Time Enforcer Anubis here with a fresh review!
Sometimes, it’s good to revisit the classics and watch an older anime sight-unseen. I’d heard about this one several times before, but only recently had gotten around to watching it.
Video Girl Ai is a 1992 6-episode OVA by Production I.G. that tells the story of Yota Moteuchi, a dateless high school student suffering from an unrequited love for Moemi Hayakawa, a particularly attractive girl who is, unfortunately for Yota, in love with Takashi Niimai, a good friend of his. Broken up over finding out who Moemi has eyes for, but too selfless to go after her himself, he rents a strange video from a strange video store he had never seen before. He plays the tape, and a beautiful girl emerges from the TV screen, promising to cheer him up. She only has one month, however, and Yota’s crappy VCR may have altered her a bit.
The first thing that stands out to me about Video Girl Ai is how identifiable the characters are. Yota is the quintessential “nice guy.” He’s the kind of guy who would support the girl he loves in trying to get with his own best friend, just because he wants to see her happy. Moemi is, of course, oblivious to Yota’s feelings for her and dead set on Takashi, who, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with her. It’s the type of situation no doubt many guys have been in or seen in action, and the series portrays it in a very relatable fashion.
Video Girl Ai strikes a nice balance between romance, comedy, and drama, with several different elements at play throughout the series. Yota’s constantly looking for a way to win over Moemi, except when his VCR acts up and endangers Ai. He sees Moemi and Takashi together and is bummed until Ai cheers him up. While the audience is tossed a curveball toward the end, it all ends up having a well-worded message to it.
The art style is fairly standard for a late 80s/early 90s anime. Animation is good throughout, above-average in places. For this type of anime, however, the visuals aren’t quite as important as the characters or story. While the visuals aren’t absolutely stellar, they’re still pretty good, and compliment the story and characters well.
A short romance comedy anime with themes of “what is love?” at its core, Video Girl Ai takes us on a strange, charming adventure. Fans of romance comedies (With emphasis on the romance) will likely fall in love with Video Girl Ai. I’d especially recommend it to fans of modern RomCom anime who want to try out some older anime.
Give Ai a chance. She might just cheer you up.
‘Till next time!