Kare Kano and Blank Slate Arima
Five volumes into the comic book series Kare Kano, how much do we really know about the main guy? Not much, right?!
It’s fascinating how all sorts of lovely people become, well, fascinated with him. Miyazawa, Shibahime and Asaba all look up to him as some sort of wondrous existence, but no one really knows him (and they sort of know that they don’t know).
Sure, there’s the fact that he’s good at everything, he’s gentle and he’s handsome. That should make most people immediately like him, and like him lots. But I wonder how far what Miyazawa et al see in him is really him and not a projection of qualities they themselves have created. I felt the same way about the main guy in Marmalade Boy, Yuu. He was perfect, but didn’t really open himself up and remained a mystery throughout. I watched the anime expecting to get at some point a glimpse at least of the real core Yuu that emanated such perfection…not the cause of so many people liking him, but the cause of thoughtful individuals like Arimi adoring him so. I don’t think I ever got that glimpse.
It might be that this is a strategy of shojo mangaka (to allow the readers to infuse the lead character with their own desires), or it might be that as a dull boy I’m missing a particular quality that other readers are imbibing…
I love the Miyazawa family. I love the portrayal here because even though this is a kid-centered drama, many of the adults get to participate in the story by way of becoming “honorary kids” through the simple fact that their hopes and aspirations are still alive (Miyazawa parents, Shibahime’s dad and Kazuma’s mom). It’s good for the mangaka to tell the world that not all adults have resigned themselves to monotony and become dead to the world 😀
I love the high school saga. In particular, it reminds me again of how a co-ed school is to a very large extent really a boys’ school and a girls’ school existing separately under the same roof. Also, problems arise very quickly and get resolved just as fast. This is the way it works often in schools.
Finally, I love Maho. I hope we get to see more of her. [And maybe here you can deconstruct this post, since I am open to the accusation that I question the characters’ seemingly irrational interest in Arima only to declare interest in character who’s given us much less to be interested about…What can I say?? I like the name, the character design and the half-jaded half-hopeful attitude.]