Kimikiss~pure rouge: A Tripartite Case Study

Case B: Mao/Kai Side

I think this image captures the whole relationship, right here.

I think this image captures the whole relationship, right here. And 'tis lovely.

If Futami’s research and investigation into love was the major framing device from Case A, Case B’s major framing device is the student film the Movie Research Society is filming. The film is conceived, written, filmed, and released within the confines of the series. Like the research of Case A, the film of Case B directly affects the story unfolding within it, but also applies to Kimikiss as a whole.

Mao’s primary reason for moving back to Japan prematurely from France (why would you leave France? Go hang with Nodame and Chiaki or something) seems to be a kind of pre-graduation crisis. When Mao arrives, she’s bubbly and cheerful, but underneath her positive, friendly, outgoing exterior lies something much darker: a hollow shell of loneliness. She becomes a social butterfly of sorts, never taking any single relationship too seriously. She has scads of friends–presumably–but she doesn’t seem to spare an iota of care for any of them, and, instead, lives through them. She’s more than eager to help Kouichi and Yuumi get together once she realizes that there’s chemistry afoot, almost out of the notion that if she gets them together, then they will like her more, granting further external approval to mask her interior emptiness.

She does seem to take a certain peculiar interest in Kai, the loner of her class, however; a roguish, dashing sort whom no one seems to care about and who doesn’t seem to want anyone to care about him. Her interest, though, is nothing more than mere friendly curiosity and an attempt to get the stoic and silent Kai to open up, but so taken with the attention Mao gives him that Kai is almost immediately drawn towards her romantically. Her mere presence is enough to reassure him that someone actually takes an interest in him, fleeting and flighty though it might seem, when she bears far more interest in the text-messaged goings-on of the Film Research Society’s udon shindigs than in the jazz music that so entrances Kai enough to pursue his dream as a saxophonist in a jazz ensemble.

The fundamental error here, of course, is that Kai, through his own naivete (dare I invoke the dreaded concept of “moe”?), mistakes Mao’s lack of meaningful existence (taking up chumming with Kai, more or less, because no one else really seems to want to spend time around her–I wonder why?) for romantic interest on her part, leading to disastrous kiss scenes and prolonged Mao angst. In the end, however, Mao decides to accept Kai’s feelings, and even, for a short time, seems to find a sort of comfort with him, but the sort of comfort that only reveals a deeper, gnawing desire for more comfort from elsewhere.

The final resort for those seeking companionship elsewhere.

Space: The final resort for those seeking companionship elsewhere.

That comfort comes from the inevitable decision by Hiiragi to stick Mao as the lead character in the romantic film he’s directing. Kouichi, of course, wrote the script (assisted by Yuumi–more on this later) and plays the main character; I could probably spend enormous amounts of time discussing how Kouichi’s script is self-insertion fiction in light of how the student film pans out to be superficial framing device for the events transpiring in real life, but it’s frankly obvious that as the filming continues, Mao falls further and further into the fiction Kouichi created, until finally she’s unable to distinguish between Kouichi’s character and Kouichi himself and realizes her long-buried childhood-friend-spawned love for him. Her affectation from the movie begins to affect Kouichi, fracturing both of their relationships apart in order to be with each other.

Interesting, too, that Mao never notices her interest in Kouichi until she catches him kissing Yuumi. The kiss was, of course, their first, a consummation of their relationship’s progress thus far (the most uneventful one of the whole series up to this point) and therefore a thrilling and exciting moment for the two of them, but with this consummation the engines of their downfall begin to turn, as if Herr Drosselmeyer had escaped Princess Tutu to pester other anime series. With their kiss, Mao realizes they have what she doesn’t with Kai–true affection and loving for each other.

Kai, of course, dutifully and (post-kiss-rape) respectfully supports Mao through all her endeavors, as she (seemingly) supports his, and–perhaps most telling of his gentle nature–even after she confesses to him that she is truly in love with Kouichi and not with him. The breakup drama is seemingly mostly on her part, and Kai accepts the outcome with grace and dignity, maintaining a small friendship while noticing that, after spending time with Mao, other (mostly female) classmates are beginning to realize Kai’s talents and nature, almost developing his first fan-club and earning him new respect for classmates–from Mao’s attention, Kai starts to open up–still very reserved, of course, but aware that others can appreciate him. Even he seemingly admits, though, that his relationship with Mao was extremely one-sided, and accepts that as she moves on away from him.

The visage of acceptance.

The visage of acceptance.

Front Page: 1
Case A: Kazuki, Sakino, and Futami: 2
Case B: Mao/Kai Side: 3
Case B: Souichi/Yuumi Side: 4
Final Thoughts: 5

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

4 Responses to “Kimikiss~pure rouge: A Tripartite Case Study”

  1. 1 The_Observer 2 February 2009 at 3:07 am

    I enjoyed your discourse, well done and good on you ! ^_^

  2. 2 omo 2 February 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Good write-up. I skimmed so 3848 words didn’t seem so daunting. I do like the overall framework you use to map the show’s relationship though.

    Maybe you can take a step further and draw some conclusions ftw.

  3. 3 ETERNAL 9 February 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Great job, as expected. There isn’t much I can say to add to what you’ve already done, other than that – on a completely separate note – there really is a ton of stuff that you can only realize through writing rather than reading. It’s a mystery, but I guess it’s also part of the incentive to churn out gargantuan posts like this :P

  1. 1 So Apparently There’s This Thing Called Valentine’s Day… Trackback on 14 February 2009 at 3:33 pm

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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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a ridiculously long and only partially organized list of subjects


February 2009

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