Let’s stay friends.
Last week on Tsuki ga Kirei, a mixture of contrived relationship issues and actual relationship issues occured, threatening our main couple the same way a prison dog threatens a monkey. Most of the contrivances came from Chinatsu and her mysterious ability to always get close to Kotaro due to sheer coincidence, which I am both frustrated by and jealous of, resulting in said episode ending with her texting to Akane that she has a crush on the dude. I have nothing to add to that summary, so let’s get the required pre-thoughts out of the way before we start the episode.
Overall, I’m liking this show alright, but I’m still a little worried about it the same way I was worried about Scum’s Wish when it was airing. I’ve seen enough promising romance anime that fell apart badly after the initial opening episodes displayed some heavy signs despite the enjoyability of them, and I’m really hoping Tsuki ga Kirei doesn’t join in that already overcrowded club. No I don’t think this is a great show or anything, but it is a good romance anime that aside from Chinatsu’s convenience, nails the basics in what I’d like from a young romance story from actually interesting discussions about what it’s like to date at that age to the characters having real problems that could threaten the relationship and their own futures as well. I like how all the “comedic” sections regarding characters I don’t care about are shoved into the after credits so I don’t have to see them, and I enjoy the Wandering Son-like visual style when the CG people aren’t around.
The unpredictability of where romance anime take these potentially interesting directions is both a blessing and a curse in that it really works when it surprises you, but it can also disappoint you at a moment’s notice. Which direction will Episode 6 take? Let’s find out.
- It was sort of inevitable Akane. I got closer to him in three days than you did in three weeks.
- I love how while Akane finds herself in a state of confusion, Kotaro is just doing his Japanese folk dance activities whilst smiling at how he got to hold hands with his girlfriend. In anime terms, that’s the equivalent of second base.
- I am Osamu Dazai’s official protege and don’t you forget it.
- Not really much to comment on in these next few scenes. Chinatsu and Akane hang out with friends whilst Kotaro is prodded by his mother for his grades and how he’s neglecting them for his dream to be a writer. Kind of reminds me of Whisper of the Heart in that regard.
- The dude gets a call from a publishing company that wants to meet him while Akane reveals she’s going to be in a competition on Sunday. Again, pleasant to watch, but nothing really worth talking about.
- Oh, you little…
- Moe moe Akane Version 2.0.
- So while the parents are either in shock or going “heeehhhhhhh?” like they were auditioning to be in the new Monogatari, Akane accepts an invitation from Kotaro to meet him at the library. The two exchange happy news regarding their weekend plans, only to realize that said plans conflict with each other and thus Akane is going to have to go to her competition without support from…okay yeah I can already see where this is going.
- Sunday comes and we get a musical montage of Kotaro heading to the publishing company while Akane prepares for her sports event. It’s a nice song, although I swear I’ve heard it in like ten other romance anime before.
- Gorilla? Really?
- Akane makes her relationship status with Kotaro clear to Chinatsu, only for Chinatsu to reveal that she’s known all along. Can’t say I saw that one coming.
- Okay, Chinatsu just went up several notches in my book. I’ve always liked her character, but the directions the show was taking it weren’t really agreeing with me previously. Now it seems like the writers get how to make said character truly shine.
- Unfortunately, Kotaro’s situation is less fortunate when he’s informed that he doesn’t have the talent to be a serious writer, which begs the question why this publishing company had to meet him face-to-face to explain that when a simple phone call would have sufficed. And just to rub salt in the wounds, the guy says Kotaro might cut it as a light novel author. Frog might be happy about that, but our protagonist doesn’t share the same opinion.
- Now I’m not familiar with the inner workings of the literature world, but I do know that it can be a bit cutthroat in Japan, and it’s not exactly the most lucrative business to begin with. I’m sure Reki Kawahara makes more money with his works than the dude who wrote Tatami Galaxy and Eccentric Family.
- Things aren’t any better on Akane’s side of things, as she ended up bombing her competition hard, causing Takumi to go see what’s wrong with her. Guess her conversation with Chinatsu didn’t help clear her mind.
- The parents don’t exactly help things with Kotaro’s mom scolding him for pursuing a pipe dream while Akane’s family just gives generic “it’ll go better next time” advice. Thankfully, Akane has a sister close to her age that’s willing to be more understanding whilst Kotaro is an only child.
- Note, I said more understanding. I didn’t say Akane’s sister gave good advice, as the moment she learns about the Chinatsu situation, she recommends that Akane end her friendship with the short-haired goober. The female one. Not the one she’s currently dating.
- I’ve always spouted the notion that you should never date someone who has a problem with your friends because you shouldn’t be compromising that much to make a relationship work in the first place. However, if I was ever in that situation myself, I have to be honest and admit that I’d have no idea how to react.
- Aw. Cute pic to send to your girlfriend, Kotaro. I’m also glad that despite not being their to see each other fail, they express that they still want to be there for each other.
- Akane and Kotaro resolve to pursue their dreams harder in spite of the failures thrown their way, and the former confronts Chinatsu one last time in order to remove the doubts that were planted in her head. As one of my commenters stated in my previous post when she thought I was blogging the latest episode rather than the previous one, in a lesser anime, this would have taken ten episodes, or at least 3/4 of the show to clear up these sorts of love triangle misunderstandings. Only other shows I can think of at the moment where characters confronted their romantic problems this fast are Sakamichi no Apollon and Scum’s Wish. You can see why both anime are personal favorites of mine.
- Uh, what?
- Oh, I see. Yeah I guess Chinatsu does deserve that.
- I like how this episode is named after my favorite adaptation from the Aoi Bungaku anime. For those who don’t know, Run Melos is a story about unwavering friendship and how despite the pain it can cause, as long as you stick with it, you’ll get rewarded in the end. It’s a simple, yet heartwarming story that I own the book for, and have not gotten to reading. Should really get to that.
- The end.
This episode was definitely an improvement on the last few overall. Chinatsu’s role finally became more than just a convenient excuse to impede the main relationship, and the idea that the main couple can’t be with each other due to their own individual dreams, along with the difficulty in achieving said dreams, is something I fully support as a lover of romance stories where the leads can’t be together. Characters actually speak to each other about their feelings without causing unnecessary drama, and I actually have confidence that they’ll handle Chinatsu’s confession to Kotaro well in the next episode.
I’m not going to bother joining the small cult fanbase who call this show “underrated”, but to all those who say they couldn’t get into the show because nothing happens, I’d like to pull out a giant list of other anime I’ve thrown those same accusations at, but you accused as narrative brilliance. Nevertheless, I do like this show, and am looking forward to more. I can see why this anime is classified as a series of moments, but honestly, Tsuki ga Kirei’s narrative deserves way more than that. At its heart, it’s a tale about relationships and how hard yet rewarding they can be, except told in a soft tone that never gets saccharine. It never shies away from the harshness of reality, but it never exploits the drama for any sort of emotional overreach either. I’d understand if a good chunk of these “moments” existed solely to create a mood or weren’t focused on either the characters’ dreams or their own personal relationships like how Tsuritama was obsessed with fishing trivia, but I’m pretty sure that’s either confined to the skits at the end or only takes up like a minute of screen time at most each week.
And yeah, I know that the episode that aired this week was a recap, so I’m technically all caught up with Tsuki ga Kirei as of now. I’m considering just blogging this show with the 9anime streams (edit: actually, I discovered that Horriblesubs is uploading files to Tokyo Toshokan now, meaning I can use those without visiting HS’s actual site) starting next week because really, does anyone care? This show isn’t exactly popular as is, and I don’t think anyone cares enough about my piracy as long as I don’t give Crunchyroll shit for whatever crappy controversy they get themselves into. I’ll make up mind by next week. For now, see you guys.