In continuing with the Toxic trend of ranting about characters that bring down otherwise great shows, I am now going to now rant about Yukihira Furano.
Don’t worry. She is far less deserving of a rant than most bad characters this season but my problems with her do diminish my enjoyment of “My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy” (Noucome).
I hope you will forgive the long post title but given the long anime title, I think it is quite apt.
I want to start by clarifying that NouKome (or NouCome if you prefer) is one of my favorite anime this season. It is funny, touching at times and generally well put together. I also think Kanade is a pretty likable main character and that is a major accomplishment for any romcom/harem.
(Though I will admit that my fondness for this anime might stem from the fact that I am not actually watching much good anime this season…)
I am quite fond of most of the other characters too. Ignoring the thus far undeveloped personalities of Ayame (big fake boobs) and Seira (the Student Council president), the rest of the girls are quite likable. I am especially fond of the fake imouto who is one of the few imouto characters I actually like.
And out of the main three girls, both Ōka and Chocolat are both quite likable. Ōka in particular is especially hilarious.
Yukihira was great at the beginning of the series. I liked her blunt, sarcastic, incredibly strange nature. Unfortunately, the show then decided that Yukihira needed a conflict of some sort to facilitate her future development.
The problem chosen for her was a pretty boring and cliché one. The whole “character can’t express their true selves” is an old, cliché conflict. I roll my eyes every time it is used.
What is perhaps worse is that “her true personality” is significantly worse than her fake personality.
It is hard to give a concrete explanation of why I don’t like her cutesy personality, but even before we think about that, the better question to ask is WHY? Why would they give her a cutesy hidden personality? Why would they do that when the ordinary Yukihira was just fine? She was likable and her jokes brought some good deadpan variety to the show.
Making her cutesy makes her more generic and boring and no one wants that. Well, I don’t anyway.
It is a shame really. At first, I really, really liked episode 6. I enjoyed some of the scenes quite a bit and thought the episode was wonderful. After thinking about it for a while though, I realized that the cute personality thing just wasn’t doing it for Yukihira. I probably only liked episode 6 because the pig was cute and the absolute choice at the end was both funny and heartwarming.
As the title of this post implies, I have another, perhaps greater problem with Yukihira’s character.
She shouldn’t have fallen in love with Kanade.
There I went and said it. I think the anime would be genuinely better without her feelings and here is why:
- Yukihiri and Kanade’s relationship would likely make for a better friendship then it would a romance.
- Her cliché jealousy is annoying and leads to the show exploiting more cliché’s like boob battles.
- I want no unnecessary drama and chest clenching in my Romantic Comedy.
I can’t actually picture Yukihira and Kanade as a couple. Or at the very least, I can’t picture them as an interesting couple. The show is implying that if they have a relationship it would be a very tsun or a very dere relationship.
In theory, the two could have a good romance. They could act like friends 90% of the time, but then have one or two really sweet moments that would melt our hearts. But I don’t see that happening. All I can see in this ship is boring development after boring development.
Yukihira would make him lunch, then blush profusely as she offered it to him. She would ask him on a date and then blush profusely as she hung her head down and hoped for a yes. That clashes with her more likable, more interesting non-cutesy personality.
She shouldn’t be shy and nervous around Kanade or at the very least, she shouldn’t be so obviously shy and nervous. It is boring and it has been done many, many times before. I much rather have her be the good friend who constantly calls him PIG.
The second point is probably more important. In a show that sort of tries to poke fun at romcom tropes, seeing a character fall face first into the most common trope of all is very sad. I don’t like jealous (or obviously jealous) characters and I like them even less if that jealousy is as bland as Yukihira’s.
She gets upset when Kanade talks to another girl. She gets upset when a big boobed girl sits across from them. She worries over his feelings all the time. It is even worse because in order to activate the jealous card you need cliché plot development like misunderstandings and This drags everything down.
I don’t want to see a flustered Yukihira, I want to see a Yukihira that insult’s Kanade and does other strange things.
The last point in the list is mostly self-explanatory. NouKome is first and foremost a comedy. It is meant to be funny. And while good comedies (romcoms especially) can afford some drama, I prefer it when they don’t have much of it.
This anime is great when it presents hilarious absolute choices. This anime is great when Ōka takes center stage and says something that is both wise and hilarious. This anime is great when the cute imouto does a cute thing. This anime is great when Yukihira calls MC-kun a pig. This anime is not so great when Yukihira blushes/gets jealous/gets cutesy or does some other generic, bland thing.
That said, I will continue to watch NouKome though because despite Yukihira and her faults, I am enjoying this series quite a bit. My Wednesday’s or Thursday’s (if I don’t get time on Wednesday) are always the better because of it.
p.s. Looking through my screencaps for this post made me like Yukihira (and to an extent, the anime as well) even less. I guess that is not a good thing.