First Impressions: Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

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Now there’s one that’s significantly more intriguing than I expected…

OP: “Girlish Lover” by Chinatsu Akasaki, Yukari Tamura, Hisako Kanemoto and Ai Kayano

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[HorribleSubs] OreShura - 01 [480p].mkv_snapshot_00.20_[2013.01.06_10.40.09]At first glance, Oreshura seems like a series that could hardly be more formulaic.  To be honest, at second and third-glance too, and maybe after staring at it for a while.  But I’ve said before that formula done well is nothing to be dismissed – though rare, that’s a category that can provide some of the most entertaining series around.  The burden of proof may be a little higher but if it’s met, you’ve got a keeper.  And after one episode, Oreshura at least shows the potential to be just that.

[HorribleSubs] OreShura - 01 [480p].mkv_snapshot_02.28_[2013.01.06_10.42.18]I said in the Winter Preview of Oreshura “for some reason this feels like it might be better than it looks.”  That’s based on the top-down credits – A-1 Pictures, Kanta Kamei directing, Utahara Tatsuhiko writing, and a strong cast led by the superb rising star Ohsaka Ryouta as Kidou Eita.   His m.o. should be familiar to fans of the harem genre – the high-school boy who just wants to live a quiet, normal life and study.  He’s even got the requisite genki-girl osananajimi who looks and acts like a grade-schooler, Harusaki Chiwa (Akasaki Chinatsu) and, for good measure, absent parents (if parents were absent in real-life as often as they are in anime…) forcing him to live with overworked relative Saeko (Nazuka Kaori, so for only a grunt to earn her paycheck).  So far this is derivative of derivative, at best.

[HorribleSubs] OreShura - 01 [480p].mkv_snapshot_03.21_[2013.01.06_10.43.10]There are wrinkles here, though, and they start with a few quirks that make Eita a bit more than just a cardboard cut-out to stand in the middle of the series.  He’s determined to go to medical school (I don’t recall hearing that too often in anime) and he hates love because his parents – oddly enough – each found a new lover and abandoned him while he was in middle school.  That’s bizarre, but at the least gives the protagonist a valid reason to detest romance.  He’s also apparently got a healthy dose of chuunibyou about him – that seems to be a theme in anime now – as he fantasizes that he’s really “Burning Fighter Fighter” – a dragon knight – and this side of his personality has left a ticking time bomb that’s only now about to explode.

[HorribleSubs] OreShura - 01 [480p].mkv_snapshot_06.35_[2013.01.06_10.46.24]Chiwa as the childhood friend is the one element in the premiere that never escapes the stereotypes – she’s as formula as it gets – but much better is Natsukawa Masuzu (Tamura Yukari, excellent here, who also sings the OP and ED).  She’s filling a generic role too, the exotic transfer student (with white hair to boot) who threatens to steal the hero from the childhood friend, but like Eita she’s got enough that’s slanted about her to be interesting.  She, like he, hates romance – she’s been living overseas since she was seven and has been tormented by potential suitors since she returned.  She’s decided to use Eita as a beard – a fake boyfriend to keep the wolves at bay – and has the ammunition to blackmail him, an old diary of his she found hidden in a Japanese picture dictionary she bought used (that this is targeted at toddlers and thus indicative of her shaky Japanese is a nice touch).

[HorribleSubs] OreShura - 01 [480p].mkv_snapshot_07.51_[2013.01.06_10.48.22]Premise-wise, there’s nothing much to distinguish Oreshura from its countless predecessors in this minefield.  But it manages to be captivating nonetheless, partly because the dialogue is mostly sharp and witty, and partly because the dynamic between Eita and Masuzu seems interesting.  They are, of course, much more alike than not – it’s easy to see where this is going – and their respective misanthropy plays off the other in quite entertaining fashion.  There are scenes – such as the one where Eita envisions global chaos as a result of uncertainty over what – if any – panties Masuzu wears, then gets to “Sorry – I’m over-thinking that” – that achieve a real comedic elegance, and seem to imply the presence of something substantial in the writing.  For now, at least, I’m interested to see whether Oreshura can continue to be interesting and distinctive when playing such a familiar tune.

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  1. I

    Well I agree. Playing ridiculously funny love interests (or in this case uninterests) is Tamura Yukari's forte for me.

    Enzo, did you see Minami-ke's first episode? Thought I was watching a rerun of the first season. It was that good. Winter is better than I thought already.

  2. Just got back from kansai, so only had time for H x H tonight. I watched this and did the post on the train up.

  3. I

    I believe you will reach Divine level blogging soon Enzo

  4. A

    It has potential to be an exceptional romantic comedy.

    My only problem is the blatant homophobia. I mean, really, one of the MC's three main goals is to not be mistaken as being gay? Really?

    Otherwise, it's a very pretty-looking show. The vivid colors in the OP, in particular, caught my attention.

  5. Actually I forgot about that (I was watching on the train and didn't have my usual note-taking system in hand) but it struck me as a bit dodgy as well.

  6. S

    Is that really homophobia? Are you not watering down a pretty serious allegation by crying wolf without anything substantial?

    He doesn't want to be mistaken as gay as he doesn't want to be bullied. It doesn't mean he has a phobia towards gay people. wtf.

    Enzo, what kind of note-taking system are you talking about? A notepad? or something digital?

  7. Analog all the way.

  8. B

    Yeah I wouldn't call it homophobia either. Not wanting to be mistaken as gay strikes me as entirely plausible coming from a teenage dude.

  9. A

    Compare the anime's list with the one in the manga. I haven't read the original LN so I don't know which one is the correct one, but I much prefer the manga's. I really don't know why the show's writers inserted that "don't want to be mistaken as gay" line when the "don't make mistakes" line from the manga would have been much better.

  10. A

    Also, if this girl continues to do random Jojo poses throughout the show, I will watch it, even if it turns out to be complete shit.

  11. T

    Ah I forgot about this show, I read some of the manga (in this case just a shitty adaptation of a light novel) and liked it for the most part, the most interesting this here is obviously Eita and Mazusu's chemistry and really its pretty obvious to see where this may go (Nesekoi's manga has been a fresh reminder to me…) but it may be fun non the less, and I like fun.

  12. A

    This is just 90% Chuunibyou (dark flame master thing+weird girl+black mailing for the said past+many other elements)+10% Tonari (study bug main character who laughs at love) rip off/remake. Either that the writers for this show came up with an idea of a show with those elements first then Chuunibyou writers beat them to it by showing up first. Remind me of Ants vs. Bug's life or two Capote movies in 2005. When they come, they always come in a pair. I don't see much intriguing about this show, let alone "significantly". I had already dropped Chuunibyou way back and I'm already tired of this plots.

  13. A

    Oreshura LNs came out before chu2koi LNs

  14. B

    I thought it was a solid first episode. It has the potential to go either way at this point, I can see it crashing and burning just as easily as I can see it being solid all the way. Will definitely keep watching.

    Enzo, maybe I didn't read this right in your post, but are you sure "misogyny" was the word you were looking for there? I… I really hope not because nothing in the show struck me as remotely misogynist at all.

  15. Yeah, should have typed misanthropy – squeezed in-between two ojii-sans on a local train probably wasn't the most conducive atmosphere for concentration.

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