Since it is the first day of fall today, I believe it is time to do a time warp to talk about one of the hidden jewels of the Summer 2012 season: Uta Koi.
Uta koi is a super liberal interpretation about the love poems from the Hyakunin Isshu. The Hyakunin Isshu is an anthology complied by Fujiwara no Teika during the Kamakura period. The Hyakunin Isshu features a hundred poems by a hundred famous poets from the Nara Period to the early Kamakura Period. In Uta Koi, each episode talks about a different poem and and the story behind the poem and the poet who wrote it.
People might be already familiar with the Hyakunin Isshu from the anime Chihayafuru. In fact, the first episode of Uta Koi includes Chihaya’s best poem.
Anyway, Uta Koi is good anime with awesome and lovely stories that ranged from absolutely hilarious to absolutely heart-wrenching. Some of the later episodes brought me to tears with how depressing they are. As you watch the episode, you began to get attached to the characters and hope that they and the one they love the most will get together. But if you know the history of the poet, then you would probably know that their story will only end sadly. These poets were part of the Heian aristocracy where the women were basically confined to their estates and palaces. This also included the female poets who are in the Hyakunin Isshu like Murasaki Shikibu who wrote the Tale of Genji. The men and women in this anime, because they are a part of the aristocracy, had to follow strict rules and traditions and thus many of their love affairs were doomed from the start.
Despite the sadness I felt while watching it, the romance and the comedy parts of the anime were really enjoyable and sometimes erased the sadness I felt from the ending of a previous story.
Many people have overlooked this series because of its premise or may have not even known it even aired. If you are in these groups, I highly recommend it. I mean, it has poems, love stories, tsundere emperors, and great characters. What’s more there to like? Also the opening and ending songs are pretty awesome.
I give this series a 4.5 out of 5.