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Kare Kano #14 March 10, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Manga.

Yay! Yesterday I picked up the new volume of Kare Kano (or Kareshi Kanojo no jijou to give it it’s full title). Not many people know this (mostly because it is clearly shoujo) but Kare Kano is my favourite anime or manga series ever (though maybe my blog screen name might have given it away). Sure, I might say Evangelion in public, but we all know what we like deep down.This volume carries on the ‘Arima arc’, with Soichiro’s no-good birth mother appearing and his inner demons finally consuming him. I’ve really enjoyed how Masami Tsuda has kept the series fresh and not at all gimmicky by focusing on different characters at different times. When it started, KK was very much the Miyazawa Yukino show, and someone with that quirky a personality threatened to overshadow everyone else. But what makes KK so special is the naturalness of the story and plot progression. As new characters were introduced, it never once felt out of place. And as the story moved away from Yukino, to Tonami, Tsubasa and now Arima, it gives the KK universe that bit more depth and allows Tsuda to explore the range of teenage emotions. The writing is so concise and well-thought out (it has to be since comics aren’t that long), not to mention the care that has gone into the art and shot composition. And it’s done so tenderly, with real understanding…. swoon

As you can probably tell, I’m a die-hard romantic at heart and a bit of a Masami Tsuda groupie! I love her little blog-like entries in each volume and I’m so glad Tokyopop kept them in. It really opens you up to her creative world and makes you feel that bit closer to greatness! What I love about KK is that there’s a little bit of me in every character. Yukino’s two-faced personality is scarily close to my own, I empathise with Tsubasa’s childishness and I totally want to be Aya! This volume took a slightly darker turn away from the angst but again it seems natural that, as the characters have grown up and prepare to graduate, more adult, serious issues have to be dealt with.

Actually, I first got into KK because of Eva and the master director Hideaki Anno. But part of what attracted me to Eva was all that philosophical angst and KK gave Anno the perfect outlet for that. KK the anime followed straight after Eva, Anno applying all his trademarks to material made for his touch -instrumental scores, philosophical musings, long money saving pauses on still cells. The anime soon caught up with the source material and finished, agonisingly around volume 7 of the manga. Thank God Tokyopop started translating it.

KK is the fun, romantic adolescence we all wish we could have had and because of the natural quality, it feels like it totally could have been. There’s only four more volumes left (according to the Tokyopop website)! How’s it gonna end? Smiles or tears, I just know I’m gonna love it.


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