Review - Kimagure Orange Road

This will be a collecting point for my past anime reviews and future reviews. Please note that there will be the inevitable time references in these as they have been lifted from my old LiveJournal (I'll keep the existing ones there for now)

Review - Kimagure Orange Road

Postby mistie710 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:08 am

I should point out that it was a very long time ago (well over a decade!) that I first watched KOR, and that was only the VHS releases that AnimEigo put out. I recently had the opportunity, therefore, to review these videos and watch the TV series for the first time, an experience that cleared up a few points and raised a whole lot more!

The name of the series doesn't really amount to very much, but many anime fans of the older variety are very familiar with it and with its main charas, namely Kasuga Kyosuke, Ayukawa Madoka and Hiyama Hikaru. A classic story of a love triangle which sustains the series through 48 TV episodes, 8 OAVs and a movie or two, though the movies deal more with how said love triangle resolves itself as the three grow up and realise that feelings can be very powerful and inconvenient things!

It all starts when the Kasuga family moves into a particular suburb (presumably of Tokyo) and, while climbing a stairway, Kyosuke sees a hat, which he catches. This was how he met Madoka but, during his first days at school, he discovered that this quiet, mysterious girl is actually something of a delinquent! Not only that but he ends up attracting Hikaru after she sees him perform an amazing feat in the gym where he manages to throw a perfect loft shot from the opposite side of the gym! It seems that the younger Kasuga family - that is Kyosuke and his twin younger sisters, Kurumi and Manami, all inherited a mysterious power which, on the up side, allows them to do amazing things from telekenesis to teleportation, even time travelling but, on the down side, it is something they have to keep a secret to avoid the inevitable unwanted attention, something which has meant that Kyosuke has actually attended seven different schools!

It was fan pressure that eventually gave AnimEigo the excuse to release the TV series following the success in America of the OAV/Movie set, though the series came late to the UK, and then only on overpriced (initially) VHS just as everyone was dropping the format and so many years after it had been released stateside that most of the people that wanted it had already got it one way or another! Of course, this is a series from the late 1980s and it may not really appeal to the younger crowd and, with the comparatively small market over here, a minority really is small!

AnimEigo's licence ran out in 2006, though a follow-up movie was released to the US by ADV. I've not seen that yet, though I'll write more if and when I do.*

The TV series fills in a lot of gaps that the OAV series never even addresses. It wasn't until I saw the TV series, for example, that I realised that "Madoka the Pick" had a lot more back story to her, including the whole delinquent thing. I'll admit that some of the episodes dragged a bit, and that some of them were a little obvious, but it was refreshing to see anime as it used to be done. OK, some of the animation was a bit off, and some references were a bit dated, but I can live with that. Overall, it was a real joy to see it all, from those bits I had forgotten (Ushiko-san? wherefore art thou, Ushiko-san?) to those bits I got to see for the first time. It's a shame that the series fared so badly over here but then I've never been particularly enamoured of MVM's marketing.

* Since writing this, I have seen and reviewed the followup movie. See the review of Shin Kimagure Orange Road.
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