REC is the first anime I know that is set in the world of seiyuus. I've been looking forward to it. The first episode was enjoyable and surprising. Enjoyable for the story, the characters and the young seiyuu who plays the lead; surprising for its short length (12 minutes), and for the fact that the guy and girl were in bed together within a few hours of meeting.
The story is fairly captivating, and they did a lot in 11 minutes: a 26-year-old blah-looking salaryman is waiting outside a cinema and feels he has been stood up by his date. He is about to throw his tickets away when a girl (she's 20) tells him not to waste them, so he ends up giving her one and going in to see the film, which is Roman Holiday, the old film starring Audrey Hepburn.
She sits next to him speaking all the lines from the subtitles. When he asks her about it afterwards, she says she was trying to sound like Audrey Hepburn. It turns out she is a "seiyuu egg" -- a young voice actress in training. They go out for beer and kebabs (yakitori) afterwards, then walk home. It turns out she lives near him. They part without romantic undertones.
Later he hears sirens and goes out to find that an apartment building is on fire. She is sitting dazed on a swing in the nearby playground, clutching her pillow, which is all she saved. He invites her to stay with him, and she agrees. He directs her to the bed, while he will take the floor. But in the course of finally introducing themselves formally, they end up in each other's arms, lying on the bed. Fade to black. In the morning she is gone, but the preview shows him going to find her at the studio where she works.
The seiyuu for the heroine, Aka, does a nice job. The role is not easy, and kind of like a school exercise, since she is always pretending to be different characters, practicing constantly. It reminds me a bit of the role of Maya in Glass Mask. The seiyuu is a newcomer called Sakai Kanako 酒井香奈子. The only other anime role she's done is one of the sisters (Chiaki) in Magikano. She was born 1986.11.11, so she's 19. She already has a good home page. She has done one game (Ar Tonelico) and has done some radio. More info (in Japanese) on ja.wiki.
The director, Nakamura Ryutaro 中村隆太郎, has a striking resume: he directed Serial Experiments Lain, Kino no Tabi, and Sakura Wars. The animation director/character designer, Morioka Hideyuki 守岡英行, did key animation on Neon Genesis Evangelion, character design on Sakura Wars and Ultimate Girls, and was animation director for Sakura Wars. Animation by Shaft.
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Broadcast on TBS Thursday nights at 25:55 starting 2 February, and a week later at 25:00 on satellite BS-i.