Geoff Reviews - Kare Kano (v.1-4)

Title: Kare Kano (volumes 1-4) (also known as Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou, or His and Her Circumstances)
Media: Manga
Text: English
Story: Tsuda Masami
Art: Tsuda Masami
Publisher: TokyoPop (originally Hakusensha)

It's been years since I had contact with Kare Kano, and that was in the anime form. Going back and actually reading the manga, it's interesting to see the differences that Gainax added in. Yes, added in. The story is exactly the same, at least as far as my admittedly shoddy memory is concerned... It just lacks all of the references to previous Gainax works (primarily Shinseiki Evangelion) that the anime had.

Anyway, as to the manga itself, Kare Kano is pretty typical shoujo fare. That is, girl meets boy, girl falls for boy (after a bit), new couple faces trials. Of course, the trick to the genre is not so much in the premise as it is in the characterization and execution, both of which are done quite well.

The main character for the story is Miyazawa Yukino, and she's perfect. Okay, well, that's a blatant lie, but you'd never convince her classmates of that. Top of the class, pretty, good at sports... If the character were written today, rather than twelve years ago, the entire school would be her onee-sama following. Instead, for the first time in her life, she has competition for the top spot in everything: Arima Souichirou. And so, completely undeclared, the war for the number one spot is on.

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