Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances

Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances attracted me because of its lead character. Yukino is top of her class in just about everything until Soichiro, a similarly over-achieving boy, comes to her school. She learns to deal with her jealousy of him and her own growing self-awareness of the motivations driving her success.

Their rivalry becomes love within a few books, after which the story turns to their friends, which is where I began losing track of the characters. A whole group of gal pals was introduced at once, and through the rest of the volumes I tried (I read up to book 7) I got several of them confused.

Kare Kano: His & Her Circumstances Book 1 cover
Kare Kano: His & Her
Circumstances Book 1
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Less attention is also paid to making them fully three-dimensional characters. A character chart at the beginning of each book would have been a big help, but the only extra material is one “story so far” page and the occasional author comments about her reading or hobbies.

I’m glad that the writer didn’t break up Yukino and Soichiro just for drama, so I didn’t mind seeing other people’s stories, but I would have enjoyed them more if I’d been more comfortable with who they all were. I also worry a bit that Yukino’s obsessive studying and self-improvement wasn’t replaced with an interest of her own; instead, she finds her own value in her love for Soichiro. There’s nothing wrong with replacing focus on oneself with learning to care for others, but it moves Yukino away from being the book’s central character as her friends are developing their own individual talents.

Currently, the series is at least 18 volumes. When a series gets up into the double digits, I really have to be enjoying it to sign on for that length, and I wonder about the author possibly padding just to continue the property. If I liked more of the supporting cast in their own right, I’d be more eager to keep reading. As it is, the only one that really grabbed me was Soichiro, and with the focus widening, I’m no longer as interested.

19 Comments

  1. danielle leigh

    The author has said the the first 8 or 9 volumes were really about Yukino’s story, volumes 10-13 are really padding, and Soichiro’s story begins in full-force around book 14. Since book 14, the tone of the story has changed, getting darker since it delves into Soichiro and his family’s past. These are in fact my favorite of the series so far (volume 14-18) but if you like your shojo sweeter and less angsty I wouldn’t recommend the later volumes.

  2. Aw, I really love volumes 11-12, even moreso than the mains story at times. It’s a self-contained story arc for about 350 pages that has the luxury of jumping right into the meat of the story. Padding or not, I still liked the the diversion.

  3. You’re reminded me that I later sampled 12-16, but I didn’t find enough of what I was looking for to bring me back to the series. I found Soichiro’s story to be based on cliché and as you say, too dark for me.

  4. they should finish the show they ended it in the middle wats up with that?

  5. Dunno — sounds frustrating. I haven’t yet gotten into anime, so I’m only familiar with the manga.

  6. well, it’s kind of interesting comics. one of my favourites. i have fun with the earliest series, but it’s kinda boring in the middle.but the pace has a bit faster after the series 14, getting darker also. cant wait for the next

  7. this book is also one of my best book…i love the whole thing but im just wondering in the book and series do the two couple ever break up or have a misunderstanding because i havent yet finished the whole series but on book 11…

  8. They do have a misunderstanding and break up for a lil. bit before getting back together. In my opinion, I liked the sweeter part with Yukino the best and found the padding to be a bit of a bore. I really just wanted to read more about Yukino’s and Arima’s relationship. The “Arima ark” wasn’t bad either, although a bit dark. It showed some problems that kids that have suffered child abuse might go through.

  9. If u like Soichiro, u should really continue b/c 14-21, the last books, really dig deep into arima and yukino’s relationship. it’s worth it, trust me.

  10. I find this manga to be a great read. It’s been funny and the development of all the charactors has been interesting. The introduction of the relationships of the other girls sorta helps to define Arima and Yukino’s. Though I haven’t got them all I’m waiting to see if Arima can handle being told he’s going to be a f******.

  11. I really like this book but i think Masami Tsuda should but the rest of the books into a movie…cause the dvd’s only go up to 5 dics…and then you have to read from the books after that…so yeah…but i really love the book too…

    *LISA*

  12. The most amazing wonderful series ever. I got into this as my first manga series and even bought it in Japanese before the English versions came out! It is definitely a romantic story with deep chracter developement. The side stories are well developed too but get annoying when you want to know what is happening to the main 2 characters. BUT YOU SHOULD BUY IT! or just read it; it’s amazing, really. AND! it concludes in the future so that is some good closure.

  13. If the tangential storylines in the middle of the series have put anyone off this series, I’d recommend looking at it again. It’s now finished and fully published in the US, and the last few volumes return to Arima & Yukino in a good way — I was *very* pleased with the final volume.

  14. “they should finish the show they ended it in the middle wats up with that?”

    From what I’ve read, GAINAX (the production studio for the anime) wanted to continue moving the show in a more humorous direction, while the mangaka wanted the series to become more serious. This difference of opinion is why there was never a second season.

  15. MarioYaconetti

    Kamielle. KAMI chan? is that you? I did a search to check up on some crazy girls i went to japan with a few years ago. I dont know if its you or not but if it is I’d like to hear how things are going for you now. i saw your project on japan. It was amazing!!!

  16. […] first, this premise reminded me of Kare Kano, since Hikari is determined to outrank the best student at her prestigious school. It quickly took […]

  17. the author of this manga kare kano was so great and amazing and this story is so great too….
    JUST WANT TO SAY THAT THIS STORY WAS SO GREAT…………………………….

  18. I have to say that I hate this manga with a passion. I think the original premise was so cliche and overdone, of course they’d hook up.

    I didn’t find the lead to be a strong female to look up to, but an overbearing and annoying child instead.

    I only continued reading it under the advice of many that it got better as the story progressed, but was sadly disappointed.

    It’s not really dark, again, just cliche. I personally have been a victim of child abuse, so I found the portrayal here to be irritating. Like an interpretation from someone who has no idea what they’re talking about.

    And the flat art is so unoriginal and unstylish as well.

    I recommend passing on this title.

  19. -sigh- I still think even if they didn’t make a second series it should have ended with movie or at least ending with the play I mean they all start talking about it and it makes you want to see it and then when it ends right before they play it’s just…Gahh…I hate it…maybe the least they could do was not have those what has happened so far parts then maybe it would have a better ending. But still I was sure that because episode 18 which was vol. 6 in the manga that I knew that it was impossible for the play. Though, I really wish they had done it…I really liked it too…Oh well though but still in all the other animes I’ve watched they end with the main character doing something right? I mean why end with the side characters. Also whatever happened to Tsubasa and her brother? I mean they show up in that one episode and their gone forever…I don’t get it… wahahaha this is weird…I guess I’m really supportive of this anime I guess well beacause eh….I wanted to see that play because I’m into literature too! but I guess that should be kept a secret for now huh?

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