Kimi no Iru Machi chapters 1-10 – Hopping On The Ragewagon

With the OVA recently released, I figured that now would be a good time to get to reading Kimi no Iru Machi, a series that I’ve heard so very much about. Howls of rage and sadistic laughter echo through the halls of the anibloggotwittersphere, and the sane speak in hushed whispers of something about “a town where you live.” Not knowing whether I’d fall into the ragers’ camp or those who at present stand in triumph over a blasted hellscape, I was nonetheless intrigued. I’m not as big on manga as I am on anime but I couldn’t miss out on something that sounds like it could take its place alongside True Tears, Kimi Kiss, and Macross Frontier in the halls of shipperdom. So for this season, rather than blogging anime episodically, I’ll be covering around 10-ish chapters of Kimi no Iru Machi per week. No spoilers please, as I’m just starting the series and haven’t watched the OVA. Sort of like retroblogging, I’m hoping to both entertain the fans that are already farther along, and to maybe get people interested in starting the manga and following the posts. Time to start the journey, to paradise or despair, I know not.

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Summary of this week’s chapters: Haruto is living way out in the countryside with his parents, about to start his first year of high school. Things get complicated though when the daughter of a family friend, Eba Yuzuki, comes from Tokyo to stay with them and attend high school. Supposedly to concentrate on school, perhaps for a change of scenery, we’re not really sure at this point. But she’s firmly lodged herself into Haruto’s life, living with him and dependent upon him to give her a bike ride to and from school each day. Eba seems very playful and flirty, but Haruto has long had a crush on an old middle school classmate, Kanzaki Nanami. Eba gives Haruto some moments alone with Nanami, such as when she suggests they all go to a bathhouse after school and stays in until she gets faint while allowing them to talk. And Haruto is trying his best to get closer to her, though joining the cooking club didn’t work out as keikaku. This doesn’t last long though, as Eba begins making some bold and insidious moves on Haruto, kissing him by surprise when he was sick at home, complaining to him to build up a guilt trip, and near the end of this week’s chapters, declaring that she’ll make him fall for her one day. Haruto is still very much interested in the better girl Nanami, but Eba seems to be working her mind game on him.

Commentary

Things are just getting started, but I’m all aboard the Haruto X Nanami ship. Maybe things will change, it is early after all, but I took an immediate liking to her, and a rapidly growing dislike of Eba. Nanami just seems more intelligent, as well as more of a stable personality, and has cute, less serious moments such as when she joined Haruto in talking through the electric fan at the bathhouse common area. I also took to Kaga Akari as well, a classmate of the protagonists who seems like she will be a lot of fun. Kind of reminds me of Chizuru in Kimi ni Todoke a bit, though she hasn’t had any major scenes/chapters yet.

Things really got in motion with that surprise kiss, but damn, that was messed up. Eba knows how much he’s into Nanami, and she’s also fully aware that she’s just outside the room. And then she tries to say that it was nothing and just some trick to cure his cold, something that’s popular in Tokyo. While Haruto in a lot of respects is a fairly standard male lead at this point, I was very pleasantly surprised to see him call her on her bullshit. But she is a master at that bullshit. Chapters 6-7 were like an illustrated guide to teenage dating mistakes, the sort of mistakes caused by youth that Char warned us of, and that I don’t care to admit. But Eba certainly is effective, from a purely objective measurement of objectives achieved. Eba’s strategy is like China’s in Xinjiang and Tibet: gradual, patient, and astonishingly thorough in how it undermines the will and even the very identity of its target. Without passing judgement on the ethics of it, it is amazingly effective. I fear my ship has already been sunk, for Eba follows Sun Tzu’s dictum that “victorious warriors win first, then go to battle.”

Eba continually puts Haruto off balance, seizing the initiative in nearly every situation. The only time Haruto has set the pace of their verbal-emotional fencing match was when he called her out on why she kissed him so suddenly. Let’s look at the whole picture. Though not a result of her own actions, she lives with Haruto and thus gets to spend lots of time with him. She claims to not be able to ride a bike, despite bike riding being very common in Tokyo as well, which makes her seem vulnerable and makes Haruto have to adjust his schedule around her. He feels a sense of responsibility towards her since she (allegedly) can’t get home on her own, and she uses this to maximum effect by refusing the ride home he arranged for her when he was sick and making a bed-bound Haruto bike all the way out to the convenience store to pick her up. And finally, she ‘helps’ Haruto spend time with Nanami, but ends up manipulating Haruto’s thought process. Why yes, Haruto, I’ll help you spend time with this perfect girl you love. I’ll always be there to help you do that. It’s so tough for you to spend time alone with her, isn’t it, Haruto? Well, maybe you could fall for me. Oh, just kidding! …yeah, right. By doing this she sets up Nanami as remote and unattainable while simultaneously promoting herself as the cute girl right next to him, who spends more time with him too.

This girl is some sort of sociopath, or perhaps Machiavelli reincarnate. She’ll clearly stop at nothing to get Haruto. Lies, emotional manipulation, anger, injuring herself, guilt trips, teasing, flirting, feigning weakness and dependence. There’s really nothing Eba won’t do. She clearly has a shaky sense of self, perhaps prone to crack and act erratically. But that only makes her more dangerous. Because if all her manipulations both planned and improvised fail to work, she can unleash a pure, unrestrained drama storm upon the characters’ world. I wouldn’t put anything past her, up to and including endangering herself or others.

This week’s Rage Condition

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39 Comments

  1. Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    It has officially began, your descent into the darkest despair.

  2. PrinceLeon
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Ah yes, A Town Where you Rage. I look forward to seeing your weekly RageCon. I’d tell you where mine is currently but that would be spoiling. Also, great write-up!

    • Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      I hold out the slim hope that I won’t be raging, but I’d say the odds are strongly against me, haha. Glad you liked the writeup, and thanks for being cautious about spoilers.

  3. Tzu
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I was looking for a romance manga, perhaps I’ll join you in reading 10ch a week. My RageCon was overloaded and busted after bunny drop so nothing will scare me. The only thing that botters me is that it is marked as ongoing on my reader.

    • PrinceLeon
      Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      You cannot comprehend what A Town Where you Rage will do to your soul. Soon you will learn. Soon!

    • Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, it’s still ongoing. I see people on Twitter talking about new chapters being released pretty regularly. Going to take me a while to catch up to what’s out so far, but you have to start somewhere.

      And yeah, I’ve heard what the Usagi Drop ending is. WTF?

  4. Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Also Kimi no Iru Machi ends on chapter 117 page 13 just saying

  5. Nazarielle
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    the better girl

    Ahahaha, clearly this will be good if KimiMachi is already bringing this out in you. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you who my ship is :p

    Ah, this will be incredibly entertaining. I look forward to seeing that Rage Con reach critical levels. If it’s already at 4, oh boy. If you think she’s pulling out all the stops now, just you wait.

    I have to agree with you about Akari. She was a favorite for quite some time. Not my main ship, but she’s a pretty cool girl.

    Can’t wait to see more. The upcoming arcs are pretty… dramatastic. Ah, this should be good.

    • Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Yeah. Just based on who you and Dave ship I can pretty much conclude that I’m headed straight into a minefield. So I guess there’s less surprise in the what than the how.

    • Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Truer Tears will never be shed

  6. Mech
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Have you read Suzaku?

    Or maybe watched it.

    • Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      No, though I’ve heard something about the two manga being related (other than being by the same author.)

      • Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Same universe. One of the characters from Suzuka is referenced a few times in KimiMachi.

    • eternia
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Er… Suzaku or Suzuka?
      LOL.
      Really, that title should be change to Bitch, because that’s what the girl is.
      Kouji Seo is really bad at creating female characters.
      They are either sluts or bitches.
      Yet his manga can reach more than one hundred chapters without being cancelled.
      Japanese boys must be mainly consist of masochists, for liking such female characters.

  7. ectholion
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Im picking up this manga as well, it looks quite good. Though a bit too heavy on the fanservice. im perplexed by this Haruto character… by page six of the first chapter he had already ran up to his room in a huff and locked himself in….

    haruto -10 points for being a wuss, and an ass in the first chapter

    Eba +10 points for being aggressive “you go girl if you keep the fight up you will win due to Haruto stupidity and Nanami inability to act” I dont think of Eba personality is so bad, it seems common in the women i have dated and the women i know. If anything i would think she is incredibly well behaved for being as attractive as she is.

    Nanami – im not sure how to rate since she seems to be hiding her crazy and is too shy at this point to actually show her true character.

    anyways cheers mate as long as the story is interesting enough for me to ignore the fanservice i shall continue to read.

    • Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      The fanservice has been a bit less than I expected, actually, since it’s a seinen manga. I’m not too bothered by it.

      Can’t agree with you on Eba though. There’s taking the initiative, and then there’s being manipulative. Reminds me of some of my own mistakes caused by youth, and Haruto is falling for it like I did in high school, the poor bastard. It’s kind of like that seeing a friend go out with some crazy girl you know is no good for him, but being powerless to stop him.

      • ectholion
        Posted April 12, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

        The things i think are crazy are 1 the fact that Haruto mom agreed to let Eba live there, 2 the fact that every girl in the series has huge breasts, 3 that Eba is interest in Haruto in the first place. Im gonna guess that they are gonna pull some they were childhood friends crap or they met when they were in kindergarden and she has been in love with him ever since crap and some how Haruto has forgotten it all… Also beware comrade! all women are crazy, and all men are stupid, if you think a woman your seeing isnt crazy its just that she is doing a damn good job at hiding it.

  8. Bagels
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    While I don’t usually comment and just lurk on this blog, I just had to comment on this entry after my favorite rage inducing manga is getting covered in my favorite anime review blog. Keep up the good work, I really like the perspective you’re taking with this and the hilarious commentary!

    Needless to say this was a ridiculously rage filled manga. My ship was sunk and it’ll never be back…

    • Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Glad to have you with us in the comments this time! I’ve heard so much about this manga, I had to check it out for myself. And blogging it ought to give me the discipline to get to reading it in a timely manner, finally.

  9. eternia
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Uh. This one is already famous as The Town where You Rage.
    The other one is Good Ending ==> Rage Ending
    Good luck with that.

    • Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Hmm, maybe that can be a project for another day.

    • 7godeohs
      Posted April 16, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      KNIM is to Good Ending what a road flare is to a candle.

      There are a few rage-inducing parts of GE I’ll admit, but nothing you would want to strangle a character over like in KNIM.

      At some point I will pickup KNIM again but I’m going to wait until it’s finished so I can marathon through the rage.

      • eternia
        Posted April 20, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink

        I see.
        I haven’t read KNIM far enough to feel like strangling somebody.
        And I have forgotten most of the contents.
        Need to marathon it all.
        One day,

  10. arcanes
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m hoping (for you) that the 4 in your rage meter is 4 out of 100 because you haven’t got the slightest idea what this series can do to you.
    what can I say; I’m eagerly awaiting your next (rage?disbelief?anger?) post.

    • Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      CrazyDave suggested on Twitter that I’ll need a RAGECON 0 for this series.

      Rage/Zero, the prequel to Rage/Stay The Fuck Away From Him.

  11. heru_san
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    wow…. I never expect you blog this!!!! prepare for rage & despair my friend :p KNIM has ups & downs but for some reason I cant stop reading it ^_^

    • Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

    • eternia
      Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      I stopped on chapter 30+ though.
      I don’t want to ride on a rage wagon once again, after my experience with Suzuka
      Fail mangaka is fail mangaka.

  12. MarigoldRan
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Always root for the evil person. That way you will never rage.

  13. Posted April 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    I am officially the biggest Kimi no Iru Machi and Kouji Seo fanboy in the sphere.

    Good luck, and don’t break too many keyboards ;)

  14. Ahelo
    Posted April 17, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    The true rage doesn’t quite start until like the chapter 80s or something. Soul crushing would start at around chapter 130 to 140. I swear you still have absolutely no idea how hard the soul crushing rage will be. it has to be experienced for the rage to really kick in.

  15. Tavo
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Oh… first time in this page and blog.

    Good luck with KNIM, I love the series and the characters; but I cant deny that Haruto is one of the worst males I have ever seen in manga; I think he wins the other father of losers in harem manga Keitaro Urashima.

  16. Shinderate
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Nice to see someone coming to the series a little late into its run, and beginning at the start. I like seeing the perspective of someone with a fresh pair of eyes and all that.
    Looking back at the beginning of the series, it seems so much more innocent and to have more potential.

    Alike Executive Otaku I favoured Nanami over Eba in the series’ initial love triangle, partly because I don’t like childish, fairly dumb characters like Eba as love interests. I think I’d actually like her more if she was a side character. And while Nanami’s a tad dull, she’s just about kind enough and sweet enough to be endearing. That she doesn’t need the portagonist as a ever-present Nanny is a considerable bonus too.
    To be honest, the overall treatment of Nanami both by Haruto and the story in general are probably the biggest factor’s in my losing goodwill towards them.

  17. Einherjar
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Apparently, someone thought this deserved to be an anime in 2013. Let the rage storm begin!

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