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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm surprised there's no negative point of view for this anime. I'll add mine then, it's more how I feel than a review.
There's 2 big love stories in Kimikiss Pure Rouge. One involves what we can call the main protagonists, and is awful. The second involves what we can call important characters and is way way better in all the aspects.
For the main love story : This is mostly a copy/paste of all the bad things... of all the things in Suzuka. The male protagonist is boring as hell, undecided, it's 23 episodes of him who don't know what he's doing with its ignorant head. But anyway, he's the main character, so he has the girls. This is where the woe begin for us. He has the best girl, she's cute, she's adorable, she probably never had a bad feeling in her life, albeit she was a bit boring, and he'll treat her like a b****. Fortunately, she seemed to not be too sad when he left her. She was a smart character, she probably understood that this guy was not worth even one of her hair. That was a half relief to see her like this because I often empathize with the characters. Overall, it's pretty much like in Suzuka, there's nothing much to say, the girl will try her best because she has real feelings for him (poor girl), and he'll just let her down for the shiny girl just because she finally realized she loves him. The nice girl had no chances, it was clear since the beginning, but they made the story anyway. There's maybe an audience for this, but I really really hate these kinds of love stories. This is not love for me, this is just boring.
For the second love story : Here we have better characters, especially the male protagonist. He's not the smartest, he's an idiot to be honest, but a good idiot. The kind of person who learn from his mistakes, who knows what he wants, and who fights to achieve this. He does not change his mind every 5 minutes. And in the end, he's hands up the best character. Around him, 2 girls, but that's not gonna be a problem for him. As I said, he knows what he wants. He choose the strange one, which is finally an interesting character and probably the most developed character in the anime. It was by no means certain he could have her, but he did his best and this was very entertaining. Their story is about how he'll have to work to get the girl he wants, and how love can be cruel for the second girl. But she tried her best until the end in order to have no regrets. She had no chances too, but it was interesting to see how a person can fight because of true love.
The rest is pretty much classic, school, fan service, funny side characters with little depth for most of them, very average art and sound and almost everything is predictable.
But despite the note, I would recommend it for the side love story which I liked a lot and is for 95% of the final note.
Story: The story to Kimikiss is very simple, a group of high school students who get stuck in all sorts of love triangles. I really enjoyed this anime, and when I think back to everything that had happened in it, I was suprised that they managed to condense the whole thing into only 24 episodes. As the story progresses it does a great job of shaping your feelings about the current situations and the characters, your perceptions are always altering in every episode, and in a good way.
Animation: The animation was very good in this anime, even for the year it was made it seemed very advanced in comparison with other anime in that years production. The characters looked very detailed, so did the backgrounds.
Sound: If I'm honest I can't even remember much of the sound, except for the opening song which I thought was very good and suited the general feel of the anime. None of the other OST's songs seemed out of place, they all suited from what i can remember.
Characters: These were GREAT *_* Essentially in the 2 main love triangles at first I found myself routing for the 2 guys to go with one girl each, then by the very end I wanted nothing morethan for them to end up with the other girls instead. Just small vague character alterations change your mind back and forth, getting you right into the anime. It really draws you in, and the characters develop so much in such a short time, its very impressive.
Overall: For saying this is just about 6 teenagers who have crushes on each other, it certainly does stand out in comparison with other romance anime's and in every episode something crucial to the plot was happening- there were no cursed fillers. Bottom note: This is one of the best teenage romance anime's out there! You should watch it!
For a video review, check out my Youtube channel. Link on my profile page.
I decided to watch it because I had just seen Clannad After Story and I wanted a break from drama. This anime rose above my expectations, I was really enjoying it until...
(WARNING: MASSIVE SPOILERS)
*Considering that Kimikiss is an almost pure romance anime I will talk about the romance first. I must say that Kimikiss is still one of the better romance anime’s I have seen so far. I did the job really well by creating very interesting romances with a lot of plot twist to keep things going.
Related to that, the romances in Kimikiss are very realistic which make them even more interesting. A lot of romance anime’s only show the good side of a relationship but in Kimikiss we get to see all the aspects of a romance, the positive and the negative ones.
By addressing all these the anime succeeded in dragging you into the storyline. It’s not that you’re bored after 5 episodes because everything is just so perfect and nothing ever happens. Kimikiss stays interesting till the end.
*Which brings me almost seamlessly too the characters. I liked every single character in Kimikiss, the 2 main male protagonists Sanada and Aihara and all the female characters with as best example Yuumi Hoshino.
Now I’m going to sound like a real otaku but you can pretty much say that Hoshino is my waifu. I don’t know what it was but I liked her from the first moment that I saw here.
I mentioned my custom list on AP called most adorable female characters before and of course Hoshino takes first place there. I hope that one day I may meet a girl like her in real life because then I know I will fall in love instantly with that girl.
*A last positive point was the fact that we don’t get one but two main story lines. The Aihara storyline, which can be considered as the “secondary” storyline, is as important as the primary storyline being the one of Sanada. Both story lines get an equal amount of screen time and development so that was a big positive point of this anime.
I really liked the Aihara storyline and I was really pleased with the ending. It was kinda predictable that he would choose for Futami at the end but still I thought that they were a really cute couple. Although I wouldn’t have minded if Aihara chose for Sakino in the end.
Sakino’s love for Aihara if probably the deepest one of the anime. She is the embodiment of the sentence "Truly loving someone is wanting too see that person happy, even if it is with someone else.
*A first negative point that I’m going to address is the animation. Kimikiss has very distinguished background art. It looked like it has been drawn with a pencil and than was painted in with a brush. Some people may not like that kind of background art.
But apart from that Kimikiss did have some animation problems from time to time, I remember that especially the movement of the trains could have been a lot better.
*How much I loved the ending of the Aihara story, the more I hated the ending of the Sanada story. I was so pissed off at the ending of the anime. I still can't understand how he could leave Hoshino like that. Now I don’t blame him for having feelings for Mizusawa, it was actually kind of predictable and love is a very strange thing.
I also don't blame Misuzawa for this, she confessed her love but got out of the way and was actually routing for Hoshino.
I do blame Sanada for the way he behaved with Hoshino. From about halfway through the anime Sanada knows that he has feelings for Mizusawa, be a fucking man and break up with Hochino immediately. Don’t play with her feelings like that because Hoshino does start to notice these feelings the further we get into the anime but she keeps believing in their relationship till the end.
So screw you Sanada for being such a goddammed pussy. Related to that is the fact that every character ends the anime on a positive note except Hoshino. You can check literally every single character, even side characters like Narumi or Kuryuu end the anime on a high note. But Hoshino doesn’t. That last shot of her sitting by the fountain just broke my hearth in a thousand pieces.
*A last negative point was that I had some questions at the end of the anime. Some of these questions concerned the character that I just ranted about for the past few minutes but there were some other issues as well.
Like Shijou, we never get to see her fiancé or get any information about their relationship. I wonder if she will ever love him since they have never met.
So as a conclusion, Kimikss could have been one of my all time favorites if that one thing didn’t infuriated me. So I’m going to rate it at 3,5 stars. I however still recommend it if you’re a fan of romantic anime since it is still one the best romance anime’s I have seen till today. And maybe you won’t be as offended as I was.