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Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (a review) (11/5/00)

Yukino and Arima

Wildy original and expertly directed, Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (His and Her Circumstances) debuted on TV-Tokyo on 10/02/98. The anime (directed by Hideaki Anno of Gainax) is based on the shoujo manga (girls’ comics) of the same name by Masami Tsuda. The KareKano manga was serialized in Monthly LaLa, a shoujo manga magazine.

The KareKano anime is truly representative of director Anno’s mastery of the medium and his ability to extend his creative limits for each new project he undertakes. Unlike his previous works (Gunbuster, Nadia, Evangelion), this anime is based on a pre-established shoujo manga, so all eyes were on Anno as he attempted to express his personal style within the limitations of a pre-published story in a genre he had never worked in before.

In my opinion, he succeeded wildly. Even though the script was essentially pre-written, Anno’s directorial presence is felt strongly in the execution of almost every scene. KareKano is a study in the use of contrasts, where realistic (and sublime) aspect-to-aspect transitions fall between highly expressionistic scenes of exaggerated movement and emotion. This show is not ashamed to acknowledge that it is anime, and does not pretend to be realistic. Sudden super-deformations and text all over the screen almost make fun of mundane reality. Yet, it might be said that the realistic streetlight and alleyway transition shots make fun of the unreality, or maybe they’re making fun of each other.

Whatever the case may be, Anno created a work with the expressionistic tendencies and energy of a show like Kodomo no Omocha (Child's Toy) combined with the introspection of a show like Evangelion, and in such a synthesis of styles, has created something wonderfully original.

Composite grade: A (3.60)
Visuals: A
Story: B
Performances: A
Music: A
Overall: B

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Last updated on March 14th, 2003
Lawrence Eng