"Misunderstandings, " they happen to the best of us, yet more often then not, they seem to find a way of resolving themselves. Enter "Cherry no Manma, " an OVA that shows us one example of this...
I have to say that when I read the details on this series, I was expecting maybe a short story regarding love and emotion, this was pretty far from it though, despite the main characters (a girl and two guys) living under the same roof. When I mentioned "misunderstandings, " that pretty much sums up this title. The anime revolves around a character named Yuki, who seems to
have a bit of a pervy side to him, and is accused of stealing his roommate’s (Kanoko) underwear. Since this OVA is only 10 minutes long, what you read is what you get, and because it is so short, there is really nothing more I can mention about the storyline without ruining it for you. Now that is not to say this title is boring or bad, because it really isn’t. There will be some points where you are going to think that the main storyline will in fact be echhi, but again, it really isn’t. The main point revolves around Kanoko’s underwear, but you only see them as they lay about on the cloths line, or in her dresser, not once will you see any up skirt shots or anything like that. Now for me this was a nice touch, as it made the overall story seem very simple and easy to watch. I was worried that this OVA was going to be nothing more than fan service, but no, watching the characters get ruffled from this situation was pretty cute and funny. Kind of like watching your next door neighbors get into a disagreement--you know you shouldn't watch, but can't help to anyway. Of course it goes without saying that if you’re a fan of echhi-ness, then you will be dissapointed by this. Still, what the storyline does offer in it’s short time is sweet and to the point.
The art looks pretty good considering this was made in the late 80's, the backgrounds reminded me of the same style you would see in Sailor Moon, a bit washed out at times, but overall a nice looking scenery. Character design is the strongest feature here, they look quite well thought out and appealing. The only real bummer about the art style, is that the animation can be a bit on the stiff side at times. This becomes apparent when the cast try to do anything particularly athletic, ie: run, fight etc.
My favorite part was with the actual voice acting, though not the best you would here in a series, the actors do bring the characters to life pretty good, and are well received. There is no opening theme, but the closing is pretty cute. Plus the background tracks are quite lighthearted and appropriate (they range from soft instrumental elevator style music, to what sounds like a life on a farm theme). It set the tone pretty good!
Now I have to go on par of saying that I have never read any of the manga versions to this, and thus just wasn't able to really connect with any of the characters in this short run. They acted okay, but nothing really special. Yuki is a slight perv, Kanoko is quick to jump to conclusions, and Yuzuru seems to be the mature voice of reason between the two. I enjoyed them, it's just a shame there wasn't anything out of the ordinary with their personalities.
"Cherry no Manma" is a decent little slice of life title, even though it suffers from not being anything particularly new, it makes up for it by getting strait to the point with its story. If you have never read any of the mangas like me, then this OVA won't have much of a lasting affect on you. However, none the less I am now interested about this series, and plan to read the actual mangas, and I think most viewers will feel the same way after viewing this.