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I am inadequate
I hate to admit how taken I was of this anime. It's mushy, and fanservice-y, the plot didn't progress particularly quickly, but the characterization sucked me right in. I have seen Ah! Megami-sama, and the parallels were obvious. However, rather than wanting to slap most of the principal characters for their obliviousness, I had a much easier time letting Ai Yori Aoshi suspend my disbelief. You have to make a bit of allowance for the basic premise, but being a Westerner I was easily able to ignorantly chalk most of that up to "traditional Japanese culture".

The final episode, especially, tore me up. The fact that the finger of blame also pointed squarely out of the screen and at the viewer made it all the more emotional. The climactic change in point-of-view was then magnified by the hero's show of backbone that made me realize that not only was I insensitive, but weak, too. I never once thought of the other perspective on the situation, and at that point, were I the hero, I would have broken down and begged forgiveness, pleading ignorance. Wow. I spent the rest of the weekend feeling miserable and lonely.

Now I hear that to get the FULL ending, you have to read the manga. Grr...
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