Studio: A-1 Pictures, Aniplex
Genre(s): Comedy, Romance, School Life
Notable Seiyuu(s): Yukari Tamura, Chinatsu Akasaki, Ai Kayano
OP: “Girlish Lover” by entire female seiyuu cast
Summary: Eita enters high school aiming for the National University School of Medicine. Because of his parents’ divorce—and his goal—he shuns anything to do with romance or love. One day, Masuzu, the school beauty with the silver hair who has just returned to the country, enters his life in a most unexpected way. Chiwa, his childhood friend since elementary school, will not let this go without a fight.
First, the good stuff.
Eita’s (and Masuzu’s) anti-love philosophy is quite unique and refreshing. Seeing a male protag in a rom-com who is not obsessed with girls is a rare sight, no? However, I think it’s just a matter of time before we see him hopelessly in love with one of the girls. In any show, something’s gotta happen to the protag’s outlook, right? So naturally, Eita’s got to go from one pole to the other, which means “Anti-Love” to “RABU RABU AISHITERU” within 13 episodes. Still, the “anti-love” concept is something OreShura can boast as its own unique twist, however fleeting it might be. Any other shows with similar protagonists?
Moving on, I thought Chiwa was surprisingly likable for a “genki” girl-an archetype I usually avoid. Her comrades-in-anime usually annoy me with their boundless energy and high-pitched outbursts but Chiwa was different. Instead, she maintained a sense of composure and reality while having an energetic personality. Yeah, she did go all tantrum-y in that one scene, but overall, her portrayal really stuck to me. And to top it all off, her seiyuu Chinatsu Akasaki voiced Shinka from Chuunibyou! Her younger Chiwa voice sounded totally different from Shinka’s mature one until I couldn’t tell the difference!
Oh, but the similarities don’t stop there. OreShura’s main plot thrust-“romance” through chuunibyou blackmail-is eerily similar to Chuunibyou’s. Of course, the details and circumstances are very different, but I can’t help but feel disappointed watching the same circumstances unfold again. I’m hoping it changes course or at least mixes things up a little later on.
Speaking of mixing things up, Eita’s parents being divorced was another fine point I noted in OreShura. It’s not something to cheer at, but I’m very piqued at this situation. Instead of having just two obstacles to love (Eita’s personality and his ambitions), his parents’ divorce places another one. This third obstacle is actually the root of the problem, so I’m very interested if they’ll explore this route in the series (I seem to have a fascination with familial themes in romances. Blame it on CLANNAD, I guess).
On the other hand, OreShura’s jokes were below average for a rom-com. Your usual classmate reactions, the cringe-worthy banter between the two “lovers” and Eita’s subdued attitude: there wasn’t much to note about the humor in the show. Masuzu’s entrance also felt kinda flat, her snarky personality making things worse.
And about Masuzu, WHAT IS UP WITH THAT GIRL!? Before Eita scratched through her veneer of civility, she was almost a likable character and OreShura was beginning to grow on me as a realistic and relatable show. But I was wrong, horribly wrong. Not only was Masuzu a bi-polar nut with a manipulative streak, her motivations for said manipulations were just a farce. I can’t think of why an anti-love person like her would go ahead and pretend to have a partner. That’s just setting yourself up for romance……or was that the point? Honestly, I don’t know. In any case, OreShura crossed the line into “fantasy” rom-com when she opened her mouth in the park.
Moving on, the fanservice was rather tame, but I have a gut feeling that it will just get worse from here on out. The skirt and leg shots were okay-ish, but the pantsu jab later on just put me off. Call me crazy, but I want my fanservice subtle.
Pros: Tolerable “genki” girl, unusual protag with ambitions/history, anti-love philosophy.
Cons: MASUZU, below-average humor, bland and familiar premise, average art and animation.
Should I Watch This?
Honestly, I want to say yes, but my heart and mind are unanimous: OreShura may have a promising anti-love protagonist, but it won’t be convincing me to recommend it anytime soon. For those of you still reading this, it might be wise to wait until the whole cast is introduced before dropping it. Hey, things can happen, right?
On second thought, make that a
Remarks, counter-arguments and alternative viewpoints-I’d love to hear what you think of this post, no matter how brief. And don’t worry, I’ll work hard to answer within 24 hours. =) Apologies in advance if I don’t. XD