OP Sequence

OP: 「センチメンタルラブ 」 (Sentimental Love) by みみめめMIMI (MimimemeMIMI)

「追いかけて」 (Oi kakete)
“Pursuit”

Kimi no Iru Machi certainly has quite a repute – its popularity is utterly beyond doubt, but the series’ eminence as a romantic drama is often bracketed with the very definition of rage, mania and relentless exasperation. The whine and carp that exists among its fanbase are as clear as a bell, but that doesn’t stop them from coming back for more. In fact, it seems like the series has carved out a niche in its very own right, and the off-the-chart relationship dramas that prevail have undeniably become somewhat of a raison d’etre for A Town Where you Live! It should be made clear though that such bluster-inducing attributes were not especially apparent in its premiere, and the character expositions were surprisingly tranquil and peaceable – no signs of commotion, cattiness or even theatrics just yet! Kirishima Haruto (Hosoya Yoshimasa), the male protagonist of the series, is right at the center of attention and at first glance, he appears to be a fairly run-of-the-mill archetype of the romance genre – he’s attentive, handsome, a great cook and seemingly pretty lucky with the ladies! That said, there’s obviously more to Haruto than meets the eyes and it would not be an exaggeration to call him a man with a baggage – one that most likely weighs a ton! Haruto has recently moved to Tokyo – a five-hour Shinkansen ride from Hiroshima – in search of a girl, Eba Yuzuki (Nakajima Megumi), who is presumably his old flame and someone that he shared an extensive history with back at his hometown! The exact status of their relationship has not been made conspicuous and there’s definitely not a whole lot we can say about them at this stage – a flashback next week should shed some light on the lowdown of their past, and it’s probably safe to assume that the relationship did not end on a particularly amicable note!

Speaking of Yuzuki, the supposed female protagonist of the series was, for the most part, absent from the premiere. While her presence was felt early and throughout – mostly as a subject of verbal exchanges, Yuzuki’s physical advent or any of her substantive characteristic has continued to remain somewhat impalpable for now. Make no mistake about it though, the female side of the story was most definitely alive and kicking, and we have Mishima Asuka (Sakura Ayane) to hold the fort in Yuzuki’s stead – as the second female lead and presumptively a potential love interest for Haruto! Asuka has made quite an impression to say the least and she is unquestionably a fascinating package of contrasts. The softball ace is the embodiment of a tomboy through and through – not only did she arbitrarily attack Haruto with a baseball bat, she also packed a rather sharp tongue, marked with a splitting sense of acidity! But concealed beneath her hard-hitting temperament, therein lies a completely different Asuka – sympathetic, reserved and a bundle of nerves! In fact, Asuka was so self-conscious that she refused to speak for her entire first year, just because she was put out of countenance with her Iwaki accent!

What we saw this week is probably just a simple preface to the stage-setting – the calm before the storm, as the secrets, stupor and melodrama are laid bare one by one! The overall first impression of Kimi no Iru Machi was certainly pleasant – there is no doubt a stylistic throwback to the visual sense and this episode would not have looked amiss if it was aired in the early 2000’s.The director of the series, Yamauchi Shigeyasu (Shin Sekai Yori, Casshern Sins), has always shown a penchant to venture into some pretty unconventional cinematography and  I especially like the art direction that was presented here – drips of rain in puddles, reflections from a helmet, sky colors that reflect the emotional backdrop and the ever-so-majestic “food porn”! Speaking as a huge fan of Suzuka and Cross Over – both of which are excellent work by mangaka, Seo Kouji – I’m definitely interested to see where Kimi no Iru Machi goes from here. Haruto and Yuzuki are obviously the focal points of the series, and the “love geometry” that branches out from those two will most likely be the very crux that drives the show forward – Asuka has already taken quite a fascination in Haruto and it’s certainly conceivable that she might turn out to be a viable love interest. Then there’s a slew of side characters – Kirishima Aoi (the beautiful Takahashi Chiaki), Kazama Kyousuke (Ono Daisuke), Kaga Akari (Kouno Nana),Yura Takashi (Masuda Toshiki) and Eba Rin (Fujita Saki) – who could also have prominent roles to play in the ensuing entanglements. Needless to say, that can only lead to more tear-jerkers, commotion and heartbreaks – which are, of course, the very essence of dramatics that a fan of romance revels in!

Random tidbits:

  • Pro tip, learn how to cook if you want to get a girl – It worked for Haruto and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve impressed more than one with my prowess in cooking!
  • Yuzuki and Asuka are both attractive in their own ways – My vote has yet to be cast and I have a feeling the shipping war is going to be exceedingly intense!
  • I’ll take Aoi aneki over those two any day – I’m huge sucker for the onee sama type and she’s definitely right down my alley! Plus, Aoi’s voiced by the Takahashi Chiaki (IDOLM@STER’s Azusa), who is not only a looker, but also an excellent singer!
  • Yuzuki is voiced by Nakajima Megumi (Macross Frontier’s Ranka Lee), that could give her an edge over Asuka when I finally make up my mind – Yes, I’m a seiyuu nut, sue me!
  • White pantsu spotted – I’m not quite sure if the color fits her spitfire-like personality! How about black?
  • Asuka looks great no matter what she’s doing, even when she’s drinking miso soup – Positively delicious!
  • I sense some malice and cattiness from Rin – A great romantic drama is always in need of the quintessential bitch!
  • Sorry for the slight delay in putting up this post. I’m on the road for work at the moment – 6 cities in 2 weeks! Shameless plug – I’ll be visiting my alma mater, Princeton University, this weekend to catch-up with some old friends. If any of my kouhai who reads RandomC wants to meet up, I’m happy to buy you coffee. I can be reached through email at seishun@randomc.net!

tl;dr: @SeishunRC – Kimi no Iru Machi 01: The calm before the storm – as the secrets, stupor and melodrama are laid bare one by one! Welcome to “A Town Where You Rage”! #Anime
 
Full-length images: 06, 09, 11, 13, 14, 16, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「君のいる町 」 (Kimi no Iru Machi ) by 桐島青大(CV: 細谷佳正) [Kirishima Haruto (CV: Hosoya Yoshimasa)]

Preview

96 Comments

    1. I do know what’s coming up next – it just didn’t seem appropriate to discuss about the manga in my post!
      Honestly, I’m quite surprised at the overwhelmingly negative response – the premiere was pretty solid, in my view. I think the old-school visual style and character designs are pretty refreshing :3

      Seishun
  1. Im impressed with the visuals, anime version of Asuka looks too damn cute, better than the manga IMO
    People say it was a weird place to start the anime, but tbh this is the part with the all the emotions, just hope they wont go for an anime original ending but actually finish it at a certain point of the manga Show Spoiler ▼

    Athrum
    1. I think the flashback next week should give non-manga readers an idea of what happened. It’s a 12-episode adaptation – there are parts that will be left out, whether we like it or not. Yoshida Reiko (K-On!, Girls und Panzer, Majestic Prince) is a pretty accomplished scriptwriter and I’m sure she knows what she’s doing 😉

      Seishun
  2. The hair colours are pretty confusing, although consistent with the manga coloured pages. In the normal pages though, Haruto’s hair is the same colour as Aoi’s, yet he’s brunette and she’s blonde ?! Yuzuki’s hair in the monochrome pages is actually the same colour as Rin’s, so I don’t understand why Yuzuki is purple where Rin is red !

    In terms of story, the place where they’re starting the anime is by far my least favourite part of a fairly generic series so I doubt I’ll bother watching. Its not terrible, but its not particularly noteworthy either.

    Ps I’d totally ditch Yuzuki for Rin.

    Trifle
  3. Ok having read the manga, all I can say to those who just started on this series… prepare to rage…..

    When I first started reading, it was pretty enjoyable. The Hiroshima part was actually pretty fun and nice…. but once they went to Tokyo…. well lets just say that it was indeed rage worthy…. Only after they got over that rather rage inducing phase, then it went back to what I would consider normal. Trouble is that particular phase would forever be like a black mark on this series.

    Euzio
    1. Couldn’t agree with you more. This manga had a good start but everything went downhill as soon as the main characters moved to Tokyo and it just frustrated me to keep on reading so I quit right after that.

      Now I’m just praying this manga will end as soon as possible.

      Drift
      1. Yeah I was very tempted to drop it when I read that rage inducing part…. But I decided to keep at it since I had gotten this far.

        Thankfully, it had gotten better after that part and I managed to enjoy the series once more.

        Euzio
      2. This manga had a good start but everything went downhill as soon as the main characters moved to Tokyo

        I disagree.It might be rage inducing but it kept people pretty interested.Therefore it shouldn’t the Tokyo arc shouldn’t be called bad.

        What IS bad is that the anime’s starting from it as I don’t think a few flashbacks are gonna be enough to get anime-only viewers too interested in the characters and will dramatically reduce the shock factor of this arc.

        MgMaster
      3. At the start of the manga, I sat and read as much as I could; hours upon hours. I even read during class because I couldn’t stop. Then came this arc and I guess the best phrases to describe it would be “rage-inducing” and “forced-Drama.”

        Most importantly, the plot setups that were being forced through for added drama caused the characters to do things that I wouldn’t see them normally doing. And I think one of the most important thing to do in a book, manga, anime, or tv show is maintain the consistency and personality of the characters.

        Rigelin
    2. Tbh i don’t know why people say they raged reading the manga. I thought the Tokyo arc was pretty good until Haruto and Yuzuki got together again and then started going downhill.

      Athrum
      1. The reason is pretty simple really. In the first arc of the manga so were the characters pretty decent people. They made some mistakes, but were mostly understandable. Then the Tokyo arc showed up and they acted like stupid asses.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        But this anime might actually make that arc better as the characters start out stupid instead of being decent and later turning stupid.

        znail
      2. Couldn’t agree with you more znail.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Drift
      3. Guys,those spoilers are a bit too much,especially for a 1st episode.They can drastically reduce the shock factor,and more importantly,the RAGE of anime-only viewers.

        Maybe they should be removed…

        MgMaster
    3. Well probably one of best slice of life romance I have read or so thought at the begining… slowly but it came to that point where you would expect hapy ending but nooo… mayor plot twist sets it all back to what would look like one more last fight before either love wins or drama claims the end but again no… At this point it is clear author is going for money and from what you once enjoyed to read comes out half-assed story that will go on plot becomes weaker and makes no sence. As you might know it is still ongoing but it ened so long ago for many of us. One of the biggest disapointments I have read.

      laaa
  4. Right when I saw the screen caps of this series/episode I was asking my self where that familiar art style was but when I read your review, I was like YUP thats where its from. Sorry for being random but yea I will have to check out this series. Although I read the manga from start to the current chapter, I want to see how the series turns out overall. Also glad to see Nakajima Megumi voice by one of the characters. :3

    MM
    1. I reckon they should have gone all the way and got her on both as the script writer for this adaptation. It would have been a fabulous melodrama trainwreck. :3

      Pocarisweat
  5. Isn’t this 50+ chapters into the story?

    Honestly, after this arc finished, I couldn’t bare to put up with the drama anymore. The whole “every single girl throws herself at Haruto” bit gets old really fast.

    Da5id
  6. As a manga reader, I have to warn fellow RC fans… This series is not for people looking for nice and warm romance story. It’s “forced” drama with a lot of WTF moments.

    The overall plot went down hill very fast, and the series currently is blind and lost of directions.

    Bakaro
      1. Maybe. I simply have no idea what the author thinking…

        His/Her last work “涼風(Suzukaze/Suzuka)” is really good. Good enough to make me bought the entire manga collection and started buying this series headfirst without research.

        Now, i hesitant to buy the next volume. Might stop completely…

        Bakaro
      2. I read Suzuka for Miki, and Seo’s art. His art is top-notch. Not his storytelling, unfortunately. (He should find a writer to partner with. Seriously.)

        It’s a better manga than KNIM, although at the time I remember many a fanboy trashing Seo for bad writing and creating a generally unlikable bunch of characters. Lots of Suzuka haters at the time.

        I have read KNIM since the start, and having gone the distance with it, there’s no way I’m going to sit through the anime. I tried for all of 5 minutes the other night, and just couldn’t bring myself to go through that junior-high level plot again.

        No. Just… no.

        Good luck to the brave souls who will be watching it. I pray for your mental well-being. =D

        sw
  7. The fact that the anime series has started from the Tokyo arc left ALMOST ALL CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT BEHIND! Make no mistake, as a rage inducer, this series knows his task, hands down, but starting the anime adaptation in the middle of the story is a massive WTF for the people that haven’t read the manga.
    This train has already wreck even before starting.

    SeedStriker
  8. Why the fuck are the zooming into people’s faces so much? Is this a daytime drama series like Bold and the Beautiful where its necessary? And when they don’t fill my screen with someone’s noggin they have random cats purring, WTF? In fact besides a few opening scenes there was no full shots of a group of people’s complete bodies. Is this some kind of shit artistic sense by a moronic director or budget cuts? With Gonzo I say its both.

    Besides that I think people should be glad the story starts at Tokyo. My reasoning is this:
    1. This adaptation is likely going to be only 1 cour long
    2. This means an original ending
    3. That could mean that what went wrong with this arc might be fixed
    4. As the hate for this part of the story is well documented
    5. Because why else would the story start from the worst part?
    6. So ignoring the extremely annoying animation direction the story could turn out to be better than expected if tampered with.

  9. As a huge fan of the manga I cant believe what I see. The animation is just horrible. The characters just looks so wrong, disfigured, unrecognizable and ugly I didnt think something like that is even possible. Especially what they did to Aoi is unbearable. Probably a good thing I havent watched it for now.

    And why did they start in the Tokyo arc and not the beginning? The most important thing of the whole manga is missing oO

    Flytaggart
  10. Well, I am a manga reader and let me say this: If you are able to get over the rage inducing arc the anime started with where almost all of the characters act utterly stupid, the series can actually be pretty okay. I rather like the new slice-of-life direction the manga has taken.

    blubdidub
  11. I can remember a couple of weeks ago, sitting down and reading through 230 chapters of this and experiencing frustration beyond my wildest dreams. Now that the anime is here, I can already tell we’re in for a ride, especially considering the point in the series they’ve chosen to start from. Essentially, they’ve left behind a sizable chunk of the character development; development that really makes the Tokyo arc as infuriating and great as it is. I hope though that even with that in mind, it won’t stop this from being a series worthy of its manga counterpart.

    Kanon
  12. Bleh, I’m sightly worried about starting in Tokyo. Completely discarding the relationship baggage that built up in Hiroshima may end up completely diluting the impact of Haruto’s relationships in Tokyo and onwards.

    Much of the rage is “wtf why did he X when he already did Y”, where Y is something he did in Hiroshima.

    In other news, Mashima Hiro went the whole nine yards with fanservice in KNIM, whereas the service in Suzuka wasn’t nearly as explicit.

    Vsin
  13. I’m a huge fan of the manga and have really high hopes for this anime as it will only promote the author.

    Tokyo huh? And I don’t want to start a manga topic here. However…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    cyprinious
    1. Thus the rage. Yuzuki is easily the most unlikable girlfriend out there. What kind of human being would even decide to do that? Ironically, after surviving the rage part is when I actually drove me to religiously read the manga, although pretty much everything is moving on a snail’s pace right now.

      Forced melodrama be damned, but this arc was pretty enetertaining!

      Passingby
      1. I don’t know about her being one of the most unlikable girlfriends, I like her, and I think that is what caused me to be sad and upset at her.

        I totally relate to how you reacted after the events, I read like a madman afterwards. 😀

        cyprinious
  14. I… I just can’t do it!!

    I just can’t watch this show knowing full well what’s going to happen. Seo Kouji always writes his main female leads as absolute bitches and Yuzuki reigns at the top of the shitlist. Even Suzuka doesn’t come close!!

  15. I feel like all of you that are raging at this anime starting at the Tokyo arc forgot or didn’t know that there is an ova that covered the whole first arc so it makes sense not to redo it.

    kraize
  16. From a fan to a hater of this series. Ran out of patience after certain event.
    To be frank, this is my sole reason why I hate the series.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    IStayUnknown
    1. Exactly, all sympathy I had for Haruto during this Tokyo Arc vanished right after he made “that” decision.

      I expected him and Yuzuki to get back together, but I was hoping Yuzuki would try to win him back, at least with the same amount of effort he exerted to her during this arc. But goddamn was I pissed when he did “that”.

      Passingby
      1. Exactly! We knew what’s gonna happen. We knew she will be hurt. But to kill THAT off that with absolute no remorse or any form of guilt make everything looks cheap!

        Show Spoiler ▼

        IStayUnknown
      2. Just to add on:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        IStayUnknown
    1. Lol,comparing that to this is way too harsh.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      I personally consider KGNE a fine example of a not-so-cliche romance anime done right,and I could probably ramble a lot more about it but that would be too off topic.

      MgMaster
    2. I actually liked KGNE, in fact the MC’s choices there were much more reasonable and I could sympathize both with the guy and Mizuki. It had the right mix of drama that is not too convulted nor forced. In fact, I could compare KGNE to Clannad’s level of depth of emotions. It could pass as a proper adult romance. KNIM however is like 90210 japanese edition.

      People rage on KNIM because of this arc, and the subsequent kiss and make up of Haruto and Yuzuki… I found the Tokyo arc irritating but entertaining at the same time. However the manner to which they got back together was just plain stupid I’ve lost faith in humanity for a moment.

      Passingby
  17. The first scene I thought, “This reminds me of Shin Sekai Yori…” and now I know why! All the glossy close ups don’t suit this genre in my opinion. I would have liked to see him direct “Kamisama Inai no Sunday” which could use a little more of that almost eery directing style.

    Meh, I really wanted for Yuzuki/Megumi Nakajima.

    Fuu
  18. This doesn’t seem newbie-friendly as you’ll have to read the manga for the build-ups and character developments. Its like as if you’re watching a sequel without any knowledge of the original story.

    Did they expect all of the audiences to have read the manga or at least watched the OVAs?

    kanade_
  19. how could the adaptation of a manga that had art as its strongest point have such shoddy animation quality?

    the animation looks like it came out of 1998 not 2013.

    legwkio
  20. Man, I was really looking forward to this series, but after checking out where this series was starting I was a little disappointed. It picks up at Chapter 80 of the manga and I’m not sure how much further it will go in from there. This is probably the most emotionally intense part of the series so far through all 237 chapters. I literally was prepared to read from chapters 1-80 and then watch the anime, but I couldn’t stop. (who would?)

    Everyone is just about right here…prepare for rage and tears (if you’re sensitive like me lol). Don’t click on my spoiler tag unless you want a lot ruined for you, but I just felt the need to express my thoughts on the show so far…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    This one is just my own personal opinion, but…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    And just to end my spoiler rant, lol:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Now I’m just curious how they will end this series. If it goes 12 episodes I don’t expect them to get too far unless they rush and don’t do the story justice. If they do 24 you can expect glorious rage.

  21. I wish you continue blogging this, I just finished watching the second episode and I already have a liking for this show.

    The first episode was quite confusing as I don’t have any idea where to fit the OVA episodes there, then we have the second episode which is a flashback episode, so far they are doing a very good job establishing the background story.

    1. I do like what I’m seeing and Episode 2 did clear up some of the mysteries.
      Trust me, I would love to blog this series, but I’m pretty strapped for time at the moment and my plate’s already full (2 anime + 2 manga) – it’s quite impossible to squeeze in another show! Sorry about that 😡

      Seishun
  22. I’ve read the entire manga, and I’m going to have to play devil’s advocate about this arc.

    Without giving anything away, I actually found this to be the best arc of the series for one reason and one reason only: It kept people interested, on the edge, and never knowing what to expect next. Certain fandoms for certain characters got pissed and others rejoiced, and there was a lot of friction and discussion about what the author was going to do next.

    Now when I read the comments about the manga (again, without giving anything away) on the manga hosting sites, everything is suddenly complaining about how it’s become boring and bland in comparison.

    Let’s keep it real, do you guys think that anyone was going to continue to be interested if the manga had continued just being a tightly wrapped little small town love story? In that case it could have been a one shot or a short manga instead, rather than this long story that stretched through the character’s entire school life.

    Basically, it seems this is one of those series that everyone has something to complain about, and the complaints are 180s from each other. BUT, people continue to read the manga anyway. It’s actually kind of amusing.

    Also to end my little comment, please understand I’m not saying that Kimi no Iru Machi is some kind of romantic masterpiece, but I will say that despite it’s flaws I found it a compelling story that I wanted to sit through to the end. Those are my two cents.

    Tabris
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