January 14, 2006
The change from one to the other happened around episode 19. The good folks over at T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews bring up the good point that the director, Hideaki Anno (best known for Neon Genesis Evangelion) had left the project around this time. They also propose that the folks at Gainax got bored with doing "a girly anime."
Whatever the reason, KareKano starts well, gets BETTER, then finishes in a flaming mess that left this Duck disappointed. After episode 19, KareKano loses the plot and begins to drift away from our main characters, Yukino and Arima... so much so that after the 'eyecatch' in the middle of the last episode, we don't see them again, instead concentrating on another possible pairing.
...which would be fine, if either of those two characters were likeable. They aren't.
Truthfully, Arima begins to show himself as something of a jerk in the last 10 episodes as well, so much so that you wonder just what the ultimate ending of our lead couple is going to be. By the time the show grinds to a halt, we are left with the impression of a suicide-in-the-making, despite all the good in his life.
...and what in flaming blue hell was up with episode 25? Fer cryin'outloud, we lose Yukino's two sisters (consistently my favorite characters in the show) for 10 shows, then we get a "secondary-character special" that's more confused than a bowl of spaghetti. If it was used earlier in the series, maybe spread out over four or five episodes, it could have been great. Instead, we get a steaming lump of... whatever that was.
I don't mean to suggest that KareKano isn't good: it is! I'm not at all unhappy that I purchased it, nor unhappy that I watched it. I'm just annoyed that a show that started SO strongly... blew a tire and runs into a tree.
I can't give it one rating. I give the first 19 episodes maybe 4.5 stars, the last seven shows maybe a "2" or a "3".
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