Oreshura – 02

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OreShura may be many things, but it certainly isn’t boring.

[HorribleSubs]_OreShura_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_00.14_[2013.01.13_22.37.40]It’s interesting that Masuzu used the old saw “The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy” (which I happen to agree with for the most part) because it sums up a lot of what my thinking about this series is after two episodes.  Another take on that is “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” (which I don’t necessarily agree with) but it might be argued that the worst thing a viewer can feel about an anime is apathy.  Is it better for a show to make you feel something – even if you dislike it – than nothing at all?

[HorribleSubs]_OreShura_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_03.59_[2013.01.13_23.32.09]I don’t dislike Oreshura, but there are things about it that definitely rub me the wrong way.  Yet it’s also oddly compelling, and a large part of that is because what you have here is superficially a formula romantic comedy that’s actually very dark.  Quite strikingly so in the first two eps in fact, much of that coming from Masuzu.  She certainly isn’t easy to like, and I can see this series crossing over that invisible line along with her quite easily and losing me in the process.  But for now, there’s a definite curiosity to see what she’ll do next, and a real sharpness to the humor that you don’t see all that often.

[HorribleSubs]_OreShura_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_04.03_[2013.01.13_22.40.21]The biggest danger I can see here is if the series builds on what happened in this episode, and becomes a repetitive cycle of Masuzu torturing Eita in exponentially increasing levels of cruelty.  There’s obviously a market for that sort of thing but I’ve never enjoyed seeing nice guys (or girls, though in anime it’s usually guys) endlessly tortured for no good reason apart from entertainment.  And Eita seems like a perfectly good guy, protective and patient with a very trying osananajimi in Chihuahua-san (heh), who’s done nothing worse than have an overactive fantasy life as a chuunibyou-afflicted pubescent.  Edgy humor can be some of the most powerful there is – but repetitive cruelty quickly becomes a depressing slog.  Finding the balance is something many comedies try to do, and more fail at it than succeed.  We’ll see if the strong pedigree of the staff involved in Oreshura is up to the task, but ultimately it’ll mostly come down to what comes out of the LNs, and I can’t attest to that.

[HorribleSubs]_OreShura_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_06.38_[2013.01.13_22.45.09]In the first ep it was Chiwa that grated on me and Masuzu that captured my interest.  And while Masuzu is undeniably a charismatic and dangerous presence, I really disliked her this week – and Chiwa sort of grew on me a little.  She’s still the most formulaic thing in the show, but the bit where she ran to school with toast in her mouth and started saying “Nyan!” in an attempt to win boys’ attention as revenge for Eita getting a girlfriend was so pathetic it was almost endearing, and her faking her way out of the guitar hero lie showed some nice pluck.  We also have the actress who plays Saki in Shin Sekai Yori, the rising star Taneda Risa, playing Eita’s male best friend Kaoru, and the actor who played Wien in Tari Tari, Hanae Natsuki, playing potential Chihuahua love interest Sakagami-kun.  It’s an interesting young cast, though I certainly hope Ohsaka Ryouta is given more to do than he was this week.

[HorribleSubs]_OreShura_-_02_[720p].mkv_snapshot_07.41_[2013.01.13_22.46.13]I’m not sure the three-episode rule is going to be enough for Oreshura.  We have a female lead who’s unlikeable and potentially worse, but also quotes JoJo chapters and has a genuinely wicked sense of humor.  We have a cast full of rising stars who haven’t been overused yet, and genuinely clever writing that doesn’t look for comedy in all the obvious places.  Apathy?  Certainly not a risk of that – but the feelings I have for the show are going to have to be at least somewhat positive for viewing it to be an enjoyable experience.  And while right now I can see a pretty decent chance that won’t happen, there’s enough potential here to make me want to give the series a longer rope than one that simply bores me.

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  1. S

    I really disliked this episode. The first I found interesting and I thought set up the premise well. However this episode was too much of Sadist Masuzu with Eita being way too M. It simply wasn't that funny the way she tortured him. Personally this is now on my 'on hold unless I hear it improves' list.

  2. A

    What I don't get is why is it always ok for an anime girl to lift her skirt and flirt, then hit the anime boy for reacting (guaranteed, the anime boys "always" overreact and stammer as if they just witnessed a ghost)? She provokes for a reaction and inflicts the physical violence and that's supposed to be funny since it's a girl hitting a boy. It's a rather dreadful everlasting fountain of gag reel device in Japanese anime.

  3. T

    Although it doesn't make it better because I agree with what your point was making but I thought the show was implying that Chiwa was the one who hit him.

  4. V

    Sharp humor? Hardly. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't get the humor in this show because it doesn't feel like its trying at all. If you can drum up an instance or two where you found the show to be funny then I might get an idea.

    I can see potential emanating from the premise but I don't see any actual potential in the show itself based on these two episodes.

  5. P

    well lets see if this show has the male lead gets over his own fear of his reputation damaged for the sake of his friend and turns the weapon in her hands to be his own. Otherwise, it ends up turning into a M wannabe.

  6. T

    I remember when watching this week's episode, I thought back to how 'I typed on my blog that I liked Masuzur because she's like Yoroza if she was acctually enjoyable' and during my viewings I couldn't help but cringe at the possible hypocitisy misunderstandings that may stem from that. Granted she's still and interesting character but she became a bit less likable and I acctually felt a shred of pity for Chihuahua, which I am now banging my head against the wall for since due to not caring for her much in the first episode… I suppose all it'll really come down to is what the show wil be like by episode 6 or 7 and while I can't say I'm saying this with optimisim I am still morbidly curious enough to see where this will lead.

  7. H

    The thing I'm not really sure about with this show is how much I really believe Masuzu that she considers Eita a fake boyfriend for cover only. Part of me thinks I'm sure I've got my romance goggles on too tight, and that her intentions toward him are just what she says, this early in the show. But another part of me, the part looking through the romance goggles, sees that far from "only walking home" with Mazusu, she's putting far more demand on his time and attention than one would expect from someone who's just trying to have cover against all the other boys.

    They seem to spend far more time together than even a lot of 'real' couples do in anime shows. She also flirts quite a bit with him, even teasing and enticing him. Yes, some of that is a power play, making sure he knows who's in charge. But she has no interest in that kind of thing with other boys, and wants as little to do with them as possible. It just seems she spends a lot more time and attention on Eita than would be required just for a fake relationship. And that makes me think that it's more than just a fake for her.

    I know everyone figures that by the middle of the show she'll have more sincere feelings for Eita, but I'm wondering if those more sincere feelings are even present now, and as a smart person, she figures this is the best way to approach a guy who is claiming to be 'anti-love.'

  8. That would certainly be an interesting twist, and it had occurred to me that she might be doing this because she's already a little bit interested (that she'll be so later is almost a given).

    Ultimately though, I don't think it matters one way or the other if she degenerates into a weekly cruelty binge that becomes the central pillar of the show. I'm not convinced that'll happen, but it's certainly a danger.

  9. H

    Yeah, that would probably be the worst way for the show to go, and the irrepressibility of Chiwa could work either way for that. I think it's a good sign for that particular plot point that Chiwa, while she really wants to be with Eita, is at least entertaining the idea of finding another guy (if mostly to make Eita jealous), and that she's not openly defying Mazusu, which would set up a situation where Mazusu would definitely have to 'win'.

    But I certainly don't want it to go much farther in the 'humiliate Chiwa' direction.

  10. B

    It almost certainly will go farther in that direction. As long as Chiwa wants to become popular these scenarios where she tries something and it backfires on her like an ACME cannon are certain to continue.

  11. V

    Mazusu reminds me of Kanade Suzutsuki a lot, except the latter was worse with her sadistic ways.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Mazusu wasn't betrayed in some way or another in the past that made her distrust/dislike any romantic relationships.

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