Jitsu wa Watashi wa – 13 [END]

Jitsu wa - You two are kinda cute together

“Hey, you two are pretty cute together.”

winter15-highwWell, I seem to have beaten Kyon for not-last season review for the Summer 2015 season, so I can’t say that’s a wrap, but it’s almost done.

Staying True to Yourself

Jitsu wa - Akane takes over

Akane takes over

There are so many ways this last episode could have gone wrong. You could say that the whole setup for the episode was like a minefield for storytelling: Taking the characters out of their usual setting, giving them a serious purpose when they hadn’t had one all season, introducing new family characters right at the end. A misstep on any one of these things, and they could have blown up the goodwill that the show had engendered to this point by being completely true to its own characters. The temptation to make a ‘special’ finale has taken down many an experienced scriptwriter and director.

Jitsu wa - Meet the parents

No, Shiho, you didn’t mention he was 20 feet tall!

And in the end, what got this show through was the same thing that had gotten them to this point: Letting those characters that they have trusted to carry the show so far carry it just a little farther and close it out. Yes, they moved the setting to Youko’s house, and introduced her parents, but they kept all the characters who they were. There were no personality shifts, and in a huge contrast to the other show I covered this season, Charlotte, these characters worked everything out themselves, without needing the script to cover it for them. The show kept the same charm it had throughout, and that resulted in a charming finale.

Jitsu wa - there are rules

I liked the slightly twisted vampire rule again, that he couldn’t come in her room without her invitation.

Not Quite a Confession

Jitsu wa - It's not my fault!

Mom is well enough to find out what’s going on

As usual with this show, the whole thing hinged on a misunderstanding: While everyone thought Youko had been taken home because her secret got out, in truth it was because her dad overreacted to his wife being sick. But that doesn’t stop the usual comedy of errors and the representative chase scene, as Asahi, Nagisa, and Shiho try to infiltrate Youko’s house, only to find out that her dad is huge. And in typical fashion for this show, and for Shiho, she didn’t bother actually telling them anything about this. I love that she basically trolls them the whole time, just tagging along for the lulz. And speaking of lulls, as usual there are the lulls in the action enough for Youko and Asahi to talk, where she tells him once again that he doesn’t need to try so hard to protect her secret, and also that she’s felt really uncomfortable around him, but not in a bad way. And they both get appropriately embarrassed cute when the prospect of spending the night in Youko’s room comes up, only to be completely taken away by Nagisa’s interference.

Jitsu wa - She looks like she's gonna enjoy this

Looks like it’s time for a little fun

And in a nice bit of circularity, the show gets back to the same gag that came up in the 2nd episode, with Asahi prepared to take a knock on the noggin from Nagisa’s hammer to allow Youko to stay in school. And like that first time, Youko cannot let him do it, because him being her friend and her special… something… is more important than her secret. But this time they show the progress everyone has made as friends, because Nagisa can’t hit him either, thinking about how special and fun their time together has been. And in the wrapup afterward, Nagisa and Youko commiserate about feeling the same way about their friendship, and Nagisa offers to take herself out of the running, should Youko ever figure out that she’s actually in love with Asahi, the thing she couldn’t quite say.

Jitsu wa - She almost tells him



I was surprised from the very beginning of Jitsu wa Watashi wa. It wasn’t a show that I had really thought anything about, but from the first episode, with the great reactions and wonderfully natural characters, it was a treat to watch every episode, and I don’t think there was a down one in the bunch. The art style gave it a unique look, and the expressivity of the drawings allowed for a range of emotional signalling that we usually don’t get in anime. Usually we have to be told how someone feels exactly, but I think we got the gist of it from Nagisa’s reactions primarily.

Jitsu wa - The ultimate reaction

And they saved the ultimate reaction for last

Not only were the characters well handled, I think that the way they interacted and were used was excellent. For instance, most shows would try to shoehorn all the characters into the last episode. Jitsu wa was content to have Okada, Shimada, Sakurada, and Mikan be just an eyecatch. That was good because they really didn’t figure in the story arc, and didn’t need to be there. And throughout the show, characters were there when they needed to be, but not in an obvious “We need to get Mikan at the pool” way. It always felt natural when everyone showed up at the same place Mikan was, even when they hung a lampshade on it with Mikan saying “You guys again?” Nothing forced, nothing out of character. The show just let the people in the show live their frequently wacky lives.

Jitsu wa - Nagisa's smile is back

Nagisa gets her smile back

While the animation and production wasn’t anything anyone would call amazing, it never disappointed, and the character design was stellar, allowing for those great reactions. It also did a few different things, going with Ars Magna, a “2.5D” dance troupe that’s only recently started singing songs (as opposed to vocaloid), for the OP, and Hilchryme, a pretty big hip hop act, for the ED. And I have to say that both songs were pretty darn good, ones that I always listened to. They also used incidental music with words, a rarity, and while it might have gotten a little repetitive by the end using the same song, it ended up being more of a representative theme for Asahi and Youko’s relationship. And the selection of a group of relatively new voice actors for the main characters, and surrounding them with a lot of experience (all the way up to Rikiya Koyama and Youko Hikasa as Shiragami’s parents) paid off in feel without any of the characters being linked too much to the other roles of their seiyuu. So kudos all around for a very enjoyable show.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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15 Responses to “Jitsu wa Watashi wa – 13 [END]”

  1. HannoX says:

    I’m another one who always listened to the OP and ED songs. They were such catchy tunes, especially the OP.

    I like how they returned to the theme of Asahi being a leaky basket in that he let slip that Youko’s secret was out. And his expression as he tried to lie his way out of it!

    It never felt like this show tried to force the characters to do anything out of character for the sake of plot. The creators just let the characters be themselves and that drove so much of the story and the humor. I suspect the characters drove much of the writing, rather than the writing driving the characters.

    • Highway says:

      I dunno if there’s anything to say to most of that but “yep!”

      I kind of felt like they subverted Asahi’s ‘leaky basket’ reputation. He never just blew it, and usually he was trying to save a secret when the person interrogating him got distracted. Everyone else gave up far more secrets than he did throughout the series.

  2. Foshizzel says:

    I wasn’t sure about this series but I’m glad I gave it a shot because wow it was soooooooooooo fun! I loved all the characters! As for the romance I wasn’t into it as much instead I watched for the comical side of things cause the whole love triangle thing is old and busted for me personally…

    I hope we get a second season even though I plan on reading the manga to see how the rest goes.

    • Highway says:

      I never really think of a setup like this as a ‘love triangle’. It’s an OTP and some outsiders looking in. And the outsiders realize that, even if Nagisa tried, in a fit of pique, to stop Asahi from confessing.

      I’d definitely love a second season of this series.

    • Alexandre Martins says:

      Yes, even relatively side characters like Akari were tons of fun. The line about having to give up beer to buy a new car was hilarious! (Reminded me of Katsuragi Misato :))
      Also, I just loved how Eromine Asahi’s male friends at school were always rooting for him and sure he would end up messing up every the time, but they helped him anyway. By the way, Highway, excellent review. You nailed what’s good about this series!

  3. skylion says:

    And they saved the ultimate reaction for last

    They also dressed Tiny Class Rep the same as Big Class Rep! I love that!

    You pretty much covered everything I could comment on for the show. I’ll just underscore how nice it is to have such a surprise come along. Shows get dismissed left, right, and center all the time for many reasons. This one was an easy target right out of the gate. Not the highest quality animation…yet another harem show…a cast that could have been more tropey than eclectic. That’s just looking at the PVs and synopsis. Something we are engaged in right now at the start of the Fall 2015 season.

    But this show not only squeaked by on charm, it excelled with it. Just like you said, natural characters doing their thing, subverting tropes like they were going out of style. I agree, Kudos!

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, Jitsu wa could have been anywhere from just awful to a lot of fun, and I have to say that I think that the anime production pretty much maximized the enjoyment that it could provide, which is something that is rare. And the way they did it, with letting the characters get themselves into and out of situations, is one of those things that makes you wonder why everyone can’t do that.

      I do think that the animation should get a little more credit. There were a lot of little things that stood out to me, like putting background characters in shots, keeping Tiny Class Rep in the same outfit as Big Class Rep. And all those facial expressions were very well done, being consistent and a great transition from manga style to anime.

      • skylion says:

        Yes, the animation does deserve credit. It was minimal, but thoughtful; much like the characterizations, never over-stayed the welcome or try to milk it for more.

        • Alexandre Martins says:

          Actually I think the animation was very good in terms of presenting the characters. I mean, they were their own thing and the animation just kept pace with that. It established the characters in their own right and also always over the top when it really had to. I said that before, but the episode when Akane reacts to the chocolate cake like a
          Shokugeni no Soma character was just wonderfully funny!!!

    • Alexandre Martins says:

      Chibi inchou was always the exact counterpart of the big inchou. That’s one of the most hilarious things about her character, like when her big robot body would be eating a bowl of ramen and she would be inside the head, dressed in the exact same school uniform, and eating a mini ramen bowl, the perfect counterpart of the one her big body is eating. It’s little totally nonsensical things like that that made me love this series, together with excellent character construction and development and consistent storytelling throughout.

      • skylion says:

        …nothing to add but a big old “Yep”…and Three Cheers for Nagisa, clearly the Best Girl!

        • Alexandre Martins says:

          Definitely! I would even root for her to get Asahi in the end, but honestly I don’t know how the size difference would be worked out. 😀

  4. Painboy says:

    I was very surprised I liked this show. It’s certainly not my usual anime fare of big stompy mechs tossing various ordinance at each other. I started watching it mostly out of curiosity as others on this site seemed to like it a lot and I was currently only watching one other series at the time.

    On paper I should hate it; set in high school, harem, love triangle, ridiculous sexually awkward boy, high potential for turgid melodrama. But the characters are quite well done and the whole thing comes off as sweet and not exploitative or overserious. As HW and others have pointed out the creators did a good job not trying to come up with various plot contrivances and the whole series had a natural flow to it.

    As far as the animation goes I thought it was pretty much perfect for the subject matter. It had a light airy quality that enhanced the story and never got in its way. Crazy UFOTable style animation isn’t needed for every anime.

    And lastly I love Akane. Her voice when she starts scheming, along with the look on her face, is something I never tire of. I will bake her a chocolate cake anytime she wants.

    • Highway says:

      I’m really glad you gave it a try and that you liked it. Now that you mention it, it does seem like one of those series that would be a good bridge for people who are usually not into comedy / school life / romance polygon stories. It doesn’t force you into accepting a lot of things the characters are doing that are implausible. You can also imagine how weird it is to say something like that about a series featuring a vampire, an alien, a fukunokami inhabiting fake glasses, and a pervy werewolf. And it doesn’t lay on the sappiness too thick. It has sweet moments between Asahi and Youko, and Asahi and Nagisa, and those wistful moments of Nagisa and Mikan, but it never bogs down in that.

      And I didn’t give much text over to Akane, but I thought they way that they played her was just great. And like the rest, it didn’t demand that you believe she’s an evil entity. Her scheming was always so gloriously petty, like trying to blackmail Nagisa into making her a cake, or snookering Mikan into giving her snacks. And she seemed to genuinely want to promote a relationship between Youko and Asahi, even while she and Youko were having their “I’m more mature than you” continuing feud.

  5. Alexandre Martins says:

    By the way, did you notice that in what is my number one favorite episode of the show (the chocolate cake one) they made a blatant imitation of Shokugeki no Soma? I laughed myself totally silly at that!!!

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