Oh boy, this Show is great. In so many ways.
There are few ways I consider a show to be able to score a 10/10: Being one of the greatests at what it focuses on, getting a great message across, or doing lots of stuff really well without ever giving too much or too little atention to uninteresting/interesting things.
Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou-Best known as ”Kare Kano”-, the late 90s romantic comedy directed by Hideaki Anno(kind-of, directing more than half of the show is considered co-directing I guess) does all of it.
Kare Kano has an ability to get different things out of a group of teenagers with some need of attention in a story that works around a romance between a boy and a girl loved and hated at the same time by students of their school…and each other.
It all works around Arima and Miyazawa, but we can get a lot out of them and their friends through exploration of their minds. The stories we get out of them aren’t even sub-plots, there is definately a main-plot, but it links back to the main themes of the show: The need of attention and to feel important, low self-esteem, question of the importance of our image, and other things on the same line of thought.
It all connects perfectly.
The show never needs to go out of it’s way to stay on the main themes, it all just works by itself. And in between all of the other character’s arcs, there is also some development not just in the relashionship between Arima and Miyazawa, but also in Arima’s own character with more information on his family and past, showing his struggle to run away from it and also working as a reminder of the connection between his story and the other characters stories in relation to the main themes.
Arima’s personal problems also end with the same conclusion as the other characters’: That you cannot run from your problems, and you can’t keep them to yourself, because in the end, that’s what friends and family are for.
And as for the romance…
it is great. It’s brilliant. There is no other way of describing it. It is handled the best way possible, being used not just as the main driving force of the main plot, but also as a tool for getting to all that the story needs. The story is buit around it. As I already said, the show drives itself to where it’s suposed to go, it all feels really natural, and not at all forced, even when dealing with things like sex between 2 teenagers that never actually thought of the idea until just now. It handles the topic in a ‘mature’ way: but not by putting highschoolers into adult situations, but by treating such an important, serious and private thing for these 2 characters with the ultmost seriousness, never falling into the problem of treating the situation either as too simple or too seriously and overeacting. The narrative never forces the characters to do anything, they do it because they want to.
And to make it all greater…
the show handles the comedy really well. If the anime was just a chilled out slice-of-life show about this group of teenagers, I wouldn’t mind. Comedy here is grade” A” at everything: From simply knowing when to do it and how to use it fitting to the mood of the situation, or to change it sometimes, to the minor but really important details like the visual and sonic directing always on point in timing and just comedic cinematography overall.
Well, that’s, summing up, why I love this show, and why it is on my top 3 all time favorites. I mean, I could say more, but I would be here for the next whole year, and I think it’s best for both of us that I don’t do that.
This ended up as kind of a review, not exactly what I’m used to write, but I’m satisfied with it. I generally don’t like reviews, because 90% of them are basically useless and don’t actually say anything about the shows, but I believe this is not the case(at least I hope so ‘-‘ ).
I really love this freaking show.
Don’t really ask me about the latest episodes with the basketball player guy. Those are not exactly great…
BUT. The show is still good.
Also, I haven’t read the manga, but I intend on doing it just to see all the parts the story wasn’t possible to reach because of the anime’s need to compress it all into 26 episodes with not a lot of budget. But I think the parts that the anime covered are probably million times better in the show compared to the manga.