Monday, 31 March 2008

Kimikiss ~pure rouge~ : I guess one out of three's not bad...

Spot the odd coupling out -_-" (Hint: It's not the frog girls)

(Edit:) Answer: What a blooper, it is the frog girls (Posted a wrong pic -_-")

When Kimikiss ~pure rouge~ first started last year, I avoided it on the superficial account of it having a ridiculous-sounding title. Seriously, Kissdum~Engage Planet~ and then this (Didn't watch that one either for the same reason)? Based on this 'rule', I won't be touching To-LOVE-RU next season :P

Anyways, after finding out that Kimikiss had nothing to do with Kissdum and that it wasn't a generic fanservice harem despite what the image which the dubious title conjured up, I gladly gave it a go, and well, I kinda liked what I saw so I continued to the end.

But now that I think about it, was there much to like in the first place? I think I was just glad enough to watch something that wasn't a generic harem and I had faith in J.C. Staff serving up something decent in the 'serious' romance department. At the start there was the spunky character Mao and the mysterious ice queen type Futami that caught my attention early on (though I really hated her hairstyle, but you shouldn't judge a character by her design... and anime shouldn't be about the artwork... Yeah, delusions), and that made up for the rather lackluster male leadS (I think both ef and Kimikiss got people excited for having more than one male lead at that time). Then as the series got along and the initial pairings established themselves, things were watchable enough with Mao and Kai and Futami and Aihara. Kouichi and Yuumi weren't exactly the most enthralling coupling to watch at that time.
But then, things started to change when I spoilered myself on what was to become of Mao Kouichi and Yuumi (and if you don't want that to happen to you... well, what are you doing reading this post in the first place then?)

Till now, the idea of a Kouichi X Mao ending just doesn't seem right, like the only reason it's there is so that there's conflict in the story to lead up to a conventional climax in the end. Half way through the series, I realized that as dull Kouichi and Yuumi were at a glance, the two really complemented one another as a couple (if only for both being pretty plain average characters) and once I started appreciating that fact, watching them spend the most of their limited time together wasn't the chore it was at the start anymore. Of course, around that time Mao ceased to be her likeable self anymore and started carrying the burden of the bitch of the show when she started developing feelings for Kouichi seemingly out of nowhere, and dependable old Kai had to take the brunt of it.

Perhaps Kai's a little too dependable for Mao?... -_-"

Even Futami knows it's a bad line.

When things started gravitating full force towards a Kouichi X Mao end though, my attention turned to Aihara and Futami instead. Not that I ever ignored them in the first place. Despite carrying a little bitch burden (that picture cracked me up, lol) herself, I actually like Futami despite her stereotypical distant and socially unconscious persona (and I'm personally ashamed that I've only recently confirmed that her 'vaguely familiar' voice is that of Tanaka Rie... I need to clean my ears out a bit.). Aihara X Futami was one coupling I supported from the start, and I'm glad that things turned out pretty well for them in the end despite the dawdling around in the middle of the series, Aihara's clumsy if not amusing confession, and my worry that Futami would somehow give him up to Sakino out of pity or something in the end. And at least one of the couplings I actually rooted for materialized in the end (The other two being Kouichi X Yuumi and Hiiragi and the rich girl, lol)

In the end, I still found Kouichi getting together with Mao a slight stretch to the imagination since he really was getting along really well with Yuumi before Mao's hormones got the better of her, and he still calls her Mao-neechan even after confessing -_-" I am however glad for Yuumi, Sakino and even Kai for being able to move on with life despite their respective losses. Sakino especially was noteworthy in her actions that actually prodded Aihara X Futami in the right directions.

And that's it for Kimikiss from me. Overall, a decent watch which I actually have little to speak ill of (oh besides the horrible frogs and the fluctuating animation quality for what that's worth), though very little for me to rave about either. Kimikiss ends up being one of those series which was worth it enough to watch from week to week, though it's unlikely I'll remember anything of particular about it in a few seasons time. So much for that then.


Anonymous said...

Did you really not see Kouichi and Mao coming? As soon as Mao came in and they starred at each other you got that feeling between them. She makes it a point to come back specifically for Kouichi when she could of got her own place, feels almost instant regret from the starting when she tries to play love doctor, then the middle of the series comes in.

You talk about Kouichi still calling Mao "neechan", thats how he knows her. He had to correct himself in 24 in front of the teacher and I imagine as they move on relationship wise together he'll just call her Mao. That or it's just a label. Kouichi and Yuumi pretty much stalled after that kiss and even a little before that. Kouichi focused on Mao the whole series, even with Yuumi.

Why else would Yuumi tell Kouichi "I've been watching you all this time, I knew your feelings". She knows he likes Mao and thats where Kai's "Mao had the same sad eyes, she tried not to hurt me but lied to herself" comment came in. Then you had Kouichi telling Mao that he lied to himself, Yuumi, and to her. This all times into Mao and Kouichi lieing to each other about their feelings.

Mao was and is crazy for Kouichi, in every episode he was on her mind and don't doubt her legitimate feelings for him, even since they were kids. This isn't a product of "well Mao's hormones got the better of her", this is her deep seated feelings coming to light, she really loves Kouichi.

On Kouichi's side, he loves Mao, he just had to get his feelings in order. The whole series he kept lieing to himself telling himself that he was just "looking after her", "being nice", that "it was ok if she left". But it wasn't, these feelings evolved into and were love. He had a crush on Yuumi, thats it. He never called Yuumi by her first name and every time he was with Yuumi he thought of Mao. His heart was with Mao the whole time, it just took him longer to develop because Mao was always near him.

Mao got hit harder and sooner because Kouichi started to drift away. I don't mean to tell you that you're wrong or to come off as "all knowing", it's just my take as you wrote yours. Besides me being a Kouichi and Mao fan, I think they're a great match for each other. Their freindship went from friends as kids, to adolescence, then as teenagers/adults as we saw in Kimikiss.

I don't know how you could look at those two throughout the whole series and especially the end and not feel inside that they really love each other and should be together. Yuumi knew this, Kai knew this, and now Kouichi and Mao are finally honest and know it.

issa-sa said...

Kouichi and Mao was actually my first predicted coupling, but theirs started out as a childhood friends/brother-sister kind of thing, so I guess that slipped from my mind halfway through. I did say one out of my three SUPPORTED couplings only came to be, not PREDICTED couplings (sadly the two rarely coincide with each other).

I'll admit I probably blinded myself towards Mao just when I started taking a liking towards Yuumi's character. As for Kouichi, I never paid much attention to him in the first place so the whole Mao X Kouichi thing seemed to be all Mao from my perspective. That's probably my ultimate failing as a viewer, seeing only what I like, lol. For that, I thank you for providing the view from Kouichi and Mao's perspective.

In the end though, it's less of 'knowing inside that they should be together' for me, and more of considering how the show was constructed, it would've been surprising and probably ill-fitting if it ended differently.

Kimikiss said...

My first anime! And i like it! P.S. Sometimes there is bad background painting.