Posted by: Teeif | 16 April, 2008

Kure-nai 01: This is everything and a loli-kon story!

I like this animé, I think it could grow to be best this season. I like it because I’m a sucker for beautifully rendered, detailed, colourful lolis art.

Kurenai 01 MansionKurenai 01 Crybaby

Kurenai First Episode
Climatic Night

At this point I must engage my 5 Italian reverse gears and admit that I am backtracking on my statement since I wrote this off as a loli-kon show. In many ways this still is a loli-kon show; it’s a show about a loli. But at least it becomes supporting pillar in the story, rather than the central pillar, which is loli for the sake of perversion.

To sum it up so far, Kurenai is more like Grave of the fireflies rather than Koi-Kaze or Kodomo no Jikan.

For the half of you who are still reading, Kurenai (“deep red”) is the namesake of Shinkuro Kurenai who has a talent for settling disputes and a mysterious physical/transformation power. But it is the arrival of Kuhouin Murasaki who turns Kurenai’s already not-so-ordinary life into a surreal Tokyo Supernanny (with an unfortunate tendency to turn into a monster).

As if there isn’t enough story already there, Murasaki is a 6-year old rich, noble, illegitimate child born to a maid, supposedly now deceased. Because of the circumstances of her birth, she has been confined indoors since she was born but weighted on by an army of servants. Kurenai a the poor, orphaned 16-year old living by himself with a bunch of insane-asylum rejects for neighbours does a night job fighting an army of thugs.

It all sounds like incremental innovation, which the Japanese are usually good at, making the setting of Kurenai is a mish-mash of plot themes. The rich-poor, child-teenager, noble-common, girl-boy dynamics is enougth content to deforest a mountain in shojo manga. But add to that the 3 vastly different societies (Nobility-Underworld-School) and a shounen style plot. There is almost too much!

I can imagine the author staring at a brainstorm and thinking: ‘Fuck it; It’s all going in’. Perhaps this was an accident of innovation or perhaps this is a contrived attempt to juxtapose many different culture clashes but somehow it manages to flow.

What I really like about Kurenai is this complex story and zany characters. Beautiful art helps sell the product but it’s always character that keeps me comming back.

~ Teeif

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