Clione no Akari is a short (literally nine minutes including a full OP) based on an online novel about two students who befriend a bullied girl. The first episode introduces us to Takashi and Akari, two students who don’t participate in the bullying of the sickly Minori, but aren’t strong enough to prevent it. As the episode ends, the two chat with each other about Minori, but make no definitive decision about whether they should get involved with her or not.
I’m not sure if I’ll continue to watch Clione no Akari. It’s so very amateurish, feeling more like a really good starter project by a group of college kids making a visual novel app than a real anime. But despite all that, there’s something there, something meaningful, something maybe worth tuning in for. Episode one gets something really, really right. Even if the bullying and insults felt over the top (though maybe not…middle school is pretty rough), it takes so much character and strength for many of us to stand up for what’s right when you’re that age, and it’s maybe just as hard to do the same in adult situations when we’re older, when building a relationship means getting into someone else’s messes and making them your own. I’ve been where Kyoko is when she she explains her lack of doing…and that sincerity makes me think that this series might be worth watching.