In defense of Hiromi

true tears

Initially, I intended to comment on Stripey’s post, but I decided to post it here instead.

I can’t see why people keep blaming Hiromi for being “boring” or “normal”. I think those people need to stop watching true tears now because, clearly, they do not read in to the subtleties of the body language, much less understand the drama and the feel of the series as a whole.

Unlike your average run-of-the-mill high school romance stories, true tears is an “adult” series, and even the people involved in it have said so. For those thinking that true tears is targeted to 14 to 18 year-olds, you are sorely mistaken.

My bone of contention is really on how many are blaming on how Hiromi is sending off mixed signals, and yes, she is doing so, if you look on the surface. However, it’s been majorly hinted that Hiromi’s past and possibly her origins has something to do with her actions towards Shinichiro, and to ignore that factor is to really deny Hiromi’s real feelings towards him.

It is clear as day that she has liked him since they were young, but there has to be a very big overriding reason for her to rationally take the painful decision to seal it all away and act indifferent towards him. To both Hiromi and Shinichiro, that one year before the series timeline that they have lived together has to have been a very awkward time together. Just imagine that if your best friend, someone you’ve known for years, suddenly turning indifferent… or even worse, as in Hiromi’s case, overtly polite to you.

Of course there are many theories already surrounding the circumstances behind Hiromi’s decision of sealing her feelings, including the idea of Hiromi being actually Shinichiro’s sibling, but what is certain is that it is a product of their parent’s generation, and we’ll definitely need to know what has happened in the past, between the two families. I have my own theories, but I’ll keep them for later.

Now, back to my original topic, about Hiromi’s “mixed signals”. It’s a very simple explanation actually, she’s jealous. She sees a threat in Noe for Shinichiro’s feelings and against her own earlier decisions, she decides to get back closer to him in order to not lose him. In fact, from that, we can see how “human” Hiromi truly is. While she had decided to shut off her feelings in the surface, there is no stopping love from doing its work. I do not agree 100% with her actions either, but then, I can never blame her from doing it. Falling in love once myself, I understand why she acts that way too.

Hell, her conflicting feelings and actions, is what really makes me stay up until 6am the day true tears airs, watching and spending an hour or so typing out a blog post for it. Her struggles are just what gives true tears it’s “adult” taste, that really sets it out apart from the rest of the crop this season. Even Kaori Nazuka, who plays Hiromi, acknowledges that the emotions in true tears are painful, and over the course of the 5 episodes already aired, this has been proven very right. Despite such, I still love it a lot, as to feel this emotions are, in a way, an acknowledgment of our existence.

Finally, before I ramble more, to end this post, I’d like to say to Hiromi’s detractors that I won’t stop you guys from not liking Hiromi, but at the least, show her some respect, at least on my blog comments. Is that a lot to ask for?

52 Comments

  1. Chumara Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 4:09 am

    Although I don’t have a problem with any of the characters in this show.. the more I know the better.

    I’ll definitely agree with you though this is definitely the best show of the season.

  2. kenshin514 Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 5:27 am

    Very damn good article. I definitely agree with you 100% since Hiromi is my favorite character in this series. If you need someone to join for Hiromi’s alliance and protest anyone who against her, I’m down for it =)

  3. Lindus Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 5:43 am

    >It is clear as day that she has liked him since they were young…

    The only reason it’s clear as day is because the audience is omniscient. I mean given the information Shin has received, I’m not surprised he would act this way at all as he just wants to see her happy. Now Shin has no tact and all, but she really has no reason to be upset with him at the end of episode 5. I have the same problem with Aiko as she seems to be somewhat stringing Nobuse along. I don’t abhor either of them, but characters who can’t be honest irk me; it’s really unfair to others. Though if they were honest with their feelings, then we wouldn’t really have a show, would we?

  4. rarukun Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 6:21 am

    GREAT ARTICLE! you are SO right about this being an ”adult” series. and for people who don’t get it as how you say how ”human” hirmoi really is, is true. what’s so great about true tears is the fact that these situations are so much real than real can get.i don’t dislike any of the other characters, actually i really like ‘em all. they are just all so interesting, especially noe and aiko. but for those who dislike hiromi,based on the five eps we’ve seen so far, try to understand why she is the way she is. the characters aren’t real considering that its an anime, but the way we see how their feelings are and how they react is definitely something so many can relate to, which makes this anime ‘real’. and so in the case of hiromi, anything i would say, kurogane just said it all better then i can.

  5. Calawain Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 6:32 am

    Mmmmm the reason I have problems with it is how her actions are so cliche and stereotypical for women. Giving mixed signals and lying about who she really likes is something I’ve seen too many times and just strikes me as too false. In real life my relationships with women like that were extremely short lived, so my appreciation for characters like that is low. I prefer not to associate with people like that, all of my longstanding relationships with women both romantically and otherwise were with women who were much more truthful with themselves.

    Yes, there may be some terrible past circumstances that cause her to “seal” up her feelings. But they sure aren’t sealed right now and are leaking out in pitiful ways. And until we know what those past feelings are we can only evaluate on what we do know. And from what I’ve seen I don’t like her at all, I much prefer the vastly more honest Noe.

  6. kiryuu Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 8:20 am

    Glad to see I’m not the only one thinking that Hiromi and Shinichiro are possibly related. If they are it might explain Shinichiro’s mother’s general b****iness towards Hiromi.

    I look forward to seeing if that pans out or not as well as the general progress of the relationships between the characters.

  7. Shirukii Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 8:38 am

    While I understand where you’re coming from and agree with many of the points you made, I’m going to have to side with Stripey and Lindus on this one. A lot of people are raging at Shin for being so stupid with Hiromi, and that’s exactly the point, it’s a technique called dramatic irony. It’s a painful difference in the perceptions of the characters involved and the onlooking viewer.

    To us it may seem obvious that Hiromi is interested in Shin, and perhaps even their past would support such a conclusion. But what was plain as day is that Shin is confused, he doesn’t know whether Hiromi is interested in him romantically or not.

    Though I will admit that Shin is rather stupid in his actions with women, specifically in reference to the scene in episode by the tree with Noe.

  8. JohnG Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 8:44 am

    Personally I think the relationships between the parents are Shin’s mom = Ai, Shin’s Dad = Nobu, Hitomi’s mom = Hitomi, Hitomi’s Dad = Shin. Note how Shin’s dad and Hitomi’s dad were best friends, and how Shin’s dad and Nobu seem to know that something is going on with their love interest.

    Anyways, I can’t really be down on Hitomi because there are obviously reasons behind what she’s doing, and I agree that the mixed signals are coming from the conflict between her desire to be with Shin and her reasons that she can’t.

    As a guy who sucks at reading signals from girls, I totally sympathize with Shin. These mixed signals from the girl you like are exactly why some guys can’t talk to girls in a straightforward manner. Sometimes the girl seems to be really into you, but then sometimes it seems like she’s not. If you push the issue and you are wrong then that’s going to be the end of your friendship. At the same time, you can’t take your eyes off that girl because of those times that it seems like you might have a chance. That’s why, short of a clean and total break between Shin and Hitomi, I don’t see how Ai or Noe have any chance to win.

  9. koneko-chan Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 9:06 am

    I’ll take a stab at this even though you might have to throw this out since I didn’t see 5th episode…

    I can understand all the possible hate, hate, hate on Hiromi for two possible things. One, this kinda reminds me of the hate for two “winners” of previous love triangles: Nemu and Mitsuki. Nemu-hate from Kotori fans because of the promised girl status and Mitsuki-hate because of her indecisive and manipulative nature. This reminds me of those two triangles because of their characters. We have two opposing personalities in Hiromi and Noe and now fans are starting to separate into the respective camps at this point into the series.

    Second, and probably more valid, indecisiveness is always considered a “perceived” weakness in almost any culture. I say perceived because many movies and novels portray it in this way. Hiromi’s indecisiveness taints her character now because of the way her reactions confuse others. It’s hard to see know who Hiromi’s true self through all the mixed signals. And since she still hasn’t figured out what she wants, she’s beginning to be manipulative which begins to make her something less than human (Makoto’s Nice Boat, anyone?.. probably not…).

    I like Hiromi simply because she’s human. Why stories work off of indecisiveness as a character flaw is to accentuate a person’s character as he/she works off his/her own issues. Ideally, she will probably work things out, that’s my feeling. But in order to do that, the show will definitely continue the structure of awkward misunderstanding and personal frustration which makes the show solid. Otherwise, if she was designed to be completely unwavering, the show wouldn’t be as good and we wouldn’t have this post.

  10. Owned4eva Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 9:22 am

    That’s Riight Kuro ^^ HIROMI FTW!!

  11. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 10:21 am

    >>…but she really has no reason to be upset with him at the end of episode 5.

    I’ve already given a reason, it’s called “jealousy”. Yes, she has no right to be mad at him, but do we need a right to fall in love either?

    >>Giving mixed signals and lying about who she really likes is something I’ve seen too many times and just strikes me as too false.

    Well, to give credit to the team, they’ve managed to craft a very good and involving story just about that. Besides, the world ain’t perfect my friend. I understand why you would like someone as honest as Noe, but honestly Noe isn’t too honest with herself either ;).

    @koneko-chan: true tears is unlike Da Capo or Kiminozo, so that’s why I do not like how people are attacking Hiromi. I’ve honestly never liked all the mudslinging by opposing camps… it is just so immature and meaningless, not to mention insulting as well. I refrain from doing such things and I really wouldn’t want to see it here. That being said, I’d like to say your comment is the one that shows the best understanding of my message :).

  12. Dirian Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

    I’m kinda torn atm. I want to root for all three girls. Hiromi and Ai have their problems of course, but I understand their problems and cheer for them even so.

    On the other hand Noe is pure Awesome packaged in a bundle of adorable crazy that I love. If anything, Shin doesn’t even begin to deserve her.

    Should make the show fun to watch either way, assuming I can get subs.

  13. zanshun Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

    Much love to Hiromi. Its hard not to sympathize with her, the entire situation that she is in at Shin’s house is a result of both of her own parents being dead, though Shin’s father tries to make a hospitable environment there is zero chance of that due to the efforts of Shin’s mother and the awkwardness of being so close and yet so far away from Shin.

    I think the room scene entirely was Shin’s fault and her actions were more then understandable. She was so happy that he finally came to her room, now give that some thought that in the year that she has lived there he has never approached her room before. She can’t just invite him, she needs Shin to take action, she wants to be comforted, if Shin would just push a little. We knew from last weeks’ preview that Shin’s mom was gonna give Hiromi that “I don’t want you two walking together” speech, what we didn’t know was Shin was gonna hear all of it, be a man Shin and walk across the door and tell your mother off as it clearly has been established you don’t care what she thinks or says a. Hiromi really makes this show for me and gives it the mature favor, its Shin that needs to grow up and I hope he does so that he can become worthy enough for Hiromi only becasue that is what Hiromi wants.

    I’m already really mad at Noe’s brother, the preview of him stroking her hair is unforgivable.

  14. Lindus Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

    >I’ve already given a reason, it’s called “jealousy”. Yes, she has no right to be mad at him, but do we need a right to fall in love either?

    You have no right to be jealous if you’re giving conflicting signals. You also have no right to fall in love with the person you’re toying with (though I think having a right to jealousy and a right to fall in love have no correlation). Life is hell in the house already, it’s not going to get any worse if you show affection for the guy you like. You’re not going to get kicked out of the house since the dad has already put his foot down. If Shin’s mother starts physical abuse, Shin or the father will most likely take care of it. The emotional abuse is already there and I doubt it can get any worse.

    >I think the room scene entirely was Shin’s fault and her actions were more then understandable.

    I don’t understand how people can defend Hiromi’s actions. Maybe I’m just jaded, but like Calawain, I just can’t stand dishonesty. You’re going to reap what you sow, so suck it up and don’t take it out on others. I mean all Shin knows is that she’s been a bit friendlier to him recently, but that she likes #4. Cut the guy some slack, he’s not a mind reader.

  15. Ritsuka Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

    I totally agree with your post.

    As I’m sincere and can say my feelings without problems, sometimes I just want to shake Hiromi to her senses. I would totally take chance if they guy I like and I live together…but I can understand her point of view as well, I mean, there are people like that.
    She liking number 04 seems fake to me, so as to forget Shinichiro or for her friend to stop teasing.

  16. Cipher Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 1:30 pm

    >I don’t understand how people can defend Hiromi’s actions. Maybe I’m just jaded, but like Calawain, I just can’t stand dishonesty. You’re going to reap what you sow, so suck it up and don’t take it out on others.

    She has no liberty to be honest. How is she supposed to express that she likes/loves Shinichiro while being subservient to Mrs Nakagami? “Things can’t get any worse”, is hardly a sufficient enough reason for her to outright act against Mrs Nakagami. Her best effort to reconcile with Shinichiro (the beach walk) was pretty much negated and now she has to find another opportunity to re-express herself. While she is aware of what she has said and done, surely the exasperation must show through. It’s not a matter of whether she has the right to feel jealous; the fact remains that she is. And since when do people require ‘rights’ to emotions anyway?

    Personally it’s weird how people keep wishing that “so-and-so should’ve been like this or shouldn’t have done that,” especially when the anime isn’t even finished airing yet. Those comments are passable as perhaps internal development notes among staff during production because changes can be made, but among us? The die has been cast, the anime has been made. Rather than wishing a character to fit a certain mould we already have in mind, shouldn’t we just let the character develop as the story flows along? Discussion about how a character is and how they might turn out to be is more satisfying than wishing for things to be different or jilting characters based on their developments.

    Besides, if you really dislike Hiromi that badly, there’s fanfiction for a reason.

  17. zanshun Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 2:32 pm

    Its kind of funny, the people who fault Hiromi do so by absolving Shin of his own inability to express his emotions. Hiromi is the one who has to confess? How about Shin, I mean isn’t it more normal for the guy to confess?? Your bashing Hiromi for conflicting signals when Shin walks into her room and gets upset that she isn’t HAPPY that number 4 called her cute, Shin’s objectives are all messed up, you should of been ECSTATIC that she didn’t seem pleased.

    Maybe the ones who are really bashing on Hiromi are the people who just identify with Shin as their current or past self and in that way of finding not finding a fault with oneself, not finding any fault in Shin.

    Hiromi’s only real mistake is liking someone who so far has shown to be indecisive, unsure, and ultimately curently weak.

  18. Laurie Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

    What’s so good about Shinichiro anyway? What do the girls see in him? These questions go all the way back to School Days, Kanon, Clannad, and other ridiculous harems. Hopefully, they’re not going to answer “Well, he’s kind…” for the nth time…

  19. aurabolt Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

    >I can’t see why people keep blaming Hiromi for being “boring” or “normal”. >I think those people need to stop watching true tears now because…

    I read this post by chance, but nicely said. They might as go sit through (some crap like) Kanon if they can’t understand “adult” animes. Well, hang on there,, kur0-pyon. Luckily I quit reading around so I’m oblivious to all those opinions about Hiromi.

    Also, don’t see what’s wrong with Hiromi’s dishonesty. It’s a perfectly acceptable behavior. Very girl like. Much better than the characters that feel a bit “fake”. And good for you people who are too honest and speak without reserve. You are either (a) a guy or/and (b) American.

    Now excuse me, I must go watch an anime with a NORMAL setting, and NORMAL characters in peace. NORMAL equals boring right? Right?

  20. dsong Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

    I don’t think Hiromi is right for Shin and episodes 1-5 was filled with such evidence. Dissension in the family; questionable chemistry; too many walls and lies separating them.

    I for one want to see Hiromi make a clean break from this situation. I think going out with Jun could be a good experience for her and would allow her to take the first step in breaking away from Shin’s family. Then I think we will see her warmer side and we’ll find her to be much more likeable…

  21. THAT Animeblog » True Tears 5: Noe has a very daring and skillful opponent against her, and, may I say across the havoc of love, a great otome. (Regarding Hiromi’s Circumstances and other things) Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

    [...] I must say that her dishonesty is definitely a product of a hostile environment. I disagree with Kurogane that this mixed signal business is the result of petty jealousy nor do I agree with Stripey in [...]

  22. Calawain Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 12:16 am

    “What’s so good about Shinichiro anyway? What do the girls see in him? These questions go all the way back to School Days, Kanon, Clannad, and other ridiculous harems. Hopefully, they’re not going to answer “Well, he’s kind…” for the nth time…”

    Um well His Lord Almighty Pimpmaster Yuuichi had an immeasurable list of charming qualities and reasons why he had girls falling all over him. A good looking, witty, humorous guy who always knew the right thing to say pretty much wins the day. Plus he is far from indecisive when it came to women and always seemed to know what they were thinking. Clannad is pretty similar but still a bit different, chicks dig the bad boy type, especially one who has a really good reason for being a delinquent. School Days is not really something you can discuss in the same league, it was made to be shocking and outrageous.

    The thing is Shinichiro displays almost none of the aforementioned pimptastic qualities so far. He acts more like most of the “spineless, indecisive harem male lead” stereotype, although not completely.

  23. Lindus Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 12:22 am

    >Hiromi is the one who has to confess? How about Shin, I mean isn’t it more normal for the guy to confess??

    Would you confess to a girl who’s told you that she likes so and so? Maybe you would, but that’s basically emotional suicide.

    >Your bashing Hiromi for conflicting signals when Shin walks into her room and gets upset that she isn’t HAPPY that number 4 called her cute

    Did she not say she liked #4? If I liked someone and they said I was cute, I’d be happy. He’s just being a good boy trying to please her.

    >Maybe the ones who are really bashing on Hiromi are the people who just identify with Shin as their current or past self and in that way of finding not finding a fault with oneself, not finding any fault in Shin.

    I don’t think Shin is devoid of any fault either, but Hiromi is not the saint people make her out to be. Sure blame it all on the dumbass guy, but how can he know what to do with the information he’s got?

    >And good for you people who are too honest and speak without reserve. You are either (a) a guy or/and (b) American.

    I was born to a Viet household so I know a thing or two about being reserved. Though I’ve learned that if you’re not going to speak your mind, then how the hell is anyone going to know what you’re thinking?

  24. Leviathan Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 12:50 am

    Kurogane, I totally agree with you. Even though I’m in love with Noe, I like Hiromi as well, and all the hatred toward her makes me rage too.
    I totally understand & sympathize with your defending on her.
    People have no right to judge her or decide she’s fake because they don’t understand her motives yet. As this is an adult show I’m sure her character will get her developing.
    Anyway, nobody has the right to criticize her or tell you it’s wrong to like her. Anyone hes the the right to love any character he wants without anyone tells him that is wrong

  25. leetdood Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 1:12 am

    I completely agree with Lindus, Hiromi told Shin that she liked #4, so he just went into her room to give her the good news- It’s not his fault if Hiromi lied to him about liking #4. While some say Shin should have confessed his feelings also, there’s one fundamental difference here, and that is Shin never lied to Hiromi about his feelings, or told her he liked such or such.

    You truly do reap what you sow.

  26. Lindus Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 1:20 am

    Just to clarify my motives:
    I’m not writing things to try to change anyone’s mind about who to like. I just think some people are ignoring Hiromi’s actions and are saying that she has no fault. She has caused some of the feelings she has right now, regardless of what is revealed in future episodes, and I don’t believe she should have the luxury of taking it out on others. If you like her after that, that’s fine, but people shouldn’t turn a blind eye to her actions just because you like her.

    >Anyway, nobody has the right to criticize her
    Why not? Isn’t the debate over characters the reason that this show is good?

  27. Leon Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 1:35 am

    >”I think the room scene entirely was Shin’s fault and her actions were more then understandable.”

    How was that Shin’s fault? Is he supposed to read her mind to know that she likes him? As far as he knows she went on an entire rant about how much she likes Jun/Number 4 so what was he supposed to think or say after hearing all of that nonsense?

    >”Hiromi is the one who has to confess? How about Shin, I mean isn’t it more normal for the guy to confess??”

    Putting myself in Shin’s shoes I’m not going to confess to a girl who just ranted about liking another guy the other day.

    >”Your bashing Hiromi for conflicting signals when Shin walks into her room and gets upset that she isn’t HAPPY that number 4 called her cute, Shin’s objectives are all messed up, you should of been ECSTATIC that she didn’t seem pleased.”

    Being in Shin’s shoes again, Hiromi just told him the other day about how much she likes Jun. It would be logical to assume she’d like to hear that he thinks she’s cute whether I like it or not.

    >”Maybe the ones who are really bashing on Hiromi are the people who just identify with Shin as their current or past self and in that way of finding not finding a fault with oneself, not finding any fault in Shin.”

    I don’t think Shin is without blame but Hiromi isn’t any better off than he is, not even by a millimetre.

    >”Also, don’t see what’s wrong with Hiromi’s dishonesty. It’s a perfectly acceptable behavior. Very girl like. Much better than the characters that feel a bit “fake”. And good for you people who are too honest and speak without reserve. You are either (a) a guy or/and (b) American.”

    Maybe it’s because I was raised in a society/culture that heavily disapproves of dishonesty and encourages us to speak our minds and lay all the truths on the table while being reserved in more professional environments (work, church, etc.). Though that’s not to say people still won’t be dishonest. But, like I’ve heard said a lot to people in my childhood and even now: “I can’t read your mind so how the hell am I supposed to talk with you if you don’t speak about what you’re thinking or feeling?”

  28. Setsukyie Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 1:55 am

    For living in someone else’s home, and being hated by Shinichiro’s mother..
    And where would she stay if it wasn’t for them..
    You can’t blame her for her actions..

    But, Hiromi should have more fun in her life..

  29. Zeroblade Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 1:56 am

    Sorry to break the serious discussion, but Hiromi > the other two.

  30. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 2:58 am

    Wow, I’m pretty happy with how the discussion has turned out to be. What motivated me with to write this post was because people were just shallowly mudslinging around. If you’re going to hate her, at least elaborate decently and clearly.

    So far I’m seeing a few major points of contention here. Let me comment on them individually.

    1. On Shin’s responsibility.
    - For one I do not think Shin was wrong in telling Hiromi about No. 4. In fact, it indicates his acceptance of Hiromi’s supposed “feelings”. The reason he wanted to tell her that was in fact, to make her happy, and his intention is certainly noble, even if it was misguided. Really, in this case, I do not see any need to blame both of them, nor to even discuss who to delegate the blame more on to. It’s just pointless. Both of them have been equally hurt by each other already.

    2. On the issue of environment.
    - There are drastic differences in the mindset of an Japanese household or a Western one. For a Western viewer, Hiromi’s perceived acceptance of the way she is treated might not be logical to them. You might think that it’s natural to speak your minds out, but if you’re raised in an Asian household, it’s a very common thing to happen, in one form or another. In fact, I can emphatize with it well, being raised in Malaysia, and in a traditional Asian household as well. That is probably why I find true tears so… lifelike.

    So please, consider the setting and background of true tears at the first place. You guys have probably got the wrong idea of what a real Asian household is like, if you bring this point up. Try to understand the difference of mindsets and culture.

    3. On the issue of “rights”
    - This is the point I have quite some contention on. You cannot bring in the issues of “rights” in to people’s emotions, especially love, much less justify your actions or opinions based on a perception of “right to do/not do so-and-so” as well. That’s just faulty logic there, especially when you are judging based on observations as an omniscient role (the Viewer).

    People fall in love easily, and get jealous just as easily. There is no stopping it or justifying it by logic. If you’ve truly fell in love once, you will definitely understand how powerful it is. You just cannot justify that emotion.

  31. Cipher Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 2:58 am

    >Why not? Isn’t the debate over characters the reason that this show is good?
    Not if it threatens to degrade into potential mudslinging and IRL comparisons which are by and large irrelevant to true tears. No matter how realistic an anime can be, there is no point to compare it to RL because RL can be so different from people to people. Case in point: honesty IRL comparison with Hiromi. People are brought up in different environments, so while some people can understand Hiromi’s reactions, there will be those who oppose it. There is no ‘be all, end all’ IRL comparison for true tears, everything is relative to the viewers. Trying to use IRL experience to gain a point over other comments is just irrelevant to the topic.

    As for the room incident, it is merely a matter of how much you are willing to put aside your personal preferences to understand the characters in True Tears. Yes, Hiromi is guilty of sending out mixed signals. But, contrary to what some people might think, Shinichiro HAS been given signs that yes, she IS interested in him (otherwise we wouldn’t be calling it mixed signals, would we?).

    He is not omniscient, but surely he was given the opportunity to understand the implications when, after a period of time where Hiromi has been distancing herself from him (pre-ep1), and especially after telling him about her ‘crush’ on Jun, she suddenly asks him to go to the beach for no apparent reason. Given that Shinichiro knows of the oppression she has had to go through in the house, it’s not hard to interpret it as a positive signal. He doesn’t need to confess to her in the room scene; Hiromi would have been more than happy to have had him merely acknowledge the walk on the beach.

    To be fair, I will acknowledge that Shin is not wholly to blame. To hear the girl you like the most talk so vividly about another guy, especially when she is usually just quiet around you, would at the very least wear your confidence down. In that sense, it is in keeping with his character so far. But the mistakes most of Shin’s advocates are making are:
    a) assuming that the ideal room situation was for him to confess to Hiromi;
    b) bringing in RL experiences to relate to Shinichiro to defend his actions.

    True tears is beautiful so far because each and every character is explainable and comprehendable (perhaps Mrs Nakagami even, given the correct situations). To polarise the audience into separate camps of this and that, especially if it involves jilting characters, just tarnishes the experience.

  32. 0utf0xZer0 Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 3:14 am

    I’m not sure Hiromi is being purposely dishonest. Yes, there is some strong evidence to support the idea that she’s lying about who she likes because she’s not sure how to handle the situation – a situation I can relate too, although I didn’t lie about it. But it seems to me she may be confused regarding her feelings about Shinchiro as well. Anyone else feel that way, or did I miss something because was I too wasted on super-dense political science readings when I watched this?

    Regarding the discussion of the appeal of harem anime leads, I wouldn’t say that a particular character type is necessarily going to attract more girls, because girl’s preferences will vary. What tends to be fake about harem shows is how ALL the girls seem to fall for the same personality type with no explanation. But then again, this show aside, who watches harem anime for realism?

  33. Nana Mizuki makes everything a lot better. « orz - SWISS CHEESE PORN Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 5:35 am

    [...] BEACHBALLS. ON CRACK. ON THURSDAY. BE THERE, OR KYOU WILL CRY. AND CRY. AND CRY. UNLESS YOU LIKE TRUE TEARS DRAMA, THAT [...]

  34. TheBigN Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 5:37 am

    At the moment, Hiromi remains mysterious to me because we haven’t really seen much of her motives. I think episode 5 helped out with that a lot, where we actually get to see what she’s actually thinking about. Besides that, all we have is what she’s revealed to people already, such as her real motive for trying to be all buddy-buddy with Noe, and so on. The lack of knowledge that we have combined with the “obvious” amount of things that she’s hiding when we want to know more about her is a little annoying to deal with. Real people are like this too, but real life isn’t anime, and people are impatient when it comes to anime/entertainment?

  35. Skoll Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 5:54 am

    I’d count myself as a member of the ‘Anyone-but-Hiromi-club’ for the simple reason that she’s BORING. Call me male and send me to hell, but I can’t help but roll my eyes whenever characters in this show comment about how damn perfect she is, and when I see how she mutely passes through the show.

    I’d be will to go so far as to call her a damn stereotype; she’s the type thats good at everything that the weak-willed and unrealistically immature male lead falls for and who despite having an apparent exterior of icy removal actually as a ‘tender side’ that for some reason the male protagonist touches for reasons never really explained (or explained in an absurdly weak way, ie: she saw him take care of an abandoned cat).

    What exactly is so interesting about her? She’s stereotypical, her character design is uninspired and bland- she’s an otaku-ish caricature of a girl, possesing all the qualities, the submissiveness, the ‘fall-in-love-with-little-to-no-reason’ plotline of someone who obviously has not spent much time around real women.

    The ‘adult’ spin on this show is blatantly false. True Tears may be more subtle than other harem shows, more artsy, but adult is taking it too far. The view of relationships in general is actually somewhat idealistic, childish if you will.

    That said, I don’t think its a BAD show, I just dislike Hiromi and her associated plotline. Noe is as stereotypical, but more interesting by way of raw dialogue, and I honestly prefer the high drama of Ai’s plotline, as it may actually draw an emotional response from me.

  36. JohnG Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 6:00 am

    It’s not that Shin is spineless it’s that he’s interpretting Hiromi’s actions in a way that prevents him from acting more assertively. “I want my love to be happy” – isn’t that a major trope for the whole genre? Of course views know that Hitomi likes Shin, but lets look at it from Shin’s POV
    1) Major special memory of Shin’s from their childhood, Hitomi doesn’t seem to remember it at all
    2) Hitomi tells her friend and then Shin himself that she is interested in another guy and proceeds to go off on how it all happened
    3) In light of that, Hitomi tells Shin that she wanted to be friends to Noe to get close to Jun, whereas Shin initially assumed that Hitomi was trying to get close to him.
    4) Every hint from Shin’s POV that Hitomi might like Shin might also be interpreted as mere friendship (it’s not like she confessed to him or anything)

    So basically there’s the possibility that these hints mean that Hitomi might like Shin, vs the words coming out of Hitomi’s own mouth that she likes someone else and that their shared special moments are only special to Shin. Of course Shin isn’t going to confess to Hitomi in Ep5! Considering that he already believes that he was mistaken about Hitomi’s intentions towards Noe, he probably thinks that his whole viewpoint of Hitomi is mostly just his own fantasy. I mean, he even expressed this during his whole “I thought Hitomi was the one in the cage” story.

    Of course that doesn’t explain why Shin never did anything before Ep1

  37. Legitimate Lamentations: It’s all about the subtext » Cruel Angel Theses ♪ Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 8:48 am

    [...] Relax, kuro, we understand j00. In case you have difficulty in deciphering the gist of this post due to my verbosity, here’s Cliff Notes for you: It’s like casting pearls before swine. Which is my passive-aggressive, catty and unnecessarily confrontational way of saying either “What is wrong with you, true tears is excellent, get out”, or “If you think Winter is trash and you haven’t seen true tears, please end your life now.” Of course, I say it by means of a large post like this since for all my efforts to take this to be the gospel truth like the ardent fanboy I am, I still have to maintain a civil façade all purposes aside. [...]

  38. Jinx! » Blog Archive » True Tears and the Invisible Entertainment Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 10:03 am

    [...] by such terms as “Typical”, “Clichéd” and “Boring”. Owen S and kurogane have tackled the issue somewhat – which also inspired me to write something as well. So what makes [...]

  39. Dirian Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 10:40 am

    Like I said, I’m rooting for all 3(which either means I’m happy whoever he ends up with, or disappointed whoever he ends up with assuming that an Ai x Hiromi x Noe ending isn’t in the cards).

    But it’s not that I think Hiromi or Ai are perfect, and I don’t think anyone supporting Hiromi, or at least defending her, are blind to her faults. I’d more say, at least for me, that it’s her faults that make her likable. She ISN’T perfect. She’s a girl in a not so tough situation who is having a hard time being honest even with herself, let alone with Shin. That means that if she does end up with Shin, she’s going to have to develop alot, at least honest enough to admit to herself her true feelings for shin, and admit to him as well, which means that there is a huge potential for not only a very good story, but one which is true enough to life to touch us. She’s not perfect now. She’ll probably never be perfect, but if she can advance far enough to be honest with herself and others to the point necessary for any ending where she ends up with Shin, she will be much better off, and that’s something I’d like to see. Even if she doesn’t end up with him in the end, she’ll be better off, and that kind of growth and character development is just the kind of thing I love to see in any storytelling medium.

    And for much the same reason, I’d love to see an Ai x Shin ending. Not because she’s the perfect most awesome girl ever, but because she isn’t anywhere close, and if there’s any chance she’s going to end up with him, she’s going to have to step up. That combined with all the drama that would surround any Ai x Shin ending is definitely something worth seeing. I don’t think she’ll end up with Shin sadly, but I do think we might still get the growth in her character that would be necessary for her to go through even if Hiromi and Noe weren’t in the picture at all, and like Hiromi, whether she ends up with Shin or not, this show will be wonderful to watch just to see that growth.

    For that reason, while I doubt Ai will be the end girl, and while I think Hiromi might still fall at the end as well to the awesomeness that is Noe, I think the show will still be great to watch if both of them grow to the point that they’d need to in order to nab Shin for themselves. They might both crack under the pressure in the end(though I hope they don’t), but either way things can’t go on as they have for either one of them if they’re going to have a shot, and the potential there makes me very excited for this show, and rooting for both of them in the end, even knowing that at least one of them isn’t going to end up with Shin.

    And that brings me to Noe.

    Unlike the other two, who must both grow and become a LOT more honest with themselves and others if they even have a shot with Shin, Noe is already so perfect and adorable that if anything Shin doesn’t begin to deserve her. It is Shin, not her, who must grow and develop a sense of self honesty if Noe is going to be the endgirl. That’s not to say that Noe doesn’t possess her own faults, though they are probably more hidden away than the other two’s, but there’s no doubt that even if she also has some serious growing to do(which I hope for just because it will be more interesting) Shin also is going to have to do some serious growing up if he’s going to end up with her.

    Which ultimately is why I love this show, and why I personally am rooting for all three girls. No matter who the final couple is, there is going to have to be some serious growth in the characters involved to reach the end, and the potential is there that hopefully we see the huge growth in the entire main cast(or at least massive breakage under the pressure if a girl just can’t measure up), regardless of who the end couple is.

    Still I kind of hold out for an Ai x Hiromi x Noe ending.

  40. Charlo Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 11:35 am

    I’ve always liked Hiromi because she’s not the usual shallow I like you but I won’t say character. There’s so many layers to each character and that’s why I like this show =D. Hiromi just reminds me of my girlfriends who have crushes but never follow through. They’re teenagers and acting like it.

    Actually I find Noe a little more annoying D: I like her, but not as much. She’s so innocent, but that innocence gives her an air of arrogance. Like the two chickens/roosters. She didn’t care about the other one at all (until later I guess. It’s like the white chicken is her rebound or something).

  41. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

    When did I have ever said Hiromi was a perfect character? Hell, she is precisely interesting because she is the direct opposite of being “perfect”. In fact, I firmly believe that imperfection is far more compelling than perfection. Or should I say, “Imperfection is perfection. Nobody’s perfect in this world, dude”.

    What I would consider as “perfect”, in the traditional sense, in the show, would be how the writers and the director manage to invoke a sense of involvement and attachment of the viewers, such as me, towards the story and the characters.

    It’s actually hard to believe that true tears has only been 5 episodes. I’ve felt as if I’ve known them for longer than five weeks as a matter of fact. Couple that with the fact I wasn’t truly interested in to true tears until episode 3, this show is amazing on that aspect. As saturnine has pointed out on at his post, the depth of the subtext, truly makes this show a much longer one than it’s actual length. The intricacies of the body language, emotions and even the tones of voice evokes a sense of being actually inside the world of true tears.

    You can say Hiromi is stereotypical. In fact, she is one. But what really attracts me to liking her isn’t because of her character archetypes or her physical attributes, but because I can feel a strong sense of attachment and empathy towards her, developed wonderfully by a combination of a strong drama and character development, and most importantly, the voice acting of Nazuka Kaori, which has shown herself to be a master of inserting a myriad of emotions and feelings into her voicing as Hiromi.

  42. ShadowFang Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

    WOW I read the article lawls but didn’t read all the comments since there were just too many =.=”

    @Kurogane Shiroikaze: okok i get it, hiromi is human, lawls. aww, but sometimes its fun “hating” anime characters, well since, doesn’t most anime have a “hating” character anyway? urgh, dunnoes what im saying but ya, i get ur point. but dang, arent these just opinions? well, i dun think ill comment anything bad on hiromi anymore since u dun likes it lawls ^^

    but im still gonna root for noexshin even though i believe its gonna be a shinxhiromi ‘cos i think that couple will make more sense. noe will probably just be the “lean on me when u think u’re about to go emo” girl while hiromi has a complication with the mum, the whole “romeo x juliet” sorta thing. so yeahh, to me i definitely see a shinxhiromi ending. i hope that thought makes u happy, lawls :)

  43. ShadowFang Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

    Well, after finally reading all the comments as well, my opinion on Hiromi certainly has changed. To begin with, I admit I found Hiromi a rather boring character (lawls, sorry for agreeing with Mip in the True Tears – 05 post. I was reallyyy bored so I was on a “agree with anything” roll, so once again, my apologies if I made anyone upset ^_^”). Hiromi can definitely be interesting in many ways i.e. her “mixed signals” and lying to Shinichirou about her feelings for Jun. On the other hand, they’re just anime characters right, so I guess doing the wrong things sometimes adds tension and interest, if you know what I mean. Plus, I also can’t understand why people are blaming Shinichirou and Hiromi during that whole entering-my-room-for-the-first-time scene. In fact, no one really gets the blame ‘cos Shinichirou doesn’t know what we know — Hiromi might have feelings for him — and also Hiromi’s a girl who’s mad because that was all Shinichirou told her when she probably was expecting something else like a confession.

    But I have to disagree some say it’s an adult anime. I didn’t think of it that way ‘cos I never knew harem anime set in highschool without fanservice could be identified as an adult anime. I don’t see any signs that point it that way either. I think it’s suited for anyone who’s interested in these particular type of anime, so yeah. Unless, Kuro, you’ve written something up there in your post that I missed out on reading.

    Ok, I’m a big fan of Noe but like some one commented up there, somewhere, or maybe somewhere else (not sure), doesn’t an interesting anime become more interesting when there’s so many different opinions on it? I understand that some can find dissing their favourite anime character rather hurtful? (I dunnoes, I’ve never had that experience before so correct me if you may) — but Hiromi is Hiromi and she has good points about her just like every other anime character. I think it’s fun sharing different opinions, hating one or two characters, etc. But it’s not like these opinions will change your own opinions on things, or the outcome of the anime for that matter. And then some wanna fight for what they believe, and so on. Thus you have a discussion, well done. But it’s cool to know what everyone thinks of this anime, especially the characters. Oh and about Noe being annoying (someone wrote that up there, once again, I’m unsure) she really could be if you imagine her in real life. But I don’t think someone like that would really exist, unless I’m mistaken. Anyway, Noe is cute ‘cos she’s an “anime character” and Hiromi is interesting ‘cos, guess what, she’s also an “anime character”, lawls.

  44. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    February 6, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

    >>But I have to disagree some say it’s an adult anime. I didn’t think of it that way ‘cos I never knew harem anime set in highschool without fanservice could be identified as an adult anime. I don’t see any signs that point it that way either.

    “..true tears is an “adult” series, and even the people involved in it have said so.
    ==> “In the interview, Nazuka Kaori says the show has an adult flavor, and is the first show so much to her own taste that she’s done in a long time.”

    /me facepalms.

  45. An apologetic on why “genre” is mostly antiquated rubbish » Cruel Angel Theses ♪ Said,

    February 8, 2008 @ 9:13 am

    [...] the influence of Higurashi on 21st century fan-art was evident Kurogane: [...]

  46. Hittori Said,

    February 8, 2008 @ 1:04 pm

    I read this post and it gave me a different perspective on this show, a more realistic perspective. I agree how “down to earth” Hiromi really is when showing her emotions.

  47. Random Thoughts - Soundtracks, Moe Bubbles, English Dub, Tears and Blushing « Anime Academy Said,

    February 11, 2008 @ 11:01 am

    [...] I commented on Kurogane’s well-discussed Defense of Hiromi post a while ago without having seen the fifth episode. Now that I’ve seen episode five and six, I [...]

  48. Love and hate ~ 10 controversial anime bishoujos at Hontou ni Taihen desu Said,

    February 12, 2008 @ 1:29 am

    [...] especially those tasked with leading roles, garner much love and hate. This post is inspired by Kurogane’s defense entry since I thought of at least another 10 misunderstood bishoujos needing the same loving fan support. [...]

  49. masterboo Said,

    March 25, 2008 @ 5:36 am

    Actually, I wouldn´t call Hiromi “normal” because she´s not, She definetely has a problem and she´s far from been normal. And “boring” is not the correct word for her either. In my opinion she´s annoying and only causes trouble, mess up things and is not the nice girl that everyone claim she is (before and after she resolves the issue with Shinichiro´s mother). She isn´t dull but very emotional so she can´t think things clearly and end up doing the wrong thing to do. Love is that way, isn´t it? In her case, bring up the worst.

  50. 12 Anime Moments in 12 Days (Day 2) - February: Harem Arms Race « Anime Academy Said,

    December 15, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

    [...] camps as one of the main characters (Hiromi) became quite the polarizing character. So much so that a fellow blogger asks why does the polarization happen. The other is the sudden fandom over the Clannad character Kyou after the 17th episode. During that [...]

  51. Foxy12 Said,

    June 5, 2009 @ 4:41 am

    I completely agree with you on Hiromi and because Hiromi’s is difficult many people don’t seem to focus on her emotional drama ..

    Hiromi is a very complex character but i don’t think she did anything wrong ,her selfishness was due to how the mum treated her that made her who she was ,i was not angry at her at all like some ppl were because her actions were ttly human .lot’s of ppl (manily the younger one’s )don’t seem to focus on her emotional drama and they like Noe over her because they like perfection.Hiromi cried the most on this show ep 4,6,8,9,10,12,13 but the writers did an amazing job on showing the emotions of Noe as well as the other characters even though they didn’t cry much but were all in pain ,i wouidn’t say Hiromi suffered the most or Noe suffered the most like other ppl because to me they all suffered too much and they were very wounded by thier own feelings .Fear was one of the main factors that prevented these characters from sayin what they wanted to say..

    After reading some of the post at animesuki,It’s painfully clear that shin was the cause of her massive pain and saddness -she hated the fact that he was not there for her when she needed him the most ,she hated the fact that he didn’t get the hint that she liked him(Baka),she hated the fact that she had to lie for his sake ,she hated the fact that he hooked her up with jun ,she hated that memory of them ,she hated the fact that he was a burden to her heart ,she hated that he caused her pain because of her unrequited feelings for him maybe she was jealous of him because he never experienced her situation and that’s why he coudn’t understand what she was going through(he’s a mama’s boy..lol).Ep 2,3,4,5 showed us that she was trying to get attention from him because she wanted him to confess his feelings to her so she can admit the truth and be relieved but at the same it showed us that she was trying her best to avoid him because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings or cause problems for the family at the price of her own happiness (it’s was a shin happiness or her own happiness sitution)in ep 6-she just couidn’t take it anymore and felt relieved that she let it out and was able to share this with Shin(much like Ai was when she told Nobuse the truth) but she was extremely sad and even cried calling herself a terrible person because she caused Shin pain and for sacrafising her own happiness..

    I understand the mum’s situation and I do feel sorry for her but she had no idea how much she screwed Hiromi’s life and feelings with that lie ,poor girl was just very very conflicted/troubled and had so many obstacles going on a gainst her,she was just living in the past of her’s and shin which she hated very much and was lonely at heart ..

    I just can’t beleive that some ppl dislike Hiromi so much ,I liked her a lot and felt very bad for her and just wanted her to be with Shin.she was in the worst situation than all the three girls and needed understanding..

    But Hiromi is not the most hated .She has quite number of fans .I think that Ai is the most misunderstood/hated of the girls even though she was deep ..Ai was more realistic and flawed than both Hiormi and Noe ..

  52. Foxy12 Said,

    June 5, 2009 @ 4:44 am

    I still like Ai a bit more than Hiormi and Noe ^ ^
    Hiromi and Noe have a lot and Ai need’s more love too ..

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