Tuesday, January 2, 2001

Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (Kare Kano / His and Her Circumstance)

Genre: Romance / Comedy / Drama
General Audience
1998. Masami Tsuda (creator). Hideaki Anno (director). Gainax and J.C. Staff

Kare Kano DVDs
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Everything Kare Kano

From the official Gainax Site Description:
Miyazawa Yukino gives an unusual amount of attention to drawing interest from others. But on what should be her crowning achievement, the day of her high school entrance ceremonies, her place as representative of the incoming class is swiped by Arima Souichiroo.

Yukino is enraged at Arima over this humiliation, but she ends up revealing to him that part of herself that she never lets anyone see. As a result, the two of them find themselves sharing their hearts with one another.

(26 episodes)

The Best Merge of Comedy and Drama I have seen since Slayers. >>> by Kenryoku Maxis
Ok, it's GAINAX, so already you know it has a big plot. What you don't know is how different it is from their previous shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion. This show has some of the longest running comedy I have ever seen. What I mean by that is throughout the whole series, I don't think I found a single episode that wasn't hilarious in some way. But at the same time, Kare Kano is one of the most dramatic things I have ever seen. I have known for quite some time that one of the best ways to make people get emotionally attached and really appreciate dramatic situations between characters is to produce an abundance of comedic interactions with characters beforehand. Quite simply, if you can't stop laughing because of a character, chances are you will get sad over that character if he/she falls prey to a misfortune. This show is the most perfect example of my comedy/drama theory. One minute the stars will be doing the funniest thing you have seen for ages, and the next, be recalling a completely painful event from their childhood or fighting with each other. At times I was even left sad and emotional, realizing that I know people with these problems or worse, I have experienced it myself. But that's one of the reasons this show is so amazing to me, it touches on so many different problems and through the characters, connects to so many different people it's crazy how GAINAX could put them all into one show.

Each episode is like a condensed version of two (or more) episodes from other shows, with so much information put into each one. It common to miss something, but that's where GAINAX took the liberty to put 5 full review episodes at random places in the show. These may seem annoying to some, but they answer certain questions missed from previous episodes and remind people of others not yet answered that they should look out for in episodes to come. But talk about getting used to a show. For the first 10 episodes or so, I swear I had watched an entire episode or more and was surprised to see the commercial break splash image flash up to remind me "you still have more to go" (and yes, the commercial splash image is a lot like Eva). This isn't a bad thing at all though. So often the end of an episode would come and I would crave more, showing you now how I could watch over half the series in one sitting. The plot is amazing and just as I would expect from GAINAX, powerful in every way.

But then there are the characters. As much as this is a show with a large plot, the characters are even more important. This isn't a show about protecting Tokyo-3 from Angels or the end of the world; it's a highly complex story of a group of high school teenagers and their families who all experience different problems and advantages from love and friendship. Not the picture I get from Eva at all. This is a powerful show that will make even the toughest people happy and sad. I hardly think there is a person who could watch this show and not have experienced some of the different moments these characters face. I think anyone who has ever had a friend, faced an enemy, lost a love or gained one should watch this show.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 10; Characters 10; Sounds 10

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