I’ve wanted to write this review for a while since Kimi to Boku was one of my favorite shows in both 2011 and 2012. It didn’t get a lot of attention then, and I guess I can see why. It’s definitely not one of those popular series that can sell on pretty scantily clad women. It might be able to get by on scantily clad men, but there’s not much of that (sorry, whoever that turns off). Instead it’s a quiet slice of life/comedy series with 5 teenage guys. That deviates from the normal formula of 4 girl slice of life show, but it’s actually quite good and for many reasons better than the regular formula. Of course if you’re expecting something totally manly and/or boyish, this is definitely not for you. If you can get past that these guys aren’t like that, though, it’s a very enjoyable show!
There’s a large disclaimer I’m going to throw out if you actually do decide to pick up this series on the basis of this review. The first 2 episodes are boring, and terrible. Considering the stuff I enjoy watching (Aria, Kamichu!), for me to call it boring is really something else. That’s just how bad they are. But the show quickly picks up with the introduction of the fifth main character, Chizuru, who brings some much-needed life into the show. The characters aren’t terrible, but with Chizuru they get a little bump to be a bit more interesting. And to be honest, all of them develop into interesting and somewhat likeable characters.
There isn’t much of a plot since the show is mostly episodic in nature, but there are some running themes and one running plot line. A lot of the episodes focus on one of the main characters, and through 2 seasons of this it’s interesting to see the characters develop and become distinct personalities, even though you wouldn’t as easily notice it when they’re together. This is particularly true of the twins Yuuta and Yuuki. I couldn’t tell them apart in the beginning, but after several episodes they definitely became recognizable in their own right, which was a nice way for the show to handle the two characters. There’s also a fair bit of romance in the plot which I generally enjoy. A lot of it is confined to single episodes since the show is mostly episodic by nature, but the one running plot line in this show is actually a romantic plot line featuring Chizuru, Shun, Masaki (or Mary). Yes, it’s a love triangle and those are generally dumb. In this case Mary loves Shun, Chizuru loves Mary, and Shun is probably gay.
So you can see what kind of problems might arise from this situation. The first season didn’t focus on the plot line as much, but season 2 really kicked it into overdrive. And I have to say, the season 2 episodes featuring Mary and Chizuru are some of the best in the entire series. They’re well-done and Kimi to Boku has this certain soft and quiet tone to it that’s exemplified really well in the romance between Mary and Chizuru. It’s kind of ironic considering the two of them are actually the loudest characters in the show, but it just works. Besides that running plot-line, most of the other episodes are pretty good too. Generally they’ll focus on one character and you’ll learn a bit more about them or they’ll be developed a bit more and that’s enjoyable to see.
The characters are what really make this show fun, and for the most part they’re quite enjoyable. There’s no real main character, so i’ll just run through them in a random order. Starting with Matsuoka Shun. He’s easily the most effeminate one, he even starts the series with long hair. He’s also my least favorite character since he gets pretty much no development and is in general the boring “nice guy” of the group. Moving on, Tsukahara Kaname. He wears glasses, which instantly makes him kind of cool. Besides that he’s the one that will generally get angry at Chizuru forhis stupid antics, which is part of the reason the show got a lot more life after Chizuru was introduced. He also has a thing for older women which is kind of cute, and the episodes addressing that are pretty good.
Moving on to the twins , Asaba Yuuki and Yuuta. Yuuki’s the younger one, and a fan of manga and other activities like that. The visual difference between him and his twin is the fact that his bangs are always down, whereas Yuuta has them parted in the middle. He comes across as generally more quiet than his twin brother, but his episodes (particularly in season 2 with the cafeteria lady) are some of the best. Yuuta on the other hand seems to get less development than his twin (I can only think of one episode in season 1) but in general seems like more of a developed character. As the older brother, he kind of plays the part (to a degree), and talks more than Yuuki does.
And then my two favorite characters, starting with Tachibana Chizuru. He’s half-Japanese, and transferred to the school from Germany. He used to be old childhood friends with Yuuki and Yuuta, and is a short guy. He’s also quite the troublemaker, which is why Kaname gets mad at him all the time. He has an interesting relationship with Mary. They bicker all the time but they’re clearly close friends, even though Chizuru wants more out of the relationship. And that brings us to the last character, Satou Masaki, or as Chizuru calls her Mary. She’s short as well, and kind of short on temper to everyone but her beloved Shun. She falls in love with Shun early in season 1 because he’s a nice guy, and is like that for pretty much the entire series. By the end of season 2 it seems like maybe she finally noticed Chizuru’s feelings for her, but of course there’s no resolution to the plot line.
Besides the story and characters, I’d like to note that the music and tone of the series go really really well together. It’s a soft kind of show. I wouldn’t say it’s subtle, but it’s not anywhere near flashy either. I guess I could describe it with the phrase “like a rain shower”? Something like that. The music generally reflects that too, usually softer acoustic guitar and piano pieces, which I kinda dig.
— Great characters
— Very nice stories, they feel interesting and somewhat plausible
— Music and tone is good
— Boring as all hell prior to Chizuru
— Generally a slow-paced show
Studio: J. C. Staff
Director: Mamoru Kanbe
Character design: Masayuki Onchi
Music: Elements Garden
Original run: Season 1 October 4, 2011 – December 27, 2011; Season 2 April 3, 2012 – June 26, 2012
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