17 May 2012

Kare Kano Anime review

English: His and Her Circumstances
Synonyms: Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou, Karekano
Type: TV
Episodes: 26
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 2, 1998 to Mar 26, 1999
Producers: Gainax, J.C. Staff, The Right Stuf InternationalL
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Ok. I head a lot about this anime and I finally decided to see. I couldnt find subbed anime, so instead I watched english dubbed. The english voices were really annoying (I dont why i felt that way but i did.)
So i couldn't really connect with the anime. I just lost interest towards the end. Anime was incomplete and I dint even continue Manga but hey... I will not let it hinder the review though.

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?

At first glance, Kare Kano is your average high school romance story. Thankfully, the odd personalities of the two leading characters break the idea of this just being another romance story. Kare Kano does contain the usual shoujo romance story elements when it comes to the trials for our main couple (jealous outsiders, temporary separation). But originality is able to come through with the way the leading characters handle their problems, often ending in a comedic resolve to their troubles. Besides the usual love trials, Kare Kano also features a number of interesting side stories about the support characters, so if you’re not a fan of the main couple, fear not, there are other amusing couples in the series as well. Unfortunately, Kare Kano’s story takes a nosedive with the lack of an ending. The last few episodes continue to build the plot up, but the series simply ends before anything can come out of the previous events. This is one of the greatest annoyances when it comes to Kare Kano, especially if one is not a manga reader. 

The animation is more or less quite poor in Kare Kano. Taking into account this show is from 1998, anyone can easily see the budget was definitely not allocated to producing good animation. The first half of the show had its moments, the animation in this part of the series were acceptable. One of the techniques that the producers used was to cut out still images directly from the manga, which can be both a good and bad thing. Obviously this saves the producer a lot on cost of actual animation and some may think it is quite cheap of them. But I would think majority of people feel the black and white manga images added to the atmosphere of the show, especially in the moments they were used (which were when things became more serious). The second half of Kare Kano was when the animation began to lose its charm. More still images were constantly being used. Episode 19 of Kare Kano had the entire episode made up of cardboard cut outs, which were stuck on sticks and moved around (like a puppet show). The last five episodes were horrendous, a lot more of the manga pictures were being used, but rather then adding to the atmosphere, it just made the entire show feel cheap. The final episode barely had any animation at all, simply still images. Thats where I really got irritated!

Perhaps Kare Kano’s strongest point would be the characters. The leading couple is two somewhat eccentric two faced people (particularly the female) who pretty much break out of the stereotypical shoujo couple. The leading female, Yukino is an absolute riot to watch. You will witness her stressing over the smallest of things, unbelievable for someone who at first glance seemed to be the most perfect person you could find anywhere. Supporting characters such as Asaba and Tsubasa are also equally enjoying to watch as their odd personalities fit in perfectly with Kare Kano’s quirkiness. Character development is very thorough in Kare Kano, with even Yukino’s parents having screen time to develop their back stories. The only negative feature when it comes to the characters is that even towards the end of the show the characters are constantly built up with development, only to have the show end before anything could happen. 

The sound in Kare Kano is one of its stronger points. The opening and ending have catchy pop songs that some may or may not like depending on their taste in music. There are also a number of enjoyable piano tunes in Kare Kano. All in all, the background music fitted well to the mood in this anime. A good pat on the back for the Japanese voice actors of Kare Kano as well. The VA for Yukino (the leading female) did a wonderful job in bringing out Yukino’s two faced personality, as did the VA for Arima (the leading male). If anything, the only complaint I have for the Japanese VAs was the one for the supporting character Tsubasa. I only felt her voice did not feel right. 

Overall, despite its obvious flaws Kare Kano still manages to be a favourite amongst the shoujo lovers for its interesting array of characters and somewhat unique storyline for the main couple. If you aren’t normally fond of stereotypical high school love stories, try giving Kare Kano a try. It’s recommended though to continue with the manga after watching the anime if you want to see how the story ends, since you won’t find any ending from here. So yeah, If you like comedy, romance, weird characters and high school settings then Kare Kano will probably be for you.

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