Monday, 3 October 2011

You and Me (Kimi to Boku) - Episode 1

We're all used to the tried, trusted and run into the ground school-based anime comedy series featuring four girls with differing personalities and their amusing adventures, right?  Well, how about a school-based anime comedy series featuring four guys with differing personalities and their amusing adventures?  Enter You and Me, which is nothing to do with an English kids TV programme from the 70s and 80s, before anyone asks.

While this opening episode introduces us to all four of its lead characters to some degree, the main focus lands largely on the cynical, world-weary Kaname as he complains about... well, pretty much everything really, before turning his attentions to an attempt to convince the quiet, sullen and generally unsociable Yuki to enrich his school life by joining an after-school club.

But which club to choose?  The group's first port of call in finding Yuki a club to join involves sports and athletics, something which sees him looking even less enthusiastic than ever - not because he's bad at sports (far from it, as he briefly demonstrates to the basketball club), but simply because he can't be bothered.  Cue a similar story from all manner of clubs from judo through to tea ceremonies and heav knows where else.  Eventually it turns out that Yuki's twin brother Yuta knew of exactly the club for him from the start, so come the end of it all it's problem solved.. somewhat.

Compared to the energetic, colourful and bouncy slice of life comedies which have become par for the course in recent years, You and Me is certainly far more.... sedate, to put it politely.  With a relatively muted colour palette, lots of random shots of cats being cute (which is always good in its own ways) and a bunch of lead characters who are largely rather weak-willed in general, it couldn't be more different than what we're used to.  Is this a good thing however?  From this opening episode it appears perhaps not - there are a couple of good one-liners and jokes stashed away, but that aside it's hard to really like any of the characters or develop an interest in their circumstances.  It's clearly too early to write the series off as a failure, and I still like the fact that it's taking on the school comedy anime from a fresh angle, but perhaps it needs to be reminded that a bunch of guys hanging out together can be loud and crazy as much as their female counterparts?

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