When this begins, many are inclined to believe that this will be one of the sexploitation cartoons that much of anime is known for. And then when it begins with a girl coming out of a video, many think this will be cheesy with an oversimplified plot. By the end of the 1st episode, this romantic comedy shows the viewer they are in for something more. The first episode ends with Ai Amano, the video girl of the title, telling her "client", the broken-hearted Yota Moteuchi, that despite his recent heartbreak from a girl he likes, that she would be right there for him. It is a tear-jerking ending.
Like many anime titles, the series has beautiful animation, full of little things (like flickering lamp posts and passing subway cars in the background) that do not need to be added, but enhance the cartoon, showing the viewer that the creators care about the work.
As the story continues, Yota begins to fall out of love with the girl he likes at the beginning of the cartoon (Moemi is her name) and he begins to fall in love with the video girl Ai Amano. And do you know what? The viewer falls in love with her too. She is a feminine tomboy with such a sweet heart and an optimistic attitude that is infectious. In the episode where Yota and Ai have their first date, it exemplifies that subtle sweetness that many romantic comedies can learn from. It is quite apparent after this episode that that two are in love, but it does not outwardly say it.
The characters never come out to look one-dimensional. The girl Yota likes, Moemi, likes Yota's best friend, Takashi. But even though Takashi is the hunk of the school, he is not displayed as the typical jerk that most movies would play this person in this role to be. He has a heart and defends his friend Yota the whole time. All the characters are shown realitically, and with the exception to the antagonist, there is not an unlikeable character in the series.
There is a warm feeling when Ai finally admits her love to Yota, and he confesses that he shares her sentiments. The only real flaw is that the ending does not end like many would like. The author of the manga, Masakazu Katsura, had a very different ending for the book series that is more to the liking of fans of "Video Girl Ai" because Ai becomes human (like Pinnochio) and she and Yota end up as a couple together. The manga is a lot longer than the series so it is a lot more complex and the characters have a lot more depth, but the anime still does a fine job. The ending of this series may be too existential and symbollic for most people, and it does leave some unsatisfied, but it does not hinder the overall series from being something very special.moreless