Kare Kano episodes 05 and 06 – His and Her First Dates

The run up to the Sports Festival was an exhausting and stressful time for Yukino and Arima, with the two of them barely able to see each other. Through it all, and all their responsibilities as club and committee members, they do manage to have a few nice moments together. And as the days before the event fly past, the two also begin their actual relationship, going on dates and opening up to each other much more. Some doubts surface during this time as well, and especially for Arima there are many difficult moments. But in the end the couple comes out stronger than before, and they even make something of a friend, even if he’s a rather annoying friend most of the time.

Has she cut herself off from thoughts of romance so much that a Coke commercial has become a model for romance? Kano needs to educate her in the shoujo classics.

Exhausted from her work, Yukino falls asleep in a classroom and has this dream, images and words from Arima floating into view.

Yukino’s dream brings her to tears, she misses seeing Arima so much. The way the shots narrowed in on her, showing an isolation kind of loneliness, then went to a wide, emptiness sort of shot, was a nice way to convey both aspects of her mood.

But a chance encounter in the hall brings her mood right back up. It’s really funny and cute how Yukino has just melted and gone right into lovey-dovey mode, when before she was so self-controlled.

Don’t interrupt his moment!

Later, up on the roof they have their first actual moment alone in days. Though for now it’s just a kiss on the cheek.

Happily for them, during and after the festival they are able to spend more time together, eating lunch and walking home from school.

While keeping overwatch on Arima, as hold habits die hard, Yukino notices that he’s around another guy a lot. The other girls inform her that the long haired guy with the dyed hair is Asaba, a popular and (by their standards) good looking guy. Since he and Arima appear to be such good friends, she decides that she should make an effort to get to know him as well. But the first time they meet, he insults her and says that he doesn’t know what Arima sees in her. It is on. Her kind approach snubbed, Yukino has not forgotten the techniques she used to wage war on Arima and employs them against Asaba. Kicking, stealing food, and various other means are employed by both sides until one day Yukino mentions Asaba to Arima. Annoyed at being made fun of when she was in such a good mood about going to the movies with Arima, she vents about Asaba and his womanizing ways. While Arima seems to just talk about Asaba normally with her, he’s not about to take any crap from him regarding his girlfriend. When he finds Asaba alone in the hall, he grabs his collar and tells him to lay off. On his way out, Asaba asks what he sees in her, and he answers bluntly: Yukino is with him without being motivated by gain, unlike Asaba’s ambitions for Arima to help him achieve his harem end.

Asaba’s borderline yaoi fantasies include Arima as his partner in crime, helping him attract all the girls to achieve his harem end.

Just after Asaba insulted Yukino, Arima had no idea what he was walking into.

Eyes start glowing when it’s time to fight? Maybe I am on to something with that Tsukihime angle…

Yukino is clearly running an attrition strategy, employing hit and run tactics for direct confrontation, and psychological attacks meant to break the will of her enemy in other instances.

I. DRINK. YOUR. COFFEE! I DRINK IT UP!

In the final battle, Yukino attacks with her Solar Ray System.

Later, Arima reveals some of his capacity to be scary. Good for you Arima, sometimes you’ve got to be cruel.

Lots of cute chibi Yukino in these episodes.

He’s either professing to be after the girls to get with Arima, or he’s like the faux-yaoi troupe from Magical Play that pretended to be gay to get fangirls.

Arima is Yukino’s husbando. DO NOT CLAIM!

Are all people with that haircut and ear piercing jerks? Yes!

The day of Arima and Yukino’s date rolls around, but when Yukino shows up at the movie theater she ends up waiting for hours. She started out early, but now has no idea where Arima is. Making things worse, Asaba shows up and teases her about being stood up, but has overplayed his hand and ends up making an ass of himself in front of the crowd. When she starts crying though, he does apologize and offer his handkerchief. Just then Arima arrives, late because his mother became anemic and he had to help take her to the hospital. While Asaba kind of makes himself look foolish again as he tackles Arima and demands that he apologize, it is his weird way of making up for his words to Yukino, and after a few more words the three end up being friends. This is the last we see of Asaba for now except for a short conversation next episode, but I imagine he’ll be back as a supporting character now that he’s been psychologically Nanoha’ed into the group.

The date, not going so smoothly at this point. Also the rare shot of Yukino not wearing her school uniform, aside from her old track suit.

Asaba’s redemption.

It seems a little ridiculous to leave an ailing parent for a date, but we all know that this is just a pretext for him to jump Arima, like he’s always wanted to.

Teasing Arima about being a “too pure-pure boy.”

The second episode this week has an interesting dual format, showing some scenes from the perspective of both Yukino and Arima. Both of them remember their thoughts from the dates they’ve been on using the same visuals, and then there is a part where both converse separately with Asaba. We also get one-after-the-other dinner scenes with the Miyazawa and Arima families, contrasting the two and their effect on the characters. Yukino is carefree and enjoying her love for Arima, but he keeps having bad memories and old restraints pop up in his mind. As free as Yukino seems to be with her feelings, he’s feeling awkward letting his out after years of shutting them away in his pursuit of scholastic and athletic perfection.

You mean awesome.

Bure bure bure bure.

Girls that act like old women are the best kind! Case in point: Miwako from Honey and Clover, Maria from Hayate no Gotoku, and Takako from Kannagi.

Arima has developed problems from years of trying to please his adoptive parents. They don’t seem like bad people, they probably wouldn’t even ask so much of him, but he’s overcompensating for the crimes of his biological parents.

The Miyazawa family, in something almost like a puppet show presentation, conversing over dinner and attempting to get the juicy details out of Yukino.

The horizontal visual presentation of the Miyazawa family is contrasted with the narrow, vertical one for the Arimas. Unlike the lively conversation, there’s only Arima’s father attempting to ask a question and then backing off. Everything is very formal in their language and manners, and there’s no real communication. Perhaps this is the fault of the parents not being able to connect with Souichiro, perhaps his driven attitude has made him unapproachable to them, or perhaps a combination of the two.

Yukino lamenting how all the couples from the Sports Festival seem to be breaking up. She makes a comment about the expiration date of their feelings, something that reminded me a lot of Officer 223’s ideas about expiration dates for love in Chungking Express.

Arima’s psychological issues really start messing with him by this point. He has no confidence, and keeps asking himself if he’s worthy of being together with Yukino. For a while he sits in an empty classroom stressing out about it, before falling asleep. Outside it starts raining, and there are closeup shots of the storm gutter and dripping faucets in the school, once more acting as a metaphor for his suppressed feelings and memories coming back to him. As he sleeps, Yukino finds him and watches him until he wakes up, seeing his sleeping face, which is one of those things that’s considered romantic (though I’ve never really understood why.) Alone in the school, they decide to pass the time and hope that the rain stops so they can walk home. Yukino runs around happily, and brings up something she had said earlier, that she doesn’t want to depend on anyone other than Arima. He sees how open she is with him, and keeps thinking about how he wants to be with her. Over and over again in his mind he keeps repeating it, and then finally runs after her and embraces her. The two are about to kiss, but a boom of thunder startles them and then they back away embarrassed. Arima especially so, as he runs off to the bathroom to wash his face and recover. But once again a bit of clumsiness breaks the tension and brings them together. Arima accidentally kicks a bucket full of water onto Yukino, and after a moment of silence they burst into laughter, then embrace again and kiss. A brief narration sequence and a quick word between Arima and Asaba end the episode, the couple now more confident than before.

Most of the symbols used in previous episodes were gone from this one, but the rain and water makes a brief appearance during Arima’s crisis of confidence.

Opening up is coming naturally to Yukino. The only things that have caused her stress these episodes have been the absence of Arima.

Arima’s internal monologue builds up to a roar and then he suddenly runs for Yukino, just before the interrupted kiss.

Lightening things up is Yukino’s own freakout after the thunder interrupts them, the song about being wary of boys replaying in her head automatically.

Comic mishap to the rescue once again.

DDDDAAAAAAAWWWWWWW!


Good to see Arima with some confidence now.

Final Thoughts: – Referring to that last scene, the show so far has differed from most shoujo that I’ve seen in that the obstacles to be overcome are internal to the main characters. Most shoujo has the rival character(s) who must be opposed in some manner, along with some internal conflict, but thus far it’s all about dealing with the internal pressures and memories that threaten the relationship. Most of this has come from Arima up to this point, but Yukino has had her own sorting out to do as well. Getting into the characters’ psychology in this way is interesting, especially so early on so that if a rival does appear, the dynamics of the interaction with that rival will be grounded in a deeper psychological base than most shoujo characters get in an entire series. Though I would imagine that this emphasis is to be expected with both Hideki Ano and Kenichi Kasai onboard for this show.

- Much of the circumstances and personalities of Arima’s family have to be inferred at this point, so I’m hoping that we’ll get more direct access to them in the future. Inferring is fun, certainly, but it can only go so far when the viewer only has very limited information at this point.

-  After the angst on Arima’s part in the previous two episodes, the more lighthearted and cute events of this week’s episodes was a nice change. Don’t get me wrong, those episodes were good and definitely had their place, but it’s nice to laugh and dddaaawwwww over the characters too. I’m greatly looking forward to more, even as I dread what may become of it in the end due to production issues.




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28 Comments

  1. Posted May 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    DREAD is justified. but there’s a whole lot of awesome to come before that! There will be external obstacles, and beyond the anime there will be external obstacles wholly integrated with the internal ones.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 26, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      That’s what I’m looking forward to, having the external obstacles be processed through the psychological element that’s been established so far. It’s a different, and I think more interesting, way of setting up a romance series. I’m just enjoying the show so much that my DREAD increases in proportion to my enjoyment, hehe.

  2. ojisan
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    DDDAAAAAWWWW is so right! Kare Kano was my gateway shoujo drug back in 2002/3 and I’m very deliberately waitng a few years between rewatchings.

    I think the little scene where Arima watches Yukino playing and jumping around in the school stairwell after hours is one of my favourite anime moments of all time. Then, about half of those favourite moments are in Kare Kano -

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      That was such a great moment, and even somewhat unexpected for her. Though that’s part of what made it so great, that she had this energy and playfulness behind both her public facade and her deviousness. And for Arima, listening to his internal monologue build, and then his decisive change and movement. The bounce back from the thunder breaking them apart was a nice up and down too.

    • Impz
      Posted May 27, 2010 at 12:55 am | Permalink

      Hahaha, Kare Kano is also my shoujo drug until Skip Beat, Ouran High and more recently the Dengeki Daisy manga filled up that gap. I really got to do a manga review of Dengeki Daisy (even though it’s still ongoing) because the awesomeness of the characters are over 9000 and there is some serious character development despite the hilarious comedy in it. It’s one of the few shoujo mangas right now that balances serious drama, comedy and kyaarific scenes all in one package.

      • ahelo
        Posted May 27, 2010 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        shit dengeki daisy. i thought i was the only one reading that. glad to know theres other fans than me.

      • ExecutiveOtaku
        Posted May 27, 2010 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        I’m just about done with the Ouran anime and have enjoyed it greatly. Your and Crusader’s praise for Skip Beat makes me think I should check that out too, though I’m more likely to watch the anime than read the manga, being a bigger fan of anime than manga in most cases.

        • Posted May 28, 2010 at 3:03 am | Permalink

          Skip beat is awesome, just cut off horribly — like it needs another 26 episodes immediately kind of horribly. There was no pretense of ending the show.

  3. Marigold Ran
    Posted May 26, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    “As he sleeps, Yukino finds him and watches him until he wakes up, seeing his sleeping face, which is one of those things that’s considered romantic (though I’ve never really understood why.)”

    Think about it some more. Hee hee hee.

    Read the manga. Things happen. Their relationship in the manga is VERY realistic.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 26, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      I still don’t understand it though. My (ex)girlfriend made it out to be such a big deal the first time she saw me sleeping, but I never really got it. I figured it was a Japanese cultural thing that I wasn’t familiar with, and seeing it in this show I still don’t really see the significance. I mean, it’s cute, but I don’t get it beyond that. What’s so special about it?

      I’m planning on going through the manga at some point, but I’m not sure if I want to read it afterwards or concurrently (assuming that it runs roughly concurrent and now in a different sequence in the anime adaptation.) Definitely going to at least read the later parts that run with the, what I’ve heard to be, mangled end of the show.

      • Posted May 27, 2010 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        It’s been explained to me a few times (still don’t quite get it), but it’s something about guys sleeping peacefully and girls see that as the guy is now comfortable around them. Or in other situations it’s just seeing a guy sleeping is like seeing another personal side of the guy, like being flirty or being angry.

        Again… I really don’t get how girls/women think.

      • Marigold Ran
        Posted May 27, 2010 at 12:27 am | Permalink

        This will sound somewhat icky, but it’s like watching a child sleeping. The motherly feeling is definitely involved. But this concept is hard to explain, especially to guys.

        • Impz
          Posted May 27, 2010 at 12:52 am | Permalink

          Hey hey hey, I take huge offence to that. I actually enjoy watching my wife sleep for some reason. She has this really blissful kitty snore at times, and she sleeps so soundly that you just want to hug her and say awwwwwwwwwwww xD. That said, I am not exactly the GARest of the men out there, so perhaps that is why I feel this warm feeling of love whenever I watch her fall asleep.

          It’s just the happiness that you know that a person you love the most is beside you. That is why guys who don’t understand shoujo will never get it. It’s so romantic!

          Edit: Reading back at this comment, I really sound like a girl. I have to fix this shit soon so I sound so GAR that no one will mistake me to be a gal. RAWR!

        • ExecutiveOtaku
          Posted May 27, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

          That makes sense. But while I’m far from the GARest guy around, to me it’s still a bit hard to really understand. It’s a great feeling just being near the one you love, but for me watching that person sleep isn’t something different from that general feeling of love. But men and women often see things differently, so to each their own.

  4. Posted May 27, 2010 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Ohhh…This is where Asapin comes in! We see a glimpse of Arima’s dark side…you will see it whenever there’s a threat to his relationship with Miyazawa!

    I am also watching the episodes and it super amuses me whenever it’s Arima’s turn to describe Miyazawa. He doesn’t hide the fact that she’s imperfect and a not so ideal woman for a girlfriend. Hehehe.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 27, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Arima’s dark side is interesting to see. It makes him a more well rounded character since it’s an aspect that many shows, especially romance shows, don’t acknowledge in their characters (or only do so in a watered down way.)

      The replay of the dates from the perspective of both characters was great, especially their contrasting thoughts. Yukino, always so critical before, is now all lovey dovey and thinking about how Arima is perfect, meanwhile he went from really kind outwardly to critical, but still accepting and in love with her. Arima’s way of thinking is probably better, but I think Yukino is just enjoying the moment at present and letting herself get a little carried away.

      • Posted May 28, 2010 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        Uh-huh. That’s why I really love this series. There’s character growth and people are able to relate to these characters’ experiences in life. It’s a sort of slice-of-life/comedy/romance that I’m looking for. And to think that this one was shown way waaaaaaay back! I wish anime studios would produce more shows like this. It wouldn’t be a waste of time to watch it.

        • Impz
          Posted May 28, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          Ya. Due to the post, I went on a marathon to complete the whole manga series today. It was just so great, and I wonder why they stopped doing manga of such depth, and instead have wimpy women who can do absolutely nothing to save themselves. So annoying.

          • Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Well. The lack of original idea is a problem. And kids these days are very easy to please. That’s why there’s a bunch of low quality (in terms of story and depth) mangas and animes nowadays. :(

          • ExecutiveOtaku
            Posted May 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            I’m pretty skeptical of the ‘kids these days’ arguments. It’s true that there are changes in emphasis and taste over time, but I think in this case it’s that (as with other genres) something of such a high quality only comes around every so many years.

            Mecha for example, since that’s a genre I know pretty well, had Macross Frontier in 2008, but before that the only show I’d say was A+ was 08th MS Team in 1999. Before that, I’d say the preceding A+ show was back in 1985-1986 with Zeta Gundam, and before that the original SDF Macross and Gundam series in 1979 and 1982. Plenty of fine, even great series and OVAs in between those shows, but the masterpieces only come along every so often. Kare Kano, from what I’ve seen so far and heard from others, seems to be one of those every so many years masterpieces of the genre.

          • Posted May 30, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink

            @EO: Now that you mentioned it, you do have a valid point there. Which means we’ll need to wait a few more years for something really exciting to come out.

          • ExecutiveOtaku
            Posted May 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            By the way, I found Dal Ja’s Spring and watched the first episode today and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Thanks again for the recommendation :)

            (also got the first few episodes of Change, though I haven’t started that yet.)

    • Posted May 31, 2010 at 3:50 am | Permalink

      @EO: You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy the rest of the episodes! Tell me what you think once you start watching Change. (n_n)v

  5. Exar
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Hooray! Asapin is here! Although hes kinda annoying for a few episodes, but he becomes pretty much the supporting role and comedic effect (along with Yukino)

    However, as for rivals, there are “rivals” per se…. he he

    Its just going to get even better!.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Looking forward to seeing Asaba more. Similar to another Pin, it seems he may start off annoying but become funny later on. The rivals will be interesting too, though I’m not sure how they’re going to crack the bonds that have formed thus far. Which leaves open only the psychological method of attack, something that these two characters may be particularly vulnerable to. Hmmm, interesting, interesting…

  6. Keith
    Posted May 29, 2010 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoying the retroblogging of this series; I saw it back in about 2002-3, and I’d forgotten how good it was (partly because of the non-ending; I think the first half of the series, which focuses purely on Yukino and Arima, is the best part).

    • Posted May 30, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      You must read the manga!

      The part focusing on Arima is the best part! Tsubasa’s part is also good.

    • ExecutiveOtaku
      Posted May 30, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. It always makes me happy to see old fans of a show reliving the experience even as I watch it for the first time myself. And hopefully retroblogging will bring in newer anime fans into some of the great old series in the same manner that it’s let me discover new older shows.

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