kure-nai: A Murasaki To Call My Very Own

Fatherly instincts on the rise. How dare you, Murasaki. I thought I had surpassed the need for offspring. How dare you.

The second episode of kure-nai was even better than the first. The adorable lovableness of Murasaki shines through, because she’s probably the most realistic seven-year-old in anime ever. This ties into what I said last time about the term “loli” being inapplicable to her: despite the somewhat compromising situations she may get into (such as dressing), she’s not portrayed in an erotic fashion that the term would seem to imply. She’s portrayed instead as an actual seven-year-old, with her sense of wonder, her childish sense of pride, and infinite curiosity intact. Even her character design reflects this realism: she’s got the whole baby fat thing going on, she’s short, she’s stubby, she’s very child-like. Compare this to more conventional loli-type characters, such as Louise, where the character is essentially portrayed with adult qualities, except she’s short and has a flat chest. The only way you could possibly find Mursaki erotic would probably be if you were actually attracted to actual seven-year-olds, and that’s up to you to decide whether or not that’s a problem.

She’s probably the star of the series, regardless of how you view her: the series seems to be about her growth as a person under the tutelage of Shinkurou, who at this point is now the father figure she never had. Witness: fretting over whether or not she’s being taken care of, where she has gotten off to when she isn’t answering her phone, telling her that she needs to say thank you to the bath owner when she gives her a free glass of milk after the bath. The latter was especially fun to watch; it was essentially like any parent/child dispute. Could this possibly be the Dr. Spock of anime? Only time will tell.

There’s an interesting dichotomy to Shinkurou, though. By day, he frets and worries about Murasaki; by night, he violently beats up a group of thugs extorting money out of a bar owner. The juxtaposition of the fathery care and the violent defender is also interesting, from a storytelling position. Shinkurou almost looks sad carrying out his duties as a dispute mediator, a job which seems to involve a disproportionately large amount of violence that isn’t necessarily suggested by the title. The fact that he has both these faces to him, a fact he refers to in a conversation with Murasaki, is highlighted at this early phase. The logical progression from here, of course, wuuld be Shinkurou defending Murasaki from whoever it is that’s after her, which leads to Character Development and a revelation to Murasaki that, yes, Shinkurou is much deeper of a person than he looks. I don’t think he likes his job very much, or at all. He never talks about it with Yuuno, opting instead to talk about mundane things, and he certainly didn’t seem too terribly thrilled about beating up the thugs either.

Side note: In her approximately 3 minutes of screentime in two episodes, Yuuno is adorable in a decidedly differnent way than Murasaki is, if you catch my drift. Let’s just say I’d go with her to the movies.

On the technical front, the cleverness of the first episode remains. Animation is still solid, and so is the direction. The tiny touches fostered on Murasaki were clever, such as her trying (and largely failing) to open a tin can. They build her childish innocence effectively and make for “awww!” inducing moments, at the same time. This is certainly a series to watch out for in an incredibly good spring season, for all the elements listed above. This could easily build into a massive juggernaut of a series that steamrolls over everything else in its season, like true tears did for winter. And that is fearful indeed.

6 Responses to “kure-nai: A Murasaki To Call My Very Own”

  1. 1 IcyStorm 14 April 2008 at 2:53 am

    Yep, I love Murasaki (no, not in a pedo way) and kure-nai so far.

    I can’t wait to see where it goes… this is definitely my most favorite spring anime so far.

    I’m still intrigued about Shinkurou and his weird arm thing that’s going on, and also how he REALLY feels about his job.

  2. 2 Prithvi 14 April 2008 at 4:05 am

    I love your analysis or synopsis if you will of Kure-Nai. Somehow watching it subbed and downloading RAW files and .ASS files makes the whole experience of watching anime like this all the more gratifying than watching it on animax or buying the DVD. (not that I advocate piracy!)

  3. 3 Owen S 14 April 2008 at 1:01 pm

    This could easily build into a massive juggernaut of a series that steamrolls over everything else in its season, like true tears did for winter. And that is fearful indeed.

    Too bad this isn’t harem, huh? :P I don’t think it’ll reach that level, though, if only because the character designs are an immediate turn-off to the masses.

  4. 4 OGT 14 April 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Well, I was more talking about myself, than I was anyone else. I guess I didn’t make that clear, sorry.

  5. 5 Cathy 14 April 2008 at 8:18 pm

    she’s got the whole baby fat thing going on, she’s short, she’s stubby, she’s very child-like.

    Yes. I’m in love with how much like a real child Murasaki looks. It just makes kure-nai that much more fantastic, because you can actually remember either being a child like Murasaki or meeting children like her, not those cardboard thin, slender, willowy girls we usually see passed off as kids her age in anime.

  6. 6 cuchlann 8 May 2008 at 4:26 am

    The two-part nature you point out, where Shinkurou is fatherly and violent, is interesting in that it’s thematically appropriate, but glossed over. Freud described the father as the “law-giver,” the figure every boy wants to defeat. Joseph Campbell claimed every story has the protagonist struggling against a father figure of some sort. Traditionally, women would educate children until those that would take on responsibility (usually, but not always, the boys) were of an age, and then the fathers would kidnap them and induct them into the rites of the tribe.

    Sorry, just had that thought.

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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April 2008

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