Kure-nai Series Review

(As a side note to people coming from animenano, my last post wasn’t listed on there for some reason – so if you want to read that as well, please do and find out why I’ve been derailed by spore.)

The precocious child, Murasaki, was the fire behind what made this show good but her circumstances, along with the episode count, ultimately denied this show from greatness.

Final Series Score: 10/12 A
Rewatchablity: low – medium
Pros: Murasaki, slice-of-life elements, animation – outside of an occasional shot – was very pretty
Cons: ending felt rushed which allowed events that seriously stretched plausiblity to occur and also the ending left a sour taste in my mouth.

Awards that this blog has given to the show

  • #3 in Top 5 for Spring Season 2008
  • Best Female for Spring Season 2008

Spoilers follow so read on at your hazard.

The story behind Kure-nai start with the Kuhouins. They are a super-rich family that has many secrets that they don’t want to come to light. The first is that Kuhouin women live in whats known as the Inner Sanctuary, an interior part of the estate that is totally cut off from the outside – no windows, no communications, no internet, tv, radio, etc.. The second is that Kuhouin women cannot marry because they are required to have children from their brothers and thus continue the Kuhouin line. This is were the story starts – 7 year old Murasaki is living in the Inner Sanctuary and knows that she is to have her brother’s children in just a few short years. One day, however, a woman named Benika sneaks into the Inner Sanctuary with the offer to take Murasaki out to the real world. Murasaki decides she wants to see the outside and agrees to go.

Benika runs a operation that handles disputes and decides to let one of her employees, Shinkurou, protect Murasaki while she’s outside. Shinkurou lives in a tiny room (no private bathroom here) in a run-down apartment building with a few interesting neighbors. Murasaki encounters a world very different then her pampered bird cage life from before and the fish-outta-water aspect dominates the first half of the show.

Eventually the Kuhouin family find Murasaki and drag her back when a suddenly impotent Shinkurou can’t stop them. After a bit of mopping, he decides to free Murasaki and along with Benika and Yayoi breaks into the Kuhouin estate. They are eventually successful in reaching Murasaki and defeating the Kuhouin family but Murasaki decides leaving the family would be running away so instead she settles with being able to live outside of the Inner Sanctuary.

Now onto my analysis but first here are my weekly Kure-nai rankings in MS Excel form. Since I only started doing my weekly review part way through the show, I’m using my spring anime review score to cover the first 5 episodes.

The scores are a bit deceptive or at least not fully representative of how I feel about the episodes now that the show is over. My favorite episode was probably episode 8 with the visit to the shrine though episode 6 with the awful play was a close second.

I’m willing to give the show a little slack since it’s been so enjoyable but I did not like the ending at all. First it stretched plausibility to much. This was probably partially due to the episode count not allowing a more convincing ending but it undeniably hurts the show. For example, when Yayoi goes from being defeated for a second time against the same opponent and having to be carted off because she’s more then halfway through death’s door to easily beating the same opponent 15 minutes after said carting off, it’s not possible even for an anime character and really is a mood breaker. I’d love to see Yayoi beat that woman but it’s not possible with what the show did up to the point of their third meeting.

Yayoi after losing to that woman a second time

Car chases are always a plus

Yayoi suddenly able to beat the snot outta the same person that nearly killed her 15 minutes ago

The second reason why I didn’t like the ending was the resolution of the problem of Murasaki’s freedom. I could believe the Murasaki’s father would allow her to live outside the Inner Sanctuary and maybe even end the Kuhouin traditions but I think if Murasaki’s dad is the Gorbachev of the family then the son is like the Ayatollah Khomeini of the family. I don’t believe the brother will allow Murasaki any freedom at all. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple of years the father is dead by Murasaki’s brother hand with the grandpa a willing accomplice. If living outside so Murasaki can make an enlightened choice as to who she spends her life with then couldn’t she also do this living in Shinkurou’s apartment? If she wants to fight the traditions of the Kuhouin family wouldn’t living away from the house be an effective strategy? Maybe the brother would look for a non-blood relation woman of his own age that he would like to marry if his sister wasn’t around all the time.

Creepy Brother

I think if the show had been paced differently and had more episodes it would have greatly helped it. If for example it was 24 episodes long, instead of 12, the side characters could be fleshed out more and give Murasaki some more time outside. This could last for the first 12 or so episodes then with the realization that the Kuhouin family knows where Murasaki we could have had a 4-5 episodes arc of them on the run before Murasaki was caught again. Then we could have had a short arc where Shinkurou tries to move on, maybe see him do a few more jobs for Benika before deciding to save Murasaki. Then finally, Shinkurou with help from Benika and Yayoi could break in and defeat the bad guys convincingly and free Murasaki. I would then resolve it with the father deciding that Murasaki needs to live outside for several years until she is old enough to decide her fate, say another 9 years minimum, and as a sign of good faith let her live with Shinkurou and force the brother to move to Europe for the next few years.

All in all, this was a good show. One I’ll probably watch again soon since Murasaki was such an interesting character to watch as she learned to adapt in the real world. I would also like to see a second season with Shinkurou doing more jobs and maybe some resolution with the two female classmates of Shinkurou.

Please let me have a second season of Kure-nai

How the show should have ended

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4 thoughts on “Kure-nai Series Review”

  1. Despite the ending, i still feel like this series was a 9 out of 10 for me. it was 10 out of 10 going into the last episode. I enjoyed the dialog and the storyline and character development. But i can’t say this was the best series i watched because the ending makes me feel empty inside. I prefer happy ending, not ending where the characters get separated, except for when one character dies for another. Just like that movie 5 cm per second, this series would be at the top of my list if it had a happy ending. However, a sequel would change it for me and i have no doubt this show is at the top of my list. Plus, come on, did you really think a little girl would change a long standing tradition? She will fails despite her brave attempt. I prefer that she is in the care of people who won’t treat her simply as a baby making machine for her brother. Is that so wrong of me to think that ? btw, am i the only one who realize that the little girl is back where she escaped from? wtf, hello? she still need to be rescued.

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  2. I didn’t like the plot of the series and watched it just because of art. The ending was very unrealistic. Episode six was my favorite 🙂

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  3. I loved the theater gag episode and of course the ending required some thought.

    Of course, since I couldn’t do anything I chose to rely upon the main character. Either he’d make sure she was alright or he won’t. I’m out of the picture at that point.

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