Tsuki ga Kirei: A romance turned into a work of art
When I saw the synopsis of Tsuki ga Kirei I did not expect anything interesting; However, this series has taken me on a sublime journey through a great love story.
This anime from the beginning showed that it would not be one more of the bunch. The first thing was the setting, here we do not see a typical Japanese high school as a stage; instead, we have an institute of secondary education. And although it is the last year, even this starting point is not one of the most common today in this kind of stories.
Let's not forget that Tsuki ga Kirei is a pure romance; obviously has touches of Slice of Life, but not enough to be considered a genre in this work. Here the center and focus of everything is the romance between Kotarou and Akane; and it is here where this anime begins to draw its brushstrokes. By the way, spoilers are coming from here.
It has always been said that the unsafe behavior of the protagonists of the shounen series is due to a culture theme, because in real life the Japanese are insecure on the subject of love. And that is very true. However, here Yuuko Kakohara has given us a work where this insecurity is presented, but faced in a very different way.
Instead of having a protagonist screaming because of a touch, panicking by an approach; or worse, having an infarct due to an indirect kiss, we have a boy who little by little begins to discover his feelings, but naturally.
And for this he is not afraid to follow what his emotions dictate, even if he is wrong; is that at the end of the day, it is preferable to err on the side of trying to fail for doing nothing. Perhaps everything he has read has made him more mature than usual; not for nothing, the boy always found the appropriate quote for the moment he lived.
And that's how in just episode 3 we already have that elusive confession that often takes eons to happen (if it happens); I have to admit that at this point I almost jumped out of my seat of surprise. I could not believe that a middle school kid had more courage than the high school kids that are seen not only in Shounen series of pure romance, but in Shounen series of other genres (including romance).
The best thing was that until then everything was showing with such a strong realism that it was difficult not to identify; and deep down, considering the circumstances, confessing in that moment was the most natural. After all, the phrase "Tsuki ga Kirei desu ne" (The moon is beautiful, right?) Was translated as "I love you" by the novelist Natsume Souseki, because he considered that two people who loved each other did not need direct words to convey their feelings. And do not forget that during that sequence both were in the light of the moon and came to contemplate.
Many will say that with such an early confession the story loses interest; nevertheless, this anime more than demonstrates its error. It is precisely from the confession where you live the development of these children in all their splendor. Why? Because now they have to learn to deal with the problems of a couple, which are never easy.
I have always thought that those stories that end with the confession and the kiss, and perhaps a wedding and children in the epilogue, end up leaving the story halfway. The real adventure starts right after that. In fact, just in the next episode of Tsuki ga Kirei (after the confession) we see that the problems appear in the form of misunderstanding, jealousy and insecurity.
In addition, there are the fears that classmates and friends will find out, what will happen if families discover it; Not to mention that love rivals arise to complicate things even more. But again, the series wastes expertise in the handling of situations.
Instead of going down the cliché path of putting these problems to a halt, the protagonists do not say things, do not want to listen to the other or prefer to listen to others; Tsuki ga Kirei again appeals to realism and in that learning, little by little the boys realize that the best thing is to talk things in front and without intermediaries.
On the other hand, in the midst of insecurity, both draw strength to fight for what they want. I think I'll never forget that moment when Kotarou confronts Takumi to make it clear that Akane is his girlfriend and that he no longer can go for her. How do you miss that courage in the protagonists of other series!
By the way, the confession of the protagonists was not the only one in the series; the love rivals also played their cards to achieve their goals. Nevertheless, Kotarou and Akane demonstrated an enormous maturity when facing and solving those moments. It is not easy for anyone to confront a confession when you have a partner, so both he and she had to show what they were made to be able to respond adequately to the challenge.
And when it was thought that everything would flow well, the strongest conflict of all came. It was certainly predictable and considering the realistic approach of the series was to expect things to happen as they did. Of course, it was great to see the efforts of both to protect their relationship.
Regarding the ending. It was one of the most beautiful I've seen in the anime and by that I mean the concept. That idea of putting fear into our bodies and keeping us in suspense throughout the final episode was cruel, but interesting. Above all, because it made the conclusion more enjoyable. Not to mention the detail of using the story written and published online by the boy; and the comments section for the crucial messages to arrive was brilliantly poetic.
Regarding the technical section, the soundtrack has interesting themes (especially the opening); and the animation without being first level is competent enough for the type of series. Additionally, the character design is great. This last section I must highlight because it is one of the strong points of the series along with a formidable management.
In addition, the management of lighting and backgrounds was exquisite. In a series where it was obvious that the animation budget was not high; It was brilliant that they showed us the feelings through backgrounds, colors, lighting, sounds, silences and music. There are scenes where this combination was really powerful, which shows that what the staff was doing was not a simple series, it was a work of art.
And there is another point that I thought was great. This series was made with love and that was noticed in all the scenes. Today, in a world where even the anime has fallen into the evils of mass production; seeing a series made with that care and that affection was gratifying. Especially when it is made by a studio that does not have much experience creating series by itself. I mean feel studios. Usually they collaborate with other studios. And there can not be art without feelings!
By the way, I can not stop talking about the shorts. At the end of almost all the episodes we could see shorts of the characters with a more relaxed tone. These animated 4-koma were so good that they deserved to have a spinoff. It was interesting to move from the tension of the series to the relaxation of the shorts without one thing harming the other.
Some complaints for the balance
But since nothing is perfect, I will say that my only complaint with the ending was that after having almost all the final chapter in suspense, the retribution was very short. Show us what happened next along with the credits fell into one of the clichés that I like the least of the anime. Those hurried epilogues where they want to tell us years in seconds. It would have been better to leave episode 12 as a preparation and create an episode 13 for the ending and the epilogue. Or at least they could make that final photo a scene in conditions.
For the record, at least the way in which they placed the epilogue was also original. Whereas cellphones (and LINE) were fundamental during the development of the plot; it was totally logical that the epilogue was counting through the screens of both phones (along with images to illustrate). Each line felt like an Easter Egg. See how the name of the contact was evolving from my love, to my treasure, to Benippo, to boyfriend/girlfriend and finally to a husband/wife was magical.
And well, to continue balancing this review a bit I will say that some characters generated by CG to place them in the background in some scenes could be much better; nevertheless, I understand it considering that it is not a very big studio and that surely they had the limited budget. If well known studios have made disasters for lack of money, I will not crucify feel studios for this minutia.
In conclusion, a series that is one of the best of last years; and that in my opinion, it shows one of the best love stories shown in the anime. I already want to watch it again because only once is not enough.
Totally recommended. 9/10.