The reason for all the effort
The end can come up on us too quickly sometimes. How did they finale for Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou turn out?
A Roller Coaster Ride
Usa’s getting a little handsy
“Ricchan” just doesn’t quite know what to think about this mixer that she ended up at. It turns out that the people are book aficionados, but it’s also a more social situation, and for Ritsu, that doesn’t really compute. But just as it seems that things might go ok, with Mitsui talking to her about books, he pulls out an elitist attitude about “proper” readers, and casting aspersions at people asking for recommendations that immediately makes Ritsu think of Usa, trying his best to show an interest in the things she’s reading, even if it’s over his head. So she sticks up for people trying to learn, pointing out that it’s normal to start with easier things. Unfortunately, that just gets Mitsui even more all over her, until she’s saved by the phone.
Maybe the wrong advice?
And Usa gives Ritsu a little help in gaining the courage to tell Maemura to back off a little bit, but unfortunately, Maemura’s already crossed over one or two lines, especially in sharing a picture of Ritsu. And when Ritsu finds out, her ‘carefully chosen words’ change to being a little too mean. Even though she’s right, it’s still rather abrupt and a bit out of bounds, telling Maemura that it’s more like she just wants someone to hang around. Unfortunately again, that pretty much effectively ends their interaction. Maemura is not a bad person. She just wants something different, a different level, than Ritsu wants or can do. And she’s not wrong when she tells her other friends that “we just didn’t click.” I think that’s actually a good way to put it. It’s just hard for Ritsu who did like having a friend, at least for a while, and seems to wish that she could get a friend at the right level.
It’s Not the Same Thing
It still hurts
One of the phrases that has been around Ritsu the whole time, in the ED song and when talking to Chinatsu and others, is “hitori dakedo, bocchi ja’nai”. “I may be alone, but I’m not lonely.” But in the dissolution of her friendship with Maemura, those two descriptions get awfully close together. The distance between Usa and Ritsu on the way home after that may have been the farthest apart they’ve been. It’s also hard to tell if Ritsu getting into the umeshu later is her sneaking it, or Sumiko messing up (I think Ritsu got it on purpose, tho), but it really does get to her, and as always, alcohol loosens lips, even if it doesn’t loosen blouses like Usa wants…
Lots of fantasizing this week
But it really gets Ritsu talking about her jealousy that other people have friends they just click with (and how nice is it that since she’s in a mood to talk, everyone will listen? That’s what friends are: people who will listen to your drunk complaining). And who knows how much it will get through her blitzed state, but she does get some good advice from Mayumi (who has actually been pretty consistent with the good advice this show, she just can’t take it herself), that it’s really rare for people to just ‘click’ as friends. You need to decide what’s important and what’s not important, and whether you can accept the behaviors you don’t like.
And lots of shutting down fantasies
And when the topic gets around to Usa, he learns that they might not be as far apart as he feared, and some of the reasons for Ritsu’s annoyance at him. He is a nice guy who doesn’t want to say bad things about people, even when they’re not nice to him. But even being plastered doesn’t make Ritsu confess everything. And the search for snacks, which turns into the “search for Usa’s secret stashes” ends up with Ritsu finding his notes on the book that he’s trying to read, which again make her reevaluate him. Maybe they’ll end up together, but not before the end of this series.
Ritsu finds the stash she wants, but doesn’t want to embarrass Usa
While Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou didn’t follow my rule that all romance shows need to have a couple at the end, it was still a nice roundabout romance show. It was a lot of fun to have a character-driven slice of life show like this, focusing on some older characters and even the high schoolers in this show were high on the maturity scale. Compared to the other high school shows this season, Kanojo ga Flag or Isshuukan Friends, Kawaisou came at it from a much different perspective, and was definitely the most fun overall of those shows. The mixed cast really helped, bringing perspectives that we usually don’t see to the high school romance show, even if the maturity of the other characters didn’t always match their ages.
The show used a lot of great perspective and depth of field shots for effect
Using some really distinctive visual styles, it was a good show to look at, with a nice color palette, good use of light and shading, and lots of evening settings that allowed them to use long rays of light and rich saturated colors in purple and orange. It really gave the show a distinctive look throughout, and even when they swapped to the super-deformed characters for laughs, it didn’t present too much mood whiplash. Great performances from Rina Satou as Mayumi and Yuuichi Iguchi as Usa helped to carry the show, and Kana Hanazawa worked great as the soft-spoken Ritsu.
Of course, Mayumi was my favorite character
I could have used a bit more rabu-rabu, but it just wasn’t in the cards for this series. Instead, it was nice to just enjoy the humor that came out of Mayumi and Shiro’s silly activities, as well as the nice friendships that the show exhibited throughout. Despite all their sniping at each other, the residents at Kawaisou were definitely friends, the kind that you can rely on to rescue you if you really need it. That made this show a lot of fun to watch, and a lot of fun to talk about.