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
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 12:03 AM)
    I agree that there are loose threads in Evangelion that were probably never fully developed by the committee, and a lot of symbolism (primarily Christian) that were only there for flare and edginess. But everything I say is backed up by the information available in the material or straight from the infodumps. If you see the Eva proposal to TXN (Tokyo TV) you can see that everything, and so much more actually, was planned from the beginning; albeit some stuff did change when Anno lost his mind.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:58 PM)
    The alpha strike was to infiltrate Central Dogma and take command and eliminate everyone inside. Seele is not really a sentimental type, if you hadn’t notice, so a ouple of hundred casualties before everyone turns to goop is pretty inconsequential.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    @Aidan: Gendo is one of the few at NERV (if not the only one) who knows about the scrolls and the truth behind the Evas, and keep in mind Shinji is primarily piloting 01 just to get his acceptance; so he was certainly needed. Plus in the original series you need an intermediate vessel to connect thru an entry plug (Shinji and Asukas, moms) so not any kid will do. This is before the dummy plug and Toji mind you.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:50 PM)
    There is being obtuse and indirect. And then there’s just being plain nonsensical. I don’t want to spell out everything but I hate to see people tie thin threads together and act like it was some great master-plan when it could just as well have been a guy just throwing any random shit together that he could think of. Ikuhara for one got away with that bullshit far too often.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:45 PM)
    @Bam, And why was alpha strike necessary? If the goal is to destroy the evas and such then why not do as I suggested. Remove Gendo. Then it would be a piece of cake. And killing everyone just seems excessive and really unnecessary.
    Pretty sure anyone in Shinji’s class was suitable to be an evangelion pilot. And alright, shinji’s connection to the Eva is a reason to keep him in. But Gendo…not so much. He doesn’t influence it in any real way personally.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:28 PM)
    I actually really enjoy Evangelion for being obtuse and indirect. Not spelling everything out is part of the show’s charm and legacy. Now Eva has spawned numerous anime which do this wrong (looking at you Darker Than Black) but that isn’t really their fault. If you want something simple and basic go watch the endless supply of Nisio Isin’s stuff with neverending exposition and deafening verbosity.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 11:20 PM)
    I don’t think Kaworu needs much characterization. He’s the 1st and 13th angel who took human form since the DNA of one of Dr. Katsuragi’s team was fused with parts of Adam on the day of the 2nd impact. He’s basically the alien who finds sympathy for humans and ends up sacrificing himself for them. This is almost the same as in Rebuild and the manga, albeit he’s sexuality is much more clearer and is used more extensively for tension relief in the manga portrayal.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 10:49 PM)
    Keel Lorenz needed Gendo as his connection to Eva-01 (which is outfitted with Yui Ikari’s soul) and Shinji is crucial to the third impact. You want Shinji to reach maximum desperation in order to achieve synchronization. And if you pay attention you get why Seele couldn’t use their own pilots, as they needed the kids from the Gehrin project.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 10:46 PM)
    *their
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Mar 5. 2015 10:44 PM)
    What Seele does in EoE (or respectively ep25-26) is known as Alpha Strike. They take down the entirety of the apparatus that has the only chance to hinder the their plan, as they role is completed by that point.

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