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His and Her Circumstances
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 05/05/2001

Synopsis:
Yukino Miyazawa is the perfect model student. She's smart, pretty, elegant, and super nice to boot. Everyone in school admires her and she's always no. 1 in everything. What they don't know is that Yukino puts in a whole lot of effort to seem that way. In reality, she doesn't care about anything except being the best. At home, Yukino doesn't give a rat's ass about how she looks or speaks. She's quite selfish, brutally frank, sarcastic, and anything but nice. She also dresses like a complete slob. All these years, Yukino had been putting up a front in school that fooled students and teachers alike. Enter Souichiro Arima. Now he's the perfect model student too. He's handsome, intelligent, talented, and very modest. The thing is, all these qualities seem to come naturally to him, As a result, Souichiro gets first place effortlessly (or so it seems) in no time. Of course, this pisses Yukino off to no end and she proceeds to plot Souichiro's downfall. Souichiro, on the other hand, finds himself very much attracted to Yukino... and so their story unfolds.
 
Review:
Kareshi Kanojyo no Jijyo, or Karekano for short, easily makes it to my list of anime favorites. Yet another gem from Gainax, Karekano is hilarious, crazy, fun, and totally romantic!
 
Propelled by the two main characters - Miyazawa and Arima (they refer to each other by their surnames), everything that happens is seen from his and her points of view. I like Miyazawa. She's a very realistic heroine. She's no saint and she knows it. Arima is the more serious character of the two, as Miyazawa takes everything in stride despite her more volatile reactions. The way their relationship blossoms is what makes this anime so good. You can see and feel the gradual maturation of not only their relationship, but of their own individualities as well.
 
The first half of the series is flawless. The second half, however, weakens and falters a bit. Quite a chunk of the latter part is consumed by repetitive summaries of past episodes. It also attempts to deviate from the main theme of Miyazawa and Arima, giving more attention to the supporting characters. Now this isn't supposed to be a bad thing. The problem lies with the way the sub-plots just pop up after an ultra-climactic first half. It's too sudden a change of pace and sort of breaks the smooth flow of things.
 
The artwork is excellent. One of the things that sets Karekano apart from other anime is its unique and unconventional presentation style. Some scenes are drawn manga style, complete with thought and dialogue bubbles. Some feature pencil sketches that move. Some scenes mix these sketches with full-color animation. Others feature live-action shots, paper cut-outs, superdeformed characters, etc. Karekano is an ingenious play of sketches, colors, textures, expressions, and perspectives. Another distinguishing trait of this anime is the fact that majority of the scenes are riddled with Japanese text. This will definitely make reading all the subtitles quite a challenge. The text is meant to further explain and describe what's going on, such as showing thoughts racing in a character's head. The songs and music are also noteworthy -- very catchy and pleasant to the ears. The ending theme is especially cute, and I found myself humming along after a few eps.
 
I really, really wanted to give Karekano a perfect rating but some of the things I mentioned above prevent me from doing so. Still, I love this anime and will not hesitate to recommend it for viewing and collection.
 
Miscellanies:
Karekano characters drink a lot of UCC coffee.

Screenshots
His and Her Circumstances
His and Her Circumstances
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Review Title:
His and Her Circumstances
Alternative Titles:
Kare Kano
Type:
TV
Episodes:
26
Duration:
650 Minutes
General Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Aired:
1998-1999
Suitable For:
Teens
Genres:
Comedy, Drama, Romance,
School, Shoujo, Slice of Life
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