Kimikiss~pure rouge: A Tripartite Case Study

Case B: Souichi/Yuumi Side

The kiss that consummated, ended, and began a relationship. Now thats a kiss.

The kiss that consummated, ended, and began a relationship. Now that's a kiss.

The student film is inextricably linked with (what turns out to be) the saga of Mao and Souichi, but perhaps more interesting than the life-imitating-art effect the film has on Mao is the life-imitating-art effect the film plays on Yuumi. If Souichi and Mao’s real feelings for each other were expressed in the movie, and thus became real, then the inspiration for the movie–Yuumi’s love of tragic love stories–comes to reflect upon her as well.

Yuumi’s fondness for the tragic star-crossed romance is probably the largest bit of direct characterization given to her (and one that ensures I am justifiably fond of her in the way that a real person can only be for an anime character), and she’s all too eager to help Souichi, who has recently more or less become her “boyfriend”, write a love story for the movie his club is working on–blissfully unaware of the impending irony of the fact that she inspires and helps author the story that breaks Souichi away from her in the end

In a sense, Yuumi is already aware of her impending tragic romance. The strange and convenient way that both her and Souichi like each other but are too embarrassed to admit the fact and the way that Mao helps matchmake the relationship by cheerleading for Souichi make the setup for the two both seemingly stereotypically visual novel and yet achingly poetic, much as the stories that Yuumi admires are. Even more, though, is the very palpable sense that Yuumi has of limited time: she is transferring schools within the year, and she’s almost too eager to (cautiously) jump headfirst into the arms of Souichi when she finds out he likes her in the same way she likes him.

The feelings between the two are genuine, I feel–unlike with Mao and Kai, there’s not a sense that one or the other is forcing themselves to go through the motions of a relationship without feeling. In a sense, the two are the “control couple” throughout the story: the one relationship that is allowed to develop without any external conflict through most of the story; while the other characters wrestle with their problems, Souichi and Yuumi seem to enjoy a peaceful relationship, even when Yuumi announces her impending departure to Souichi–a low note, but not a discordant one. They pledge to overcome it in the high schooler’s fashion: the long-distance relationship. Indeed, for most of the series, their relationship is a pure storybook romance.

Our Lady of Tragic Heroines

Like all storybook romances, though, things don’t necessarily run smoothly all the time. Yuumi finds herself unable to act in the movie Souichi wrote, in part, it seems, because the emotions portrayed in the script she finds hard to emulate in-character. In the movie, the relationship and emotional scenes seem contrived and poorly acted–a criticism that could be lobbied against some works in the visual novel (and/or manga and/or anime) industry itself. In short, the movie reveals the storybook romance of Souichi and Yuumi for the contrived plot-dependence it is. It’s in stark contrast to the pure and honest affection the two have for each other off-camera.

The rest, of course, is already covered: Mao assumes the role of the heroine, and life starts to imitate art for Mao and Souichi–and Yuumi. For while Mao and Souichi are discovering depths of love in them for each other, Yuumi is left on the sidelines, with the palpable feeling of not only having to move away from a newfound circle of friends, but of losing Souichi to Mao. In helping Souichi craft a tearjerking romantic movie in the vein of the tragic stories she herself enjoys, she essentially wrote her own tragic romance, of which she is now the star.

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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