Review: Kimagure Orange Road

Why review an anime in 2010 that came out in 1987? Well, because it’s that good. It’s worth the look back…

The story revolves around three main characters: Kasuga Kyosuke, the male protagonist, Ayukawa Madoka, the girl he’s in love with, and Hiyama Hikaru, the junior best friend of Madoka who latches on to Kyosuke and won’t let go… This is a long, drawn-out love triangle with a lot of humor and fantasy thrown in to the mix. The fantasy elements come from Kyosuke’s family having paranormal abilities such as teleportation, telekinesis, telepathy, and hypnotism. Kyosuke continually finds himself caught between the two girls; quiet, profoundly touching moments with Madoka, and goofy, energetic Hikaru physically hanging on him and shouting “Darling!” all the time…

Madoka, Hikaru and Kyosuke at tennis camp...

Compromising situations abound...

It’s interesting to watch the dynamic between Madoka and Kyosuke, to see how from the beginning his “goody-two-shoes” nature starts to mellow her out, (in the beginning she’s portrayed as sort of a bad-girl former gang-member type). Then Hikaru always comes in and douses the sparks with her cheerful “Darling!” and Madoka turns her head with a hmph…

The always cheerful Hikaru...

Unlike a lot of other anime in the 80’s and even now, this one has an actual resolution. It doesn’t end all that well for everyone, in the TV series or the first movie, but it does get resolved. What amazes me is how realistic the series depicts the human heart. The reactions, the self-deception, the indecision, it all feels very real. The fact that putting off a decision to avoid hurting someone could in fact hurt them much worse down the line is reality.

I suppose the real reason I love this series so much is that it reminds me of young love and innocence that will never come again for any of us. This anime has more of a soft spot in my heart than many other newer and more popular series, and I may even love it more than some of the series that got me into anime in the first place like Macross and Gundam…

At any rate, I highly recommend this series to anyone who purports to love anime. (I’m finding there are a lot of fakers out there)… It shows its age, but if you care about character, story, and emotional involvement, then that shouldn’t be a problem, should it?

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~ by 45shiro45 on March 31, 2010.

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