A truly side character gets a turn at experiencing “romance,” but I’m more interested in seeing whether this OVA special captures some of the real magic that was in the TV series. Answer: not really, but it was at least mildly amusing.
There definitely seemed to be a different set of writers for this particular episode than for most of the TV series. Kimikiss stood out among the pack of game romance adaptations because of how natural many of the interactions felt. The structure of this episode was far more “plotted,” with engineered cameos for pretty much every major character of the series. They come one right after another, like an assembly line. Even Kai. One’s expectations for this episode should be to expect no more than a cast reunion; no near H&C moments on offer here, despite the same music and art style and a welcome return to the first ED.
Moreover, honestly, I don’t think I felt much more sympathetic to Megumi by the end of this episode than I did in the beginning. It doesn’t help that the writers don’t seem to think so, either–I mean, the last line is “I don’t think she’ll be finding romance anytime soon,” which is meant as a joke but seems to also betray a rather patronizing stance toward her; she just can’t be a “normal girl” and so while she resolves to find romance in her own way, the last line undercuts this idea. Part of this, of course, is simply because we’re limited to a single episode’s length, and not two whole seasons’ worth of material, which was the amount of time it took for Eriko to grow from a ice queen to a sympathetic human being. (My, was her emotional growth earned.) Megumi was a gag character in the TV show, and she is largely a gag character here, an observer and occasional jealous onlooker of all the other romances in the show.
It’s quite possible that I’ve done it again: placed far too high expectations on this show, hoping it will do things that ultimately it wasn’t meant to do. Kimikiss at its best came close enough to actually depicting some of the emotions involved in innocent high school romance that I think I was expecting it to be the next Kare Kano or Honey and Clover–hence my disappointment with the wish-fulfillment ending. Were I to conceive of a special, it would probably be to help resolve some of the dangling ends left by the ending, or at least to give a glimpse of where some of the other characters are after the ending. But it’s not my show, and I suppose it really accomplishes what it was intended to do: be cute, sweet, a little bit funny, and show all of the main characters.
I did laugh, occasionally. I guess that’s enough.