kareshi kanojo no jijou review

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stats

also known as: karekano, his and her circumstances
# eps: 26 eps, oct 1998 – mar 1999
anidb rating (at time of writing): 8.16 (2071 votes)
my rating: 8.00

thoughts

just finished watching karekano – i know, some others have finished watching this about 10 years ago. i have been wanting to watch this since reading a few glowing reviews on it, as people commented on how the tensai director anno hideaki managed to produce a quality anime despite under severe budget constraints.. actually, i didn’t really realise he had budget constraints, but it became more and more apparent as the series progressed.

i’ll start off with a brief review of the story, which i felt started off very strong. yukino miyazawa was respected and held in high regard when she was in her middle school due to her excellence in virtually everything – sports, studies, being friendly to others..

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.. and she revelled in the attention lavished on her.

however, in her first year at a local high school, she finally met her match – souichiro arima, who was an equally outstanding student from another middle school. she lost her long-held pole position to him in the first assesed test of the year, which made her even more determined to destroy arima.

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.. which she managed to do in the second test of the year! i like this screencap – the numbers on other students’ faces denote their respective rank in the test. notice that everyone else’s faces, besides arima’s, are blanked out – reflecting what yukino felt about them. i burst out laughing at this scene.

however, things took an unexpected turn..

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arima unexpectedly saw the true face of yukino when he brought his brahms cd to her house. after many other incidents in school, he accepted her for who she is, as he himself hides his emotions from others. the relationship between arima and yukino deepened after they realised how much they shared in common, and both vowed to shed their masks and show their true selves.

within the first few episodes, the pair managed to come to terms with their feelings for each other – this part of the anime was very nicely done and i applaud the mangaka for the realistic potrayal of it. however, as the anime was produced even before the manga was finished (the manga ended its 11 year run in 2005), the story lacked proper continuation between the arcs. i was left thinking “what can they do with the next 10+ eps?”

don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that all of the arcs in the anime was pointless in furthering the story between arima and yukino. the anime introduced a number of other side characters, for instance the first bunch of close friends yukino ever had (shibahime tsubasa, sakura tsubaki, izawa maho etc) as well as developing existing ones – the miyazawa family for instance.

some of the funny scenes include:

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yukino getting back at shibahime for crossing the line – shibahime had a personal vendetta against yukino as shibahime used to have a close relationship with arima.

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shibahime’s imagination running wild when she first met her stepbrother. i felt kinda sad that her character de-volved into a mindless, trying-to-act-cute character in the later parts of the anime.. it’s sad that she lost the depth her character had in the earlier parts of the anime.

the main theme of the anime is about relationships, which is not just restricted to the arima-yukino one. there was one particular scene that managed to move me to tears – the story on how yukino’s parents got emotionally attached.

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in this scene, hiroyuki’s grandfather, the only family he has ever had, has just passed away. miyako offered to stay by his side, but hiroyuki told her to go back home. later, when he went out of his house, he saw miyako squatting at the front door in the cold, to be there by his side when he needed her. it might sound cheesy, but it nonetheless was very touching when i watched it.

however, there were some bits of the anime that made me cringe.

i understand that the anime is a manga adaptation, and that was pretty obvious from the scenes used in the show:

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i don’t mind drawings from the manga if it’s tastefully inserted between animated scenes, but when it makes up ENTIRE episodes (like eps 19 and 26), that’s really pushing it.. had such a hard time getting through those episodes. the cringing really happens when the adapted scenes are outright LAME..

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.. yucks. combining real life stills and manga cutouts IS NOT VISUALLY APPEALING.

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is this meant to be funny?! so lame..

it’s something that starts off with a bang, but ends with a whimper. reminds me of evangelion’s last 2 eps. as a friend of mine remarked – that’s just gainax for you.

ps: on a side note, i found that yukino in one scene looked like ryuugu rena from higurashi ni naku koro ni (and ni kai).

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i can faintly hear rena’s “omochi kaeri~~!” from yukino’s lips! =)

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~ by 異人 on 3/2/08.

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