Kare Kano episodes 12 and 13 – Tsubasa Chronicles

After an intense and thorough recap the show continues on right after Tsubasa having run away to Yukino’s house in an effort to stop her dad from remarrying. Captain Tsubaki shows up to try and take her childish friend back, but Tsubasa is firmly latched onto her new hosts and Yukino ends up having to walk her home. Maho is also still along for the ride, and through dinner and some quality family time with the Miyazawas both she and Tsubasa are weirded out. Later she starts thinking about Arima, why she likes him, and why he might have been drawn to Yukino, but all this serves mostly as a starting point for introspection as to why she feels as she does about her father remarrying. Both episodes this time are firmly dedicated to Tsubasa, and she takes center stage as she deals with her father, his girlfriend Hiromi, and her son Kazuma.

Tsubaki takes responsibility. (The wedding is next month.)

It’s like a soap opera.

Yukino walking Tsubaki back from her house. The blue and black scenery, much of it photos, with red lights gets used for much of this first episode to reflect Tsubasa’s mood. I really liked how it looked and thought it made for some pretty shots. Gainax has definitely been interesting in their art in this show, but they haven’t often been beautiful in this way. That distinction is not to disparage the interesting shots, just to differentiate interesting on a thematic level from beautiful on an aesthetic level.

Hmm, I compared Tsubaki to Chizuru from Seitokai no Ichizon last post, and it seems to be more and more true as time goes on.

More blue and black nighttime scenery.

Yukino thinks back to how Arima and Tsubasa know each other, and how they became close due to their equally complicated family situations.

Yukino’s dad going on and on about how much he (creepily) loves his daughters isn’t helping these two feel comfortable.

A high stakes game of Uno, and another example of how close the Miyazawas are.

Even though Maho seems like the odd one out, she ends up playing Uno with Yukino’s family but Tsubasa sulks in another room thinking about her father and Arima. She finds such a loud, lively family odd, but also wonders if that’s what drew Arima to Yukino. Since Tsubasa’s mother died shortly after giving birth to her, it’s always just been her and her father. She having a hard time accepting someone new into their lives, wondering if this means that her father doesn’t want her any more or thinks of her as a burden. Thanks to an earlier phone call her father shows up later that night with his girlfriend. Everyone’s surprised at how good looking he is, but he’s also rather awkward, physically and conversationally. His girlfriend, Hitomi, tries to reach out to Tsubasa by talking about how she and her son are in a similar situation, but things get dramatic when Tsubasa smacks her hand away and her father then smacks her. Oh Japan, where slapping someone is seen as settling them down and not assault. To help things calm down she stays at the Miyazawas for the night, and at the end of the episode we get a short glimpse of Hiromi’s son, Kazuma.

Tsubasa in her blue and black world. Several of her childhood memories flashback as crayon-drawn images as well.

Bichichi? That’s a new one. Bishounen, bishoujo, bichichi? Is that what you call the improbably cool looking guys in salaryman manga?

Oh, but he’s also a dojikko. Or dojichichi? NEW FETISH INVENTED!

You hit me! Not even my fath- oh, wait.

Why is she still there?

GO TO DMC! GO TO DMC! GO TO DMC! Introducing Kazumi ‘Krauser II’ Ikeda.

The next morning Tsubasa decides that she’s just going to give up and accept Hiromi. Her dad has never stood up to her like that, so she figures that there’s no way she can have what she wants. He’s obviously happy to see her (at least appearing to) accept Hiromi, and that night they arrange to meet with her and her son at a restaurant. Kazuma’s bleached hair and skull pendant immediately make her go into worst case pessimistic scenarios, but a moment later he mentions how it would be nice to have a little sister. He asks if she’s in 7th grade (11th Japanese counting), prompting some nervous explanations as Tsubasa literally blows up in a rage over being mistaken for a little kid. Apparently the second impact was caused by Tsubasa and not an Angel.

This will be Asaba and Tsubaki in the future. On an unrelated note, Yukino’s mom is ridiculously cute whenever she wears that bow.

Distorted photographs of streets and the city are used for a lot of movement, and at least twice they start to take the outline of Tsubasa and then have the color fade back in when she snaps back out of her thoughts.

He’s really more K-ON than Detroit Metal City.

Maybe Tsubasa is the one who listens to DMC.

Having Kazuma as a step-brother has left her in despair!

The hidden truth behind the Second Impact!

The dinner didn’t go too well, and Tsubasa is as angry and dejected as ever as she walks through town one day, kicking rocks, containers, and eventually a car(!). But a coincidence ends up smoothing things over between her and Kazuma. She’s walking when a creepy older guy tries to offer her money to go ‘play’ with him and before she can fight him off Kazmua, who is passing by with his bandmates, gives him a Buddha’s Palm to the face. They share a drink on a bridge afterwards, but when it’s time to go she wants to spend more time with him. They head for his apartment after stopping to buy ice cream, and she finds it very easy to be comfortable with Kazuma. While they talk and share ice cream she realizes that they’ve gone through similar experiences and both have always wanted a home to return to. She even starts to recognize why her father would want someone who understands and supports him to come home to each day. Hiromi returns later, and is so embarrassed by the mess that she puts a knock-out hold on her son. For a moment she’s self-conscious about acting one way in front of Tsubasa at Yukino’s house and another now, but Tsubasa doesn’t mind: she’s a lot like Yukino in that way. She takes to Hiromi fairly quickly as well, and drops her opposition to her father remarrying, and it’s not long before they get a ward hall wedding and formally become a family.

Tenori taiga?

Hideki Ano did direct a film about enjyo kousai (Love and Pop.) I wonder if it shows up in other Gainax works by him?

Doors are used several times in Tsubasa’s introspection visuals, all crayon drawings up to this point. The first one in bright colors led into the memories of her and her father when she was a young child, then a darker colored one when she felt shut out of being able to return to that time. Now a more realistic one as she starts to see things more clearly, and in the present and future tense.

I love the technique of focusing on everyday objects, especially when the placement of them is used as metaphor. Overlaid with the images is Tsubasa’s narration and their conversation, with only the last shot of their faces.

If we had seen things from Kazuma’s perspective I imagine we’d see the same things, as Tsubasa here visualizes their shared longing for a home that they can go back to. They both have homes in a sense, but they also both seem to want one that’s not dependent upon just one person with limited time and who only has one other significant person in their life.

I like her already, she’s like an adult Yukino!

This show sure has some cute moms.

The shoes as symbols are back now that they’re a family.

A happier, complete crayon image in contrast to her earlier ones. DDAAAAWWWW!

LOL. I was thinking the same thing, it seems like more than brother sister here. Aha! So this is how all those “not related by blood” scenarios start off.

Final Thoughts: -Well that was different. No one other than the two main characters have been given their own episodes yet. Definitely fun to explore Tsubasa’s character in such detail over two whole episodes, and I liked how they illustrated the connection (but not reciprocal love) between her and Arima.

-The Miyazawa family is always fun to see together at home, and the father’s weird daughter love aside, they are really welcoming to both of their guests. It’s not often that you see full families in anime (if ever it’s usually only siblings), but they play a pretty big supporting role in this show. They’re always full of energy and banter, it’s fun to watch and a nice contrast to Arima’s. Though it doesn’t seem like it’s the latter family’s lack of trying, I think they’re just naturally more reserved and also have the adoption issues to get in the way.

- I hope this isn’t the last plot development for Tsubasa and Kazuma, even if the rest of it occurs at the margins as the show returns to the main story. Though I wouldn’t mind an episode or two on Maho (or even Tsubaki for the fun of it, hehe.)

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12 Comments

  1. Posted June 23, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Haha, my friends and I made that same Second Impact reference during that explosion scene.

    Kare Kano’s UNO game is unrealistic because the family members aren’t at each others’ throats by the end of the game. Or is it just my family who is like that?

    • Posted June 24, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      After the most recent Superbowl, my buddies and I played a game of UNO… that lasted 3 hours long. One game. It was probably because we were drunk and were playing 4 combined UNO stacks, but that game would not end. At least we we’re playing tennis.

      • Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Didn’t watch it myself, but I heard the commenters during the World Cup mention it. That match had scores on par with a basketball game!

    • Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      All it needed where some angular Angel wings to stretch out from the explosion! In reference to another show, for some reason the whole dining in a highrise hotel thing gave me a really bad feeling. I think it brought back the memories of the attack on the hotel in Tsukihime.

      Lol, I haven’t seen Uno go that far, that it was pretty high stakes in the show. For one of my friends, the vicious game was Monopoly. There were more twists and backstabbing when I played with them than Code Geass and Zeta Gundam put together.

  2. Posted June 24, 2010 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Another strong part of the show. I like this arc particularly in how Maho is completely owned and won over,,, the inexorability of her aqcuisition as Yukino’s friend was so much fun to watch.

    • Posted June 24, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      I’m waiting for more from and about Maho, but yeah, she was taken in pretty quickly.

      We are Yukino of Miyazawa. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  3. Exar
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Ah the Tsubasa Episode. I enjoyed it throughourly when I was watching the anime/manga. And if you liked having two episodes dedicated to certain characters besides Yukinon and Arima, well theres more later on, (not many but a few more) I’m still waiting for the Parent’s episode! You might enjoy it alot!

    • Posted June 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Parents’ episode? Yes please!

      While I very much enjoy Yukino and Arima and the development of their relationship, I’m a big fan of a series (of any genre) taking some time aside for the rest of the cast.

  4. Marigold Ran
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    It’s not only the Japanese who slap their kids. The Chinese do it ALL THE TIME. [You didn't get an "A" in math?" *SLAP*]

    Another common punishment is to send them to cram school.

    • Posted June 25, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Ah, I’m not as familiar with Chinese culture as I am with Japanese, but heh, that doesn’t surprise me. But it’ll never cease to raise my eyebrow a little bit when I see it in fiction, especially if it’s a kid getting slapped by an adult or a girl being slapped by a guy.

  5. Posted June 26, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Really like the step-mom little outburst. Felt so candid that it didn’t feel that out of place.

    • Posted June 26, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      The part where Hiromi started putting her son in the sleeper hold and then started explaining how she’s herself in front of Tsubasa’s dad? Definitely made her a very likable character for me, she so much like Yukino in some ways.

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