Kareshi Kanojo no Jijō (Kare Kano for short) is an amazing journey of a group of high schoolers with the main focus revolving around the power couple Soichiro Arima and Yukino Miyazawa. It is falsely advertised as a simple comedy/romance genre manga. There is so much more to the story, to be specific, there is a very dark side that makes the reader's heart wrench in pain as they watch the character struggle and grow. It has elements of psychological drama that are in line with stories such as "This Ugly Yet Beautiful World," "School Days," "Ef-A Tale of Memories," and "Elfen
The anime/manga starts off very peaceful and it seems to be your typical comedy/romance. I suggest you stay with the manga, don't drop it so easily. It picks up it's pace...and at this point I will tell you how this manga made me feel, since I can't judge everyone's reaction... The story starts twisting and turning; as soon as you think something is solved, another situation pops up. It all made me feel so anxious...I became addicted. The mangaka, Masami Tsuda does a great job developing the characters...she makes you fall in love with the characters. In most other animes/manga, there is usually one character you yell at throughout the story. Yet, in Kare Kano, right when you start questioning a character's intelligence, they surprise you. Either they do what any sensible person should do (if they think about a situation calmly) or they reveal something that is so emotionally twisted that you can't blame them (or you just feel their pain so you sympathize). Of course, there are characters I didn't like, but it never developed into straight up annoyance--I don't know, it was such an emotional rollercoaster.
IN CONCLUSION, this is a great manga that will take you on a journey. It will make you laugh, cry, grin, hurt, hate, heal, and love. If you really think about it, and draw some parallels between the story and real life, you may even discover something about yourself. Maybe I am glorifying the manga a little too much...you should judge it for yourself, but you won't be able to do that unless you read it...so what are you waiting for? Get started ^_^
In typical fashion, I decided to read this manga months after watching the anime adaptation. And, while, the anime remains partly true to the manga, the manga itself offers so much more than what the anime ever could. Not only that, but it continues past the anime's ending point - the cultural festival, or more importantly the stage play that was taking place. As this is actually quite an important part of the story.
Now, I know what you're thinking - 'this is just another high school romantic comedy manga'. You know the ones, boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy
declares undying love fir girl = happily ever after. And for the most part, that is exactly what Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances - which is the English title) actually is. But there is more to this manga than just a simple love story. The more you read into it, the darker it becomes. While the anime had some of the darker infusions towards the end - the manga delves in deeper. Much deeper. This story contains love, betrayal, secrets, child abuse, self-harm (2 instances), teen pregnancy, and a lot more that really makes it worth reading. All the pain and confusion that a person can (or could) suffer when growing up is all there in the Kare Kano manga.
Like most manga, character development takes place over a period of time, and this is no exception. The more the story progresses, the more complex the character's personalities become. This is most apparent in Arima Soichiro's personality, and this generally starts to take place during the stage play (this is why it's a key occurrence). The art style changes slightly as the manga continues, but it keeps it's style well and is really fitting with the story content. The complexities between the relationships of some of the characters is also well constructed. Apart from the main relationship (Arima and Miyazawa), there are 3 other relationships that are happening - one being a step-brother/step-sister relationship, as well as a high school student dating an adult (however, this particular relationship receives much less attention in comparison to Arima and Tsubasa's respective relationships).
In essence, the reader could possibly relate to any number of issues that occur in the manga better than the anime (with it's slightly off-key ending and no closure whatsoever). This is one manga that I would actually encourage people to add to their collections.
Now I wouldn’t really describe myself as being a big fan of the shoujo genre and to be perfectly honest I always normally hate series that centre around high school students (so perhaps I am not the best person to be writing a review for this series but oh well). The reason for this is that these stories have been done again and again thousands of times and have become stale but here we have Kare Kano (short version of the title) which is for all intents and purposes one of these old boring high school romance series that we have all seen far too
many times before, the only difference being that Kare Kano is a lot better than many other similar series that come to mind, and why is this exactly?
Well Kare Kano really isn’t any different than any other high school love story you will have seen before. There are no radically new approaches to the genre or anything of the sort; on the contrary it is more like a perfect refinement of all of the elements that make up this kind of story. In short this is just a simple love story told very well. Well actually it is not as simple as I made it out to be, there are plenty of complications and unexpected developments to keep the reader hooked and complex multi layered characters that elevate the story above most anything I’ve read thus far, so if anything it is the depth and complexity of this story that makes it great.
While the series appears to more or less be your typical high school romcom it eventually evolves into its own independent story and separates itself from those familiar series. If you go into this series (like I did) expecting some kind of fluffy romance then you will most probably be caught off guard as this story is a lot darker and more mature than you would expect.
I think the main thing that stood out for me, personally, about Kare Kano was the feeling of authenticity that this series seemed to have. It felt like the author was probably basing aspects of the story on things that she herself had some kind of experience with, which makes a real change from those wish-fulfillment harem series that I am used to.
The two main characters, Soichiro Arima and Yukino Miyazawa, particularly felt very real to me. They really do seem like real people complete with flaws (extremely well hidden, mind you) and emotional baggage. Everything about their relationship felt very truthful to me, nothing felt forced and all the challenges the two had to face were relatable. The cuteness of their relationship and the envy seen by fellow classmates also rings true as well.
But each of the main characters individually are both really great as well. I especially liked Yukino because she is really completely unlike the stereotypical shoujo female lead. On the surface she appears to be the ideal student; kind, extremely smart and attractive as well. But this is only a mask beneath which lies a money crazed borderline sociopath that desperately craves everyone’s admiration and praises. Right from the get go I really loved her character for some reason but over time she really developed into a wonderful and really likable character.
The male lead Soichiro Arima appears to be the typical super idealised male that you can’t help but fangirl over but he is a seriously complex character and much of the story deals with his emotional scars and checkered past.
But Kare Kano is not solely focused on these two characters. There is a large cast in this story and unlike too many manga they are not mere cardboard cutouts, they too are fully fleshed out characters in their own right. I really loved the way that the author would occasionally take a step away from the main story to concentrate on other characters that would usually be ignored, this really serves the series well in my opinion as it makes the whole high school experience presented feel that much more personal for the reader which is always a good thing.
I also feel like I should praise the use of comedy in this manga because the author managed to find that perfect sweet spot. There is plenty of comedy but it is always at the right moments and when the story gets more serious these jokes are carefully placed to one side and only picked up again when they should be, this is something that a lot of anime and manga completely mess up and I find it quite frustrating but Kare Kano did a great job in regards to the use of comedy.
The artwork in this series is quite simple which is not to say bad, characters are all distinctive, landscapes are clean and there’s really nothing I can criticise…well sometimes she would put too much into a small panel and things would look a bit messy but this was only present in the early part. The art progressively improves as the series goes on and the mangaka did take special care with the art in the more significant scenes which makes them stand out and it makes them more memorable. Also I loved those little rant type things down the side of the page.
The more I think about it the more trouble I am having expressing exactly why it is I liked this series so much. If I had to sum it up it was mostly because I loved both of the main characters and I was always very happy to see things work out for them. The story just sort of felt personal to me and I was able to get very involved and relate to the story, feel for the characters and I felt really immersed and captivated by this not-so-simple-simple-love-story.
Story: Kare Kano is a longer shoujo series filled with romance, drama, and the life of teenagers. We get to see the life of a high school couple overcoming many obstacles. This being a long 102 chapter manga, a lot of things happen. It is not a typical school/romance, you will notice.
Art: really unusual art. definitely not a commonly seen style, but appealing nonetheless.
Character: What's interesting is that yukino + soichiro are both very intelligent, and both pretend to be someone theyre not. The other characters, their classmates, add variety to the series with a bunch of side stories. The characters portrayed in this
manga are nothing of the recent more popular shoujo manga. Their personalities and interests are very widespread and unexpected, which makes you love them even more.
Enjoyment: Kare Kano can be pretty mellow, with long lasting moments and a steady moving pace. It is very light-hearted and typical in the first few volumes, and it begins to get more deep and dark in vols 13+, mainly because arima's past is revealed.
Overall: Read it. Not your typical romance, full of surprises, something the older teen audience would like. If you have seen the anime series, I definitely recommend this manga because it goes much more in detail.
I am absolutely entranced by Kareshi Kanoujo no Jijou.
Underneath what may seem a simple romance budding between our main characters, Arima Souchirou and Miyazawa Yukino, lies a multi-faceted story of love, childhood, family and friendship. I have to admit, in the beginning, I have underestimated this manga. The art did not particularly appeal to me and although the story did, I was sceptical about whether or not it could capture my attention.
I was wrong.
With 21 volumes, Kareshi Kanoujo no Jijou (Kare Kano in short) seemed like a huge read. Well it was, to a certain extent. But what comes from that huge read is
a deep and dark story revolving around the main characters, Arima and Miyazawa. In the surface, you do see the comedy and light-hearted tone of high school romance. But once the manga reaches its peak in that, it switches to a heavy story that draws you deeper and deeper until you are unable to stop reading.
The strength of Kare Kano as a manga lies truly in its character development. Although the story is outstanding in itself, the characters' development throughout the series outshines other elements of the manga. While Kare Kano does delve into the stories of other characters besides Arima and Miyazawa, they seem slightly dull in comparison to the journey of Arima and Miyawa as a couple. What's truly fascinating is Arima's character. Arima's façade and the secret that lies behind it may evoke surprise due its darkness, but it's absolutely entrancing.
Kare Kano's art may not be its best point but I still adored how the characters are drawn. When the story is serious, the art conveys that serious tone but when it switches to the comedy side, the art is cute and adorable!
Without spoiling the story any further, I can say that Kare Kano is one of the most surprising manga I've ever read (in a good way). It's similar to a Chinese box in a way that once you open the box containing the past and story of the characters, there's more that awaits in the smaller boxes until you reach the end of it. This is a highly recommended manga particularly to those who are looking for deep, dark and realistic story encased in romance and comedy.
Thank you so much for reading my first review on MyAnimeList!
this story takes a long time to get good.like in the second or third is were it is good.the first volume is really slow. you get kinda bored but wait until the second volume to deceide if you want to drop it or not.
the romance is not too extreme.like a chessy junoir high crush."like he was destined for me" kinda thing.basically it is about two teens tryin to find who they really are instead of who they try to be in every day life.
*slight spoilers ahead, though nothing you might not already guess*
Kare Kano is the best manga and anime I have had the pleasure of reading yet. Simply because of this - it tells a story so bittersweet, so captivating, so enthralling, you cannot bear to tear yourself away from the page in case you miss something.
Yukino Miyazawa is the top student of her class, of her year. She is beautiful, smart, sporty, kind and helpful to everyone. All the boys fancy her and the girls want to be her. The only thing is - it's all fake. She, in secret, works tirelessly to be the best,
training and studying long hours just to get that pat on the head, that acknowledgement she is brilliant. Why? Because she loves the praise.
Everything is going well, until a competitor shows up. Soichiro Arima, who matches Yukino in everything, from brains to beauty. And it really burns her to see someone as tirelessly perfect as she is. Except, he's no fake.
And what happens when he falls in love with her facade?
The next 100odd chapters are all about this couple. But not to fear, although they get together fairly quickly in the story (volume 2 I believe) don't worry about the next 19 volumes being utterly about the lovey-dovey couple.
The way the mangaka does this wonderful manga is she spins it to feature other brilliant characters. Watch out for Hideaki Asaba as a hilarious, comic relief character, but who also is generous, kind hearted, and just a little pyschotic. Arima's past comes back to haunt him, and you can't help but feel empathetic for him.
Your never bored, or wishing something else would happen.
The only complaint I could have is that by the end of the manga, you will be left wanting, and begging, for more of this beautiful tale.
I recently picked Kare Kano up for a second read after i read it about 5 years ago. THe reread value was as good as the first time around. There are several components of a shounen manga that can make (or break) it, but in this case i found that there was a balance in all aspects.
The charm of this series is the manner that the characters interact with one another. As you read the manga, every character becomes memorable and likeable in his or her own way. pretty much everyone worht mentioning in the manga has a well developed storyline. I especially liked how
the author digressed from the main characters for 3 volumes to develop the other characters. You would think that this would hurt the storyline, but its because of this that I came to love the story
I think that the ending is the best, after experiencing all the trials and tribulation with the characters, you want to see how their lives turn out after they enter society as adults. I can without a doubt say that i was satisfied with the ending. There wasn't any "well that makes NO sense" or "you stopped right there? are you kidding me? i want more!!!!!!" kind of moments to the ending.
You'll notice that i gave the art a 9. I'm not saying that i didn't like the author's art style, just the opposite: I loved it. its just that there are the rare times where the proportions just don't flow right. This tiny imperfection doesn't detract from the overall score of 10 that Kare Kano deserves.
I hope that you read this manga and come to love it as much as i do.
Kare Kano is such a beautiful manga I don't even now how to begin describing it. You guys, don't get fooled by the shojo- high school appearance of it, this is heavy gear romance and drama. It deals with real life problems and situations faced by our main couple, Miyazawa Yukino and Arima Souchihiro . Both of them are compelling on their own right and make on of the best couples I've ever seen. Arima, particularly, goes through incredible changes throughout the whole story. The manga deals with matters as simple as a sport festival to really deep ones like family and true
love. Though this story looks light- hearted, it can get pretty serious too, as it takes on subjects like rape, family abuse and. abandon, teenage pregnacy, self- harm... it gets dark, you see. Things get very rough for our main characters, but that's what makes it so real . Not to say itdoesn't have its funny parts. It does.
In short, this is a heartbreakingly beautiful romance story that no manga reader should miss.
Wow. That was really intense. I have been reading this manga non-stop since I started it a month ago. There were times when I felt like crying and I have definitely sworn a couple of times during the course of reading it from over active emotions brought out when I was dragged into the story. I loved how all of the different characters had their own little side stories that gave you the satisfaction and turmoil that most shugo manga do. What makes this one special is that in the midst of all the side plots are those life changing questions that just get thrown
at you over and over again as the main characters are put through a plot line that would tare you heart out and keep it beating just to hear you scream. There were times of bliss and epiphanies but at the same time moments where madness crept so close and infected the characters you had come to love so deeply. Wow... I wish they had ended it with a group picture of all the couples but maybe that is too cleche, this story was great and it concluded well. I think the ending moment could have been better but maybe the story was just to great for one image or word to do it justice. I hope you read this manga and feel what I did or something similar just push through it looks long but once you've started in there is no going back, you need to know the ending and its worth it, every stroke.
" In the eye's of others, what kind of person am I?"
-This is so much more than a typical love story this story is so complex and full of emotions. Yukino Miyazawa who is this perfect model student is full of pride and hypocrisy she is “perfect” in everyone’s eyes, then we have the other model student (Arima Soichiro) who is also a perfect model student, but he is full of a mysteriously dark side and it becomes apparent throughout the manga. Yukino is very jealous of Arima’s new found popularity over all the attention he is getting for representing the freshmen class, they ended
up becoming rivals to friends to lovers then to finally becoming boyfriend and girlfriend the story is about their relationship and the test’s it endures as their relationship develops Arima’s dark side becomes more and more evident. This story is about love, friendships and overcoming personal obstacles.
I would highly recommend this manga to anyone who is looking for more of a mature reading with a good sense of humor.
Miyazawa (the female protagonist) taught me something that I thought was foolish until I read Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances): never give up on a person no matter how much they push you away. Tsuda Masami created a love rollercoaster -- a couple (Miyazawa and Arima) developed from a hate-love relationship. It is now one of my favorite shoujo manga, especially because the relationship was developed within the first two volumes. Therefore, the entire 21 volumes focuses on the main couple’s relationship throughout high school. It allows you to watch Miyazawa and Arima take their relationship one step at a time.
Kare Kano has
the usual shoujo tropes in earlier volumes (rivalry, jealousy, etc.), but they’re short-term (first 4-5 volumes). It results in characters enjoying their high school years to the fullest while also battling their demons. Arima is mainly admired by many, so he isn't seen as the most popular guy in school with several girls crowding around him and causing an interference in the relationship. That cliche always annoys me in shoujo. The reason why Kare Kano truly shines is because it focuses on more than just the main couple. There were a couple of fillers, but they necessarily placed emphasis on the other characters. Each story is unique and shows what characters struggle with and how they overcome drastic situations. There are more romantic stories to look forward to. There is comedic relief every now and then in earlier volumes. Then it later turns into a psychological drama with characters battling their demons or experiencing a depressive state. The emotions are so realistic that it is easy to feel compassion.
Tsuda really cares for her characters, dissecting them and giving them their spotlight. The characters have so much pride, which is what I love about them. They think things over themselves, fix their own problems, and express their feelings with no hesitation. The different talents among the characters and their independence are amazing. Each of them have their own ambition and work hard to improve. Talents range from acting, writing, sports, etc. What amazes me is how Tsuda applied their talents into the story, and it was so well done that fans of the series wanted to mimic them. She was a playwright and member of the drama club when she was in high school, so it seemed like I was actually in the series experiencing high school with the characters. Each character have their own story, and one does not even depend on parents. Miyazawa was my favorite character, as you can tell from the intro. She is inspiring with her independence and ambition, and she maturely handles tough situations. Tsubasa annoyed me sometimes. She was practically the baby just because of her height and shyness around strangers. You will find her sitting in others’ laps or riding on their backs. When chapters were later dedicated solely to her life and romance, I started sympathizing with her.
The artwork has its ups and downs. Age transformations were detailed. Artwork displayed the moods carefully. Even the psychological elements had dark settings with drops of blood and shadowy backgrounds. The characters were drawn in chibi form at random moments, and I got confused a few times when it would go into flashbacks to Arima’s childhood. Animals were drawn as plain and ordinary.
The reason I rated it an 8 instead of a 9 is because I wasn't quite pleased with the ending. As far as Miyazawa and Arima, their story was satisfying. However, after spending so much time with the characters, you'd expect to know more about the characters or believe their life took a reasonable path. Yes, Tsuda gave a brief overview of where they were at that moment. What I was mostly interested in was their family lives. Did they have kids? Also, I didn't agree with how one character's love life steered.
If you enjoy shoujo manga with mature characters and a relationship developed in the beginning, I highly recommend this one. I found myself completely immersed in this manga. It shows you can have everything and still be unhappy. I enjoyed reading about Miyazawa and Arima’s time together, as well as the other characters’ romances and life stories. Tsuda deserves an applause for this piece of work, because it was indeed a good experience.
One thing I always wish is that manga grew with their audience - if you think of someone starting to read your typical shoujo manga in middle school (say, 15 years old) and the serialisation takes 5-7 years to complete, if the plot and tone of the manga stay the same all the way through, it's very unlikely that the 20-22 year old who finishes that manga is going to enjoy the ending as much as the beginning, since they valued different things when they were 15. This is a manga that succeeds in growing with its audience, and is absolutely amazing for it.
When I first picked this up, I was not particularly captured by it - I actively disliked the art style and will very rarely read something where I don't like the art - and the plot didn't seem very original. However, the more I read the more involved I became in the story - this is absolutely not your typical shoujo. The character growth displayed by main and side characters alike, the way that various strands of the plot are brought together across dozens of chapters, and the personalities of the characters all go to show that this mangaka is a master storyteller who values the thoughts and struggles of real human beings. Of course it's all punched up and dramatised to make it more exciting, but never once (as I often do when reading shoujo manga) did I find myself screaming, "You're an idiot! No human being with half a brain would have made that choice!!!". This manga deals with surprisingly dark and mature topics in a thoughtful and loving way. If there's anything else quite like this out there, I haven't found it yet.
God. Did that manga made me cry. Been a long, long while since a manga got me this emotional. From the get-to, it is an entertaining Shoujo series with a great cast of characters with loads of compelling, engrossing backstories from the back to supporting cast. The tone of the manga balances out very well between comedy, drama and romance.
What really sealed the deal for me was the Arima arc where I kept wanting to read chapter to chapter in one sitting, and man, it was certainly a heart wrenching, emotional roller coaster.
I kind of wish a few of the characters have more panel time
and moments, but well, it can’t be helped with a larger cast. Fantastic read all around.
If you are looking for a good-girl high school manga, then this is basically the epitome of it! It starts off with this pretty, smart, athletic, all-around good student named Yukino. She has all of the student body looking up to her and basking in her conceited excellence. But, the real her was this attention-craving, self-confessed “Queen of Vanity”, dressing like a slob at home and studying until all hours of the night.
She starts to be jealous of her rival,
pretty-boy and fellow good student Soichiro, who, when he visited her house, saw her in her true form. He actually blackmailed her, making her do all of his extra work. Finally, after denying him after he told her that he loved her, she finally realized that she loved him too. When they finally were together at last, they made a pact that they would just be true to themselves--not vying for attention ever again, or in Soichiro’s case, proving himself to the world. I have read Volumes 1-8, and, let me tell you, you are in for a good story!
I recommend this manga for lovers of romance and drama. Although I have found that some don’t like the manga because of its “shallow” main character, I have to disagree. The characters blossom throughout the story, and they really do become better people. Each one gains depth. The art is graceful and beautifully high school-awkward. Although the manga’s good, I think the bonus manga are pretty dull, with some exceptions. (And, as an added bonus, the side-splittingly hilarious Tsuda Diaries provide an insight to what real manga-ka are like!)
Most, if not all, people go through a phase of self-discovery. They may try to act as if they are someone who they really aren't, but someone may break down those walls that hide who you really are. Is this person the one you love? Well, probably! Well, with that being said, this manga is one that I've been wanting to read for quite a while, and by alternating between reading online and checking out volumes of it from the local library, I managed to read it all of the way through. I have to say, I made the right choice.
Ladies and gentlemen, queens of
vanity everywhere, here is my review of the long-running manga, Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (Kare Kano, for short), known in English as His and Her Circumstances.
Yukino Miyazawa is seen as a perfect girl by her classmates, but in reality, that's not how she's like; she just acts that way as a way to get attention. That's why when she enters high school and a boy named Souchirou Arima takes her "number one" spot, man, is she ticked! If that wasn't bad enough for her, her secret is discovered.... by Souchirou, of all people! However, Yukino comes to discover that she and Souchirou have more in common than she thought, and they end up becoming friends and eventually lovers. Kare Kano is basically what happens as the two of them fall in love and finally reveal their true selves to everyone else.
The story of Kare Kano.... it was FANTASTIC! It starts off cute and fluffy, but it later becomes quite deep. There was quite a great amount of character development, especially for Yukino and Souichirou. Yukino may seem like a despicable character at first, but she's actually a fun protagonist to follow. Souichirou, her love interest, was probably even more interesting, though; he had a very deep backstory, and it's pretty obvious that he cares for Yukino. Besides Yukino and Souchirou, there are quite a few supporting characters. For example, Asapin, a friend of Yukino and Souichirou, was a very funny character, and although I didn't like Tsubasa (who used to like Souichirou) at first, the character development she got me to like her.
Let's not forget the artwork, though! Masami Tsuda was the one who both wrote the story and drew the artwork for this manga, and she did the art as great as the story. The artwork was very well-drawn, the character designs were solid, and the chibis that pop up every now and again are very cute. Honestly, there is no way I can really describe the artwork, but I really mean what I say when I say it's great artwork for a great manga.
Yes, I know that Kare Kano has an anime adaptation; I knew about it before I read the manga. I'm really excited to start watching it, and the manga just made me even more excited! I'm just going to say that overall, Kare Kano was a great manga. I'd recommend it to any and all romance fans looking for a great story with wonderful character development matched with solid artwork. It really shows you that you should just be yourself, because even if most people don't accept you, there will always be someone who will.
First impressions aren't everything. Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou may exemplify that more than anything else I've read. The manga starts off painfully uninteresting. The synopsis you read at the top of this page is basically all there is in for the first volume and a half. Character motivations are so seemingly one-dimensional the story isn't very interesting. Girl has secret. Boy finds out. Girl and boy fall in love. The beginning chapters of this manga have major issues. The art is sub-par, often devolving into some simple, comedic chibi style in the middle of a serious scenes. This mitigates a lot of emotional moments from
striking their full impact. Scenes perplexing end mid-conversation for no reason, leaving me to believe the characters just walked away immediately after saying something of importance. Backgrounds aren't always drawn, confusing me as to where a scene is taking place. The way Arima discovers Miyazawa's secret isn't convincing, as all he does is see her in home in more casual clothes, and then somehow immediately knows Yukino puts up a facade. Early on, I considered dropping Kareshi Kanojo ni Jijou. I am so happy I didn't, because the manga evolves into something beautiful.
The main relationship, the focal point, is a real relationship. It progresses through multiple stages, ranging from heartwarming to tragic. In a lesser story the relationship between Yukino and Souichirou would be an awkward back and forth, with all of the relationships problems stemming from misunderstandings and the world around them in someway disapproving of the two hooking up. All hiccups could be safely enjoyed under the assurance that the love between our two main characters is true, and nothing could break their bond. The manga pretty quickly dismisses that idea, giving us something more, something far deeper, something surprisingly dark. It's difficult to describe the nature of the main relationship between Yukino and Souichirou because it changes, growing more intimate. Codifying the relationships into separate stages is somewhat erroneous ( I deleted the section I wrote doing such), as the progression between the two is nuanced. The emotional climax of the relationship has seeds planted alluding to it several chapters prior, manifesting into its eventually conclusion.
Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou is going to touch on some uncomfortable topics, which I'm going to be vague as to avoid spoilers. The manga doesn't compromise thematic impact. Yukino and Souichirou's relationship doesn't magically become perfect upon intimacy. It uses that intimacy to explore emotions otherwise not approachable. It recognizes that masking fear of nonacceptance with good intentions is an unhealthy way of prolonging the inevitable. That one has to make themselves vulnerable in order to heal and grow. That in such period of vulnerability people will be nasty, often hurting those they do genuinely love. That truly loving someone requires being genuine and honest with them. That a hurting person can in many ways be culpable for their situation. That actually loving someone means admitting they are fallible. There's so much the manga touches for both romantic and non-romantic relationships that I can't put in a spoiler-free review. Know that the later volumes (volumes 15 and 20 in particular) carry some powerful emotional impact. Those 2 volumes may be masterpieces, telling a tale of how good people can fall into emotional despair. This is all accentuated by some expert paneling and art from volume 7 onward. You can see how Tsuda Masami advanced as an artist as she drew the series.
The quality of writing and art is on a positive slope, with the exception of volume 10. Early on, several characters are introduced very simple motivations that unfortunately lean on the one-dimensional side. This is unfortunate because the beginning chapters involve a lot of side characters being introduced at a rapid pace, comprising a large part of the story. The manga constantly injects comedy into scenes it is inappropriate for, as if Tsuda was afraid the quality of the drama wasn't engaging enough. Both these problems are solved as the manga progresses. The cast introduced becomes a boon for the story, developing into characters with their own goals, problems, and believable and beneficial reasons to form friendships with the main characters. They allow our main characters to display qualities we wouldn't see them display otherwise. Without them, Yukino's development into a less pretentious person wouldn't be displayed, and Souichirou's more personal feelings wouldn't have been as well set up. The climaxes in the main relationship wouldn't carry the same emotional resonance without the expertly crafted friends and family surrounding our two main characters, so it's safe to say the side characters are more than a mere net positive despite some mishandling early on. Introductions and conclusions that would otherwise be mundane become profound thanks to the insight and narrative perspective from much of the cast (I'm convinced the nameless girl was a genius move. It carries deep emotions and transitions to the new time period perfectly). Comedy still exists in the latter parts of the manga, but it no longer interrupts the story, no longer detrimentally changing the tone of a scene.
If I have a major critique of the manga after volume 6, it is the strange exclusion the main relationship for three whole volumes, with a minor side character taking the spotlight. The story often spirals into multi-chapter backstories on its side characters (backstories that range from good to fantastic), but it never removes our main characters as the focal point. We don't get to see our the main relationship for a pretty significant amount of in-universe time. This isn't a mark against the manga, but it is curious. A crucial problem is revealed with one of our main characters, a problem that is suggested to be slowly boiling their heart. It isn't touched upon for these 3 volumes. I'm going to give the author the benefit of the doubt and guess this was planned and served an important point. The scene before the temporary change in cast portends to emotional strife that will happen at some point. When the manga comes back, it does feel like the time we spent away from this certain character did negatively affect them. Still, it would've been nice to see our main characters a bit more during this time.
The inclusion of some background stories for side characters is contentious. Almost all of them are lengthy, fantastic background stories, but that's kind of the issue. Some short stories are perfectly fine and could not be removed without negatively impacting the plot and emotional stakes. Fleshing out these characters is required in order to understand their actions and the effects they may carry. Others could be removed entirely without reducing the poignancy of the main story. Yukino's father, for example, has a couple chapters dedicated to him. What is a minor character that is rarely seen later on in the story has a lengthy, well-written past with no relevancy to the main story at the time. I loved it, however, if someone doesn't, then the manga just wasted half a volume on a superfluous story with no bearing on the main plot. Still, these do flesh out the cast. No character feels like they're a part of the story for a contrived reason. In the case of Yukino's father, his story more than successfully framed his fatherhood as something beyond the basic good-mannered yet protective parent we had been lead to believe he was until that point.
Please read the manga. The anime stops right before the manga starts its ascension from good to great. The point after the anime is tragic, but also touching. It makes you reevaluate our main characters, wonder if the relationship that's been built up prior is for the best. I can't find the words to convince you how evocative the story becomes.
Of course I read this a few years after i watched the anime. The anime was good, however the ending got confusing and i wasnt really sure what it meant. I thought they separated afterwards.
The manga is much more detailed than the anime and also much more enjoyable. This is really the manga for you if you love character development and tragic backstories.
I was drawn to the story because sometimes i feel as if I'm living a lie or I'm empty inside. Such is the case with the protagonists, Yukino and Soichiro. However, they really developed as characters especially Soichiro. The manga has
such a positive message, that sometimes it is ok to let go and really try your best to enjoy life because after rock bottom, things will get better. Love and friendship are also powerful themes in this manga.
Another reason that makes this manga amazing is the amount of time dedicated to the side characters. Most manga dont make whole volumes about the side cast. The characters really add to the book with their individual personalities, dilemmas, and how they overcame everything.
Obviously i really enjoyed the manga, as seen with the score. Its something a bit more mature than your typical shoujo_and more humorous.
"Classic" is a word that's vague by itself, whose meaning's continually changing with time. In the 90's, when KareKano was first published, the "classic" works of shoujo were titles such as Princess Knight and The Rose of Versailles; nowadays, these mangas are still classic, but KareKano, which used to be a prime example of a modern shoujo, has gained a very different aura.
The characters of KareKano are always dealing with their own identity. Their worrying about the face they present to the world and their real self — about the difference between who they are and who they want to be — is, for
me, what turns this manga into a universal experience, making it transcend Japan in the 90's to still be relevant twenty-odd years later.
The mangá was written and drawn by Masami Tsuda, and published in La-La magazine between 1995 and 2005. Its center is the relationship between Yukino Miyazawa, a girl who works hard to look perfect solely because of her need for attention, and Souichirou Arima, who tries to hide the flaws within himself so as not to cause problems for his adoptive parents. Together, they learn about the fear and the joy of true vulnerability, and thus, about the feeling of accepting and being accepted completely by someone else — not only in love, but among family and friends. It's a straightforward plot, and it's interesting exactly because of that: they go through problems many of us have gone through, and the narrative does not look away from the effects these things can have in a person's psyche.
The narrative does not look away from many things, actually. The regular teenage manga rarely deals well with the transition between holding hands and sex, even though this is a very important aspect of a teenager's day-to-day. This is not a problem here: KareKano does not show explicit scenes, but makes it clear that sex is present in the characters' lives, even in brutal ways. The representation of violence, physical as well as psychological, is also outstanding and right on the mark, especially when it comes to mental illnesses.
I believe that KareKano's strongest point are the protagonists. Yukino and Souchirou are built in fascinating ways. It would be very easy to take the initial setup and just extend it, make Yukino into a stuck-up tsundere and Souichirou into a jerk with a hidden "nice side" — but the story evolves, and they evolve with it. Even better: the evolution of the characters does not mean the end of their conflicts, but leads to an increase in their complexity. The manga's climax is not something that comes from punctual misunderstandings, made up in the eleventh hour; it is carefully woven from the protagonists and the natural path towards which their actions take them.
Of course, so much focus in one aspect of the story may lead to slight deficiency in others. In KareKano, I believe this manifests itself in difficulty with teenager characterization. One can justify Yukino and Souichirou's maturity on the count of their, ahem, circumstances — but it is hard to believe that all the characters around them show the same characteristics. The only character that is actually immature reaches a stunning level of philosophical detachment practically overnight. In the same group of teenagers, we have a genius writer and a genius musician, individuals who have already defined the path of their lives, relationship counselors and a girl who is so mature that, in her relationship with a 25-year-old, she is the one who manipulates and dominates everything. I haven't seen such an extraordinary group of young people together since Ouran. (And it doesn't help matters that their personality seems to vanish next to the main couple...)
When it comes to the art, KareKano is within expectatives. It's commonplace to find light and delicate tracing in such publications, and Masami Tsuda draws her bishounen and bishoujo with painstaking care. The character design I like the most is Yukino's; she looks feminine and pretty without relying on that generic blonde phenotype so many mangaka adopt (and that the author herself uses in other characters — I'm keeping an eye on you, Tsubasa), nor in that stereotype of Japanese beauty, with long black hair and mysterious eyes. Generally speaking, it's a style that's very representative of the time the manga was published, without excessive detailing and a more practical look. Even so, there are moments in which the author shines: here I am thinking about the conversations between Souichirou and his imaginary double.
I can safely say I liked KareKano. Even if it's hard to believe in the exceptionality of every single person involved in the plot, it never gets to the point that story takes a backseat to wish fulfillment. The love interests do get together and the author manages to keep us interested for a long time after. I have heard the animated adaptation does not follow the manga until the end, and that that disappointed Masami Tsuda a lot; considering that the climax of KareKano feels like the unavoidable unfolding of the conflicts in scene, I can understand where her distress comes from.
One of the many definitions of "classic" is a work that never "runs out", so to say; a work that always has something to say to the reader, even if many years have passed already. If, once, KareKano was a brilliant example of what was in vogue in shoujo manga, nowadays it can be seen as a sort of pioneer in trails that other works like Toradora! and Kimi ni Todoke have followed. It is easy to notice its influence, and the reason this influence lasts until this day; you just have to open a volume and listen to the messages it can tell. After all, it's going to be a while before KareKano stops talking with us.
What to say about this series now ? Just calling it one of the greatest romance/drama stories ever just doesn't do it justice.
Yukino is one of my favourites characters ever, and one of the more original concepts I've ever seen. This double-faced, incredibly sharp, amazingly strong-willed (yet sometimes insecure), partially evil but always funny girl is the character I'm gonna miss the most. It really is worth it reading the manga just to see her interact with the rest of the cast, with the world, and often just to follow her thought processes. Her reactions to developments are often surprising, yet endearing to the reader.
Her simple but powerful "I never said no" little speech (you'll know it when you get there) remains one of the most touching and memorable (and unexpected) things I've ever read. Yes, she's that amazing and more.
Arima is also a good character, always interesting to read. He and his family are responsible for most of the drama in the series, specially in the second half of the manga (the part that's left out of the anime). In fact, he's pretty much the main character in this half. And although I was a little skeptic at first as the author hinted at his future developments, I have to admit Ms. Tsuda did a terrific job in this "Arima arc". Seeing Arima battle his personal demons was truly touching, and the outcome of all this was very satisfying.
The rest of the cast is also comprised of funny, charming, real, memorable characters, and it's a really nice thing that they are all (some more, some less) given space to show themselves and develop. I also love the fact that they are all given some sort of closure by story's end.
This manga does back story like no other. Starting from Yukino, you get to hear the story of her parents since their childhood. In Arima's side, you get to hear about his parents and their cousins, as adults, teenagers and children; about Arima's grandfather (quite a bit), and even about that guy's father, and it's all important to the story as a running theme is the effect parents have on their children's lives. All in all, five (!) generations are explored, to a different extent. And this is a good thing, because it deepens the story as it explains the motivations of the characters to act as they do.
So, to recap: this manga is an exploration of love between teenagers as they bloom and become adults (with its fun, tender and painful moments); it's a look at the world of parents, and how their actions can both screw or save their children; and it's a beautiful tale of young people trying to understand themselves, improve themselves, overcoming their burdens and finding out what their dreams are - and then launching on the life-long trip to fulfill them.