Kimagure Orange Road – episodes 8-16

July 30, 2006 on 2:17 am | In Kimagure Orange Road | 3 Comments

Most of the psychic stuff is replaced by Kyosuke’s new penchant for prophetic dreams. Sadly, as Madoka is becoming more apparent in her fondness for Kyosuke, Kyosuke is deciding that maybe Hikaru has something going for her.

Clearly she hasn’t, but what kind of love triangle would it be if everyone got together in an expedient fashion? It would be a much more satisfactory love story. Fortunately the series does not carry itself on the strength of this relationship and has more than enough other things going for it.

Kyosuke begins having prophetic dreams that turn out to be largely self-fulfilling, with the exception of one amusing twist. Hikaru’s popularity within the school shoots up, so Kyosuke begins to take a vague interest in her, but Madoka’s affections become more apparent with each passing episode.

The situation of the triangle simplifies itself by revealing that Madoka has an interest in Kyosuke, which is an effective way of telling the audience that his pursuits are not one sided. The problem of the series then manifests itself in the fact that Kyosuke starts taking a vague interest in Hikaru if only due to her dogged persistence. The irony is, of course, that every new thing that he sees in Hikaru is a direct result of Madoka’s counsel to her friend. Personally I think that Hikaru has got little going for her and that Kyosuke and Madoka should get together, but who am I to suggest such wild, crazy ideas?
Hikaru is in reality one of the legendary “most annoying characters in anime ever”. While I do not mind her that much (I think that she is great to watch, particularly when she gets so hysterical in her laughter to the point that she swims on her bed), I know for certain that if she had forced herself into a relationship with me I would soon be reaching for a gun and taking care of one or both of us.* Or I’d be so desperate I would just have to go with the flow.

A lot of comedy is in the element of surprise, and a lot of surprise in anime is generated through Western parody. Who would ever have expected to see a recreation of the conclusion of The Graduate in Kimagure Orange Road? Anyone who chose to read Animeigo’s blurbs before watching it (or anyone reading this article, for that matter). The level of detail that went into the parody, to the point of recreating the facial expressions – which is incredibly bizarre as it’s supposed to be a happy fantasy for Kyosuke – is admirable and makes Kimagure Orange Road a sometimes subtle delight.

In general, the sub-plots about Kurumi and Manami are light and funny. However, sometimes an episode will start a Kurumi and Manami subplot and then entirely fail to follow through on it. In the episode in which Madoka puts her foot down, there is a storyline that involves telekinetic skirt lifting, which is a funny concept. Sadly, it fades into nothing like an unfinished paragraph.
In other episodes the twins act as buffers to set a main plot in action and they work well there. In an episode where they are the plot they act well in that capacity without using their power too much.

Which brings us to the power: it’s hardly ever used now, with the exception of the prophetic dreams. It’s a spice to the series, for sure, and the series for the most part could operate without it, but knowing that it’s there makes one crave it. This holding back is actually good in that it makes every single use of the power for awesome deeds just that little bit more awesome. In the UFO episode, seeing Kyosuke put all of his effort into chasing motorbikes with just a normal bike is magical due to the combination of good animation (1987 standards, of course) and the amount of effort that Kyosuke has to exert to achieve his goal creates an episode that earns the satisfaction that it gives the audience.

Yes, there are going to be another 32 episodes before Kimagure Orange Road chooses to hook Kyosuke and Madoka up (unless it’s a stalemate ending, and I don’t want to think about that), but there will be many different adventures along the way. Kimagure Orange Road is special: a love comedy that doesn’t make love its prime concern. Just living a day at a time is enough for these characters, and therein lies their charm.

*Fortunately, both Australia and Japan have strict gun laws.


  1. Your forgetting the movies and OAVs.

    Though the OAVs aren’t really necessary, the series doesn’t technically end until the the first movie, so make sure you watch it.

    Comment by _Rand_ — July 30, 2006 #

  2. I’m not forgetting them – I own them. I was talking explicitly about the TV show and, unless it ends on a “cliffhanger” to be resolved by the movie, then maybe you’ve just given it all away!

    Comment by Alex — July 30, 2006 #

  3. If you don’t want Hikaru, I’ll take her. 😛 Yes Kyosuke and Madoka should get together, but why have one girl when you can have two?

    Comment by Stephen Wang — July 30, 2006 #

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