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Kuzu no Honkai – 02 »

Kuzu no Honkai – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「嘘の火花」 (Uso no Hibana) by 96neko

 

「望み叶え給え」 (Nodomi Kanae Tamae)
“Make a Wish”

I’m coming back briefly to blog another noitamina broadcast – this time about unrequited love and a lot of self-discovery. And let me start by saying that wow… I did not expect to be so hooked to this story right off the bat. Given, I’m also in the mood for some dramatic romance so that motivates me to want to watch a series like Kuzu no Honkai. So with that said, be warned that this won’t be a series for everyone. It starts off with your typical female protagonist, Yasuraoka Hanabi (Anzai Chika) who is deeply infatuated with her “brother”, Kanai Narumi (Nojima Kenji) who also happens to be her homeroom teacher (P.S. He’s not actually a blood-related brother for all those that don’t like the incest theme). Unfortunately, Hanabi thinks that another teacher, Minagawa Akane (Toyosaki Aki) likes Narumi and can only watch from afar as they flirt. To make things more complicated, Awaya Mugi (Shimazaki Nobunaga) has a crush on Akane and together, Hanabi and Mugi find comfort knowing that they are both in unrequited relationships. To fill in that loneliness they both experience, they become quick friends – and then something more than that… although I wouldn’t say they’re exactly boyfriend and girlfriend just yet. Let’s just call them friends with benefits or “lovers”.

If you haven’t seen the anime just yet – I’ll let you know ahead of time that this isn’t a romcom. This is a story about several teenagers and young adults that are pretty much in the midst of self-discovery and it prompts a lot of good questions that I think a lot of us ask when it comes to relationships and love. To understand, I also think you have to put yourself in the mindset of a teenage boy/girl who yearns to be with someone that doesn’t even see you that way. Teenagers have needs too right? And that’s a huge aspect of this anime, balancing the physical and mental needs in a relationship with someone else. On one hand, you have someone that you really like but doesn’t like you back and here’s this other person that’s readily willing to be WITH you as a replacement. Is that such a bad thing? You don’t dislike one another and it’s all consensual so what’s the harm of wanting human companionship? The more I think about it, the more I honestly empathize with both Hanabi and Mugi because I’m also someone that doesn’t like being alone. It’s nice to feel wanted by someone. While I can’t hop on this train completely, I can understand why they’re doing it and why this relationship is a slippery one. And if you think that this will lead to a funny, disastrous comedy, you’re very wrong my friend. It only gets darker as we dive into the minds of all the characters.

After watching this premiere, I actually went ahead and decided to see what the manga was like and I started reading… and several hours later, I was already caught up! With less than 50 chapters, this manga is relatively short but a good length for an anime one-cour adaptation. If they keep up with the 4-chapters per episode adaptation, then we’re in for a good ride. I think there’s a lot of good material in the book and just enough to give a good story without dragging out the relationships or adding unnecessary fluff. Having read almost the entire story now, I can thankfully say that it WILL end in 2 months’ time (aligned with the end of the winter season) so at least we’ll get a conclusion on these awkward love squares/polygons. However, having read all that I did, it’s not exactly a happy-go-lucky type of anime either so you can expect a lot of frustration while dealing with some of the characters; a lot of teenage confusion and one-sided relationships; and of course, a lot of physical affections (if that’s your cup of tea). There can be a lot of inner dialogues that make you think too because the characters are terribly honest with themselves. Interestingly enough (even though I don’t love Lerche or anything), I think Lerche does do Kuzu no Honkai the justice it deserves. It feels like you’re watching the manga, rather than reading it and the scenes are done on-point. Their storytelling method is different than the manga’s but the point comes across well and I have no complaints on that end. It’s clearly a more mature romance story and I think Lerche conveys that well.

There will probably be a few bumps along the way for the anime, but given that I trust the source material to be sufficient enough – Lerche can’t screw it up too bad. So far I’m enjoying it and I like watching the downsides of being in a relationship as well since life is not always rainbows and unicorns. I can definitely see myself in a lot of the characters’ shoes and some of the same questions they ask, are ones that can cross the minds of many teenagers. You might end up hating the some of the characters and the decisions they make, but for what it’s worth, I’m sure everyone’s made stupid choices when they were young. So prepared for a bit of teenage angst, some frustration, some puppy love and a lot of heartache.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #KuzuNoHonkai was actually better than I expected given how much teenage angst and smut I was expecting. So far so good =) In fact, after catching up with the manga, I’m very content with the way it’s going to end and as long as Lerche sticks to 4 chapters/ep. #KuzunoHonkai is an honest and mature look at relationships and self-discovery for young adults. I think people can probably empathize.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「平行線」 (Heikousen) by Sayuri

January 13, 2017 at 5:32 pm
30 comments »
  • January 13, 2017 at 6:17 pmWatt

    I was pretty intrigued with the given intro so I too decided to read ahead and quickly caught up to the latest chapter. Only one word properly describes how I felt after reading it: regret. I regret having read it and I regret having enjoyed reading it once I caught up. There were some moments when I just felt like dropping this but I’m glad (sorta) that I didn’t. And I regret having actually found myself relating (a tiny tiny bit) to one of these characters too. I think I have to marathon a bunch of fluffy comedic series in order to balance out my mind, heart and soul now.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • January 16, 2017 at 10:33 amCherrie

      And that’s the thing, I don’t think this story is meant to paint the “good” sides to humans. I mean, the characters aren’t terribly BAD people – if I knew these people IRL, I wouldn’t call any of them terrible (just one of them =P) because everyone is flawed. A lot of shoujo manga actually paints really good sides to people that I think aren’t realistic all the time either so I’m glad this one takes a different approach.

  • January 13, 2017 at 6:57 pmboingman

    Having a hopeless one sided crush sounds alien to me since I never experienced it. That’s why I have a bit of a hard time taking these kinds of stories and drama surrounding it seriously.

    • January 14, 2017 at 2:32 amCrook

      For someone who’s experienced it a couple of times, I can assure you it’s a very real thing.

    • January 14, 2017 at 7:29 amnyanlol

      ^ and it is just as painful as anime portrays it to be. although possibly less dramatic

      • January 19, 2017 at 5:50 amBoo

        ^less dramatic cause if not, it’s pretty hard to cope living with such a condition.

  • January 13, 2017 at 7:10 pmZhinvu

    For a pretty energetic opening song, the lyrics were sad. Looks like this might be one of the talked about anime of the season.

  • January 13, 2017 at 7:52 pmJel

    This is my most anticipated anime of the season, and I was pretty satisfied with the episode. I began reading the manga like a year ago or so when the anime was first announced. I caught up to the manga (at the time) pretty quickly and was intrigued by the story since it’s a bit different from your typical anime or manga. I was interested in the relationships between characters, even though I think a lot of these characters can be pretty disgusting and/or pitiful. Something about it keeps me interested, though.

    The animation definitely does feel “like a manga” with the panel-esque scenes, and watercolor-ish scenes. It was pretty visually pleasing.

    The voice actor for Hanabi (Anzai Chika) sounds so strikingly similar to Kanazawa Hana, so surprising that I didn’t know it wasn’t her until I read some comments about it.

    Also, the title of this episode is 「望み叶え給え」(Nozomi Kanae Tamae), the one you have in the post is the title of the second episode, although the English translation is pretty close to what the first episode should be translated as.

    • January 16, 2017 at 10:53 amCherrie

      Changed it! Thanks!

  • January 13, 2017 at 9:28 pmelmaton

    What the hell did I just watched? I thought it was going to be your standard drama where two people date each other just to avoid being lonely. I didn’t think they would this far with pretending to be a couple. I reminded me of School Days a lot, but with better characters (although these two characters are still scum).

    I hope it doesn’t become a cheap ecchi drama show, otherwise dropped. It’s one of the weaker premieres so far I’ve seen, and it was disappointing. The drama just didn’t work for me so far. The story didn’t pull me in at all. I felt disgusted on how the two main characters decided to take care of their situation. While the animation and character design are beautiful, the characters are just terrible people, and the story fell short with force drama.

    One of the shows that I was looking forward to a lot fell short, and shows like Fuuka and Masamune-kun no Revenge have left a very nice impression for me.

    • January 13, 2017 at 11:36 pmMentar

      If you can’t feel any kind of empathy to these “terrible” people, why do you bother watching this show? The point is that they aren’t all that terrible, but rather locked in to an unrequited love, frustrated, lonely, and trying to cope. Which happens to be fairly _realistic_ in my book, at least more than the sugary-artificial stuff like Fuuka.

      So, if you already know that you have no access to story and characters after episode 1, you can _safely_ drop it right away. It won’t make you happier in the future.

    • January 14, 2017 at 11:16 amAvalon

      Lol I’d have to disagree with pretty much everything you said. It’s a much more interesting take on unrequited love. The characters feel realistic and I can understand why they are doing what they are doing.

      It is one of the best premieres this season.

  • January 13, 2017 at 9:57 pmlegwkio

    Feels like White Album 2

    • January 14, 2017 at 12:16 amJel

      It’s actually the same director!

    • January 14, 2017 at 5:33 amtheirs

      May I ask how exactly does it feel like White Album 2? I’ve read the manga and I don’t think it has the same mood. Just a curious inquiry by the way, I tend to avoid anime that I’ve read in manga form. Though slightly interested in how they adapted this.

  • January 13, 2017 at 11:31 pmMentar

    This was my primary recommendation going into the season, and I’m glad how well they did this. It does show that enlisting good people matters, and the director of WA2 simply knows how painful romance is done.

    Cherrie: I hope that you stick with blogging this show. Because in my opinion, Kuzu no Honkai has black horse potential, and you know how much discussion it’s going to generate :)

    • January 16, 2017 at 10:36 amCherrie

      LOL! Oh the discussions… just in this single episode I wanted to write out this massive wall of text about unrequited love and how hard it is to be in relationships >_< but I must contain myself! We’ll see if I have time for it haha!

  • January 14, 2017 at 12:10 amonion warrior

    Oh god i’ve been waiting and kept on coming back to RandomC just to check if theres any review done about this anime yet! Oh thank you Cherrie for blogging it!

    I dont really know anything about this series tbh. But when i went through the Winter lineups last year, the pv and poster really got me good and i know i have to watch this. And yes i am caught deep into this show immediately.

    So far after checking few spoilers online and read few pages of the manga, i think i am ready for Kuzu no Honkai and where it’ll bring me. Anzai Chika really got me confused during the beginning of the anime, and yea i thought it was HanaKana too. Cant believe i even thought about Hanabi’s unrequited feelings is the next level of Reina’s one side love to Taki XD (its the seiyuu, i know)

    Anyway i cant wait to see more of this anime soon! So bitter so sour so bad! All the angst and dramas of youth! 2017 is really a year of revenge!

  • January 14, 2017 at 12:27 amArt of Title

    Never has a title told me more than this title did. Seriously this anime is full of the worse and best part of being a human filled with the need for validation and love. Seriously. This anime will be the end of me. Like I still feel dirty, and I read a shit ton of hentai…

  • January 14, 2017 at 1:12 amhell

    rating 5/10

    hentai spoil my romantic story

    • January 14, 2017 at 1:19 amhell

      drop

      for hentai fans!!!

      masamune revenge better than kuzu no honkai(hentai)

      blogger forgot to put not safe for childern(NSFW)

    • January 14, 2017 at 3:38 pmAngelus

      Hentai spoiled your romance? I agree with you about it being NSFW, but it’s nowhere near hentai so far (and it’s not romance either).

    • January 16, 2017 at 10:39 amCherrie

      I think we need to redefine what hentai actually is =) This is far from it. NSFW and definitely a mature romantic drama… but if you think this is bad, I hate to say that there’s a lot worse out there.

  • January 14, 2017 at 1:47 amraxar

    Been anticipating this anime since the I saw the PV and read the synopsis, and while I was caught off-guard with the smut scene, I think it’s still a great anime compared to other anime in this season. The narrative, OP, ED, is just great. I can’t deny that they’re scumbags(and this may hurt them in the end), but I understand their action.
    There are times when you would grab at anything to escape that lonely feeling, for people that never experience that lonely feeling, you’re blessed with good life.

  • January 14, 2017 at 6:58 amCrowag

    I read the manga, depressingly realistic story.

    • January 16, 2017 at 10:42 amCherrie

      It’s definitely a realistic story because I see a lot of people going through the same inner turmoils and conflicts as they go through high school and middle school. It’s not going to relatable for EVERYONE and I think it might be hard for some people to digest because it’s not something that people talk about publicly, but it does happen. And I’m glad that someone dared to write about to draw some awareness that these relationships do exist.

  • January 14, 2017 at 9:22 ams_w

    Love this adaptation of the manga. The art, the acting, the feel– it all feels sad, empty, and broken, and I love it.

    Too much sugar rots your teeth and your brain, anyway. A little bitterness is good for contrast.

    The best part is that you should already know if this is for you– if you didn’t like episode 1, you can safely move on.

  • January 15, 2017 at 12:51 amIst Kapitan

    I dont understand why some people are calling this “hentai” or “porn” :(

    I mean, its nowhere near the word “hentai” at all; you dont even see their genitals or heck, even a glimpse of Hanabi’s nipples or any bare boobs at all :/ people are dropping this because they assumed its “porn” while they are okay and laughed it off when watching the uncensored Prison School or even Highschool DxD or animes like Keijo…

    For me this anime is just mature(or teenage angst), not at all “hentai”. The emotions are real, deep and even upsetting filled with tons of USTs but they are not “hentai”. Its a surprisingly “relatable” dramas. But it kinda baffled me when i went around and read some of the forums and comments saying they’re dropping this because they straight-off judging Kuzu no Honkai as “hentai/porn”. I understand its a bit uncomfortable to watch due to its NSFW mood and emotions. But c’mon, hentai? You havent even seen them naked yet XD

    Anyway im so hyped with this anime right now, even ruining my own experience and went off reading the manga!

  • January 15, 2017 at 6:02 amIschaDeVries

    If anyone’s interested, I posted a piano transcription of one of the OST songs on my YT, with a link to the sheet music. I just think it’s an absolutely beautiful OST so far and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the context in the forthcoming episodes.

    Links:

    Sheet Music: https://musescore.com/user/11915221/scores/3223866

    YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmLvMrhqVnU

  • January 18, 2017 at 11:01 amlunascha

    I don’t see this sort of thing as hentai because it is more realistic than other anime where it only focuses on hentai. I actually likes watching this first episode.

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