Anime Spotlight: His and Her Circumstances

His and Her Circumstances (which is known as Kare Kano in Japan) is an anime based on a manga series by Masami Tsuda; from what I’ve read, the anime adaptation uses material from the first seven volumes of the manga. The anime began airing in Japan on October 2, 1998, and it ran for 26 episodes. It’s also been said that the anime was cut short due to creative differences with the manga author; apparently, Tsuda felt the anime focused too much on the humor and not enough on the romance. Unfortunately, I have only read one volume of the manga so far, so I can’t say whether or not I disagree with Tsuda’s assessment.

Right Stuf International holds the North American distribution rights for His and Her Circumstances.

Yukino Miyazawa is a high school freshman who strives to be perfect and wants to always be the center of attention at school. However, when Yukino’s at home, she is spoiled, a slob, and obsessively studies to maintain her grades. While she was always at the top in middle school, she is suddenly knocked down a peg when she enters high school.

A handsome boy named Soichiro Arima gets the top score on the entrance exam, and becomes the class representative. Because of this, he’s getting all the attention at school that Yukino is craving. She considers him to be a threat, and vows to destroy him. However, Yukino gets an unexpected surprise when Soichiro confesses his feelings to her. The series follows Yukino and Soichiro and their interactions with each other.

The animation style really makes His and Her Circumstances stand out, because it utilizes a combination of a regular style with exaggerated looks. Because of the inclusion of some humor early on, the exaggerated animation really enhances the feel of the story. Unfortunately, as the series progresses, it becomes painfully clear that corners were being cut when producing the animation. Near the end of the series, you see more “recap” as filler to pad out episodes, one episode focuses on using stick puppets instead of animating the scenes, and the final episode doesn’t bother to animate much of anything.

At the beginning of the series, the tone of the series is a mixture of drama and humor that is reminiscent of what I read in the first volume of the manga. However, once you reach about the halfway point of the series, the series focuses much more on the comedy than on the drama. To me, this tonal shift, along with cutting so many corners with the animation, ended up weakening the overarching story for Yukino and Soichiro’s relationship.

I had really wanted to like this series, and I do like how it goes early on; however, once the production started cutting corners, the anime just ends up falling apart. After seeing the His and Her Circumstances anime, I really want to continue reading more of the original manga to see how the story really continues, since the anime ends at a point that is still relatively early on in the manga.

His and Her Circumstances does have an interesting story to tell, but I wish the production of the anime had gone a little differently. Because of how the series ended up being produced, the ending feels rather choppy and incomplete.

This could very well be a case where it might be better to read the original manga instead of watching the anime series.

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