Released: April 3, 2008 – June 16, 2008
Based On: Kurenai light novels by Kentarou Katayama
Director: Kou Matsuo
Produced By: Brains Base
US Distribution By: N/A
Major Japanese Cast
Murasaki Kuhoin: Aoi Yūki
Shinkuro Kurenai: Miyuki Sawashiro
Benika Jūzawa: Sawa Ishige
Yayoi Inuzuka: Aiko Ōkubo
Ginko Murakami: Nozomi Masu
Yūno Hōzuki: Ryoko Shintani
Tamaki Mutō: Asami Sanada
Yamie: Haruka Kimura
Renjō Kuhōin: Takaya Kuroda
Major English Cast
Animation: 10/10 (x 4 = 40 pts)
Story: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Music: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 9/10 (x 2 = 18 pts)
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 8/10 (x 5 = 40 pts)
Total: 158/190 (83.2%)
Kurenai is about a small girl, Murasaki Kuhoin, who has been rescued from her family’s compound by Benika and Yayoi. The reason for the rescue is the Kuhoin’s family tradition of keeping their women isolated within their compound so they can effectively be used as baby factories for the family and to keep them under control for that purpose.
Shinkuro, who works for Benika mostly by beating up thugs or acting as a bodyguard, is tasked with protecting Murasaki from the Kohoins, who would be searching for her to minimize any influence the outside world may have on her and to keep her family secret, well, secret.
While Shinkuro protects Murasaki in his small apartment, he gets support from two of his friends at school – Ginko, who is an informant, and Yuno, who is his sparring partner – as well as the other apartment tenants who help take care of Murasaki while Shinkuro goes to school.
Kurenai is a pretty well written show which would probably be best classified as slice-of-life as Murasaki learns about the world outside of the Kuhoin compound. The show handles this much better than the traditional “rich girl get exposed to real life” shows, largely because it is done in a way which seems more realistic instead of going for over-the-top comedy.
The strong point for the show is definitely the bulk of it’s writing as well as it’s animation. While the animation may take a little getting used it, it’s quality is still excellent. One of the show’s weaker points is it’s music, with the credit sequences having music that doesn’t really fit the mood of the series, and background music which is very toned down. The ending of the series may also be very hit or miss for the series and, depending on one’s point of view, could make it ambiguous on whether the good guys actually won or lost.
Overall, if you’re looking for a pretty well written and more reality-grounded slice of life series, then you may want to check out Kurenai.
First Watched: April – June 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes