|Not pictured: One knockout chick.|
Tokimeki Memorial: Only Love is a late-2006 anime based on some kind of online version of the Tokimeki Memorial dating sim series. The original Tokimeki Memorial was key in popularizing dating sims in Japan, and became a subject of interest for me around the time this show was airing, which in turn led me to this show--and from there, to more anime in general (largely of the dating sim/visual novel adaptation variety). Before then, the only anime I'd seen were some children's fare (Pokémon), Tenchi Muyo on Toonami back when I was a teenager, and then Cardcaptor Sakura in my early college years (with a side of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle because connections). So this show did, in a fairly notable way, introduce me to anime, and all the various tropes thereof. As such, I figured I'd use this New Year's first Looking Back to acknowledge its pivotal role in my anime career.
This certainly isn't to say this show is particularly good, mind you. Sure, it was entertaining enough for me back then, if only because I had absolutely nothing better to compare it to, at least at first. As the show was right in the middle of its 25-episode run when I found it, I found plenty of better anime before the show finished, at which point watching this show started to become more of a chore. The plot was pretty amusing at first: an ordinary guy transfers into a high school and ends up getting caught up with three girls in various ways, and wins the hearts of them in the process. Of course, now that kind of plot is nothing special.
I'll give it credit: the show isn't exactly bad, either. The drama could get a bit much, especially toward the end, but at the very least, the show does ultimately arrive at a romantic resolution, officially hooking up the guy with one of the girls while the other two confess their feelings and are properly rejected. With so many harem series never arriving at any resolution, that's worth at least something. And there was one nice episode that focused on one of the teachers. It could be pretty funny, too--among other things, there's a chick (as in, a baby chicken) that can completely beat up strong-looking guys. But other than that, it's decidedly average. I gave it a 6.1/10.0 personally to reflect my moderate enjoyment, and a raw score of a C+ (5/10).
This show isn't streaming anywhere legally, and honestly, that's fine; no one's missing much by not seeing this show. It just is what it is: the show that got me into anime.