Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou/Kare Kano/His Her Circumstances is a romantic comedy slice of life anime originally written as a manga by Masami Tsuda. Which was then adapted by studio Gainax directed by Hideaki Anno of Evangelion fame. Kare Kano is a rather divisive anime on MAL and in general it has vocally passionate fans and strong haters who think its trash. I think you can guess which side Im on looking at the score but I might as well explain why Im on the side that I am. This review may contain mild spoilers read at your own risk. Story Characters writing: The story of Kare Kano revolves around Yukino Miyazawa Armia Souichiro two genius kids who put on a false persona to trick people into thinking theyre much better as people than they actually are. As Yukino Arima get to know each other start becoming more friendly they start to open up become more of themselves. Much like the last anime I took a look at Kimagure Orange Road Kare Kanos story isnt very complicated. But the way Kare Kano goes about writing its characters scenarios is what turns the story into more than just 2 characters falling in love. As the story progresses we get to see Yukino Arima not only open themselves up more to people but get more comfortable with just being themselves and becoming more laid back people in general. Much like Evangelion Kare Kano dives into exploring human psychology how these characters act what makes them act the way they do. Personally though I think Kare Kano does a much better job at explaining showcasing working in the reasons events as to why the characters act the way they do naturally than Evangelion does. Kare Kanos comedy isnt my kind of comedy admittedly theres some good jokes moments sprinkled in there I feel as though Kare Kanos comedy isnt too intrusive to the story character development at hand as Kare Kano knows to keep its comedy out of the darker scenes but I dont find myself laughing at too many of Kare Kanos jokes. Still it doesnt ever become intrusive enough to piss me off or annoy me. One aspect of Kare Kano that I absolutely will not excuse are the recaps. This was just a lazy money saving technique on the part of all involved at Gainax. Theres no reason I need a recap of what happened last episode everytime. One may argue You can just skip them but if it comes to that point then its rubbish plain and simple. Onto the characters. Kare Kano has too many characters for me to list off so I wont go over every last one of them as that would start delving into major spoiler territory and Id like to keep the spoilers to a minimum. In fact Im going to do something a little different from my KOR Maison Ikkoku review Im going to lump our 2 leads the side characters into a category explain how the show writes them. An overlying theme about Kare Kano is opening up becoming yourself. Everyone goes through a miniarc like that. While this brings up a point on how the side characters are used can be argued that this intrudes on the main characters journey Id argue it does but also doesnt. See the series isnt good at working its side characters into the story to help move it along naturally the side characters are given just enough screen time in order for this to happen. On the flip side though this also creates layered individuals with their own character traits stories to tell. It also helps Kare Kanos world feel more alive lived in at the same time. The side characters are a double edged sword they bring goods bads to the series. Id argue more good than bad though at least they go beyond nothing more than repeated tired jokes caricatures like the side characters in something like Orange Road or Ranma do. Art Sound presentation: The art is a bit of a mixed bag unfortunately falling more on the lesser side. The backgrounds of Kare Kano look great but the character art animation leave a lot to be desired. What also doesnt help the art is just how terrible Gainax was at managing its money so the production of this show was an absolute mess at times shots even full episodes specifically the last 2 are nothing more than Moving Manga Sequences with barely any movement to it. The animation can look pretty good at times but a lot of the time its pretty flat if theres one thing Evangelion definitely has over Kare Kano its its animation. Kare Kanos shots are often quite static with not much movement going on in them although I think these shots do work a lot of the time thats only because this series has the strong writing that it would need to back that kind of shot up. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum the soundtrack is absolutely amazing Shirou Sagisu returns from Evangelion to compose yet another piece for Hideaki Anno his team over at Gainax. Its very comparable to his score on Evangelion particularly with how both Eva Kare Kano use a lot of classical music. Theres a great variety in pieces theyre all used to great effect to fit the type of mood that a scene is going for. Its a very dynamic soundtrack and for that it gets massive props from me. The voice acting is interesting to say the least. I think its neither outright bad nor outright good just interesting. Kare Kano makes use of child actors to give a more natural feel to the dialogue which works but there have been better examples of this practice being used to great effect. One performance I really have to bring mention to is Mayumi Shintari as Tsubasa. I like her voice but it doesnt really fit. Overall Id give the voice acting a 5. Theres goods bads to it. It fits the series ok enough but there isnt an absolutely outstanding performance attached here. Final Thoughts/Overall So thats Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou. Is it a perfect series? No not even remotely. It has pretty distinct flaws to it especially in the production of this show. Without spoiling too much Tsuda didnt like how Hideaki Anno his team over at Gainax adapted Kare Kano so she and Anno were constantly having disagreements. At some point Anno just became fed up not only left Kare Kano but left TV animation entirely. This in turn lead to the show taking a lot and I mean A LOT of corner cutting techniques one of the episodes was literally made with paper popsicle sticks though I quite like that episode. At the very least these episodes were able to keep the strong writing seen in the first 18 episodes but even that cant begin to excuse how terrible the production values in episodes 1926 are. Not only that though the art is pretty mediocre the side characters can intrude the recaps are pure laziness. But with all that said Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou is still my 2nd favorite anime of all time. It may not be better than Evangelion on a technical level but I love it way more than Evangelion consider Kare Kano to be when Hideaki Anno peaked. I love the characters of this anime I love the story I love the overarching theme I love the cinematography I love pretty much everything about Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou. In spite of Kare Kanos massive flaws I will always love it. So with that said my final rating is going to be an enthusiastic 10/10. I know not everybody is going to feel the same way about this anime that I do and thats absolutely ok. But if youre looking for a romcom/sliceoflife or are a massive fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion then I highly implore you all to check out this work.
100 /100
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