So Kimikiss departs on the 01:36 am Steam Train of Storytelling, while I’m left standing on the Foggy Platform of Real Life, manfully adjusting my Starched Collar of Essay-Composition and emitting stiff-upper-lipped Throat-Clearings of ‘I’m not crying’.¹ I suppose writing a blog entry about it is akin to listening to the departing rattle of the rolling stock and smelling the soot on the air. To quickly jump between transport metaphors, I’m also sad to see CCY standing at the wheel of the Yuumi x Kouichi liner, having honourably overseen the evacuation of all the passengers, disappearing beneath the waves but never deserting his ‘ship. (Hooray for doujins, eh? Eh?)
How are we to assess this? I’ve little experience with shows of Kimikiss‘s genre. Hinano, who presumably has more, swiftly dismisses it as ’24 episodes of the same old shit [I apologise, dear reader; her words, not mine] over & over again’ and points out that the same plot could’ve been accomplished in an OVA. [I'm tempted to point out that ZnT III is unlikely to be directed by Kasai, but we've all fallen into studiotolatry at one point or another; let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.] My own answer to ‘How are we to assess this?’ is ‘I don’t know, sorry.’ I mean, I quite liked it – but that’s no guide to how good it was.
As with my previous entry on this show, I could go into detail about which characters I liked and disliked, and what I thought of the final pairings (for it seems there was an ending after all), but others do that better. (I can’t resist textually high-fiving Hiiragi, though: honest and smooth at the same time!)
The man deserves a GARrod Ran Award.
What about what Kimikiss actually said? Well, I may well be missing oodles obvious messages here, but I didn’t think it said very much. My off-the-cuff praise for Hiiragi points the way: Kimikiss valued honesty, with oneself and with others, above all else. Which is laudable. Quite a lot of time was spent in driving this home (‘I’m not crying’ is Eriko’s structure of denial in microcosm) and indeed in having some characters drive this home to other characters.
This is where I disagree with Aroduc’s suggestion that ‘Sakino . . . really didn’t serve any real point from start to finish.’ Asuka didn’t conduct just one Celestial Being-style intervention, she was this show’s Exia, descending from the sky to slice through self-deception (Kazui’s and Erikio’s, at least). Setsuna would envy someone capable of becoming Gundam like this. It’s a shame she’s got such a promising future bending it like Beckham when she’s so patently suited to being a counsellor. I wonder if Kai was playing Mao and Youichi’s guardian Exia, too. [Yuumi has no fairy god-Gundam,² unfortunately for her.]
A homosocial moment.
Apart from the importance of honesty, what else? There was Eriko’s repeated remark about personal isolation, I suppose, which was perhaps correct in premise (maybe we are all alone) but not in conclusion (because that’s actually what makes love fun). And that, as far as I can see, is about it. The rest of the time, I’d suggest that Kimikiss was ‘just’ a gently-paced, absurdly chaste, yet pretty-faced romance show.
I’m still glad I watched Kimikiss, though. I’m glad the fact that the first OP’s resemblance to the typical ‘girl menu’ harem opening didn’t put me off, and I’m glad I’m not so jaded by the genre that I couldn’t enjoy twenty-four ‘episodes of the same old shit’. I’m glad at least one of the show’s heroes was likeable. I’m glad I had the time to write a little about Kimikiss‘s ending by virtue of the Easter Bank Holiday. And I’m glad that it’s snowing outside, thickly. Thicker, in fact, than I’ve seen snow for several years. It’s not staying on the ground, but just falling snow is such a rarity that I’m going to have to throw on my coat, sieze my umbrella and nip out for a walk . . . it’s happy-man-in-snow time.
1. I should so write for Mills & Boon.
2. I have a God Gundam desktop wallpaper. It’s Easter, after all.
- Aside from the links above, be sure to check out the finale entry from the Subculture Anime Blog, and the review from the Star Crossed Anime Blog.
- Kimikiss has received unashamedly partisan coverage from CCY (‘YUUMI FIGHTO!’), unashamedly intense scrutiny from Owen and unashamedly thought-provoking commentary from Michael. It’s like shame’s gone out of fashion.