Kimikiss 13: Personal passions, metaphors, and … literary theory?
I have been introverted for most of my life. I am not a misanthrope, but I have found that I enjoy doing activities that are best done alone (and no, not that 😉 ): for example, I enjoy reading, watching anime, watching movies, and writing. I am not averse, however, to going outdoors. I do want my excursions to be purposeful, and that is the reason why I often stay at my room. Still, whenever there is an event that I feel would enhance me intellectually, or simply interest and entertain me, I often unhesitatingly go.
I went to a symposium with Prof. David Gross last Wednesday. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004. I do not major in physics, but I did go there because of my interest in the subject. I did not graduate ‘Best in Physics’ in my high school because I hated the subject. I have written time and again how alienated I am at times with my course. First, I prefer to learn more about either literature and writing or physics, and second, biology has never been my forte since I was young. (IKnight reminded me of how dispersed and directionless my knowledge of literature is: I do not know of post-structuralism at all; however, I also do not feign knowledge of literary theory. I have had read a lot more than my contemporaries [I think], but these readings were mostly for leisure: I am familiar with some literary movements like modernism and post-modernism, but that does not amount to much in relation to the knowledge of the scholars of literature [like IKnight]. Yet leisurely reading remains intellectual and informative as long as one knows what novels and books [in general] to read.) It was a pleasant surprise when he exhorted to us to follow our own dreams and to do what we love, because this passion eases whatever difficulty one encounters in work. One cannot be excellent if one is not in a field that he loves. I am grateful that I can still write, and still read literature in my free time despite the fact that I am a biology major.
Futami Eriko, I think
I do wish I know more of literary theory, but then, I can always learn and study about this in the future. Neither literary theory nor my misplacement in the academe, however, serves as the crux of my introduction: the crux is the passion found in doing whatever one desires, because I realized that what Prof. Gross said was true just today: I viewed the 13th instalment of Kimikiss ~ pure rouge after a long wait, and it was MAGNIFICENT. The episode was steeped in meaning from the new OP animation to the very last scene of the episode. In fact, I watched the episode twice, and the OP five times. Of course I will not do the episode’s summary, as Totali has probably done it already, or usagijen. This post shall serve merely as sounding-board as well as a place for my inferences and analyses.
First, the new OP animation was better than the previous one because it is steeped in suggestion, and balloons as metaphoric symbols are novel. However, metonymy admixed with the balloon metaphor was simply genius. The green balloon was most definitely representative of Asuka, as we see a soccer ball proximal to where it is ‘grounded;’ in this vein, the red balloon was representative of Hoshino: we see that the balloon is ‘grounded’ in the library. I loved the imagery: balloons are seen as symbols of freedom when they break free of their human fetters; we see, however, in the OP, that the fetters were activities that made them unable to see (or belatedly see) what was truly of value to them. Asuka realized that she liked Aihara only when she was forced to stop focusing on merely soccer (because she had an injury), and thus saw the caring side of Kazuki; likewise, Yuumi only started to act when there lay an imminent separation between her and Kouichi: she had to break free of her tragic romance novels because these would probably reflect her own life if she did not act upon her own emotions. I was besotted with the OP: however, this is not all.
One can notice that the balloons that represent them are also offered to they themselves: they are their own fetters; they are their own chains, and they must choose to break free. Only Eriko’s balloon can be seen separated from what can be assumed to be her hands. This is highly evident in the series: from her cold facade she has noticeably warmed up to others because of Kazuki’s help. The chain of apathy that blinded her to many things was destroyed by Kazuki; the problem, however, is that Kazuki has not only broken her chain, but also of Asuka’s. Thus the triangle begins.
In the end, all the balloons escape and float up the sky. This gives me hope towards the series’s ending.
Second, we see that in the title screen, there are two colors that overlap: red, and light blue. I assume the red color represents Yuumi, and the light blue represents Mao: Mao holds a light blue balloon in the OP animation. There will obviously be strife, but I am glad that Mao has not yet become sanguinary (and I hope she never will).
Third, I loved how the animators used the eyes to subtly (or blatantly) portray emotions. From Mao’s realization that Kouichi and Yuumi have become a couple, to Asuka’s realization that Kazuki likes Eriko, the use of the eyes to subtly portray a centripetal melancholy was beautiful.
These are also the reasons why I love Kimikiss more than I would ever like ef: the symbolisms are unaffected: ef forces, through the abrupt and jarring changes of animation (or lack of it), for the viewer to surmise that there is symbolism behind the scene, whereas Kimikiss is spontaneous, free-flowing, yet is steeped in meaning and suggestion. I like Kimikiss’s ingenuous nature. If I were to compare these series to novels, I would say that Kimikiss is a Yasunari Kawabata novel: spontaneous, pithy, yet full of brushstroke suggestiveness and captivating beauty. On the other hand, ef is highly reminiscent of George Meredith’s The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (and yes, I read all of it). Every page is ridden with allusions that when they do actually count, they seem to be meaningless. As usual, preferences are preferences. One can call ef gold, but I call it little more than trash.
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P.P.S. Who was that girl beside Shijou Mitsuki in the OP?