Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou is based on the manga of the same title, written by Ruri Miyahara. It began airing during April of 2014 and was given a 1 cour run of 13 episodes.
The series follows Usa Kazunari who moves into the Kawai complex at the beginning of the series. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou features bits of his life in the living complex that he moved into and his everyday interactions with the tenants of the place. While every episode focuses on a different experience that Usa Kazunari has living with these tenants, the main story line of Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou focuses on his attraction towards his senpai, Ritsu Kawai who not only attends the same school as Usa, but also lives in the same housing complex as him.
The series does many things well without overreaching. The most obvious positive is the art used in Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou. The choice of color sets the tone quite well for the series. Being a romantic anime, the palette choice consisting of brighter colors and higher contrast really ups the pleasant atmosphere of the series. Many of the scenes that involve Usa admiring Ritsu also feature increased brightness which represents Usa’s attraction to Ritsu quite well. The way that the art adapts to the situations in the series effectively sets the tone, creating a more believable story. Aside from this, every character of the anime is designed in such a way that makes them distinct from one another while also fitting their traits. Each character’s overall look from hair color to hair style to outfit are all appropriate for their background and character allowing for effective characterization.
The characters themselves are developed well. While it is clear that Usa and Ritsu are meant to be the stars of the Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, the supporting characters all get a large amount of screen time. Beyond the screen time, each character has sufficient background and traits to bring them to the forefront despite their secondary role. It is also these secondary characters that make the series less slice of life in a sense. While the relationship that develops between Usa and Ritsu feels natural, much of the humor of the series comes from its supporting cast who are all quirky in their own way.
Despite the supporting cast being quite eccentric, the story is filled with lightness and realism. The main plot of the series that follows Usa’s life is easy to relate to. Much of his focus as a character is towards school, part time work, and Ritsu Kawai. His infatuation and attraction towards Ritsu is also rooted in realism making their entire relationship organic rather than feeling forced. On many occasions, Usa goes out of his way to spend time with her or try to make her happy. His efforts however are never really over the top and instead emphasize the small things that really matter. On Ritsu’s side, we also see how her interest and love for reading keeps her from noticing what is going on around her. What is nice about her side of the story is that we see her slowly noticing Usa’s efforts. Rather than jumping the gun, her attraction to him grows over time. While this attraction grows however, we see that her characterization is not lost. The traits that truly define Ritsu Kawai remain intact and are in fact integrated into their love story. The development of their relationship doesn’t feel odd in terms of pacing. Throughout the series, we’re treated to scenes that clearly show the two growing closer. All the while, we see that the two stay true to their character.
In relation to the romance between the two mains, we see the emphasis on literature and Ritsu’s love for reading. It’s refreshing to see a different approach to a love story used in anime. This love and interest for literature serves as the bridge between the two. As Usa begins to grow interested in reading, Ritsu’s interest in him also grows. We see them form a deeper connection through literature which eventually becomes a shared interest between the two.
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou is one of those less talked about series that is actually quite great. The anime has a nice amount of characterization allowing all its characters to shine. The normalcy of Usa’s attraction and interaction with Ritsu sprinkled with the eccentricity of the other tenants Despite the quirky characters, the series still has a sense of realism that makes it quite relatable. The series is easily a hidden gem among romance anime in the last few years.