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Kare Kano #15 April 28, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Uncategorized.
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The recent news is that Kare Kano is finally coming to an end this summer. In just a few short months, the Japanese will discover the fate of Yukino and Arima, Sakura and Tonami, Tsubasa and Kazuma…..and millions of Kare Kano fans will have to find something else to fill their romantic needs. For we in the western world though, there’s a good five volumes left, which will get us to the end of the year at least.

Kare Kano Volume 15 maintains the startling quality in art and drama that we’ve come to love and admire. Arima is still struggling with his wicked mother and her presence stirs more of his childhood trauma. As the memories of abuse surface, he struggles to maintain his sanity and keep the truth from those who love him. The mask falls, his dark side takes over and Yukino finds herself further and further away. But Yukino being Yukino, she doesn’t give up that easily and with Asaba’s help, there may be some hope yet.

This was a beautifully written volume and extremely engaging with the darker turn. The great thing about Kare Kano is that the beginning of the relationship was not the end of the story. Now that there is conflict, inner turmoil and real problems for Arima there’s so much scope for character exploration. I really liked how Asaba’s friendship is as important for Arima as his relationship with Miyazawa, although I’m not sure how many men are actually that thoughtful! In the last volume Asaba sent a girl packing the moment he saw Arima needed help! That’s idealised friendship. Masami Tsuda really goes to town with the inner mind too, mixing frames, pushing flashbacks and all with sparse, almost poetic, dialogue. This probably isn’t an original thought (if it is, I love Masami Tsuda even more!), but at one point Asaba says:

“Me and Arima are like moonlight. Sunshine people can shine on their own..and can even give light to others. But moonlight people are the kind that can only shine if they have a sunshine person to reflect”

That’s rather beautiful, isn’t it? I’m definitely a bit of a moonlight person. But I always have a bit of a glow after reading the new Kare Kano.

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