Momokuri – From Beginning To End: A Viewer’s Journey With Cute Stalkers and Awkward Romance

What is Momokuri about?

Yuki Kurihara falls in love with a boy in the grade below her and wants to know everything about him. She follows him around and takes photos of him and later progresses to straw stealing. Okay, she’s basically a creepy stalker but Momokuri is going to play this as cute and somehow it is kind of going to work.

After she has taken 100 photos for her collection she asks him out and to her surprise, he says yes. Now we have two clueless people together and a whole lot of spectators wondering just what is going on.

Episodes of Momokuri are only about 12 minutes long and they kind of run two together so the episode count is a little all over the place.

momokuri
Nothing to be concerned about… really.

Momokuri Episodes 1 + 2

I am nominating Yuki Kurihara as the cutest stalker anime character I’ve seen. Unlike a lot of other stalkers out there, she doesn’t seem in any way malicious, just really creepily obsessed.

Momokuri should not appeal to me. Nothing happened except these two characters getting together and then their various friends giving them advice and the like. However this kind of hit the right amount of cute without being tedious for me and I actually do want to see how this relationship develops (if it develops).

Definitely giving this one a few more episodes.

Momokuri Episodes 3 + 4

I shouldn’t find Momotsuki fretting about whether he could have opened his umbrella in a cooler fashion endearing but somehow I do and it sets the right tone for leading into the next two episodes.

Yuki remains the sweetest creepy stalker character ever.

The first of these two stories in Momokuri has the two going on a date and then shaking hands for Momotsuki’s birthday (wow that was interesting shade of red). The second story has a study session involving the friends of the two. I really do like the support cast in this. They kind of break up the sweetness.

On a final note, I’m nominating this for worst opening of the season – though I’m sure there are other contenders.

Momokuri Episodes 5 + 6

I’m not sure why they continue to claim these as two episodes when we really have gone into a more cohesive storyline (or rather the events just kind of flow into one another rather than shifting from one situation to the next).

Momokuri remains really cute even as it follows what should be a very unhealthy relationship.  The introduction of Rio was interesting though I find her liking Momotsuki because he is short every bit as off putting as Kurihara’s obsession with his expressions (and her straw collection – what’s with that?).

Anyway, this feels like it has well and truly established its tone for the season and I’m enjoying the silliness and sweetness of it.

By the way, does anyone else find the opening reminds them of Acchi Kocchi?

Momotsuki having his photo taken without permission (again).
Image from Momokuri.
Just another photo taken without permission.

Affiliate Link – PlayAsia

Momokuri Episodes 7 + 8

This is definitely a single episode and not two parts, however I’m going to let that go from now on and just accept the weird episode numbering going on here.

I don’t like Sakaki as a character and I think her reason for liking Momotsuki is even more lame than Kurihara’s which makes it difficult to sympathise with her as she watches Momotsuki and Kurihara’s ongoing ‘relationship’. That said, while Kurihara is still weirdly stalkerish, her relationship with Momotsuki feels really genuinely and quite sweet this episode of Momokuri.

Cue lots of blushing and internal dialogue as both these characters spend some time thinking about their feelings. Though Kurihara’s ongoing secret photography obsession has really got to go before we can actually call this a sweet romance story.

Momokuri Episodes 9 + 10

Same old Momokuri.

Kurihara goes shopping and agonized over her choice of swimsuit as well as whether she’s offended Rio. They go on the BBQ and cute things are said and various characters blush. One positive of this episode is that some of the support cast get a bit of time to show us they are real people and not just background filler but essentially nothing happens.

I’d like to know why Momotsuki feels it would be bad to just tell his ‘girlfriend’ that he thinks she is cute but apparently he can’t say that and that is the fundamental flaw in the entire ‘relationship’. These two characters are infatuated with one another and the idea of being in a relationship but aren’t actually in a relationship. They don’t know how to talk to one another.  That doesn’t stop this show from being cute but it isn’t doing a whole lot more.

Better not to ask why the main two are both acting crazy.
Image from Momokuri.
Probably better not to ask.

Momokuri Episodes 11 + 12

Each week this show delivers a pleasant little story but continues to lack anything that really makes it stand out or memorable.

This week in Momokuri, Momotsuki and Kurihara go to a festival, get separated, and then find each (with some help from Rio). There’s a few other things happening but mostly that’s it. Momotsuki continues to be plagued by various self-doubts and he really needs to wonder a bit more about how Kurihara knows everything about him sometimes but otherwise the show doesn’t really do tension or drama. Everything is just kind of level and plodding along.

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Momokuri Episodes 13 + 14

So Momotsuki is sick and his friends decide the best person to look after him is Kurihara which leads to the expected and standard girl looking after boy in room with embarrassed blushes sequences. What I did like was how they used this episode to show Kurihara is growing as a person.

Momotsuki’s sleeping face entrances her and she reaches for her phone and then she puts it down. She realises that she’s been staring at his picture and not at him. It’s a significant step in moving this relationship from slightly creepy to actually completely adorable.

The final sequneces of these episodes of Momokuri where we see them trying out each other’s first names, with the extreme blushing is just a nice way to finish the episode and shows us that while they are moving forward they aren’t taking any sudden leaps.

Kurihara grows as a person and puts her phone down.
Image from Momokuri.
Just put the phone down.

Momokuri Episodes 15 + 16

Is it bad that this week I spent a lot of time counting just how many scenes were actually static images that we were panning over? Or that most of the dialogue is delivered by characters off screen and we are shown a static reaction shot?

Right from the start, Momokuri hasn’t exactly gone out of its way to be visually impressive so it seem harsh to judge the series now but I think the fact that I was paying attention to that this week meant that I was not that interested in the episode. Admittedly, the end of the second half, where Noriko confronted Kurihara head on about her obsessive practices, was probably the strength of the episode, but the earlier trip to the pool and subsequent hand holding while walking home just felt like more of the same.

This show is still sweet (and Kurihara is still adorable in a cute and creepy kind of way) but I feel like this week was just going through the motions.

Momokuri Episodes 17 + 18

Dating clichés continue with a visit to the amusement park.

That said, this was a particularly cute episode of Momokuri. I love how the characters are all becoming slightly more aware of each other and themselves so it doesn’t feel like we are just treading over the same ground all the time. They may be slow to catch on, but they are catching on.

All and all though, Momotsuki and Kurihara are close to becoming the cutest anime couple I’ve ever seen. Not my favourite couple and certainly not my favourite romance anime, but they are kind of adorable together. How many other anime characters can pull off the ‘my hair is stuck in your button’ routine without your eyes rolling clear out of your head?

Kurihara - oh my hair is caught in your button.
Image from Momokuri.
In any other anime this would probably could not have worked.

Momokuri Episodes 19 + 20

Momokuri delivered a solid episode this week, which surprised me because when I saw it was a festival episode I expected everything to just kind of generically run along.

Instead we got an episode that made significant advances in Momotsuki’s and Kurihara’s relationship, including Kurihara finally telling Momotsuki most of the truth about her obsession. I did not see that coming.

Also, Rio and Momotsuki make the cutest couple ever even though they aren’t the actual couple in the show.

Now of course we need to wait a week for the fall out. Hopefully everything ends well for our actual couple.

Rio and Momotsuki.
Image from Momokuri.
Rio and Momotsuki doing their thing.
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Momokuri Episodes 21 + 22

It’s nice that both Kurihara and Momotsuki have just kind of accepted that they are both weird and they like each other. I also like that Momotsuki is starting to teach Kurihara a little and their interactions feel a bit more natural (at least in the first half of the episodes).

Another pleasant feature this week in Momokuri was some tension amongst Momotsuki’s friends caused by a misunderstanding. I’m looking forward to seeing that sub-plot developing so let’s hope it doesn’t just fade away. My least favourite moment this week was probably the ending where Momotsuki gives in to unreasonable jealousy when another guy pulls a cobweb out of Kurihara’s hair.

All and all, if you’ve watched the show this far, this is a good episode. Is this anime amazing? Not so much. But the characters are cute and quirky and some of the weirder parts of this relationship seem to finally be getting sorted.

Momokuri Episodes 23 + 24

This episode of Momokuri was definitely less impressive than the previous ones but continued to be cute and sweet. My real issue was it was a simple reverse of a situation we had already seen. Instead of Kurihara taking care of a sick Momotsuki, we see Momotsuki visit Kurihara when she is sick. Even with the add in of it being Christmas, there really isn’t enough new material here to make this engaging.

That said, I am also going to reiterate a previously raised point: Momotsuki needs better friends.

Another point that seems fairly standard for anime is that Kurihara actually took care of Momotsuki when he was sick. Momotsuki just kind of holds her hand and blushes a lot.

Anyway, one more episode to go and we’ll see how it all ends.

momokuri24b
How do you giggle unenthusiastically?

Momokuri Episodes 25 + 26

The finale of Momokuri went much the way you would expect, though the scene change to a hot spring was kind of out of left field.

While we had already done pool and beach it didn’t seem like the show had any way to contrive a hot springs visit. How I underestimate anime sometimes. Apparently you can always find a way to send a group of unaccompanied teenagers to the hot springs.

Anyway, the romance is nicely wrapped for the main couple and the other characters get as little development as always and it all ends sweetly (if a little creepily) ever after so the show maintained it’s consistent tone throughout.

Images from: Momokuri. Dir. Y Hiaike. Statelight. 2015-2016


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2 thoughts on “Momokuri – From Beginning To End: A Viewer’s Journey With Cute Stalkers and Awkward Romance

  1. I don’t remember the details, but the show was an ONA before it became a TV show, and they edited two episodes together to fill a regular 24 minute slot. I’m pretty sure I watched the episodes one at a time as they were released, but I don’t remember the details. I think it was a weird release schedule, (something like 3 – 5 episodes a week, with taking the weekends off?) Totally unsure now, but I’m definitely certain I watched 12 minutes at a time.

    The operative word is cute. Also, I liked that they ran through all the staples, but actually sprinkled in character development.

    And Norika was probably my favourite character. Anyway, the show needed her for balance. (I liked the entire cast really.)

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