Utakoi — First Impression

A liberal adaption of the Hyakuin Isshi. I had no idea what to expect from this, but it seems that it’s going to be a bunch of short love stories based on court life at the time the poems were written.

So far, I like it, particularly how it gives us a glimpse back in time at a period of history. Now, I have no idea how historically accurate this is. I assume the love stories are mostly fictional, although it appears that the characters are loosely based on real people who authored the poems. But the cultural norms, the politics and the clothing all seem to have an air of legitimacy about them. It’s certainly more informative than any Twelve Kingdoms or Oda Nobunaga adaptation, with the possible exception of Hyouge Mono.

The stories themselves were interesting, especially in the first episode how we had the two brothers showing the two different sides of courtly love. I’m curious to see whether the rest of the stories will be tied together with the same characters as well. If they are, that’ll make it more watchable for me. I tend to tire quickly of shows with completely independent episodes.


Some of the show’s poetic analysis is… lacking, to say the least. But overall I’m impressed and I’ll keep watching. This season seems to be shaping out much better than I thought it would.

4 thoughts on “Utakoi — First Impression

  1. Heian era fascinates me so I’ll watch it in any case. Just imagine there was a period of time when people (admittedly only very few court people) spent their days corresponding in poems written on carefully chosen paper, arranging 12-layered kimono or taking a trip to the countryside in order to listen to the sound of the first snow falling down. I wonder if mankind has ever again reached such levels of refined taste (maybe in Sengoku Era – you are right about Hyouge Mono!). And at the same time, the Western world had just burnt down the Roman empire and basically reverted to stone age!

    Unfortunately, it is not easy to dig out the poetic core under the subpar production. I hope this improves over time.

    1. Ahaha, yep, it’s a fascinating period with a very refined court life. Seems like an interesting lifestyle, although I don’t think I have the patience to enjoy trips to watch the snow falling down. The production isn’t great though, you’re right about that.

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