May 13, 2020
No one would want the people they care about to be sad; they’d do whatever they can to make sure they’re happy. For those in a loving family, that would include those in their family. There is one anime girl like that, who went back in time just to make her mother happy in the future....but not many people know that the anime she is in exists. I certainly didn’t know it existed until the day I randomly decided to scroll through the list of anime produced by the studio Encourage Films and instantly got attracted to this particular anime’s cute art style. Thus, I
decided to watch it, although despite its cute art style, I honestly didn’t expect much. Little did I know that I was in for a bit of a treat.
Lads, ladies, and non-binaries, here is my review of the not-so-well-known cutesy anime, Ontama!
The story of Ontama begins with an elementary school girl named Ichigo Tamura being distressed about her family issues; her mother is a very nice woman, but her stepfather doesn’t act the same way, always berating the two of them. One day, while she’s crying in the park about it, she is approached by a person in a bus driver’s outfit, who asks her what her wish is; in response, Ichigo says that her wish is for her mother and her father - her REAL father, that is - to get married instead, as she feels that her real father would have made her mother happier. Next thing Ichigo knows, she is thrown into a magical bus (not to be confused with the Magic School Bus) and driven back in time to before she was born. She ends up meeting her real father, the clumsy Kyousuke Hikami, and, while posing as his little sister, sets off to set him up with her mother, Miyuki. However, she must first overcome some obstacles, such as Kyousuke’s best friend and Ichigo’s future stepfather, Yuuji, who also clearly has feelings for Miyuki.
Oh, did I mention how Ichigo ended up meeting Kyousuke? He cracked her out of an egg. I’m not kidding; that actually happened. That is only one of the many completely random things to happen in Ontama’s story, and most of the time, these random moments can actually be quite funny; I ended up laughing out loud a lot more than I thought I would. However, what I didn’t appreciate was the fact that the comedy took time away from the story, which gave the relationship between Kyousuke and Miyuki less time to develop than it already had and made it feel really rushed as a result. Plus, the plot twist revealed in the last episode was so predictable that it was honestly kind of irritating, and although it answered one potential question a viewer who possibly might not figure it out may have, it just leaves them with more; as a result, I wasn’t as emotionally invested as I could have been.
Despite the story not being that good, I can say that the characters were charming. Ichigo is a decent protagonist; I liked how supportive she was of her parents’ love lives. The one who granted her wish, Cappy, had a cute appearance, but otherwise....he was kind of forgettable. Honestly, not a lot of the characters in the cast stand out that much, not even Kyousuke and Miyuki, who are both important parts of the story; no one was really unlikable, but I didn’t really like them, either. I will give a special mention to Yuuji, however; he is perhaps the most complex character in this simple anime, although I won’t get into it because of the possibility of accidentally entering spoiler territory.
I said at the beginning of this review that the art was what made me watch Ontama, and aside from that, the animation was decent. The quality I watched it in wasn’t that good, but the animation flowed well for the tone it was setting. The character designs were cute, too, and while the backgrounds weren’t anything special, they weren’t awful, either. The voice acting was also decent; while there were times where I felt like the voice actors weren’t portraying the emotions the characters feel good enough, it’s still easy to tell that they’re having fun. Finally, the opening and ending themes were decent in their own ways, but ultimately, I wouldn’t listen to them again.
Overall, Ontama was just a decent anime. If you like zany comedy with a bit of romance on the side, I’d recommend you watch it, but at the same time, no one is going to kill you if you don’t. There are other anime out there where characters take field trips through time, after all.
What did you think of this review?