Fumikiri Jikan started off fantastically. As I described in my first impressions, we had an episode filled with laughs, tension and romance. But the following 11 episodes, each about 3 minutes long, were a roller coaster of disappointment and mundanity. The premise of each story is simple, two people (strangers, friends or lovers) wait at a crossroads. The episodes gives us a small insight into their lives and relationships, before they cross the road and disappear forever. When the first episode ended I was hungry for more, I had almost felt like two friends had left me behind at the crossroads. But with a majority of the other episodes, I was glad to see them off.
A lot of my frustration around the episodes revolve around how over the top they were. The first episode had a nice balance between laughs and bitter-sweet youth, but every other episode that followed was in your face. For example, the second episode and episode 11 featured a high school boy and girl. The boy spends the entire 3 minutes mentally screaming about how sexy the girl is. The episode feels awfully voyeuristic as the boy focuses on different parts of the girl’s body and imagines her in compromising situations. The punchline just seems to be the voice actor yelling the word ‘ero’ (sexy) over and over again. Actually, most episodes involved the voice actors yelling at the top of their lungs making even enjoyable episodes like the goth who sprained her back hard to sit through.
Another two episodes (4&8) focused two siblings who simply communicated via text and seemed to borderline flirt with one another. Which, let’s not even get into. Perhaps the most disappointing dual episode was episodes 9 and 10, which began with a man reminiscing at the cross-roads about his high school love. He then sees a girl who looks like his first love and finds out she is the daughter of said love. The episode ends with the girl hinting at a relationship with the old man and he, for a moment considers it before wondering if it was really possible. The dude was like 50. I had a to take a break and compose myself. The two episodes started out with sweet first love and nostalgia and then fell into creepy old man territory.
I’m harsh on this series because I’m so disappointed by it. I know it’s based on a manga of the same name, so perhaps the animators didn’t have much leeway on changing the stories. But why not extend some? Why not focus completely on the first couple, extending their romance over the very short 12 episodes? Or heck even 6 episodes on them and 6 episodes on goth girl (perhaps not screaming as much) or the teacher trying to be friendly to his students. The 12 episodes had some gems, but you really had to dig through a lot of muck and dirt to get to them. A rather woeful 5/10