The new trend in softcore...It ain't so soft anymore...
PRE-CAUTIONARY NOTE: Do not read the back cover of this title if you don't want your ending spoiled. NuTech just can't seem to help but pepper their titles with spoilers. I wish they'd stop doing this, especially for h-titles that have decent plotlines. On with the opinion.
Anyone who has ever appreciated bishoujo games might find themselves amused with Class Reunion Again. It basically has two paths, the first episode centering on Mizuho's story and the second being Ayu's. Let me just tackle the differences.
Mizuho is probably the prettiest girl in Class Reunion Again—so pretty, in fact, that I enjoyed taking screenshots from her episode. Unfortunately, I find Mizuho sorely lacking in fashion sense and boring to boot. She is very problematic about her mom's health, but she goes about it in an absolutely elementary school method. I can't understand why she can't confide in her best friend. I don't understand the need for a best friend in this chapter at all, if all that girl's ever going to be good for is playing the token extra. Furthermore, I find it hard to accept that Mizuho should be in her twenties, when she makes mountains out of molehills like a junior high student would. She's not without her merits, of course. I liked her honesty. Near the end of her story, I was even thoroughly convinced that she and her man belong together.
Ayu, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of Mizuho. She is energetic, a tad crazy sometimes, but she can't seem to be honest about her feelings. Needless to say, I think Ayu's story is a lot of fun. She has a love triangle. Love triangles are fun! Plus there are tons of engaging activities in this episode—like the rice cake pounding, the amusement parks, and the childish bantering among the Class Reunion Again gang—that completely makes it a whole notch better than the dreary Mizuho Arc. Ayu acts like a high school co-ed most of the time, but she does it in such a way that would really make one feel for her. This installment has more focus, and there are hardly any characters that didn't have a small role in improving its development. Incidentally, although Ayu's story isn't as bleak as Mizuho's, it was the chapter that actually made me teary-eyed. Yeah, the turn of events are as common as most bishoujo games go, but it was nice to see one depicted in animation. The ending is also quite satisfying. I'll leave it for the viewer to find out why.
There is one thing that the two volumes have in common: Tatsuya. Yes, there is only one male lead in both tales. Nonetheless, let me theorize a bit before you make passing judgments on the man. Volume 1 and volume 2 could be taken chronologically, with Tatsuya going after Ayu after he gets over Mizuho. However, these two paths could also be taken separately, with volume 2 being on an alternate route from volume 1. This seems more plausible, seeing that Tatsuya's and the rest of the gang's behaviors in both routes are inconsistent. I also prefer to believe that Tatsuya, who is cute and very pleasant, is not a jerk.
The love scenes are sweet and gentle, with Ayu's being a bit more experimental, lengthy and game. There's nothing disgusting to see here. In fact, lovemaking in Class Reunion Again is the very epitome of romance. Despite the respect that was given these scenes, I was surprised to find that they didn't scrimp on the details. (And equally surprised that it was licensed by the usually hardcore NuTech!) Being that the artwork is above average, you can also expect that the anatomies—extremely important in a hentai feature—to be nicely done. I think this is the new definition of softcore animated porn, something that has explicit but not offensive sex scenes.
Class Reunion Again isn't exactly perfect, though. I have a few gripes about the English voice dubbing. One is that some of the voices were muffled during the Mizuho Arc. Good thing the Ayu Arc also had the same introductory scenes, which was why I finally understood what the green-haired Chun Li look-alike was saying. Another is Mamoru's voice. He is 1/3rd of the 2nd volume's love polygon, but he sounds like he's about to burst into fits of coughing. Other than that, I think the voice actors did an okay job.
I had almost given Class Reunion Again a 7, but Ayu's path made me change my mind. I just hope that they could also give the spotlight to the other members of the gang, as they seem to have interesting accounts to tell as well. I surely hope they'd make future episodes for this.