(credit for the post title to Vig the Otagal, from a comment in the first Kare Kano post.)
Episode 03, ‘His Circumstances’, is definitely a departure from the way things were done in the previous two episodes. Arima’s past and family situation are explained after a visit to Yukino’s brings up bad memories and starts affecting the way he acts. It’s not out of character with the hints in the first episodes of a psychological element to the characters, but it did feel very different. Happily Yukino remains more balanced and doesn’t give up in the face of Arima’s bout of emo-ness. She still has her own issues and doubts, but in her stunning style she helps him snap out of it in true Bright Noa style. One day she will make a formidable mobile suit carrier captain! Episode 04 then returns to being more like the first two, with plans within plans as Yukino decides what to do about her feelings for Arima. And her own doubts creep up on her during a decisive moment, but in the end True Love inspires even the timid heart to action!
Yeah, it’s these horrible 1990′s subtitles and encodes! Okay, it’s actually because Arima has started avoiding her. First attempt at getting better quality subs was a bust, hopefully next week. Though episode 03 was the only one with really poor translation.
Very different reactions to visiting the other’s house. Arima’s parents seem nice and like Yukino, while her family initially reacts to him by freaking out, and then deciding that he’s not such a bad guy…and plotting how they can take advantage of their planned in-law. The shot on the left is another of those Gainax techniques from the time, with one character freaking out and moving quickly into different poses right up next to the ‘camera’, creating a bit of a lens curve distortion.
Yukino is questioning her pursuit of praise again, and also its consequences. Now that she’s confused about Arima, she only has herself and her family to talk it over with.
Just as traffic lights were the major motif of the previous two episodes, water coming down in a rainstorm or flowing out of taps is there to enhance the urgent flowing of Arima’s memories, as well as feel a bit oppressive with the dark rain clouds and water flowing down the windows.
Flashback about being chased and of a tree in blood red colors? Are we sure the Arimas aren’t the Arimas from Tsukihime?
I’m not sure exactly how the industrial scenes fit into things, other than the Gainax/late 1990s fetish for dense, complicated urban backgrounds. But the black-and-white but not image on the right is very nicely done.
At first Yukino decides to return Arima’s ignoring her in kind. She barges loudly past him, then starts sarcastically talking him up to her underlings within earshot. This strategy continues through the day, but near the end Arima is feeling bad for letting his memories sour his relationship with Yukino and tries catching up to her on the way home. She’s still adamantly ignoring him, and starts running away when he chases her. Then WHAM, face first into a telephone pole as she tries to run away with her eyes closed and nose upturned. This moment puts a pretty quick end to the serious emotions going on between the characters, and when Arima starts laughing the two begin to talk like they used to. Arima starts explaining how his real parents were scumbags who were involved in stealing and other illegal activities, and that his current family is in fact his uncle and aunt. But having such terrible biological parents keeps eating away at him, afraid that one day he’ll turn out like them if he ever lets down the good student act. He started ignoring her because he was afraid of dragging her into such a situation. Yukino is the light that lets him take off his mask, but he’s afraid of what he’ll turn into. He’s looking at Yukino lovingly as she thinks to herself that she has to help him. And to get Arima out of his emo funk she COMMUNICATES WITH HER FIST. Just when he’s expecting a kiss comes a punch that GLOWS WITH AN AWESOME POWER! IT TELLS HER TO DEFEAT ARIMA’S ANGST, HIS EMO, AND ALL OF HIS SORROW!!!
Hell hath no fury like a Yukino scorned.
Issues with one’s parents? In a Hideki Anno anime? Never.
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, even evil geniuses.
Though it worked out. Yukino’s resentment and Arima’s drama needed to be smashed for things to progress, and this was the perfect moment.
Interestingly Arima talks about having the same blood as his parents, that the same blood flows through his veins. While bloodlines are a big part of fiction, the idea of having good or bad lineage and it affecting one’s character is still taken seriously by some people in Japan. And even by those who don’t believe in it, there’s still a long cultural history that emphasizes blood ties. And in another way, the belief in assessing one’s personality by blood type is still very common.
Now that they’re talking again, the rain has stopped and the usual places it was emphasized in previous shots are shown dry. The traffic lights are also used in this episode, along with road signs, and I really like how the show seems to be varying its metaphorical images.
What do you mean sorry, what do you mean sorry Yukino? Is Miyazawa Yukino gonna have to punch a bitch?
Not only has Yukino studied under the Noah Bright School of Motivation, she also takes the opportunity to be her true self. Honesty and a punch in the face: stops emo, dead.
With the angst crisis averted, Yukino starts thinking more about her feelings for Arima and what to do about them. Now that she has these feelings she regrets turning him down in such an offhanded manner when he first confessed to her and begins to make plans to confess to him. They’re close again, even to the point of Arima breaking up her facade to appear deep and literary by reading Catcher in the Rye. As she thinks more about it, she concocts several scenarios where she can confess with him, though all are undone by unforeseeable circumstances. She even tries a hit and run kick when she gets frustrated before refining her efforts and trying with another approach. But even a more indirect approach like letters or a phone call doesn’t work out, the latter because she’s too nervous to talk to him on the phone when he answers. Kano and Tsukino are disappointed, but there doesn’t seem to be much Yukino can bring herself to do at the moment.
I thought I’d be one of those pretentious douchebags that idolizes Catcher in the Rye. God I hated having to read that in high school. I recall thinking “if the world’s so terrible and full of phonies why don’t you kill yourself so this damned book will end already!” At least she’s not actually reading it, though I have to wonder exactly what kind of book entitled “Daddy” is about…
Arima chastises her for continuing to put on her act in front of the other students, but I see nothing wrong with it as long as she stays open with Arima and others she’s close to. The peasants need the act, the illusion to give their royalty its grandeur and the rulers to use that awe to keep them in line!
Things are moving a bit too slow for someone as hotblooded as Yukino.
Love will do that to you.
Plotting to confess her love with the eyes and smirk of a yandere. Yukino is my kind of romantic!
Illustrating the importance of intelligence and reconnaissance in shoujo: In this operation Yukino had a great plan, but failure to reconnoiter the area of operations the day of the operation resulted in a missed opportunity and mission failure. To quote Sun Tzu, “the contour of the land is an aid to an army; sizing up opponents to determine victory, assessing dangers and distances, is the proper course of action for military leaders [and shoujo protagonists.] Those who do battle knowing these will win, those who do battle without knowing them will lose.”
Trying to get Arima flustered to soften him up for the main love attack, but sadly Arima knows her too well to get embarrassed over just this.
Kano will make a formidable heroine herself one day. On another note, what’s with their parents’ naming convention? All three sisters have 野/no as the second character of their names, and they all have very nature-ish first characters (雪/Yuki = snow, 月/Tsuki = moon, 花/Ka = flower.) Maybe they were planning on having some sort of mahou shoujo family?
Channeling some Gendo here.
The next day Yukino is stressed out over her failed attempts to confess and starts thinking that Arima used to like her, but no longer does. She’s stopped her attempts to confess and is wondering what to do now. But she gets another chance, albeit not when she’s expecting it. Walking home with Arima, he asks her when she’ll give him an answer about how she feels about him. She really wants to say something, and it’s the perfect opportunity, but she starts crying and runs away, afraid to open up that much. She lets her doubts get in the way, but most significantly, she’s afraid of losing him as a friend, the one friend she has. But her youngest sister offers some sage advice that night, gleaned from many many volumes of shoujo manga and romance novels, reminding Yukino about her true self and why confessing to Arima is so difficult. While she wouldn’t care about being hurt or embarrassed normally, now that she’s putting her true heart out there it’s another matter. At the next student council meeting, Yukino decides that if she’s going to potentially be hurt, she wants Arima to be the one who breaks her heart if things don’t work out. She reaches over to his hand under the desk and takes it, and after the initial moment of shock and blushing he seems to silently reciprocate, the gesture doing more than Yukino could with words.
Yukino’s self-doubt, and now her worries over losing a friend, derail her perfect opportunity to confess.
Coming right after the scribbled words illustrating Yukino’s internal doubts, is the zoom in and a sort of negative shot closeup of her face. A lot of the more artistic techniques used by Gainax here are more difficult to capture in a screencap because they utilize a lot of movement. It’s less about the actual image and instead has more emphasis on how the movement builds and alters the shot.
One of the several streetsigns used in this episode as symbols for how the relationship or how a character’s thoughts are moving.
A leading scholar of the subject.
One of the movement-centric sequences. As Yukino moves her hand over we have several vertically framed shots where the borders narrow in on the center, and then the vertical theme continues in the facial reaction shots.
Followed up by a horizontally framed shot with the borders narrowing in again.
Final Thoughts: - I have so far enjoyed seeing into the psychology of the characters, knowing that they’re deeper than what they show to others and that they have doubts and fears and sometimes don’t understand themselves. But episode 03 was just getting to be a bit much for me with Arima’s behavior. I can understand that he probably put a lot of pressure on himself to keep up his model student act, and that the prospect of Yukino opening up his inner self was frightening to him, that is believable given his circumstances. But it still felt like an angsty overreaction on his part, and I just about jumped out of my chair cheering when Yukino punched him in the face to get him to cut it out. She’d make Zeta Gundam proud.
- The continued use of symbols as metaphors for how the story and characters are progressing is cool. The way that the primary symbols have changed between episodes is also something I like. The same symbols can be used effectively as recurring images (for example, the bike wheel and weather vane in Honey and Clover), but it is neat to see the symbols changing in this show. The traffic lights are back in these episodes, but the rainwater and road signs became the central focus this time.
- Yukino remains amazing, strong and cunning but also with her weaknesses like any person. The way she made fun of Arima expecting a kiss right before he got punched was gold. She’s smart, forceful when need be, cunning, and isn’t so confused by her feelings that she can’t try repeatedly to get Arima. Her fears and self-doubt held her back at one crucial moment, but she recovered quickly to decisively take Arima’s hand with her TOTSUGEKI LOVE HEART.