|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Kimi no Iru Machi
(All episodes watched):|
Come to think of it, it has been a while since a decent romance anime came along. Kimichi, however, could have been better. It struck me as an unfocused show, that wobbled back and forth between different plot strands in a manner which was difficult to get engaged with or be thrilled by.
This is basically a romantic triangle, or maybe a game of romantic follow-the-leader: Azuka likes Haruto, but Haruto is looking for the girlfriend he broke up with, Yuzuki, not a new one. The animation is kind of jerky (the artwork above gives little idea what it's really like), and the thought occurred to me that maybe this wasn't a 2013 series at all, but rather an old one which I'd never heard of until now. But this seemed like an interesting story which I wouldn't mind following. I guess serious romance stories really have to develop their characters, which is what I need in order to care about them and whatever story they are telling. Episode two tells us about how Haruto and Yuzuki first met some time ago. But when I think back, even from the very end of the entire series, I find that I still don't know the main characters all that well. In episode four things get awkward and ironic when Haruto realizes that there's a problem with the advice his friend Kazama has been giving him to never give up on courting Eba. This show seemed to have the sort of delicious problem which tends to block the resolution of romances, and it was hard to see how it could be overcome without a major character getting hurt. It looked like a long, determined competition between Haruto and Kazama for Eba's hand was building, but to my surprise that was nipped in the bud in episode seven. Where does this turn of events leave us? I found it more confusing than moving. I wished Asuka would get more screen time; she had been largely ignored since episode one, and I hoped she wins out in the end. The plot was getting so complicated and confusing, with numerous flashbacks to Haruto and Eba's past, that I found kind of zoning out at times. I wished we would get back to present-day Tokyo and the story would take off again.
Romance between any two people took a long time to begin, so I was feeling kind of impatient and frustrated throughout the second half. This show just seems unfocused; Eba and Azuka, the competitors in the romantic triangle, hardly know each other, so things can't get all that tense. Cheap tricks like the old 'guy trips and falls on girl in suggestive position' are used in an attempt to keep us interested.* I was grateful that this was just a one-season show, because that's as long as I was prepared to continue watching unless things heated up dramatically. At the end it's clear that one of two nice girls is going to get hurt. Was the way it actually ended the best way it could have? I don't know. The romance between the two went hot and cold (actually, more 'warm and cool') so many times that I can't be confident that they have found their true feelings and things will work out fine. Kimichi seemed like a pretty cookie cutter romance at the end, one which has no real moments that thrilled me and probably won't remain in my memory for long. Perhaps it was because we never got to know Haruto, Eba and Azuka all that well that I couldn't wager all that much of my emotions on which girl would get Haruto's hand at the end.
*Wouldn't it be great if someday this happened, and the guy apologizes by saying "that's something that's only supposed to happen in some cheap anime!"
Last updated Saturday, October 26 2013. Created Thursday, July 18 2013.