(A.k.a. His and Her Circumstances or Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou)
Yukino Miyazawa has been a model student all her life and is going to attend high school to continue this. She hides her real personality behind an unbreakable mask in order to get praised and be seen as model student. Though things changes as Souichirou Arima appears. He's a model student as well, though with another background. A bond forms between them.
Story and Characters 8.5/10 - 9/10
The story seems nothing more than an unoriginal high school drama. My opinion about this seriously changed after I finished watching the first few episodes. While nearly all other high school dramas put most effort in the so called “problems which interfere with their relation”, this anime lays its accent more on the growth of the bond between them and the things they think. This is something not everyone likes, because there is a lot less action in the episodes which are dedicated to the growth of the bond compared to the action in the episodes dedicated to the relation-problems.
The anime started of good and would have been one of the best I had ever seen, if it wasn’t for a few flaws. It contained quite a bit recap. Once every two or three episodes they threw in a 3 minute recap and at some point they even put in a 1.5 episode recap (= around 30 minutes). This is something I find inexcusable for people who paid a lot of money to buy it or spend a lot of time downloading it.
In addition to that, the series seemed to get less serious as you get further in the series. The hilarious humour happens more and more frequent and extreme. One episode was worth mentioning. That episode seems dedicated to this humour all episode long, making it hard to follow. This brings me to the next point. It’s fast, really fast. The speed the words are said and the texts are written down on your screen make it an anime you really need to concentrate on.
Another thing I wasn’t really satisfied was the ending. Since I cannot spoil, I will not tell any more than that. An option for this is to get the manga which is apparently has the complete story. The reason for this is probably the fact that this anime was a low-budget anime. This explains why they put in the recap episodes.
The characters are found in a lot of different flavours. The two main characters “Souichirou Arima” and “Yukino Miyazawa” were two characters I could hardly find in any other series. I found the second for one really unique. Later in the series her twisted character will show. A few other characters worth mentioning are Hideaki Asaba and Tsubase Shibahime which will appear in the series as time advances and are two really interesting characters.
The art was something I was utterly impressed of. It was the main reason for purchasing the anime, because the covers contained art, Last Exile would be jealous of. I thought the art would only be like this, but I was quite wrong about this. Sometimes the characters change to the so called SD (Super Deformed) characters or chibies. This was something I likes, since it gives a lot of colour to the anime. In addition to these SD characters or chibies, they were quite random with the facial expressions too. It held some excessive facial features, like huge mouths filled with sharp teeth or little dots which represent eyes.
Since it was most probably a low-budget anime, they didn’t animate everything, but put some art from the manga in the series. They did this at the appropriate times and really gave the animation a whirl. This is something I have only seen in a few series. When I first saw it, it gave the situation it was used in a really satisfying atmosphere.
The art would have been perfect in my opinion if they hadn’t used the terrible art in one episode. All characters were cut out of paper and coloured in by a child. While they might have thought it would have been original (which it was) it was something so extremely different from the other episodes that I wasn’t all that happy about it. In addition to using this art, they made a no sense episode too, making it a real horror to watch.
Sound and Music 9.5/10
Once again a great effort made for the music. Often I won’t even notice music played apart from the opening and ending theme. Three OST’s were released for this anime, so practically I couldn’t miss the music played.
There is one opening theme at the start of every series. The song used, was not a really special one, but fit well with the animation used in the opening theme and it has vocals. It does contain a minor spoiler and you wouldn’t think the art would have been that versatile by watching the opening.
The ending is different for every episode. It’s a song with vocals and pretty high tempo. You don’t get to see any animated characters in the ending theme, but instead they move with a camera all around a high school the first ten episodes or so and other locations the rest of the series. This gave me a really good impression what a high school looks like, since I am not living in a country which has something like a high school. Because I liked the ending song more than the opening song and because the ending visuals (it wouldn’t be appropriate to call this animation), I liked the ending more than the opening.
The music used in the series was something I was impressed about, for the simple reason that the music was more apparent than other series I have seen. In addition to the awesome art, the music gave the some situations a really emotional atmosphere. Most of the music was mainly made by a piano, but in some songs wind instruments were used. A flaw of this music was that in some occasions the wrong tune was used. For example: In a sad situation they played a music which was in my opinion a bit to happy.
I would personally like to rate the series as two parts. The first part of the series deserves most definitely a 10, but the last few episodes and the recaps only deserve a 7 or lowers. So I made a little compromise and got to a 9.
The way the music and animation work together is really something admirable what I haven’t seen in any other high school drama and is something what should be done in a sequel or other series as well, for the simple reason that it gives a lot more “force” to the atmosphere.
Normally I am not really that interested in music played in the series apart from the opening and ending themes, but this series is the first one which made me get some OST’s and made me pay more attention to music of other series as well.
All by all a original and quite versatile series with quite original characters, great animation and awesome music. If a sequel is released I would personally not even think about not getting it.
[NB]Re-published review dating from 2006-2007[/NB]