The past Autumn- and Winter-season came with an interesting trend: actually good visual novel adaptations. Not just one, but four series (Clanad, ef, this one and True Tears) came from nowhere and shattered the stereotypes I had about the genre. These four series showed that good writing can even turn such a boring–sounding premise as a high-school romance interesting. Kimikiss may not have been as refreshing as Clannad, it may not have had the well-written dialogue of ef, and it neither has characters with the depth of True Tears, but still it’s a worthy series to watch.
Kimikiss is one of these series that plays it safe. The first half is very slow, and basically just serves to flesh out the characters, and set up their personalities and hobbies. Then it starts developing its romances. There are basically three main couples to start with, all with their own problems. While they’re a bit clichéd at times, the character-development is definitely the highlight for this series.
This series doesn’t really have any obvious flaws. There are no errors in the storytelling, the main-characters and side-characters may not be ground-breaking, but they’re all well-fleshed out and developed. The graphics look okay, and so does the music. I do have one complaint with this series, though: it tends to lose itself in its love-triangles at times. Love-triangles are a nasty double-edged sword, and more often than not only distract from what’s really important in a series, where two characters could be advancing the plot but instead are too busy whining about who loves who. Only series as True Tears, that have basically been built around these love-triangles have made them work for me.
Kimikiss at times can’t seem to decide whether it wants to go for straight romance, or love-triangles. The result is that every time two characters are having a bit of time together, a third one pops up to try and take one of them away. In this series, it’s much more fun to just simply watch the couples develop.
I admire the guts of the director to basically split the main character of the game that this series was originally based upon, up in three different ones. The transition has really been seamless, and it shows that the director can do more than just copy and paste well. Kimikiss won’t rock your soul, but it’ll at least keep it a bit entertained.