A Case for Yumi Hoshino

I think one of the most important thing in Kimikiss is understanding why Kazuki and Kouichi are split in the anime adaptation.

Yumi Hoshino

But before we get to that, I want to talk about Yumi Hoshino in Kimikiss.

She was the pivotal character in Kouichi plot thread. If looking at Mao, Kouichi and Kazuki as co-leads, then Kai would mirror Yumi, and Asuka Sakino as well.

In that end, is it really selfless that Kai let Yumi do the things she does? One would say probably not, since Mao made it pretty clear what he is getting into (and out of). Still, Kai somewhat surprised her with his own version of kindness. He does have a stake in the relationship–his genuine affection for her.

One could say the same thing for Yumi. But why would people call Yumi selfless or saint-like? Considering her circumstances, if Yumi’s affection for Kouichi was genuine, she would learn to move on and let the two love birds flock to their preordained destiny. Love is not war, after all. Kouichi, nor the type of relationship she has with Kouichi, is not a thing to possess. Yumi recognizes that the relationship between them is not based on selfish gains–it’s a relationship with mutual gains that recognizes mutual interests that may be selfish and selfless at the same time.

In fact, this theme of giving up for the one you lovelike is really the jist of Kimikiss. Just don’t ask me what it actually tries to say about giving up…

You can make a table, fer crying out loud:

  • Mao: Giving up Kouichi (which didn’t work, especially since Kouichi didn’t let her) because of Yumi and Kouichi’s present feelings for Yumi, and later on giving up on Kai because she knows she can’t keep him dangling.
  • Yumi: Giving up on Kouichi, as in the ending, because she knew it wouldn’t work otherwise.
  • Asuka: Giving up on Kazuki, going so far as to help him with Eriko, because she came to see how Kazuki sees Eriko.
  • Eriko: Giving up on Kazuki, because she repeatedly hurts him and she is afraid of what might happen.
  • Kai: Giving up on Mao because he knows she doesn’t return and can’t return his affection; rather supports her.

But what’s interesting is that people, in general, don’t see giving up in Kimikiss as equally selfless. It is probably a reasonable observation because love is both a selfish and selfless act.

The Good Book has it right: you can’t truly love others until you have learned how to love yourself. In their growing affection Kazuki and Kouichi both find their way, in romance and otherwise–one kicked butt in sports and the other wrote a successful film script. It’s through this interactive exercise where puppy love becomes a healthy exchange of transparent souls, rather than an destructive war between egos and insecure self-worths. People are affirmed not because of the labels of their relationships but by the affections of others. And Yumi recognized what she was a part of was something much more precious than her wavering boyfriend.

So I don’t think Yumi was selfless. She definitely had class, in spades, but at the same time she was just not your stereotypical maiden in love. Her emotions are in check and she made a good choice both for her and for him. She was no saint, either, and that’s the part I want to drive home. I believe no matter how the show spotlight each girl and boy, they are all doing the best they can because they all truly care for the object of their respective affections.

And it is that sense of care that elevates Kimikiss beyond a mere tango with romance and into a tale about growing up. How we are the same and how we are different.

Kind of like Honey and Clover.

So, why the split for Kazuki and Kouichi? I think you can get what I was going to say.

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