Archive for the 'kure-nai' Category

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.

kure-nai: List of Things I Know About kure-nai After One Episode

1) Murasaki is sassy and haughty.

Yes, that’s it. And I like it that way.

kure-nai is an adaptation of a light novel series by Katayama Kentarou (interest piqued part the first), with animation production being done by Brains Base (interest piqued part the second) and directed by Matsuo Kou, who directed Rozen Maiden and Red Garden (interest piqued part the third). I haven’t seen Red Garden, but I hear semi-good things about it, and I certainly think the concept is quite interesting. I have seen the first season of Rozen Maiden and I quite liked that, although not to the extent that someone on 4chan might have. I remember it being quite fun to watch, and both the serious and the less serious moments were done well. In sort, it’s a recipe for instant appeal to me, and that’s what kure-nai is.

it’s completely unknown what, exactly, is going on in the series. Murasaki has obviously been somewhat willingly kidnapped from her house and away from her seemingly tyrannical father who may or may not have murdered her mother. But that seems to be secondary to the concept of taking said kidnapped Murasaki and throwing her haughty self into a small 6-tatami room with none other than our high-school aged protagonist, Shinkurou. This is Not Pleasing to Murasaki, who tolerates it for exactly one night and promptly leaves when given the chance, leaving Shinkurou to chase after her.

But who cares about that? That’s plot. This series impressed me from the very beginning with its extremely unconventional opening which has to be seen to be believed. It’s a highly stylized opening sequence, and I liked. The actual episode itself was animated somewhat strangely and unconventionally as well, again, something that has to be seen to understand, especially given that I can’t discuss art very well due to a lack of proper vocabulary (I direct you to Ogiue Maniax for your dose of high-level artistic vocabulary, but you probably already knew that). On top of the unusual animation style, the character art itself is also unusual, although slightly less so. It all sums up for a visual experience I found to be quite fun, although I guess your mileage may vary, as in all things.

The real highlight of the episode was the Hatenkou Yuugi-esque dialogue back-and-forthing. Most of the characters in the series have clear personalities, sometimes just from their precious few seconds on screen (the landlady and Shinkurou’s neighbor come to mind–they have amazingly distinct personalities, considering that they’ve been on screen for approximately 2.5 minutes combined) and they bounce off each other naturally. The highlight is, of course, the moments where Shinkurou and Murasaki are quite alone and the latter is biting the head off of the former. Murasaki is amazingly cute, in the way that only haughty girls can be. I really can’t use the term “loli” to describe Murasaki, as the word carries with it a certain kind of stereotypes with it. She is seven, and so technically qualifies, but it’s almost an insult to her to classify her as such, I think, especially given her level of character development at this stage.

The only expectation I have for kure-nai at the moment is for it to be a character interaction/development piece. That’s what it looks like it’s going to be, but I really can’t say for certain, because I really have no idea where it’s going. That’s part of the reason I like the first episode so much–when something is unpredictable, it gives off an air of excitement. I think I’ll be following this one for the run, barring any major mishaps, but I don’t forsee those. I’m almost ashamed of me for not picking up on it earlier (a friend mentioned it to me the other day and I went from “what is this” to “must see” in about two minutes) and generating a teeny amount of pre-air hype for it, but this should make up for it. It looks like it’ll be a fun ride, no matter how things will progress from  here on out.


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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June 2020