「どんてんもよう」 (Donten mo yō)
“Cloudy Weather”

Sorry guys, I tried.

If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I am extremely uncomfortable with the message Kimiuso insists on pushing. As much as I love the manga, and as much as the flaws there were outshined by the positives, the anime isn’t working for me. There’s too much focus and literal artistic glorification on the very problematic issues about Arima’s trauma and his friends’ abusive behavior and I can’t take it anymore. It’s really upsetting to me and it makes me feel sick to my stomach, so much so that I suffered an anxiety attack last night over it.

I do want to say this though. I’m not upset about the fact that the anime is portraying abuse. I’m upset about the way it insists on glorifying it as a means toward Arima’s healing process. It’s one thing for a series to show something horrible and triggering (like death, bullying, illness, etc) and for it to treat it delicately, and another entirely for a show to ignore the ramifications of these topics and turn it into a falsely positive force. It would be a different story altogether if the things Arima’s friends are doing were treated as a bad catalyst, as a way for Arima to overcome and challenge their abuse and somehow deal with that toward his music, but it’s not. The push they’re giving is dangerous and purposefully chooses to ignore the realities and difficulties of Arima’s condition. That’s just not okay for me.

I wanted to focus on the positives, but after just a few minutes into the episode, things took a turn for the worse. Not only were the past actions against Arima ignored, but now the package was wrapped up to include full blown emotional abuse in the form of victim blaming. “I collapsed because of the stress someone gave me because they refused to play,” Kaori says, and that, my friends, is the summation of an emotionally abusive relationship in one sentence. Not only was Arima forced to play and go through a difficult ordeal against his will, but now the fact that he refused for so long has become a point for Kaori to use against him. Then his friends kick him for it. And now Arima feels guilty both for refusing to play earlier and also for “screwing up” Kaori’s recital. None of this is his fault, but his friends have pushed the blame on him. That’s abuse. It is messed up, upsetting, and it’s being treated as a good thing. Therein lies the problem.

I honestly do love the artistic side of this show. It is why I enjoy the manga so much and why it strikes a deep chord within my own musician’s soul. Music is beautiful and it’s healing, it’s about expression and having fun and also about feeling proud of playing well. It’s difficult and complicated and it means so many different things to so many different people. Watching Arima confront his fears is something I can honestly cheer for, and in the manga, those things outshine the portrayals of abuse, if only because the fact that it’s a black and white static image doesn’t allow for those glorified moments to overwhelm the rest of the narrative. I know that everyone gets different interpretations and impressions from narratives, and there is no real right or wrong way to look at it. You are not a bad person for enjoying the show or for disliking it. You just see the world differently. However, it’s important to realize that other people do, in fact, have different interpretations, and that those may be intensely problematic for these individuals. It is a very real problem for me, and I wish I could say it wasn’t a big deal but it is, and it’s unfair to those who do enjoy it that I can’t see past this problem, so I will be stepping down as the blogger for this show. Unfortunately, at the moment we don’t have a replacement blogger, so until further notice, Kimiuso is officially dropped from weekly coverage. I am very sorry to disappoint you, but I hope that my reasons for leaving are clear, and that if you do enjoy the show, that it will be an enriching experience for you.

Of possible interest to some of you: Though it’s not the happiest place to plug another project, a group of Eureka Seven fans have created a fanmade visual novel. Check out the demo here; I wrote for Renton/Eureka!




  1. Agree about how they are abusing Arima. Even though I’m liking the story, watching how the girls (and now the other friend) abuse him physically is starting to irk me in the wrong way.

    After reading this post, I gather that doesn’t happen in the manga. Or am I wrong?

    1. I think the big problem is just in the execution rather than the intention. Sometimes you do need someone to push you out of your comfort zone and sometimes it does need to be a bit forceful. The problem is the way they present it comes out as little more than bullying. While we do see some “fruits” of this in Arima opening up slowly it seems off rather than a normal growth.

      Rather than a gentle (or a times hard push) for this well being it seems like they are just pushing him forward for their own “profit”. I’ll keep watching it but that element of the story needs some reworking desperately.

  2. Honestly, I absolutely agree. As a professional classical musician I was looking forward to this anime… it looked interesting, and since I have struggled with bad stage fright myself, I was looking forward to cheering Arima on. But the last few episodes make me feel sick, exactly for the reasons you state. The fact that this constant pushing and emotional manipulation is portrayed with sparkles and laughter makes me angry… for example, that bridge scene. I know it was meant to be cute, but I only saw Kaori being a manipulative bitch.

    Its a shame, because this show could have been SO good.

  3. I stayed quiet so far about your emotional problems about this show but I have to say chill bro. You are reading into this waaaaay tooo much imo. Are you so delicate that people poking fun at each other devastates your psyche so much? You need some professional psychologist help. I am quite serious here(I know I am going to get downvoted but I have to be honest here)

    1. Everyone has different interpretations of anime and some people might take it to heart more than others. While some people might find something enjoyable, others might be bothered by the smallest details. Personally, I don’t take the show that seriously to begin with, but I don’t think Kairi is wrong for dropping a show that she no longer feels is comfortable to watch. I’ve also been a victim of bullying and verbal abuse as well, but we all take something different out of the experience. Just because something brings up bad feelings, doesn’t mean that we all need to seek professional help. You can argue that in some ways, many people should seek guidance and counseling, but we don’t. I think it’s only normal that someone that was an abuse victim, empathizes with someone (even a fake 2D character) who is being abused.

    2. I’m not simply downvoting you because you sound like an ass. I’m downvoting this because everyone else is having a rather hard time sitting through this series as it is, so obviously it’s leaving a deeply impressionable effect on a lot of us that people are dropping it so swiftly and it appears you don’t seem to understand that.
      It’s not a comfortable show to sit through whatsoever so it’s more than understandable that someone who’s gone through a similar situation would feel uncomfortable to that level, it brings back memories.
      As for her needing help or not, clearly her condition is something she’s most certainly aware of, her choice to not get help (whether she needs it or not) is her own and you claiming she needs it (in the manner that you did) is just an ass move on your own even if you meet good out of it.

      1. “obviously it’s leaving a deeply impressionable effect on a lot of us that people are dropping it so swiftly and it appears you don’t seem to understand that.”
        I don’t think his concern was with her dropping the show, or even the similar reason others would drop it. It’s how it is affecting her personally and to such and extreme that’s a potential danger and I think it’s worth mentioning.

        Just being uncomfortable is one thing or even not enjoying it for the principles the show is trying to imprint on others that she disagrees with.

        But it’s this statement that I believe should warrant concern:
        “It’s really upsetting to me and it makes me feel sick to my stomach, so much so that I suffered an anxiety attack last night over it.”

        While he may have been quite blunt with his statement I don’t think that his recommendation should be considered completely inappropriate. I have had close family members with depression and trauma, some have sought professional help and in most cases it has had very beneficial results for them and our family as a whole. While I do not think everyone needs or should do this, I do think it is a worthy mention. Again I only think this deserves being brought up (as a suggestion) because of such an extreme reaction she has to viewing an external experience unrelated to her directly/or evening to actual human being.

        “her choice to not get help (whether she needs it or not) is her own”

        While generally I agree that an individual should have a choice in how they receive rehabilitation, I do want to point out that an individuals troubles are not completely their own. Similar to how this anime teaches that these abusive techniques are good to help an individual get over trauma. I find it disturbing that individuals think that one persons problems are not the responsibility of others. Things like this can change generations of their family which in turn affects our own families in sometimes the immediate situation to most likely distant future. Yes there is a line to be drawn when and how but I don’t think his recommendation crossed it… maybe how he said it.

        I hope what I’ve discussed didn’t offend anyone, especially Kairi since a lot of this discussion is revolving around her. And I by no means think what you have gone through or your response to such material makes you any less capable of a person.

        And when it’s all said and done… what do I know lol, I’ve got my own issues to battle through. Best of luck to us all ;)!

      2. Ah, Shurai, I think you’re all fundamentally misunderstanding something ^^’ I already am seeing professional help. Have been doing so for a while. That’s why I’m open about my issues, and why I’m so passionate about the subject and why I understand it the way I do. Now, while you do seem concerned, the OP said this in a rude way that basically conveyed the message that since I don’t see things his way, I clearly must be psychologically ill and incapable (note the word, “delicate”). That’s no different than a bully who says “don’t be such a baby, it doesn’t hurt that much LOL”. Whether or not this is true, it says a lot about the mentality toward people who suffer real depression and other problems.

      3. @Shurai

        It’s really upsetting to me and it makes me feel sick to my stomach, so much so that I suffered an anxiety attack last night over it.

        Thanks, you correctly read my intention with my post.

        Basically after I read that statement my mind went blank and I got really concerned about the well-being of she and said that I think she should search for professional help. I do think she is reading too much into this topic but my knee-jerk reaction was 99% out of concern for her. o.o


        Ah, Shurai, I think you’re all fundamentally misunderstanding something ^^’ I already am seeing professional help

        Now, while you do seem concerned, the OP said this in a rude way that basically conveyed the message that since I don’t see things his way, I clearly must be psychologically ill and incapable (note the word, “delicate”).

        I didn’t know that. Sorry then for redundantly suggesting it. I only said that because I have received psychological help in the past and it has greatly helped me stop hating myself so much. Sorry for being blunt.

        But again you did the same thing that I think you did in your post. You took the worst possible interpretation of my message and responded in kind. While I can’t say that you were wrong about the anime I can safely say to you that you misread my intentions with my post. I was concerned about you having such a big physical/psychological reaction.

        Again sorry for being blunt, it is my nature to be in certain situations. If there was an edit function I would have deleted/edited my post a long time ago. Definitely I could have been a lot more delicate with my wording but I didn’t want to censor my raw thoughts and make sure that it couldn’t be interpreted wrongly because I have to do that a lot and my emotions of slight panic for your well-being didn’t allow me to do so at that time. Also I hate that I usually have to censor/alter the things that I say so that was part of that too. =(

      4. Hey, I gotta say while I do all in all agree with Kairi, concerning this part:

        “Now, while you do seem concerned, the OP said this in a rude way that basically conveyed the message that since I don’t see things his way, I clearly must be psychologically ill and incapable (note the word, “delicate”). That’s no different than a bully who says “don’t be such a baby, it doesn’t hurt that much LOL”.”

        I have a different opinion. Its something I see in our society lately: “weaker” (meant in a veeery broad sense, e.g. “women” in general too) individuals think the “stronger” should empathize with them, while the “weaker” never try to understand the “stronger” ones. We learn in school that we just have to “talk” and we will all come to understand each other. But this is just b****. Here we see that two people are just different – he isnt as affected as Kairi. Trying to understand the sensitive side while saying the other side “sounds like an ass” is hypocrite. He simply doesnt feel the same way and asking him to understand that he shouldnt treat this topic that way while ignoring his POV is showing how absurd this whole “empathy and understanding each other” thing is. I also only see the insult in the comment if Id think that having a trauma or being psychologically not as strong as someone else is something embarrassing. It is not. There are too many people who have these problems nowadays, Im working at school so I know.

        What I do find a bit ridiculous is to still point out the mental strength. I mean, Kairi basically spit it in our faces. And saying maybe she should consider therapy is like saying to Niki Lauda “maybe it would have been better if you sat in another car that day”. “What? Noooo, you dont say?!” 😉 Its kinda stupid. But Kairi, while I do understand your reasoning, I just wanne say that I really cant find the insult in the first comment. Its not exactly the most intelligent and eloquent way to put it, but its coming from a person who doesnt feel the way you do. Thats why you also shouldnt be bothered about the many “thumbs up” he gets. And comparing him immediately to a bully…I think that is relativizing bullying, which, in my opinion, is being treated too carelessly in school (if it would be me, suspension would be least thing Id do).

        And last but no least my own opinion on the matter itself: I think Kairi has already said everything. You just cant argue with what she said, even if you tried;) Its pretty much the perfect reasoning. So Im not gonna repeat everything again. I just say thank you for blogging until now, and its interesting to see your perspective on this matter. Its been really insightful, so thanks for that:)

        Meine Meinung
    3. Now now let’s not get all personal. I think shes doing the right thing dropping the series. Someone who likes the show can’t keep writing/reading about some negative aspects all the time every week. It’s the right thing to do. But I disagree with her views. My views are different. I can’t get into someone’s head and convince them. I would try if I could profit out of it. Life is too short to go around butting heads.

  4. Personally, I too may think it is abusive for a mentally traumatized Arima for friend’s behavior but wouldn’t get too serious over it. Cause in the end, I know they’re really thoughtful of Arima.

    It’s okay, Kairi everyone has their favorite types/genre of anime and not.
    I’m just glad you’re not bashing the whole series, but rather including some of the positives too XD

    I’ll miss the screenshots and the weekly coverage since Kimi Uso is one of my list of animes to watch
    BUT!Thanks for the consideration and don’t feel that way!We totally understand 🙂

  5. I can see what you mean about the abuse, but luckily for me I can mostly put it aside and enjoy the music and other parts. I hope that you too will be able to enjoy at least some part of the show even if the abuse of Arima bothers you. About the pushing Arima in the water, I think the childhood friend did too know that it was a bad thing to do, at least, so I feel a bit better. Anyway, still, thank you for blogging 5 episode of this show!

  6. I understand were you are coming from with the abuse. I will admit I was uncomfortable at certain parts this episode. I don’t like how they keep ragging on Arima just for not wanting to do what they want. Maybe deep down he really did want to help kaori at the competion but, the way they went about trying to convince him was horrible. And of course after he does it he get’s ragged on and blamed. It’s very strange how they are portraying “friendship” in this show. I will be sticking it through for a little while longer to see if anything changes I understand your reason for dropping it though. It’s a shame really this show started with so much promise.

  7. why people only focus on the pseudo abuse on this show ?
    never ever watched an anime before ? because thats p retty standart generic romance-comedy stuff in animes…
    yes it is abuse and would be bad in real life but this is a fiction show and you should enjoy the story more…

    1. You’re making your statement under the assumption that all animes are the same.

      They are not.

      “Because that’s pretty standard generic romance-comedy stuff in animes”

      …this is NOT a “generic romance-comedy” anime series and by that thinking alone, you clearly do not understand why people have problems with the abuse going on here or are even trying to see why. This is meant to be a more realistic, dramatic anime series that is supposed to be relatable by the viewers and clearly it is working given the uncomfortable responses it has gotten, but I highly doubt it was meant to garner an uncomfortable response.

      The problem people, including myself, have with the abuse being shown is the fact that people like myself have gone through, or are still going through, our own psychological problems (whether from abuse, depression, anxiety, or whatever) and can see how the issue is being trivialized by the way Kousei’s friends have treated his feelings, then making that treatment seem all okay by only having positive outcomes, which can send wrong messages beyond the over-arching message of “face your fears”.

  8. I’m digging the story so far and the art and animation is up there with one of the best this season. Mundane scenes looks lively and lustrous; kind of get a tinge of honey and clover vibe. The music/ost is excellent and works in the scenes. I’m exited where the story will go to be honest.

    As for the abuse(?) hmm… Maybe I’m not looking much on the girls actions as to just giving him a push on the back to get up on his feet.

    Anyway I hope someone here from randomc would pick this series up. I think It’ll be a great series to follow.

  9. Its really unsettling seeing Arima being abused and forced to deal with a problem he may be not ready yet to face. But I am positive that while it glorifies such behaviour the other side of the balance will be shown, like the childhood friend being told “But it was not really ok”.

    And in the end, I see as a show of how Arima sees the world around him. Even if people doesn’t understand his problems, he had no obligation to fell guilty about the results of his actions.

    I think interpretation is not about your view of the world, its about the questions you make. The answer you get depends on the question.

      1. It’s part of a general wussification of anime fandom I’ve noticed over the last year or so, probably due to an influx of the special snowflakes who require “trigger warnings” to protect them – the same sort of thing you see in more politically-correct universities. Now, our correspondent has not done that – deciding to drop the show because it’s bothering them is perfectly reasonable (I dropped Psycho-Pass due to its sickening violence in episode 4). But the overall mentality of many of the bloggers is starting to edge into SJW twittersphere territory, and that I find increasingly disturbing myself…

      2. Good. Honestly the show has some pretty glaring narrative and framing flaws in terms of how it’s adapting the source material and I’m getting kind of tired of A-1 Pictures in particular getting away with a lot of these sort of cold emotionally manipulative yet ultimately hollow stories that they try to pass off as artistic and relevant to youth culture and movements in their recent series just because they make a show look kind of pretty and have the odd artistic flourish from time to time and because people seem to automatically forgive a show anything as long as it looks nice enough and comes in the right kind of package. I’d almost swear this particular studio just does not get people and human relationships when it comes to how they produce their originals and adaptations at large or that they just see human relationships in really cynical terms if they actually are aware. I don’t think they are aware though and it’s more just the kind of obliviousness that probably comes from the current stock of newer anime producers, writers and directors largely being graduated otaku themselves that never probably never spent a whole lot of time around other non-otaku people growing up, otaku being a subgroup they very much do seem to get judging by the fan types that seem to gravitate around their shows and how profitable they are with those demos.

        Things like human interaction and issues of morality and the subtexts that ought to be considered along with such difficult subject matter though they just can’t seem to handle much and they are especially oblivious and tone deaf when it comes to the morality issue, and again it’s not just for this show, I’ve kind of noticed it as an ongoing thing of late with their output that they seem fully convinced of as being on point and socially and culturally resonant, though it could also have something to do with their just being so much more of it recently since they’re pumping out like 4 news shows every season now. Too much trying to have their cake and eat it too while avoiding biting the hands that feed them methinks.

        I also dislike how they seem to have accumulated a large number of angry fanboys recently that you can see showing up in the comments section here that seem to just be more than willing to overlook the flaws in their shows and harass people for not just unconditionally praising them because they feel that the issues are small and non-existent. A-1 and it’s parent company just seem to have attracted a really bad crowd of late for this sort of thing and it’s good to see them being held to task for some things a little more in recent weeks. They put paying attention to style ahead of substance and plausibility of even internal narrative far too often for their own good and I truly believe that sort of approach can only take you so far in the long run with Shigatsu being yet another great example of this in practice.

        So yeah in the long run it just looks like another perfectly workable show (the manga has similar issues but as Kairi points out they’re so much more muted while the anime for whatever reasons seems insistent on highlighting them in the worst way possible) sacrificed to the A-1 marketing machine and their style ahead of substance and plausible emotional resonance approach. I really wish they’d stop being the first stop for all noitaminA and popular source material adaptations already.

        John Hunt
    1. Honestly, if it wasn’t for you making light of this, I would have completely missed it. I was caught up in the music and artistic side of things. But you’re right, the way his friends treat him is completely abusive, and I think it’s very wrong the way it’s being portrayed as a nudge in the right direction. I appreciate that perspective because I foolishly missed it.

      I don’t have a problem with you dropping this show. And I don’t think it’s fair for you to take any flak for this.

    2. Wow, congrats on being patronizing and insulting on so many levels in such a short comment.

      First of all, setting aside the blatantly sexist nature of your comment as accidental (which I suspect it wasn’t, frankly) it’s insulting to Kairi to suggest that she’s incapable of formulating an opinion on her own. Never mind the fact that she’s actually read the damn manga.

      Then there’s the suggestion that anyone who has issues with this series might not have actually come to the same conclusion on their own, which is an insult to everyone who’s called this series out for its serious issues. Perhaps the reason Kairi and I – and others – reached many of the same conclusions about Shigatsu is that we’re seeing the same problems?

  10. I’ve gave this show EVERY chance to stop annoying me in the way that it is doing & it’s just not happening for me. It’s just making me feel like shit.

    I was a bully back in grammar & middle school. I simply got a kick out of the reactions that my victims displayed everyday – but it finally took my sister coming to me with a bullying complaint to wake me up. I’ll never forget the look she had in her eyes then. It was a good thing that her bully was suspended for 2 weeks because of it – it would have been REAL bad. The the wake up call happened when I returned to school the following day & saw the EXACT same look in my current victim’s eyes. I felt like jumping into a drainage ditch. I spent the entirely of time in middle & high school trying to make it up to him, so much so that we’re still good friends over 20 years later now. I still get watery eyes thinking back to it like I still can’t forgive myself of something.

    If something like that can still affect the bully decades after he grows a brain, I can only imagine the weight that the bullied would feel even if they never knew they were being bullied or if they never received closure to the bullying.

    I don’t see how they got the abuse static events from the manga & replicated them into 1) slapstick comic relief & 2) normally animated bits of ridiculously – the latter of which irks me to no end. The way they seemly glorify & justify it as a means to an end is just unforgivable – even more so since they made it clear that the “friends” understand Arima’s plight to some extent.

    This show is just trying TOO hard to get ‘clouded’ message across. It’s taking complete advantage of the spineless nature of Arima. Combine that with the fact that the second he does speak his mind, it’s combated with manipulate tears. GD!, just let the boy speak! This is just way too pompous for me to go on about.

    I just wish these ‘people’ would figure out was CHOICE & WILL are before deciding to take it away from their characters.

    1. Well, at last what the anime captured right is an abuse victim’s psyche, right? They pushed him physically and mentally, coerced him, manipulated into, he had a panic attack in the middle and now he feels guilty about it.

  11. I loved this episode! I really liked the bridge scene in the manga, and the anime made it even better with the sound of the crowd while he was falling. Beautiful.

    It’s a shame that a great series like this won’t be covered here in RC anymore, but since you are crealy not confortable watching this, it makes sense.

  12. It’s definitely interesting, though, that whereas you were able to overlook these same plot elements in the manga, in anime form they bother you so much here. From a perspective of adaptation and the differences for storytelling between the manga medium and anime medium, that’s something that could be very informative to look into. Something like how extra meaning, good or bad, can be put to actions when they are moving and in color, as opposed to stationary and in black and white.

    If you folks ever do a post/podcast on what makes adaptations work and what does not, this show could be an interesting case study.

  13. Holy hell, does Arima have any right whatsoever to be depressed? It looks like everyone else is permitted to be unhappy aside from Arima. I get the whole “music is love, music is life. So struggle on” mess, but the complete and utter disregard for his feelings while still portraying his feelings and experiences as a huge contributor to why he is the way he is is driving me nuts.
    Tsubaki can be sad for a reason and even Kaori is allowed to cry for the love of God, but if Kousei displays even a shred of depression or potential depression to his friends they approach the hardest “who gives a fuck” mentality to it I’ve ever seen.
    Watching him be blamed and TAKE the blame for something he has absolutely no genuine control over is driving me insane. Seeing them lash out at him for somehow “ruining” her performance and make it less amazing than it could have been is making me incredibly mad even though he’s trying to explain that he has an issue that goes beyond that of just some simple hearing trouble.

    I think the most mentally destroying thing to me is literally watching Arima fall in love with Kaori for those persevering dreamer qualities she has while completely disregarding how much of an asshole she is. I’m not the only one who thinks this girl is a selfish manipulative asshole, right? I want to like her, but the way she treats Kousei and his condition while regularly crying and whimpering over the sake of her own performance is just so wrong on so many levels.

    Basically this story is turning out to be a big old case of “everyone is entitled to self-pity except for Kousei”

    1. You’re not the only one at all. If that wasn’t the sentiment here, we would all be manipulative assholes. I seriously can’t deal with shows that is literally all about turning the MC’s troubles into air pollution. The way Kaori, at the end, turns his trauma into him mere stage fright made me want to drop this sack o’ shit a dozen times over. Downplaying it is one thing, but that way just being an inconsiderate bitch.

      1. Good to hear.
        I’m so mad, I honestly tried to disregard the treatment as children being immature. I can’t do it cause if that’s part of what the story is trying to do then the author is doing far too good a job at making me dislike everyone in Arima’s main circle.
        Such awful children. Absolutely awful, and I can’t deal with it.

  14. Oh, shut up, guys. She can drop it like a hot potato if it’s what she wants. That she gives a reason, very personal and valid, good for you because she could tell “I’m dropping this shit where it belongs, in the toilet. It’s bad and you should feel bad watching it.”and be done with it. It’s better than she would write every week about what’s upsetting her and you’ll be bitching about she’s taking it too seriously.
    Kairi, good for you. You have a good reason and you don’t have to be apologetic about it. Stay strong. I’ve dropped it too, it hasn’t upset me but I was irritated or rolled my eyes alternately. Music is not enough to stick with it for me, and telling the truth it has nothing on Nodame’s music. Go watch Nodame (again, if you have ever watched it) or read Tetsugaku Letra, Kairi. (Have I assumed right you’re a woman? If not, I’m sorry)

    1. I marathon’d Nodame a few months ago out of boredom (probably because White Album’s antics ticked me off again). It really is the highest tier for how to properly do conflict in a music-related show, plus the music is the best I’ve ever heard in any music-related anime.

      1. Which is funny talking about Nodame because I think it is a show that portrays _physical_ abuse, from Chiaki to Nodame! I have seen the live version of the show and it made me uncomfortable watching Chiaki hit Nodame multiple times on the face and head!! And people think THIS is good romance?? But because it is an anime people are willing to write off such actions as comedy and I agree with them. The point is this show is not the only offender on messed up/ abusive relationships because it is kind of a trope in anime. So _should_ someone feel offended? There is no “should” imo, it’s up to each viewer to decide. It is interesting, nonetheless, that one show goes completely through people’s sensitivity and is called a masterpiece and another does not.

      2. @GGr:
        Well, I can explain my perspective on it. When it wasn’t still funny nor cute for me that Chaki was hitting Nodame I could stand it because I’ve never felt once that the author suggested to me Chaiki was an ideal man, who will fix Nodame, he was described as a person with many flaws (so Nodame too) and it was acknowledged within their universe, so I wasn’t sympathising with him and I’ve accepted that their relationship was messed up a little, especially at first. Not only that, because I’ve red the whole manga and watched the anime I know they started changing and there were less and less these kind of jokes and behaviours, therefore I felt that time the magaka somehow acknowledged that it was dubious or improper.
        Maybe, I’ll give this anime (or a manga) a chance once again later, when I would know there will be some kind of change in characters and their development. I would like that.

    2. Please mind your words. I also do not like this show but this is just a matter of perpective. You are insulting people who like this show with your words by implying this show is shit and they like it. You are not any better than the characters in the show this way. Please show respect to others.

      1. No, I didn’t write such a thing, I merely suggested that Kairi could bash it in the end and be done with it but she was very polite and has felt so guilty towards the readers here about dropping it, that she resorted to revealing her personal and intimate information on her psychological stance. So it’s very rude and improper giving her hard time.

  15. Agreed. I really wanted to love this show, and god help me it seemed like the most promising this season. It had sparks of greatness on occasion, especially at the start, but it got completely crushed by the idiotic comedy and what it portrays. This episode in particular was a highlight of my issues with the show, where the whole message behind the river scenes is misguided and almost bordering on sociopathic. I understand that characters can be flawed, and they can be wrong, because they’re human, after all. But the show itself seems to take stance that everything going on is a-okay and *this* is the course you have to take if you want to achieve something or deal with your mental issues. Utterly ridiculous and a complete waste of excellent art and music.

  16. Honestly, the only saving grace of the entire episode for me was when Tsubaki’s friend called her out (lightly) on how insensitive she is toward Kousei when she was recalling the whole bridge jumping experience.
    Hearing that girl be God’s mouthpiece and say “I wouldn’t call it ‘no biggie'” to Tsubaki gave me the only ounce of hope I can rely on to believe that the story is being told in such an aggravating manner for the sake of shedding light on the horrible qualities his friends possess toward him.
    “I wouldn’t call it ‘no biggie'”. It’s about damned time someone said SOMETHING was wrong with their approach toward Kousei. It’s great to see someone thinks it ever so messed up how they treat the kid.
    With just that line I’m barely inclined to believe this is all apart of the plan and that if I can get through this mess the gravity of Kousei’s situation will prove to be that awful and his friends will finally realize just how terrible they’ve treated him, particularly Kaori.

    1. Yeah, that part blew my mind.

      Tsubaki forces Kousei to jump off the bridge, when he clearly doesn’t want to.
      Her friend later on in the episode calls her out on it.
      And then Tsubaki responds with, “It’s okay! He was smiling. See, he’s fine with it!”
      And a little after that, she starts insulting Kousei in her thoughts because he’s not as cool as that one jock dude.

      Just…wow. These girls are terrible. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

      What’s worse is that the author seems to be accepting of this behavior. I’ve put up with a lot of bullshit in this series so far, but this was too much.

  17. To quote myself on my initial reactions to the episode:

    Everything about this series is absolutely gorgeous, expect that the main characters are all abusive shits and I hate them. I thought this series would be about Kousei finding his own way back into music, inspired by Kaori’s spirit and dedication. But no, we get the three MCs abusing Kousei, as well as poor comedy, packaged with some absolutely breathtaking visuals.

    Highlight of the episode: Tsubaki’s friend calling her out on pushing Kousei off a goddamn bridge… If only the series itself realised everything in the past 3 episodes needs the exact same spotlight shone on it. This episode was visually stunning, but completely uncomfortable. In a better series, Kousei would be the one to take the step forward into playing the piano again instead of being forced into it by his supposed friends.

    I’ll be sticking around for the 22 episodes in hopes that it’ll get easier to digest, even if it continues to ignore its glaring problems.

    1. I can understand Kairi (or anyone for that matter) dropping the show for whatever personal reasons; that’s their own decision and is absolutely respectable.

      Other than that, aren’t we being a bit harsh to the show? I mean, it’s still on episode 05/22. There is still way too much room for the story line and the characters to grow. I mean, for all we know, the show itself might be playing this abuse thing for its story purposes, making Arima’s friends realize, in the process, that they have been selfish and haven’t been supporting him the correct way.

      Shigatsu is not the only show that has such a story line. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo had Sorata verbally abusing Mashiro in more than one occasion for no reason whatsoever (just because he couldn’t find another way to deal with his own failures). I do remember people complaining about Yuki Kaji screaming all the time for his voice acting, but I don’t remember many complaining about Mashiro getting abused, because they recognized that this was part of the story line and a chance for Sorata to redeem himself later on for all the times she screamed at her for no reason – which did happen in the end.

      We have the right to get annoyed at a work of fiction’s story and the way characters behave, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad writing or “wrong” writing or that the writers have no idea what they are doing. I haven’t read the manga so I don’t know if this whole abusing behavior is part of a greater story plot point (don’t spoil me manga readers please), but I am willing to accept it for the time being instead of mercilessly bashing it, just because I don’t agree with the way its fictional characters behave.

      1. I hadn’t really drawn the parallel, but now that you mention it I did stop watching Sakurasou because of the way Sorata treated Mashiro. I think the difference for me was that Mashiro was being pressed into something she didn’t want while Kousei is being pressed into something I feel he does want.

        There is some difference in tone and presentation to consider though. Sakurasou felt more like a ridiculous show with serious moments while this is more of a serious show with ridiculous moments.

      2. I really fail to grasp how Shigatsu is as serious as a lot people present it to be. Just because there were a few flashbacks or Arima being abused and he seems to still be affected by it, doesn’t really make the story super serious. It’s not pure comedy, it’s not pure serious drama (so far). Right now, I see the seriousness of the story in a pretty neutral way. Sakurasou did have a lot more comedic antics, true, but I wouldn’t put Shigatsu that far behind.

        My belief is that we are giving too much thought into it, and while, from a certain view, Kairi and the rest have a very concrete argument, I still don’t find the current story happenings to warrant such a negative response OTHER THAN for personal reasons of the viewers associated with child abuse.

      3. Verbatim: “No matter his reasoning though, Sorata is a royal jerk for treating Mashiro the way he does”

        I haaaated that part of sakurasou, but it was generally a lighter show than Kimiuso. It was primarily about comedy and about drama secondly.

      4. There were people who had problems with Sorata back in those episodes (including me), but it was nowhere near the thunderstorm that has been raging over Shigatsu.

        On the topic of serious/less serious show, Sakurasou’s thematology regarding the serious hours of the series were nothing to laugh about either. Inferiority complex against your close circle, especially in the age of 16-18 where you are getting ready to spread your wings, is nothing to laugh about either. If left unchecked and fed uncontrollably, it can have a serious impact for the rest of your life, and I speak from experience. Sorata’s inferiority complex showed signs around episode 2, with episode 7 being the first peak of it. In general, at this very moment, and having a more complete picture of the 2 shows (5/22 vs 24/24), I can safely say that Sakurasou’s serious moments had way more impact than what Shigatsu has already shown us. I will leave final judgement on this when the latter ends though.

        In the end, it’s not about which show is more serious. Firstly, it’s about what topic each of us happens to be more sensitive to. In this case, I fully endorse your decision to drop coverage on Shigatsu, since you don’t seem to be enjoying watching it. Secondly, I won’t be joining the masses of people who bash the writing and the message of the show as absurd; yet. And that’s because, even if I don’t like the way certain characters behave, I doubt this behavior is part of the message that Shigatsu wants to convey. It’s like saying that the message of Space Battleship Yamato is that vengeance is justifiable, just because Kodai and most of Yamato’s crew have vengeful feelings for the aliens that are destroying their planet. I am sure even the audience had those feelings…

  18. The abuse bothers me too…it’s repetitively over the top. I kind of see it as a… abstract view of how arima must feel about they roughshot way people treat him. Showing the bloody result in the end is something that probably makes it worse. If it was just a few taps and no gore it wouldn’t be as bothersome for me. Showing bruises and all that and then he’s fine the next frame was sort of jarring and made it feel like it was just supposed to be like the nosebleeds we see in comedies like Nisekoi. Perhaps a poor stylistic choice for my tastes. I kind of get what Kairi is saying. I will still watch this though to see his music return. Also I want to see if the show will change if Arima decides to self motivate. Perhaps the author felt abusive towards that feeling of being stuck in fear. Maybe they even wished someone would have given them that hard push. It’s tough love too far taken. I really wonder why Kaori’s so interested in his music, like how much did she know about him.

  19. Don’t worry about it, Kairi. Nobody should be raging if you drop this. You and i may disagree when it comes to the portrayal of abuse but i think we can both agree if it’s putting you through hell, there should be no qualms about stepping back from it. I do enjoy your blog and it is kind of upsetting to see this show get dropped.

    One thing i did want to say was that Tsubaki getting called out really was eye opening. It does ring a bell with the previous posts about people who are the abusers denying that what they are doing is actually abuse. I really wonder where this show will take us from here. I’m actually confused as to how i should feel about this and i can see only 2 routes the story can take. One where Arima continues to be treated like this until he finally snaps, or they all realize what they’re doing, stop, and Arima is left in charge of how he wants the story to progress. I think the latter route would be very lengthy but with 20+ episodes, maybe this is the way they’ll take it? I have no idea, i’ve never read the manga.

    I think one thing we can all agree on though,

    She is the best friend Arima never knew he had.

  20. Sad to know this series will be drop, but I don’t blame on you Kairi. I hope someone will pick it up because for me it’s the most exciting anime for this season with FSN:UBW.

    As I said in my previous post, I guess you guys are focusing too much on this aspect, but fair enough. Just don’t start to watch Rainbow! or other dark genres, you guys might have a heart attack lel.( was a joke btw, dont kick my ass )

    1. Some people still don’t understand where a problem lies here. Of course, there will be people, who aren’t able to watch anything with violence, mental abuse or some harder psychological issues, I’m sure. But the problem here is like this: it’s NOT about how characters behave, that they have FLAWS or there are themes of abuse, bulling, trauma, illness, death and such but how these themes are FRAMED within a narration. Is it so hard to understand?
      Have you ever watched or red Rainbow and the narration framed outrageous behaviours of, for example, guards as a good thing? Or maybe not quite good thing but necessary? With an excuse, off the top of my head, “but the boys are juvenile delinquents anyway and have to be disciplined!”? No? There you have it…

      1. Theme of abuse? Are you even watching the same show? Since when this series has become a theme of bullying, oh please don’t tell is his friends, this is becoming a joke.
        His friends are trying to help him simply as that, it may not be the best methods but shit you guys need to calm down about the bullying stuffs.

        Syouke is right about how you guys are being sensitive over everything but said, I don’t mind Kairi not blogging it, its her choice, if she doesn’t like it then so be it. Hope she will enjoy covering other shows.

  21. I think that the main point of Kaori and friends forcing Arima into music is quite simple actually: they know (and Arima knows as well) that music is everything for Arima, and the lack of is turning his youth into a automatic “go study, go home” one. Kaori otherwise, is trying to live her life as much as possible, and for this, she needs Arima help. And Arima needs Kaori’s help (such is that he never, even once, in the manga or anime, really blamed her for trying to turn him back to music, though he is in love, and that changes our POV). They are simply using the best method ever to treat PTSD, face the problem, and with time, it may eventually turn into a problem no more.

    Anyway, personally I disagree with your decision to drop the show Kairi, BUT if anything makes anyone feel bad, then it is the right decision to drop it.
    However, I don’t understand how come you feel so depressed with the anime and loves the manga, which is completely following the original material. Anyway, if you feel better for droping it, then you did a good decision, and no one here has the right to complain about it. Hope you get back blogging soon.

    1. The best way I can explain it is that the manga is subtler in that it’s not animated. So the focus on these moments of abuse are usually just a panel or so long and they’re quickly forgotten in the scheme of things, even if they do touch nerves here and there too. Whereas when you have an animated project, where there is a lot of artistic embellishments (the art, the colors, the voice acting, etc), it is even more apparent than ever how messed up it is, at least to me. Though to be fair watching the anime has cooled some of my old affection for the manga, but at least the latter is in a somewhat better place now. I dunno if that makes sense though, gomen. D:

      1. Actually, I feel the manga way more dramatic than the anime, maybe for being at another part of the story (those dark panels are scary as hell you know!), the feeling of drama coming from the “pages” are more tangible than the anime, maybe because the anime has so much color, while the manga is way…darker. But the tsukkomis and gags are still there, only brighter and more cheerful, and even the dramatic part feels more surreal when watching the anime (damn, the manga had hidden onions that tried to make me cry, the anime still doesn’t have that). Both are great as they are now, and I feel very excited about them. 😀

      2. The drama isn’t bad in and of itself, it’s very interesting to see Arima’s issues and his movements forward. But, in the manga the abusive parts (on behalf of his friends, his mother’s is clear) aren’t quite as focused on, is what I get at.

      3. Just to chime in, as a manga reader, I’d have to agree with Kairi. One thing that surprisingly bothered me was the color palette, which beautifies and idealizes Kaori like a goddess. She seems more like a normal girl in the manga. The feel is very different and the abuse-comedy is chibified in the background, so you don’t pay as much attention to it.

        It’s a pity because I really enjoyed the manga, especially when two as-of-yet-introduced-but-slyly-included-in-OP side characters take more of the spotlight in their relation to Kousei. I’ll probably keep watching the anime for those characters. But yeah, Kaori was definitely my least favorite even when I was reading the manga…

    2. It’s not the idea that’s the problem, it’s the method. I fully advocate a “face your fears” method in this case, but there is something fundamentally wrong with the way they’re going about “helping” Kousei face his fears.
      From pretty much saying “who the hell cares” when he explained he can’t hear the piano when he plays and if feels like he’s suffocating. To making him take far too big of a leap back into the musical world. To making him believe he’s guilty for why Kaori didn’t progress and had a bad performance. It’s all just not right.
      There are much better ways to approach all of this in a very blunt manner and it ISN’T the way they’re doing it.

      1. True, but I disagree in one thing, his trauma is not explained to his friends. It seems that Tsubaki and Ryouta only thinks that he dropped music because of his mom death, Tsubaki might think that it may be ’cause of his mom abuse (which is also only explained to “us”, that are in his mind). I guess his complaints to being unable to hear the piano sounds would fall into something like “oh, sure, I also can’t score any points sometimes” for his athletic friends. Kaori might be different, but she also would not be able to understand it, hell, we wouldn’t be able to understand it, and we are looking into his head.

        The fact that Kao-chan blamed him gives me the feeling of someone blaming me like “hey, I’m getting fat ’cause WE are eating good food all day long, WE!!!”. It feels like she did not mean it truly. Her very motto of being on stage just for the fun of being on stage and deliver her message is enough for me to believe that her comment did not had any harmful tone in it. Also, the fact that she is hiding some serious illness is also a good reason to fake that excuse don’t you think? Sorry it got too long

  22. I don’t interpret their pushing behavior as abuse in order to humiliate Kousei, but rather to help him get out of his shell. He’s a damaged person who remains passively in his safe comfort zone and it isn’t good for him to stay that way. His friends wants him to expand his world, get out of his comfort zone, experience new things and break the psychological barriers that keeps him restrained. Ideally he would take the initiative himself, but he needs a small kick from behind.

    I have experienced pushing under peer pressure and of course there was stuff I didn’t like, but there were also great experiences I wouldn’t have done without a little push. It isn’t always as bad as you’d think.

    Kousei should be worried when they don’t push him, when they stop caring about him, ignore him because he always says no and has impenetrable walls around him (he’d be the male version of Tomoko from Watamote).

  23. I understand and agree with your choice to drop this show.
    Depending on each person’s personal experience, “dramatic” fictions can be interpreted in many ways.
    You’re free to disagree but you have to respect those who don’t share your opinion (not aimed towards you Kairi bt to the haters).
    I also enjoy the manga as much as I hate it, yes its contradictory.
    The MC is complex and definitely interesting, the story and the setting are not bad but the other main characters…
    – Kaori: her energic and spontaneous character are ok but her selfishness and agressivity are hard to deal with)
    – Tsubaki: pretty much the same as Kaori + being a childhood friend, isn’t she supposed to know him and understand his past trauma? Hell no. For me she’s just annoying and excesivel immature.
    – Ryouta: bland, shallow, transparent. His presence or absence wouldn’t change much and that’s the main problem with him.

    Nice Tea
  24. I couldn’t finish this story, and I never will. His friends have always been insensitive, and I don’t think it’s normal. If I were to write this story, I would make Kousei transfer somewhere else and have him meet people who really care for him. I’ll have him meet someone who empowers him to overcome his problem instead of making him feel bad for what he cannot control. It’s really inexcusable, what they’re doing to him, and Arima putting up with them is just like any slave mentality.

    I like the music and animation, but the characters ruin it for me. I do not feel a jot or iota of compassion for Kaori. It’s not just due to predictability; it’s also due to it being ham-fisted/shoved down our throat that her coercion/abuse should be excused because she’s dying. It’s BS. I also don’t care about the romance. I don’t feel very invested with it unlike other music anime like La C’orda Primo or Nodame.

  25. The way I see it: (Not including stuff that’s not shown in the anime so far as best as I think, it’ll be better to explain with everything shown but I believe this is good enough for now)

    Arima stopped moving forward in life, especially in the piano direction. He wants to, but he’s afraid to do so. Just look at him holding on to music by transcribing music as part time job as well as staying in the music preparation room with a piano and you will see he’s still attached to music, at least subconsciously. He’ll need to either give up music, or at least being a pianist, completely or go back to being a pianist in order to move on like Tsubaki said to Koari on the bus in episode 3.

    His friends Tsubaki and Watari know Arima well enough that Arima is just being afraid.
    Just look at the childhood flashback. After being pushed off the bridge Arima is truly happy that they did what they done even though he could have drowned as he couldn’t swim. If he got a trauma from that I seriously doubt his friends would do what they are doing now to ‘push’ Arima forward.
    So from that and other incidents they understand well enough that Arima can be and should be pushed. Unfortunately they are unable to push him in the right direction as they don’t have the “right stuff”, which is being able to play music or being a musician, since both of them are sport-type while Arima plays piano.

    Kaori is someone sprinting in life and living her life to the fullest. I’ll say she doesn’t give much thought on the treatment of Arima with her personality, which in many cases can be considered “abusing” depending on the outcome. There are plenty other works with these type of character who keeps on pushing others without giving much thought, it’s mainly their personality, and the results are either positive or negative and hardly any in-between depending on the personality of the characters they push. However, lucky for her Arima is the type that can be push for positive result.
    So when she cried in episode 3 there’s a sense of guilt in Arima for making a person who’s living life so freely and bravely to break down into tears and show such weakness. For him, Kaori is pushing him to move forward in life by forcing things he wants to do deep down subconsciously but is too afraid to do so consciously.

    It’s somewhat like tough love. They can be seen as heartless at times and sometimes goes over to abusive though their intentions are good which can results in abused childhood, but there are children who benefited from them and grow up successful in life. Similar to Arima’s treatment as “bullying” in this anime. I won’t say result is everything but I believe how the character feel when remembering these events later on in life being the more important aspect.

    TL;DR version: Some people can be and needs to be pushed to move forward in life. Arima is one such person. His friends understand this and try their best to push him forward but with little results until the ‘right person’ Kaori shows up. Koari, with her forward going personality, drags Arima around and pushes him forward more than his friends could have done with Arima being dazzled with Kaori’s way of living life.
    To many these are seen as acts of bullying. To Arima this is bullying in the beginning but after the events he’s glad that they done what they did to him and for him. The bridge flashback is the perfect example. The main point is that there’s no malice, thus these forceful actions can yield positive results for certain people.

    1. While I fully understand what the show “wants” to express, that doesn’t change how much it bothers me. In fact, it bothers me more b/c of it. I know what is intended, but it’s being handled very poorly. I’ve seen shows where they do the “shy kid, who really wants to do something, but can’t admit it, gets pushed by his friends, and loves it in the end” thing before, and done well, but this is not one of those shows. At very least, this is very poor execution.

  26. I never really viewed Kaoru’s treatment of Arima as “bullying” but her way to push him back to music.
    Same goes for the other two.
    People are just blowing this “bullying” thing out of proportion. It’s not the show’s intension.

  27. It’s sad to see everyone calling Arima’s friends abusive. For me i see a lot of his friends in mine. In highschool we would always rip on each other make each other look stupid. In some way i feel it was way for us just to relax from the strict guide lines of school/parents (give note we never pick on any out side of group only each other). Anyway one day my parents got a divorce and after a week i told my friends. Just two days later we were driving to restaurant to eat and i said out loud after making the wrong turn “i can’t believe these parking lots are separated.” And all the way in the back of the van i hear “UH JUST LIKE YOUR PARENTS!” We all just start laughing. Hell im still laughing about it now, and have been every time i think about it. But it showed me that its not the end of world and things will be different but i can still have a good time. and there are plenty of other times when my friends have “pushed” me to do things i didn’t want to do. To be only surprised on how much i joy i had doing it, and creating more wonderful memories with them. And i see that a lot in these characters, and i think they are even better. Looking back on how many years ago Arima’s mom died and become more of a shell of him sell/no longer fun. His friends still put up with him for all those years. It’s ok to use a friend as crutch, but a certain point you are going to need stand on your own. And for that many years i feel that Armia was taking advantage of their friendship and abusing them in the end. Its also to unfair to say that his friend don’t understand him when we only seen 4ep and they know him for years. If you don’t like the anime that’s fine, i love it. And I’m glade that Kairi took the time to review the anime. It’s been a long time since i found an anime that is school related (middle school even) that i enjoy. mostly because i’m out of college now, and it’s harder for me to relate or enjoy them. i just wrote this comment; since i couldn’t stand how everyone was calling Arima’s friends abusive when i see a lot of my friends in them, and how much of differnce they made in my life. I still hang with them to this day, just being complete assholes to each other and loving it.

    I hope the next anime you pick up is something i enjoy just as much Kairi

    1. Well, the thing is you laughed at it, right? It helped you. And probably, after short time you made a joke about some of your friend, maybe at the same meeting. Did you see Araima was laughing at anything they said? Or did he start joking together with all his friends? Did you hear his sharp riposte to Kaori, how she sucked so much she fainted? Except the last scene, when we could consider the jump helped him, did you see his mood lighten up? No, for the whole episode you saw him being eaten by the guilt, being depressed about whole competition thing, still not touching the piano. Well, where is the promised fun with friends?

      1. it didn’t seem to me that they were hitting him to hard at all. With the colorful background it made it seem more playful kicks and hits. And i feel they did that b/c they saw him begin to zone out and think back to when he messed up at the concert. This jolted him back to where they were trying remember the parts they did wonderful at. yes he was sad and guilty that he messed up, but in the process he forgot the part when he totality owned it. But what happened after the hospital, Watari tells Arima how his duet inspired him to better himself. Not only that he basically tells Arima it is ok to go after Kaori. Of course Watari not going to give her up with out a fight but he thinks/knows that Arima has thing for Kaori. To be honest at first i thought Arima loved Kaori but now i think he just might look up to her. And to where are is his jabs towards his friends for all the time they were messing with him. I think his jabs were the time he was decent from his friends, after his mom passed away years ago. They tell that after Arima’s mom died, he basically become shell of him self; which is understanding but for that many years, not many friends can put up with that. But yet they were still his friend, and he gave nothing back for it. Those type of people who can put up that are hard to come by. they stuck with him waiting and waiting supporting him to get back on his feet. to get back to what he wanted to do. they knew he wants to play the piano, that’s why he stayed after school in the piano room every day. he could go to any other room to do his work but he picks that one, even his work revolves around music. This is why they are pushing him, its their last try to get Arima back. And if this doesn’t work I’m sure they will finally give up on him (there might be in ep when this happens). For me i think this might be Arima turning point when he decides to face his problem after all these years, and I’m excited to hear what song brings him back.

  28. Kairi First I want to say I’m so sorry to hear you had an anxiety attack watching this show. Its sucks when a medium you enjoy so much can be triggering for anyone. Honestly I’m disgusted over how some commenters have been so fucking rude and making assumptions about your mental health without knowing a thing about you. But I’m also happy to see that there are commenters that aren’t taking that bull shit. People seriously need a crash course on showing empathy to one another and at least understand why there are certain things that are triggering folks whom have been through really tough times. I want to say I’m happy your dropping this so that you can do much needed self-care Kairi. There are folks in your life whom love and care about you so if my little comment means anything I hope you know your fans care too ^_^ I’m looking forwards to your other reviews for the other stuff your blogging.


    otherwise known as ThatLatin@Chick on Enzo site lol

    1. Thanks so much Hoshi, your words are really kind and made my day feel a lot better. You’re very sweet, and I am really glad that you and many of my other readers have been supportive and understanding about this decision. I hope I can write some good stuff for you guys in the future and on Yona. ^-^

  29. You should blog what you feel comfortable blogging.

    If blogging this show has a negative effect of you, regardless of the reasons, dropping it is obviously the right thing to do.

    Hope you have fun blogging other stuff you enjoy!

  30. The way I see it, blogging about stuff should be for fun. If it gets to the point that writing about it brings you displeasure, than by all means, drop it.
    People shouldn’t forget that randomc writers are volunteers doing this as a hobby. We did not pay them to do this, so we can’t force our expectations on them.

    On a different note, I have never been a victim of bullying (nor have I ever bullied someone), so I cannot relate. However, Kairi has my respect for admitting her weakness and trying to overcome it. That is better than the majority (imho) of people, who either don’t introspect (enough) or lack the willpower to change.

  31. I was touched by the trust that Kaori showed Arima, making him an equal partner in possibly the most important event of her life, even though they’ve only just met.

    When I came here, therefore, I was looking forward to a discussion of the show, the story, and art, and the characters. For the first time in my recollection, a Randomc review does not deliver this.

    1. Cause there isn’t a discussion of the story and characters?
      Do we need ANOTHER talk about how pretty the art is? It isn’t distracting from the rest of the problematic aspects of the show.

    2. Kaori does know Arima in some way as she stated in the last episode he is quite famous. Kaori even said she and other people looked up to him. And with Karori saying she fainted again when she was alone in the hospital it seems that her condition is only getting worse. With this in mind i feel that she wanted to at least have one duet with the person she look up too. This did make me feel she was a little selfish; however, this change when she ask Arima to tryout in a piano competition by himself, when he offer to do anything for not seeing her when she left the hospital. I’m pretty excited to hear what type of song he’ll play, and what the other competitors will play as well. i also wander if Arima actually does love Kaori or just looks up to her. At first i thought he loved her, but after this ep I’m not to sure anymore.

  32. It’s unfortunate that you’re dropping this show. While I feel you’re unfairly projecting your trauma with bullying in this show, I respect your decision to not continue blogging something you do not enjoy.

    Fat Cat Lim
  33. I don’t care about the idea behind how to go about getting Kousei out of his funk. I’m really put off with how it’s being done.
    Don’t care if the intent is to portray the immaturity of children accurately, it doesn’t sit well with me watching these kids essentially vilify their own friend and turn themselves into his victims just to “get him out of his funk”.
    All I get out of each episode is Kousei’s friends make him feel like he’s the jerk for not breaking out of his shell sooner and ‘get over’ his internal issues like it’s that simple. What’s worse is that the story is telling us this method is working. Ew.

      1. Tsss, I’m not gonna risk spoiling anyone.
        Despite all the criticism said (myself included),expect to see some very beautiful and heartbreaking moments from Arima.
        I’m still enjoying the manga because of him alone, he’s such an interesting (sorry, couldn’t find another word to describe him better) character.
        Damn, just thinking about it again makes all emotional…

        Nice Tea
  34. I’m sorry this show will be dropped here. But I think it’s for valid reasons. If someone doesn’t enjoy a show, they shouldn’t watch it or have to write about it.

    But I never saw this show as depicting abusive behavior. It reminds me of another anime where everytime this playboy got hentai toward another female, his girlfriend would magically have a huge hammer in her hands and beat him with it. Of course it’s illegal to attack someone. And it’s a felony to attack someone with a hammer! It’s a crime. And it’s understandable to be upset as someone is attacked violently. But this was cartoony depiction of it. And not meant to be taken literally.

    Now it’s understandable where something might trigger a memory where they suffered horribly in real life. But for me, I never saw that. I didn’t even think that thought until I came here to this website.

    For me, this has been a beautifully animated story. With engaging characters. A touching story where I can’t wait each week to see what happens next. The characters have won my heart, all of them, and I want to see their journey.


    Btw, I probably won’t be following this webpage or any further coverage here, if there is any. I enjoy the show very much. I want to enjoy it. And I don’t want that to be effected negatively. I understand why this show is being dropped. But not happy to see a show I liked being trashed on in the comments. 🙁

  35. me and my friends feels like shit after watching this. an annoying crybaby MC, a crazy selfish bitch that has something for a thrash playboy, and a retard childhood friend that throws him out of the bridge knowing she might messed up the prodigy. mc has a valid reason for refusing that crazy bridge jump, what if he really messed up his fingers after that, he might be abused more by his mother in return and that childhood friend wont be able to help him nor get any possible injuries he may get healed. as a musician, i thought that we might enjoy this show but we were just disappointed after 5 episodes. can someone hint me that something more interesting is coming after this or else i can just tell my friends that there is no reason for us to keep on watching this and move on.

  36. The drama is just too real. I wonder how anyone can get through that thing, I certainly can’t. Hell, it gets near 3 Stooges level. However, it is up to the viewer to feel the way they do about something they watch. I hate slapstick, period. It’s tasteless nonsense @ the purist level. But if I didn’t overlook it, I wouldn’t be able to watch ANYTHING. Therefore, I don’t have a problem with the comedy part. It’s the rest of the crap that was pretty sociopathic, the baseball, music sheets, etc. That stuff is just plain wrong & IT is my opinion – something everyone have.

    I can definitely see your view of Nodame – they even went a step further in the drama, making Nodame into some sort of maso (like being a maso make the violence alright) which finally made me turn it off. But if I ignore the slapstick of the anime (which was completely impossible for me to do with the 1st view-through) I was able to see the worth of that show – something I hope to do with this show at some point, maybe when it finishes. But I can’t deal with it now.

    1. I understand your point of view, after all it’s totally subjective what bothers/ offends someone and what does not. This show seems to have pushed a lot of people’s buttons for some reason. Maybe that’s because it took the whole “your problems are not that important, persevere through them and move on” point of view to the extreme.

  37. Watching this episode, I really felt for Arima. Just like Kairi, when they started kicking him about something that was totally their fault to begin with, it made me very uncomfortable. It was like the show had turned into “Everybody hates Arima.” Why does he have to feel bad? He went through an incredibly traumatic experience, and was just forced to relive it, on stage in front of a huge audience no less. And yet, no one feels bad for him. Why? These are his friends, and yet, not a single one even bothers to ask him if he’s OK, or how he’s feeling. The closest that we come, is Kaori’s words later on. I’m going to keep watching this series, but only b/c the end of the episode gave me hope. It does seem like the abuse will mostly go away soon, if only b/c he’ll be moving forward again, and then we can just focus on the characters and the music. It was really difficult to sit through this episode though, and I don’t blame you at all for dropping coverage of it.

  38. Wow. I was putting off coming here because I didn’t have anything good to say about that episode; in fact, I didn’t think I’d end up posting anything because I didn’t want to be a drag to those enjoying the series.

    I guess it wasn’t just me. That episode was horrible. I don’t blame you in the least for dropping, Kairi. I was actually wondering what would happen given how little you’ve enjoyed the series so far.

    While I’m personally disgusted by the series so far, especially with how blatant it was in this latest episode, I do plan to try to watch for awhile longer (if I can stomach it). This anime is serving as an unintentional deconstruction of the genki girl and slapstick comedy. Somehow, watching something fail so horribly interests me to a degree.

    Dang. To think this was my most anticipated anime of the season.

  39. Ironic…just a couple episodes ago, I used an example of someone not liking water (in this case, not able to swim), then having their “friends” just pick them up and throw them into the deep end of a pool (in this case, a stream) thinking it will just get them over it. Wonder what Tsubaki would’ve done if Kousei had actually drowned or ended up hated the water more (or possibly her for what she did) afterward.

    Nothing I can really say that hasn’t already been said except, to those who more or less tell people like me and others who voice our displeasure to “get over it” or that we’re “taking it too seriously” and whatnot, people like myself have no problem with the over-arching message of “face your fears”. That’s a perfectly fine and good message. Our problem is coming from how that message is being executed via the friends’ actions with Kousei, as well as writers forcing out positive conclusions based on those actions, that essentially trivializes Kousei’s psychological issues all together and can very well send out other, wrong messages.

    Let’s say you were someone who hated the ocean for whatever reason to the point that you can’t even look at it (beyond images) without having some sort of breakdown.

    One day, a group of your friends peer pressure/guilt trip you to go on a boat ride with them into the ocean and, knowing you have some sort of problem with the ocean and despite whatever you were feeling or voiced, they decide to pick you up and throw you into the ocean, saying it would “help you get over your fear”. Then, after you almost drown after breaking down in the water and having to be rescued, they then blame you for ruining their fun, the trip, whatever while ignoring the fact that it was them who forced you into that position to begin with. If one of those friends who happened to be like Kaori were to then offer some small words of encouragement and suggest you enter a swimming competition in the ocean suddenly inspire you to want to enter it?

    I doubt it. Chances are that you would call BS on them and never hang out with those “friends” again, or at the very least, not for a while until they’ve really made it up to you.

    And, as others have said, Tsubaki’s friend was the highlight of the episode by calling out her actions, even if Tsubaki was a kid back then.

  40. His friends aren’t putting him in extremely uncomfortable spots and ditching him. They’re backing him up every step of the way. What happened when Arima stopped playing the piano during the recital? Did Kaori continue playing and leave him behind? She pushed him to continue and she stuck with him. Even in the previous episode, Arima states that he was being supported throughout the entire recital yet it’s not mentioned anywhere.

    It’s obvious that Arima wants to do things, but is too scared of the ramifications. You don’t go through life avoiding everything that could possibly scare you. Rather you tackle it, fail, and toughen through it with your friends. So what would happen if you left Arima alone? What would happen if his friends didn’t push him through his fears? He would live a bleek life, unable to play music, but desperately yearning for it. I know what it’s like to be a musician. I know what it’s like to deal with divorce. You don’t handle stuff like this by bottling it up and nudging it to a corner of your mind, hoping it’ll go away one day.

    1. No one is saying that he needs to isolate himself and bottle up all his pain and regrets. That’s just as bad. What we’re saying is that the way they are trying to push him back into music is harmful and abusive.


      You can abuse someone without realizing it. Yes some people purposefully hurt others, like traditional bullies, but there are other people are not trying to hurt others when they do. Those are the most difficult ones to deal with. There are good ways to help your friends break out of their bubbles. You need to be supportive and listen and understand; put yourself in their shoes and realize that unless you’ve gone through the same pain you won’t ever feel the same, and that you have to honor the fact that they are hurt. It’s okay to confront someone who is running away from something, but GENTLY. Putting pressure on people is a terrible way to get them to change. There’s a myriad of ways for friends to help one another without acting like this.

      1. And how do you conquer your fear of performing? Arima doesn’t have issues playing music as witnessed by the fact that he sits there transcribing music constantly at school. His issue is that he has relapses when he publicly performs. The show even presents multiple ways that Arima practiced to help him with the issue. His friends managed to constantly barrage him with the music at school and there’s actually a scene where he’s seen practicing. It’s not as if he was instantly dumped into the recital with no cast line. The fact that he had a friend up there, playing with him, backing him up, AND stopping for him is probably the closest that he could’ve gotten to taking the first step.

        Not to mention, in the last few minutes of episode three you hear Arima’s inner monologue of casting about for an excuse not to perform. Arima’s been ready to perform, he just needs that small push his friends gave him to do it.

        Is the random ass kicking and blood excessive? Probably. But in the overall theme, his friends aren’t shoving him back into the music world. They’re holding his hand and slowly guiding him back.

    2. It’s not that Kousei doesn’t need a push; it’s the way he’s being pushed. The means is as important as the goal. They could have handled it much more gently. The moment where Kousei played the piano (briefly) for the two kids was a decent example of this.

      Being hammered over the head and guilt-tripped into something, then further guilt-tripped when it doesn’t go well, is not how something like this should be handled. Playing the piano is connected to a traumatic experience for him.

      Having abuse in the series isn’t “bad” per se, but treating said abuse as though it were okay and even positive is definitely wrong (and offensive).

      1. @Lel: You’re blowing up one example as though it’s the only way to treat Kousei’s problem respectfully. His friends could have pushed him in a more appropriate manner without it becoming boring. In fact, the gentle push would still have been dramatic if it was successful since it would have been a big step for Kousei. In the last episode, there was a moment where Kaori prepped Kousei, “I know you can do this”. How much more effective would that have been if he had come of his own accord?

        Heck, the narrative might not have needed to beat him over the head to get him to try playing if it had developed the romance before tackling Kousei’s problems. Love and trust are powerful forces that could help one deal with their past.

        If you think drama itself is boring, I don’t know why you’re watching a dramatic romance to begin with. That’s kind of the point behind it being a “dramatic” romance.

      2. I have to agree. That’s a great place to start. After the thing with the piano and the kids, Kaori should’ve said something like:

        Hey…A..are you OK?

        I’m sorry, I…I didn’t mean to…I didn’t think that it would…

        Then, after Arima explains himself and she understands:

        Well, I’m glad that you’re alright…

        (snaps back into her happy mode)

        I know! You should be my accompanist!

        That would’ve been a great place to start. Instead, the closet that we get is her asking why he quit. In fact, the very first line, after he freaks out, is her talking about full she is. Even when he explains himself, her line is, “Don’t be such a baby!”

        Who, with any sense of decency, would see that event, and not ask if he was OK?

      3. Maybe I’m treating fiction too much like reality, but I think regarding the way that Arima should be treated… shouldn’t his friends know best? Perhaps, they’ve tried all methods, the soft approach and everything. And they do know that Arima still loves the piano, it’s still his everything. If they don’t help him see it, he’ll continue to drown in his misery of not being able to touch the piano that he loves so much. And they probably have worn out the soft approach, since Arima has a solid stand that he’s “not able to play the piano”.

        Also, I think we shouldn’t doubt Arima’s strength to deal with this. Firstly (and I think we should all consider this), why not think from Arima’s POV. One of his friends, and the one who constantly bullies him has been by his side the whole time, since he was a baby. Arima would be AWARE that the help that they were trying to give although abusive, was all out of genuine concern. If he was aware and had faith in his friends, I think he would be able to take this, convert it into his strength and overcome his fear.

        Then again, I’m speaking from someone who has been in a similar situation. I was bullied when I was younger but my friends helped me out of it only recently. Not in such an exaggerated manner, but it did help me.

        Sorry if I did sound insensitive, but this was what I felt.

  41. it takes a lot for something in an anime to truly irk me anymore because I’m so desensitized over the whole culture and it’s various quirks in these types of shows, but I found myself getting irrationally angry at Arima’s dumbass friends. They are loud and obnoxious and they treat him like dirt, and then try and spout philosophical nonsense like they know ANYTHING at all. I’ll continue with this show just for my need for romance but damn I’m so disappointed in how unlikable everyone in this show is.

  42. I’ve read a few of your reviews, and you strike me as being, well, really sensitive. I was bullied in HS but get along well in college. I also had a shitty home life where I had an abusive-but-not-intentional mother. But even so, I don’t take this series nearly as personally as you.

    If I was so easily offended, I don’t think I’d be able to watch anime at all. I’d be seeing rape and abuse all over the place.

    But, no one should have to watch a show that they don’t like. I think most of your criticism (and the only thing I thought when reading this post) comes from your reasons for dropping it, not the act of dropping the show itself. I’m sure you’ll find something else to watch and enjoy from this season as there’s a lot of good shows that aren’t being covered right now. Good luck with the next one!

    1. Well if there’s anything I am it’s too sensitive. Literally. -_- By which I mean that combing my hair is so stupidly painful that I just avoided it most of the time as a kid. I get bruises from the smallest things. I suffer from horrific migraines so I have to avoid light and loud noise and all sorts of things. And yeah, being too sensitive was something I was bullied about too. But as I grew up I realized there’s nothing wrong with being sensitive. It gives me another perspective to look at things with. My experience with bullying is no more or less valid than anyone else’s, it just happens that who I am, who I became, is different. Not everyone is going to have my problems, and some people are stronger than me and I’m relieved and happy and proud that they’ve overcome their pain. But not everyone has, so if even one person can see a new view point from what I have to say, then I think I’ve done my job as a critic well. Then if you take away something, it might help open some doors for you.

  43. sorry kairi that you had a terrible time with this ep; it took a lot of bravery to admit that this ep had that effect on you (i gasped when i read that partly because i was surprised you were able to confront that fact and be open about it on the internet no less….which is pretty much hell on earth). I dont have that level of immersion when i read or watch any sort of piece of art so i will never truly understand how that feels but i do understand exactly where you are coming from. I smelled this series going down this path a mile away, finding it to be just ok at best while fearing what it could become, even after i saw the second ep. This is a series that i see has split people down the middle, and i get that. I personally think the writing in this series is not that great, and for the most part, it doesnt present interesting drama to at least make up for the fact that the writing could be better. The issue of abuse could have went somewhere profound, but the writing just used it as a stepping stone rather than a lens for character introspection and as a result, it botched up it’s chance to be engaging.

    Now some ppl have the view that this show is not trying to glorify the naivety of these kids forcefully pushing kousei around. Instead, the series is just showing that ignorant friends sometimes act like this, and you know what, i can see that. See, that’s one of the difficult things about watching something; sometimes, it’s hard to be 100% sure what the stance of a piece of work is. Is the show trying to advocate the positive aspects of this “abuse” or is it saying “these kids are naive which is why they are doing this shit..right now they think it’s right because it has yielded the desired result but one day they are going to push too far and when they do, they will learn once and for all that they have not been true friends”. if one were to defend this show, they would say that it’s realistic that the kids have yet to reap the consequences of their acts. In real life, doing something wrong doesnt always enact the appropriate consequence; it does eventually, but not all the time does it happen right away because we live in a world governed by probability. i think regardless of what your stance is about the characters, i think when you dissect all the elements that went into making this anime, there are flaws to consider. Whether those flaws affect your viewing experience depends on your own perception..and no one is right or wrong for liking a series that they like. Yay opinions.

    1. That’s really nice of you sonic, but it isn’t really about bravery. I just think that the younger me would have stayed quiet and not voiced concerns, so I try to speak up for her more often now that I’m older. I feel a lot more at peace with myself if I’m honest about how I feel; besides, I don’t mind getting hell for it. It’s more important for us to share different perspectives than to shield my feelings all the time.

      1. Same here; your experiences only make you stronger and the older you get, the easier you realize how comforting it is to just be honest about stuff. Great post by the way; you elegantly stated why you were hitting the eject button on this series and taking saying adios to it. To the next romantic-drama anime/manga (hopefully “taiyou no ie” is soon on the list to get an anime adaptation)

  44. It’s an anime and slapstick humor in Anime is the norm. I guess to me I don’t look too deeply into it. It’s just like how Rumiko Takahashi was asked if she was trying to make a statement by trying to make a male a female and if she commentating on social topics.

    Her replied was, “I just thought it was a neat idea and fun. I don’t bother with the other stuff.”

    Sometime, it’s just for fun, and slapstick humor.I wouldn’t let it bother you too much.

  45. Wow. I guess deep down I was waiting for this post. I promptly dropped this series after watching the first episode only because I did read the manga briefly and stupidly was curious how they animated it. But what boggles me is, Kairi, that the manga didn’t rubbed you the same way as the anime…’cause to me the portrayal sickens me exactly how the anime did to you…it brought back some very unpleasant memories and to realize and to take me to watch the first episode to reminded myself again why I dropped it flabbergasted me.

    I cannot for the life of me find any redeeming qualities in any of the characters:
    I hate Kousei for his lack of backbone and his need to please everyone which disgusts and saddens me as this is how I was growing up. I cannot say his life mirror mine to the T, but my childhood does share a significant amount of resemblances.
    I hated Kaori ’cause I believe she knows Kousei’s growing feelings for her and uses it to manipulate him to play for her and all the while uses him to get closer to his “buddy” Ryota. What is even more despicable feeling I get from her is the attitude toward Kousei ..the “I despise you for having a healthy body and a potential good life and talent, but you are wasting it all away” without understanding what got him there in the first place.
    I hate Tsubasa and Ryota for pretending to be friends, but truly keeping him by cause it kinda makes them look cooler ‘ cause they know someone famous and make them look and feel more fortunate compare to him. Knowing that he has heavy baggage, knowing that he is struggling, both are turning a blind eye and slapping it with “be a man, get over it” aggravates me to no end.
    Not one truly, truly lend a hand to Kousei. To understand him. To be the person he really needs, not another person in his life to be there to just manipulate and torture him physically and mentally with “hey you used to be a prodigy in piano, so why don’t you play. What? You have a problem? Well, piss over and play for this beautiful girl like how you used to.”

    Truly, when I read manga I often found myself yelling, ” Why are you still with them?” “LEAVE!”… All knowing that most victims cannot. And to realize that this is a work fiction and then to go through it in an animation, it just make my stomach turn. So I kinda glad that I am not the only one who thinks along the same lines about this series.

  46. I feel kind of awkward that I don’t get the bullying and abuse vibes that a lot of watchers are feeling, but I guess it goes to show that everyone is different. I never felt like they were blaming him or trying to make him feel guilty. I thought they were joking about it if anything. Kousei says to himself he wished they would actually blame him for his performance almost immediately after, so he knew they weren’t being serious.

    I think the story is trying to show he doesn’t have to feel guilty about the way he plays just because his mother blamed him for it. He suffers less from the physical abuse and more from the guilt that was imposed on him, or mental abuse if you like. The message I get is that it is OK to fail and mess up. It isn’t his fault and his friends won’t blame him for trying, which is completely different from how his mother treated him.

    The way I see it is that the relationship that Kousei has with his friends isn’t a one way street. He knows exactly why they are doing what they are and he accepts it because he knows he can’t get away from music and can’t make that step on his own. A lot of comments I’ve seen say that he has to decide to move forward on his own, but I think he already has. He’s using his friend’s antics as an excuse to make that move forward just as much as they want him to get back into music.

    As for some of the other sticking points I’ve seen, the slapstick humor is very much a matter of taste so can’t say much about that. The bridge throwing part was pretty anime trope-y and it was a flashback from when they were much younger, so I kind of give them a pass on that. That and Tsubaki kind of gets called out on it later in the episode.

    That all aside. Kairi, while I can’t completely understand your experiences, I can understand your reasoning and am all for not doing something that doesn’t make you feel good. I hope we can see you back with another series so we don’t miss out on your blogging!

  47. Oh wow, we have quite the discussion here. First of all to Kairi, I wholeheartedly agree on the points you’ve established over the course of five episodes. The way Shigatsu portrays abuse is just way too fu*ked up so I understand why you’re dropping it and I feel sorry about it.

    To be honest, I didn’t actually notice the shortcomings of the anime in the first two episodes as they were just so majestic and sparkling that it overwhelmed me. However, after reading your (and Enzo’s) posts on LiA, I was a little ashamed not having noticed it at first.

    This anime started off at 2nd place in my top 3 for the season (Parasyte being the 1st and Yona for 3rd). Now it has plummeted. But I’m not yet dropping it from my watch-list, if by some stroke of luck the anime redeems itself over the course of 2-cours.

    You’re one of my favorite writers here in RC and I really love reading you’re takes on the episodes of anime you’re covering. Hopefully Akatsuki no Yona will be enough to fill the void. Interestingly both anime deal with an MC who has suffered great personal trauma rising up to conquer them. But I’m loving Yona more and more with each episode and this less and less.

    Thanks anyway Kairi, here’s to hoping you’ll be luckier on your future picks here in RC 😀

    1. Thank you so much, it really brightens my day to see so many of you being so supportive and understanding even if you don’t necessarily agree. It isn’t my intention to make you feel bad about your interpretation though, so I’m sorry if I’ve somehow spoiled your experiences. I just think it’s important to bring as many perspectives to the table as possible. Like I said in the post, you’re not a bad person for enjoying the show for what it is; it’s just good to be aware than not everyone has the same view and to respect that. Which many of you have done, and which I’m very proud of you all for. ^0^

      Also, it makes me so happy that you enjoy reading my posts! Arigato! I’ll do my best on Yona. -^-^-

      1. Oh no, don’t feel bad about it Kairi. What you did actually opened my eyes to the messages this anime seems to present to the audience. If I were watching this show some two years ago, I might not have minded it , hell I might not have even noticed it. And now I feel like I’ve leveled up, or something. LoL 😀

        As an anime fan, turning a blind eye to these glaring perspectives would feel as if we’re betraying the our own fandom. And casually brushing it over saying “This is anime, happens all the time.” while comparing it to other shows (i.e. Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun, which is a straight-up RomCom not meant to be taken seriously) is just plain stupid.

        Seeing the commenters who have said they’re displeasure in a less-than-ideal way is heartbreaking, even as a fellow reader. I just hope they won’t stop you from posting honest and perspective-laden reviews, Kairi 🙂

  48. I must say, this show and the reactions to it is throwing me for quite the loop and I’m not sure what to do with any of it.

    As with some others here, I’ve had a less than ideal time growing up. In fact, at age 27, I’m still feeling the effects of the things that happened to me 15-20 years ago.
    That being said, before it was pointed out, I was not seeing half of the issues that are raised against this show. Sure, things like Kousei getting blamed this episode made me flip a table or two and I felt Kousei’s friends were a tad too pushy, but to go so far as to say the anime was glorifying it? I wasn’t seeing it until you and others pointed it out. And to be entirely honest, I’m still not quite sure it’s as bad as some have claimed.

    And I just cannot figure out why that is, which bothers the hell out of me, honestly. Is it because I’m on the autism spectrum? Am I suffering from some sort of Stockholm Syndrome myself? Am I simply completely numb to negative sides of these kinds of anime after nearly 15 years of them? Is it mere simple naivety? No freaking clue. And all of these possible conclusions are equally troubling in their own right, frankly.

    I’ll personally keep watching for now, partly out of simple curiosity to see where the story will go with all of this, and partly because it could potentially be an interesting way to do some self-reflection.

    Kairi, if nothing else, take some comfort in the knowledge that despite the anime triggering some really unpleasant emotions for you, for which I can only offer my sympathy for whatever little it is worth, these few reviews might help a handful of people out there work out issues they might not even have known they had.

    Tsugumi Henduluin
    1. For what it’s worth I feel the same way. Occasionally I wonder if there’s something wrong with me when I don’t feel as bad about things as some people do or my interpretation is way different. I try to keep in mind that we’re all different and have different experiences that inform our perceptions, but it does make me wonder about myself.

      1. Recognizable, and I do my best to keep that in mind as well.
        Unfortunately in my case there is also a dark cloud looming overhead named “Asperger’s Syndrome” which makes it even harder for me to figure out where exactly the problem stems from. Is it simply that I had different experiences and/or dealt with said experiences differently? Or is it that I am quite literally physically/emotionally incapable of processing the information shown to me? And if it is the latter, does that mean it’s OK for me to enjoy media that make others uncomfortable, or does the fact that I’m aware of the possible problems, yet choose to enjoy the media anyway because it doesn’t affect me, only make matters worse?

        Of course this is a problem fairly unique to my own situation and probably not something most here have to deal with (and thank the goddess for that), but it’s an… interesting dilemma that I’ve only very recently started becoming aware of and something that’ll probably take years to figure out.
        In that context, reviews and discussions like these are actually very informative and helpful.

        Tsugumi Henduluin
      2. I can’t speak much to it since I don’t have a lot of experience or knowledge, but I can’t help but think that being aware of yourself and how you’re feeling is a good sign. That you can recognize and question your emotions has to mean you’re feeling something, at least that’s the way I see it.

        As such, I say enjoy what you enjoy without guilt so long as it doesn’t cause others harm. As a fellow 27-year old I feel I can say that life already passes by too fast to not enjoy what you can, and I don’t think it’s going slow down.

    2. Please don’t think something is wrong because you don’t feel the issues! Everyone is unique and has lived different lives and thus brings something new to the table. I can see these problems because my view on the world has been shaped by such things, and I know very well just how dangerous this kind of emotional manipulation is. I’ve been pushed to the edge of suicide and it’s an important topic for me. HOWEVER, if it doesn’t affect you to an emotional extent, that’s not a problem! What I hope for people to get out of it isn’t that you should feel bad. I hope for different perspectives to open up so we can understand how things that seem trivial may not be so for others. It’s okay if you’ve made mistakes. We all make mistakes. It’s fine if you don’t get it on an emotional level. The only thing that is wrong is consciously knowing about someone’s pain and ignoring it or discrediting it. I suppose that’s the point I want to make.

      1. Oh, no worries. It’s not so much that I feel bad, just… conflicted. As I’ve said in my reply to StrenX, this realization is something that I’ve only recently become aware of, so I haven’t really been able to give it a proper place yet.

        At least where I am concerned, your posts have done exactly what you intended and it’s made me more aware of my own thoughts, which can never be a bad thing. So thank you for that.

        Tsugumi Henduluin
      2. Seconded. If not for your blogging, Kairi, this issue would never have occurred to me. Being able to see somebody else’s opinion and perspective to contrast your own can only be a positive thing.

  49. Sorry, I do not agree bullying is the theme of this series.

    By defination in wikipedia, “Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others”. Yes, it’s look like Arima’s friend are bullying him. But, you have missed the most important matter… The heart and/or intention… Bullying is more like an act where you try to push the hate, jealousy, or any other negative feeling to your target. For what I can see, there are none in this series yet.

    Kaori and Tsubaki could see that Arima couldn’t let go of piano and he is eternally trapped by his trauma. They are trying to get him to move forward. Their intention is pure and what a friend should do rather than mind their own business and left him trapped. A push from a someone close to you is sometime needed for you to get over the past and move forward.

    When his friends kick him during their visit the hospital, its more like an acting to go with the flow of the joke and not that they are seriously kicking him hard and blaming him for that.

    Tsubaki have a crush on him and understand his pain, though her action are sometime a bit extreme, but the intention is pure. Watari is a anime standard sidekick friends who are ready to help him in any situation needed. While Kaori is a new found friend which could finally unchain Arima from his trauma past and love interest. In summary, I would say Arima blessed with such a fun and fantastic friends.

    1. ″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse can take many forms. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimizing’.″

      “emotional abuse is characterised by a climate or pattern of behavior(s) occurring over time […] Thus, ‘sustained’ and ‘repetitive’ are the crucial components of any definition of emotional abuse.”

      “many who have experienced emotional abuse do not characterize the mistreatment as abusive”

      Also of note: “Several studies found double standards in how people tend to view emotional abuse by men versus emotional abuse by women.”

      Edit, have some more:
      “men who are emotionally or physically abused often encounter victim blaming that erroneously presumes the man either provoked or deserved the mistreatment of their female partners.[73] Similarly, domestic violence victims will often blame their own behavior, rather than the violent actions of the abuser. Victims may try continually to alter their behavior and circumstances in order to please their abuser”

    2. As far as we can tell, the only thing Tsubaki and the others know about Kousei’s problem is that it’s related to the piano, but we haven’t been given any sign that they know anything beyond that, much less that he was physically and mentally abused over it by his deceased mother. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re under the belief that it’s something like…playing the piano was something he enjoyed doing with his mother and that when his mother died, he fell into a depression and saw no point in continuing, or something “easier” like that.

      And how can Tsubaki possibly understand Kousei’s pain when, as far as we know, she has never had any such similar issues herself and, as I said, most likely not know the extent of his trauma?

      Just because a person(s) intentions are pure, that doesn’t automatically justify their actions nor should they be overlooked.

      No one is saying they should all just leave him alone either, BUT they could at least actually try to ask him what the problem really is so they can get some sort of understanding and be able to go about things differently.

      1. How could they understand? Well, for one, they could ask. I would LOVE to see that it in this series. I mean, they are his childhood friends right? Surely they could ask, since it’s, well, kind of obvious that he’s suffering.

  50. As much as I empathized with Arima, I don’t think that his friends are meant to be “abusive”. I rather see Kaori as his source of inspiration. She looks manipulative but I think she did that for Arima’s sake too. In fact, Arima wants to change. This is like choosing to look at a glass as half full or half empty.

    Fear needs to be conquered. Kaori teaches Arima to face his fear. We haven’t seen Kaori’s pain yet she seems to have faced her own fear too and she wants Arima to experience what she have experienced: facing their own fear. It is like you have found the cure for your sickness and you want other to be cured too.

  51. I haven’t watched this show or read the manga, so I won’t weigh in on the material itself. However, I would like to say a few things regarding the comments, as a couple of them caught my eye.
    First and foremost, the decision to cover the show is up to the blogger, and if Kairi feels uncomfortable with the show, then she has every right to drop it. We ain’t paying them, and though as readers we can voice our opinions, the decision is ultimately in the blogger’s hands.
    Second, telling someone how to deal with their personal reaction is ridiculous. Clearly some people can’t tell the difference between “I don’t agree with/understand your reasons, but I will respect them” and “What’s the big deal, I don’t see anything wrong, so you shouldn’t either. Suck it up and stop being so damn sensitive.” Learning how to respectfully disagree will get you a lot farther than trying to force your opinion down someone’s throat. And spare me the “I’m just keeping it real, don’t get mad cuz you can’t handle the truth” BS; just because you choose to be a jackass, doesn’t mean your opinion is any more valid than anyone else’s, and don’t be surprised if people don’t wanna hear from you.
    Third, people respond differently under similar circumstances. Try to understand that while you may be fine with your friends acting a certain way, doesn’t mean anyone in your position would. What might be a gentle push in the back for one person could be a push off a cliff for another. Without seeing the show myself I cannot say for sure, but if the character is clearly being guilt-tripped into doing stuff, that probably isn’t the best method of supporting him.
    The way I read the post and comments, Kairi and most of the others who have issues with the show aren’t shaming anyone who does enjoy the show; they just do not like the way in which certain things are portrayed, and Kairi decided it had reached a point where she didn’t want to cover it anymore. It’s fine if you had never considered the views she expressed, as you’ve probably lived through different circumstances, and if it expanded your perspective, that’s a good thing. You have every right to enjoy the show for whatever reasons you may have, just respect her right to drop the show for her own personal reasons.
    Kairi, although the last shows you covered that I watched were a while ago (KamiNomi and ServantxService, if I’m not mistaken), you’ve done good work at RC, and hopefully your other/next shows will be more enjoyable to cover ^_^.

    1. I get your sentiment, but the fact is that Kairi (and all writers of RandomC) aren’t just some random person. They are, more or less, a public figure. When they make a “statement” of this nature, they are opening themselves to criticism. It’s precisely the reasoning that is drawing so much criticism from readers, not the lack of coverage.

      I mean, it’s really obvious from her initial comment as well as a lot of the responses here that she is really sensitive about this issue and projecting her own past onto these characters. I personally don’t think it’s fair to the show to have such a biased writer covering it to begin with so I fully support her decision to step down.

      But it’s like the popular internet video that’s been circling of women getting “harassed” in the city. You see actual harassment, and you see people who just look at them and say “Hello”. HARASSMENT! HOW DARE YOU SAY HELLO TO HER!

      Everyone is sensitive about different things. But sometimes, you look at a person and wonder how they survived in the world until now. And right now, I look at this author and wonder how she watches anime at all if she gets upset by these things so easily.

  52. I’ve been lurking on coverage on any show I’ve been watching as of late, lurk no more I cannot do! You guys are great on all the shows (it’s even got me to watch some of them due to the commentary). I’ve enjoyed the manga, despite the slow updates, and even the abuse I’m not so fond of.

    At least up to this episode, great coverage Kairi! Keep up the good work, and I look forward on the next show you cover.

  53. Wow. Are you an adult? Having a panic attack watching an anime?

    I don’t care that you dropped the series. That’s your choice. But seriously, you need some therapy if you’re triggered by something as mild as this. I feel like this gross oversensitivity is everything wrong with society today. God help us if something comes along that is actually offensive.

    1. That, sir, was uncalled for.

      Kairi has already stated as her reasons and her circumstances clearly enough and your comment is kinda redundant.

      Putting that aside, the decision is really up to the bloggers. They produce the content, and we reap the benefits. Are we resorting to petty insults now that a show is being dropped because of personal reasons? I hope not.

    2. And who gets to decide what is “actually” offensive? If you say it isn’t, clearly anyone who thinks otherwise is overreacting, right? I’m sure some people in the Western anime community wouldn’t mind being called otaku (some will even embrace it), but there are certainly people in Japan who would take offense to that. Are they just sensitive, or is it maybe different circumstances that cause different reactions? Or, to use another example, look at the whole Rapelay controversy several years ago. I hope you don’t find the contents of that game “actually” offensive, or else, wow. Are you incapable of separating fiction from reality? Being offended by stuff that happens in a fictional game to fictional characters consisting of digital data? FSM help us if people actually took offense to that while enjoying the myriad games depicting robbery, mutilation, murder, genocide, and more…

      1. And who gets to decide what is “actually” offensive?

        For myself, obviously I do and the only things I find offensive are people who get offended easily and ones who get offended over things I consider petty, both of which there are plenty of on this comment section, including the person who wrote the review.So, yeah, just post all the apologies for being insensitive assholes below this comment and anyone who wants to empathize with my plight and wish to encourage me and make me feel better are welcome to do so.

      2. “And who gets to decide what is “actually” offensive?”

        That is easy: the majority (yes, I use the bad bad word!) says what is “considered” offensive, every single person decides for himself what “is” offensive. So, if he talks about something “actually” offensive, he has the same right to use the word “actually” as you have to use it, dont forget that. But: his opinion is even more convincing/relatable than yours because the majority thinks the same. And yes, even Kairi said so. She said it herself: its her problem and she doesnt want to force her thoughts and feelings on others. That the show is completely stupid is another matter, but be honest: how many people are really “offended” by this show? (I mean really offended, not offended by its stupidity :P). Soo, that is why Kairis statement here is awesome, and its great to see that so many people understand, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME BEING ABLE TO HAVE ONES OWN PERSPECTIVE. Again, exactly what Kairi said. She is awesome, your comment is not 😛 (yeah yeah, I know, mine is neither)

        Meine Meinung
    3. You obviously never had any or met, much less know anyone with any such psychological issues based on your rude and unempathetic post.

      You’d be surprised at just how easily such issues can be triggered in people like that, whether it be in children, teenagers, or adults.

    4. These sorts of comments remind me of the bullies in SAO, yet almost everyone who watched those scene stuck up for Shino and understood her PTSD. There weren’t many people who would say “Holy, crap, Shino, it’s just a toy gun. Having a panic attack over a toy? Get over yourself! Your oversensitivity is what’s wrong with society today!”

      What one person finds traumatic another person doesn’t. Some people are terrified of spiders to the point that they can’t move. Some people can’t deal with dead bodies while others take it in their stride. Just saying ‘get over it’ does nothing but make you look like a jerk because, trust me, if they could just ‘get over’ they’d have done so already and been a lot happier for it.

  54. Kairi, I hope I understand where you are coming from. And I don’t disagree with you, this is very distasteful and disrespectful treatment of psychological trauma.

    But could I offer you a thought experiment? Suppose we didn’t know of Kousei’s trauma and need for healing at this point of time. We weren’t given the flashbacks on Kousei’s abuse at the hands of his mother, we aren’t aware of the full extent of Kousei’s trauma, we don’t know that when he claims he can’t hear his own playing, he doesn’t mean this in the figurative sense in the sense of inspiration, but he means it literally. All of this would not be parceled across the episodes, it would instead be all shoved into one entire backstory episode near the end of the season , all at once (which what Grisaia just did for Michiru this season, and will be doing for Yuuji the main Harem protag….and Little Busters did for just about every character in the plot).

    Would your objections still remain, if at this time, you were still in ignorance of the full extent of Arima’s situation? In other words, were you as ignorant as Kaori, would you still regard their actions as abuse if you did not have the information of Arima’s background to make that judgement? (Of course, there is a difference between abuse from ignorance, and deliberately malicous abuse, and one could make the counter-argument that Kousei’s friend’s are acting from the position of “abuse from ignorance”, not malicious abuse.)

    1. I wish there was an edit function, there were some embarrassing mistakes. I meant trauma, not drama, for example. I wanted to write “you were still in ignorance” rather than “you are still ignorance”.

  55. Now that I’ve read Kairi’s take in the anime, I’m at conflict with myself(I don’t blame her or anything, I still enjoy the show to some extent). Is it good thing that I’m uncomfortably aware of the abuse or not?

    Anyway, I totally understand the Kairi’s reasons for dropping the anime, and I hope she feel’s better soon.

  56. There was similar nonsense with Grisaia no Kajitsu episode 5 review(of which I didn’t say anything) a couple of posts earlier and now this, recently there’s also an increase in dropping shows in the middle of the run,spending most of the reviews getting offended and criticizing them over petty things and the like.It looks like most of the current randomc staff consists of feminist/SJW types,know-it-all science-zealots and self-appointed critics who try to impose their views on others rather than anime/manga fans who watch/read and enjoy shows/stories for what they are and write about it, which was why I started reading reviews on this site in the first place and from what I can tell(by reading much older reviews on this site), was the initial purpose of this site.With all due respect for everyone involved I think this site deserves better writers who can leave their baggage at the door, considering how everything else about the site is very well done.

    On a side note, does anyone know other good sites/blogs that reviews anime/manga?

    I don’t actually watch this show, this comment is aimed generally at randomcuriosity site rather than this particular review.
    And in case someone tries to tell me that the writers here are doing this of their own accord and they have the choice whether or not to write about a show, don’t bother.I already know that and it’s true, but it’s also true I can comment what I think of their choices and reviews on the comment section, which is what I’m doing.

    1. Reviewers here aren’t getting paid. They are doing this, out of their love for anime. They are under no obligation whatsoever to review the shows that you want, or to review them the way that you want. If Omni were here, I’m sure that he’d say the same thing.

      1. While I dont agree with the rest of the comment of anon, I sometimes really have to wonder if people nowadays are incapable of reading text:

        “And in case someone tries to tell me that the writers here are doing this of their own accord and they have the choice whether or not to write about a show, don’t bother.I already know that and it’s true, but it’s also true I can comment what I think of their choices and reviews on the comment section, which is what I’m doing.”

        And your answer is:

        “Reviewers here aren’t getting paid. They are doing this, out of their love for anime. They are under no obligation whatsoever to review the shows that you want, or to review them the way that you want.”

        What you answered is so irrelevant and completely went against what he wrote that the time would be better spent on the real mistake anon makes:

        “spending most of the reviews getting offended and criticizing them over petty things and the like”

        Kairi made it pretty clear, why she gets so offended. She even says indirectly, while to others it might seem a “petty thing”, it doesnt to her, and I dont think you can overgeneralize Kairis behaviour here or even the writers on RC in general. This one is clearly a very special case, she even went out of her way to tell us she had a panic attack, so I dont think one can generalize this here as “aaaah, always the same…”

        Also this:

        “who try to impose their views on others”

        You cant mean Kairi with that. She also said its her perspective and she doesnt want to force her feelings on others, thats one of the reasons she stopped blogging (even if its not the main one).

        I really have to wonder: Are people really not able to read and UNDERSTAND? Neither anon nor hjerry make any sense with their posts :S

        Meine Meinung
    2. I really did want to sit this one out, but since you insisted on firing shots my way it would be downright rude to not at least volley back. I don’t intend to speak for Kairi, who’s done perfectly fine herself, let alone the whole site, but I do think your indignation is founded on some misconceptions. Let’s be clear here: I’m an anime fan. If I wasn’t an anime fan I wouldn’t well be here writing about it in my own free time; it’s not like I get paid. But love of anime is one thing. Blind love is another. Anime isn’t some golden calf before which we must all prostrate ourselves and worship. It has flaws too (like all mortal things), and if you would call us reviewers then you must also recognise that pointing out these flaws is part of the review process. In fact, if we weren’t ardent fans of the medium then we wouldn’t have to care this much. But we do care, so we’re honest with our criticism. Because we love, we want better, and because we want better we critique. I could just write unrelentingly positive drivel for every show but that would be a betrayal of my own fandom. I love anime. So I feel obliged to talk about both its good and its bad.

      Of course, many critiques are subjective opinions, and you are under no obligation to agree with anyone. However, the response to a disagreement of opinion should be reasoned discourse. Trying to quash them with ad hominems is, on the other hand, purely destructive and never helpful (though on my part I’ll wear that Self-Appointed Know-It-All Feminist badge with pride, thank you very much). If you think that dissenting opinions is ‘baggage’ that we should ‘leave behind’ then, frankly, you’re never going to find what you’re looking for on this site, past or present. What you’re looking for is a bunch sycophants to pat you on the back and constantly tell you how refined your personal tastes are. You can probably pay someone to do that for you.

  57. I think you’ve been supported pretty well already for your decision, Kairi, but I also wanted to add my little voice to approving both your recent reviews on this series and being mature enough to walk away from having to examine this blatant disregard of abuse in the form of entertainment.

    Having said that, I wanted to bring up something I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned before (if it has been, forgive me for not reading it!). Arima was raised primarily by his abusive mother, who both manipulated him and caused him to feel that he was responsible for things that were totally out of his control. That’s bad enough, and it would be interesting to see how he breaks free from it as a story, but the fact that he then is surrounded by more emotionally manipulative people, who seem to also physically abuse him at times, is completely inappropriate. If the animation staff is interpreting the original story in this scope, I feel like it should be sold as a tragedy. That a boy who clearly still treasures music, and is kind and compassionate himself, must be surrounded at all times by people who want to use him, is terrible, and horrible to watch even without having experienced a similar situation.

    It ends up making me feel that the story is lying to itself, or terribly flawed, because who really has revelatory breakthroughs thanks to people who are inflicting similar trauma on you? The kind of progress I want to see for Arima is telling all his friends to back off, or calling them on their bullshit. But he’d need to have experienced a relationship that wasn’t abusive to be able to differentiate that, and this is where I see the biggest flaw in the story.

    The other characters seem to be justifying their actions by saying either ‘I know what’s best for you’ – showing incredible arrogance (which, teenager, okay…) and a chilling lack of empathy or respect for Arima’s stated feelings, OR ‘It turned out all right, see?!’ which ignores the trauma that was inflicted during the process, the truth that the person might just be playing it off since it was his “friends” who did it to him. I don’t think that was the case in this episode, but it should not have been a happy memory, no matter who was remembering it.

    I recall when an adult I trusted threw me into the deep end of a pool for “fun” when I had clearly stated that I couldn’t swim, and was shrieking for help when he picked me up. When I surfaced, having breathed in quite a bit of water, everyone was laughing. To this day, I don’t think my parents know about it; they would have been horrified had they been present. The fact that a scene very similar to this happened in this episode caused me to slam my computer shut in frustration when everything turned out “great” when he was apparently drowning.

    If things don’t improve with the next episode, I will be joining several of you in dropping it.

    1. Well said, Gracelyn.

      On my take, I see three ways things will play out:

      1) Arima and his friends finally see how horrible the things they’ve done (probably after a particularly nasty push on their part) and they are truly remorseful and beg for forgiveness. Arima pardons them and the real healing can begin. This is my best case scenario.

      2) Arima and his “friends” continue on their merry way and eventually, all the abuse catches up and Arima quits piano for good. This is a logical tragedy scenario if things don’t change.
      Seems unlikely, given the anime’s light and fluffy package.

      3) Arima “mans up” and regains his former glory and a new zest for life due to the “encouragement” and loving “support” of his “friends”. This seems to the path the anime is taking and is the worst case scenario.

      And throughout all three paths, you can bet Kaori’s soap opera disease will definitely be the trigger/catalyst for the final outcome.

      If the series really goes down path #3, then I’ll have to ponder on how the author, producer and director views mental health.

  58. Seriously, people, if you didn’t jump off the bridge or a cliff to the water as children or teenagers, you can still do it now! It’s a good fun! And look at Arima, he enjoyed it too!

    It’s a pity that such a good show got dropped. After not having blogged “White Album 2” and “Ao haru ride”, now we’ve got also no “Shigatsu”. Once again RC shows no love for this kind of anime. 🙁

    1. Yeah, I know, man. I’ve known a boy, who had fun like this and now he’s on a wheelchair. Good times! I wish I asked him if he would like to repeat it with me (because I hadn’t been present). Ah, youth! The best thing (and I mean the worst) everybody became afraid suddenly, scattered and left him. If not a man, who went for a walk with a dog, he would be dead.

      But seriously when I’m looking back I’m terrified by some shit I did. An one small ting went wrong I wouldn’t have any good memories or like, any at all. I was fearless in my stupidity and lucky as hell.

      1. You know it’s different. It’s a situation, when we’re willingly participating in something, even if it’s because the lack of common sense and not thinking about consequences (but it’s not like I think he deserved it or something) vs. somebody else doing something affecting us in a bad way without our control.
        Actually, I was hit by a car once too, which was driven by a drunk man. Totally his fault.

  59. Im the only one who is living this anime? Kairi Thank you for blogging till this episode, you tried a lot for all of us, the readers. I will continue watching this anime 🙂 I mean, is not the end of the world, the’re were a lot of other shows I loved and that never were covered here, you have to cover and see the anime you want to see and that you like, no the ones that the other people like, the anime world is a pleasure 🙂 it isn’t a obligation.

  60. I feel you brother. I also find the abuse of Kousei somehow disturbing. Though what really bugs me, is how Kaori acts towards Kousei when she is already focused on Watari. It’s like she just pushes Kousei to her then leaving him out in the end. I’m also sensing a bad atmosphere around the disease of Kaori. Though I hope it is just a misinterpretation on my part, I really like to see Kousei and Kaori together in the end. haha~ <3 Really. The feels in this anime knocked me out of rhythm. I guess that's A1 for you! xD

  61. I know this is a little bit of controversial topic for some people since it seems like a good number of us here have been victims of bullying, me included, but lots of the people here kinda seemed a little two-faced. What I mean by that is that there are a ton of anime out there that do a lot of the same thing to characters of different shows that could be looked at as pure bullying, but the only difference about it here is we get to see Arima’s emotional trauma and his experiences to see the full picture. This strikes me the wrong way since it seems like a lot of what you guys are calling bullying in this show (which it is) is presented in other shows that you find as lighthearted and funny. I don’t like the double standard I’m seeing here since it kinda seems hypocritical to me. If you don’t like abuse and don’t want it shown in this light, why do you enjoy anime that show bullying in a very similar way? The only difference here is that we see the main character’s emotional trauma and struggle. If you put yourself in the shoes of characters in shows who go through the same thing as Arima, you’d probably see it as bullying too. You’re just not thinking about how they feel completely, what’s going on in their head, or their personal problems. The comedy that is shown here isn’t exactly right, but the way I look at it is similar to how I look at black comedy. Not all of it is completely serious, and it’s meant to be a little comic relief and makes light of a serious problem with a few laughs.

    It’s really sad since I was enjoying this anime so far, but these posts and comments from the anime bloggers I follow are really detracting from the enjoyment I could’ve had from this episode. I never really looked at the previous posts for this show, but now, I’m not going to since it seriously took away my enjoyment.

    I love you, Kairi, and I enjoy your writing, but this is just something I may just have to respectfully disagree with you with since it doesn’t really strike me the same way. I’ll be sure to read your Akatsuki no Yona posts once I actually get started on it.

    1. What I’m talking about when I say, “If you put yourself in the shoes of characters in shows who go through the same thing as Arima, you’d probably see it as bullying too,” is regarding the issue of how his friends are treating him. Lots of the characters in shows are treated similarly to Arima, but we don’t know their back story, trauma and problems like we do Arima’s, so we look at them as lighthearted and funny. That’s what I’m trying to say.

  62. While I admit I didn’t feel the same level of queasyness as you did, Kairi, as the episodes went on there was something that just didn’t excite me about KimiUso. I don’t know if it was for the same reason as you, but it just lost its spark for me. KimiUso is beautiful visually, but I feel like it’s trying too hard to be “that beautiful and uplifting story” narratively. There’s something forced, almost synthetic, about it.

  63. It can be a bit over board, the peer pressure/abuse, but I can’t help but be reminded of my time as a teen. I received and dished out bullying throughout my elementary, middle and high school years. I can’t blame the characters in the show because I know for a fact I acted in similar ways at some point during my teenage life. Pushing injured friend to play a sport, mocking fiends for not being a “man” and talking to girls, harrasing them for days (a la Kaori). And the endless times I received it in return.

    The show continues to be good for me, not only because of the classical theme, but because being young and hassled/harangued/bullied/pushed/encouraged is something I can empathize with.

  64. Hmmm, I’m still going to watch this show, and probably still enjoy it, but this post has definitely made me rethink my position on this show. It’s probably because this show was the show I’ve been most excited for, for a long time, that perhaps I’ve been blind to some of it’s faults. I’ve read Enzo’s thoughts, and I guess they just sat in the back of my mind, where I didn’t necessarily agree with. But your post has succinctly and straightforwardly reasoned why this show has some HUGE faults.

    Though, in your opinion, since you’ve read the manga, could this show recover from this, since it’s only 5 episodes into a 22 episode series? Meaning, are there more chances to glorify this abuse?

    1. Well there is some good stuff vis-a-vis Arima’s moving forward and regarding his trauma. I find some of the more recent chapters to be really interesting due to the presence of a certain person. But unfortunately this is a theme that proliferates a good deal of the material. It does get a little lighter once Arima starts doing what they want (because he gave in pretty much) but it’s still there. It’s just easier to overlook and ignore it in a panel format, I suppose.

    2. Oh, please. This anime is just fine unless you’re some crazy SJW tumblr fanatic or have a deep childhood trauma. There’s empathy and overanalyzing, and this author sails over the former straight into the latter. I had as much of a terrible childhood as is possible and I’ve moved on from my issues. I have been a part of the sensitive SJW community for years but have come to realize it is every bit as bad as any radical movement. You can’t be upset about everything.

      There is nothing upsetting in this show for 90% of viewers. The other 10% is comprised of trauma victims and people who are looking to be upset

      1. “This anime is just fine” is simply your opinion and probably some more others’. The point here is that the blogger herself can’t keep blogging this for her own reasons, so why force her? Would you rather have her blog this half assed all the way until the end?

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate or share Kairi’s opinions on this matter but you have to respect her decisions. I’ve read the manga all the way to the latest chapter and I’m still looking forward to it. Her decision is simply doing what she wants and she has no obligations whatsoever to continue blogging this as there is no rule for them that they can’t drop a series midway.

        I’m still hoping that someone would pick up Bahamut 🙂

        The Story You Don't Know
  65. Ah, dammit. I was seriously hoping that the various moments in the anime were just an issue of choosing to make them ‘comedic’ moments, rather than giving them the level of seriousness deserved. I even argued that this was the case in a post on my tumblr (http://aki-chan2014.tumblr.com/post/101936966419/opinion-piece-quick-anime-review-kimiuso-trivialising)
    …and then, this episode. *big sigh* I still think that the studio’s choice to have those moments as comedic ones is still a big factor into why it’s turned out as such a controversial thing, but now I’m not so sure the overall disaster of this episode is completely down to that.
    Akame ga Kill and Ao Haru Ride both do these things a LOT better-little bits of comedy here and there, only when needed. The sad thing is that there are still some moments that make it seem like it isn’t all abuse-comedy and inconsiderate behavior and that there is still some hope for the plot-which, when I first read about it in the season preview made me think that this anime was going to be an absolute gem.
    But I’m still hoping that this episode will just end up being a blip, and that things will get better over the 22 episodes. I’m going to continue to give this anime a chance, but, Kairi-san, I’m sorry that the anime upset you so much. I respect your decision to drop this (although i confess to having looked forward to your posts on the episodes), and hope things get better for you 🙂

  66. I’m finding it fairly difficult to put my thoughts into words here, hence the paragraphs that dont fully connect with each other, but ill try: Randomc has had an epidemic of posts bringing attention to the blogger (and often their political views) over the anime itself lately. Its like if your favorite comedian just randomly stopped in the middle of a skit to bring up irrelevant information (in this case, mental health issues), and then continued as if it never happened. Its oddly awkward depending on context, since its not something that feels like it ever belonged in a public work. It actively drags the reader away from thinking about the show to thinking about the person.

    This post read like a tumblr blog, and purposefully bringing attention towards having a panic attack over an anime isn’t quite the quality of blogging that randomc had in the past. Even as I look over the responses to the posts here, people are automatically calling dissenting opinions sexist or “insensitive” and drowning them in downvotes like we are on reddit or something.

    You are right to drop a show you aren’t enjoying at all. I won’t even try to argue that your personal opinion is wrong or anything crazy like that. But the way this specific post, as well as a few others by other bloggers, was worded strikes me as a decline in writing where for some reason the analysis of the anime is actually REDIRECTING ATTENTION ONTO THE WRITER more and more often. I get that its unavoidable that a viewers interpretation of a show is skewed by their personality and views, but the way this post used “tumblrisms” in it speaks to unintentionally being aimed a certain audience. I really hope that anyone who blogs that happens to read this takes note trying to remain slightly more impartial unless your blog is basically sold by your personality (which randomc is not).

    1. Rereading this, this totally looks like its trying to shit all over randomc, but was intended to be a constructive criticism of the changing style of modern blogging. Randomc is still one of my favorite blogs out there. I strongly feel that the blog grew to be so big because of the quality of its writing and analysis, to the point where it almost seemed professional. Given that style of writing, suddenly seeing a few authors with the odd habit of redirecting attention (probably unintentionally) to themselves seems jarring to this specific long term reader.

  67. Damn, I really feel almost disgusted by some harsh and unsensitive comments I read here…
    I f*cking hate to see when some people under-estimate or minimize someone else mental issues, that’s just pure disrespect.
    If watching a dramatic story leaves you cold and unfazed, you’re the one who has a real problem here.
    Just because you’re watching an anime (or wathever other form of media) doesn’t mean you have to unplug your heart/brain and feel nothing!

    Nice Tea
    1. You do get the difference between a panick attack and being emotionally affected? Sorry Kairi, it always sounds like you did something wrong, when its not you but just some people being too immature to see the difference. It is NOT normal to be THAT affected – Kairi knows that too. YOU on the other hand dont seem to understand this little but very crucial difference. Also immediately insulting everyone else “If watching a dramatic story leaves you cold and unfazed, you’re the one who has a real problem here.”
      NO. Just NO. You DONT have a problem if a work of fiction doesnt always affect you. Read “Der Zauberberg” von Thomas Mann. Won the Nobel Price. Everyone praises that, so please go ahead and read it. And then please come back and comment about how very affected you were.

      “minimize someone else mental issues, that’s just pure disrespect.” YOU are certainly “minimizing […] mental issues” by comparing it to be “affected by a story”. Again – Kairi said so too in her blog and my little rant here has NOTHING to do with her. Its against the pseudo-moralist crap like this that annoys the hell out of me. And “respect” seems to be the favorite word of these people.

      Meine Meinung
      1. My comments weren’t specifically directed to Kairi and yes I do agree that it is NOT normal to over-react to a fictive drama.

        “If watching a dramatic story leaves you cold and unfazed, you’re the one who has a real problem here.”

        Yes, I realise that this statement was excessive and sounded like “pseudo-moralist crap” and I apologize if it has angered some people, no I’m not sarcastic, it was really my mistake.

        Nice Tea
      2. Oh wow, way to go. Now I feel bad! XD I do get that some comments were really offending here and you pointing that out isnt all that wrong – also I too could have made an effort to sound less harsh. Sorry for that 😉

        Meine Meinung
      3. No problem. Some comments ticked me a bit so my rant was a bit too harsh, I need to phrase it in a better way next time and cool my head before posting. And thx for the book recommendation. 😉

        Nice Tea
  68. Thank you for coming this far in your coverage of this show.

    While I don’t feel vulnerable to the depictions and, through the decades, grew a thick skin toward the hijinks and satire present in anime (which are often needlessly exagerated) – and generally saw the anime itself as an enjoyable watch – I did appreciate the thoughtful counter-point you offered. I started watching this with my brain turned off and mostly just appreciating the artwork, so, your input was eye-opening.

    I visit these blogs to read the opinions of other people sharing in my hobby of watching anime. In this case, you’ve devoted time to watch and write down your opinions – you’ve only given and I honestly don’t feel you owe us anything or should feel in any way sorry to drop off watching. I’m thankful enough for what I got.

    If I hope for anything, it’s that you’ll feel better now.

    Thanks again and take care. 🙂

  69. Based on BD pre-orders and positive reviews from 2ch/other forums, I find it ironic how elevens like this series despite how they condemn “bullying” with absolute zero tolerance.

    Personally I don’t consider Arima’s experience as bullying and hence adds more stress to his already PTSD state. I actually think his fortunate enough to have a friends like Tsubaki and Kaori who genuinely cares about him. It’s very rare to find a friends like that both in RL and fantasy.

    Though I do understand why people might fight this uncomfortable to watch. Their method of forcing “face your fear” into Arima is somewhat abrupt and discourteous. Hell I’m surprised Arima didn’t exploded after all those Tsubaki antics to make Arima pick up playing piano again.

    1. yeah, “face your fear”. But it should done of himself, not friends bully him trough this big door of fear. he has to do it on its own force. because, there is the danger to fall back through this fear door, and fallen even deeper, because his was not his own free will

      1. sorry, i try to use some mind pictures

        if you want your friend to swim in the water of life, you should show him how to do it, in some case teaching him/her to swim. you do not want to thrown your friend unprepared into the water

    2. Dang, almost missed that phrase “elevens” or 11s that you wrote there…..That’s a racial slur right there! Go go, everyone condemn him for it!!! Or should we praise him for his use of calling a race a slur that means something bad in another anime while written a comment for this anime? How come no one is yelling at him but others on this site is yelled at for saying how they don’t like this or actually like that….I personally laughed when I noticed…

  70. Wow. That’s quite a different kind of discussion we have here.
    While I do sympathise with Kairi her situation, I believe it’s a personal one, and due to that subjective matter it can be seen as an overreaction compared to the norm. This anime clearly stirs something in people and for that alone one could say it is doing it’s job really well.

    If the interpretation of the message the anime is trying to deliver is received properly is a different matter, though. Imo people are forgetting that you’re watching anime. Anime is Japanese. The Japanese have a very abusive sense of humour. If you watch any comedy show or stand up comedy, variety, whatever, the first thing you notice is how everyone is hitting each other. Hard. It’s part of the normal routine and the Japanese people love it.

    And now people are applying (mostly) American ethical values to it. This is where it all goes wrong, this doesn’t work. And I can comment about how an earlier commenter is right in saying that this has been happening more and more over the past year or two on this site and it shows a lack of cultural empathy, but that wouldn’t be fair. As most anime fans have never even been to Japan, let alone watch anything Japanese besides anime. It is however a problem and degrades the quality of the review. (this is meant as constructive criticism and not a jab at the writers)

    Back to the show. I do also read the manga and find no difference in the portrayal of ‘abuse’ between the two media. It even is more lighthearted in the anime due to all the sparkles and colours (also a Japanese cultural humour thingy). The message in the story about getting Arima out of his pit of despair is yet to reach full swing and so far the anime has been setting up the characters and their personal stories. Kaori for example is being set up as this extremely selfish popular girl with some popular girl attitude problems. In a sense she is, and you’ll find out why, but she also really wants Arima to start playing the piano again and genuinely wants to help him. But they’ve not even begun to tell the real story. And yes, Kaori is Arima’s salvation. The series needs the comedy and ‘extreme’ characters because otherwise it would be far too grave and serious.

    If this kind of thing isn’t for you because you can’t look past it. Fine. That’s your right. But don’t missplace cultural misunderstanding as something it is not. This is a really well done show, as the Japanese popularity and BD-preorders shows, and the story a serious one that needs time to get going.

  71. I would really like to find out if Arima gives everyone the real reason he can’t play anymore. Because his mother died and he was only playing the piano for her right? Well according to him anyways. If he told everyone that what would their reaction be? Would they sympathize with him more? Am I on the right track even?

  72. Wow, I must be emotionless like my wife says I am. I enjoy watching this series. I don’t really see the abuse like you guys say is there because I am used to seeing all sorts of abuse in every other anime that I watch. Sure I understand this is a drama but it’s also a comedy. How many anime that is a romantic comedy. What about that other music anime in which the main dude was always hitting the girl, Nodame Cantabile. I don’t remember anyone ever talking about all the abuse she was getting. Each time she complained how much it hurt her too…….Is it because it’s the new age? Like a person said back in ep 1 I think, I started with Ranma 1/2 and Sailormoon. The main characters always got hit. Sailormoon got yelled at each time she cried. Although it seems that although she cries alot in Crystal, she’s not getting yelled at or hit by Rei much. What about this new 4 minute Tenchi Muyo. Wish it wasn’t so short but every other second he’s getting beat up half to death and he complains how much it hurts him but no one stops to think about how badly they hurt him. Sure it’s pure comedy, but kids can’t always tell it’s comedy and will think it’s good to hurt a teacher cause it’s fun cause TV says it’s good…..What about SAO, Klein is always getting emotionally abused by all the girls and he just blows it off, I don’t see anyone saying they will quit watching this show because of that reason. They has Asuna in a cage and was about to be raped and still people didn’t stop watching that show. Same with Shinon….It’s anime, people get hurt for fun. Happens in Kamen Rider, super sentai, power rangers, and just about any other TV show (american or not) that is made for us to watch because people want to watch comedy violence and sex. How come no one comments on the sexual abuse that the mangaka wrote in about him seeing her without her pantsu on when she’s only 14 in the show…..what about the dangers of jumping off a bridge. Animes used to have a “BE SAFE WATCH TV FAR AWAY AND WITH LOTS OF LIGHT” and “DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME” signs but they just flat out stopped from what I can tell…..Just about every other episode, someone dies in Gundam G but the dude keeps killing instead of just saying I am not gonna kill anyone anymore or finally run away so he doesn’t have to like he said he will do for the last 2 eps. My point: It’s anime, it’s humor, it’s drama, it’s comedy. I think the managaka and the anime directors did good in using all the different types of managa/anime themes and added it to one show…..One more thing, ep 1 made me thing this show was written by the Kimagure Orange Road guy cause of the the voice overs and saying summer of youth and age 14 and all that stuff. Speaking of which, in that show, the kids drank and smoked and had lots of sexual situations and people still enjoyed it. I can rewatch it and not think of abuse and it was a very serious drama show too with lots of comedy and sci-fi…the main character got hurt alot in that show also…..END RANT

  73. OK……Now I really have to check out this show.
    I was only planning to watch 3 anime this season( Psycho Passs,FSN and Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken) but now you,Kairi, have pique my interest. I’m gonna have to confirm with my own eyes if this show is as bad as you say it is.

  74. as someone who’s also covering this series, i very much looked forward to reading your posts each week to get a different perspective of the show. and so it’s really sad to find out that you’ve decided to drop it. it did kind of get a little, ever so slightly, better in this week’s episode (ep 6) though! that said, while i can’t even begin to imagine where you’re coming from, i do understand that everyone interprets things differently (just like you mentioned). and admittedly, they were trying to ‘make light’ of their ill treatment towards kousei, which i really didn’t appreciate either. in any case, i have enjoyed your coverage of this for the past five episodes. shall look forward to your akatsuki no yona posts ^^ otsukaresama~

  75. Good job dropping this right before the episode where a lot of the issues you’re worked up over were mitigated… Then again, if you’ve been taking the show THAT seriously to begin with, this still might not work for you.

    I should point out that I also dislike the abuse by the friends, but not because of some grand moral issue, but because it’s become simply much too repetitive, caricature-like, and thus pretty boring or even annoying. Fortunately, though, the true emotional parts of the show overpower all that quite handily.

  76. I understand your point Violin. I felt that Kaori understood that the way she treated Kousei was not entirely appropriate in regards to adressing his mental trauma but she did it while caring. In ep.6, it was good that they talked about it, Kaori apologizing to Kousei and him turning it around. He acknowledged his pain but thanked her anyway for reasons we all know. I would be interested to know if this apology would vindicate the issue our reviewer had with this anime.

  77. So… Basically all the comments that support Kairi are getting all the positive replies while the others are treated poorly despite the fact that both groups are conveying their true opinion towards the anime right now? Wow

    Anyway, I must admit i didn’t really think too much into the abuses targeted at Arima right now until i saw your post which totally gave me another perspective on the anime. I treated the ‘abuses’as simple pushes from the back on a guy who stopped moving forward towards what he loves because of you know.. Trauma and shits by his mum and the inability to hear music played by himself <— something Kaori is trying to help him overcome. I'm pretty sure they didn't mean for these 'abuses' to have such a huge impact on viewers.

    I won't try to get people who are emotionally affected by this anime to not drop it, but at the same time don't use it as a mean to get people who enjoy it to follow and hate this anime as well, of course not pointing at Kairi as she needs to explain her reason for dropping it and not hating on those who like the anime. It's the other comments which irks me, constantly bashing against people who gave their point of view just because they don't see the anime in the same way. (Off topic, but necessary)

    Basically the way you see how the 'abuses' are all of your own, if others don't see it as abuses, but genuine concern and help from a friend ( just that it's more forceful and less talk ) don't impose your own view on them
    calling them insensitive and stuff. If others see it as abuses, don't pry too much into their emotional problems.

  78. I will admit that I didn’t think much of the bullying till I read this post and to be super honest? I was even shocked to read that people were reading this much into all the comedy and the treatment that Arima was given by his friends. Don’t get me wrong. I have went through something similar, am still going through something similar, and I bawled my eyes out when he just sat there on stage thinking that he couldn’t do something that he obviously could.

    I viewed the ‘abuses’ sort of something that was done out of love for Arima. I mean 1) Arima knows that what they do – they want the best for him. They are after all his best friends who understand him the most, and they felt that this was the best way to help him get rid of the fear. He couldn’t possibly have thought of the treatment as ‘abuse’. Besides, I feel that (just from a character’s POV), if we view these ‘abuse’ as detrimental to Arima, aren’t we underestimating his character a little? Aren’t we just all thinking that he is someone who needs to be protected and therefore cannot stand such means? I think his friends knew he was strong enough to handle it, and that’s why they did it. No way would real friend do such things to their loved ones for no reason, it was purely out of genuine care and really, looking from this POV really really enabled me to enjoy the anime.

    Of course, I’m not saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with me is ‘sensitive’ or anything, I was honestly just a little shocked, and Kairi obviously has every right to drop the anime for her personal reasons. No one should watch something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

    Then again, I think how people eventually view the bullying is in accordance to their own experiences in life. If bullying has left such a deep wound in your life, I think everyone has the right to view it in a bad light. But if the bullied have had similar experiences with friends and family helping them heal their scars, like me, I would have appreciated their efforts, if those 3 were my friends. I would seriously thank them for helping me see life in a brighter way again.

    I’d urge anyone who has had no problem watching the anime so far to continue and not be affected by the haters of the anime. Enjoy it the way you would and for those who are irked by it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t drop it ASAP.

  79. I used to like visiting this site for anime reviews and reading the comments. I found this amazing anime and this critic drops it at episode 5. Of course she has the every right to do so, but I lost my trust in her. I don’t know, was I not sensitive enough to realise the ongoing bullying that was supposedly happening in this show? After reading the review, I rewatched the episode again to see if I miss the bullying part. It seems like the term ‘bullying’ differs from person to person.

    Ya know, every episode review serves as an avenue for people who share the same enthusiasm in this anime to discuss what they realise, like, dislike or anything about an anime, and dropping it, feels like you cut the connection that binds us. I don’t mind it having negative reviews, as you see it, it won’t ruin the show for me. But you just used it as an excuse to escape. Here’s hoping other critics will be mature enough to write here. Farewell.

  80. While some people may see what Arima’s friends are doing as bullying, let’s look at another side for a moment.

    I myself, can understand what Arima has went through to an extent and it took a couple of my closest friends to keep pushing me and pushing me until I was able to get over my traumas. There are some people out there who need the push of someone they trust, because without that someone… anyone to give you their strength, some people will never get over their traumas. It’ll just keep eating you up and eating you up until it gets worse and worse and you wind up never being able to face it.

    While I do see what you mean, there is always other sides to things. Can you really say his friends are wrong? They’re just doing what they think is right.


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