7/19/2007

Tokimeki Memorial 18-21 - For the Cycle

What is eternity doing tonight? has become Mega Megane Moé. For the latest posts, please change your links accordingly. It was bound to happen, as Riku's harem falls into pieces as we come flying down the homestretch of Tokimeki Memorial ~only love~. That's what you get for putting that thing together so shoddily, Riku. Put some more work into it.

If you've missed out so far, TokiMemo is a relatively standard harem-genre romance show that deals with your typical transfer student, Riku, and three girls who of course have fallen completely over-the-top for him.


Target 1: Tsukasa Kasuga. The genki girl who early on proclaimed Riku to be her destined man. She has decent odds for being Already With The Main Character...but it doesn't feel like it'll last. It's a relationship built on less than nothing.


Target 2: Mina Yayoi. The undergirl, in both age and status. Typically shy as the underclassman is but exhibits more guts than the usual blush-and-stammer character, although she can show that talent off as well (pardon me for thinking it's cute). Defintely determined, if not a bit doubting of herself. A fan favorite, by my gauging.


Target 3: Sayuri Amamiya. The idol. Everybody and a half adores her at the school, which naturally sets her up for the typical twist, in that she believes everybody adores her except for the one guy she has her eye on - yeah, Riku. In fact the situation is quite different, as all signs point to Riku wanting Sayuri since the first episode and so it will be an epic struggle if Mina and Tsukasa want anything other than closure. Sayuri used to be the typically fake and always happy idol-type but naturally as she gets more desperate for attention from Riku her true, human, personality.

TokiMemo is relatively normal as there aren't any girls who can redefine the universe, create demons, or use magic. But the last thing TokiMemo does is take itself seriously, as the many insane personalities - from the obsessed science teacher (complete with choral music) to the wicked evil (yet always smiling) shop lady to the quite-out-of-place badass guy who's actually very emotional - really make it stand out from the crowd. Sort of.

It's really a shame that two of the three main harem girls seem to only be there for garnish as Sayuri has the field pretty much locked up, but Mina and Tsukasa definitely get their time in the spotlight as we head towards the inevitable conclusion of Tokimeki Memorial. Details on those episodes (18-21) after the jump.

In episodes 18 and 19 the 2nd year class takes their annual trip to Hokkaido. As such Mina gets left out of the loop, which doesn't seem to deter her spirits too much as she has a direct link to Riku through cell phones.

Of course, the problem with phones is that they are never charged when you want them to be, and so hundreds of text messages and two days later Mina is left completely wrecked, as Riku failed to respond to a single one.

Naturally the circumstances are innocent enough but to a somewhat paranoid, desparate high school girl like Mina the situation seems like she is being quite unfairly ignored.

Which is almost the truth, as Tsukasa has taken charge to lock up Riku once again, dragging him around Hokkaido at mach speed. She seems happy enough as always but the truth is she has come down with an epically debiliating illness which eventually causes her to pass out in Riku's lap.

When she comes to an episode or later she begins to be a bit more serious than usual, as people in the hospital usually are. She begins to talk about how 'she was sort of a burden to Riku', and seems to realize that just maybe Riku has eyes for someone else...?

Right, Tsukasa, and the sky is blue. Although, she probably is a bit happier that Riku was playing the guy in the hospital scene with the 'hold her hand until she wakes up' move. What was with that?

Meanwhile, Riku moves on to his main target, Sayuri, on day two. Predictably a pile of epic misunderstandings drag the two of them apart as class president Sakurai spends the day with Sayuri (for school matters, although I wouldn't doubt Sakurai having something for Sayuri as well), which lets Riku look depressed and have no face, saying things like "So Sayuri's going out with Sakurai."

And of course seeing Riku sad and avoiding her makes Sayuri sad as well. *Konata thumbs up* Good job, Riku!

But we ignore Sayuri (rightfully) for Episode 19, as we move away from Hokkaido (which the 2nd years are still at) and back to the empty school, home of sad Mina in swimming pool. She's fallen into a pretty deep depression, which, not even her pink-haired friend, the swimming club, or dolphins (which Mina seems to really like) can save her from.

She begins to question the sanity of being so obsessed with Riku, since he's an upperclassman, and as such will graduate a year earlier. She struggles with her emotions for a bit before realize just how dependant she is on Riku, which causes her to break out in crying (hello, heartstring tugging). In her confused, tearful state she ends up calling Riku (instead of just messaging him) and leaving a very, very desperate message on his phone, saying how she just wants to see him.

This, of all things, FINALLY gets Riku to sit up and pay attention, as he recharges his phone on the way out of Hokkaido and turns it on to the tune of a million new messages.

As cute as it may be, that combined with the pressure of two other girls finally gets to Riku in episode 20 as he takes his turn being emo and depressed. He wonders what he should do, and stumbles his way through a few face to faces with Mina, Tsukasa, and Sayuri, who are all left wondering why he looks so sad.

The side characters, if they can be called that, finally come to the rescue as Inukai the Badass essentially knocks some sense into Riku, telling him to get a hold of himself, and that nothing will come from sitting there being depressed so on so forth.


Now I'd sing my praises for Inukai for being a cool guy but he rejects Mina's friend hard in episode 21, which really hurts. Come on, there's a thing as being too cool.

Anyway, Riku wises up after his talk with Inukai, and Magically Resolves everything. He messages Tsukasa telling him that he will tell her "what he truly feels about her"...later. Presumably Mina gets the same message. And he walks home with Sayuri as well! Score.

The final episode of the group, 21, sets the Sayuri gears in motion, but as you would expect, not by Sayuri nor Riku, who are both a bit too incompetent at this point to approach each other.

Rather, it is by Ayame, Sayuri's friend, who asks Riku to the Christmas event (which naturally Sakurai set up for couples only). This is a proverbial atomic bomb being dropped on our REAL harem contenders, who wonder 1) who Ayame is, 2) where did she come from, and 3) why the hell does Riku like Ayame and not her.

Naturally the third statement is completely false but Sayuri, Mina, and Tsukasa get to spend a lot of time working themselves into their own patent forms of depression.

But not all is lost! Riku's friends, the standard hopeless perv/romantics, are in luck, as Mina and Tsukasa ask them out to the Christmas event in order to get closer to Riku. It's good to see some success for Blue Haired Guy Who Is Not Eriol...and, uh, Riku's other friend. Unfortunately, Tough Guy Doujima is forced to go with Piyoko the chick (literally. and in a wedding dress too). XD

Meanwhile, Sakurai continues his conspiracy by asking Sayuri to go with him. Y'know, for school matters. They end up hosting the event together, but Sayuri spends most of the time staring in Riku's direction, especially when he makes a lot of funny noises as Ayame starts to try to seduce Riku ("Sayuri who?"). I think she's enjoying this job far too much.


On the plus side, since the event is held fully costumed this allows for 1) Mina to look even more adorable than usual and 2) for Sayuri to hug-tackle Riku and yet let Riku not know that it's Sayuri (because he's pathetically dense). Incidentally, the latter is a result of another incident involving Very Awesome Shop Lady.

In the end Riku ends up receiving Sayuri's present in the gift swap, which makes Sayuri very happy when she walks home with Riku. Sayuri's just a complete blush-fest throughout this segment, especially when Riku hints he bought his gift with Sayuri in mind. Riku sounds like he'll be alone for New Year's in next episode, which is a blatant cue for Sayuri to house-crash him for some intimate time, but it remains to be seen whether Tsukasa, Mina, and perhaps even the rest of the crew will drop by as well. I wouldn't doubt it, as with an ending this obvious there's really no reason to wrap up the Sayuri x Riku storyline early.

Plus, y'know, the confession has to be under that freaking huge tree, not in Riku's house.
I found these 4 episodes of Tokimeki Memorial to be entertaining as always. Even parts were sort of predictable at times they were executed quite well - the side characters really helped in making the episode a bit different than what I expected. Maybe it's just that I like how the characters are changing a bit - you get to see the dark side of Mina, the quiet side of Tsukasa, and the not-completely-fake side of Sayuri.

Mina's episode especially hit pretty hard - even though the crying wasn't especially well-done or well-animated her situation felt quite realistic, and although some might complain she was acting a bit strange, those are probably the people that never had a ridiculous crush in high school. It happens to the best of us.

TokiMemo's brand of insanity is always good as well as it sometimes becomes hard to tell where they're being serious or not - any instance involving Riku talking to Piyoko the Chick comes to mind, or the ridiculousness of many of both the events and the characters (the sports clubs come to mind as well). It's a good light series to watch for both the laughs and the characters - even if you don't like Riku or Sayuri. My hope is only for Mina to get some closure in this series.

-CCY

comments:

nice artical,isn't??

I'm chinese readers,maybe called watchers

fatastic amine,and fantastic artical.

apologize my bad English