Tsuki ga Kirei sure understands about the life of 14-year-old kids would be like. I’m sure we all have different experience about that pre-teen stage of our life, but the life portrayed here is so vivid and true to life that it brings out our fond memories as well. Personally, while not much really happen between each episode, this show is weirdly the show that I’m eagerly anticipating the most each passing week. So far, the simple visual style and its focus on characters’ little exchanges make it an unusually appropriate and grounded production values. But in terms of plot where progression is the key, the show still manages to surprise me with its confession right at the end of this third episode. I guess the bookworm Kotarou has balls after all.
This episode follows Kotarou as he’s hoping for his first writing piece to get published, the anticipation occupied his mind that he couldn’t concentrate on his exams. I’m still a fan on the way this show focuses more on the anxiety of Kotarou than the outcomes. The same approach can be said with Akane and her track competition. We follow her as she engages in the competition (the bit where Chinatsu chanting her name is great), not the result of whether or not she suprasses her track record. We also have a fairly mundane dinner scene of Akane’s family and I’m quite amused that we have a dinner scene as it is, where parents have a presence (unlike other anime where they disappear in the background) in her life. Tsuki ga Kirei still excels of its show-don’t-tell approach, even later when Kitarou unfortunately falls into the usual trap of saying out loud what he thinks, I still give it a pass since he’s anxious about whether or not he should text the girl, and we can’t fault the lovestruck Romeo for being too excited. Many tidy details that the show doesn’t outright state but it’s golden once we pick up those details: we can see Kotarou is fond of boxing, not only box around his light chord in excitement, but the poster of Mohamed Ali is up there in his room. Or in Akane case we pick up that the sisters live in a same room, whereas more oftern than not the kids in other anime will have their own rooms doesn’t matter the finalcial situation of the parents. Or how we aren’t sure what his Sunday practice might be, but looking at it (the group and him practising various instruments in a local shrine), we have a good idea about the details.
I actually misses the shorts that came out last week (boy do I wish it regular features), but we do have a brief callback to one of those shorts, this time in Kotarou’s awkward point of views. LINE is the biggest winner here (I use it in real life too), being the communication platform for our two leads where they’re too shy and cautious to talk to each other in real life. The romance so far is understated but again so true to life and Akane returns his encouragement last week with another heartwarming response “You’re perfectly fine the way you are”. The two other casts don’t have much attention this time, Chinatsu being busy with her track competition but I love how effortless whenever she’s around Kotarou. Takumi, on the other hand, has a slight chance to confess his love for Akane, but decides to back down. I don’t really think Akane has a romantic feeling for him (more of respectation) but I would like to see him making a move to Akane. I also adore the way Kotarou really wanted to ask Akane how she been doing, but won’t be able to. The way his thoughts and his focus are entirely to the phone rather than the practice is something I’m sure we all been through; and for once dead phone actually gives a positive outcomes since Akane decides to go to the shrine to see him. As they’re sitting there and looking at the moon. She remarks the moon is beautiful, Kotarou takes this as a clue to ask her out (remember I said last week that “The moon is beautiful” is a poetic way to say “I love you” in Japan). Part of me want Akane to reject it, as first love is only pure and shine the brightest when we never reach it in full, unlike the moon itself.