KimiKiss Pure Rouge 1–Yawn

Don’t worry. Just watch this show.

I could just give this a one word review, in the words of Homer Simpson:

But I think I, Michael, owe you a little more explanation. So here it goes.

The only reason I was remotely interested in this show was because its director, Kenichi Kasai, was also the director of two of the finest shows ever to grace the slice-of-life genre–Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile. The material he had to work with wasn’t promising; this is based on a dating sim, like too many animes these days. Could he make some magic and spin straw into gold and redeem the source material?

Three whole male characters. Wow.

I get the feeling he tried. There’s no way to eliminate the standard harem character introductions, but Kasai at least managed to make them relatively subdued. Nobody has that annoying squeaky voice, for instance. There are three actual males of consequence, for once. Mao is actually a kinda likable, though not terribly original character. Because she is the childhood friend and “oneesan” type, she is of course never going to win the sweepstakes. Oh well.

It’s just that, by eliminating the more over-the-top elements of the harem genre, there’s not much else left. It’s just…boring. Things happen but I have a hard time caring too much. The male characters are generic, as are most of the girls aside from Mao. Most of the humor is either bland or predictable, like “misunderstood noises behind a closed bedroom door” type gags. There are lots of girls but few are memorable, with the exception of Stoic Girl (wait till she starts carrying a sword and a sporting a miko outfit), who–reminiscent of the end of episode 1 of School Days–kisses a guy she barely knows. Though in this case, unlike with Sekai in that aforementioned genre-buster of a show, her deviousness is obvious from the start.

They say you should never trust a girl with a 190 IQ.

The art is also very generic, though I like Mao’s hair and face; out of any of the characters, she looks most like a Honey and Clover one. The resemblances end there, though. The visual similarities between Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile turned out to be more coincidental than a directorial trademark. Even the signature next-episode-clips-in-the-credits wasn’t done. This feels, honestly, like “pay the bills” kind of work for him. JC Staff probably told him–“hey, Kasai-san, you free for like 3 months? Here’s your next job.” It’s probably also a good example of simply being unable to transcend one’s source material without making drastic alterations. I wouldn’t credit the director of the TV show for the brilliance of H&C and Nodame; from what I know, it’s all in the writing of the original mangas.

I’ll watch one more episode probably, though more likely I’ll pass on this one, unless I start hearing word that this gets significantly better.

EDIT, 11:14 PM: commenter “lol” and further research (info in English on this show outside the blogs is rather hard to find, even on Wikipedia) has alerted me to the fact that there is actually a lot of alteration in the show compared to the game already, considering that one male character is now two! I also just remembered that there is in fact a Strong Silent Bishounen who is clearly marked as a love interest for Mao, which is not something one typically sees in a harem show; that could be an interesting relationship in its own right. Moreover, it turns out the game is non-H; as the title implies, the furthest one gets is a kiss. That factor alone might help.

Nevertheless, my overall judgment still stands–I felt bored throughout most of this episode, in ways I wasn’t in the first eps of H&C and Nodame. But I would like to give Kasai the benefit of the doubt. It’s still just a tad too early to make any final judgments, sure. But you can probably see I am rather cynical of the harem adaptation genre and I perhaps ought not to be reviewing these shows anyway…but as I said in my initial disappointment with Lucky Star, I like being proven wrong!

8 thoughts on “KimiKiss Pure Rouge 1–Yawn”

  1. The source material has already been altered.

    The main character was like split into 2. That’s Koichi and Kazuki.

    Koichi never had a male childhood friend. Only Mao.

    Get your facts straight.

  2. @lol

    I think he wrote this on his review “There’s no way to eliminate the standard harem character introductions, but Kasai at least managed to make them relatively subdued”

    I think what he was trying to say is without harem-genre type there is no much left of this story(because it is based on dating sim). Means… it will not go anywhere.

    You are the one who jump in to conclusion without reading the review properly.

  3. Ops, ok i was wrong.
    I always thought dating sim, always harem, so if there are 3 males on this anime, obviously i will not go to that way, unless the other 2 only accompanying the hero.

  4. @Mike

    Well not necessarily that the main character/s is now 2.

    More like:

    Kouichi Aihara = Main character’s real name in the game.

    Kouichi Sana = Main character’s name in the anime.

    Kazuki Aihara = As you can see he is Koichi’s best friend. (Koichi doesn’t have a male childhood friend, only Mao)
    He inherited Koichi’s last name and athleticism in the game.
    He also inherited Koichi’s sister. (Its Koichi who really has a sister in the game)

    That’s what I meant by “Split main character”

    Anyway, maybe you read about this already, just wanted to clear it up for the others.

  5. I haven’t played the game, but I have read the manga… and I really liked it. Simple romance fluff, if that works for you :) I was amazed by the changes in the anime, because I was really hoping they’ll do something with regards to the problem of having only one guy (as was in the game, manga, novel).

    There are 4 guys in the show actually, since there’s still that playboy Hiiragi, who I believe will have his own share of a romance story later. It is generic, it is stereotypical, it is just a simple tale of romance. And I love it. But, to each his own :)

    I have made some predictions as to how the love story in the series will go about, which might convince you to watch, or to further not watch this show XD

  6. I already like this anime out of every other romance-driven show out this season. As said elsewhere, the anime seems like an adaptation only by setting, as the plot and characters are different enough from the manga, game, and novel to mandate a somewhat different take of the situation. It is distinctively non-harem because the show isn’t likely to go beyond a simple love triangle for each set of male-female relationship. (Well, I guess interconnected triangles are not simple. Oops.)

    I think a better culprit of “boredom” of our dear blogger is simply explained by lack of humor. Nodame and H&C have very prominent slapstick sides to them where KimiKiss is pretty much a pure romance story.

    I’ll not say anything about the rest of his post, because it’s just not really applicable or even remotely true.

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