Second Impressions – 12-sai.: Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki

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I liked the second episode of 12-sai.: Chicchana Mune no Tokimeki about as much as the first.  Which is to say, it was quite good even if heavily weighted towards the cuteness side.  I do think there’s a place for series that explore relationships among kids in this age group amidst the flood of those that do so for high schoolers.  And I think 12-sai is fairly astute in its depiction of the gender politics of sixth-graders.  But there’s only so much of that abject kawaii preening anyone can take, so if I have a long-term concern that would definitely be it.

That said, I do find the second couple, Hiyama and Aoi, to be more engaging than Takao and Ayase.  They’re slightly less straight-laced and well-behaved – Aoi is rather self-critical and Hiyama a bit of a bad boy, which makes them the more interesting pair (though paradoxically that makes them even cuter too).  Incidentally, it might be pointed out that the way sento (not onsen) are set up is that the person taking the money is sitting on a high seat (think a tennis umpire) and can see into both changing rooms – when one first visits one it presents a very awkward scenario, or at least it did for me since the person in question always seemed to be an obaa-san.  I can’t imagine the stress level of being a 12 year-old kid working in that situation…

In sum – if 12-sai steps off the gas and eases up on the cute factor a bit I think it has a chance to be good, though whether I’ll keep blogging it is hard to say.  Stuff like the arm-touching routine and the girls’ obsession with presenting the boys with crepes is a bit galling, but pretty accurate to the dysfunctional nature of the boy-girl dynamic in sixth grade (and that was probably the best bra scene in anime since Mako-chan bumped into Haruka in the lingerie department in Minami-ke).

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1 comment

  1. J

    As someone who has the pleasure of working with exactly this age of children I can confirm that the dynamics are accurate to real life. The tone/language/aesthetic are obviously not, but this is a shoujo and I guess those things are near-immutable.

    I’m not sure why I’d want more of my day job when I’m trying to relax at home, but if this carries on as it has I’ll still be watching.

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