and emotionally heavy story. There are lots of great characters and plot twists. The thing that makes this anime great for me is the character development. You really get a great understanding of th characters and why they think the way do. There is nothing about this anime that isn't fantastic. I think anyone can get a lot of enjoyment out of it. It's a great buy.