Kimi ga Nozomu Eien Vol. #5 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, July 08, 2005
Release Date: Friday, June 25, 2004
What They Say
This is the story of four high school friends, Takayuki Narumi, Haruka Suzumiya, Mitsuki Hayase, and Shinji Taira. Takayuki is drifting a bit and not really thinking about college entrance exams. After meeting Haruka he feels better about himself and starts moving in a new direction. When tragedy strikes, how will everyone handle it and can they move on with their lives?
The only audio track available is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Japanese track encoded at 448 kbps, and it’s more than enough for this show. The audio is primarily dialogue, which comes through clean and clear. The mix is relatively static with only a few instances of directionality.
The aspect ratio here is the original full frame one, and and though it would have been nice to have a bit more of a cinematic scope if the show were done in widescreen, it works just fine as-is. Colors are vibrant without bleeding or banding, and the linework is solid. Of course you’d expect this from a slow-paced show without much movement.
The front cover art features a nice illustration of the medical staff at the hospital (Dr. Kozuki, Fumio, Hotaru, and Manami) by character designer Yoko Kikuchi. The back cover has the requisite screenshots and episode summaries. Available as a first edition bonus is a reversible DVD cover illustrated by the game’s CG artist, Baka Ouji Persia, featuring nice shot of nurses Hotaru and Fumio. An additional Rumbling Angel collectible game card is also included with this release. A cute mini figurine of angry waitress Ayu Daikuji is the final first edition extra.
The main menu is very minimalist, with no animation or fancy transitions, and features the illustration from the cover as a backdrop and the opening song playing while you make your selections. The submenus are just as plain, and though they get the job done, it would have been nice to have something with a bit more visual appeal. On the plus side, making selections is lightning fast.
The extras aren’t bad this time around, with two TV commercials for the DVD release and Media Factory trailers for Bakuretsu Tenshi and Gravion Zwei. The main piece is a well-animated Gundam-esque short starring Kiminozo characters. Both amusing and strange, the piece is totally unrelated to the show, and needs to be seen to be believed, if only for a naked Haruka in a cryotube.
Content: (may contain spoilers)
There’s rarely a dull moment when Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is playing, and this volume is no exception. Events transpire at a quick clip, and the entire show can be viewed in about the same amount of time it takes to reach the point of the fateful accident in the game. Up until this point everyone has been suspending time for Haruka, but things inevitably come crashing down here with significant repercussions for all involved.
After kissing Haruka for the first time in three years, Takayuki is really confused as to what he wants. He wanders around all night and blows off Mitsuki when he gets home. It’s clear that Takayuki’s mind is elsewhere the next day at work, where his performance suffers and he even passes up a chance to harass Ayu, shocking her. While he’s working, Takayuki is summoned by his manager to the office, where a recruiter from the company offers him a more permanent position. Time starts to move again, and Takayuki’s mind is too troubled to accept the offer immediately. Mitsuki has troubles of her own, and leaves her co-worker to go to the hill overlooking the town and remember how things used to be.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Haruka’s love of picture books, and she seems sad over not having a copy of Mayaru no Okurimono, the very book Takayuki was bringing to her the day the accident happened. He finds the book in a storage box, but it’s dirty and scuffed to the point of needing a replacement. After striking out in his search, he receives help from a most unlikely source, his angry and aggressive co-worker Ayu. There’s apparently more to her than meets the eye, and after she places a phone call a woman pulls up in a dark sedan with a fresh copy of the book.
Takayuki rushes to the hospital to give it to Haruka, and runs into an ailing Akane, who isn’t hostile for a change. Left alone again, Mitsuki goes out drinking with Shinji, and the alcohol seems to depress her even more. As Takayuki approaches Haruka’s room, she sees her reflection in the window and begins to finger her much-longer hair, making it apparent that time is starting to move again for her as well.
Unfortunately, Takayuki manages to catch a cold from Akane, and pushing himself as he has been spells trouble in the future. Despite not handling alcohol well Mitsuki goes out drinking again, this time with some old swimming acquaintances. She ends up at a love hotel with one of the guys, but Shinji comes along and starts a fight before anything happens. As the two guys scuffle, Mitsuki has a breakdown and the cumulative effects of Takayuki’s neglect and regret over her wasted potential are enough to unravel her completely.
She’s not the only one coming apart, as Haruka starts putting the pieces together and is greatly upset that no one will tell her what’s going on. The tension reaches a breaking point and Akane snaps, telling Haruka everything, including the fact that Takayuki is now with Mitsuki. She blames her sister for everything that has happened, but Haruka can’t respond because she’s fallen onto the bed, hitting the pillow in another coma. Dr. Kozuki is a terrible caretaker, telling everyone to act like it’s three years ago for Haruka’s sake but standing aside silently as Akane delivers a dagger to her sister’s still-fragile psyche. Not to be outdone, Mitsuki and Shinji end up together at the love hotel, setting up even more trouble for next time.
Just when it seemed like things were settling down, everything gets shaken up in only two episodes’ time. All of the main characters seem desperate in their own way, and at times it’s difficult to watch when no one seems to be decisive when it matters most. Takayuki’s indecision about his feelings is causing grief for Mitsuki, whose love for Takayuki has relegated her to doormat status since Haruka woke up. The biggest surprise here is Akane, who faithfully visited her sister but had feelings of resentment in the back of her mind at the same time. With only four episodes remaining it’s bound to be a quick and emotionally bumpy ride to the finish.
Japanese 2.0 Language,Unaired Kiminozo mecha short,DVD release commercials,Media Factory trailers
Sony KLV-23M1 23” LCD HDTV, Toshiba SD-4900 progressive region-free player via Acoustic Research component cables, Sony STR-DE897/S receiver, Sony SA-VE367T 7.1 channel speaker system.
Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: All
Region: 2 - Japan
Released By: Media Factory
Running time: 53
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Rumbling Hearts