Anime Review: Kuragehime Episodes 10 and 11 (final)

(Originally formatted and published on Livejournal on 2/15/11)

Anime Summary Review: Kuragehime Episodes 10 and 11 (finale)

Rather than the longer reviews with all sorts of pictures and such, this is just a quick summary review. For a series that I’ve already been watching for several episodes, there’s not much of a reason to go into much detail. At this point in the series, you’re either still watching it (so you already know what’s going on and a long detailed run-down of everything is not really needed), or don’t care. So, without further ado:

Kuragehime Episode 10 – Kuranosuke embarks on his latest plan to save the building by producing a high-fashion dress based on Tsukimi’s jellyfish designs — except they don’t know the first thing about dressmaking. While at Kuranosuke’s house Tsukimi is inspired when she sees a pearl necklace, and a dress is born. Meanwhile, Shuu rushes over to help Inari after she falls ill, only to discover that Inari was faking a suicide to toy with him. Angered, he slaps her and storms off, a reaction that affects Inari much more than she expected. After a long night, the girls return home, to find their building blocked off, scheduled for demolition.
My thoughts: Quick, only two episodes left, let’s rush rush rush! It seems to me that Kuranosuke is just as brash and carefree and clueless as ever, tilting his lance at windmills while dragging all the girls along with his plans. Tsukimi bears the brunt of this, of course, as her untested emotions are bent and twisted in ways she never could have imagined. The real emotional development, however, is between man-killer Inari and man-baby Shuu. Suddenly Inari is caught in a position she’s never found herself in before, could she actually be developing honest feelings for her prey? All of this is being driven by the rather comical “Save the Amars” story, which has more of a feel of little kids fighting against an adult world (which, in a sense, is what’s happening). But really, that’s not the main story here. It’s all about Kuranosuke x Tsukimi x Shuu x Inari: A love quadrangle between the emotionally-damaged, emotionally-inexperienced and emotionally-charged.
A better review: Random Curiosity

Kuragehime Episode 11 – Turns out that cordoning off the building was all a mistake (talk about anti-climactic!), but they’re not out of danger yet. The jellyfish dress is entered into a fashion competition where it wins rave reviews, much to Tsukimi’s embarrassment. As Shuu leaves town, Inari follows him on the same plane, realizing that she is developing a crush on him. Chieko’s mother shows up out of the blue and informs everyone that she has changed her mind and no longer plans on selling the building. The…end?
My thoughts: Gotta fit about three episode’s worth of story into one episode…or that’s what it felt like. First there was the “You gotta be shitting me” cop-out when it was revealed that all that blue plastic and rigging over the building was nothing more than a *mistake*….so sorry! Then they went from “I just produced my first dress” to “Let’s enter it in a fashion show!” to “One dress on the runway” to “We’re the darlings of the fashion world!” all in a matter of minutes. It’s like watching a Project Runway marathon on Lifetime on fast-forward. Once again, the only *real* honest plot development was the secondary storyline between Inari and Shuu, as they head off to an uncertain future. Then at the end, the whole major theme that has been driving the series since the second episode was instantly deflated and eliminated when Chieko’s weeble-wooble mother shows up and says “Oh, by the way, the building is safe, I’m not selling”. Bam.
A better review: Random Curiosity

Series Final Grade: B Despite all my crabbing about everything was conveniently and quickly wrapped up at the end, this show proves worthwhile. Especially if they decide to do a second season to continue with the unresolved plots involving the slowly-shifting relationships between the primary characters. I had shied away from this series at first because it was mostly billed as a show about a cross-dresser, and I expected most of the comedy to revolve around that and the impending “big reveal”. Much to my relief, Kuranosuke’s cross-dressing was *not* the main focus of the show. Secondly, I imagined it would be all about poking fun at the fujoshi/female-otaku misfits and Kuranosuke’s comical attempts to bring them into the real world. Yeah, there was some of that as well, but that’s not what the show was about, either. No, those were only vehicles to advance the complicated emotional bonds between Kuranosuke, Tsukimi, Shuu and Inari. And it worked.

Up next: Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (finale), Psychic Detective Yakumo (finale)

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