Futakoi 12

Ep 12 is the explosive culmination of all the tension Futakoi has been building for the past few eps. Kaoruko finally admits to herself her feelings for Nozomu and is immediately discovered by our insightful Sumireko. While the fight that follows (during chocolate making) was Nozomu-triggered, the twins’ issues actually extend beyond the mere affair of their hearts. The unfair comparisons and expectations that frens/parents placed on the Ichijou sisters (as identical twins) had created invisible fissures that only surfaced with their confrontation over Nozomu. The struggle to forge a distinct identity despite the physical similarities is especially essential when both are vying for the heart of one boy. All the insecurities articulated by the Ichijou sisters to Nozomu in ep 5 were laid bare for each other to see and it was touching to see how hard both had tried to overcome their supposed inadequacies. This is the strength of Futakoi. By playing its twins card, Futakoi can induce angst/dilemmas that only the involvement of twins can (which is simply not built into most other harems series). It’s wonderful to see how their dispute further shapes their individuality (ie character development). However, I must say that the resolution of their argument was somewhat accelerated given that the problems actually simmered over years.

It’s also good to see that finally a slight character distinction is made betwee Kira and Yura (though a tad late in the series) Kira consistently shows herself to be the enterprising one, the bold initiator who ‘masterminds’ the break-out and has the resolve to confront Nozomu on the Ichijou chocolates. The earnest almost desperate eyes that pleaded with Nozomu to acknowledge their feelings for him melted my heart. Ep 12 single-handedly propelled Kira to the top of my Futakoi charts.

On a side note, I feel compelled to defend Futakoi since it’s found itself ‘vying’ for the top spot at 2ch for “Worst anime of 2004″. While Futakoi could possibly be one of the least outstanding of the Fall series, it is by no means the worst of 2004. It certainly started on a weaker note but by about ep 5, the main characters filled out and started to drive the series with renewed purpose. As Matthew mentioned, Yumeria would certainly rank below Futakoi (but I must say I really liked Mone.. :P) though my choice for worst anime for 2004 would have to be Wind ~Breath of Heart~ TV (of all the series I completed). Unless Futakoi does a Mahoro 2 in ep 13, I just cannot see how it can pummel to the bottom of the deck in just 1 ep. I pray I don’t have to eat my words come ep 13. :)