「月に吠える」 (Tsuki ni Hoeru)
“Howling at the Moon”

Episode Impressions

Hold on a moment. A confession from our main character so early on? o.O

Before we get there, this episode was Akane’s turn to repay a favour. With Kotarou feeling bummed out about not making the newcomer literary reward, she does her best to reassure him. I’m not sure why he was putting it under the guise of literary club stuff, but it helped Akane open up about her own occasional troubles with Track and Field. So I guess we had a win-win situation in terms of seeing more cute interactions between the two.

As always, it was entertaining to observe the friendly dynamic Kotarou has with Roman and Daichi. I think Kotarou embellished his reaction of fighting off Daichi’s headlock to gain Akane’s attention. For the record, I’m totally not making this point based on anecdotal experience!

But damn it, don’t you hate that close friend who can easily interact with your crush while you’re stood there dumbfounded like a potato? Yeah me too, only I can’t hate Chinatsu because she’s such a sweet person. While Chinatsu ardently supports Akane in her athletic endeavours, she seems scared of being unable to keep up with her. I want to observe how their friendship is put to the test through a potentially budding inferiority complex.

Taking life advice from a random page from a random book off the library shelf, Kotarou’s superstition would definitely be a nice thing to have. It would help to have temporary courage boost when asking someone out, but Kotarou’s incredible luck knows no end. Other than getting a chance to witness the kabedon theatrics, Kotarou overhears the possibility of Hira asking out Akane, which helps him steel his own resolve to ask her out. Not to mention, some random girl fatefully interrupts Hira’s attempted confession. Could the outcome have varied if Hira hadn’t been so randomly put off?

Anyway, it warmed my heart when Kotarou prayed for Akane to win her race and Akane was too cute when she came to visit Kotarou at the shrine. A fantastic encounter between them culminates in a moment of moonlight magic together! Few words were exchanged, but their feelings spoke loudly through facial expressions and body language. It was absolutely adorable to watch! And Tsuki ga Kirei continues to amaze me with how it pulls off ‘Show, don’t tell’.

Concluding Thoughts

My reaction when the episode ended was pretty much ‘Noooooo! What about Akane’s answer to the confession?’. At least we’ll be getting that next episode. Hopefully, there won’t be too much drama with Hira and Chinatsu so we can focus as much as possible on the blossoming romance of Kotarou and Akane. It would be much more interesting to see how the two depend on each other to catalyse their growth and development.

Many shows create this impression where the characters lives revolve around each other, at the expense of the other kind of normal things that we might expect them to do. Tsuki ga Kirei does not make this mistake. We were able to see Kotarou have a life beyond school and romance, more specifically his involvement with the Neighbourhood Association.

Due to the melancholic song that played prior to the start of race, even though Akane’s race went well, I can’t seem to shake off this foreboding feeling that something terrible might happen. A shadow of doubt crept in when the possibility of moving back to Tokyo was brought up during Akane’s family dinner. We can only pray that Tsuki ga Kirei won’t take its inspiration from 5cm Per Second too far.



    1. Oh man, I should’ve figured. Being unable to read Japanese sucks.

      I maintain that Dazai remains unquoted, since Kotarou didn’t read out the words. So he doesn’t repeat them as the definition of a quote would otherwise stipulate.

    1. I think there are a couple of more drama and action-oriented series out there that had me invested quicker. But I think you certainly have a valid point when it comes to romance, especially ones with a slice of life variation.

      1. On second, non-emotion ridden, thought, You’re right, so have I. But its certainly one of only a few romances for me to have me so hooked from the get-go. Most romances I have to slog through the first few episodes to get invested. This joins…Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (for whom the romance tag is debatable), Spice and Wolf, Rakudai and SAO on the short list of shows that I don’t have to fight through the opening episodes to get invested.

        Then again, I’m also aware that my low tolerance for certain japanese romance tropes (like Tsunderes) make it necessarily a short list.

        Also, thanks for replying Zaiden 😀 Nice to hear your opinions as always!

    1. They are indeed a fulfilling couple in the making. Though I have to ask two questions.

      1. What makes Kotarou’s mind beautiful to you?
      2. What makes Akane special compared to Chinatsu in terms of warm spirit, since they’re both so sweet?

      1. I was simply reminded of Ron Howard’s film “A beautiful mind” with these 2. Koutarou’s passion of viewing life through the lens of authors as opposed to his own, which may as well have been the same as everyone else’s otherwise because we rarely get a character like him in a realistic setting like this. I honestly didn’t pay enough attention to Chinatsu before this episode, but I’ll make sure to do so from now on. Akane doesn’t have any misguided thoughts about what she may desire (so far at least). She may not be as out going as Alicia Nash, but she makes sure she’s true to herself, which I identify as a trait in a warm personality. She came to Koutarou on her own after her phone died, not forced by anyone or anything. I think that’s proof enough for me that Koutarou has become someone she can confide in. This is one instant in anime where the setting has to be realistic in order for this love story to have weight IMO.

      2. For me, the way Kotarou chooses to rationalise is beautiful. One of the reasons being as you pointed out the fact he views life through the lens of Dazai. His thoughts move in fluid motions that present a stream of consciousness, much like how you would expect real thoughts to flow.

        As for why Akane is special, coming to see Kotarou of her own volition as you said should certainly be taken into consideration. However, I have to ask, would Chinatsu have similarly grabbed the opportunity? It can be argued a lot of Akane being special has come down to luck with opportunities so far.

        However, I would like to point out that for me, Akane is special because she is actually the first one to notice Kotarou. If memory serves me correct, she first glances at him during the opening day, and continues to notice him, whereas his first time properly glancing at her occurs in the restaurant. It reminds me of Azuki’s love for Mashiro from Bakuman.

      3. From what I’ve noticed so far, I don’t think Chinatsu is that kind of interested in Kotarou. And even if she was, she’s busier trying to prove herself against Akane like how rivals are supposed to, so someone as remotely related to her competitive hobby as Kotarou couldn’t possibly be within the realm of her current focus (at least judging from what we’ve seen of her so far). Besides as you pointed out, I think this is a love-from-the-first-sight kind of story. Kotarou and Chinatsu already had their first sights, with nothing to come out of them. And who knows, from what Dazai said about chance, just like how chance prevented Hira from getting with Akane, I think the same would’ve happened to separate Chinatsu from Kotarou… which would be unrealistic if you ask me, as serendipity can only happen much before the story practically begins to force their love story, so I’m thankful this is how it turned out instead.

      4. Don’t worry yoloalchemist. I was never a fan of Chinatsu to begin with, but seeing both her and Hira listed under ‘Main Character’ for Tsuki ga Kirei on MyAnimeList really does raise my suspicions. Hopefully first love at first sight prevails in the end!

        Asking you the questions was to elicit a detailed response so I could observe your thought process, since you proposed such an interesting idea in the first place. It simply needed to be elaborated upon. If you think about it, we otherwise would never have had such an insightful discussion! I hope I haven’t come across as disagreeing with you.

      5. Not at all man 🙂
        It’s always fun for me to have an exchange of ideas, even differing ones at that. This was an insightful discussion indeed as it made me think of why such thoughts occurred in my head about these 2 future love birds in the first place. You really are a wonderful addition to RC you know that 😉

      6. The sentiment is very much appreciated! It’s also fun for me to interact with the community at large, because everyone has a different experience of anime. Considering all these ways of interpreting an episode is definitely worthwhile.

        There is room for me to improve, so II will continue to work hard and avoid resting on my laurels. I believe there is still more that I can continue bringing to RC! For the meantime though, I need to sleep because it’s almost 6:00am where I currently live. The Easter Holidays really ruined my sleeping pattern. It was fun conversing with you and I hope we can have similarly enlightening discussions for a long time to come!

  1. My kokoro went doki doki throughout the entire episode. On one hand I want AkanexKotaru pairing while on the other hand ChinatsuxKotarou pairing is highly sought after.

    For some strange sadistic reason, I was happy that Hira got blocked by random girl A.

    Anyway, Saekano and Tsuki ga Kirei together in one day… Dareka taskete… My kokoro cannot withstand fuwa fuwa of that magnitude

    And what’s this I hear about 5cm/second?

    Velvet Scarlantina
    1. You aren’t the only one going doki doki, Velvet Scarlantina.

      Since a lot of the cinematography subtly takes place from the angle of the main characters and their field of vision, the most notable example I can think of being the restaurant scene, we’re basically watching events unfold from their perspective. This helps create a human link between ourselves and the main characters, causing us to subconsciously see and evaluate things from their point of view. Therefore, it’s natural that you would cheer when Hira got interrupted! Most people would, myself included.

      I’m not keeping up with Saekano atm. Probably going to marathon it after my exams finish.

      As for 5cm/s Show Spoiler ▼

  2. Thanks for blogging this Zaiden! I enjoy your posts so far very much!
    I’m so glad Akane decided to visit Kotarou after her battery died. I was really hoping those two would talk more and not just chat online! (even though it’s so cute and accurate how they feel about when they receive a new message from the other person) however it can be very frustrating when you can’t talk normally and only use the app to communicate these days …Anyway – The confession surprised me too! (but in a positive way) If a confession comes first the Anime get’s more interesting for me because it keeps things going. What will Akane do? damn cliffhanger!!

    that picture of the moon tho… your memes are A+

    1. Glad to see that you are enjoying my posts! Tsuki ga Kirei was my number one pick of the season, and I’m really glad it’s turning out so well!

      I agree it can be very frustrating when an app becomes the crutch for all kinds of communications because you can’t talk normally. I find that the early confession can vary in success for me. Some Shoujo series jump the gun way too quick with first chapter/episode confessions. Then there’s Bakuman that kept me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

      What will Akane do? Good question and though I think it seems fairly obvious what she will do, Kotarou managing to surprise me this episode does leave me slightly wanting for caution.

      Happy to see my photoshops are being appreciated. I think I’ve given up on calling them memes unless they are truly worthy of the title. For example, the Gendo Pose Riveria one I made in the Sword Oratoria post.

  3. The show does have a 5cm/s ep1 feel to it. Didn’t​ know it was the inspiration for it. Do you have a link? XD

    Not that I don’t believe you, I just want to show my friend haha

    1. I definitely should have clarified that the inspiration from 5cm/s is assumed here for the sake of adding to my post’s written style. It just seemed like a good way of wrapping things off.

      loundraw did the original character designs and a prolific pixiv artist. Here’s a link to his portfolio: https://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=772547. All I can say here is that they are insanely talented.

      Maybe the anime character designer Kazuaki Morita did take inspiration from Shinkai’s style but the kind of lighting effects we see in Tsuki ga Kirei are pretty common in his other works e.g. Assassination Classroom and Arpeggio of Blue Steel. So it’s hard to say here.

      The art director Yasuda Yukari has worked on too few shows for me to make any sort of comment, but you would think many people who are fresh to the industry are likely to take inspiration from Makoto Shinkai. Again, nothing conclusive.

      To surmise, there is no solid proof for the claim I made, not to mention I was kind of half joking. Apologies for misleading you Krafty, and I hope what little research I’ve dug out will be enough to make up for it.

    1. Thank you so much! I suppose Hatsukoi makes sense within Tsuki ga Kirei’s given context, being first love and all. The melancholic lyrics seem to reflect Hira better than they do Koutarou, who actually succeeded in gathering the courage to ask Akane out. So I guess we just have to wait and see.

  4. I think I’ve watched the last few minutes of the episode for about 20 times before I come here to read this.
    I just cannot, cannot shake off the confession part. (And then turns out it’s just accompanying him to somewhere only? But still) I’m cringing this whole episode already.

    “Kotarou’s incredible luck knows no end” You’re damn right Zaiden haha that’s me if I had some luck left if it wasn’t burnt off saving my life from common illnesses when I was a kid lol

    I am enjoying a lot of the pace of this show in general, and the action speaks better than words thing here is actually really good. I’m also supporting the (potential) secondary couples shown thus far btw. (why have one couple when you can have more?) What will happen next? At the school trip?? Oh damn I can’t wait. So much cringe, this show.

    1. The confession part was so good, and as you said it leads very well into the infamous school trip.

      Can’t wait to see what happens. Guess our secondary couples will be getting the spotlight here and there, and I’m expecting some kind of drama from Hira and perhaps Chinatsu.

  5. I’m late to this party, but I’m enjoying this show alot. The things that happen when alot of first time feelings come into play makes it crazy. And sometimes magical.

    pagan poor
  6. Ugh, right after he thought about who wrote “Tsuki ga Kirei” first (and how it’s translated to “I love you”), she says it (saying how the moon is beautiful), without knowing the literary background of the term. Then he broke out the confession.

    pagan poor
    1. Me too pagan poor. I’m enjoying this show a lot, and it’s crazy how magical it is even without the supernatural. Goes to show the human emotion can be just as extraordinary of a thing.

      Kotarou went by his literary instinct. He truly is a hopeless romantic at heart XD

  7. If you are like me and wasnt too sure how you felt about this anime, watch it to this episode and you will change your mind! The first two episodes were cute and all but I thought it was a bit too slow and their shyness bored me a bit; however, this episodes ending! It just made my heart melt for some reason.. the bgm, the moon, and just that moment! It was a sweet moment<3

    1. Lunacha, you might like the next episode even more :^)

      Speaking of which, I have a close friend at university who had an issue with Tsuki ga Kirei being slow and annoyed at Kotarou/Akane being shy. That was when he was 1-2 episodes in. Hopefully he will have changed his mind like you have!

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