Another Sunday night. I had another biweekly get-together with my anime buddy today, and along with the usual stuff from this season, he also threw in a few episodes tonight from a much older series called "Sentimental Journey". Based on the dating simulation game titled "Sentimental Graffiti", I've seen the anime title a number of times on my friend's anison database but never got to know the show itself until tonight.
My friend told me it was a unique anime when it came out in 1998 and he was absolutely right. I had never seen anything quite like it before. "Sentimental Journey" was this 12-episode anthology series with this young teenage boy being the mysterious McGuffin of sorts as 12 different young girls met him in various parts of Japan as a potential love interest only for the lad to move away due to his father's work before any romance got started. The show picked up some years later and reflected how the boy's fleeting presence managed to influence the girls' lives in the future. I found "Sentimental Journey" quite fascinating since the tone of each episode varied to a fair extent; the three episodes I saw tonight covered a sudden buddy-buddy road trip, a deep philosophical conversation and even a clever modern Japanese take on "My Fair Lady" with a touch of comedy. Along with the male McGuffin, the other common denominator was the poignancy that imbued each episode. To be honest, I hadn't expected to enjoy it since I'm not particularly into the drama genre anymore, but I ended up doing so. And considering that it was made in 1998, the feeling and the animation itself struck me as being about a decade older which perhaps amped up my impression of poignancy.
The opening theme song by Kaoru Watanabe（渡辺かおる）, "Tenshi ni Aitakute" (Wanting to Meet An Angel), had a similar effect on me. The music by Koji Tajima（田島浩二）seemed to have been made more for a late 80s anime instead of a production in the late 90s. Perhaps it was the mellow optimistic sound behind it but I just kept thinking of Kanako Wada（和田加奈子）although Watanabe's voice is a bit higher. The lyrics were provided by Juzo Mutsuki（六月十三）. "Tenshi ni Aitakute" is a song that I have heard my friend play before on the stereo but I've got even more of an interest in it now that I have seen the actual show.