When a single DVD special OVA episode for Kimikiss Pure Rouge came out quite some time ago, I was a little reluctant to watch it seeing that the TV series ended in a bad taste. I mean, if my memory serves me well, I could recall that our main hero and heroines ditched their respective loved ones and declared their love for each other. At least that’s how I viewed it.
 
I thought that this DVD special episode would continue off from there but I was sadly mistaken. This particular episode focuses primarily on Megumi Kuryuu and her romance-less life. You heard me correct. You know that strict public morals committee girl thinks she has the right and power go round reprimanding anybody for the slightest thing if they don’t adhere to the school rules. Ah, I guess that’s why she never got a boyfriend. Hehehe. Yeah, she was just a side character in the TV series who don’t make much appearance then. So I guess it’s no harm to give her some air time in this one off special episode.
 
The episode starts off with Hiiragi narrating about Kuryuu’s details and character. A sophomore of the school’s public moral committee whose daily morning ritual is to see people who come through the school gates obey the school rules. Yeah, she’s so dedicated to her job. Confiscate this. Lecturing that. And the most important detail as mentioned by Hiiragi: She has no boyfriend. I already said so… Hiiragi comes up to Kuryuu and compliments her job but she laments the fact that so many people aren’t following the rules. Hiiragi replies that it’s because everyone wants to experience love and romance. Of course Kuryuu thinks that such a thing is needless. How sad. She’s missing out so much in life at her age. So Hiiragi invites her to join his movie club as they’re currently making a romance movie. While Hiiragi blabs about the story’s synopsis, Kuryuu grabs his collar and thinks how weak such movie is and thinks he shouldn’t make it in the first place. Luckily Shijou comes by and Hiiragi uses this chance to escape. When Kuryuu tells Shijou how Hiiragi was telling her stupid things about missing out in life by not experiencing romance, Shijou gets a little depressed as she hasn’t experienced one before. Kuryuu tries to sooth her when the bell for class to start rings.
 
Later, Kuryuu is reprimanding Mao because her skirt is too short. Wow. She even has a ruler in hand to measure it! Mao tries to reason with her for having a short skirt by saying that a girl would like to dress up and look pretty for the person she likes but Kuryuu scoffs off her idea and says she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Mao says that’s just too bad because she thinks Kuryuu is cute too, making her blush. At the corridor, Kuryuu thinks about Mao’s words when Sakino comes by. After learning of Sakino’s football practice, Kuryuu thinks her judo practice is sufficient and that she doesn’t need to experience love. They then spot some couple doing pretty bold stuff around the corner. Just when Kuryuu is going to give them a piece of her mind, she notices how Sakino daydreaming how nice if she could experience it. But she snaps out of it before rushing off to practice. Afterwards, Kuryuu lets Nanami and Narumi off the hook for bringing their weird frog plushies to school. As a sign of relief, I don’t know why the duo enacted some lovey-dovey scene of their frogs right in front of Kuryuu. Disgusting.
 
As Kuryuu walks up the stairs, she spots Futami and warns her about her exceeding hair length. But you know, she can’t really out-talk Futami. Anyway enigmatic Futami is in a hurry to conduct some romance experiment of why people fall in love. Then at the library, Kuryuu is looking up for some books on romance when she is startled by Yuumi’s call. Yuumi points out the romance section which makes Kuryuu all flustered up as she leaves. The words of all those she encountered today on romance pretty much occupies her mind so much so she can’t concentrate on her judo practice as she gets thrown and off balance.
 
Surprisingly the next day for the first time, Kuryuu arrives late at school. Her teacher Kawada is at the gates and notices that she has changed her elastic hair band. She teases her that Kuryuu may have found somebody she likes, in which Kuryuu strongly denies. Kawada goes on to rant her own love story while she was her age but I guess since class is starting soon, Kuryuu leaves her and she looked like a mad fool talking to herself. Later as Kuryuu continues to deeply ponder about her romance-less life, she thinks for the sake of argument what kind of ideal guy she would like to have if she had a boyfriend. She thought it would be manly and have sports-like abilities when Kazuki notices her sitting alone and asks her why her face is red. A ball is seen flying their way and hits them. I don’t know how but Kuryuu ended up on top of Kazuki. It seemed like a romantic atmosphere till Kazuki opened his mouth. Uh huh. He tells Kuryuu how she is heavier than she looks. Rule number 1, never mention any weight related statements to a girl. He got a deserved kick in the face. So I guess like him with zero delicacy is out, huh? Not to mention stupid guys as well. As she continues to walk by the hallway, she bumps into Kai. She thinks how tall he is (not to mention about older guys being calmer and more reliable) when Kai then meets Mao and tells her about his practice. Just like a stalker, Kuryuu tails Kai to his usual place as he starts blowing his saxophone. I don’t think his playing sucks but I guess this kind of music isn’t to Kuryuu’s type. He’s out of her list too.
 
Kuryuu starts to feel a little tired after wondering the whole day about romance when she spots on the floor an envelope with a movie ticket in it. She gets to know that it’s from Kouichi who dropped it earlier. Then the 2 got really acquainted and excited when she finds out that he too likes to watch action movies. They do think alike then. Kouichi then notices her change of elastic hair band and Kuryuu wonders if he’s being considerate to notice such tiny details. Yuumi comes out of the classroom so Kuryuu decides to leave them both alone. Because the Kouichi-Yuumi talk is like beating around the bush (Kouichi trying to invite Yuumi out to a movie), you know shy shy blush blush, Kuryuu couldn’t stand it (by golly! She was eavesdropping from behind the door!) and butts in, takes the envelope from Kouichi’s hands and gives it to Yuumi while telling her that he has already bought the tickets. As Kuryuu walks away, she thinks how men who aren’t clear are the worse.
 
Then as the gang gathers at Satonaka udon shop, they discuss about Kuryuu’s strange behaviour. Hiiragi then comes up with a conclusion that she is trying to be a normal girl. Next morning at school, Kuryuu seems gloomy and unenergetic and doesn’t even respond when Shijou calls her. Kuryuu asks her if she herself would ever experience romance. Shijou then tells about her own case whereby she already has a fiancee whom she has never met chosen by her parents. Though she hasn’t experienced romance before, Shijou looks forward of experiencing her own kind of romance one day. Hiiragi then comes by and asks her if she thinks she could experience some wonderful romance as he pats her shoulder. I’m not sure if it’s his gesture or words (or probably his existence) which makes Kuryuu giving Hiiragi a judo throw over her shoulders. She felt great and thanks them both. So it’s decided. Kuryuu feels that she needs to go at her own pace and goes back to her strict reprimanding ways. Likes throwing her weight around, huh? Hey, that student she reprimands is wearing some punk-like make-up and hairstyle! How is that possible in the first place? She’s saying how his whole existence is against the rules! Oh well, with Kuryuu around, you can bet the moral standards of the school is safeguarded. Final narration from Hiiragi: She won’t be experiencing love for a while. Yeah, her job is her first love. Hahaha.
 
I guess this DVD episode isn’t so bad after all. I mean, it does bring back memories while I was watching the TV series then. Since Kuryuu is the main focus in this episode, I guess the producers didn’t want to leave out the rest of the other cast of characters of this series and have them make short appearances even if it’s for a few seconds.
 
I believe we have never seen the blackboard chalk drawing mid-intermission for Kuryuu. Yeah, she looks a little kind of intimidating, don’t you think? Ah well, that’s how strict people and those from the public morals committee should look like. Well, I don’t mean to stereotype but you can’t have gentle and nice looking for this kind of job, right?
 
I’m not sure how many DVD special episodes there are, but if there are additional ones like this, there will be a high chance of me watching it since it’s not really related to the storyline of the TV series and could stand alone by itself. I could just jump in and watch since I know the characters, setting and all. Don’t need to spend time to ‘build knowledge’, if you know what I mean. Ah, I wonder when I can experience romance myself. At this rate of watching animes, I’ll just keep dreaming…
 
Kimikiss Pure Rouge

Kimikiss Pure Rouge

November 15, 2008

Ah, another one of those high school drama love romances. That’s right. That is how I would classify the anime series Kimikiss Pure Rouge. This series is also based on the dating simulation of the same name but there is one refreshing thing about that game. It is not ecchi nor hentai. Uh huh. Just your normal dating simulation game in which anybody could just hop in and play without having to worry if there are ecchi or hentai elements in it.
 
Having said that this is a high school drama love romance story, I could say that this really is purely one. Sure, the occasional comedy and light hearted moments to ease the tension but it is not much. So for drama romance lovers, you’d probably enjoy this one and for those who don’t, I suppose you can consider this as another yawn fest and move on to other genres which suits your taste.
 
This 24 episode anime series is produced by J.C. Staff, which is also responsible for previous animes like Nodame Cantabile, Honey And Clover, and Ai Yori Aoshi. One big motivator for me to watch this series is the pretty kawaii bishoujos. Yup, beautiful girls. Although there isn’t going to be like over 100 girls, but the small group of them are enough to captivate me and give some eye candy. Don’t they look gorgeous? Well, at least to me. Most of them.
 
Let’s see, our main heroine is Mao Misuzawa, who has been living abroad in France for 2 years. Whatever the reasons, as seen in episode 1, Mao makes a surprise comeback to her hometown of Kibina in Japan. Thing is, she went ahead back first instead of waiting to go back home together with her parents. Why? Don’t know. Not important. Besides, you won’t get to see Mao’s parents coming back throughout the series. But I have a theory why she came back. Because she wants to see 1 of her 2 childhood friends badly. He is Kouichi Sanada and his morning slumber and dream is rudely awaken when a pretty girl comes knocking on his door. This blur guy doesn’t remember that this hot chick is Mao and it’s like when Mao arrived at his doorstep, she’s like making herself home like as though it’s her own home. And Kouichi still haven’t the slightest clue who this sexy babe is. Sexy babe? Yeah, Mao decides to take a shower after walking in the heat and got a little sweaty (note the climate change in France and Japan).
 
Soon, Kouichi’s best friend, Kazuki Aihara comes by and the latter is surprised to hear a female’s voice coming from inside his home and thinks Kouichi has betrayed him or something like that. As Mao comes out in a towel to see what the ruckus is all about, Kazuki recognizes Mao and vice versa. It then hit Kouichi who this girl is. Took you long enough, buddy. Kazuki is the other childhood friend of Mao. When Kouichi’s mom comes back, she tells them about Mao’s case and that she is going to live at their place for the time being. Which means, Kouichi has to give up his room for her and sleep in the storeroom. Can’t be sleeping together, right? Okay, so 1 night Mao wasn’t really able to sleep and asks Kouichi to come to ‘her’ room. From behind the door, you can hear Mao saying "Ah… Ah… I can’t stand this position…". Actually they were just playing a racing simulation and Mao is way behind. Haha. What was I thinking. This prompts Kouichi to think that Mao didn’t change after all.
 
The rest of the episode introduces several characters and sets the tone and pace for the rest of the series. Like we find out Kazuki has a cute little moe 1st year high school freshie sister named Nana. She’s so petite that people would mistake her for a junior high student. Also, Kouichi and Kazuki are the members of their school’s 3-member Movie Research Club, led by Akira Hiiragi. Now I wouldn’t say this guy is imposing but he’s got a way to have things done his way or get people to do stuff for him (mostly Kouichi and Kazuki). Must be his persuasion or either that they can’t turn him down. Anyway Hiiragi is trying to recruit more members to expand his club by asking Mao to join but of course, she declines. As it is the start of the new school term, the gang finds out the classes that they’re going to be in. Other characters introduced are the tomboyish footballer Asuka Sakino and a shy soft-spoken girl Yuumi Hoshino.
 
As 3rd year student Mao introduces herself in class, she notices a very unsocial guy, Kai Eiji, sitting next to her. Mao being her usual lively and bubbly self decides to make friends with him but he shrugs her off, ignoring her. Attempts to be friendly with him backfired. He even told her that they can’t be friends. Jerk. Which guy would pass up a chance to make friends with a gorgeous girl? Unless, you’re gay. It can’t be… Final developments of this episode has Kazuki noticing a paper airplane coming out from the building’s window and tries to return it to its owner. This leads him to the science lab where he finds the school’s genius and prodigy, Eriko Futami. At first looks, Futami looks like a typical cold character and her words may something sting your heart. But she always had that lonely atmosphere with her. Since Futami doesn’t need that paper airplane (her test paper which she failed on purpose) and finds out Kazuki doesn’t have a girlfriend, Futami decides to conduct an experiment and proceeds to give Kazuki a kiss! Gasp! That was unexpected and mind-blowing.
 
So in most of the episodes you’ll see how the main group of characters bond and interact each other through the ups and downs of their love relationship. Doesn’t seem interesting? Well, I was hoping Mao would be some sort of like a love guru and maestro seeing her bubbly and lively exterior but as the series goes by, I kinda notice she starts to change when she realizes her own feelings. Though she has been childhood friends with Kouichi and Kazuki and to them Mao is like their elder sister, but in the game of love, I guess you’ll never know, huh?
 
So in episode 2, Kazuki is sorting out his feelings about that kiss while Futami on the other hand didn’t feel a thing. On the way to school, they spot a wealthy girl riding a limo to school, Mitsuki Shijou. Upon arrival at the school gates, Nana is being stopped by public morals committee member, Megumi Kuryuu (I kinda find her twintail hairstyle… messy), about that childish frog plushie. I’m amazed that Mao can actually fall asleep on the school grounds. Surprisingly, Hiiragi has some sort of data on the girls in his school so when Kazuki asks a little information about Futami. Though Hiiragi is surprised, he tells Kazuki that Futami is the untouchable type. Something way out of his league. But Kazuki isn’t going to give up as he searches for her but to no avail. Later, Nana introduces a new friend she made, Narumi Satonaka. These 2 are like inseparable pair and whenever they get shrieky, excited and all girly, let’s just say my hair stood on ends. Can’t stand them. Besides, Narumi too has that weird frog plushie and the duo won’t hesitate to act out some lovey-dovey romance act between the frog plushies whom they’ve even named Iwao and Juliet. Sheesh… Also, the duo decides to form an Udon Association to make the best udon in the world (thus a reason not to join the movie club). Meanwhile Mao hears somebody playing a beautiful melody on a saxophone and finds out it is Kai. She tries to be friendly with him and expresses how his music is good but Kai once again he gives her the cold shoulder. Since Mao is pretty persistent, Kai tells her that unlike the rest of the 3rd years, he isn’t taking any entrance exam this year so he is sick about his other peers talking about it. So Mao makes a deal with him that she won’t mention anything about the exams to him but in exchange would like to become his friend. Kai agrees. As Kazuki finally finds Eriko on the rooftop and tries to ascertain himself about that incident, in which Futami says it was just an incident. Lastly, Mao watches from a distance how Kouichi is speaking to Yuumi and later back at home is surprised to find out that even though Kouichi likes her, this is the first time they have talked to each other even if they were in the same class last year. Mao is determined to help Kouichi get closer to Yuumi.
 
In episode 3, Nana invites Mao to a group karaoke session but since they are short of people, Mao forces Kouichi and Kazuki to get more people, and preferably girls. *Wink wink*. While Kazuki has Eriko on her mind (didn’t manage to get her in the end), Kouichi is trying to summon up his courage to ask Yuumi, who is attending to her library duties. Mao is spying on them but gets irritated and frustrated about Kouichi’s hesitation. Mao has had about it and ticks Kouichi off and asks Yuumi on his behalf. This has got to be embarrassing. Anyway Yuumi agrees. Due to Kazuki’s failure to rope in a girl, he brings Hiiragi instead. As the gang had their fun belting out tune after tune, Mao had a little chat with Yuumi about how she views Kouichi as his little brother and that there isn’t anything to worry about and wish the best for the both of them. At the end of the session, Mao has Kouichi walk Yuumi back to the train station. As Mao walks home, he spots Kai putting out a store sign. She learns that Kai is working at this bar, Deby, part time and in exchange they let him play the saxophone. At the train station, before Yuumi gets on board, Kouichi sum up his courage to call out to her by saying how he wants to talk to her more often from now on. The other passer-bys must be thinking what is going on. Probably they’re thinking it’s another high school teenage romance. Ah, the wonders of being young. As Yuumi agrees, as the duo head home smiling with new found happiness in their hearts.
 
But even if Kouichi and Yuumi are getting along well, their slow pace in their relationship development doesn’t please Mao very well. So in episode 4, Kouichi in turn asks Mao back if she has a boyfriend. Well, her shoe locker is overflowing with love letters. Uh huh. Something about she can get a boyfriend anytime but doesn’t feel the need to do so now. Also, Mao learns that Kazuki is part of Sakino’s football team as the latter drags the reluctant kid for some football practice. Since Sakino is the only girl in the entire school who plays football, she is allowed to join the boys’ team. See, no discrimination. On the other hand, we also find out that Futami has a bad habit of ditching classes by staying at the infirmary. Just because you’re a genius, doesn’t mean you don’t have to attend classes, right? Even her friend Shijou is worried about her. But that morning as Mao was rushing late to school again, she bumps into Kai at the shoe locker area (more love letters flowing out), but Kai notices her dizzy condition and proceeds to carry her to the infirmary. There, Mao gets acquainted with Futami. Because Hiiragi has been handing down assignments for his movie project to Kazuki and Kouichi, Kazuki is having a hard time juggling between the movie club and his football practice sessions with Sakino while Kouichi enlists Yuumi’s help. Later, Kazuki gets to meet Futami at the stairways and asks her about the experiment like has she done it on others. Of course she gives the it’s none of your concern answer. Because of that, Kazuki can’t concentrate on his football practice and gets some lecturing from Sakino, who then takes out her frustration on her practice. As Mao leaves class, she finds Kai waiting for him and thanks him for what he did this morning. Just then, Kai asks her if she is free this weekend and wants to ask her out. Mao agrees. Wow, now this guy is really starting to like her. At first he was so unfriendly and look how this has changed him.
 
Episode 5 starts off with a flashback when Mao, Kouichi and Kazuki are little kids and we see Mao doing daring things by jumping off a moving swing. Back in present time, Mao is being taken by Kai to a live jazz performance on their date. Mao is quite impressed as the duo chat and share their common interest in the jazz music genre. In school, Hiiragi bugs Kouichi for the movie’s script, in which he is in charge of. With Yuumi’s help, the duo decided that the movie is going to based on a love story. At the canteen, Hiiragi spots Futami eating alone there and notes how rare it is for her to do so and cheekily tells Kazuki that this his chance but Kazuki says that this wasn’t what he had in mind and leaves. Mao finds a dejected Kazuki on the rooftop as she consoles him. Kazuki remembers the time whereby Mao was asking the guys to jump off from the swing in which Mao remembers Kazuki jumped the furthest. Later, Mao requests Eiji to let her listen to his performance as promised while Kouichi and Yuumi continue working together for their love story script. You know Yuumi, love stories does not necessarily need to have a tragic end. Also, Kazuki manages to confront Futami and tells her that he wants to continue with the experiment. Oh, now he wants more of it, does he? Which guy wouldn’t.
 
So the experiment continues in episode 6 as we see Kazuki and Futami in the science room having a good look by examining him (sorry, nothing steamy here) when Futami tells him that he is a failure. Soon Futami makes some experimental coffee and lets Kazuki drinks it. It doesn’t take a genius to tell that the coffee tastes horrible. Mao comes back home late because she was at Deby’s when Kouichi decides to ask her for help on his homework and upcoming tests. However, since Mao herself didn’t study for her upcoming test or back then when she studied but had a flu, she tells him that she can only help him if he has problems with love. I see she’s a real expert in this area. The next day, even Sakino approaches Kazuki and Kouichi to help her study for the upcoming test. They come up with a plan with Kouichi asking Mao to meet them at the library saying Kazuki has some problems with his love life. Of course Mao wouldn’t pass this chance up and goes there but is rather disappointed to find out that this is a ploy to get the gang to study together. As the gang starts studying, Kazuki spots Futami and requests her to join them but she refuses. This made Sakino stood up and tell her off that they are not smart people like she is. Futami just walk away. On the way home, Kouichi tells Yuumi about how Mao has always been like a big sister to him. Then at Deby, Kai’s statement of how it would be nice if they could study together surprised Mao because she thought he hated studying, when Mao was doing her studies at the workplace. Soon, the tests results are out and most of the gang are delighted with the results they got. Kazuki spots Futami’s name on top of the board as she scored perfect for all her tests. As for Nana and Narumi, they flopped…
 
The script for the club’s movie project is gaining ground in episode 7 but a teacher chases them out of the room that they’re occupying. But the gang gets to continue their work when Narumi allows them to do so at her udon shop run by her grandpa. Narumi’s grandpa have that cold look and don’t really have any lines in this series. So how does he communicate? With his face or hand gestures of course. While they hear Narumi’s dream of continuing her grandpa’s profession of udon making, this prompts Mao to remember back then Kouichi’s dream to be a novelist. Something about Kouichi was emotionally touched after reading a book called A Dog Of Flanders. Uh huh, he cried. Mao then made a promise back then that she will keep this book so that he could stop crying. Mao tells this embarrassing tale to everyone. Soon Hiiragi suggests that they need to find a heroine for this movie of theirs but since none of the girls here are willing to volunteer, they will have to scout for one. The next day, the scouting proves unfruitful. On the other hand, we see Kazuki and Futami standing next to each other holding hands in the science room. Kazuki thoughts must be racing to think what kind of move Futami will pull off. Though it didn’t amount to anything much, Futami soon gives Kazuki her usual horrible coffee brew and starts eating her weird meal. Chips with honey? To a normal person, that doesn’t seem appetizing. Well, Futami’s not normal. Because Kazuki thinks Futami has always been eating alone, he decides to conduct an experiment to see whether she has bad tastes or not, in which she agrees. Then everyone receives an SMS from Hiiragi telling them to meet at the udon shop as he has found their heroine. That person Hiiragi is talking about is no other than Shijou. Since she has no other club activities, she is happy and more willing to help them out. However, the group becomes disappointed when they found out that Shijou already has a fiancee and thus can’t play the part of a heroine. Not only that, there is a kiss scene too. Though Shijou can’t play that part, she decides to help out in any other ways she can. Back to square one. Meanwhile Mao is at Kai’s workplace and is on her way out when Kai tells her that he wants her to come by here everyday. With that, Kai then kisses Mao on her lips. Mao is taken aback and pushes him away before apologizing and running off. Can’t take the sudden development, can’t she? And I thought she was the expertise in this area.
 
Nana is suspicious of Kazuki in episode 8 as she thinks her brother has some sort of a date, in which he denies. Not only Kazuki is acting strange, so is Mao. Due to that sudden kiss, Mao obviously hasn’t been herself lately like being absent-minded. Because of that, Mao excuses herself to the infirmary where she meets Futami once more. After school, as Yuumi suggests to Kouichi to watch a movie to get some ideas, Kazuki takes Futami out to a ramen shop for his experiment. Futami orders the worst combination possibly the shop could offer called berry ramen (why was such an item on the menu anyway?) and this shocks all the other customers. Just then Sakino appears and spots the duo. She apologizes for her previous outburst. Futami has no qualms finishing her berry ramen and even enjoys it! Bad taste confirmed? With that, Kazuki decides to bring Futami to another store. Back at Satonaka’s udon shop, Hiiragi is surprised to find out that Shijou has not even seen the face of his fiancee nor does she know the meaning of love. How can she be so upbeat and positive about it? Shijou proceeds to ask Kouichi and Yuumi what it’s like to be in love, which puts them in an awkward situation. Soon Kazuki, Futami and Sakino arrive at the store and they order the best udon for her to try out. It is confirmed that Futami really does have bad taste when she just says it tastes normal, sending some heartbreaking news to gramps. Looks like he took that comment to seriously and starts remaking his noodles. Nana then takes this opportunity to introduce herself and asks what is Futami’s relationship with her brother. Futami denies anything about them nor even being friends and soon leaves. Earlier on during the day, Kai did apologize to Mao for suddenly kissing her and even admits that he liked her. Throughout the day, they went out on a date as Kai finds out how Mao is good with video games and learns that she and Kouichi get along well. As they leave, a speeding bike causes Eiji to pull Mao into his arms. When Kouichi and Yuumi left the udon shop, they bump into Mao and Kai just around the corner. They just stared each other in silence.
 
The school will be having a swimming event in episode 9. Because of this, Hiiragi thinks this would be their best chance to scout for a heroine. Mao is thinking when she bumped into Kouichi and Yuumi back then. She quickly stepped away from Kai when she spotted them. Mao leaves the bar early but her gloomy mood is lifted when Kouichi goes into her room to get some swimming gear. During the swimming event, it seems that part of Hiiragi’s plan is to have Kouichi and Kazuki take pictures of girls with their handphones. Not a good idea if you consider suspicious Kuryuu around. They might even be mistaken for perverts. After the morning rounds, the gang regroups for some lunch. Kazuki invites Futami to eat together. As the gang questions her about her swimming, Futami tells them that she has learned all of its techniques through reading but Sakino begs to differ as she states how reading and doing it are 2 different aspects. As the swimming event continues, Kouichi finds himself up against Kai and wonders if there is anything wrong between him and Mao. But just as Kouichi put on his goggles, he felt groggy and faints and is brought to the infirmary. Looks like Kouichi misplaced his and Mao’s powered goggles. Yuumi is left alone with Kouichi after their homeroom teacher Tomoka Kawada, leaves the room. As Yuumi further inspects Kouichi’s injuries, Kazuki comes in and at that angle, it’s as though Yuumi was kissing Kouichi. It seems Sakino is injured too as Kazuki brings her in. But Sakino is determined (some may say stubborn) and decides to continue with the event. In the end, she surprises everyone by winning the event. Even Futami thinks that was an amazing feat. Soon Hiiragi rounds up Kouichi and Kazuki about their report but of course the results were nil. Though Shijou had come up with someone, it wasn’t what the gang had expected. Later, Mao bumps into Kouichi as the former lost her contacts so Kouichi decides to help her find it.
 
That search-for-her-lost-contacts somehow turned into something strange in episode 10. Kouichi is suddenly playing a saxophone but he sounds horrible! What the?! Then it all turned out to be just a dream. What a weird dream that was. Anyway because of Mao’s little depression, Kouichi wonders if she and Kai got into a fight. As Kouichi goes out, he bumps into Kai. The 2 sat down and chat. Since Kouichi thinks that Kai is the only one who can bring happiness to Mao, he requests for his help to take care of her. Kouichi also wants Kai to keep this a secret from Mao before leaving. Meanwhile Mao gets a call from Kouichi’s mom saying how she and her husband won’t be back today when Kouichi comes back soaked from the rain. Kouichi then notices how Mao is her lively self again when she gets a phone call from Kai. The next day, Mao leaves on her date with Kai but Kouichi soon collapses due to his fever from yesterday’s rain. Kouichi tries to nurse himself but since he can’t call Yuumi for help, he calls Kazuki instead. It seems Kazuki too has come down with fever after his football practice with Sakino. And Narumi and Nana are irritating him with their frog plushie. I’m not sure if that would help him recover. Hiiragi comes by Kouichi’s place to tell about some princess role whom Shijou has accepted (don’t worry, that visual was Hiiragi’s imagination), he has put in and also made some amendments. Great, now Kouichi has more headache to deal with. During the date with Mao, she notices how Kai isn’t acting like himself as though he has something to hide. Kai has no choice but to reveal what had happened earlier on. This causes Mao to be a little upset when she gets home, she busts in calling out to Kouichi’s name. Mao’s anger turns to worry when she spots Kouichi is sick. After giving the necessary treatment, Kouichi figured out that Kai had ratted on him. As Kouichi tries to explain that Mao doesn’t look cheerful like she used to, Mao tells him about that weird dream she had but it seems he had already fallen asleep. With that, Mao leans forward and kisses his forehead. But to Mao’s horror, she saw Kouichi’s eyes opened as he looked at her.
 
The gang pays a visit to Shijou’s mansion as part of their movie project in episode 11. So how big is Shijou’s mansion? Why, she even offers them a limo ride from the gate entrance to the front door. Yeah, real big alright. Surprisingly, Futami tags along too. Shijou gives them a tour of the place but since it’s going to take forever, the gang split themselves into several groups. Just don’t get lost, okay? They soon get a taste of what it’s called sumptuous food that only rich people eat. This gives Narumi new ideas for her new udon. Of course, for Futami, it’s just okay. Even if Hiiragi has done gathering his resources on the scenario, the rest feel it’s too early to leave (yeah, got bitten by the rich bug, aren’t they?). So they decide to play hide and seek. Since the mansion is too big, they decide to draw lot and go in pairs. Mao trade her place with Yuumi so that she could be with Kouichi as Mao gets paired with Shijou. With Hiiragi and Sakino as a pair, this leaves Kazuki and Futami as one. Thus, Nana and Narumi are ‘it’. As Kazuki and Futami are hiding in a room, Kazuki is surprised to hear how Futami is enjoying time with everyone else. To show her gratitude, Futami kisses Kazuki. Another experiment, I suppose? Just then, Nana and Narumi barges in but luckily, the kiss was over. It would’ve been the most scandalous event if they ever saw it. After the gang leaves Shijou’s mansion, Kouichi is seeing off Yuumi at the train station when she suddenly shed a tear. Before Kouichi could find out why, Yuumi has already gone on board and leaves Kouichi confused.
 
Episode 12 has Mao lecturing Kouichi for watching love fortunes on tv and when Kouichi asks her the reasons girls cry, Mao thinks he had in some way made Yuumi cried. He changes his mind and rushes out. On the way to school, Mao and Kouichi notices Kazuki’s good mood (from that latest kiss lah). At school, Kazuki finds Sakino doing well in her recent tests and when he meets with Futami later, he learns that she is 2 points short of a perfect score. Futami acknowledges that it was her careless mistake and it was her first time (due to love, perhaps?). Mao spots Kouichi and Yuumi going home together as she spaces out and feels lonely. Kai comes by to comfort her. Kazuki is having his usual football practice with Sakino after school but a tackle from him causes him to injure her. Since no one is in the infirmary, Kazuki peddles with all his might to the nearest clinic with Sakino as his pillion. You can see the expression on Sakino’s face that she’s starting to have feelings for Kazuki. Even if she’s a tomboy, deep down she’s still a girl after all. Meanwhile Kouichi and Yuumi have just finished their lunch at a shop when it started raining. This causes an awkward situation when they both took out their umbrellas at the same time. But Yuumi decides to have Kouichi use his instead. From a distance, Mao spots the couple together and again she gets that worried look on her face. What’s her problem? Don’t tell me she has feelings for Kouichi. It can’t be… Elsewhere, Hiiragi gets a limo ride from Shijou and it seems Shijou’s Doberman dog has taken quite a liking for him (in the previous episode, they had quite a ‘fiery’ encounter). At the clinic, though Sakino’s injuries aren’t bad, she thanks him. Kazuki went on to tell her about his lucky point of his horoscope today but all Sakino can do is blush. As for Futami, she seems to be watching the rain fall from her apartment. A bad omen?
 
As Kouichi and Yuumi’s work progress on the movie script made some progress in episode 13, this episode continues with more drama particularly with Mao spacing out and her uncertain feelings because of that kiss she gave to Kouichi. Same case with Sakino. Most of the time when she bumps into Kazuki, she gets that blushing feeling and even come to think that Kazuki and Futami are getting along pretty well. Yeah, Sakino did meet Kazuki at the stairways when the latter even admits that he likes Futami when she asked. Gasp! Because of that, we see Kazuki making some progress with Futami as they exchange handphone numbers. Since Kai notices Mao’s unusual self, he takes her on her date and after viewing a beautiful sunset scenery, Mao realizes that Kai has been looking after her all this while and leans her head on his shoulder. This should at least confirm her feelings. But a shocking development comes at the end of this episode. After Kouichi and Yuumi had spent a wonderful day together, at the end of it, Yuumi reveals the reason why she shed tears at the train station during that time. Yuumi is going to be transferred to another school soon due to her parent’s work! Oh no! Yuumi tearfully tells Kouichi that during that time she panicked at the thought of not being able to see him anymore as she wished days like these would go on forever. However, Kouichi gives her a hug and promises her that he will continue to see her. It’s so disheartening to see Yuumi in tears like that.
 
In episode 14, Mao soon learns of Yuumi’s future departure from Kouichi when he tells her how he’s going to work part time during the summer holidays so that he can save some money and go see her every week. That’s so sweet and thoughtful of him. But Mao reminds him that if he spends his time working, he won’t have much time to spend with her and suggests taking her out to the beach as a simple way to enjoy themselves. As Kouichi continues his football practice with Sakino and is gradually improving, Eiji gives Mao tickets to his upcoming live jazz band performance. Mao is thrilled to see him performing. At Futami’s place, she gets a call from her dad working away as Futami assures that she is alright by herself. Soon after, she calls Kazuki and asks him if he’s free for another experiment tomorrow. Though Kazuki is surprised and would gladly accept, he remembers he has a football match on that day and has to decline. So Futami asks him which is more important, the experiment or his football. This guy’s got to make a tough choice. Since Kazuki says he wants to make a change, Futami then tells him she’ll conduct the experiment some other time and quickly hangs up. Not too happy, isn’t she? Her experiment subject has something else more important to do? On match day, Kazuki gets to play when a regular becomes injured during the match. Futami arrives to watch Kazuki in action and notices how well he gets along with Sakino, who is on the sidelines due to her recovering feet injury. So when Futami returns home, she is in a dilemma whether to call Kazuki or not, but soon decides not to. Later when the movie club members (and all its other non-members who only wish to help out) converge at the usual udon shop (must be their base for meetings now, huh?), Hiiragi announces that Kouichi and Yuumi will play the part of lovers. Though surprising, they agree to it. As they walk home, Kazuki mentions how close Kouichi and Yuumi has gotten to when Hiiragi fires the same question back at him about Futami. Then some advice reminder from Hiiragi about the need to get hold of her before he loses her as she lives in a different world. This prompts Kazuki to call Futami, but she didn’t pick up her phone. Can I consider her to be sulking or showing her displeasure?
 
The filming begins in episode 15 but it seems Yuumi is fumbling her lines quite often. It seems that almost the entire summer holiday has been scheduled for filming. Bummer. Later Yuumi apologizes to the gang that she’s unable to do it so her part is to be replaced by Mao, who is still reluctant about doing it. Kazuki is still trying to call Futami but the results are still the same. Maybe it’s a sign to say that she’s not going to talk to you for some time? Anyway, since this is Kouichi’s first time bringing Yuumi to his home, Kouichi’s mom is quite thrilled to see her son bringing back a girl. The usual mother-embarrassing-son moments before going out to leave the duo alone. They could have landed a kiss if not for Mao coming back home. So close. Yuumi is here to persuade Mao to take on he role in the movie, in which Mao reluctantly agrees to do it. Meanwhile Kazuki and Sakino are out buying football shoes when Nana calls her brother. Though Kazuki denies he’s on a date or something, it was enough to make Sakino blush. As Mao goes through the script for the movie, the kissing scene reminded her of the one she gave Kouichi. Just then, Kouichi came in to borrow Mao’s camera for his date at the beach. Kouichi and Yuumi manage to enjoy themselves at the beach and at the end of the day as Kouichi sees Yuumi off at the train station, they both kiss. At the same time, Mao is running late for Kai’s performance and she happen to see the duo kissing just before she got on board. It’s that feeling again.
 
Though Mao manages to catch Kai’s performance in episode 16, Kouichi’s kissing with Yuumi still pretty much occupies her mind. She even got all moody when she comes back, giving tired as an excuse. Even Kai notices her strange behaviour over the phone. When the movie shooting continues, Mao’s preoccupied mind causes the team problems as they had to do several retakes. Then Kazuki’s clumsiness causes some damage to the filming equipment, which pretty much has the gang take a much deserve break. Later as Kouichi continue his date with Yuumi, Sakino notices Kazuki has been obsessed with his handphone. I mean, he’s looking at it most of the time. Hoping something from Futami would show up. But when his handphone soon rings, to his disappointment, it’s from Hiiragi. Sakino then meets Futami coming in an opposite direction. She takes this chance to ask several stuff. Futami bluntly tells her that she and Kazuki are doing some kissing experiment to understand better about human’s feelings. Sakino is shocked (or perhaps Kazuki got his first kiss from another girl?) and ticks her off for playing with people’s feelings. Though Futami agrees, that’s so much about it as she walks away. Meanwhile Mao heads over to Deby and to Kai’s surprise, she falls into his arms and wants him to kiss her. Finally, Kazuki gets a much awaited call from Futami but she’s telling him that she’s ending the experiments.
 
So in episode 17, Kazuki is pretty worried about what Futami meant, which is also making Sakino pretty concern about him. She even comes over to his place and talks thing about Futami. It’s that time he knew that secret experiment of his is out. I’m not sure if Sakino’s advice of him staying out of such experiments is based on her friendship or her feelings of wanting to be with him. Though Kazuki thanks her for it, Sakino felt that she was the cause of this. But this episode focuses more on Mao’s deepening crisis. Though Kai notices it, but there is nothing much he can do for her. Then during the filming, Hiiragi thought Mao’s performance was splendid when in actual fact, she isn’t really acting. But it look darn convincing for that part. It’s as though the movie was somewhat similar to their lives. Well, at least it did bring back of such past memories. After a successful shoot, the gang celebrates with fireworks, but Mao excuses herself as she went to Deby. As Mao confronts Kai, she drops a bombshell. She tells him that she can’t see him again. Just great. Is that a break-up statement? I can’t believe she let go a cool guy for some childhood friend of his who already has a nice gal.
 
Of course Kai wants an answer as Mao explains in episode 18 that she feels pain whenever she sees Kouichi and Yuumi together. Is that a good reason? Because Mao rush out during the pouring rain, she develop a fever soon after. Also I think she’s love sick, so she’s double ill. Haha, just kidding. Kouichi is worried for her and wonders what has happened. Meanwhile Kazuki gets a call from Sakino to meet at the park. When he arrives, to his surprise, Futami is also there. It seems Sakino has personally made some arrangements for them to meet so that they could reconcile things. Sakino soon leaves them alone. Futami asks Kazuki to follow her back to her apartment and there Kazuki wants to know why she wanted to end the experiment. She mentions about change of people’s feeling which she thinks it’s better to be alone from the start if one gets involved and in the end becomes alone again. A short flashback which indicates that a young Futami has always been alone but it didn’t amount to anything much. Kazuki has his firm believe of his own but Futami isn’t pretty convinced. As the filming continues, Yuumi feels bad for Mao getting sick and thinks it’s her fault but Kouichi reassures her that Mao is fine. Even so, Kouichi can’t take her mind off Mao and is quite distracted. As for Kazuki, as his skills continue to improve, he even thanks Sakino for letting him meet Futami and even properly end their current relationship (no hard feelings, okay). Thus he wants to treat her over it. Kouichi is walking through the streets when he bumps into Kai. He wants to know what is wrong with Mao but Kai didn’t give him any answer except by the fact that they broke up before leaving for his work. So when Kouichi goes back, he tells Mao that he wants to help her out in anyway he can but an upset Mao tells right in his face that the person she loves is Kouichi and shoves him out of the room, leaving him very confused. So this pretty much confirms it.
 
But the next morning, Mao tells Kouichi to forget about what happened last night in episode 19. How can he? That confession will have such an impact on anybody even if it was a bad joke. Blaming on her illness and not thinking straight that time? So even if she’s feeling better now, is she really so? The school festival will soon be approaching and I just realized that Kuryuu is the class rep for Kouichi, Kazuki and Hiiragi’s class. It seems she picks out the movie club members for class duties and Hiiragi thinks there’s a conspiracy against his club. Yeah, even his efforts for his club to be registered seems to take a back seat (denied, that is). Kazuki then meets up with Futami in her usual spot at the science room and confess that he likes her. Futami still isn’t convinced with Kazuki’s answer about all the questions she had thrown to him and leaves. Because Kouichi was waiting in line to help get the movie club register and a best spot for the festival, the painting of the poster job has been entrusted to Yuumi and Shijou. Once it’s done, Yuumi and Shijou walk home together and meet Narumi and Nana. It is then that the trio find out Yuumi is going to transfer to another school the day after the festival ends. The girls are surprised but remains supportive of her. On the day of the final filming scene which involves kissing, it seems Mao still has her emotions unsorted out and just before the cue to kiss she sheds a tear. As everyone witnessed it, Hiiragi orders a cut on it and didn’t expect such scene to be wonderful and decides this scene should remain as it is. Though Mao runs away in tears, Yuumi can’t help feel concern that Mao may have some feelings for Kouichi. Body language does reveal a lot. Kai finds Mao running through the streets but manages to catch up with her and console her.
 
Nice guy Kai in episode 20 even called his job that he will be in late because he intends to be with Mao until she feels better. Are you regretting you broke up with this guy now? Mood swings apparently have become such a norm for this girl and even if Kouichi now is uncertain about his own feelings and wonders if he could ever face her, Mao manages to put on a cheery face the next day like as though nothing ever happened. Love is taking a toll on several of the other girls too like Sakino’s pals think she’s become more feminine when they think she’s interested in a female fashion magazine and studious Yuumi for the first time wasn’t really paying attention in class and was spacing out. During recess, Kazuki spots Futami eating alone and boldly approaches her for some answers while everyone is witnessing. Though Futami soon leaves, Hiiragi gives him credit for doing the impossible. Kazuki is still determined as we see him practicing some manly lines (okay, it might sound crappy but hey, you never know if you don’t try), which is being overheard by Nana, who thinks it’s pretty cool. Futami skips school the next day but as she’s looking out her balcony, she suddenly becomes flustered when she sees Kazuki with a bouquet of flowers in hand approaching her place. For the first time, I’ve seen such emotion on her face. She’s in a panic and wonders what to do. As Kazuki practices his lines on the monitor screen, unknown to him, Futami is watching his ‘convincing’ words. Kazuki soon is going to deliver to real deal when Futami pops out through the elevator and wondering what he is doing. Now he lost all his calm and coolness. Because he was fumbling with his lines, this made Futami laugh. However Futami is still pretty adamant about wanting Kazuki to forget about her but you know, he’s gone so far and with more sincere smooth talking like he isn’t a smart guy or he won’t forget his feelings for her, this touched Futami as she is brought to tears. Wow. No guy has ever did this. You finally got her, you lucky son of a gun. Though she’s crying, we all know she’s lying when she say she isn’t. She must have caught that Franky guy’s disease, huh? Franky who? That cyborg from One Piece who gets all emotional after hearing sob stories and even got the nerve to say he’s not crying when he’s bawling enough tears to fill a swimming pool. That’s what Futami’s going through right now. She’s tsundere alright. An emotional Futami fell into Kazuki’s arms. Is this the day you’ve been waiting for? The iron wall has fallen. Finally back at Kouichi’s place, Mao tells him and his mom that she intends of moving out.
 
Episode 21 has Kouichi wondering if Mao’s moving is his fault even if she’s just moving away a few blocks. As for Kazuki, he even waits for and accompanies Futami to school. At least this girls is slightly opened up now. But it’s Sakino’s turn to feel even more concern when she spots the happy duo going to school. She’s thinking was making them meet a bad move? In class, Kazuki even thanks Sakino further for letting them meet. Yeah, shouldn’t have done so. The rest of the gang gets prepared for the festival like Hiiragi burning the midnight oil to final edit the film (OMG! He looks like a zombie!), Shijou’s class doing a haunted house, Mao’s class doing a maid cafe, and Nana and Narumi doing an udon stall (they even have 2 new senior recruits as their club members). So when Futami says that the udon the girls made was delicious, it’s like the end of the world… No just kidding, a new revolution has begun, sending happiness to them all. As Kazuki finally finds out Mao’s moving, Yuumi feels even more concern. But when Yuumi accidentally meets Mao in the streets, Mao assures her that even though she’s moving, she will leave Yuumi all to Kouichi’s care. Meanwhile, the football coach announces that Sakino and Kazuki are to be in the starting line-up for a match during the festival. Kazuki is happy and relay this news to Futami. Futami notices Sakino’s worrying expression has Futami wondering what is her concern. Then Yuumi surprised Kouichi when she cancel their plans for the coming weekend when Kouichi tells about them. On the day Mao is moving, Kouichi helps her pack. Mao decides to keep the script for the movie and at the same time return the A Dog Of Flanders book to him. Kouichi wish he could turn back time when they were younger and spend time together but Mao says he now has Yuumi. On the other hand, Yuumi to starts her packing.
 
So I guess the ‘love tension’ for Sakino seems to be pretty obvious in episode 22 when she gets all flustered up to see Kazuki and Futami arriving at the school gates together. They don’t call Futami a genius for nothing. She does sense something amiss with her. As Hiiragi is busy completing his editing, Kuryuu comes in to tell him off for slacking class duties for the festival (she’s always picking on him, isn’t she?). Hiiragi has Kazuki ‘sent’ instead of his place. As the others make their final push, Mao felt a little dizzy and heads for the infirmary. By now, you should know who she sees there, right? Yeah, Futami and her usual idling there. Some chat about feelings which reminded each about their own personal ones. With the completion in sight, Hiiragi has Kouichi and Yuumi go buy drinks together and tells them to meet at the udon shop. When the duo return, they are surprised to find that the rest had organized a farewell party for Yuumi. Everyone is there except for Futami who’s back in her lonely apartment. Yeah, she declined an invitation from Kazuki. Although Yuumi had a great time, she can’t help but notice that Kouichi have a troubled face and even when they agree to make good memories of their remaining days together. When Kouichi returns to his real room, he sees A Dog Of Flanders book on the floor and emotional memories starts flowing back. Yeah, he cried. Again. Not because of the book but I think because of Mao.
 
The school festival starts in episode 23. As Kouichi and Yuumi spend the day together visiting other stalls, Hiiragi has finally finish his movie and just need to distribute flyers for people to come watch. Kuryuu drags Kazuki away for their class’s first shift. We see Shijou in some haunted costume but nice girls like her made her look more docile than scary. Also, Kawada gets into the action by helping her students with their maid cafe by dressing up as a maid waitress. Yeah, she’s the centre of attraction. It’s only in anime where teachers look young and cute in such outfit. Surprisingly, Narumi’s grandpa turns up at the festival and has a taste of her udon. A large crowd gathers as everyone anticipates his final verdict. He gives the thumbs up and everybody rejoices, giving new hope to Narumi. After Kazuki is done with his shift, he is replaced by Kouichi and Yuumi. Now this guy can gear up for his football match while Kuryuu goes round with her usual moral patrolling stint (later she helps Hiiragi distribute flyers for his movie. I think Kuryuu has a crush on Hiiragi). In the end, Kazuki’s team lost but it was a good match. Not only that, the coach of the opposing team is scouting for a football female talent and gives his recommendations to Sakino, which she gladly accepts. After the match, Sakino requests to speak to Kazuki alone. In short, she confessed her feelings to him, which of course surprises Kazuki. Though he thanks her for letting him know, Sakino then suddenly kisses him! This guy is lucky getting kisses from 2 different girls. Sakino cheerfully tells him to go to Futami and that she’ll grow up to be a beautiful woman and make him regret it before rushing off. Isn’t that ironic? Meanwhile the movie club is doing well with many people turning up. What’s this? Kuryuu crying and sobbing? Another tsundere character… Finally Kazuki tries to search for Futami because it’s the time where promised he’ll spend time with her for the festival. But she’s no where to be found. One reason is that Futami saw Kazuki’s match and how friendly he was with Sakino, so I think she got jealous there. Also, Yuumi’s is even more worried when she notices Kouichi staring and spacing out at Mao.
 
The festival is drawing to a close in episode 24. Kazuki is still trying to find Futami but to no avail. As Kouichi and Yuumi are walking together, Kouichi remembers his handphone he left behind when they patron Mao’s cafe and rushes back alone to get it. As Yuumi waits, she happen to meet Mao. Mao gives her assurance that it’s her turn now to take care of Kouichi and ‘passes the baton’ over to Yuumi before rushing off. Likewise, Kouichi bumped into Kai and they chat about lying to one own’s feelings and hurting the other party. Similarly, Sakino happen to spot Futami sitting alone on a swing at a playground and once again goes to talk some sense into her. Something about nothing will start if she runs away. It was good enough to make Futami realize things. Back at school, I now really think Kuryuu has a crush on Hiiragi because she did blushingly accepted his invitation for the campfire dance. Tsundere. During the campfire dance, Kouichi spots Mao from a distance and suddenly stood up. He then wants to have a word with Yuumi. To cut things short, this guy apologizes that he can’t keep his promise of seeing Yuumi every weekend because he confess he is in love with Mao! OMG! What a big jerk! But Yuumi isn’t mad, she thanks him for all the time he has spent with her as she properly says her goodbye to him. If this was in the real world, there would’ve been lots of b*tch slap and screaming of disbelief. Ah, only such gentleness could be found in animes.
 
On the other hand, Kazuki has finally found Futami sitting on top of the school rooftop. He’s still persistent after all this time. So is Futami. Kazuki mentions that everytime she runs away, he’ll chase after her. With that, Futami gets teary eyed and wonders if it’s okay to fall in love. Of course it is. They then both kissed. For the first time, a kiss not out of an experiment. See how perseverance pays off? Lastly we see Kouichi not sure whether he’s regretting what he’s done or what but he finally gets the courage to go look for Mao. He finds her on a overhead bridge and tells her how he and Yuumi broke up and that his true feelings are for Mao. Though Mao is hesitant at first, but soon after he promise not to hurt her ever again, did she change her mind as they both run up to each other and kiss while the fireworks display starts. As the other gang watches the beautifully lit night sky from their places, Kouichi and Mao says how they love each other.
 
Sadly, the shocking turn of events at the final episode was dissatisfying and left quite a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. It was an unbelievable thing that Kouichi and Mao could ditch their potential good soul mates (in my opinion) for each other. I mean, throughout the series, it was as though we’re going to see Kouichi ending up with Yuumi since they were getting along pretty well. That is, until Mao came along. So is she the villain here? Is she the cause of their break-up? Was all those advice and assurances she gave to Yuumi for nothing? But ultimately, watching this series isn’t a totally bad waste of time either. Hey, it’s a pure teenage high school drama romance as I’ve said.
 
I wouldn’t say the character development here is the best in the world but I guess is better than many other shows that I’ve watched. Though it’s a short series, we can see how some of the characters gradually changed. Like how Kazuki’s persistency paid off with Futami in the end, in turn made that girl more receptive of all those around her. Yeah, she’s no longer an island now. Kai is 1 cool character and is a good guy. After his break-up with Mao, he still maintain his friendship with her and even being supportive. Though I felt his presence had no significant impact after Mao’s decision. Narumi and Nana? What can I say. They still irritate me with their shrieky girliness. Also, I thought that there was going to be some chemistry between Hiiragi and Shijou but it turns out that guy’s 1st passion is his movie after all. Though Kuryuu didn’t make much appearance and even the most prominent ones were here and there towards the end of the series, it’s a shame it didn’t develop further than that. But that’s another story. Most notable one was Mao as mentioned. She has turned from a spunky, lively and cheerful girl to a well, love struck dilemma teenager. Well, earlier on when she returned from France, she did say she want to experience falling in love. So how does that feel now? But I still don’t really hate Mao. I guess it’s that time when teenagers go through such stuff. But I got to say that I really love her braided locks :).
 
The opening theme song is Aozora Loop by Marble, is quite upbeat and the sound effect synthesizers make it sounds cute. Though the opening credits animation changes slightly halfway albeit not much I just want to mention about the girls in the opening animation. You can count that there are 6 girls (namely Mao, Sakino, Futami, Narumi, Shijou and Yuumi), which are the main heroines of the series. But I’m thinking, if Narumi is there, how come not Nana? I mean, she has a short appearance like Kuryuu too, who isn’t part of the ‘main gang’ but has a little cameo appearance. The 1st ending theme is sung by Snow entitled Negai Boshi and sounds like a slow moderate pop piece while the 2nd ending song, Wasurenaide, by Suara is a slow ballad with a very sad tone in it. This piece is very fitting because most of the episodes end on a gloomy or sad suspense. Though I find the singer’s voice unsuitable as she sings it towards the end. Ironically, ‘suara’ means voice in Malay. You’ll know when the end of the episode is coming up since the music will start playing. Also, unlike the opening animation, both ending credits animation remain the same (some random changing photos on a board).
 
I find the voice acting quite suitable for the characters. What can I say. It gives the character their character. Haruna Ikezawa is the voice behind Mao as her previous roles include Momoka of Keroro Gunsou and Yoshino of Maria-sama Ga Miteru. Satoshi Hino does Kouichi who also voiced Koukin in Ikkitousen and Yuuji in Shakugan No Shana while Takahiro Mizushi does Kazuki who also did Nagasumi in Seto No Hanayome and Romeo in Romeo X Juliet. Other star-studded casts include Ami Koshimizu as Yuumi (Tenma in School Rumble), Rie Tanaka as Futami (Suigin Tou in Rozen Maiden), Mamiko Noto as Shijou (Enma Ai of Jigoku Shoujo), Ryou Hirohashi as Sakino (Kyou in Clannad), Mai Nakahara as Kuryuu (Mai Tokiha in Mai-HiME), Ayako Kawasumi as Kawada (Hime in Kaibutsu Oujo), Jun Fukuyama as Hiiragi (Kei in Special A), Takahiro Sakurai as Kai (Kamiyama in Cromartie High School), Sakura Nogawa as Nana (Nemu in Da Capo), and Kaori Mizuhashi as Narumi (Akane in Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien).
 
The titles of each episode are in English and mostly comprise of one or two or at most three simple words. Sometimes I just wonder how some of them are related to a particular episode. If you notice the lack of fanservice (none, in fact!), that’s because remember that this is just an ordinary dating simulation. That’s right, the most you’ll get to see are those girls in their school swimsuits in a particular episode and even so, I don’t think I could classify it as fanservice. If you still insist, then the only fanservice shot you’ll get to see is of Mao. Just right after the opening credits, you’ll see the sponsor screen and Mao clad in a pink bikini. Yeow! As for the mid-intermission, you’ll see a chalk sketching of one of the 6 girls from the opening credit in their usual pose on the blackboard.
 
Later on, I found out that there is indeed some differences between the anime and the game. Like in the game Kouichi and Kazuki are actually one person. So that person is Kouichi Kazuki who has Kouichi’s looks and Kazuki’s football skills (source from Wikipedia). Hey, it won’t be a harem if there are 2 main guys, right? Because so, in the game, technically Nana is Kouichi’s little sister and from this point of view, I’m thinking that Narumi may be the lower-classman loli type in this game (probably this answers the question why Nana isn’t in the opening credits).
 
I know that most of the love trials which happen here are seemingly impossible in the real world. Like how Yuumi calmly lets got of Kouichi or how Sakino is so graceful to let go of the guy she loves so that he could be happy with the girl he loves. Surprisingly, no cat fight between Sakino and Futami. I suppose it’s better to let it happen all here in anime world. I wonder if I can experience such cases too. Well, life isn’t exactly a bed of roses. I know that though there are a few kissing scenes (perhaps in line with the series’ title?) but remember, kissing as an experiment may result in sexual harassment.
 
Kimikiss Pure Rouge