Hey, everybody TheCodeTrigger here and welcome to my next anime review.
For this one, we are taking a one of my favourite romance animes Kare Kano.
Kare Kano was directed by Hideaki Anno as well as Kazuya Tsurumaki containing 26 episodes airing from October 2 1998 to Mar 26, 1999.
With that out the way let get started with the story.
The story starts off with Yukino Miyazawa a first-year high school student who gets good grades in school and is envied by all her classmates while at home she is a spoiled,sloppy and is constantly studying to keep up her fame. However Yukino reputation is at riskwhen a new student Arima Soichiro, tops the exam ranks and everyone starts paying attention to him casing Yukino to get to extremely jealous of Arima, which leads to her obsessively studying more to try surpass Arima at the next exam. One day, when Arima comes to visit Yukino at her house, she accidentally reveals her true self to Arima. Knowing this information, Arima uses it to his advantage and blackmails Yukino into helping him do his large amounts of school work. From there, the two’s bizarre relationship begins to develop into friendship, and eventually love.
One thing I really liked about the story is the set-up because unlike Clannad where it was being was nothing but drama Kare Kano cuts the drama bullshit at the start which I liked because to be honest besides Toradora where the drama step-up perfectly in my opinion most other romance anime that I seen usually has unnecessary drama at the beginning which I found to be really annoying. One thing that I really surprised me is Yukino and Arima become a couple at episode 4 only one other anime I seen so far that does this and that anime is Clannad.
Things were going very but around the half way point the story just falls apart. It didn’t affect my enjoyment of the show but I can see why people wont like the second half. Mainly because they went into a certain ark that was left incomplete with a read the manga ending.
The only thing I don’t like story is the recap episodes because I found those episodes to be filler and unnecessary because this could have been a 24 episode anime series if you remove the recap episodes. It happened with Gurren Lagann episode 16 and half of Episode 14 with Neon Genesis Evangelion but with Kare Kano it happens 3 episodes with one of them being a full episode.
Overall I loved for what it is and its easily one the best romance anime story wise.
The characters are all great in my opinion because out of all the romance anime that I seen this is most realistic character cast for a romance anime because instead of getting forced romance/drama we a get a well written character cast cast and a really strong romance.
Yukino Miyazawa starts off as a role model student who wants to be praised by the students around her by getting high grades, looking presentable when and acting kind towards the other students but in reality she’s kind a snob when goes back home where she’s wearing glasses and her hair is messy. Later on when Arima finds Yukino true self she’s changes for the better as she’s no longer a queen of vanity but a loving caring student who falls in love with Arima.
Yukino is easily my favourite character from a romance anime because unlike Taiga (Toradora), Haruhi (Ouran Koukou Host Club) and Nagisa (Clannad) her emotions are more realistic and she actually becomes a better person in life as the series progresses.
Arima isn’t your typical and generic male romance lead but he rather has a tragic back-story where Arima was abandoned by his parents at a young age and later was raised by his uncle and aunt. Fearing he may turn bad like his parents, Arima is always trying to hide behind a mask with is constantly fighting his own demons of abandonment. Like with Yukino he falls in love with her at episode 4.
I really liked how Arima is back-story was told because unlike some other main leads in romance anime it’s actually gets revolved in full resolution instead of forgetting it with no explanation whatsoever.
The rest of the characters are hit or miss depending on your tastes.
I personally loved all of the supporting cast because they are enjoyable to watch and just like the main characters they feel realistic to the story.
Overall this is one of my favourite anime character casts.
Kare Kano was done by Gainax the same studio that gave us the legendary Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagann as well as Nadia The Secret Of Blue Water, Medaka Box and FLCL. It was also done by J.C staff who also gave us Toradora, Slayers, Raildex and Revolutionary Girl Utena.
The art of Kare Kano looks good for the most part. The character designs looked good and the backgrounds looks nice for a low budget show like this but in the same time it can messy not as messy as Nadia but it can be really cheaply made at times. Like for example at times they will just use panels of the Manga with the characters talking in the background while it didn’t bother me it can be annoying to some and I can fully understand.
EP 19 and EP 26 in the other hand is where Gainax ran out of budget and starting using things like paper cut-outs in EP 19 while in EP 26 it just a Manga slide show with voice acting. This can ruin the experience of some people but for me I didn’t bother me too much because I can stomach 2 episodes of that instead of the beach and African arks in Nadia of the Secret of Blue Water.
Overall the art can be a bit messy at time but when it’s good it’s good.
The animation is simple and basic for the most part with very good use of shoujo style animation. When its good its good but at same time like with the art it can be bad at times especially in EP 19 and EP 26 where all the budget just runs out.
I have to give Gainax probes because the animation for EP 19 is surprising well done despite the fact that episode has no budget whatsoever. Good job Gainax for still animating things with almost no budget in that episode ^_^.
Overall the animation is above average.
The art/animation is defiantly the weakest part of Kare Kano.
The opening theme Tenshi no Yubikiri” by Fukuda Mai is a good catchy theme which I personally liked and it’s a very good listen.
The ending theme “Yume no Naka e “by Enomoto Atsuko and Suzuki Chihiro is great ending theme which I really liked because it feels so calm and it fits so well in this anime. Yume no Naka e is one of my favourite anime ending themes.
The OST itself is really good in my opition because its fits the anime so well as the world they in is realistic and doesn’t have any dub-step or rock on it. This is personally one of my favourite anime OST in a romance anime.
Now should you go in Kare Kano Sub or Dub?
The Sub is good for the most part but at times, it can be weak because I feel that Yukino Japanese VA is not as passionate as the dub while the Japanese VA for Arima is really good because the Japanese VA does a perfect job at voicing Arima in my opinion.
Now for the dub. Do you know what besides from Arima dub actor I found the dub to be almost flawless in my option because all of the characters in the dub sound more emotional and passionate? The best dub performance has to go to Veronica Taylor as Yukino because Veronica does the role of Yukino perfectly. This is not the case with Arima dub actor VA because to be honest with up to my re-watch of the series in the making of this review Arima dub actor was one of the worst dub actors that I ever heard in my life. Seriously compare to the other characters in this show he has no emotions whatsoever in the dub. That all changed however and now consider dub actor of Arima to be a guilty pleasure of mine because sure his mostly quiet but when the dub actor of Arima gets good its good.
Overall besides the dub actor of Arima, I prefer the dub for this one.
I have to say this right now I really enjoyed the series from its more realistic couple to its experimental animation choices and the story is very memorable.
The character cast is amazingly well written in my option because they add the realism to the romance and the character interactions. Also I have to thank Kare Kano because its one of the few romance anime that cuts the bullshit like forced drama to having a dull male lead.
Kare Kano is one of those anime that I can consider to be a classic.
It has a great story, well written characters, decent art and animation.The OST was great and catchy, the dub and sub are almost flawless and overall it a great hidden gem of a romance anime and currently Kare Kano is my second favourite romance anime to date only losing to one other romance anime that I won’t mention in this review. Kare Kano is a must watch who want a more realistic approach to the romance genre.
Kare Kano has currently maintained its position in my top 10 favourite anime list.
+ Romance is really strong..
+ The OST is good and catchy.
+ The Opening and Ending themes are great.
+ The story was well executed from the start.
+ All of the characters were amazingly well written.
+ Has a very good DUB
+/ – The art and animation can be bit messy at times mainly EP 19 and EP 26 but at same time it can be quite good at times.
– It has 3 recap episodes with one of them being an entire episode containing nothing but recaps
– A certain arc was left incomplete.
I give Kare Kano a 10/10 despite its flaws.
Kare Kano has been licensed by Nozomi Entertainment (US) and Madman Entertainment (AUS). and its available on DVD both subbed and dubbed
At the time of this review Kare Kano is currently not licensed in the UK which saddens me to be honest.
I hope MVM Entertainment or Anime Limited will license Kare Kano in the near future because I think this anime needs more attention especially in the UK.
Bokura ga Ita
Kimi ni Todoke
Ouran Koukou Host Club
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
A quote from one of my favourite female anime characters
“I’m a big fake. The elegant me is just for show. My good personality is a huge lie. In reality, I only love to be revered above all by others. To be admired, to get special treatment, to be pampered, to be first place… I’m the ultimate queen of vanity!” Yukino Miyazawa.
This was TheCodeTrigger and I will see you guys next time ^_^