Kimikiss Pure Rouge

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Sheex's avatar By Sheex on May 24, 2008

Story

To be perfectly honest, I had rather low expectations for Kimikiss, primarily for the fact that its name included the words "kiss" and "rouge."  By all accounts, my experiences have taught me approach these titles with a ten foot pole (if at all), so you can only imagine my surprise when this should-be-shoddy title turned into one of the best high-school romances within the anime realm - and, trust me, it is a needle in a haystack.

First and foremost, Kimikiss'  scriptwriters knew how to pace a twenty-six episode romance story appropriately, and that definitely fronted its likeability.  There's a decided lack of typical harem-romance events such as summer beach retreats, as it opted for a much more casual and realistic environment over a conglomerate of pre-contrived events.   Because of this, too, the typical drama-evolves-from-misunderstandings premise does not make an appearance; if nothing else, Kimikiss made a point to avoid being predictable from episode one.  While that's not to say it was entirely void of any angst or tension, it increased the emphasis on the series' slice of life elements, which ultimately lead to stronger characters and a more solid overall presentation.

Still, Kimikiss does have its faults, especially in the lead-up to its ending sequence.  While the series closed with surprisingly few loose ends, I can't say I really cared for either the ending or the changes in the characters that inspired it.  At around the two-thirds mark of the show the characters all undergo slight shifts in personality and behavior seemingly at random, which ultimately leads to a buildup in drama and the subsequent climatic overture.  It was not bad per se, but it did irk me enough to mention as well as taint my lasting impressions of the series as a whole.  Still, my own misgivings aside, it concluded the series in a satisfactory manner - a good ending doesn't necessarily have to be one that I agree with, after all.


Animation

As should be expected, the animation lived up to 2007-2008 standards with vibrant character designs and colorful scenery.  My only gripe was that Kazuki looked (and behaved) way too similar to Shirou from Fate/Stay Night, which bugged the crap out of me for most of the show.  However, superficial male that I am, since most of the girls were cute I was able to tolerate this by simply ignoring him when he was on screen.  Sarcasm aside, however, everything looked great from start to finish.


Sound

While the soundtrack itself was nothing all too memorable, the catchy opening theme and astute voice acting vaulted Kimikiss' sound score into the "great" category.  Connecting with the characters took a matter of minutes, as each voice actor felt as if he or she really enjoyed playing his or her respective role.  From Mao's giddy exuberance to Yuumi's shy embarrassment, each scene really came alive through a wash of vocal emotion.  It certainly helped, too, that the voice acting flowed with the characters as they grew; many of the more timid characters opened up as the series progressed, and the actors kept on the ball with their development.  I've certainly no complaints.  


Characters

The characters were a mixed bag, as Kimikiss divides them into two distinct groups.  One happens to be a love quadrilateral - no, not a more poetic quartet, quadrilateral (though you could also say tetragon and I'd accept it as a valid descriptor - my engineer's intuition says that's okay.)  I say this because it's a bit jumbled and not clear at first, but it ends up involving Kouichi and Kai as the two primarily males with Mao and Yuumi as the females.  This pans out to the core of the series, as it encompasses, by far, the most enjoyable of the budding romances.   Ultimately it distinguishes these four as the strongest of the ten or so characters, as their story follows a more down-to-earth path than the other major romantic line.  Toward the end, however, the drama in this particular group takes center stage, and its strength wavers a bit when those character quirks I mentioned earlier come into play.  Still, the characters begin and end undeniably solid, and for that I have very few gripes about its overall presentation.

Where I do have gripes is with the complimentary love triangle that involves Kazuki, Futami, and Sakino.  For one thing, both Kazuki and Sakino are soccer players yet the writers made not one single effort to research the sport before writing the script.  For supposedly being an "awesome" player, Sakino spouts the worst advice on just about every occasion: watch the player not the ball, slide tackle from behind even if it takes out the player (red card!), and many other horrendous atrocities regarding the proper play of the game.  As much as that irks me as a player for ten years, however, Futami's proclamations of making everything an "experiment" were a real annoyance toward the beginning of the series.  Thankfully her crap died off around the halfway point of the series, which actually ended up making her story somewhat interesting - much to my surprise.  Ultimately, while not great, this triangle ends up being rather mediocre in nature, and given its secondary role in the context of the story, makes it entertaining without becoming monotonous. 


Overall

Had Kazuki's love triangle been great, or even just good, instead of being merely okay, I probably would have bumped Kimikiss up into the 8.0 range.  Even with this relatively minor flaw, however, it certainly holds its own as one of the better romances available on the anime market.  Though it could have used a slight bit more polish transitioning into its heavier drama portions in its latter half, by-in-large this title displays a tact and finesse many of its contemporaries lack: less hyperbolic drama and more romance-related drama.  For my fellow romance fans out there this is not a title to pass by - definitely recommended.

7/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
7.7/10 overall
Gakorak's avatar By Gakorak on Oct 27, 2009

I agree with most of sheex review and simply put this as another point of view.

The story was absolutely fantastic.  Character devolpment was fluid and believable and nothing came off as forced or full of crap.

Not a single weak character in the story - each character was interesting and detailed.

The romance was top-knotch.  Characters had to make truely difficult solutions to very real problems.

This show was just simply amazing.

Like Sheex, I highly recommend this to romance/drama fans.

9/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
Daihu's avatar By Daihu on Nov 23, 2009

This is my first review so if you have some hints for me feel free to say them ;)

So, first of all, I have to say that this was an anime that it's hard to see around half the episodes forward. I'm not saying it had a bad storytelling or anything like that, it's just that the way it was wrote made you think something was gonna happen and you started to hope for it or not, and the best part is that it didn't happen or it happened but you weren't expecting to be like that.

Also another thing I liked and I don't see in many animes. It was making you caring more for secondary characters more than the lead. I'm talking about Aihara and his story.

Another thing that was well made and when I thought about it was that characters don't appear from nowhere like most of other animes make them do. There are scenes where 3 chars (Sakino and the Udon girls) are talking and Aihara and the girl with high IQ (forgot the name xD) are coming at the background but they are blurred.

So this is almost everything I had to say. More than this and it would be boring for who's reading and it's already 2a.m and I have a test tomorrow xD)

Thanks for reading ;)

10/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
Lumineux's avatar By Lumineux on Jan 21, 2010

Story: 9

In relation to another anime, this is like the romance version of Azumanga Daioh. The high school life of 2 males and the 6 females (4 of which are focused) probably could not go any better than what this series shows. It was awkward to notice that the characters had no conflicts of the world, besides romance. Right from the beginning, the show was very consistent. The developments seems to be above average of the genre. It was easy to understand what the characters were going through, and I could not help but be emotional with them. I found myself "aww-ing" constantly at those cute moments, and semi-surprised at the little romance twists (slightly foreseeable). This show's primary upside was the cute moments. Keep in mind that there will be love triangles, and many of them.

What made me happy was that the characters seemed realistic and actually did things in their relationships, Instead of a static relationship. Thank goodness they actually have kissing scenes where the characters kiss. Nothing is more irritating when you finish a series and notice that none of the characters kissed because they are pansies.

From the ending, in a good way, I wanted to see more. While it was "sudden" and may leave you a bit dazed, the series closes up fairly nicely. This is the type of series where you wish it could last forever. While it is not a tear-jerker, it was like an emotional hurricane for me. It is awkward for me to admit that this series made me slightly depressed for an hour, thinking what it would be like to be back in high school, having an  almost care-free and fun high school life.

Animation: 9

It was very clean and had vibrant colors. above average quality for the time it was made.

Sound: 9

Expected sound. Some of the music I didn't even notice. Some of the gentle, moody music however, were quite catchy and had fit the mood.

Characters: 9

For the 2 male characters, they had the good guy, patient personalities. They were actually fun to watch, and this is quite rare because I usually have the urge to punch male protagonists for their lack of effort, concern, or they are just plain annoying. There was quite of a variety, though standard casts for the 6 females. You have the general caring one, who has been childhood friends with the male protagonists, the sporty tomboy-ish, reserved genius who likes to shun others, the shy one who breaks her shell, the rich and classy girl, and the 2 very similiar younger girls who are quite energetic and have an interest in udon noodles and frog dolls. Like I said before, they are quite consistent but they do develop eventually. Every character has a unique or nice quality to them. The viewer is bound to connect with one of the girls (and I suppose, root them on to get the guy)

Overall: 9

Very happy that I came across this series. Quite sad that the anime is only 24 episodes long. I know it is the standard size, that shows how much I enjoyed this. Though it is definately a watch if you like romance and "aww!!" scenes

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
Kico7's avatar By Kico7 on Nov 23, 2010

My "career" of otaku has begun with harems... (yeah, i am a disgusting person), but i was surprised with Kimikiss, because JC Staff did exactly what i thought that was impossible... they turned a Harem plot into a great ROmance. The seyuus did a good work, the animation (wel, i am not good at it) is nice. THe most important is the way the story flows, it has two main characters and two heroines per male, so there are two love triangles.

I recommend this series for those who love light romances and also slice of life with some drama!

7/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
7/10 overall