Haruto Kirishima lived a calm life out in the countryside, away from the fast-paced life of the city. Then Yuzuki Eba appeared in his life out of nowhere, having come from Tokyo to briefly live with her family. Their time together left him enamored with the memories of that short period before she just as abruptly disappeared from his life, and left him full of questions.
Kimi no Iru Machi begins some time later, after Haruto moves to Tokyo to live with his sister, in order to pursue a career as a cook. In reality though he wishes to be with Yuzuki. Things don't start good though. When he arrives he is mistaken for a burglar and attacked by his sister's neighbour Mishima Asuka. After the misunderstanding is cleared his feelings begin to waver though. Is Eba, who keeps avoiding him for seemingly no reason, the one for him or is it Asuka?
Kimi no Iru Machi is an amazing series. Amazingly mediocre.
The show is almost feels like swimming in an ocean of rage and frustration for many reasons. For a romance based series, Kimi no Iru Machi sure likes to play around with the idea but then twists it in all sorts of angles. These angles do not connect well in any way but instead ends up making a shape out of wrong proportions. As a follower of the original manga that began to ran years before the debut of this anime series, I am definitely not satisfied from what I see. It feels like I’m drowning
in a sea of despair.
Kimi no Iru Machi (A Town Where You Live) is an animated series based off the manga of the same name written by Seo Kouji. The author is previously known for his other work, Suzuka that also received an anime adaptation based off of his manga. So now it’s his time to once again step it up and bring forth a romantic comedy for people to enjoy. Unfortunately, it seems like the series doesn’t step itself up but rather falls even further behind from the OVAs that debuted prior to this.
The series follows main male protagonist Haruto Kirishima as a high school student living on the countryside. As a healthy boy of his age, he falls under the category of the typical high school student with thoughts running through his head. These thoughts includes schoolwork, his future, and the obvious: girls. This is because Haruto has a crush on another female student. Will have the courage to ask her out? What happens if he gets rejected? Will Haruto ever become a man? These might be a few questions for thought for potential anime only viewers at first glance. However, this isn't’ exactly what you might expect.
For whatever reason, the anime decides to skip around and go straight into an arc that is covered later on from the manga. It’s disappointing given the fact that important factors and development in the beginning between Haruto and another main female protagonist are left mostly in unexplored territory. The series does pull out the old trick in the book as in the form of flashbacks. But honestly though, this doesn’t work well in terms of a romance developing series. For our main female protagonist, Eba Yuzuki, this is even more frustrating to watch because the lack character driven concept. It also doesn’t help by the fact that Haruto himself is not exactly one of those characters where we get to know from the beginning.
As for Haruto, the boy clearly has eyes set on a particular someone but not exactly whom you might expect. As mentioned before, this series skips around and omits parts from the manga that clearly accelerates its plot. As for Haruto, the guy seems to lack a personality and often acts reserved around others. He is caring on the outside but often makes rash decisions while observing from the backgrounds. It is not until he sees truly sees reality that he decides to act. Often or not though, this is met with mixed results. However, Haruto does carry responsibilities and follows him through. He is hardworking and cares about the well-being of others so some respect can be handed out to him. Out of the girls that Haruto meets throughout the series, Eba is a magnet for responsibility to be delivered.
The duo of Haruto and Eba is also awkward to watch as they don’t seem very compatible. Haruto seems to be a guy that often keeps thoughts to himself. On the other hand, Eba is a girl with a sociable personality that speaks out her mind and often not afraid to act on her actions. Again though, these lead to mixed results similar to Haruto’s case and leaves both happy and painful scars.
Among other characters in the show includes Eba’s younger sister Rin that seemingly causes mischievous trouble for the duo. It’s also silly to note that she is almost nothing like her sister. At the same time, she seems to be a pivoting factor in order to get Haruto to open his eyes to the truth that lies in front of him. Then, there’s also Nanami Yuzuki, a girl that Haruto has his eyes set on from the beginning. She is depicted as a kind and forgiving girl. At many instances, she offers advise to others but is a bit insecure to herself at times. Other girls in the show also plays their minor roles but mostly stays in the background. For Haruto though, his eyes only focuses on what he thinks is in front of him. What reality show him though is much more painful but again, he keeps it to himself.
One prominent feature of the story in the series also features a main supporting male character that plays a more of a tragic role. In fact, he is more of the influence factor to Eba’s decision as well as Haruto’s. The result of that influence though leads to sorrow but also some hope for Haruto; an unfortunate feeling for hope but nonetheless. But as far as that goes, the series decides to twist around with the aspect of romance again and presents it in way to almost beyond repair. Even if a series is labeled as romance with drama and comedy, it should at least follow a straight forward plot. No, instead it decides to jump all over the place and loses focus to the point where viewers might not be sure who Haruto wants to be with. Coupled with the lackluster of a sociable personality, Haruto is a man that is both hard to be empathetic with or take pity for; emphasis on either.
On the more drama side, the series also tries to make viewers feel sorry for its characters. However, it gets hard to take pity on them because the decisions they make. Sure, decisions often can result in consequences but I find the choices the characters make in this series to be outright abrupt with nonsense. It doesn’t help by the fact that the series rushes its primary plot so there’s little focus on background or character development. Instead, it focuses on Haruto and his daily life with other girls. The guy is responsible but he sure doesn’t take some of his relationships as well as such. This is especially true later on with another girl that some can see as a golden egg. Unfortunately, it's a just another egg wasted by Haruto.
The comedy factor of Kimi no Iru Machi is second rated. It often tries to mix in comedy with drama at the same time but this doesn’t work out. At other times, it tries the typical and cliched misunderstandings with factors of fan service. As a fan though, I don’t feel serviced or satisfied. The dialogues spoken by most of the characters also lacks flavor. Rin is perhaps one of the more curious girls that often treats Haruto’s life as a game so her dialogues tends to add a bit of interest. For the rest of the cast though, the words often a loop of dull expressions.
For a more slice of life style series though, there are some hopes. The feeling of countryside brings forth a feeling of nostalgia through most of the flashbacks played throughout the series. It gives off a sense of feeling in terms of simplicity. After all, living on the countryside is simple rather than in a big crowded city. Furthermore, there is some sense of realism in terms of relationships. Examples of this includes the consequences of a long term relationship, dealing with tragedies, and getting yourself back up afterwards from it. It can be relatable too in a sort of way especially if viewers have been in a relationship in the past or is currently in one. I just hope that you won’t make some horrible decisions as some of the characters do in this series. That’s not a pretty sight to see honestly.
In terms of artwork, Kimi no Iru Machi adapts a simple style with its characters looking natural but at the same time lacking any noticeable features. There’s noting particular standing out with any of the characters. Haruto looks normal and Eba is portrayed as the typical girl with a tip of naiveness. Given the fact that Seo Kouji is involved with the project, there’s also similarity in character designs between this series and his other work, Suzuka. The backgrounds does have a trace of naturalism to it though with the dancing leaves, souring winds, and seasonal weather.
For its soundtrack, Kimi no Iru Machi is amazingly mediocre. There’s almost nothing to praise about any of the VA’s performances. The main male protagonist Haruto (Yoshimasa Hosoya) seems to have tone of a mature character but his actions contradicts this. Most of the girls’ voices are typical with possibly Eba being the most outstanding with her somewhat elegant tone of voice. Music wise, the show does show some melancholy especially in regards to its flashback scenes. The OP song, “Sentimental Love” is presented with a calm tone along with traces of fan service and somewhat of hope for its characters. Its two contrasting ED songs brings forth a feeling of homesickness that seems to also walk down the memory lane.
Overall, Kimi no Iru Machi proves to be a lackluster romance anime that jumped way over itself. Its ineffective writing coupled by its lack of characterization makes its frustrating to watch. If that wasn’t enough, Haruto and Eba isn’t exactly what I would call the best of couple. The message that it tries to get across never seems to reach if there was one at all. Maybe it’s something on the line of ‘the truth hurts’, ‘face the reality’, or ‘love bites’. Whatever it is though doesn’t work out right. However, it does bring forth some sense of realism with relationships that takes on a path of drama. If you decide to choose the path to watch this anime though, just be aware of what’s ahead.
"Manga is better than the anime, therefore the anime sucks!"- Somehow, the logic of this sentence has been fairly incomprehensible for me. I haven't read a lot of manga, maybe that's the reason, but still, I believe that manga being better than an anime does not reduce the value of the anime! Kimi no Iru Machi is often overlooked, but if you believe that an anime can't sway your feelings (like me) you should try it!
Honestly, the story feels somewhat rushed and badly placed. You can sometimes feel that parts from the character's pasts are unnecessary, however if you would stick to the
end of the anime, you would see that it is not so. What is quite likeable, however, is that the cliches are scarce here. You can see very little of your classical-romance-events. It's a good combination of drama and romance though, which is often not the case. It's quite conclusive, so you shouldn't expect the bitter feeling of a cliffhanger ending.
There isn't really much to say here. It's quite clever how the main character's voice actor is the one singing the ending song, which is named by the anime, by the way. Beautifully incorporated melodramatic sounds just increase the somewhat saddening atmosphere. And the voice actors are definitely great picks, somehow, their voices match their personalities perfectly.
Definitely the most likable thing about Kimi no Iru Machi. Worried about seeing cliche decisions made by cliche characters? Here, you won't see any of that. They make mistakes, they are uncertain, they are swayed by feeling, however they have hope, and they act when they feel like they should, the way they think they should. Feelings of love,hate,loneliness...they effect humans strongly. It's portrayed perfectly in this anime.
Enjoyment is quite a relative thing to talk about, honestly. What I can definitely tell you, however, the most interesting aspect of this anime is how it makes you feel, both while watching it and after finishing it. The deeper you go, the stronger the effect becomes. If you like that kind of thing Kimi no Iru Machi is a perfect choice for you. But if you fancy the funny,comedic atmosphere which often appears in romance-focused anime, perhaps this isn't the thing you're looking for. Definitely, one of the most memorable anime you'll ever see.
All things considered, perhaps this anime lacked time, as if though too many things were said in too little time. However, this does not affect it's value too much. It's very...strong. That's, I believe, a perfect word to describe it. Emotionally strong.
Okay this is a review for those of you have not read the manga and are walking in blindly, such as myself.
Kimi no Iru Machi (A Town Where You Live) is your basic romantic anime about your main character, Kirishima Haruto, and his love interest Eba Yuzuki. They have been childhood friends for a short period of time and they really bonded when Eba came back during the later years of her high school lift to attend school and various events befall them and get in the way of the love they have for each other, the most major being the distance between where the
two live. Eba initially travels out to the countryside where Haruto lives but then has to go back to Tokyo, and this anime takes over from the OVA series where Haruto travels out to Tokyo to chase after Eba.
I was really disappointed with how quickly they moved this anime along. They were constantly jumping around between past and present and never spent more than about 2 episodes on any particular event or moment. The rate at which the relationships moved along as well was frustrating as you never really got a great grasp of what was going on and how the characters really felt. What was good about it however was the ability for the viewer to be able to relate to the situation at hand. It was a fairly good setup, just rushed.
The way they rushed through the anime was really bad, and consequently that's how the characters have turned out. I mostly disliked all of the characters, but the one bright spark was the fact that you could relate to them in a way, regardless of the decisions they made. Kirishima Haruto is your fairly common main character, not much personality and just can't seem to let go of the main female interest. Eba Yuzuki is your typical bright, clumsy damsel in distress who needs someone around to help her all the time and to support her. Although I believe she was supposed to be a likeable character, I did not like her. To me she was just to needy and just made me frustrated with her decisions and the way she conducted herself, but I digress. Eba also has a younger sister Rin who comes into the story about halfway through. She has quite the personality as she is constatly pushing Eba and Haruto together, but I won't spoil too much about her and what goes on.
Art and Music: 7
The music for the anime was quite well chosen I believe, although nothing outstanding that would make you want to keep listening to it outside of the anime itself. The artworks are fairly good as well, but would've benefited from a little more time to get that smoother texture and brighter colours in general.
Overall Enjoyment: 7
I did enjoy this anime even with all of its flaws. I do recommend giving it a watch, but at the same time be warned that it will feel really rushed and you will not have a lot of time to be able to appreciate the situations and get to know the characters really well.
From what other people tell me, they say the Manga is a lot better and ads in elements of comedy, as well as goes more in depth and is a lot more enjoyable overall
Kimi no Iru Machi takes a look at the complex nature of relationships, and human desire by focusing on a childhood romance, and the complications and obstacles that the relationship has to endure. What this anime should be applauded for, is its look at how fragile our desires can be, and the cruelty and selfishness that come as a result of it. Of course, this also means that the characters are often unlikable and frustrating. This isn't an anime where you really like the characters, and if anything at all, it's more of a study on the ups and downs of relationships, and
the cruelty of love.
This is to say, this isn't the kind of material that is particularly enjoyable. But that doesn't make it bad by default. Even stories that aren't enjoyable, have legitimate merit as art. Afterall, not all romance stories are happy, and often in life relationships have hurdles and don't always end with happiness. These stories certainly should be told. Where Kimi no Iru Machi fails is in the final act and the overall pacing of the story. Because the story moves too quickly, there isn't enough depth given to the the main character's choice at the end, and it leaves the audience feeling frustrated and angry with the main characters. This again, doesn't make it bad. But the Manga tackled this subject a lot more seriously, and showed the consequences for this decision, and the new hurdles that arise when choosing your desires over others happiness.
Essentially, the story just leaves you feeling terrible for the person that gets hurt, and frustrated and angry with the two lead characters. They chose their desires over everything else, despite the consequences of it effecting people beyond them. Which again is fine, but the anime doesn't really give us enough weight to the decisions being made. We don't even get to spend time with the characters after the fact to understand these consequences. And the final blow is that they essentially sweep it all under the rug, and try to pass it off as happiness trumping over everything, despite the consequences. Which again, fine, but we needed to see those consequences to understand the impact our desires can have on others, as well as why these characters are willing to suffer these consequences to fulfill their desires.
Instead of looking at the impact of the main characters actions, the character that is impacted by this the most says that her love is so strong, she'll wait for the main character if he ever breaks up with the girl that was chosen over her. This on some level, looks at the idea that we can't always choose or control our desires, even if they will never be fulfilled or reciprocated. It's the cruelty of love. But the rushed pacing makes it feel like a cheap ploy to release the main character from his actions and set up an ending that is more digestible. However, this has the opposite effect, as it makes it feel like the subject matter isn't being taken seriously enough.
Overall this anime has an interesting subject matter, but it doesn't take the time needed to properly study it. This ultimately leaves us with a bunch of a unlikable characters, and a story that isn't particularly enjoyable. However, the story is brave in its subject matter, I just wish it was more brave in going further with it (even if it makes for an uncomfortable experience), because these stories are worth telling. I would have preferred the Anime to have pushed the uncomfortable aspects of love, and left us with an ending that makes us question our own desires. Instead it comes off like a story between two people that make bad decisions, and ultimately burn everyone down around them for the sake of their love.