Ah, KimiNozo. The show I walked away from without finishing the first episode. The show I went back to when I saw how spirited the discussion about it became. The show that, of all the short-season series to begin in Fall of ’03, was the most gripping and dramatic.
On the face of it, KimiNozo is exactly the sort of series I don’t like. High schoolers in love? Spare me! A love triangle made up of people too pathetic to make their own decisions? Oh, please! And you tell me it’s based on an h-game? That does it, game over!
And yet, for some bizarre reason, the show really does manage to be incredibly compelling.
Without giving away too much of the plot, KimiNozo is really about a tragedy and how everyone involved manages to deal with it. Or, not deal with it as the case may be. Everyone’s dysfunctional to some degree, and watching these characters pull themselves together (by way of numerous stupid mistakes, of course) is the very core of the series.
Another way to describe the appeal of the show might be something like this: You get caught up in yelling at the screen when one or another of the principle characters makes another boneheaded mistake for what they think at the time are the best of reasons. And that’s what makes it work. You’re pulling for these people. You know why they’re doing what they’re doing. These are intensely believeable characters. They may do stupid things, but they’re stupid things you can almost see yourself doing, under the same pressures and circumstances.
Is it a perfect show? No, not really. There are a couple of nearly-extraneous characters that are guaranteed to get on your nerves to the point where you dread any hint of their appearance. (And yet, even they are almost redeemed by show’s end.) One of the supposedly-main characters is reduced to just being a plot device for large stretches of the show’s run, which makes the somewhat corny ending just that much more predictable.
If you get sucked into the show, though, even the glaring flaws don’t detract much from the overall enjoyment. If you don’t, there’s not much point in finishing. My recommendation? Get through the first four episodes, any way you can. If, by then, you’re not frantic to see each following episode then you might as well stop.