Sayonara Watashi no Cramer: Mid-Season

TITLE: Sayonara Watashi no Cramer (Farewell, My Dear Cramer)
GENRE: Sports
SYNOPOSIS: Over the years, the reputation of women’s soccer in Japan has been gradually waning. Despite this rather bleak scenario, there are still some schools with teams trying to keep the sport alive. With that, glimmers of hope are starting to appear.

Having played for the boys’ soccer club when she was in middle school, Nozomi Onda’s skills are nothing less than prodigious. Because of this, she thinks that playing soccer with fellow girls would only drag her down. She is only motivated to play her best when facing those she deems worthy opponents. Meanwhile, Sumire Suou is a promising rookie with exceptional talent—a talent hindered by a team that cannot keep up with her abilities.(Credit: https://myanimelist.net/anime/42774/Sayonara_Watashi_no_Cramer)

I don’t know what it is about sports anime. I have a pretty high bar of what I think should happen, and I think that causes me to be unfair toward the genre. That being said, I was not a fan of this show. Keep reading to find out why.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

Farewell, My Dear Cramer is an anime about female soccer in Japan. Specifically, this show addresses the sexism that females experience in the sport. Our main protagonist grew up in a rural area and had to play with the boys. Because of this, she had to play on their level, and some of her teammates would argue that she was their best player. Fast forward to high school and she must now play on an all-girls team. The show follows her ragtag team on their quest to be the best.

I wanted to like this show. I really did. However, it is painstakingly slow.

The pace, and the pace alone, is what made this show not enjoyable to me. I found myself watching for the sake of watching. The story does progress, but at a snail’s pace. I feel like much of the beginning episodes contain too much filler to be entertaining.

On the other hand, they do feature the sport that the show revolves around. This has been my chief complaint on last season’s sports shows that were more slice-of-life than sports anime. To be fair, the soccer action is quite good.

I had a lot of trouble relating to the characters. I found them very boring and predictable. I am not sure what I was expecting. Many sports anime have the token characters. You’ll always have the peppy one, the quiet one, the overachiever, the slacker, and the least skilled one that makes up for their shortcoming with heart. This show was no different. To be honest, it is unfair for me to say that the characters were dull, but that is how I felt.

I ended up only making it four episodes in. At that point, both me and my husband dropped it from our queue. I am sure that there is some show redemption in the later episodes, but we weren’t invested in it enough to continue. The show just fell flat for us.

If you really enjoy soccer, this show might be entertaining enough for you. It does highlight quite a bit of play. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into this one. If you do give it a shot, I hope you enjoy it more than I did!

Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san: Mid-Season

TITLE: Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro
GENRE: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
SYNOPSIS:

Every day, Naoto Hachiouji is teased relentlessly by Hayase Nagatoro, a first year student he meets one day in the library while working on his manga. After reading his story and seeing his awkward demeanor, she decides from that moment on to toy with him, even calling him “Senpai” in lieu of using his real name.

At first, Nagatoro’s relentless antics are more bothersome than anything and leave him feeling embarrassed, as he is forced to cater to her whims. However, as they spend more time together, a strange sort of friendship develops between them, and Naoto finds that life with Nagatoro can even be fun. But one thing’s for sure: his days will never be dull again. (Credit: https://myanimelist.net/anime/42361/Ijiranaide_Nagatoro-san)

The concept is cute, but the execution is…well, see what I have to say about it below.

SPOILERS AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro follows the formulaic storyline of the female protagonist teasing the male protagonist which leads to the development of a friendship and/or relationship. In some ways, this show is very much like Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san (Teasing Master Takagi-san). While Takagi takes a more lighthearted feel, Nagatoro takes the other extreme end of the spectrum.

Let’s discuss the female protagonist, Nagatoro. Her circle of friends definitely have a Mean Girls vibe. Nagatoro begins bullying our male protagonist who is quiet, reserved, and skittish. Right off the bat, she is cruel, antagonizing, and relentless. Nagatoro, in my opinion, engages in anxiety-inducing bullying. At one point, she makes our male protagonist cry and it appears to bring her happiness as she wipes away his tears. Honestly, the first few episodes had me cringing in many scenes.

Before I continue, let me state that I am not a prude by any means. I tend to overlook the fan service aspect of anime because it is usually a quick shot of some comically large super-jiggly boobs here, or a panty shot there. There is quite a bit of fan service and sexualization in anime, but usually, it is pretty harmless. A boob flash or a panty shot is brief and doesn’t add or take away from the story. It is simply there to please the masses.

However, what I have to say next might “trigger” people. It’s a bold statement, but I stand by it: THIS SHOW IS BEYOND FAN SERVICE.

I feel like this show supports rape culture. There are scenes where Nagatoro is purposely trying to arouse our protagonist by pretending to be nude only to reveal that she was wearing a swimsuit. She is constantly poking fun at the fact that he has never kissed a girl and that he is a virgin. This overly sexually aggressive content left me wondering whether this show is really okay. The manner in which it is done is aggressive with intent which is where my discomfort stems from. Typically, in a show that goes this route, any sexual provocation is unintentional or even, in a manner, innocent. It usually occurs just once, but in this show, it’s a theme to Nagatoro’s actions.

I’m not sheltered. I know most people have their first sexual experiences in high school. To me, this goes beyond any argument of “female empowerment”. Nagatoro consistently puts Naoto (male protagonist) as the recipient of, arguably, unwanted sexual advances. Specifically, Naoto tolerates her sexual harassment behavior. The show also portrays Naoto as a “weak” male and seems to suggest that Nagatoro’s behavior is okay because he’s too weak to fight it off. What makes it worse is the fact that the show seems to take the position that Nagatoro is somehow strengthening Naoto’s resolve with this sexual teasing. I feel like the theme of this show could be reinforcing to young people that: a) it’s okay to sexually tease the opposite sex, especially if they appear “weak”; b) it is okay to tolerate it because he or she is pretty and/or handsome and/or popular and c) that a positive outcome will bestow you by engaging in such actions.

I find Nagatoro’s teasing overwhelmingly negative. Yes, the show does have moments of redemption where you can see an actual friendship starting to blossom, but would it? Would a reasonably sound person fall in love with their tormentor? And if they do, isn’t that disturbing?

This is the first time an anime show made me feel this way. Normally, I take the stance of “it just wasn’t for me” and I move along. However, this show really had me wondering whether it is appropriate. Maybe it is the mother in me. Maybe I am starting to show my age. There are a lot of “maybes” that I might be experiencing. I can say without a doubt that I do not recommend this show if you have potential triggers regarding abuse, especially emotional abuse. This show might cause you some emotional stress. My opinion is this show is completely tone deaf and as a fairly open-minded person, that should say a lot.

A Totally Unnecessary Purchase

Hey, everyone!

For my fellow Americans, I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and spent at least a silent moment thanking those that have sacrificed their lives for our nation.

This Memorial Day weekend, we spent a lot of time on the house. Currently, the house is still in a state of disarray. The supplies to our floors still have not arrived. Once the supplies arrive, we’ll schedule installation. We packed up all of our decorative items, pictures, DVDs, etc. that were on display so the installation crew doesn’t have to mess with anything but the furniture. My husband got a chance to move around the television and bookcases to get an idea of what our new configuration will look like when the floors and done and the new furniture arrives. So far, he’s pretty happy with the potential.

I painted our dining room walls. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting to take “before” pictures, but be assured. The previous green was hideous and I hated it from the minute we moved in. I would have painted it years ago, but a combination of time, money, and sheer lack of will to do it had a hold of me. We chose a color that almost matches our new furniture. It’s a deep red and we love it. I think a splash of color is all you need to reinvent a room. Ignore the trim at the bottom. They’re replacing it so I didn’t bother taping it off.

Also, meet Snickerdoodle a/k/a Doodle a/k/a Snickerdoo a/k/a Dooweedle.

Almost as if our interior garage door felt change happening, the door knob broke. Well, let me back up. It had been going the way of dinosaurs for a while, but we were ignoring it. The husband comes in and says, “Yeah, that door knob needs to go.”

So, we started researching door knobs. As a joke, I showed him the smart lock configurations for your entryway door. We were making jokes and talking about how unnecessary they are, but somehow, we convinced ourselves that we needed a smart lock. Did our front door mechanism need to be replaced? YES. The outside door knob was absolutely disgusting. It was old school bronze and it had this gummy residue that we couldn’t quite wash off. Also, the mechanism was on the fritz as well. Did we need a smart lock? Absolutely not. It was, quite literally, an unnecessary purchase. We also discovered that our front door matches our dining room and new furniture. We totally didn’t plan that. In fact, we completely forgot our front door was red. How sad is that? We had a storm door, but the husband removed it. At some point, it broke and we were just ignoring that, too.

It has a fingerprint scanner, y’all. FINGERPRINT. SCANNER. Again, I forgot the “before” pictures, but rest assured. It was an ugly bronze and sticky residue green knob and an ugly deadbolt thingy. Just take my word for it. It was time.

Don’t worry. The garage door was also remedied. We got a much nicer handle for it and both my husband, and my son, are completely happy with it. I rarely go into the garage, but they’ve had to deal with that malfunctioning door knob for awhile.

We felt so badass…until we were walking our dogs and realized we are probably the last people in the neighborhood to have one, so there’s that.

So — that’s what we did all weekend. I haven’t had a chance to watch much anime, so I am quite behind. It may next season before I get back on track, so you’ll have to suffer with some real-life content for awhile.

I hope you’re doing well in your adventures and that your blogging/gaming/manga-ing/writing are all going well. ChibiChonk, out!

Which Anime Has Kept My Attention

We are at the mid-point of this season and only one anime this season has had me impatiently waiting for the following week. The anime that has kept my attention this season is Fruits Basket.

That may be shocking to some as it is not a “new” anime. Many people already know the story from iterations past, or from the manga. However, I have not watched, nor read, the Fruits Basket series. So, it is “new” to me.

There are three seasons of Fruits Basket. So, if you have not watched or followed the show, I suggest you read no further as I will discuss some themes below as we encroach upon the final episodes of the series.

So far, every episode has been leading up to the final conclusion. Slowly, the ball is unraveling and Akito’s desperation is getting dangerous.

Upon reading other opinions, a common theme I have encountered is whether or not the show will minimize Tohru’s role in the falling apart of the curse. I believe the only thing that can devalue my opinion of the show is if they do, somehow, minimize Tohru’s role. After all, she is the main protagonist. It would be disingenuous to suddenly make her actions unimportant, or as another puts, a coincidence. I am holding out hope that she holds a key part in the unraveling of the curse that binds her friends, but I think I get the hint that the breaking ties are all due to various reasons that are completely unrelated to Tohru, and that makes me a bit sad. I guess it can’t always turn out the way you want.

One character that my heart breaks for is Momiji. How sad is his story? His mother was so distressed by the curse that they wiped her memory. He grew up alone while watching his family from afar move on without him. Then, he falls in love with Tohru. I feel like this kid can’t catch a break, but despite everything, he moves forward with hope. I sure hope he gets a happy ending.

I am still struggling to find sympathy for Akito. I do try. Looking at her situation, I think anyone would be mentally frail. First, your mother is whack and makes the decision to raise you as a boy. Then, you’re cursed with this notion that you are “God” and that others are bound to love you simply for who you are. Obviously, everyone telling you that the world revolves around you backed up with this inexplicable feeling that you are, indeed, a God, would probably drive anyone mad. That being said, it doesn’t change the fact that I simply do not like Akito and I hope she suffers some consequence for her actions. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that won’t happen. I hope I’m proven wrong.

Also, can someone PLEASE slap the ever living snot out of that old woman?! You know which one I am talking about. Please. Slap. Her. With. A. Dead. Fish.

Anyhow, I am looking forward to the final episodes.

Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a virtue.

Or, so they say. Me and my husband were pretty hopeful that the release of vaccines would mean the world going back to a modicum of normalcy, and while that has slowly been the case, it has not been the case regarding international travel. Two days ago, the United States issued a level four travel advisory for Japan. Not that it mattered. Japan’s borders have been closed and I suspect they won’t open anytime soon.

This makes me sad, but I fully understand. It will probably be another 1-2 years before our trip happens.

I can still dream about my visit, though. We already changed up our original itinerary. Originally, we were going to stay a few days in Tokyo, then travel to Hakone, then onward to Kyoto. It was an itinerary that I solely put together without any substantive input from my husband. At first, he told me he only wanted to do two things: visit a maid café and go to Akihabara. With those two things in consideration, I quickly filled the itinerary with things I wanted to do.

Well, the thing with making plans so early is that they quickly change, and there is nothing wrong with that! Suddenly, he wanted to go to Super Nintendo World. At first, I was hesitant because why would you go to another country to spend a day at a theme park? But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it would be an opportunity wasted if we didn’t. I quickly re-planned our itinerary. We are now spending two days in Tokyo, then spending a day in Kyoto, and then two days in Osaka before traveling back to Tokyo for a night before returning to the States. Truth be told, I wanted to go to Osaka to visit the Cup O Noodles Museum, so I get to do one more thing.

Our plan will probably morph and change many times. I think my major hurdle is to not be discouraged by negativity. As I research, there are so many people that judge how other’s travel.

“Don’t go to X. Why spend money to go to X? You might as well have just stayed at home!”

“Don’t travel to another country just to do what you could have here!”

I know many of you have read comments or opinions like that. People feel like it is their job to judge how you want to spend your time and money in another country you’ve never been to.

I know there is a lot of truth to their opinions. Why would you spend thousands of dollars to stay in your comfort zone? Are you truly “experiencing” the country if you’re “comfortable”. I’ve pondered that quite a bit.

When planning the first iteration of our trip, I was heavily affected by the “you must do things out of your comfort zone to fully experience Japan” and you “must avoid all tourist traps” mentality. For some reason, I really cared about how someone else thought I should spend my trip. I was really hung up on the thought that I wasn’t experiencing Japan if I didn’t go to some super local izakaya and communed with the locals. I wasn’t experiencing Japan if I didn’t find some off-the-beaten path place to stay.

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

The pandemic has brought me to the two strongest warriors, Time and Patience. While waiting and contemplating my trip over the last few months, I realized that time has changed my view. Where I was once plagued by the burden of someone else’s ideals, I am now free of that burden.

The simple fact that I will be getting on a 15-hour flight to a country and culture I adore is enough.

I was originally against going to Universal Studios/Super Nintendo World because of this notion that someone else planted in my head. The only reason I didn’t want to go was because someone convinced me that you don’t go to another country to do something you can do in your own country. Reflecting on that statement, I realize how stupid it is. True, we can visit Universal Studios here in the States, but the experience won’t be the same. The merch won’t be the same. Trying to navigate and communicate won’t be the same. It will be its own, unique experience and that doesn’t make it lesser.

There is a lot of pressure to plan “the perfect trip”. After all, you invest so much time and money to making it happen that it is only natural. The pandemic has taught me that life has a way of throwing you curve balls. This trip is not going to be any different. I have to expect that things aren’t going to go smoothly. I’m going to have to practice patience and be able to roll with the punches.

Throwing away other people’s ideals, I asked myself what I really want from this trip.

Memories.

I want memories. I want to remember being happy. Will I get that trying so hard to be different? I don’t think so. Will I be happy doing touristy things and running into other gaijin? Absolutely.

Every experience will be new to us from entering a konbini to riding a bullet train (shinkansen).

Our trip will be packed with new experiences regardless of how hard we try to make it conform to someone else’s standard of what a trip should be. I, for one, am looking forward to the maid café. I’m totally looking forward to making my very own custom Cup O Noodles. I’m looking forward to buying a ridiculously expensive watch at Super Nintendo World to track my progress as we hit blocks. Yes, I want to see Sky Tree. Yes, I want to see Tokyo Tower. Yes, I want to cross Shibuya Crossing. I don’t care that they’re cliché or touristy. Simply being there is enough.

Now, I have to sit with Time and Patience for a little longer. I am sure our plans will change with time as we find new things we want to do and I am perfectly fine with that.

Life Finds a Way: Part Two

Hi, readers!!!

Thought I’d take a few minutes to update you on my unannounced hiatus.

I have been keeping up with this season’s anime. So far, it’s a solid season. I had plans to write about some more of the shows I picked up with the new season, but life found another way to interfere with that plan. Instead, I hope to wrap up the season with more content. At least, that is the plan.

I still haven’t decided on what kind of YouTube content I want to make, or whether I even want to pick back up where I left off with streaming. So, until I really have a direction, my YouTube and streaming content are on a indefinite hold.

Currently, my personal life is in a state of disarray. I can assure you it is nothing too negative. My husband and I have owned our home for eight years. With any home, there are going to be things you love and/or hate about your living space. For years, I have been wanting to get rid of the carpet downstairs. We have pets, and it is gross. No matter what I do, the floors just feel gross and look gross.

As for my dining area, I had, at one point, turned it into my quilting area. However, all that really did is create a visual mess that I regretted on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, the carpet and the dining room has been causing me a lot of anxiety. I would walk in after a long day’s work and just hate what I was looking at. I felt overwhelmed and out of control. I didn’t even want to be downstairs. I would immediately retreat upstairs where I felt living conditions were okay.

But, like many homeowners, finding the right time to do something can be tricky. In years past, we were heavily involved in my son’s high school extra curriculars, so it left no time to get the floors done. Then, there is always the financial aspect. Home renovations are not cheap. I finally hit a point of critical mass. I just absolutely could not take the carpet anymore. After weeks of hemming and hawing, we had an appointment this weekend where I picked out new flooring for our downstairs area. All of the gross carpet is being pulled up and replaced with luxury vinyl planks. Installation hasn’t been scheduled yet, but it should happen in the next 2-3 weeks.

Our living room furniture was also well past its life expectancy. We had a very large sectional couch that we have had for almost ten years. In fact, we are very pleased that we got ten years out of it. It was a great couch. However, my husband started getting aches in pains after sitting on the couch for too long which made watching movies a bit unbearable for him. We had considered selling the couch on the cheap as we thought it might have another few years, but after inspection, our cats had torn up the bottom and did some other damage. We decided, ultimately, we couldn’t, in good conscience, sell it. So, in addition to purchasing new floors this weekend, we also purchased new furniture.

Currently, our living/dining area looks like total chaos. We had a junk truck pick up our sectional, an old dining table, my old sewing table, and an old computer chair. I also packed up all of my fabric and listed it for sale.

During this whole process, we discovered that I have a tendency to want to hold onto things. I wouldn’t call it hoarding, per se, but definitely a hoarding state of mind. The thought of letting my sewing supplies go created a lot of anxiety. The reality is, I had shoulder surgery last year, and my ability to quilt is no longer an option. I had no more use for my supplies, however, I kept telling myself that I can use it. I had tubs of scraps that were unusable, but I had convinced myself they had use. After really asking myself if they had use, I realized that I was just hoarding it because I couldn’t stand the thought of waste. I grew up fairly poor, so I guess I understand that attachment. You’ll be happy to hear that not only was I able to part with the scraps, I was also able to sell my good fabric to someone who needed it. I got a little cash in the process, so I felt better at the end of the day.

Our new furniture is red. After looking at our dining room, we realized that the current color scheme will not match. So, this weekend, we will paint the dining room to match the furniture. We think that will tie the two rooms together and put that pop of color we need. Then, I found more things I want to change. Currently, we don’t have draperies on our windows, and I think we will change that as well to match the furniture.

So, that’s where I am at. We’re focusing on cleaning up clutter and simplifying our downstairs living arrangement, and hopefully, I can get to a mental place where I feel like I can focus on creativity again.

I hope everyone is doing well. Stay healthy and happy!

Osamake – First Impressions

Title: Osamake: Romcom Where the Childhood Friend Won’t Lose
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Where and When: Crunchyroll on Wednesdays at 8:00 a.m. CDT
Synposis: She smiles just for me. Her name is Kachi Shirokusa and she’s even an award-winning high school girl writer! And she’s beautiful! I know that she’s totally out of reach for me, a normal high school kid named Maru Sueharu! But I think something’s there… No, there’s definitely something there! Or so I thought… but Kachi has a boyfriend?! Seeing me depressed, my friend ever since we were little who’s cute, cheerful, and loves to look after others, Shida Kuroha… who also apparently had no problem telling me that she likes me for some reason just suggested, “Let’s get revenge.” (Credit: https://www.crunchyroll.com/osamake-romcom-where-the-childhood-friend-wont-lose)

Maybe it is just me, but there seems to be a romantic comedy theme this season and I am totally okay with that! Enter Osamake: Romcom Where the Childhood Friend Won’t Lose.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS – PROCEED WITH CAUTION

It has long been decreed. The childhood friend will never win. And, in a lot of cases, our hearts have been broken. However, Osamake makes a bold claim. The childhood friend won’t lose and THAT is what makes this anime worth watching.

In the first episode, the scene is set. Our protagonist, Maru, is your average, good-looking, reserved and shy kind of guy. He isn’t really extraordinary in any way other than being a kind person. Enter one of our female leads, Kachi. She is an award-winning writer that touts a bit of celebrity. Upon Maru’s confession to Kachi that he was moved by her writing, they form a somewhat weak bond. She discards her cool exterior and actually shows some vulnerability around him. Or, so he thought.

As he holds his torch high for Kachi, he learns that she is now dating another celebrity and he is devastated. His long-time friend, Kuro, had confessed to him and was turned down, however, she puts her pride aside and proposes that they get revenge.

It has the same vibes of Masamune-Kun’s Revenge, so if you liked that show, this one might be a good one for you to catch. As of the posting of this entry, this show is in week two.

I am looking forward to seeing what this season has to bring.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train

Last night, we went to a showing of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train.

It lives up to the hype.

I don’t want to make this post about a full review as I don’t want to give any of the plot or spoilers.

Let me start by saying that I loved absolutely every moment of the movie. This is going to sound cheesy, but it was masterful. Not one moment of the movie felt forced, contrived, or drawn out. Every moment had a purpose, and that is rare in entertainment these days.

It is no secret that Demon Slayer has been my favorite anime since I first watched it. I fell in love with the story. The love of a brother for his sister. The loss of a family. The struggle of surviving. The drive of revenge. All of these elements are tied together with a healthy dose of comedy and light-heartedness, but also driven with darkness and despair. Our protagonist has such a loving and giving heart, he is hard not to love and respect. Unlike other shows, our protagonist isn’t easily gifted his talents. He doesn’t wake up in another world with omnipotent powers. He’s just a regular boy that works hard and fights for what he feels is right. We join him on his struggle to get stronger

The movie is no different.

The movie continues the story with a pretty seamless transition. We are drawn back into the world of Demon Slayer upon the train our protagonists are sent to investigate with the Hashira, Rengoku. We are once again drawn in with the comedy relief of Inosuke and Zenitsu. The pace of the movie doesn’t differ from the show which is amazing. Usually, anime movies have a different feel, or deviate from the pace of the show. Mugen Train stays true to same pace as the show.

The animation is beautiful. It was amazing to see on the big screen.

The music was banger. They once again paired the perfect music to the battle scenes.

The story was just as rich in background as the show. One thing I love about the show was the flashback scenes that gave us a little insight into the world of our protagonists. The movie followed the same formula. As I mentioned, little was wasted. Every scene weaved into the overall story which I find rare.

Mugen Train will take you through the entire range of emotions. I laughed. I cried. I felt heartbreak and happiness. I can definitely see why Mugen Train broke so many records.

If you have the opportunity, I truly recommend grabbing a showing while it is at the theaters. Our theater was very, very clean. They disinfected very well between showings and we were all distanced pretty well. I didn’t feel at risk at all. If you can’t catch a showing, consider pre-ordering the digital release or picking up the blu-ray when it comes out. You won’t be disappointed.

Higehiro – First Impressions

Title: Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway
Genre: Drama
Where and When: Crunchyroll on Mondays at 10:00 a.m. CDT
Synopsis: On his way home from drinking his sorrows away after being rejected by his crush, the 26 year old salaryman, Yoshida, finds a high school girl named Sayu sitting on the side of the road. Yoshida is completely drunk out of his mind and ends up letting Sayu stay at his place overnight. Not having the heart to put Sayu out on the streets since she ran away from home, Yoshida allows her to stay at his place… And so began the awkward, irritable, and slightly heartwarming relationship between a runaway high school girl and a salaryman living together. (Credit: https://www.crunchyroll.com/higehiro-after-being-rejected-i-shaved-and-took-in-a-high-school-runaway)

Is it a drama? A romance? I really couldn’t tell after the first two episodes. What I could tell is Higehiro will keep me glued to each episode.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS. PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Admittedly, the title is what hooked me. How the heck can someone get rejected, shave, and then end up caring for a high school runaway? It had me intrigued because the series of events that had to take place must of been a doozy.

And, I wasn’t wrong.

Our protagonist, Yoshida, is a nice guy. We seem to have a lot of that going around this season. He’s a good-looking, regular, nice guy leading an ordinary life. After pining over his boss, Gotou-san, for years, he finally musters the courage to invite her back to his place. She quickly tells him that she’s been seeing someone and turns him down. Devastated, he makes his way to an izakaya, calls his married friend, and vents. On his way home, he sees a girl sleeping underneath a lamppost. He strikes up a conversation to get the girl to go home and quickly learns she has no where to go. She flirts with him and asks to stay at his place. In his drunken stupor, he agrees to let her stay for one night.

What follows could potentially be a very heartwarming story.

We have two protagonists that are broken in some way. We know that Sayu has had to compromise herself to survive. She has run away from home and we don’t know the circumstances leading up to that other than after some research, no missing person report is out on her. In the first two episodes, we learn how much of a caring man Yoshida is. He takes in this poor girl and starts to shower her with affection that she isn’t used to. So far, I can’t tell if that affection will bloom into something romantic, or whether it will bloom into a beautiful friendship.

Either way, I think this show has the potential to be heartwarming. So far, we’re only a few episodes in, so it isn’t too late to put this one in the queue and give it a try.

Koikimo – First Impressions

Title: Koikimo
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Where and When: Crunchyroll on Mondays at 7:45 am CDT
Synopsis: One rainy day, salaryman Amakusa Ryo is saved by a high school girl he doesn’t know at the station. He later finds out that the girl is Arima Ichika. Ryo is somewhat of a womanizer and to repay her for saving him, he suggests giving her a kiss or going out on a date with her, in which Ichika tells him he’s creepy. This, however, opens a new door for Ryo and he falls madly in love with her. Ever since then, Ryo tries to overly express his feelings to Ichika. Ichika just keeps insulting him and says he’s being creepy, but he just seems to take it as her way of showing affection towards him. (Credit: https://www.crunchyroll.com/koikimo)

Chalk this up to another show that I had no intention of watching. Thankfully, Rugjen and I will watch the first episode of just about any show. I am 100% glad that we clicked play on this one.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD

If you’re a fan of formulaic romantic comedies, this would be right up your alley. There isn’t anything that stands out about this show, but that isn’t a bad thing. I’ve mentioned this many times before. I don’t mind a show using “the formula”. Sometimes, you need the show to be predictable and cute.

Koikimo definitely fits that bill.

Our male protagonist, Ryo, is a womanizer. He’s been smart, talented, and good-looking his entire life and he’s grown into a pattern of closing off his heart and becoming a cold, distant version of himself. He’s a successful salaryman, but living a pretty empty life. On his way to work, he was exhausted from a long night with a woman. He gets bumped and almost falls down the stairs, but is saved by our female protagonist, Ichika. Seeing that he was pale, she quickly throws her bento at him and rushes to school.

When he comes home later that night, Ichika is in his home. By chance, Ichika happens to be his little sister’s classmate and friend.

In return for saving his life, he offers his body to Ichika which she quickly gives him a piece of her mind and calls him weird. Something stirs in Ryo and he is captivated by this high school girl who was kind, yet, direct and not afraid to speak her mind.

What ensues is Ryo being overly affectionate and making high school life hard for Ichika. We get to see the relationship between Ryo and his younger sister heal a bit due to this mutual friendship.

I laughed. A. LOT.

Again, the dynamic is nothing new. We have the male protagonist pursuer and the female protagonist doing everything in her power to refuse his advances, but it works. Their interactions are wholesome and adorable. Ryo is like an adorable puppy and you get this delightful sincerity in his actions. On the other hand, you have this awkward high school girl who doesn’t exactly know what to do with those emotions.

I feel that this show has a lot of potential. At the time of this blog entry, we’re on week four of this show. If you just want to smile and laugh, give this one a go.