Plot Summary:At first, Takayuki Narumi is befriended by Mitsuki Hayase only because Mitsuki's best friend, Haruka Suzumiya has a crush on him; however since then, Takayuki, his pal Shinji Taira, and Mitsuki have grown to be the best of friends. Then one day, Haruka confesses to Takayuki her love for him. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, Takayuki agrees to go out with her. After a few incidents, their relationship gets intimate, even while Takayuki and Mitsuki begin to realize their feelings for each other. But suddenly, when tragedy strikes, things are never the same for these four friends again. - ANN
Rumbling Hearts wasn't something I actively sought out because it was something I had wanted to see. I think though I saw a trailer on some other Funimation title and decided to give it a shot. At only three discs it I figured if I didn't like it at least I wouldn't waste too much of my life on it.
To be honest, I can't say I hated this anime, but on the other hand it isn't something I'll watch again, and I definitely wouldn't spend money to own it.
The summary isn't entirely accurate. Mitsuki starts to become jealous after Haruka and Takayuki start dating, but I don't think Takayuki really realized it. So, one evening he and Haruka were to go out on a date when Takayuki runs into Mitsuki on the way. They exchange some brief small talk while at a small jewelry stand, and she pesters him into buying her something. But, she takes her time deciding what she wants, ultimately causing Takayuki to be late in meeting Haruka. When he finally makes it to their meeting place, there's been an awful accident: a car goes out of control and careens onto the sidewalk where Haruka is waiting. Takayuki is horrified to find out that the blood on the ground and the pink ribbon are Haruka's. Now, my first thought after seeing the trailer was that Haruka dies, but actually she ends up in a coma for three long years. Takayuki goes into a severe depression (the kind where you want to say "dude, you could at least shave once in a while" ^^) and Mitsuki takes it upon herself to take care of him. And so they start a relationship of their own. I should mention that Mitsuki's jealousy isn't active, in other words, she never tried to break up Takayuki and Haruka or cause any problems, so she ends up blaming herself for the accident. The two are happy for a while, but then Haruka wakes up, sending their relationship in a downward spiral.
Personally, there was more than one instance in this anime where I felt I needed a nap. That's because of the pacing. Once Takayuki and Mitsuki start having problems the story goes back and forth between the two having to question whether they really love each other. He starts to gravitate back to Haruka, but Mitsuki tries to hold onto him for dear life to the point where, if I were her best friend, I would have told her to move on. Also, this is a very quiet anime, literally, and there are a couple of unnecessary filler episodes elaborating on the friendship between the four characters when they were still in high school. The friendship aspect is clearly defined from the beginning, and I didn't really feel the need to see what they were doing in their free time. I didn't feel those episodes added anything really.
I suppose the reason RH's pacing seems so slow is because something like this could easily happen in real life. The emotions are very raw and easy to relate to. There's quite a few of non-descript sex scenes, and since I don't watch a lot of TV-MA anime, seeing Mitsuki topless more than once was bit weird, probably because of the physical detail. I think it goes without saying that this is definitely not for kids even though the animation and character designs are typical anime fare.
The final verdict? Well, it seems there is an "alternate ending" but it's not on any of the DVDs I watched. I wish it were though because the ending is very expected and uneventful. Additonally, the dub was very good. The voice actors did a really good job of converying all the emotion within the story. I would have liked to see some VA commentary though from the dub cast or the Japanese seiyus. Other than the anime itself there are no extras to speak of, which is a disappointment. I would recommend Rumbling Hearts to most female fans. Guys would probably sleep through it though, unless you're a guy that likes heavy, angst ridden romance/drama of course.