This is yet another post on my biggest anime crush last season (and in a long while)—Kurimizawa Ume.
In the romantic drama anime, Kimi ni Todoke, Kurumi and the heroine Sawako vie for Kazehaya’s heart. While Sawako is an absolutely lovable, kind-hearted, innocent girl, Kurumi is…
Well, a quick screenshot storyboard should shed some light on Kurumi’s personality.
This is the first time we meet Kurumi, looking so nonchalant and classy, sporting that gorgeous wavy hair.
She soon befriends Sawako with the warmest smile in perhaps one of the cutest moments of the season.
We later realize, however, that her kind demeanor belies a darker side—she is the one who has spread all those nasty, nasty rumors about Sawako and her friends. She also pulls several other very underhanded tricks to drive severe misunderstanding between Kazehaya and Sawako.
Yet, all this “mean girls” business stems from a vulnerable place. A glimpse into Kurumi’s bitter past reveals that she is just a lonely girl in love. (It must be quite hard to make true friends for someone so beautiful and so perfect.)
Even after her schemes have been thwarted, Kurumi still retains her cleverness with that lovely touch of dishonesty.
Her rivaling relationship with Sawako has changed into a sort of rough kindness.
In place of her gentle, albeit dishonest smile, she exhibits much more clearly her charisma and harshness. (I so want to be slapped by her!)
And that is Kurumi with her complexities under that sweet manipulative facade.
These different layers of Kurumi represent a form of gap moé. Gap moé is an attractive quality based on an inconsistency between two characteristics of a person. For example, an exceptionally sophisticated loli, a meganekko who wears contacts one day, or a tough girl who feels embarrassed about her cutesy fascinations. Like most other moé types—tsundere, yandere, loli—gap moé in anime is often reduced to mere gimmicks forced upon characters. Indeed, many prominent examples of moé characters simply take the different archetypes and superimpose them to create a semblance of depth. It is rare to find character who authentically exhibits these moé forms without resorting to common signals—such as the classic tsundere lines, “I-it’s not like I like you or anything,” or in the case of gap moé, a strong level 5 esper’s frog print panties.
Rare, but not non-existent. Indeed, Kurumi is a lovely example of gap moé. There is a seeming contradiction between her gentle, smiling exterior and her deceitful personality, between her manipulations and her vulnerability, and again between that soft side and the tough, but warm girl we see at the end of the series. If the biggest draw of gap moé lies in discovering these layered inconsistencies, and continually being excited by fresh impressions, then Kurumi is the epitome of that.
More importantly, the gap moé is incidental. It does not feel contrived, nor is it a mere quality written into her character to increase her moé values. Instead, it is a natural consequence as the story develops and reveals to us her depths.
It makes my little crush really quite lovely.
- This post was a forgotten, half-written entry rescued from the depth of drafts to fill in for this week, and thus the untimeliness.
- I am continually fascinated by those waves and that blossoming ball of hair. Kurumi’s large fluffy hair is just so pretty.
- I feel like I have been writing a post too many about Kurumi, especially since not everyone has watched or will watch Kimi ni Todoke. I promise I will stop talking about her… at least for a while.
- Instead, a budding new crush. Not exactly sure why, but it probably has lot to do with her cheerfulness and more importantly, those adorable gorgeous curls and her fashion sense. (I guess that makes me kind of shallow…)
I wish I could rock an outfit like that so easily. A fashion post may be coming, but I have to first get back to watching Hanasaku Iroha and anime.