I've been marathoning shoujo anime lately, and this one in particular stood out. For one, I wanted to read the manga, but since I was marathoning shoujo anime, I figured I should give this one a shot. Now, I'm serious when I say that this could have been one of my favorite anime of all time, that is, if there weren't as many issues with it as there were.
Miyazawa Yukino is the perfect student. Kind, intelligent, pretty and modest, it's unbelievable that such a person could exist. Little did everyone know Yukino's perfection was just a facade. An act to fulfill her desire for praise and admiration. Her life took a turn however, as a newcomer to their school Arima Soichiro topped the exam rankings. Arima is more then just intelligent, he's also kind, handsome and modest, an unbelievable person who can actually exist. Even worse luck, Arima found out Yukino's secret, blackmailing her to help him out. Their odd relationship soon develops into friendship and eventually into love. But can their love prevail through the many problems that come their way?
This is where the problems start. Yes, this series looks pretty good (especially considering it was made in the 90s) most of the time, but in a few episodes, the animation just gets plain lazy. There was a point where they pretty much animated the episode with pieces of paper on sticks. There were also two episodes that were animated mostly with still shots with dialogue boxes (one of which had zero voicing for one particular character) and another that was just animated in a different style than the rest of the series. The regular animation on its own was really good, and if the series stuck to it, it would have been better.
The soundtrack in Kare Kano is rather simple, but it fit so well with the situations that were going on. The music really helped setting up certain atmospheres. A lot of the tracks put you in the mood to mess around or just live your daily life, while others set a more serious or melancholy feeling. It was definitely great, despite it being so simple. Also, the both the opening and ending themes were really nice, and I listened to them each episode.
Now, this is one of the few times where I did not have a single character in the series that I disliked. Not one. Even though a few of the characters portrayed were a bit on the cliché side, none of them were necessarily bad characters. They were all likable in their own sense, and they all contributed well enough to the show. I would have liked seeing more of certain characters, but I guess I can look towards the manga for that.
I absolutely love Tsubasa's character. I love how she's like a small child the way she clings to people, but shows a more mature side to her character after interacting with Kazuma. I also find her extremely funny when she acts like an animal. Also, her appearance is adorable, and the way everyone babies her is just hilarious.
The Entire Miyazawa Family
The Miyazawa family as a whole is an extremely entertaining bunch. One of the most entertaining aspects of this series is the interactions between the Miyazawa family. They're all so carefree, the doting dad, Tsukino and her constant teasing victim Kano, the loving, beautiful mother, and of course, the family pet, Pero Pero the dog that resembles a marshmallow. They're all likable, so it was hard to choose simply one member of the family when they were all such entertaining individuals.
Though he only appeared in two episodes, Kazuma was extremely likable. His appearance decieved Tsubasa into thinking that he was a dangerous person, and he thought that she was a grade-schooler, when in fact, she's older than him. Just their interactions made me take a liking to both of them very much. He's such a nice guy, and I really wish I could've seen more of him in the series.
This is a story about a girl named Yukino, who pretends to be a Mary-Sue, but in reality, she's really a person who takes pleasure in being praised and adored. The other model student, Arima, turns out to be also be using a "mask" if you will, but was never aware of it until he meets Yukino. Together, the two of them vow to be true to themselves, and their relationship develops.
Now, there have been plenty of anime where the main characters are, or are pretty close to being Mary-Sues, but the reason why I liked this show so much is because they were faking it. I also loved the development of the characters, and the stories behind Yukino's friends. Really, everything about the story was great.
Though the story and the characters were amongst the best I have seen in an anime, if there had not been the issues of the dropping animation quality, a few bad voice actors, and most of all, the ending of it right smack in the middle of the story, this could have been one of my favorites. I really wish that whole issue between the mangaka and the director didn't take place, because I really loved this show, and it most definitely deserved to go on much, much longer than it did. There's no doubt that I will check out the manga sometime, and it'll probably become one of my favorites.
Story - 10/10
Characters - 10/10
Music - 9/10
Voice Acting - 7/10
Visuals - 7.5/10
Another thing I'm Marathoning at the Moment
After I finished the Can't Take My Eyes Off You series, I decided that I would watch the good parts of the Hayate series (the first and second anime), seeing as they had Norio Wakamoto narrating, better comedy, and just took advantage of the large cast much more than Can't Take My Eyes Off You did.
Though I was marathoning Clannad a while back, I had put it on hold, and whenever I get around to finishing it, I will definitely post a review of it. I don't think it'll be my next review though, I'll probably do another shoujo anime, since I've been enjoying watching them these past few weeks.
Tune in next time!