Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama Romance
Summary: Kure-nai is about the adventures and misadventures of 16-year-old Kurenai Shinkurou. Shinkurou is an authority in settling disputes between people, and finds his life turned upside down one day when he is assigned as a bodyguard for Kuhouin Murasaki, the daughter of a powerful plutocratic family.
Review: After watching Aishiteruze Baby I had to pick this one up. Probably one of my biggest complaints about Aishiteruze Baby was the artwork. So I figure why not pick one up that has the same general premise with better art? It seems like the logical thing to do because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, amIright? Turns out Kure-nai offered quite a bit more than fancy art to catch my attention. When I first picked this anime up I actually didn’t read much into the summary and only saw that a boy named Shinkurou has to take care of a seven year old named Murasaki. Who knew this sweet tale filled with song, dance, and cute kid antics had quite an impactful story.
Starting off with the art I would say that Kure-nai did a great job depicting facial expressions, scenery, and moods. Although the settings were quite standard, taking place mostly at Shinkurou’s school and tiny apartment, they did a great job keeping things interesting. It didn’t seem like everything was so cut and paste like many other anime fall to. The series did a great job keeping things lively and entertaining despite the reuse of scenery. Another great thing about the anime’s art was the fight scenes. They were choreographed wonderfully and many of the fights were quite believable. They didn’t do anything too crazy or bring it extremely dramatic/unnecessary moves. It was as if I was watching it an animated kung-fu movie, of which I’m a huge fan of. The use of blur expressed lighting fast movements which blended in beautifully with the backgrounds. It actually got the point where I was waiting desperately for the next fight to happen. That can be considered good or bad. After witnessing such amazing fights I started to get bored when there was nothing but dialogue. However, it was the short and far between aspect that really kept the fights fresh and inviting. One thing that I don’t see in many anime, even today, is consistent hair flow. I felt that Kure-nai did something different than other series when it came to hair. At first look it seems rather normal. Natural hair color, common styles, etc. However, looking closer and at a couple screenshots you can see that they tried to make hair a little more dynamic. Many anime characters in other series seem to have bombarded their hair with products until they could withstand a hurricane. Kure-nai took more into account than just wind. For example, Murasaki’s hair seemed to contour to her movements quite well. There were a couple times when I didn’t exactly find the hair movements natural, but I appreciated what they were trying to do.
The story wasn’t too bad, and I did pick it up for the sole reason I enjoyed Aishiteruze Baby. It was about a guy taking care of a helpless kid. However, it ended up being a bit more interesting after introducing the entire Kuhouin bloodline. Who knew that inbreeding and powerhouse families could be so interesting? The series did a good job mixing an underlying backstory and main plot while still having a bit of slice of life. Many of the episodes didn’t mention the Kuhouin family directly and it always seemed like a topic left in the back of the audience’s mind until the very end. It turned out that the anime wasn’t so much about protecting little Murasaki than teaching her about the “real world”. It showed the transition of taking a young, sheltered child who knows nothing of the world outside a small cubic room and bringing her into the common world. For that I would also say that the series did a good job with character development. I wish I could say more about the other characters and how great they were, but the spotlight really shown down on Murasaki. Her cute and playful nature mixed with a stubborn attitude really brought out the best in the series. It also has it that the other characters (i.e. every other girl in Shinkurou’s life) was very static. They didn’t seem to go through any changes or development. There were a few flaws in the story, however. I wished that they went into further detail about a lot of the subjects they covered. Shinkurou’s fighting style and past were only lightly touched upon. I got the general gist of both but nothing solid. It seems like the series could easily run with it and create a new story arc. I say this because the series still has the option of making a season two with all the same lovable characters and a couple new ones, especially after watching the OVA’s. I would debate the ending, but I wouldn’t want to give anything away. I will say this, for me it was unexpected. Whether that be good or bad is up to you, but I personally found the ending to be fitting. And like I said earlier, the OVA’s seem to also help the series come to a more likable ending for the those that disagreed with the original. Overall I enjoyed the story, characters, and twists. Probably the most enjoyable episode was the sixth. I never knew that a musical could be so entertaining. Definitely got a few laughs in.
The soundtrack wasn’t bad either. The opening was catchy but got a little annoying if you watch the episodes back to back as I did. I would generally skip the both the opening and ending, however, I think I just skipped the ending to quickly get to the next episode. Between the two I’d lean toward the ending because for some reason it gave me the urge to dance. Nothing crazy, but kind of swaying side to side motion. It got my foot tapping at least. As for the art, I enjoyed for both the OP and ED. The OP was a little more entertaining because it didn’t consist of still pictures and it was kind of cute. I would say at least check out the full ending Crossing Days by Ryoko Shintani. I’m sure a few of you will like it.
Final statements: I think after Aishiteruze Baby I’ve become a sucker for those “taking care of a helpless child” anime. I picked this immediately afterwards and fell in love with it, finishing off this short series in one night. A preferred watch that could have been better with a bit more content. Episodes that could be considered filler were quite entertaining and relieved a lot of the drama going on in the background. I also learned that a musical anime can be pretty darn entertaining after the sixth episode.