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Thread: Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances)

  1. Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances)

    All right, enough waiting. I'm surprised no one else brought this up. Maybe it's because it seems to be difficult to find and Right Stuf really isn't saying that much about it.

    Anyway, for the uninformed, Kare Kano is an animated show done a couple years back by Gainax, directed by none other than Evangelion and Ebichu's Hideaki Anno. Interestingly enough, it does swing wildly between somewhat long bits of emotional exploration and insane bits of comedy. Backing up Anno's direction is FLCL's Kazuya Tsurumaki, possibly explaining why Kare Kano ends up being so damn bizarre but so damn wonderful.

    It starts off with young emotionally challenged Yukino at the peak of her attention high. She's popular, reserved, responsible, makes great grades, and she's pretty... Well, a few students disagree, but most think she's sublime. What she readily admits to the viewer is that it's all a charade to receive more attention. At home, she lies around in a sweat suit and her idea of a good day is one that consists of doing absolutely nothing. She also has nasty thoughts about anyone who challenges her supremacy. Up until this point, she's managed to fool everyone except her parents and her sisters, who still love her dearly, even if she is a bit strange.

    By episode 2, the show completely switches tracks and by episode 3, it's done it again. In fact, every episode (up to 12, what I've seen) seems to change situations several times while remaining consistent. Yes, it's something that can be said of nearly every competent entertainment form presented as a series, but the way that Kare Kano does it stands out in the viewer's mind as special.

    Like the show itself, the characters are also ever-changing. A character that appears cold-hearted and mean in one episode is seldom represented as such by the end of the next. It is an unrealistic world where nearly everyone understands everyone else's situation at some point in time. Even so, if at some time or another you're not earily reminded of a similar situation in your own life, you've either simply blocked the memory or you're not a sentient being. By the way, if you don't love Yukino's family, tell me where you live so I can tape nasty post-its to your door.

    One thing about most televised animation in Japan is that the quality tends to slip mid-season, resulting in sloppy drawings and budget cutting animation tricks. While I've noticed the occasional "bad" drawing slip into Kare Kano, it completely dodges the problem of obvious stills and cheap animation tricks by using them from the beginning. The entire show is presented almost like a manga. Sometimes, it's done so down to the frame, completely in stills with word balloons (though it still has speech), sound effects, extraneous descriptions, and flash... um... panels. Because of this decision, long and frequent stills are ignored or enjoyed instead of picked apart and the budget can be saved for extremely well animated bits and loops. Loops are used often, though they're so appropriate and well animated that they too seem like a brilliant (and usually hilarious) decision instead of a cheap excuse.

    The music is beyond fitting, ranging from the adorably cute "ba badah baaaah" at home theme to the heart wrenching soap-opraesque love themes. The opening and ending themes are catchy and addictive, like everything else about Kare Kano. I find myself humming either often. When I'm not humming one or the other, I'm trying to think of one or the other. If you are so lucky to find a copy of the soundtrack, or if ToykoPop would be so kind to release, it's need to be purchased should qualify it as tax-deductible.

    I haven't listened to the English track, but all of the Japanese voice actors play their parts wonderfully. Yukino's range is especially to be complimented, though Arima's, the other main character, is perfectly subdued. Right Stuf's handling of the subtitles is commendable. The text is sometimes too fast to read, but that's simply because the animation was originally done that way. In other words, it's something that was meant to be looked at again. Extra bits are constantly popping up, explaining a character's inner thoughts, written speech, and the like, along with the subtitles handling the spoken parts. Just be sure that both subtitle options are turned on before you start. Though I have read a few complaints about the subtitles freezing, it works fine with my roomie's Apex dvd player.

    Up until now, Gainax has had a pretty normal reputation with me. Wings of Honnewhateveritwascalled was nice, but a little on the boring side. Otaku no Video was okay. Nadia was okay. Evangelion was so-so. But then, the combination of Ebichu, Kare Kano, and FLCL make me wonder if I was watching everything right. There's a little twinge of something and a scary glint in a self-indulgent director's eye, interesting me that much more in Gainax's works. I recommend His and Her Circumstances to nearly everyone, even verbal, Riisuke, and maybe even Alan. It's something that at least has to be tried. I was so in love with the show that by the end of the first volume, I cheated by sneaking views of my roommate's copies of the fan subs, but only up through episode 12. It'll be almost two months until the second volume is out. I'll be waiting with just enough put aside. Until then, I'll be watching volume 1 over and over, hoping that FLCL really does come out this month.

    For other reviews, try Toastyfrog's site, Anime Jump, and Anime on DVD.

  2. Good lord, quite a review there Finch...

    For reference: http://the-nextlevel.com/board/showt...&threadid=5957
    Boo, Hiss.

  3. Fantastic review !!!!! Reviews like that are always appreciated

    I got the His and Her "box set" (DVD 1 + box) a week ago but haven't watched it yet (stupid anime pile of shame...). Looking forward to it after your glowing review though !!

    - Kabuki

  4. Originally posted by phoenix angel wing
    For reference: http://the-nextlevel.com/board/showt...&threadid=5957
    (slaps hand to forehead) My name is Dante and I'm the biggest idiot ever!
    Well, I missed it and the topic name confused me so my face is only a pale shade of salmon. I do appreciate the comments. Remember, by hurting me you only make me stronger... and angrier.
    Kabuki, you'd best be watching Kare Kano. Unless Cowboy Bebop, Magic User's Club, Now and Then, Here and There, and FLCL comprise most of that stack, there are no excuses! You'll be hooked by episode 3, I can nearly promise.

  5. I would've brought it up had I seen it already. I'm still waiting for my video store to get it in.

  6. Originally posted by Finch

    Kabuki, you'd best be watching Kare Kano. Unless Cowboy Bebop, Magic User's Club, Now and Then, Here and There, and FLCL comprise most of that stack, there are no excuses! You'll be hooked by episode 3, I can nearly promise.
    Already watched and love Cowboy Bebop and Now and Then, so those sure aren't in my pile of shame And FLCL isn't out here yet, so neither is that. Magic User's Club my friend is buying so I'm just gonna cop those off of her soon

    I just need to finish episodes 7-9 of Silent Mobius before I start His and Her. I think I'll go home and do that right now in fact

    And if anyone was wondering, episodes 1-4 of Silent Mobius are pretty boring, but 5 and 6 were good... so maybe the show isn't that bad afterall... topic coming soon !!

    - Kabuki

  7. #7
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    I loved the few volumes of the manga version I read, so no matter what you say Finch, I'm planning to get this .
    Why are you reading this? go to your general settings and uncheck the Show Signatures box already!

  8. What is he talking about? This already came up earlier. I remember talking Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances) in another thread. Anyway, yes, this does sound good and worth looking into.... Right after I look into some Cosmo Warrior Zero

  9. as i mentioned in the "what are you watching" thread, i watched the first DVD and loved it. It also made me feel mad gay, but it was worth it . You can really see the similiarities between this and Evangelion, many of the same themes and style, just no giant robots. I can't wait to get my hands on more episodes, just wish i had gotten the series box with my DVD.

  10. Originally posted by Station
    What is he talking about? This already came up earlier. I remember talking Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances) in another thread. Anyway, yes, this does sound good and worth looking into.... Right after I look into some Cosmo Warrior Zero
    X| Haven't I already suffered enough? I apologized for my negligence! (No, you didn't...) No one understood the Clerks animation reference...
    Alright, alright... I'm careless and a big fat idiot. My lack of respect for other is inexcusable. Please beyond every sympathetic bone in your body, please beyond the forgiveness of the god(s) and/or goddess(es) of any modern or past religion, please forgive me!

    (;3 Yeah, it was mentioned. I missed it. Everyone doubts KareKano's damncoolness factor... Why? WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYY!? Bizarre humor of Ebichu+exploration of human emotion of Evangelion+damncoolness factor of FLCL= KareKano.)

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