Yoshida leads a solitary life mostly spent working with little time dedicated to personal affairs. As he wanders home after drinking too much, he encounters a teenage girl crouching under a street lamp. Sayu ran away from home and has nowhere to stay, so she asks to spend the night with him. Not being right in the head, he accepts and passes out at home. The next morning is confusing experience with a random high school girl now in his apartment.
Sayu has been staying with random guys since she ran away and has no other plan. She's certainly attractive enough to make that work, but Yoshida doesn't feel that's right and offers to let her stay at his place until she figures things out. It's not clear if the two will keep an appropriate distance and even if they do it'll be hard to explain the situation to others. Which is an increasing issue as his co-workers wonder why he's going home on time every night.
Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway is another take on the 'harboring a high school girl' theme. Initially I thought "Oh, it's this again", but Higehiro has a more mature and thoughtful take on an otherwise kinda trashy concept. Obviously it's based around a temptation theme and the anime pushes that on occasion but they never cross the line if that's a concern. I'm not sure if it was done "right" but it does fair better than I expected and better than most anime/manga that take a stab at the concept.
I can maybe sympathize a little since I'm always tempted to take in cute stray animals myself. But a high school girl? I mean how much is she going to eat? But needless to say it's going to be a stretch no matter what excuse the anime uses for the setup so you'll have to make that much of a concession at a minimum. Many of the beginning episodes (probably over half of the show) are spent with Sayu tempting or pushing at adult activities and Yoshida resisting. I'd like to say there's more of a story than that but over half of the anime is various drama is mostly this along with side issues with Sayu. I guess it's a good thing it sticks with its concept but this kind of content isn't strong enough to carry the show, other than episodes moving you towards the end - where hopefully there will be a payoff.
Character wise I didn't like Sayu much (voice actresses choice aside). I liked the way the show didn't minimalize the way she slept around to survive, however she becomes this per perfect adorable girl after meeting Yoshida. Yoshida is a nice guy to a fault; to the point where this is pointed out as being his flaw but otherwise doesn't have much of a personality either. Two other love interests for Yoshida are exist yet don't affect things much. The only character I liked was Sayu's friend and co-worker at a convenience store job who formed a sincere relationship I thought was well positioned to add to the story (which she kind of did).
The first 2/3rds of Higehiro is wandering content, leaving the viewer wondering what led Sayu to run away or maybe wondering if Yoshida will give in to temptation. Eventually Sayu confronts her situation and returns home. It was an event at school leaving that left her traumatized. I won't say what that was and I could kinda see how that would be impactful on someone's life, however the situation leading up to that totally doesn't make sense - so that aspect was screwed that up too. If this anime did anything right, it was making Sayu's mom seem like a total piece of garbage. So I bought into Sayu running away rather than dealing with her. The end was okay and what I would call "tidy" but lacking much of an impact. To be fair I didn't feel much towards the characters, however for someone more into the anime I think the end would be good.
I don't have strong enough feelings towards any aspect of this anime to give much of a review. It has the titillating style concept then wanders for many episodes and culminates in so-so drama. All of these things could have been done better, but to the credit of Higehiro; it does far better than most anime/manga tackling this topic. Is it good enough to watch? I'd skip it. It's not strong enough to win over those not interested in the topic and even if you are; it's rather meandering. Not bad but not good enough.
Asami: We all have a past of our own. A future. We're living the best we can. You walked the path to get here. You can walk the path back to it.
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