Several months ago a friend of mine handed me a copy of a manga, she asked me to look it over and tell her what I thought about it. The manga turned out to be Naisho no Tsubomi, and I told her that this was definitely a shojo manga geared towards preteen girls. Almost anything goes in manga, but this was different, aside from some over dramatised boy/girl school crushes, I felt that this manga was almost a preteen girls guide to puberty issues, more serious than how typical shojo manga handle this subject. So, when I saw the OAVs were out, I decided to blog the first episode, just because it’s so different from typical anime.
This anime is an adaptation of a manga of the same name, created by Yu Yabuuchi, the manga is currently at 3 volumes. The manga is basically a look at how young Japanese girls deal with the issues of puberty, boys, and so forth. The plot basically is centered around Tsubomi, a fifth grade Japanese girl and her friends.
This episode begins with Tsubomi’s mother telling her that she’s two months pregnant, and to please keep it secret for now, this happens on Tsubomi’s first day of fifth grade. On the first day of classes Tsubomi is reunited with two girlfriends from last year, Yaechi and Reappi, and a boy that Yaechi and Reappi both think that Tsubomi has a crush on, because she always looks away or blushes when she sees him, and his name is Nemoto.
After school, Tsubomi tells her friends about her mother’s pregnancy, and Reappi says not to talk about it because that means her mother and father committed perverted acts together. Reappi speaks too loudly and some pregnancy and perverted acts are the talk of the school, Tsubomi is confused, thinking her parents are perverted? Tsubomi is hanging around after school when a new girl (Saya) sees her, and Tsubomi tells her the problem, and they have a little talk, Saya seems more mature than Tsubomi and her talk cheers her up.
The next day at school, the girls get ready for health check day, but Tsubomi still has questions about “hentai” stuff, she asks Reappi about it and all she can tell her is that boys and girls hug and caress naked on the bed, Yaechi also tells Tsubomi that her parents often kiss in front of her. Tsubomi and Saya again talk about those things alone, it seems she’s the only one that doesn’t turn it into a big drama. Later, Tsubomi is starting to have female issues and she’s afraid to ask her mother because she’s afraid to worry her mother in her current condition. The next day in class, Tsubomi is getting bothered by some of the boys for her excess bathroom use, then Nemoto and some more mature boys help her out, later Tsubomi wonders why her heart is beating so fast.
That night, Tsubomi’s mother is not feeling very well and she has to go to the hospital, and her mother must stay in the hospital for a while because the risk of a miscarriage is high. Tsubomi does her best to take care of the house by herself, but her ongoing female problem really begin to bother her, but she has no one to talk to about it.
later that night Tsubomi gets a mysterious phone call from Saya asking for help, Tsubomi rushes to help her. She finds Saya in the river struggling to hold on, she ends up having to go into the water to save her, but In the end she realizes that it was just a dream. It ends up that she just had he first period, so she rushes out of the house to go visit her mother, but runs into Nemoto who gives her a small present.
When Tsubomi finally gets to the hospital and tells her what happened, her mother is at first surprised that it happened so early, but then congratulates her. They have a mother daughter talk about female issues, and her mother tells her to feel free to ask her anything. Later at school, Tsubomi runs into Nemoto then Saya, it seems that Saya and Tsubomi had a similar dream. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, this OAV is definitely diffrent from your typical shojo preteen anime, this anime takes a serious look at how a young girl deals with and learns about puberty issues. Some of the topics covered here are, a girl’s first period, first feelings for the opposite sex, a possible girl-girl crush, first thinking about your parents having sex, and a young girls ideas of what sex is versus the reality.
If your a preteen girl or young teen girl you might find this anime interesting and maybe even educational. Back when I was in school, over twenty years ago, boys and girls had separate health/sex education classes, and as a guy watching this anime I almost feel like I’m a 12-13 year boy who’s has snuck into the girls only health classes. Like I said earlier this is the only episode of this series I’ll cover just because it’s so different.