Tsuki ga Kirei Series Review: Sleepy Sweet Romance

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Overview:

I reviewed the first episode of this when it was airing but ultimately dropped the show because it wasn’t really my sort of thing, plus I had a lot of other shows in my line up last season. However, I picked it up after it completed airing to watch through. The story follows Kotaro and Akane as they muddle their way through their first real romance.

Review:

I’m keeping this short because there isn’t a lot for me to say on this that I haven’t already said elsewhere. This is a really sweet story, but it is also really slow and full of characters who are so busy being shy and cute and relatable that it sends this story into the overly sleepy category where I find myself getting frustrated just by watching. That isn’t to say there aren’t some great moments in the story but watching the inbetween as they go about their daily lives, consult with friends, message each other, wait for a message from the other; it all just bored me a little too much.

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The other issue I had with this series is the art itself as all the characters are excessively shiny and the shading on their faces is at times outright distracting. Okay, that’s my personal view but I found myself watching where the light spots and streaks would move as the characters did rather than reading the subs or listening and then I’d have to go back again and rewatch a conversation that ultimately I wasn’t too interested in.

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However, that isn’t to say I wouldn’t recommend this title. It really is a cute romance and for people who don’t want explosive fights or fast paced action or dialogue, this is a very real story. It looks in depth at the genuine trials of being young and the first time you fall in love. And most people find it a very beautiful anime to look at.

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There’s some pleasant surprises in the story. They don’t take the whole season to get to a confession or start dating. They actually progress to that point fairly early on considering how incredibly shy and uncertain both of the main characters are. They do introduce rivals but they don’t stretch this out to far and it is actually dealt with in a reasonably direct and mature manner. The support cast feel like real classmates and the like rather than tropes and they add some real substance to the story.

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But of course there’s also the usual standards that we need to go through with this kind of story including miscommunications, jealosy, uncertainty, tears and stubborness. None of these things are bad as they are standards in the genre for a reason and they are, for the most part, handled well. Just every now and then it seemed like they were adding drama just for the sake of trying to stir up the story a bit though.

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Ultimately, I’m glad I watched it through but I’m not going for a rewatch of this one. Neither of the main characters grabbed me in a way the cast of Kimi ni Todoke or similar titles did where despite the slow pace I found myself really looking forward to the next episode. However, if you are into romance and you haven’t checked this one out yet, it is probably worth your time.


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Karandi James.

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Friday’s Feature: Reality in Romance

Victor - Yuri on Ice

With the Spring 2017 anime season wrapping up it is inevitable that a lot of people would be reviewing and discussing Tsuki ga Kirei. Overwhelmingly the reviews are positive and what I keep hearing again and again is how sweet the romance is, how pure it is, and how relatable and real it feels. It was a show I dropped early on but I’ve been watching double episodes over the last week to try to finish it and while I personally still find it incredibly slow moving I can also see some of the reasons why it has been held in such high regard by others, and yet it made me think about what I actually want from a romance story.

I’d like to put in here that I am not trying to actually review or critique the show.

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And that’s the key word. It is a story. Fiction. The whole get swept away and dream of everything working out happily ever after with the guy/girl/whatever of your dreams. While grounding the whole thing in reality might work for some people and the relatablility might help them engage with the story, for me Tsuki ga Kirei misses the mark. It is sweet that these two young people are engaged in a first romance and learning what that means and how to deal. It’s actually kind of adorable. But as far as a story goes it seems lacking to me.

When tension is inserted into the plot through flat phone batteries, confiscated phones, petty jealousy, third wheels, and the like it really feels like someone remembered it was supposed to be a story and that in the last twenty minutes nothing has happened other than the cute girl avoided eye contact with the reasonable looking boy again. That might seem like a harsh evaluation and certainly if you are more caught up with the characters you might not agree, but while watching the episodes I am openly checking the time in almost three minute intervals just to make sure it hasn’t stopped entirely. Plus, they were pushing the credibility of reality when they had a teenage girl let her phone go flat when she knew he was likely to message her.

But again, this is all personal preference. I don’t like the romance in Tsuki ga Kirei because it is, for the most part, very believable and (for lack of better words) kind of dull. Guy meets girl, they like each other, have a few minor hiccups on their journey and continue on (I haven’t got to the end yet so don’t know if I have a happily ever after awaiting me or not). Essentially, it is so real that it feels like I should just sit in a shopping centre foodcourt and watch it unfold around me rather than watching the show.

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Say, I Love You was another romance that I had difficulty enjoying. Despite a genuine fondness for the main character, I found the story slow moving and the character interactions mostly flat. The only reason I watched it more than once was a friend of mine quite liked the series. Admittedly, the third time I watched it through I started to really like it and I ended up buying it on DVD so all and all it couldn’t have been that bad. Essentially it depicted fairly believable high schoolers (other than the model who you have to admit was not a typical student even if her social networking issues were pretty relatable) engaging in relationships that were plagued by the usual issues of miscommunications, jealousy, and pettiness.

So what does it take for me to get into a romance?

Basically the romance needs to be one part of a bigger story. I need to feel that the interactions are moving somewhere and that there is a sense of movement in the plot and with the characters. It doesn’t hurt if the romance takes on a more fairy tale point of view either. There’s something to be said for sweet romances where people get swept off their feet and find their true love. It may not be ‘realistic’ but it makes for grandiose stories with characters I can get behind and fall in love with, at least for the duration of the show.

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This is where I think Yuri on Ice really sold itself to me. It had Yuri’s story as an ice skater and the romance was an integral part of that story. I could relate to the ups and downs and misunderstandings in their relationship and yet it moved along quickly and had that sweeping feeling of things just moving forward inexorably to a predetermined ending. Basically it felt like a story infused with romance rather than a series of events between two characters that might end up with them being romantically intertwined. I know from reading some reviews of Yuri on Ice, that some viewers didn’t really relate to Victor and Yuri’s romance and felt it was too easy, too rushed, too forced, or too one sided, and that’s where personal preferences come in and probably the reason there are so many different kinds of romance story out there.

We all like a good romance (even those people who insist they don’t will have that one story that makes them smile/cry every time they watch it). For me though, I think I’d like my romance a little less realistic and a little more fantastical. I can see reality already so what I’m looking for in a story is something that has some connection to reality but goes that little bit further to bring something truly special or memorable to the table.

That said, I am going to finish watching Tsuki ga Kirei. Who knows, by the time I get to the end I might have even learned to love it. But I’m turning it over to you and asking you how you like your romance? Do you prefer the realistic, the sweet, the spicy, the funny, the dramatic, or some completely different style of romance altogether? I’d love to know.


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Karandi James.

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