Fifteen-year-old Kyosuke Kasuga moves to a new city and becomes enamored by one Madoka Ayukawa, whom often treats him coldly even though she seemed friendly the first time they met, when he caught her red straw hat on the stairs. Kyosuke also must try to avoid breaking the heart of the slightly childish Hikaru Hiyama, who fell in love with him after she saw him make an impossible shot with a basketball and who likes to shower him with affection. Also, just to make things interesting, Kyosuke, his sisters, his grandfather, and his cousins all have various powers (teleportation, psychokinesis, hypnosis, time travel, personality transference) which Kyosuke desperately tries to keep a secret, though some of the other family members have no such qualms against using their powers in public.
Roughly twelve years ago, I picked up this anime series. A friend had it on Laser Disc ... LASER DISC. Given that, this should help you understand how old this series actually is. If you can get over the fact that this is a relatively old anime (and the fact that it shows) then this is a very well executed series.
As stated earlier, this IS an old anime. However, for its time, it was above average and, quite possibly, great. The artistic style really adds to the story (though a couple of the fight scenes were ... awkwardly executed).
the sound, by today's standards would be sub par. But for its time, it is way above good. The voice acting is way beyond good, which adds to the series story line.
Without spoiling anything, all I can say is that the story is really good. Really the story is character driven. The three main characters REALLY shine but their personalities are drawn out very well by all of the supporting characters. VERY, VERY well done.
Kasuga Kyosuke is a typical Japanese 15 year old. He is doing his best to study and meeting the girl of his dreams on his first day on a stroll in his new town. However, the circumstance of his family’s move and the results of this encounter just happen to be the beginning of not the perfect life, but a series of shenanigans mixed with typical teenage hormones. For starters, why did he move to town? The thing is, Kyosuke comes from a family of espers whose powers generally range between telekinesis and teleportation and the occasional self-hypnosis. Because Kyosuke’s sisters have abused their powers
in public view in the past, they have had to move on a number of occasions and Kyosuke hopes that this will be the last after meeting this beautiful girl.
At his new school, Kyosuke happens to learn he shares the same class with that girl he met. Her name is Ayukawa Madoka and she happens to be one of those most feared delinquents in town and that does nothing to prevent Kyosuke from pursuing her. However, when Kyosuke used his power under the impression he was alone in the gym to shoot a basket from the opposite side of the court while sitting down, he caught the eye of Madoka’s childhood friend, Hiyama Hikaru who is also a delinquent and fell instantly in love with him and is very open about it.
Now Kyosuke has to make sure his sisters don’t abuse their powers and find a way to let Madoka know his true feelings.
If you grew up on teen or coming of age sitcoms along the likes of “Saved by the Bell,” “Boy Meets World,” or “California Dreams,” I say this may be the anime for you but with some twists of special powers. It is a good mix of comedy and romance. There are some repeating gags such as the Kasuga’s neighbors, Umao and Ushiko, a married couple who repeatedly share their love for each other quoting Romeo and Juliet in very ridiculous scenarios. But if you like those kind of American teen dramas, then you are likely to ease into “Kimagure Orange Road” but of course with an appropriate Japanese twist.
The series for the most part is episodic with a few two parters here and there and is easy to get into without any previous exposure from the very start. I say having my teen years without smartphones and high speed internet access, I can understand the struggles the characters go through without that instant connective contact. I understand what it’s like to be 15 without an iPhone and having to run out and find that girl to apologize to her face to face over a misunderstanding. The series also does a good job of presenting why Kyosuke does not want to reject Hikaru’s feelings for him despite truly loving Madoka. He sees that Hikaru is really a nice girl and does not want to hurt her but he understands that he is only delaying the inevitable.
Madoka, despite representing the archetypical 1980s “sukeban,” or school girl delinquent, her character is given the most development. She can be rough and tough, but also comes across as genuinely feminine that would seduce many teenage boys.
I love how it is just teens from back in the day just having a good time. One of my favorite episodes was in the last quarter of the series which spoofs the kaiju genre. In that episode, it pays homage to Godzilla, Gundam, Saint Seiya, and Mothra all at once by using the Godzilla soundtrack, a tribute song to the Mothra song sung by the twins, and I will explain the Saint Seiya reference later.
The TV series ends out of convenience but I really can’t say how the manga ends because I have not read it. I heard the TV series has some changes from the manga but if anyone familiar can share some info I would appreciate it.
Well, outside a few brawls here and there, this series does not have much intense martial arts action, high paced racing scenes, world ending tennis matches that will kill the dinosaurs, or any space ending mech warfare so the so called “quality” of the animation being “out-dated” and/or “bad” is nothing really to be concerned about. It’s the original Shounen Romance Comedy so high quality HD animation should be the last thing you should worry about in the same way you should last worry about high quality production values in a 1990s teen sitcom. Granted the resolution and contrast is relatively grainy and plain compared to today but I don’t think such trivial qualities should negate this anime.
The character design works the way it needs to by presenting us with a teen romance comedy. Kyosuke appropriately looks like a 15 year old and his facial expressions convey what it needs to convey. Madoka’s design works in the way it is supposed to intend to, to make her a punk teenager with an adult and feminine feel. Manami and Kurumi work as pre-teens. I can tell the character’s apart and I can tell who is a boy and who is a girl unlike today’s anime so I don’t know where “the flaws” are. Granted we don’t see much Tokyo scenery but I think the series appropriately portrays Japanese home and school life and what suburban Japan feels like.
The limited action scenes with Madoka fighting off gang members were also archetypical of the sukeban genre of the time by fighting in the long skirt and with a yo-yo and all that. They are fast paced and not drastically over the top.
The series is filled with a who’s who in Japanese voice acting. For starters, Kyosuke is played by Furuya Tooru, who every anime fan should know. Famous as the voice of Amuro Ray from Gundam, Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, Yamucha from Dragon Ball and Seiya from Saint Seiya. I love how he makes his voice a bit quieter and softer to make him a vulnerable teenage boy in comparison to the more confident and cocky Seiya who is 2 years younger than Kyosuke. And complimenting this casting is Tsuru Hiromi as Madoka. She is also famous world wide as the voice of Bulma from Dragon Ball and seeing this casting is this context really makes perfect sense and their chemistry works excellently well in this series. These two alone define what makes this series also awesome. The rest of the cast, are also some relatively big names like Kikuchi Masami, the voice of Yusaku in this series would later on become famous as the voice of Keiichi from Ah! My Goddess and Tenchi in Tenchi Muyo. In this series, his voice is appropriately rough and aggressive since he hates Kyosuke and like Hikaru.
But unfortunately, Honda Chieko, who voiced Kyosuke’s sister Kurumi and also the voice of Puuru and Puuru 2 in Gundam ZZ passed away to cancer back in early 2013 and she did a great job of playing a pre-teen girl without a care in the world.
The music is really excellent and appropriately sets the mood of youth, love, and summer. It has a distinct intensity and very romantic. My favorite song is Orange Mystery, the second opening theme. Prior to being used as the opening theme, it was used as a background song in some really good scenes and I really liked how it was used.
I still think that beyond just the art and animation, I think there are a lot more qualities to this series that will mostly appeal to older viewers and veteran anime fans as opposed to younger and newer viewers. I think older viewers understand what the world was like and even grew up as a teenager before what we had today so it is much easier to relate to. Watching this series made me feel young and made me want to go back to my youth and start over again in certain moments in my life. See my friends, say the right words, have more fun, and so on. Working in Japan, I understand some of the characters frustrations and gave me some insight. I also loved the Kaiju tribute episode which really made me enjoy the series much more.
Kimagure Orange Road is a classic and one of my all time favorite anime. While it stands on its own as a love triangle romance/comedy its got some quirky characters and situations thrown in there.
At the very beginning of the anime you find out that the Kasuga family are espers, throw in over the top girl gangs and delinquents and you have a weird concoction with a romance anime.
Watching it today it is a bit dated for visuals, but even so they still work to this day as the animation is good enough that the characters are able to convey the emotions properly.
The voice acting is top shelf and the music while corny by todays standards has enough timeless "pop" sound to it that you can still get into it as a guilty pleasure.
While some of the minor characters can be accused of being one dimensional the main three of Kyosuke, Madoka and Hikaru easily stand fully developed. Madoka especially shows the full gamut of emotions in this anime. Yes while it can be argued she is the prototypical tsundere and in some episodes she certainly can be, however those episodes are mainly one and done filler episodes dealing with delinquent characters where as in most of the anime she is showing more girly and kind emotions. Kyosuke is the main character and he is generally likeable albeit the typical indecisive lead character. Hikaru is the other half of the triangle and best friends with madoka, she might be the least complex character as she has a strong crush on Kyosuke and just wants to have fun.
48 eps of tv goodness 2 movies and 8 ovas so the series is not what I would call short, but if you give it a chance it will be over before you know it. This anime is certainly a classic if you like romance anime it really should not be missed.
This anime was by Studio Perriot, better known for its renowned anime like Urusei Yatsura, Great Teacher Onizuka, Naruto, and Bleach to name a few. Taking place over 48 episodes is this Junior High love triangle story between 15 year old Kyosuke Kasuga and his indecisiveness over the high energy Hikaru Hiyama, and the adult allure of Madoka Ayukawa.
Orange Road starts off with Kasuga and his family (dad and twin sisters) move into a new city and by a chance encounter comes across Ayukawa. They have some friendly banter between each other, and Kasuga instantly falls in love with her, and possibly like-wise for herself.
However, in public Ayukawa is more serious and a bit cold, which throws Kasuga some mixed signals. Then, during his contemplation, he makes an impossible basketball shot in which Hikaru sees him and she falls in love with him.
What makes this a bit complicated is the character interaction between the love triangle as Hikaru and Ayukawa are best friends since childhood, and Kasuga whom while he is in love with Ayukawa, starts to date Hikaru. This begins the young-love complication between the three in their daily lives. As a side issue, Kasuga and his family all have supernatural powers (telekinesis, teleportation, hypnosis, etc.) that they refer to simply as “the power” and must hide it from public knowledge.
Unfortunately, where the romance and interest starts out strong, and with the “power” as an extra obstacle; the series tails off horribly to episodic nonsense with nothing progressing. It is a real shame because the lure of the show was amazing, but the love triangle never progresses and the use of power is totally lost on its potential. Sure, there is the occasional episode to reel the viewer back in, but so much is lost on this show, which is really unfortunate. This anime doesn’t even come to a conclusion without watching the movie afterwards. The movie takes place at the end of high school focusing on Kasuga finally having to make a decision between Hikaru and Ayukawa. If the viewer makes it through the anime, watch the incredibly sad non-power using conclusion.
With every generation we have different animators and mangakas. As such, each generation of anime viewers has enjoyed a slightly different art style than the one before it. But how has this changed the style of the anime nose?