Kimikiss~pure rouge: A Tripartite Case Study

Final Thoughts

study in ponytail and crutches

Portrait of reader upon reaching end of post: study in ponytail and crutches

The “framing devices” of both cases (the “love experiments” and the romantic movie, respectively) inevitably seem to become linked with recurring themes in their stories. Case A required three more-than-friends to more-or-less cooperate in order to bring about a desirable conclusion to their respective stories, and at the end their positions are strengthened relative to where they were at the start of the series: each more self-confident, mature, and able to be both their own person and a part of the interrelationship between the three.

Case B, on the other hand, is underscored by tragedy and heartbreak, tension and drama. Case A wasn’t without its fair share of drama, it’s true, but it tends more towards the happy side of romance than the tragic; Case B is modeled in the vein of (if not exactly closely after) the classic romantic tragedies Yuumi loves, and so is full of portentous tragedy and less optimism.

I noted, with some dismay, that the “central relationship” of Souichi and Mao (so termed because theirs started first and ended last) was the least satisfactory relationship; as if they were the least mature characters in the series, although that might just be my perspective on the matter: all the other major characters faced challenges (some of them brought on by the challenges of these two) and dealt with them effectively, whereas I’m not entirely clear on what, exactly, Souichi and Mao have going on. While the other characters come to terms with the past, accept the present, and face the future with recently found strength, Mao and Souichi seem to live in the osananajimi-colored past, afraid of the future and (true to the motif that runs throughout their relationship) protecting each other from it.

Maybe it’s just a final succumbing to the established standards of the visual novel conversion genre, the notion that, if they didn’t have an osananajimni ending there would be proverbial heads rolling, but maybe the anticlimactic end for the “destined couple”, which, at times, felt nearly forced upon the characters, is a deliberate move, to invert the genre. The very dullness of Mao and Souichi’s inevitable conclusion seems tepid, in counterpoint to the life of the relationships that surrounded and preceded it–reinforced, perhaps, by the growth of the characters they abandoned to be with each other.

A challenge, perhaps: the fun of the romance isn’t necessarily how it ends up, so much as how it got to the end. Whether dictated by market demands or a stroke of satirical whimsy by director Ken’ichi Kasai, that much needs to be stated: a satisfying conclusion that doesn’t conclude the way you want is, perhaps, better than the unsatisfying conclusion that concludes the way you want. A minor tremor, to be sure, but an important one.

Your stoicism in making it this far is kindly represented by Futami, dear reader.

Your stoicism in making it this far is kindly represented by Futami, dear reader.

In the end, I quite enjoyed Kimikiss (obviously; I just wrote over 3000 words on it), and I still stand behind my really-old pre-watching-Kimikiss post (note to self: reading old posts is a really, really weird out-of-body experience, and/or a testament to the difference a year might have on someone) that Kimikiss belongs in the ever-growing pantheon of series who ensure that the viewer can have their cute girls and rounded characters too. I even forgive the admittedly somewhat disappointing Mao End (which did not disappoint  due to any particular loathing of the characters involved, as it would be a lie to say that I didn’t like any of the main cast of characters) for the repercussions it had amongst the other characters. And even then, the series still managed to be solid all the way through. Solid enough that I had to spend almost 3700 words to make sure I sorted everything out properly–I found things writing this post that didn’t occur to me while watching the series, a true testament to the power of writing about something, it seems.

P.S.: Because you made it this far, God save you, here’s how many words you read: 3848. Does your head hurt? Imagine WRITING them.

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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