Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Kuragehime

We've finished watching Kuragehime. My first episode review is here.

The main characters are all girls in their twenties who live together in an appartment complex in Tokyo. They're all complete nerds of the worst kind, each with their own obsessions (either jellyfish, the Three Kingdoms period, trains, dolls, etc.). They live with a fear of the "normal" and "fashionable" people, tensing up to the point of petrification. This completely puts them outside of any normal social exchange, sending them in a negative feedback loop of increasing isolation.

Then one evening, Tsukimi (the jellyfish otaku) sees two jellyfish in the fishtank at the pet shop she goes to. One of them is toxic to the other, and with the help of a "fashionable" girl who happened to pass by, she persuades the store clerk to sell her the jellyfish so she can save it from certain death. She calls the jellyfish Clara, and the strange girl helps her get all the stuff to the apartment and crashes in her room.
The next morning, it turns out that this was actually a boy in girls' clothing! Since men are strictly forbidden, this sends Tsukimi in a spin. Her guest, Kuranosuke, doesn't really get what all the fuss is about, and she manages to send him out of the door without anyone getting clued in on what is happening. He is interested in the girls, though, and he starts to visit more often. Kuranosuke turns out to be the illegimate son of a politician (brother of the prime minister), and he is an embarassment for all -- especially his older brother.

Then a redevelopment plan is launched, and the apartment building where the girls live, is supposed to be bought by the development company to be torn down and replaced with a hotel. The owner of the building (the mother of the doll otaku) thinks about selling the property, leaving the girls with no place to stay. The girls have to get into action to save their 'nunnery', but they have to battle with stylish people! Luckily, they have Kuranosuke (always disguised as a girl) to give them the proper outfits. He tests his transformation skills out on Tsukimi at his house, and she meets his older brother, who becomes smitten with her (but doesn't recognise her later on when she is back into her 'normal' clothes back at the apartment).
Meanwhile, the female project developer targets the older brother for some calculated romance to win him over to her side of the project development camp, but that misfires spectacularly.

It's great fun to see the convoluted relationships between the characters, but the reason the cast keeps expanding is to keep things interesting -- because the 'nuns' are not exactly story-starters. And the ending is less than satisfactory either: everything stays as it is, with many plot lines kept unresolved. That's a major draw-back for this series, because it's funny, has some good characterisations and features some good animation and voice acting. Perhaps the writers were rushed because the series has only 11 episodes (though other series in the same slot with an equal number of episodes are able to achieve closure).
And there is the matter of the nuns. They are very passive and are maladjusted to the world around them. And the problem that I have with it, is that they don't seem to think of that as a problem -- rather, they seem to think they are entitled to their hobbies (and they are) but also that the rest of the world should accomodate them (it doesn't). During some scenes, I wanted to slap some sense in them! (And they are like some people I know, though perhaps even more exaggerated.)

Good points:
- Funny series with lots of great moments;
- Good quality overall.
Bad points:
- No closure;
- The complete absense of the will to adapt in the nerdy girls.

All in all, I liked it a lot, even though there are some major detracting points. I'll give it an 8.
Tags: anime, full review

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