Anime Meta-Review


Kimagure Orange Road


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-24,41-47 of 48
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: 1987
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This series has no shortage of fans, and is widely regarded as one of the original school `love triangle' animes. The particular triangle is between Kyosuke who is attracted to the mature and intriguing Ayukawa, but who has been claimed by the energetic Hikaru. Hikaru is also Ayukawa's childhood friend, and somewhat vulnerable, which keeps the relationship in an uneasy tension. Kyosuke, and his family, also possess psychic powers, which are occasionally useful as a story device, but are not the focus of the show (strange as it sounds). This is actually my second review of this title, my first one tried to be appreciative of the classic standing this anime enjoys, even though it is an older series. And there are some strengths, primarily the very cool and well realised Ayukawa who is beautiful, mysterious and enchanting. Sadly the other two leads began to become increasingly annoying. Hikaru is clearly meant to be an energetic, extroverted and honest character who Kyosuke actually does feel deeply for, but while she does have her moments there are far too many irritating or over-the-top elements to her character, which just ends up making Ayukawa look like an even better choice. Kyosuke likewise has his problems, being klutzy and maddeningly indecisive even when the story doesn't require him to be, the lines he is given, either the desperate chant of `ayukawa' or the obvious `I never know what to do in these situations', both of which are far too common, make him seem quite simple minded. This combination also means that it is hard to believe that Hikaru is an honest contender, which makes one wish Kyosuke would stop supporting her false hopes. Perhaps there are too many other love triangle anime's around, perhaps this goes on for too long before other characters arrive to vary the stories, but patience and tolerance will be demanded of the viewer. On the other hand the dialog does have its moments, there are often quite good character scenes and even the older animation sometimes acheives an impressive sense of emotion and atmosphere. Worth trying, considered a classic by many, and an important historical title...or if nothing else a chance to dream that you'd met either of these girls (but perhaps not both) when you were young. I realise the last comment is only good for male viewers, who are possibly a minority, but I find it hard to imagine the irritating Kyosuke being of interest to anybody.

I believe AnimEigo, who owns the rights to this series, originally released it only as an expensive boxed set, which made them very few friends indeed. I originally included this in the `Shoujo' genre, but removed it after a discussion on usenet. There is a really long, critical, but appreciative review from Akemi's AnimeWorld. There is a very short, gushingly positive review at Anime Genesis which gives a good idea of how intensely some people feel about this title. However, Lord Carnage is not buying it, stating he has no tolerance for "overly dramatic, insufferably drawn-out romance stories" in this no-nonsense review. And finally a long, very positive review (with the sad inclusion of a spoiler, although it is fairly obvious) from THEM, which also slams AnimEigo.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:20 WST 2009