As we push towards this complicated maze of life, there are standards in which we bestow upon ourselves in order to become the best for someone – whether that would be for ourselves, our families, or a special someone. Of course, there will always be hiccups to this struggle to build our “best selves” and it’s something that is portrayed in Kakushigoto with a lot of entertainment value. Taking something so relatable and making it super hilarious is what makes Kakushigoto shine as an anime series.
Usually there’s that group of shows that doesn’t get too serious nor does it get too dull. Rather, it tries to make sure that the audience is well-entertained, compelled, and satisfied. In this season, Blend S is one of those shows that pride itself with that good ol’ comedy.
Before everything else, you should totally check out Kat’s blog entry about misunderstanding hate from the Harry Potter books.
This month’s blog tour has been quite a challenge for, not only me, but the majority of everyone in OWLS. The prompt, “Diplomacy,” has so many perspectives to discuss about that choosing one is proving to be difficult. So I decided why not make it a little bit confusing for me by using a show that’s dialogue-heavy, Oregairu.
An anime series known for its deep and mind-boggling hits about high school life and society, I found Oregairu to be the best basis material for the “Diplomacy” prompt as the show is centered around the politics of a regular high school. Before we dive in, spoilers are in great abundance here and if you do not take kindly to that, avert your eyes!
Day 14: Anime that never gets old no matter how many times I watch it.
An anime series that has stood the test of time and could be agreed as such by the entire community is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. This series has been the grounds for all anime series that have come after it. It set the basis for the current style of anime we see today.
This anime series has made a cultural impact predominantly in Japan, Asia and English-speaking countries. Numerous parodies of the dance shown in the anime’s ending theme, Hare Hare Yukai, were popular during its airing time and gave the companies a very hard time to enforce copyright.
That’s quite enough evidence to say that the Haruhi franchise contributed largely to the culture of anime.
When I mentioned “set the basis,” I mean it in the sense that this series has set the standards for your typical slice-of-life, high school-set anime series. Same goes for the entirety of the works that the studio, Kyoto Animation, which they base from the entire Haruhi franchise.
Why is the series good, you might ask? That’s a pretty hard question to answer but let me try to do so in the best way I can.
For starters, the story telling used in the Haruhi franchise is somewhat new and unique. Kyon narrates the story to the viewer and adds in his own internal monologues but doesn’t take away the spotlight from the real main character which is Haruhi Suzumiya. Some people might mistake Kyon as the main character of this series but if you think about it, the story always surrounds the titular character, Haruhi Suzumiya.
Its story is quite unique as well. I don’t think I have seen an anime series where it balances the high school, slice-of-life aspects whilst also mixing in the supernatural phenomenon in the mix. I mean, seriously, the titular character is god and it is Kyon’s (and the other characters) job to make sure that she is not aware of her abilities.
We got really fantastic characters here: an esper, an artificial humanoid interface, a time-traveler, and we have Kyon – a normal guy. All of them ensures that Haruhi is entertained and in blissful ignorance of her god powers. Simple yet something unique at the same time.
Imagine if you were in such a situation – you, as Kyon, would have to keep these fantastic and extraordinary phenomenon in the dark and make sure this blissful ignorant “ojou-sama” doesn’t know that she is god for the sake of the world’s safety.
Another thing to note is the animation quality shown in the entire Haruhi franchise was the highest of its time. Kyoto Animation was known to produce movie-like animation quality and still does so to this day.
The airing order of episodes was completely unorthodox and viewers had different ways to watch them. Its either to watch the series in two major episodic orders: Haruhi’s order (which was the chronological order) or Kyon’s order (which was the broadcast order).
It created somewhat of a confusion and also a sense of appeal since nothing of the sort is common. In Kyon’s order, the first episode would be “The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00” while it would be listed as the eleventh episode in Haruhi’s order.
The ending theme was quite phenomenal as well which, as I mentioned earlier, bred numerous parodies as people were trying to do dance covers. The theme had a catchy, upbeat tune and showed off a full dance sequence. It was quite unique and probably even in our current time.
Because of the Haruhi franchise, there was a rise of popularity when it came to the high school set stories in Japan.
The story might not appeal to people at this time but take note that this franchise is the reason why anime, light novels and manga are written as they are right now. The trend of school-set anime was started by the Haruhi franchise which is probably the reason why despite the absurdity of most anime series, it is still in high school – “because apparently everything happens in high school.”
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was a classic, a trend-setter, and is still appreciated till this day despite being released in the early 2000’s. It is, definitely, an anime series that never gets old no matter how many times I or you watch it – you can fight me on this.
REACTION – The episode focuses on three things: Akane’s track meet, Kotaro’s publishing offer, and Chinatsu’s feelings for Kotaro.
For Kotaro’s case, he was contacted by the publishing company who received his novel manuscript. Despite strong objections from her mother in pursuing writing as a career, he goes to meet with the publisher anyways.
However, Kotaro was met with disappointment as the publisher states that he is not fit for serious literature and should try doing light novels instead. For me, it felt kind of an insult for Kotaro since I, as a writer and a person, know the feeling of expecting you are great at what you do but get shut down by other people – telling you that you’re not fit for such career, hobby or job.
As for Akane’s track meet, she lost in the race and had the worst possible time which earned her some disappointed remarks from Takumi, the president of the track and field club. Although it is clearly quite evident that Takumi wants to comfort Akane, but nuh-uh, mate, she taken.
What’s surprising though is Chinatsu’s request to confess to Kotaro after Akane just said that they were in a relationship. I understand that you need some sort of closure but isn’t the fact that your desired person is already taken enough to discourage you from going further?
Quite concerned on Chinatsu’s request since it could affect their friendship a bit if she tries anything fishy and Kotaro gets baited real good. But I’m also complacent that no such thing will happen.
Every time a similar situation happens like this, I always think about the concepts of netorare, cheating – it could be possible.
I’d also like to take note how wonderful it was to incorporate a good song in a montage of Akane’s track race and Kotaro riding a train to the publishing company. It gives off an air of uncertainty and calmness as the two embark on their separate journeys to accomplish their dreams.
Currently what I can say about the Kotaro and Akane pairing is that they are still at the stage where they prioritize their own dreams. However, I am certain that as time goes on in their relationship, it could make them open up more and realize each other’s importance to each other.
The whole relationship, at the moment, can be characterized by awkward stares, conversations which is pretty much expected from characters like Kotaro and Akane.
I hope the anime series continues on this wonderful path where they incorporate realism when writing their characters and the story as a whole.
REACTION – Nothing particularly big happening in this episode. As the sports festival begins, the school is riled up with all the common sports events being organized.
The episode shows off what this series does best and that is the portrayal of adolescence in middle school. Kotarou somewhat displeased about having to participate in sports event considering his lack of athleticism. He does whatever odd jobs he can to steer clear of any athletic duties – move equipment, clean, and all that.
His lack of athleticism is clearly evident when he was assigned to a relay event and toppled over whilst running.
The scene where he went to the school clinic and got his wounds tended by one of Akane’s friends – being called “Curly-kun” and the sloppy first aid treatment.
Akane, on the other hand, is very athletic as we’ve known from the first episode that she is in the track and field team. She does pretty well in these types of events. The adorable part is that she gets nervous without her plushie – which she ends up losing. Because of that, she lost an event and eventually their whole team finished third place.
The major event in this episode was Kotarou’s effort in the sidelines whilst Akane was occupied with sports events. After noticing that Akane was getting nervous and there was no plushie with her in sight, Kotarou goes around the school to find it. If you look closely at scenes where Kotarou appears in the background, you can see what I mean.
When Kotarou returned Akane’s plushie, it was just the most cutest thing ever to behold this series. As the day ends, Akane and Kotarou converse on the mobile app LINE and I think that just completes the entire adolescent portrayal.
This episode was much more livelier and had more stuff going on compared to the first one. Tsuki ga Kirei is doing a great job in portraying a simple life in middle school – the friendships, the romantic moments, the embarrassment and all that good sauce.
I hope it continues at this pace.
FIRST LOOK – When I first started out watching anime, I was rather fond of the slice-of-life genre because of the way it interprets stories as it would play out in real life. It doesn’t go into the extremes and tries to keep itself real. Tsuki ga Kirei is one of those anime series.
Tsuki ga Kirei focuses on the characters Akane Mizuno and Kotarou Azumi, two third-year middle school students who become classmates the first time. It will depict how the characters will grow and connect with each other and to the people around them.
What I love about this first episode is that it doesn’t try to rush everything, the story runs at a right pace. It starts at the opening of a new school year and the meeting of the two main characters, Akane and Kotarou. The two are involved in the equipment team of a school event which will be the catalyst of their romance, the bread and butter of this anime series.
Akane is a very shy and timid girl. She has a plushie which she uses to calm herself down when she is nervous (adorable). I am really not sure whether the one with the romantic feelings is Akane or the male lead, Kotarou – but other than that, there is a romantic air around these two characters.
Kotarou is, from what I’m seeing, an aspiring writer. There is a scene in the first episode where he drops a brown envelope perhaps containing his novel’s manuscript. He is a very normal guy with his own set of friends
The thing about this series is that the scenarios and characters feel very real. We got a shy girl and a guy who tries to be a writer and is somewhat of a bookworm. They are in middle-school and are part of their own separate clubs. The two of them are part of a committee for a school event. It is just the perfect slice-of-life, romance format one could ask for.
The charm of this anime is from its realism. Every one and every thing feels so real and this series does not try too hard to accomplish that.
One example of this a scene where Akane’s family goes out to a cafe restaurant for their dinner. While ordering, Akane notices that Kotarou is there with his family as well. So it starts the usual “holy sh*t, there’s someone here that knows me – I gotta be careful on what I do” kind-of scenario.
And to my pleasure, a similar scenario does erupt. Akane’s older sister notices Akane being aloof and all that jazz, tips off their mother into probably “hey, she likes that guy on the other table” and then good ol’ mom just goes and interacts with the other family going all like: “I’m her mother, ain’t she pretty?” and starts to “sell” her daughter’s charm points to Kotarou’s parents.
Now that is something you’ll probably encounter or have encountered some time in your life and that would be highly embarrassing.
It is these moments that make Tsuki ga Kirei real and thus, entertaining.
The soundtrack, including the opening and ending themes, is soothing and syncs well with the spring atmosphere that the anime series is set in.
feel. has improved quite a lot from Oregairu with the incredible usage of the cherry blossom petals and vivid color palettes. The animation style fits the tone of the series very well. I still have to point out that the 3D CGI is not that bad and they will have to use them when animating crowds of people because other than that, 3D CGI will look really off with the whole animation style this series is pulling off.
I am quite excited for the second episode and how this series will develop the romance of the two main characters. The usual “boy-meets-girl” scenario is always a good one, depending on how it is executed. A classic, I might say.
Tsuki ga Kirei is showing off as a good slice-of-life series and I hope it continues to do so. If high school and romance is your cup of tea, then you are going to love Tsuki ga Kirei.
as the moon, so beautiful.