Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 01

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

I was pleasantly surprised in watching the first episode of this show. Given the quality of the romantic comedy/dramas that I've watched lately, and the fact that this show is based off a game, my expectations were not high.

The art and animation is very pretty, and the music is suitably understated with the slow, dreamlike pacing of the show. The romance in this show is very grounded (no incest, or any other weirdness thrown in), with a situation that will be familiar to many viewers. Suzumiya has been in love with Takayuki for a very long time, but she was unable to profess her feelings, so her friend Hayase became friends with Takayuki to try and bridge the gap. Eventually, Hayase gets the two together, and Suzumiya confesses her feelings, asking Takayuki to date her. He agrees, but obviously doesn't have strong feelings for her.

The resultant relationship is awkward, as you might expect. Takayuki acts indifferently, and Suzumiya wants more. Takayuki is of course hurting her, and rather obliviously. It's a very well done episode that explores this early relationship between the two.

This seems like an enjoyable show, though I was expecting some weirdness after watching the blood-soaked preview episode. I am looking forward to the next episode, though.

Rating: A-

Posted by Kei at 08:07 PM | Comments (1)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 02

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

I definitely don't usually look forward to anime series that are based off of games (hentai especially), but Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien has turned into a pleasant surprise. I have to admit, starting on this episode, I didn't see where this show was going, but certain hints are dropped along the way that at least prepared me for it.

The art is great, and the story is very good. It's refreshing to watch an anime where a relationship is handled in a realistic manner.

Major major spoilers follow! Please, don't let yourself be spoiled of this.

You can only wonder, of course, while watching why they make such a big deal about about Hayase, when the relationship the show is focusing on is between Narumi and Suzumiya. It also doesn't seem like it's going to be a love triangle show, at least not at this point.

And then it begins to become clear, after the line where Narumi says that the two of them don't need to rush because they have all the time in the world. Well, of course, then Suzumiya is hit by a car.

It would be an interesting new angle for an anime to look at, if this is really how the story plays out, and I'm curious to see how Narumi and Hayase will move on (or not) from Suzumiya's tragedy.

Rating: A

Posted by Kei at 01:25 PM | Comments (3)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 03

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

If there's one thing pretty much every anime series lacks, in my opinion, it's an overall sense of pacing and continuity of theme. Kiminozo definitely suffers from this, as the scenes of the restaurant are so over-the-top and ridiculous, they really take away from the overall package and texture of the show. (I know many disagree with me about this, as bouts of random insanity can almost be said to be a hallmark of anime.)

Ignoring these moments, the show succeeds as a slice of life romantic drama. We've always known that Mitsuki had feelings for Narumi, and with the tragic accident that put Suzumiya in a coma (and the passing of a few years), she has her opportunity to be with him. Of course, she feels like she is betraying her friend, and seeks Narumi's approval for their relationship, "Is it all right for me to be with you?"

One thing that strikes me as odd is Mitsuki's character, three years removed from the start of the show. My initial impression was that Suzumiya was the stereotypical, shy girl, and Mitsuki was the tomboyish, loud one. However, Mitsuki's manner now is omre like Suzumiya, generally very apologetic and almost submissive (especially to Narumi). Maybe this is caused by her feelings of guilt, or some measure of depression she's going through. The easier answer is that it's just easier to write a character like that, then an opinionated woman who knows what she wants.

That's a fairly minor niggling, as the other parts of the show all come together well. I hope that as we move along, we see less and less of the restaurant antics, and more of our two main characters, which really is an exceptionally good and original love story.

Rating: A-

Posted by Kei at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 04

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

It's episode four, and that means it's time for me to comment on the music of Kiminozo. Because of the slow pace of the show, and its dramatic content, there are lots of melancholy piano solo tracks that really help set the tone during scenes without dialogue (and there are quite a bit of these, for mood). The one odd thing is that some pivotal scenes are missing music, which makes them feel a bit empty.

Despite the somber nature of the show, the art is very bright and colorful. It seems that characters are usually designed with opposing colors in mind. For example with the purple-haired doctor wearing a yellow dress, and blue-haired Mitsuki with her orange top (Akane about opposite from that). Visually, it really is a very appealing show (which I suspect might have something to do with its game roots, where character designs have perhaps even greater importance).

I'll try to talk about the plot in as unspoilerish a manner possible, but chances are if you're perceptive, you'll be able to figure out what happens in this episode. (Just skip the next paragraph to be safe!) Really, though, you should be watching this show if you think you have the smallest bit of interest in it.

Narumi and Miyuki's relationship are moving faster than ever, after Narumi is finally able to ease Miyuki's misgivings about their relationship. It's just then, though, that events begin to occur that throw their relationship into even stormier waters.

Despite the emotional content of the first three episodes of this series, this one eclipses the previous ones easily. There's sadness and joy, and a whole lot of other powerful moments all bundled up in this installment.

Rating: A+

Posted by Kei at 10:53 PM | Comments (1)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 05

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

You already knew that the three years in between the beginning of the show and Suzumiya's accident were unhappy ones. After all, for some reason, Mitsuki got a job (qutting swimming and school) as did Narumi. And, of course, Suzumiya isn't awake yet. So in this episode, we get to see some of the things that happened in the gap.

You know this is a downer of an episode, when the happiest thing that happens is finding out the origin of the octopus and the dolphin cups. Narumi is dealing with life terribly. He doesn't go out, he can barely take care of himself, and in general, looks like the most pathetic guy on earth. Mitsuki is doing everyting she can to take care of him, but is increasingly torn by her own feelings for Narumi (which come out most obviously to the comatose Suzumiya). Also, we get an incredibly depressing scene of Narumi regressing in his acceptance of Suzumiya's state, topped off with her parents telling Narumi not to visit Suzumiya anymore, for his sake.

There are even more scenes like that in this episode, which really establishes a new low point (emotionally) in the series. It might be a downer, but this show really is great, and its story will move you.

Rating: A+

Posted by Kei at 11:29 PM | Comments (1)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 06

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

This episode seemed a little light on actual content, with just more slow progression of the relationship between Narumi, Mitsuki and Haruka. A few hints are dropped that Haruka is getting better (she refers to the passing of time during the episode), though she's obviously not fully recovered yet. Also, Narumi is embarking down the path of being with Mitsuki, while also wistfully reliving his relationship with Haruka (sure to be a recipe for disaster).

Mitsuki's character is now well defined by her passive aggressiveness. It can be fairly aggravating watching her act, as her childhood strength seems to have given away to this whiny, pity-me attitude. At the same time, you can't help but grone at Narumi's indecision. If there's one character that seems to know what she wants, it's Akane, but she still hasn't played a big role so far.

I think we watched Narumi go to the hospital three times in this episode, and all the repetition, paired with the slowness of the show, is lowering my enthusiasm a bit. Hopefully, the next episode will be a little more heart-wrenching.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 12:24 AM | Comments (2)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 07

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

I'm not sure if Mitsuki says anything other than, "I'm sorry" in this episode.

This is one of those episodes where the main character does one wrong thing after another, while the audience is screaming at him to not be a moron. (It can be argued that the whole show is sort of like this with Narumi.) Either way, Narumi's feelings are obviously going all over the place, as he continues to indulge himself by visiting Haruka in the hospital, neglecting his girlfriend (who is becoming more and more depressed).

At this point, I'm not even sure which pairing I'm cheering for. Clearly I should be sympathetic to Mitsuki, who is basically being cheated on for Haruka, but Mitsuki's so passive aggressive I find it hard to really want her to come out on top. Of the relationship!

On the other hand, you can't really support Haruka either, because she basically has no clue what's going on, other than that her boyfriend is acting weirder and weirder (and seems to be growing less fond of her).

Either way, Mitsuki resolves (for the moment), the living situation problem that has been weighing on her and Takayuki by moving in with him. Of course, they still haven't talked about it, so you might say that they're still just as screwed up as before.

Rating: B+

Posted by Kei at 04:52 PM | Comments (1)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 08

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

This episode starts with something that I can't decide if I absolutely hate, or just find it somewhat annoying. Basically, it's when a character hum's the theme song (or an important tune) from the anime. This happens in other mediums too, and if there's no in-story reason they'd know this tune, it just seems a little gimmicky to me.

It is so painful trying to watch Mitsuki constantly feel the need to create conversation to break Narumi out of his thoughts (which are most likely focused on Haruka). Though, I don't feel too much sympathy for her, because of her annoying passive-aggressiveness. Instead of confronting Takayuki about Haruka, she goes to visit Haruka herself, which more or less leads to her finding out about how much of an "act" Narumi has been putting on. Learning this, Mitsuki resorts to the only thing she has that Takayuki seems to be interested in: sex. Apparently, this act gives her the courage to finally confront Takayuki, so some good comes of it.

So, while Mitsuki is becoming a more sympathetic character (the backbone from her youth seems to have returned!), Takayuki is becoming more and more annoying. He acts like a child about his relationship problems, and when Mitsuki finally tries to really talk to him about it, his response is to hang up on her, then go visit Haruka.

It seems Takayuki is just hooked on what he sees as the ideal life. Haruka is too much of that stereotypical subservient girl that she will always say what Takayuki wants to hear, unlike Mitsuki, who is more of a three-dimensional person. Being with Haruka is what he had before the accident, and that's where he really wants to be, a fantasy without troubles. To top it off, it seems that Takayuki has decided that he wants Haruka, but doesn't want to break it off with Mitsuki.

To summarize: Mitsuki's stock goes up, Takayuki's goes down, and Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien goes up.

Rating: A

Posted by Kei at 10:49 PM | Comments (2)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 09

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

I don't particularly sympathize or feel sorry for Mitsuki, but it sure is painful to watch her try to make conversation with the sulking Takayuki.

This episode goes by pretty fast, as we see Takayuki leaning more and more towards Haruka, leaving Mitsuki to wallow in her own self pity. Not that it's really all her fault, Takayuki's immature approach to the situation is annoying, as well. The next episode should be interesting, with Mitsuki getting drunk with Shinji and Takayuki bringing the children's book to Haruka. Hopefully, the resolution of those two scenes will be good.

Also, it seems Haruka is even more aware (or at least suspicious) that she may have been in a coma for longer than just a few days.

Rating: A

Posted by Kei at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 10

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

Story's definitely moving along faster now, with all the characters spiraling down to their lowest points since Haruka's accident. Haruka has obviously clued into the fact that people haven't been honest with her about how long she's been out, and this episode features the confrontation.

Akane and Takayuki are wrapped up in this problem, while Mitsuki is dealing with her relationship problems in a rather unhealthy way. All the characters at this point are really wishing they were back where they were three years ago (except for maybe Haruka, who doesn't know yet). Mitsuki reminisces about her swimming days, and Akane wonders how life would be better had nothing happened. Even Shinji seems somewhat involved in Mitsuki's relationship troubles, as peripheral as he has been to the story up to this point.

Rating: A

Posted by Kei at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 11

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

This episode deals with the aftermath of the revelation to Haruka that she has been in a coma longer than they told her.

Inevitably, if Mitsuki's got problems, sex will solve them! By the way, way to go Shinji! Certainly the best thing you could have done to help Mitsuki in her time of need.

It's been a while since I have been as riveted to a series as the last few episodes of Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien. The twenty or so minutes seem to go by in a flash, with more and more (depressing) plot twists, with these ultimately very pathetic people. Almost every major character in this show suffers from not saying what's on their mind. If they would all just vocalize there problems to each other, they wouldn't be in as dire straits as they find themselves in.

There is one particularly good moment in this episode, where Mituski, on the verge of tears, asks Shinji why he didn't stop. And Shinji was the only one out of the four who seemed to be doing okay.

Rating: A

Posted by Kei at 08:36 PM | Comments (0)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 12

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

It's amazing how quickly Shinji went from being the okay one of the group to being the real screwed up one. I actually liked him for a while there, because he didn't show any of the problems the other three were having, but after his little rant in this episode, he's shot way up to the top of the disliked list (knocking Mitsuki down to second, though she helped her own cause with finally talking to Narumi at the beginning of the episode).

Obviously it's all their faults (except for Haruka, who couldn't do much about being hit by a car), but Shinji's taking the easy way out and blaming it on Narumi. Let's not forget, he didn't really have a good excuse for sleeping with Mitsuki. After all, he's got a girl, has a job (though apparently he's been secretly repressing desperate romantic feelings for Mitsuki).

If there's a bright side to the fight between Shinji and Takayuki, it's that maybe physical force can do what sex, whining, and tears couldn't do to make Takayuki actually do something for a change.

Rating: A-

Posted by Kei at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 13

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

It probably goes without saying that this was another gut-wrenching episode of Kiminozo. Now that Haruka is awake (again), she's told that Mitsuki was pretty serious with Takayuki in the three years Haruka was in a coma. Having just broken off the relationship, she's rather flippant about the whole thing (which really seems to irritate Haruka), and ushers in a whole new set of depressing circumstances.

On the plus side, it looks like Takayuki might finally be ready to do something, rather than let everything that's going on around him carry him along. That would be a really welcome change, and definitely make him a more sympathetic character (though I'll believe it when I see it).

You know this'll be a good episode because it features extended conversation with my favorite red-haired nurse. She really serves the purpose of telling Takayuki what everyone who has been watching the show has been screaming at him all along, and it seems to set him down the path to his epiphany.

This is the second to last episode of this show, so I'm guessing the brakes are off this coaster until the end. Is there any chance for Mitsuki, Takayuki, Haruka, Shinji and Akane to find happiness?

Rating: A

Posted by Kei at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien Episode 14

Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien

The best romantic drama anime comes to a close with episode fourteen, and it's just as good at the end as it promised to be in the beginning. Though Kiminozo resorts to the anime tradition of wrapping up in the credits, at least we get satisfactory endings for all the characters. I won't spoil how everyone turns out, you'll just have to watch and see.

The show uses an interesting mechanism to describe the trials and emotional trauma that has come before, using the children's book that Suzumiya had been trying to get. Of course it's easy to make a fictional story match your own fictional story, but it is an interesting alternate way to look at the drama that takes place between the childhood friends. A different children's book (Haruka's) is used at the end of the show, but the content and the story don't seem to match up as well, and the impact doesn't quite hit as hard as it should. It's like I can see what they were trying to do, but they weren't successful.

The music, art and animation for Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien were all beautiful, and the entire show is a top notch product, with a great story and characters to keep it all together. If you're even remotely interested in this genre (and even if you aren't), you should watch this, as the best example of an original romantic anime.

Rating: A

Posted by Kei at 10:34 PM | Comments (5)