Pressure is high for Yukino Miyazawa to succeed, to be loved by all, and to be simply...the best. After working so hard to become the top student at her school, a new competitor has arrived to tumble her from her self made... more » pedestal: Arima Souichirou. The instant she met him, she hated him. He topped her every effort without even trying. Now Yukino is putting her hard work into plotting her revenge, but was love part of the plan? Contains episodes 1-6.« less
David Greenwood | Hanover, MD United States | 04/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Words cannot describe how much I love His and Her Circumstances. This series was responsible for turning me on to shoujo (girl's) anime, and I still believe it is the finest example of it's type yet made.His and Her Circumstances is the story of Yukino Miyazawa, a high school student who prides herself on being the number one student in every way. But this is only a facade. She is really just putting on an act, secretly putting all of her energy into seeming like she is the "perfect student". Her world comes crashing down when Souchiro Arima joins the school. He quickly begins to give her a run for her money, and becomes her competition. But soon, she realizes that she actually has feelings for him, and... well I don't want to spoil the story.His and Her Circumstances was created by Studio Gainax, who needs no introduction. As it was directed by Anno Hideaki, fans of Evangelion will note constant references to that series, usually hilarious, despite how completely different the two shows are. But the most amazing thing about this series is how experimental it all is. The animation is done almost in the style of a living comic book, which is something I have not seen before. Characters art switches at random from completely silly to serious and downright beautiful. One episode midway through the series is even done in paper cutouts on popsicle sticks! Of course, in the much later episodes, the studio began to run out of money, resulting in an abundance of still-frames, but this is only a minor complaint. Just as in FLCL (another essential anime purchase), I was constantly guessing as to what tricks the director would pull next. Beyond all of this however, The characters in His and Her Circumstances feel much more real than in your standard "Does he like me? Does he like me?" story. And as Arima's and Yukino's relationship progresses, their real personalities reveal themselves. There are a few great side stories too (my favorite involving the young-looking Tsubasa). Overall, I can't say enough good things about this series. It's a brilliant mix of comedy, romance, and drama, and my favorite anime of all time. Every anime fan must see it, and I think it's a perfect addition to any film library."
Not at all what it seems - and more.
errorfound482 | Walla, walla Washington | 06/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"HIS AND HER CIRCUMSTANCES is usually described as a romantic-comedy with the story revolving around two overacheiving High School Students. Sounds sappy, sentimental, and common, right? Well it's not. And it's not just for girls - the creators of the action-scifi anime NEON GENESIS EVANGELION created this animated drama.First of all, the pacing is frenetic and HILARIOUS. You'll find yourself laughing at every episode - but what's the most amazing thing is: 1. It's funny because it's true. 2. They still are able to stop the comedy to show the drama (and sometimes they can do it without stopping the comedy). It makes you laugh and I'd be surprised if you don't shed a tear or two, either (yes - even the guys).It's also an insightful and realistic tale of growing up and finding out what love is as they follow the characters through all the phases of relationship. From the first time you realize you like them, to the friendship, to the first kiss, even to the first sexual experiences - and it's done in a mature, realistic and touching manner.Best friends, no friends, rivals, love, crushes, confusion, lonliness, pretending, laughs, shopping, dreams. This one has it all. It's deep but entertaining at all times. One of the best animes out there (unless you're as shallow as a puddle.)"
Now that's relationship
Paulo V. W. Radtke | Curitiba, PR Brazil | 04/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beware: Karekano (the series nickname in Japan) IS NOT your usual romantic anime. Gone are the silly relationships between the likes of Belldandy and Keichi, or the excess of sugar of the likes of Miaka and Tamahome, so this is a title that is different from what both shoujo and shounen anime fans are used to watch. Thankfully. While a shoujo series, Karekano can be easily watched by both shoujo AND shonen fans, as there's something for everybody. What makes it so different? First, the relationship between Arima and Yukina is something that you would expect to see in real life, both of them look perfect on their own way until you get to know them better, so you see that they're just regular humans, living a regular life on a regular city. Just like you and me. No girls coming out the TV or descending from heaven, or pretty boys that saves the girl who just fall in love for her. Even the characters are not depicted as God's gift for beauty on earth, so that's a change. After Yukina starts noticing Arima (in the worst way possible), they start a hate relationship that actually leads to a romantic affair and turns them into boyfriend and girlfriend. Many would argue what's so special on this. It is the daily routine, the chalenge of staying close with all other things to do, friends and their problems, school and jealousy. And above all, that abstract thing that is love, something that's not for sure, that you can feel but you can't put it in a safe and claim yours forever. And at this point, Karekano turns out to be the best romantic animated series ever.Produced at Gainax and directed on it's first 12 episodes by legendary Hideaki Anno (which seems to have overdone it this time) and for the rest of the series by the director of Nadesico and the staff at Gainax, this is a clear example that it's not only great animation that counts for doing a great series. You simply have to watch to understand it.Later in the series the staff even does some experimental animation, which some will regard as bizarre, for me they where cool, and for an episode or two, they sure add some fresh air to the whole animation scene. Of course, later these guyus would work on FLCL, and the exeperience on this series has proved to be effective.If all your life as as anime fan you have asked yourself on why romance on anime was always on platonic level, then Karekano is the answer to this question."
The finest anime series of all time
Gail P. Peck | Orlando, FL USA | 07/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kare Kano is perhaps the most realistic portrayal of teenage romance ever to be displayed, animated or otherwise, and the emotional rollercoaster ride that goes along with it. Hideaki Anno, best known in the US for his hugely successful Neon Genesis Evangelion, puts an entirely new spin on the shoujo genre by including his and GAINAX's own little quirky style to it. The disc itself is a technical masterpiece and has been said to be the most complex DVD ever produced. The show has a large amount of on-screen text used to portray emotions and the innerworkings of the characters and The Right Stuf has done wonders with them, including using various colors, font sizes and fonts themselves that coincide with what they're displaying.One can only hope that other companies will use this release as an example for the future and that TRSI itself can keep up the standard of excellence they have set forth with this first volume. The slipcase that comes with it is perfect for the tone of the show and has some beautiful images on it as well. This is a must have for any anime fan."
Good but with flaws
Matic | Florida | 10/23/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As an artist I learned a lot from watching this series. I found His and Her Circumstances entertaining and engaging, with moments of true brilliance, particularly in the humor. I can see this title appealing particularly to middle-and-high schoolers and it does a great job of capturing something about those times.Artistically there is a good amount of experimentation - it's clear that at this point Gainax is moving towards the dramatic and unique style that emerges in Fooly Cooly. If you are a fan of FLCL you will probably dig H&Hc as well, and vice versa. However, if you are going to follow these series you shoulf be forwarned. First there is a LOT of filler and recycling of animation. It's not too bad in the first two DVDs but then expect to run into entire episodes which are re-edits of existing footage. Re-caps of the story are ok... but doing it over and over to the point of retelling the entire series is cheap.Worse, there are episodes which are basically just cleaned-up animatics, complete with drawings cut out and pasted on sticks and moved around on video, and tons of pan-and-scans of sketches. This is pretty clearly a way to turn out content without going through the effort and expense of full ink-and-paint. Gainax tries to sweep this under the rug by being "artistic" about it, and you CAN get away with some of that in the name of art perhaps but essentially we have here about 3 DVD's worth of content stretched out to 5.Additionally as occured in Evangellion the ending is fatally flawed. The storyline is cut off in the middle of nowhere, and pasted over with a putty consisting of psychobabble and a healthy dose of screw you it's over. This is particularly frustrating because the entire series builds up a few subplots which are left totally unresolved. For instance Arima, the male protagonist, is hinted at having a black temper and murderous jealousy over Yukino, and the last few episodes play this up to an intensity that makes you wonder if the guy is actually a monster. Pretty heavy for a series that started out with the most serious conflict being Yukino getting the silent treatment from her classmates.So, I'd really have liked to give His and Her Circumstances more stars. I really enjoyed watching it for the most part. But as was the case with Evangellion the story fragments and goes everywhere at once before finally being cut off the way a farmer might put down a rabid dog. Its a shame. Still, get the frist two DVDs and you will have hours of enjoyment."