>DVD rerelease – His or Her Circumstances

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“His & Her Circumstances” eases anime watchers with touching teenager romance, even if the animation quality declines at the end.

Rightstuf secretly rereleased the box set in September of last year. This series has suffered from mixed reviews throughout its run. Director Hideaki Anno, known as the director of “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” helmed the production of this series. However, the series literally degenerated as the director fought with Masami Tsuda, the original manga artist of this series.

For anyone unfamiliar with the manga, “Kare Kano” is about a girl named Yukino Miyazawa. She is a talented, beautiful overachiever who strives for perfection. She’s frustrated with having to compete with Soichiro Arima, a boy who is also one of the top students.

Unlike Arima, Miyazawa is a spoiled slob at home who studies endlessly to maintain her grades. Arima discovers her alter-ego when he arrives at Miyazawa’s house to return a Brahms CD he borrowed from her. At first, he threatens to reveal her secret facade by forcing her to do his work for the student council for a few days. However, their feelings gradually deepen for each other. After a small argument, they begin to care for each other.

“His or Her Circumstances” takes a closer look at the complications of high school romance. It also looks into the deeper problems of Arima’s own family conflicts. His own parents were blackmailers, who deserted him because of a huge debt they couldn’t pay off. Although this series tends to ramble during some episodes, it never loses its charm until the director of the series quit working on the series.

Certainly this series has its flaws. The ending sequence is a boring motion sequences with a live camera in a Japanese high school. Parts of the series were taken out of the DVD because of arguments between animation studio Gainax and the manga artist. The last story arc of the series remains unfinished.

Yet the series never loses the charm it retains in the opening sequence. “His & Her Circumstances” easily has the best opening animation of a shoujo series ever. The theme song, “Tenshi no Yubikiri” (translated as “The Angel’s promise”), is a lovely ballad as charming as an American Motown song. Viewers will be even more impressed by Anno’s ability to mix the psychological elements of “Evangelion” seamlessly into a romantic atmosphere.

Overall, “His & Her Circumstances” is a must-buy. The warm relationship of Miyazawa and Arima is worth every penny, no matter how you may argue about the unfinished ending. Everything, from the beautiful character designs to the touching anime shading, is too wonderful to pass up.

Image courtesy of photobucket.com

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Filed under Gainax, His or Her Circumstances, Kanon, Kare Kano, romance, shoujo

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