Brighter Than the Dawning Blue currently runs LEGALLY for FREE on The Anime Network and on Hulu+ with a paid subscription. The 2006 anime is also sold under the title Yoake Mae yori Ruriiro na.
Brighter Than The Dawning Blue was originally a Hentai Visual Novel, where you would have played as Tatsuya, and had sex with all of the girls before finally deciding your path. This was later turned into a much cleaner PlayStation 2 game in Japan, an even cleaner manga and then finally, a romantic anime with clear and straightforward direction.
This is a very romantic anime with a subtle anti-racism message underneath, and just the right amount of slapstick comedy and action where needed.
The story starts us off with a little backstory. Somewhere in the future, we go to war with the people of the Moon, and we nearly blow up both sides in the process. The Moon wants peace, but doesn't know how to go about it. Earth is pig-headed. There. I said it.
Fast forward a number of years and we find Tatsuya, the middle child and only son of a trio of adopted siblings. His father spends most of his time in deep space, leaving Tatsuya in the care of Sayaka, a distant cousin who acts as a surrogate older sister/mother. He also lives with his adopted little sister Mai, who has no blood relation to the family and plays the flute.
One day, Tatsuya returns home from work to find Sayaka has developed a home-stay inside his house and rented out a room for the princess of the Moon, Princess Feena Fam Earthlight (one hell of a name) with whom Tatsuya instantly falls in love with. He doesn't remember it yet, but he was actually the childhood friend of Feena, and helped her cope with the sudden loss of her mother, just before racial tensions arose again between Earthlings and people from the Moon.
Over the course of the 12 episode series, Tatsuya and Feena fall in love, while trying to sort through the daily problems of high school, the government, the Moon's military, Feena's psychotic fiancee and the usual long line of pretty girls usually saved for the average "Harem" type anime, with great slapstick comedy involving Jin, the perverted older brother of Tatsuya's childhood classmate Natsuki.
The last episode is the most enjoyable. Unlike the visual novel, Tatsuya is faithful to Feena, and their emotions come to a head in the final episode, which sees a showdown with Feena's now ex-fiancee and with her father, as the whole cast learns that the Earth and the Moon's people... are actually the same. And just when all seems lost, a miracle happens, which leads to a sugary sweet and very satisfying ending.
The passion between Tatsuya and Feena is so thick, by episode six you can cut it with a knife. These two have to face so much together, and whether the storm of a very nosey cast, but the way their emotions are drawn and animated for the screen is perfect. You can practically hear what the other is thinking when there is no audio going on, and it's really no wonder this started off as a Hentai.
The war segments are your typical military-anime writing, complete with government characters that are so hard-headed, you just want to rip your hair out. But if you can sit through these scenes long enough, it'll be all the more enjoyable once the final episode plays, and again, an anti-racism sentiment ends up saving the day and renewing these characters.
Brighter Than the Dawning Blue is very short, so it doesn't have a lot of time to provide you with much action. But it's a sweet love story with a fairy-tale ending that's sure to please.
Codename Sailor earth
Codename Sailor Earth is a lifelong anime and wrestling fan. IRL she is cartoonist Koriander Bullard, formerly Koriander Ake, a happily married Chicagoan. Her favorite anime is Sailor Moon. A baby in the late 80's, the first anime titles she ever saw were Speed Racer, Voltron and Robotech.