Japanese Title: Kirara
Related: Kirara (manga – included in review)
Similar: Maison Ikkoku
Watched in: Japanese
Length: 39 min. OVA, 6 volumes (manga)
- Some good humour.
- So rushed.
- The first girlfriend is irrelevant.
- Why is ghost Kirara interfering?
- The manga doesn’t help.
Blink and you might miss Kirara. So rushed is its storytelling that I have to wonder what the team’s plan was going into this project. With either a small budget or limited time, they should have gone with a different story.
Kirara gets in a car accident on the way to her wedding and dies. Instead of going to heaven, however, her love transports her back eight years to the early days of her relationship with Konpei, before they started dating. Oh, and she’s a ghost…and she has to deal with her younger self…and Konpei is with another girl. Draaaaamaaa!
So, I like this setup. It has great potential for comedy with the current vs. future Kirara love triangle. The pacing doesn’t allow for much in the end, though. Firstly, Konpei dating this other girl is utterly irrelevant – I’m not even sure if he ever actually dates her. They go out as a group for lunch, maybe it’s a date – I’m not sure – until ghost Kirara scares her away. They didn’t need her; two Kiraras is enough for a love triangle.
Secondly, why is ghost Kirara interfering with Konpei and young Kirara? If they will end up together in the future, shouldn’t she just leave them alone? Kirara isn’t interested in Konpei at the start, yet we know she will be, so even then interference is unnecessary. At some point, ghost Kirara makes her inference about banging Konpei, but the next second says it’s about getting her younger self with Konpei. Could be both – who knows? Maybe if each scene lasted longer than a sneeze, we may find out. Most events come in the form of montages to compress the runtime.
When a reader requested this anime, which I had never heard of before, I noted Kirara was an adaptation of a manga with six volumes. Six volumes adapted to thirty-nine minutes? Hmm… So, after seeing how rushed they made the anime, I had to read the manga for the sake of curiosity and for thoroughness on behalf of the reader. Well, what can I say about the manga?
It’s worse! You aren’t going to believe this but cutting down the manga was the best thing they did. One would think the anime had cut the progression of the love triangle with the friend, followed by perhaps a love triangle with present and future Kiaras, hijinks included. Surely, surely, six volumes is plenty to hit us with joke after joke as these characters fall in love. Surely! Ha ha ha— no!
What they cut for the adaptation is utter nonsense – all filler. The manga has an angel descending from heaven, an alien girl who also falls for Konpei, and some other random girl that came from who knows where. I thought the manga would be a humorous rom-com. Instead, all I get is a barely-there romance bogged by filler and a half-naked woman with no sex or sexual development.
Having nudity or sexual material on half the pages, Kirara presents itself as a highly sexual romance, set to develop further sexually than typical vanilla romances. Alas, there’s no development, sexual or otherwise. All development happen in the first five pages as it speeds to the marriage before death.
Furthermore, we never receive reason why Kirara is interested in Konpei. Seriously, they never mention it. It doesn’t help that he has no interesting quality to recommend himself either, preventing us from guessing what attracts her to him (or him to her). The anime showed more in what little time it had. During the montage of their relationship before marriage, we see snippets of life together while they do ‘couple things’ such as ordering take-out after another of her failed dinners, going out on dates, being lovey-dovey, etc. The screenwriter for the anime must have seen all the filler and slashed it in one swift stroke of a red pen.
Kirara the anime feels like twelve episodes condensed into two. The manga feels like two episodes padded out with nonsense to six volumes.
Art – Medium
Kirara has a decent amount of animation and the character designs are distinct enough. Not much to see because the story is so limited.
Sound – Medium
Good acting, but the script is thin. The singer for the end credits has a beautiful voice.
Story – Low
A woman travels back in time as a ghost to when she first met her future husband. Humorous at times, Kirara’s rushed story has no room for the love triangle and comedy to grow.
Overall Quality – Low
Recommendation: Don’t bother. Despite a length of two episodes, the rushed nature of Kirara doesn’t feel worth your time. Then again, it is so short you may enjoy the light rom-com. Whatever you do, don’t move on to the manga.
Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)