Kuragehime episode 4: The 30 Year Old Virgin

I’m guessing one of these three will become the odd one out… the question is, which?

Tsukimi swaps one contained space safe haven for another in this episode. Or, at least, she thinks she does. Could the consequences prove far greater than she can handle? Maybe. Is the audience in for a treat? Ohhh yess…


Summary-in-a-sentence:

Kuranosuke discovers and shares the redevelopment plans with some very in-denial nuns, before tagging along with Tsukimi on a visit to an aquarium along with willing driver Shu, who comforts Tsukimi when she remembers her late mother and starts crying, and later ends up seeing her in her underwear.


Crusader’s Make Wei for Shu…

A night of forever and ever that I do not wish to see...

It seems that Shu has struck the first blow and since Tsukimi is no Lu Bu, Shu will pursue! While the shoujo-tastic TRANSFORMATION may be lacking in the henshin henkei gattai dainamu dynamiku coolness the end result is still impressive. More so this time as Chieco was enlisted to help get Tsukimi out of those rarely laundered sweats and into something elegant that did not grate on the social mores of the Nunz.  For the first time in a long time there was a yuri moment that gave me the feeling of DO NOT WANT as a ChiecoxTsukimi pairing would be more detrimental that an overall improvement. At least with Kurakimi there is enough ersatz yuri to keep me happy, though Shukimi takes the cake for the sheer cuteness and the DAWWW inducing capabilities of having two socially awkward people engage in courtship.

I most pleased that Tsukimi got and kept a cooler haircut instead of those unkempt pigtails. Hopefully this small victory will not be short lived for I wish to see Tsukimi do in 10 episodes what the rest of the Nunz could not do in 10 years, and by that I mean look presentable. While the tragic loss of Tsukimi’s mom was expected at least it provides some hint as to why Tsukimi fell so far from her rather normal loli days. I eagerly anticipate seeing Tsukimi’s dad as far as I can tell it must have been hard on both of them and hopefully Tsukimi’s dad will not be a horrible person. It also provides some common ground between Tsukimi and Kuranosuke in that they both no longer see their mother’s but in the case of Kuranosuke it seems that his mother gave Kuranosuke over to his dad over a decade ago, I suspect because of hard times though at this point all we know is that Lina was likely to have been in show business.

It would be interesting to have Shukimi go on for a while since Shu is a likely antagonist due to the redevelopment plans and his confessed distaste for the Nunz. To be fair though it’s not without reason the Nunz come off as a creepy and distasteful. Also there is that LOL and DAWWW factor when putting 30 year old clerk on a collision course with a not even 20 year old social misfit. Though because of Shu not having much of a love life, there is a decreased likelihood of love rivals for Tsukimi though Shu’s dad might try and shack up his lady-less elder son with a girl respectable enough to be a politician’s wife. No doubt that having hit 30 and with no luck with women I am sure Shu is being pressured to marry or bring home a lady to his mummy and daddy. Heck at 30 Shu is edging into “Mom wants to be a grandma” territory. If nothing else personality wise Shu and Tsukimi are on the same wavelength bloody noses and all. I just loved hos SHu-Shu was able to keep his cool long enough to buckle up.

Kuranosuke on the other hand has gotten around and I like how they hint that part of his new found trappiness was the result of getting sick of girls fighting over him all the time. Talk about killing two birds with one stone, not only does he avoid the rabu rabu crossfire but also ruins his chances to be electable. Quite why there has yet to be a yuri stalker for Kuranosuke I can hardly guess. I confess I loved the chick fight montage as it was some of the best HAND TO HAND COMBAT I have seen all year. All the more better was that it was exclusively with FISTS, though they were not communicating well with them but to be fair none were candidates for joining the SCHOOL OF THE UNDEFEATED OF THE EAST.

The thing I would really like to see though is how Shu and Prime Minister Negishi are close, as they seem to be very different people. Speaking of Negishi I wonder if he is supposed to be a caricature of Taro Aso. As for the other minors I was surprised to see how much of a meltdown the rest of the Nunz had, though Banba-san takes the cake for being the worst of the lot, she’s rudest, greediest, and to top it all off has a knack for ruining things.

I suppose that in the near future at least one of Kuranosuke’s exes is going to show up though how much of an impression she will leave on Shu is a mystery to me as the whole OP montage was a great big shout out to famous movies.

Can Shu-shu borrow your friend?

Would you look at that... will be hard to dole out the HAETERADE if Shu turns bad.

If only AU Gundams other than G Gundam had combat this visceral...

Age gap is acceptable I'd rather shout TEN YEARS YOUNGER than THREE TIMES FASTER right now. Also at least Shu-shu didn't sink so low as Char, and Tsukimi is WAAYYYY better than Quess and with out the Hathaway too!

And yet it is romantic...

THIS IS NO LADY, BOY NO LADY

At the very least the likelihood of sex scandal is pretty low...

That can be rectified easily... Kuranosuke seems to know more about those than he ought to.

Ah the agonies of love...


Hana’s MOAR HUGS PLEASE:

DAT HUG.

Man, does this show just get better and better or what? And, seeing how strong epi 1 was to begin with, that’s saying something. In this epi, not only do we get major character development for Tsukimi and Kuranosuke, but we also get some seriously funny (no oxymoron intended) antics with the nuns, another trapformation to die for, some gorgeous location shots, DAT HUG, and the beginnings of a very promising love triangle to boot. You can certainly see why shoujo/josei and comedy fans would love this, but what’s even better is the refreshing treatment of such otherwise clichéd tropes as the deceased mother, the Cinderella and the love triangle…

I’m going to focus on the last one, and I’ll start by stating the obvious; this ain’t no conventional shoujo love triangle. Trapformations aside, our NEET heroine has no interest in being pretty, sees our hero as a princess rather than her prince and spends most of the time telling said princess to bugger off, and, indeed, seems like she’d be perfectly content if he did and if she never saw him again. In addition, our hero (like we see in the OP) is more of a Mary Poppins than a Mr D’arcy [or insert any another, perhaps less aloof, male romantic lead] figure who, rather than desiring a romantic relationship with a woman, would rather pretend to be one and perform makeovers on the rest. Finally, Mr Oni-sama/ Jellyfish Price, despite looking damn good in a suit, having famous parents, a good job, pots of money and no STDs (woo!), is creeped out by the nuns and wants to tear down their home (boo!). While the heroine is drawn to both men in different ways and the two men are in equally differing ways drawn to her, there is no clear ship we are supposed to be clamouring to board at this stage, nor, arguably, can I see either pair naturally ending up together given the psychological and social obstacles they’d have to overcome with only nine episodes to go. Not that that’s going to stop us from fighting in the shipping wars, eh.

Either way, the establishing of the love triangle in this epi was satisfying, and I’m glad Tsukimi finally made it to the aquarium and looked so happy (not to mention freaking adorable) there, despite the melancholy trigger for her visit. Of course, she might never have made it if Kura-pyon hadn’t turned up at the nunnery that morning and convinced his bro to lend them his Benz (er, and himself). However, the occasion certainly lent itself well to some very kyaarific moments, notably Kuranosuke’s stolen glances at Tsukimi, Shu’s less subtle stolen glances and DAT HUG, and the moments prior to and including Tsukimi and Shu’s nosebleeds.

The thermography-style sensory temperature memory version of DAT HUG.

In addition, and whichever side of the shipping war you might be on (if any), I guess we could try and differentiate each potential couple further by noting that Tsukimi x Kuranosuke seem drawn to each other based primarily on their personalities, whereas the primary draw with Tsukimi x Shu is in their physical attractiveness in each other’s eyes. Then again, it may not be as simple as that, as Tsukimi was originally drawn to Kuranosuke for his princess appearance as well as his ‘bravery’ with the pet shop ASSistant, and the more that Shu speaks with Tsukimi, the more he likes her, er, love of nature, as well as the sweet vulnerable side that comes out when she starts to tell him about her mother amidst her tears. Which reminds me, despite Kuranosuke’s disapproval of Oni-sama’s stuffiness, Shu certainly gets lotsandlotsandlots of points for throwing his prim-and-properness to the wind and comforting our lovely heroine in that impulsive but very sweet way. Daww is not even the word.

On the other hand, Kuranosuke’s mini tantrum was interesting to, not least of all for the split screen metaphorical linkage and contrast stuff at the end. For not only does he seem to get trapped up as a form of rebellion against his high political profile family and a way of avoiding the same professional fate, but we find out that he is sick of women, i.e. the ones who’ve been throwing themselves at him (and thus at each other for different reasons) ever since he’s been such a hottie. In this sense, he may be drawn to Tsukimi simply ‘cos she just ain’t like other girls. Unless, of course, he gets so jealous of that little Tsukimi x Shu action because he’s basically, and very unusually for him, being ignored. And I haven’t even mentioned his issues with his absent mum…

I guess there’s lots to consider before rushing aboard either ship, which is probably why these characters and what we’ve hitherto seen of their relationships are so intriguing and appealing. And realistic; no doubt due in part to their mixture of appealing and repellent attributes. Either way, I decree MOAR HUGS. This, I am convinced, will make the anisphere, and indeed the world, a better place. Preferably with ethereally beautiful Jellyfish drifting serenely in the background.

The cat-ear version of DAT HUG. And thus the best yet.


ExecutiveOtaku’s Damn the Torpedoes! Full Speed Ahead!

Sieg ShuKimi!

Gentlemen! (and women, but it sounds cooler to just open with a simple “Gentlemen!”) Man your battle stations, the shipping war begins here! Shinmaru has reported on the preparations for war, and now, with this episode, we have the spark to ignite the fire. Many have begun mildly taking sides or attempting to sit on the fence, but with these provocative actions men and women of honor are compelled to raise high the banners and take up our shipping arms! The battle lines have been drawn, and the cry has gone out. ShuKimi! ShuKimi! For that perfectly DDDDAAAAWWWWW couple! Shukimi! Till victory or death! Onwards!

Despite being so uptight, Shu has good instincts and knows when to be kind and supportive. OTP! OTP!

Fujoshi in love.

The cute moments and hints started last episode, and they’ve only accelerated here. The trip to the aquarium was a great success, much to Kuranosuke’s surprise, and eventual misfortune. Tsukimi went through another transformation courtesy of Kuranosuke and her roomate’s kimono collection, but the most important part was the removal of her glasses. When she couldn’t see perfectly, and when she didn’t have that layer of glass theme before her eyes, she was able to interact pretty normally. Things are slow in coming, but these superficial aids have helped Shu and Tsukimi get to know each other a little. While it could be argued that Shu only took note of her ‘make over’ self, it’s only as thick as the tiny layer of makeup Kuranosuke supplied. The make over has facilitated their interactions, and now the couple is getting to learn (and love!) each other as people. Shu seems enchanted by Tsukimi’s love of jellyfish, and Tsukimi has gotten to see Shu’s tender side. The whole story of Tsukimi’s mother was an unfortunately cliched case of Anime Wasting Syndrome (paging Doctor Canne…), but at least it made for that kyyyyaaaarific hugging scene. But not all was well, as Kuranosuke suddenly developed an instant case of lowly and most unworthy jealousy. Realizing that he just enabled True Love and Friendship between his brother and his friend, two people he should be happy for, he’s decided to take his place among those reviled in shoujo/josei history. Forcing apart the hug, objecting to his brother, and giving Tsukimi back her glasses to make her more self-conscious and awkward, his crimes go on. It was pathetic and most enraging. May he suffer the fate of “Vichy-tan” Ume with only an utterance of his true name to console him! Sieg ShuKimi!

Enjoy it now, this will be on indictment for your trial for crimes against love.

What, a yuri pairing I don’t approve of?

HHHHNNNNNGGGGGG!

Tsukimi’s in despair! Kuranosuke trying to ruin her love has left her in despair!

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26 Comments

  1. ectholion
    Posted November 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Bah!!! I see you have already forsaken this glorious trap EO!!! Know this!!! The forces of the KurKimi alliance shall meet your challenge and defend our trap and his/her princess till the end!!! And also consider with out the blessing of our great trap your ShuKimi pairing does not stand a chance!!!! AND comparing this Viki tan to our trap is a sin!! SEIG KURKIMI !!!!!!!!!

    • Crusader
      Posted November 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Given a choice I would dub the Kuranosuke x Tsukimi ship to be KimiKura, that way we have a kingdom of Shu-Kimi vs the Kimi-Kura Bakufu…

    • ectholion
      Posted November 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      I will give you that Shu is generally concerned for her and the hug was sweet, but as of right now Shu Tsukimi isnt a real person, but a figure of his imgaination. As you saw in the last episode he saw dolled up He fell in love with dolled up Tsukimi and was disgusted with the real Tsukimi, where as Kuranosuke knows who she is and he still falling for her, so much to the point that he detrapped himself mid episode. Though Shu is along away from getting my aproval he hasnt earned my scorn …
      Sounds like a much better name crusader. So be it, let it be called Kimi-Kura Bakufu

  2. Posted November 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Shuu x Tsukimi. Team nosebleed FTW!

    • Posted November 17, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      I’d hate to imagine the (dry-) cleaning bills though… O_O

      • Posted November 17, 2010 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        By the time they start having sex there will be no more bleeding noses, no more full-face blushes, and they both become every bit as boring as they really, really are…

        So… let us enjoy this blossoming of their own personalities and romance while we can!

  3. Merq
    Posted November 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    SHUKIMI! x_x

    I was not ready for this. I almost DIED this episode was so over the top cute. And to add to the soul crushing cute, my wish for a spectacle clad princess Tsukimi was granted.

    YES YES YES

    • Posted November 17, 2010 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Agreed, I particularly liked that shot of her in Shu’s rearview mirror, when she was turned towards Kuranosuke with her mouth parted, soo cute!

  4. Noodles
    Posted November 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    No one really pointed this out but am I the only one who finds Kuronosuke’s confusion over the fact *he might like a girl* a harbringer of what is to come? The point was made that he *doesn’t like girls* because they all fight over him. Now here’s a girl who not only isn’t the slightest bit interested from his view and in fact is *terrified* of said adoration … totally cliche but *totally cliche done in the best possible way!* I do not care how predictable it may be because at this point it couldn’t be executed in a much better fashion. That and omg blushing Shuu is so totally daw-worthy!

    • Posted November 17, 2010 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Lol, can you imagine if all the Amars ended up fighting over him?! Yes, unlikely, but still an amusing thought. Blushing Shu is definitely daww-worthy!

  5. Posted November 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Shukimi. Socially awkward virgins belong together!

    I’m raising the banner right now. You can practically hear it flapping in the breeze… patapata! Patapata!

    Clearly I’ve been watching too much Hetalia.

    • Posted November 17, 2010 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Shu doesn’t actually seem socially awkward though, only around Tsukimi (daww), but yes, if they were together then his confidence would certainly rub off on her.

      • Posted November 17, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        Well, yeah, but ‘socially-awkward-around-people-of-the-opposite-sex virgins!’ seemed like a bit of a mouthful.

  6. Posted November 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    “I’m guessing one of these three will become the odd one out… the question is, which?”

    Tsukimi imo. SHUU X KURANOSUKE BECAUSE IT’S THE SEASON OF INCEST BWAHAHAHAHAHA GO SHUURANOSUKE

    • Posted November 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      ….oh my god…. I think I just fell in love…. you somehow managed to out-BL me…

      • Posted November 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Actually, I raise you one more: KuranosukexPrime Minister! FORBIDDEN RABUUUUU

        • Posted November 16, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          KIRA-BL-SHI

          • Posted November 17, 2010 at 6:59 am | Permalink

            LOL. I did wonder if there was anything sexual about the PM’s adoration of his nephew, though I assume it’s just a paternal thing mixed with his natural appreciation of cutie-pies.

  7. raile
    Posted November 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    SHUKIMI!

    How can you not love a 30-year-old bishie megane virgin in a suit???

  8. Posted November 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Ah yes, I think with this episode, my love for the depiction of hugs in anime has been codified and solidified. But with that codification, if the show continues in this vein, then it will give my other OTP of the year a little bit of competition in the sheer DAAAW factor.

  9. fathomlessblue
    Posted November 17, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    KURKIMI for gold!

    I know Shuu makes far more sense and Kuranosuke is just as equally flawed but I can’t help it. Sorry Shu, but what happens at the Jellyfish tank should stay at the Jellyfish tank.

    Somehow I get the feeling Tsukimi won’t end up with either though. Plus, Shinmaru’s comment just reminded my of another potential suitor in the wings; uncle/Prime Minister Suburota. Well he did say Tsukimi was cute didn’t he?

    That it, I’m busting this shipping war wide open.

    Tsuburota all the way!!!! I believe in you Prime Minister. Separate the (perverted) men from the boys!!!

    • Posted November 17, 2010 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I assumed the PM was married with kids, or if those young men weren’t his kids then I assumed that was his wife at least (when they all arrived for lunch in the previous epi). I have a feeling Tsukimi won’t end up with enyone either, it would be a more daring conclusion to have her become a stronger person on her own, at least to begin with, and this show has been great at playing around with expected tropes. Then again, this is shoujo/ josei at it’s heart, and pretty romantic so far, so it would just be lovely all-round if she did end up accepting herself as a princess and finding her prince… whatever form either of these may take… Ooh, maybe, amongst othe things, Tsukimi and Kuranoske can end up with their own fashion line of Jellyfish-inspired dresses/ clothing!

  10. ~xxx
    Posted November 17, 2010 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Tsukimi was like…………. the 30-year old vigin who is waiting for her love to bloom.

    But because of that she was put into an awkward position in which Kuranosuke was so in interested in her.

    Anyways, Tsukimi is actually cute into the context of life itself, she is just looking down to it.
    I hope in the near future she would be able to appreciate her beauty more and accept the fact that Kuranosuke likes her… Period.

    [need some catching up to do.]

    • Posted November 17, 2010 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      I hope in the near future she would be able to appreciate her beauty more

      I hope so too, the bit with Clara’s ‘explanation’ and the tiger/zookeeper analogy certainly implies that she has a very warped idea of herself, which will hopefully change for the better.

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