Hello there. This is review number sixty three as I aim for a thousand. So I’m back on the Spring 2012 lineup and I am honestly running out of shows to review from the Spring and Fall season as I wait for the Summer 2012 season to wrap up. I might have to dip into the Summer 2011 lineup soon. Anywas, I’ll be reviewing the second season of Kimi to Boku. It’s thirteen episodes and it still feels gay. Or is it? Let’s read on.
It’s the continuation of the first season and it’s still about the characters bonding plus spending their days together as close friends. The group of friends is together through winter and spring doing all sorts of activities, meeting old and new acquaintances and experience love as well.
Taking the Pants Off
At the end of Kimi to Boku, they aired a commercial announcing the second season. I started my experience with this anime on a rocky road thinking that the anime overly catered for girls and I couldn’t stand the feminine aura of the anime. When I tried the series, I was eager to try the second season which aired last Spring. If you are planning to watch Kimi to Boku then I suggest picking up the second season afterwards. Think of the first episode of the second season as episode 14, kinda like Fate Zero that was divided into two seasons. The Kimi to Boku experience is better appreciated when you see both seasons. Season One felt a bit muddled because it spent too much time on establishing characters and making the five main guys too buddy buddy with each other. As a guy, I cringe a bit at some of the “flowery” moments of the first season. I also wasn’t able to grasp the full theme of the anime. I described the first season as K-on minus the girls and the moe then replaced with boys and “flowery” moments.
Kimi to Boku has a strong theme of growing up that was lightly served in the first season but had a bigger presence in the second season. Season two continued the anime in during the character’s winter break and then progresses until they become third year students in Spring. In Japan, third year students prepare for college exam and so they are always busy. The carefree life they once had when they were second year students is no longer there and they must prepare to choose a career. They must grow up. The second season discussed that transition very thoroughly. Everything seemed very clear to me now. The reason the anime takes time to discuss their kindergarten years was leading up to this. The compare and contrast of the past, the present and the impending future was elaborated in such a simple yet powerful way. Season one had a lot of scenes during their childhood so it didn’t connect until season two discussed the “growing up” theme more thoroughly.
They say that simplicity is the greatest sophistication and this anime really resembles that. Kimi to Boku doesn’t stand out in a grand fashion that most anime do. There is always something to make the viewers curious. Kimi to Boku had none of that which may seem as one of its greatest flaws. It’s a flaw if you can’t get past that and discover what the anime truly holds inside. I am really impressed at the way the anime executed its story. It’s simple but grand.
The bonding moments weren’t that prominent here and there was a lot more focus on one character on some episodes. This anime finally delivered its “Romance” aspect and it was tricky of them to hold off all the good bits until season two. The entire romantic sparks in season one was followed through in the second season. Mary and Chizuru’s love connection, the lunchlady and one of the twins ( I suck at names so I can’t tell who is who), Shun’s brother’s youthful adventure with his girlfriend, Kaname’s attraction to his neighbor and Mary’s interest with Shu. The romance aspect of the anime is turned way up and since season one already established the main character’s personalities then seeing them in this romantic position is probably the best part of the entire anime. Romance is a stiff genre and one that is overused but the anime was brilliant at how it handled its romance. It stays true to its “growing up” theme and it draws strength from its characters. Can you imagine the gentle Shun falling in love? How about Mary’s stubborn personality coupled with Chizuru’s insisting personality? Can you picture Kaname and his honest personality when he discovers his love interest is already taken? It was an amazing experience and you easily sympathize with the characters as they went through this romantic phases.
The anime introduced some new characters and dedicated some episodes to them. I already know the pacing of the anime so it didn’t bother me that much. The anime still had the spotlight on the main characters and the new characters are mere instrument to further develop the “growing up” theme of the anime. There were a lot of pretty strong episodes involving the new characters and their interactions with the main ones didn’t felt awkward. The anime also further introduced the characters that had barely any screen time on the first season. It tied in with the direction of the anime so it was really well done. The main characters didn’t change that much.The anime just decided to focus some episodes on them for viewers to get to know them better.
Most people don’t recognize this but there is actually six main casts in the anime. I acknowledge Mary as a main character and she is by far the most developed character in the series. In the first season, she started out as a stubborn girl who bullies Shun then she became this cute girl with fluffy hair that becomes Chizuru’s love interest then she becomes this girl who smiles as she gains friends. It was amazing. I was mostly able to relate with Mary most of the time because she seemed to be the most down to earth character in the anime. I also like her because as a dude, I gotta give respect for the only female lead. There were also some small changes in the twins. I couldn’t tell who is who and I know the other one has a sweater but I fail at names. Anyways, the twins become more supportive than before. In season one; they were lackadaisical with no care in the world. In season two, they were more conscious of most of the situations like Mary being friendless and Chizuru crushing hard on Mary.
Of course, Kimi to Boku isn’t complete without the…”flowery” scenes. I think this is fan service. It’s safe to say most of this hugging is fan service to a lot of fujoshi out there. I understood that concept when I was talking to a friend of mine who is a huge fujoshi and she blabbed on about that scene where the characters was wearing Alice in Wonderland outfits in season one. It’s not hard to make a fujoshi go “kyaa” so this fan service is more than enough to get some girls to go sparkly eyed at those scenes. I get it. So fans of the anime definitely enjoys this:
Kimi to Boku has a simple story but I kid you not, it’s very complex. The story was nice, the characters are memorable and the entire experience is certainly amazing. You won’t regret watching this anime. It just takes time to shake off the idea that it has a yaoi vibe. Damn yaoi vibe.
Sight and Sound
Nothing to note here. The animation stayed the same and the character design is the same. The anime still had a relaxing color palette and it has some scenes where the anime stands still then the scene becomes like a storybook in the way the color changes. It was the same in season one so the animation is familiar and it won’t throw you off while you watch.
I love those scenes where the anime goes all symbolic when something romantic commences. In Kaname’s case it was a flashback but in Chizuru’s case, the anime cut to scene where Mary and Chizuru are in the beach. Chizuru gazes at Mary while she holds an umbrella and smiling. It is completed with the sounds of the waves crashing to the shore as they reach a world completely their own. I’m such a romantic but it definitely makes the moment more romantic. You gotta give points for the artistic presentation.
The opening song was nice and it really reflects the romance element of the anime. It had the same OP as the first season with some pretty impressive camera angles and shifts from scene to scene. It ends with a nice shot of the entire cast in a white background. No spoilers but you can really feel the anime’s appeal on the opening song. The ending song was more familiar because it had a feel to it like the songs in season one. It had a nice theme of friendship and I love the ED sequence where the animation scrolls from left to right and it displays the characters as this awesome song plays in the background.
8/10 “A satisfying second season from a very awesome anime.”
The second season was able to meet all the expectations and deliver much more in the process. I do find the romance scenes to be a bit incomplete until you mix in the overall theme of growing up. Heartbreaks, rejections and unrequited love are all part of growing up, right? I would give the combined experience of season 1 and 2 a 9/10 though. If you can ignore the fact the anime feels gay then you’ll enjoy what it has to offer. I recommend it.