Miki Koishikawa is a high school student who enjoys a very simple life. However, her ordinary life is about to be turned upside down, and she may not be able to handle everything that is coming her way.
After a very "fun" holiday in Hawaii, her parents have decided to get a divorce. As if this wasn’t enough of a shock for the poor girl, she also discovers that they will soon be re-marrying and swapping partners with another couple who they met on holiday. In order to include Miki in this shocking turn of events, they ask her to give the new couple a chance, and set up a dinner date with everyone. Miki may have tried to be emotionally prepared for her new parents, but what she was not expecting was their handsome son Matsuura Yuu.
Miki develops an instant crush for Yuu. What starts off as a lovely friendship between them soon develops into romantic feelings which they are both finding hard to control. But more trouble is ahead in their relationship, as both Miki and Yuu have admirers of their own who are trying very hard to keep them separated.
Marmalade Boy received a Taiwanese 30-episode live-action television series (called Júzǐjiāng Nánhái). The series starred pop star Stella as Miki and F4 member Ken Zhu as Yuu. Although the basic premise was the same, it did not feature many of the characters of the anime, and the love triangles were considerably simplified.
It also received a dating simulation video game was released by Bandai Entertainment for the Nintendo Game Boy system in Japan on January 1, 1995. It was released for the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) system on April 21, 1995. The game puts players in the role of Miki, who must try to win the heart of one of her three potential suitors from the series: Yuu, Ginta, or Kei.
Shoujo stories honestly are very hit or miss with me, and not just because I'm a guy! But they tend to be much too sweet, too fluffy and indulgent for it's own good. Catering to the daydream love fantasies of both young girls and middle aged women alike, I heard the name Marmalade Boy for a few years, and even considered picking it up at one point when I read an article about the series on another site. But a critical opinion of the show, given to me by a friend made me lose any interest in pursuing this one.
About 2 years later, I took
the plunge and decided to give an actual try...and I think it's safe to say that I'm glad I did. Marmalade Boy is a classic shoujo series from the 90's, and it's influence is probably seen in just about every other shoujo manga ever since. There are love triangles galore, angst, hormones, crying, everything you'd expect from a show like this! But what makes MB stand out is the fact that it plays out like a Soap-Opera-- In that it's twist come at such fierce speed that you can't help but go"Wait...what?", and boy is like crack. MB turned out to be one of the most addicting animes that I've seen in quite some time, you can never really comprehend how or why the melodramatic 'drama' entices you so to keep on going.
Miki Koishikawa is your average highschool girl, aside from being rather at first embarrassed by her parents' eccentric and illogical behavior by switching spouses from another couple, then all together moving into one big house, bringing daughter Miki and son(from the second couple of course) Yuu with them. Miki and Yuu soon fall in love together though, and their relationship is challenged and manipulated many times by jealous ex's. There will not be a single moment where you don't think"Why are some of these kids so damn selfish?", but then you realize that that's the point of MB in the first place. It's about young men and women falling in love for the first time, and acting on their emotions, not logic. What makes MB work is that it's so addicting in it's own indulgent little way, but at the same time it shows an innocent and honest side to the human heart.
The animation and art can be an acquired taste-- this is an anime from 1994, and it shows by rearing it's low budget head pretty often, but it's quite manageable once you get used to it. The ost also fares well, my only complaint regarding it is that they use/reuse/remix the main theme way too many times, making the song too tedious to listen to outside of watching. Regardless, I have to say that the final ending theme("Yoake no Etude") really complimented on the events of the final half.
While I may have have enjoyed it quite a bit, like all shoujo-- It's probably not for everyone, especially people who nitpick and complain about as many illogical fallacies they can find in a show. Because frankly, there will be too many to really even count. The best example would have to be the New York City arc that pops up during the 3rd quater of the anime. These kids will infuriate you, baffle you and annoy you at how stupid they can act by being so self-absorbed. But like I said earlier, MB continued to hold a charm that kept me from losing my composure. It may sound like it's not even worth a shot, but in an odd way, it's still worth plowing through.
MB really was a wild ride in the end, so much that after the final episode was complete, and the final credits rolled, I couldn't help myself but feel saddened that I had to say goodbye to this cast of folk that I soon found myself attached to. And I'm confident to tell you guys that I thought the ending tightened up all the loose ends we wanted tightened by the end, so no annoying cliffhangers.
While the final arc can get pretty twisted, and the irrational behavior will baffle some people. I also believe that it's fantastic as it still provides a lovable cast, and shows us a very sweet and sincere look at growing, learning and falling in love with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. With an open mind, and despite some of it's issues with the wonky mindsets, MB is a very enjoyable watch for both women and men.
And certainly one that'll go down in my books as one of my personal favorites.
Fantastic Cast of Characters; has good humor; fascinating Relationships
Overused Themes; very predictable; unlikable lead character; a season too long
This one was quite the adventure. It took me a significant amount of time to complete this anime and for the most part I was fairly pleased. Spanning 76 Episodes, Marmalade Boy is your standard high school romance, with a twist. Our two main characters have two parents who switch spouses that force them to live together. This alone was an interesting concept.
There are many other strengths in this anime. For one is the wonderful cast in Marmalade Boy. Almost each and every one of the characters
is memorable and have marvelous, fleshed out personalities. The cast is truly what makes Marmalade Boy special. Of course, with great characters, come the intricate relationships. Sprinkle the great character interaction, with an icing of great characters and a dash of humor; you’ve got yourself the recipe for success.
Although, as the series progressed the story seemed to run out of fuel, as Marmalade Boy is clearly a season too long, as the same themes keep bring revived…only with different characters. The “I love you, you have a lover” theme is played out so much, it’s almost ridiculous. This sort of repetitiveness also leads to another flaw, Marmalade Boy’s occasional predictability. If you pay enough attention, you can basically build the conclusion for yourself and find that you were mostly correct, if not completely correct, which I must stress, not a good thing. The last season could’ve easily been written out and still have left a strong anime behind.
Nevertheless, Marmalade Boy is a good entry in the Romantic Humor category. With it’s exceptional cast of characters, it’ll be sure to catch your attention, just don’t be surprised if you figure out the ending before you even watch it.
"Marmalade Boy" is one of the sweet shoujo anime in the world, maybe even the sweetest. It is one of my favorite anime, and I can watch it over and over again and not get bored. I can even cry in sone scenes every time... T___T
The story was written by Wataru Yushizumi (Ultra Maniac belongs to her too).
The art is very nice, but the animation is actually not that good (an anime from 1995, what do you expect?) but you can live with that.
The OST of the anime is very good. In some ways it is very childish (the opening theme, for an example), but
mature too (some songs).
Most of the melodies in the series are actually kind of karaoke of the songs. The voice actress of Miki, the main female character, sang many songs in the series.
The love story in the anime is very original and displayed to us, the watchers, by a point of view that makes us cry with the characters, laugh with them and even be angry and more. The events are very realistic, the characters and the relationships between them too.
The only bad thing in the series is that in some episodes the events are... not make sense. I won't say what they are, but I am not the one who thought so...
With the series there is a 25 minutes movie, which is a a point of view of somebody else, that made you understand the things better. [though it is not existed in the manga XD]
Why did I love the anime? Because of the childish atmosphere, the point of view and the plot itself.
Well, I could say 1000 good things about it, but I will shut up. Go watch!
Miki Koshikawa is a high-school girl looking for a change of pace in her life. Little did she know that as soon as she had entertained this thought her parents were downstairs conspiring to reveal something that she would not have expected in her wildest dreams. They had met another couple and are going to switch partners with them.
Yes, you heard me, switch partners.
Miki is entirely against this and will not stand for it. Hearing that they have a son of their own a new hope emerges. She will have someone to assist her who disagrees with this situation entirely.
Boy, was she wrong.
does Yuu not mind what is happening but he is completely cruel to Miki, playing jokes and making fun of her at every chance he gets. Or at least that's what she initially thinks until she realizes that the Yuu is really like.. Marmalade on burnt toast???!?
Now they all live in the same house together but they will go through a lot of trials and tribulations in relationships, both family and personal, as they go through daily school life together with other characters such as Ginta, Arimi, Satoshi, Satomu, Meiko, Natchan, Kei, Suzu and later in the series The American Crew. Who will end up with who, that is the question?
There is way too much that goes on within the series to describe it in words.
Once you watch this anime you will never look at another Shoujo/Romance/Drama the same way again. It may have been a couple of years since I completed the series but ever since that day I have not been as entertained by many romance based anime simply because the standards Marmalade Boy has set are too high. I'm completely serious, if you are a fan of this genre and you haven't seen this it is the most entertaining experience you will have.
Whilst there are lots of different things happening at any given time it never becomes overly confusing and the story is generally entertaining with something that happens at the end of an episode that makes you want to tune in the for the next one. Kind of like a Soap Opera setup. 'Tis good stuff. It's not too difficult to follow but at the same time isn't mind numbing.
Some say the Soundtrack has got a 80's or 70's feel to it (after-all it is an anime made in the 90's), I say its pure bliss. The tracks are astounding. They suit the mood perfectly and I looked forward to every time my favorite tune played in the background. The opening theme, "Egao Ni Aitai" is upbeat and sets you up for a great time. The slow variations of this opening theme song throughout the anime are a great touch. I'm not going to say there aren't a few lackluster compositions but trust me, you will know what I mean by the amazing soundtrack once you watch it.
Miki is my favorite female character in any anime. She had childish traits yet she comes across to be a genuine, nice and sweet young lady. Yuu is my favourite male character in any anime. He is a nice guy and likes to make fun of Miki but at the same time letting her know that he cares for her. Ginta and Arimi are also both REALLY strong characters by the end of the series. Enough said? Might I also say that the character designs are REALLY good.
All the females look exactly like the character they are made to portray. Satoshi is kind of another version of Yuu but with a mullet :P He does have his differences but I won't go through them here. Miki and Arimi are simply cute and Meiko has a pretty but mature look going for her, closely reflecting their personality traits.
Whilst I personally love the animation it is a little outdated because of the age of the anime. Although it takes a little getting used to I personally LOVE the style, especially how the characters look. Don't let the animation quality deter you from the series solely on that though as you will come to appreciate it and even if you don't, the story and just the plain ROMANCE is worth the price of admission in itself. I think the style is really unique with nice colours and it's ultimately nice on the eyes to sit back and watch. If you take a look at various pictures from the art books you will see that they are still vibrant and appealing to look at even by today's standards.
Some of the characters that may or may not have been in the manga can be annoying and a distraction from the main plot. This was the case for me when they were first introduced but it was something that I was willing to look over. This series is amazingly well dubbed and includes the talents of some of my favorite English voice actors (If not before, they are now). The sub also holds up strong.