Posted by psgels on 10 March 2011 with categories: Hourou Musuko

This is something that has been baffling me for years now: why are romance shows so scared to show people in an actual relationship? I mean, the climax of 60% of all romance series is the confession, and 30% just refuse to end without anything happening between the lead couple, having them remain forever in this “yes we’re in love but not actually dating so that we can have harems and love triangles forever”-type ending. That, while you can definitely get some good drama out of a relationship, which is what this show is currently doing brilliantly.

Nitori vs. Anna made this into a really excellent episode. There is some uncomfortable tension between them, but it’s the healthy kind of tension that still leaves plenty of room for them to grow either closer or further away from each other. It’s not cheesy in the slightest, and it’s definitely been one of the most down to earth portrayals of romance in quite a while, even though we’re talking about middle schoolers here.

That little shot of Chiba, Takatsuki and Nitori together when they were younger was a great little addition, by the way. This really was an episode of nostalgia as well, with both Nitori and Takatsuki trying to move on in their own ways. Nitori by exploring other sides of romance, Takatsuki by growing her hair a bit and trying to make up with Chiba again. If I have to critique the creators for one thing, it’s that they show a tad to little of Chiba when she’s not near Nitori. In this episode for example Takatsuki told Nitori that chiba was behaving normally again, but we unfortunately didn’t get to see those scenes.

Instead, we got this former bully. Now, with the way in which bullies are usually portrayed in anime, this guy is a HUGE improvement. He’s bratty, but in a subtle way and he’s definitely having an impact on Nitori. Whether it’s wise to introduce a new character three episodes before the ending is a different story, though.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

8 Responses

  1. I definitely agree with your point about romance series refusing to show relationships. I find myself not so much irritated as disappointed when they only give us a confession and brief epilogue. Dramatic confessions are fun to watch, but they are at most the halfway point of a complete romance.

  2. Sophism says:

    Doi, (The former bully.) will actually be a really important character, leading up to what I’m guessing will be the climax of the TV series.

    Absolutely lovely episode. I’m impressed at how they’ve managed to compress so much without losing focus.

    This is a series I wouldn’t mind being extended for another season. A prequel would work just as well, in my opinion. Unfortunately, with its current ratings, the odds of that happening are slim to none.

    *sigh* Once again the lowest common denominator dictates trends.

  3. Jérémy says:

    I’m so happy to see Doi ^^ I really hate/love him in the manga. And yes I really hope the climax is what I’m thinking off (epic drama moment xD) although I don’t know how they can just finish the anime with this. It kind of annoys me that crappy series with tons of fanservice get 26 episodes when this little gem only gets 12. Oh well, they still managed to take advantage of those 12 episodes they got.

  4. c160 says:

    That new guy is not newly introduced in anyway,just like Anna. The mangaka doesn’t introduce new characters as she deems fit,she just brings back the old ones.

  5. c160 says:

    Oh yeah,and the fact that people actually in relationships are rarely shown bothers me too.I guess thats the limits of most the mangakas/writers imagination then :P

  6. rufe says:

    Lovely Complex, Bokura ga Ita, Marmalade Boy, Emma, Clannad, Nodame Cantabile, KareKano, Massugu ni Ikou, Living Game, Maison Ikkoku…

  7. thomas says:

    Oh no, I’m an episode behind! Skimmed through the episode analysis anyway and Psgels is spot on! It really pisses me off how series refuse to deal with relationships. It’s not just anime either, you see it in Western tv series and films as well.

  8. Sapphire says:

    Lovely Complex makes an awesome portrayal of a couple during their relationship. This is another must-watch, psgels! ^^

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 29. 2015 03:25 AM)
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 10:22 PM)
    @Aidan: it does seem like you’ve actually seen Xavier, in which case I’m impressed. Didn’t think you had it in you.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 09:35 PM)
    Speaking of errors, can anybody else open Evil Genius Scanlations page? I keep getting a gateway error. I know there should be a new Berserk on there but some force is keeping it from me. This is messed up.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:38 PM)
    @Bam, Easy. 404 not found
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:45 AM)
    It takes a true magnificence to propose such a grand question as: What dot life?!
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:42 AM)
    @Kaiser: the show does vary in quality, but for the first season they generally crank up the insanity with every episode until a very remarkable season finale where Xavier faces his worst enemy.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Bam: Oh in symphogears case, I certainly laughed but I wasn’t supposed to.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:39 AM)
    @Bam: While it didn’t always work, that first episode of renegade angel was amusing, I particularly liked the part where he went on about Aids being invented.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:22 AM)
    and don’t be fooled by the simple graphics, the crudeness is completely intentional.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 28. 2015 05:21 AM)
    @Kaiser: as far as Xavier goes I implore you to download and watch the first episode to get the gist of it. That show is the pinnacle of absurdist and meta humor. It’s strangely adored within the animation circles, getting very high praise from the industry, but it’s very dense and bizarre so people either love or hate it. If you’re anything like me it might become one of your most beloved shows.

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