Ookami Ryouko is a spunky and, by some accounts, rather manly high school girl. She is tall, speaks in a traditionally masculine way and is very proficient in fighting. Ookami-san's best friend is the small and high-pitched voiced Akai Ringo. Incidentally, the two are rather flat-chested, a fact the Narrator (voiced by Arai "Kuroko" Satomi of Railgun fame) is all too eager to point out.
Ookami and Ringo are members of the Otogi Bank, a club in Otogi High School that assists students with their problems in return for their assistance on a different problem at a later date; thus the Otogi Bank is effectively a loan institute for problems where you can take out a loan for a solved problem but you have to repay it sooner or later.
The Otogi Bank is able to solve any problem and will go to any lengths to do so, often leading the members to danger or mayhem. Since most of the members of the club are female, another male is needed for the more dangerous assignments. Thus, the scopophobic (the fear of being looked at) Morino Ryoushi is inducted as a member, right after he confesses his love for Ookami...
The series parodies many famous fairy tales, either with puns relating to names or fairy tale themes being used in creative and funny ways. The two main heroines' names are a play on words relating to the story of Little Red Riding Hood; Akai means red and Ookami means wolf. The title of the anime is a pun for the full title of Snow White and translates to Wolf and the Seven Companions; additionally, Ringo means apple and Ryouko means hero, making their names double puns. Other fairy tale parodies include Cinderella and The Ant and the Grasshopper.
Once upon a time there was a series of light novels by Masashi Okita that played around with certain well known fairy tales. Due to a strange twist of fate (or a complete lack of ideas), the series was chosen to be adapted into anime form, and they all lived happily ever after.
Well, not quite.
Directed by Iwasaki Yoshiaki (Gokujou Seitokai, Wagaya no Oinari-sama, Gunbuster, Love Hina), Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi (Ookami-san and her Seven Companions), follows the adventures of Ookami Ryouko and her colleagues from the Otogi Bank as they solve people's problems, right various wrongs, fight delinquents, and generally act as all round busybodies.
Now where have I heard that before?
The main problem with Ookami-san is that it suffers from the same flaw that almost every novel adaptation has - an inherent lack of detail. That's not to say that the story doesn't work as there are plenty of things already in the tale that are interesting enough. The plot, however, is haphazard in its approach, and a number of points never get explained over the course of the series. Because of these two factors, the story never really reaches the level where the viewer can become engrossed, and in all honesty the only reason I finished it was because I was playing "Spot the Fairy Tale".
As I mentioned before, the franchise plays fast and loose with several well known fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood (complete with wolf and hunter), Momotaro (with dumplings), The Hare and the Tortoise (which was changed to a turtle for some reason), Urashima Tarou, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, The Little Match Girl, Puss in Boots, and probably a bunch more. Unfortunately, there's a side effect to incorporating specific elements of other stories into your own and that's exactly what happens here.
If one is able to disregard the lack of focus and detail, there's still the creativity barrier to overcome and it's here where the everything falls down. While the story may have some interesting aspects, the usage of fairy tales places quite a heavy dampener on innovation and it shows in Ookami-san in many ways, from relationships (Usami Mimi and Ryuuguu Otohime are inclined to hate each for example), to character design.
In all honesty, J.C. Staff have produced a fairly decent looking show for the most part. The animation is generally fluid throughout the series, but there are one or two telltale signs of corner cutting during the fight scenes. The backgrounds and settings are pretty standard fare for anyone familiar with high school anime, and while there are no real feats of originality, there are also very few major flaws. The real problem with the overall look of the show though, is the inherent lack of innovation I mentioned earlier.
This is where it all gets a bit tricky. On the surface the casual viewer may consider the design of certain characters to be quite original, for example Akai Ringo is supposed to be Little Red Riding Hood and this reference is prominent in her clothing throughout the series. Certain other characters follow this design pattern to highlight the fairy tale they are based on, while others are a bit more subtle with their reference. One of the main issues with this approach is that it impacts on the relationships between the characters, and the reason for it may not be obvious at first. Once the viewer understands the reference then everything becomes clear, however Ookami-san only really works on that basis.
One point in the show's favour is the sound quality, as the effects are fairly well realised and choreographed. Unfortunately the music isn't up to the same standards. That's not to say that it's bad, no, it's simply that it's all been done before.
Here's what I mean. The OP, "Ready, Go!" by May'n is a boppy J-pop track that doesn't leave any impact whatsoever. The ED, "Akazukin-chan Goyoujin" (Careful Akazukin-chan), by OToGi 8, is a strange mixture of J-pop and chip tunes that is equally forgettable. The rest of the music throughout the series doesn't really add much to the atmosphere of a given scene, and the proof of this lies in the numerous occasions where no music is used as there is very little difference in terms of impact.
One of the main sound problems with Ookami-san though, is the narration. There are far too many occasions where the viewer will be trying to pay attention to what the characters are saying, only to have it drowned out by Arai Satomi pretending to be an old time storyteller. As for the acting itself, the seiyuu are generally pretty good, with Itou Shizuka and Itou Kanae playing the roles of Ryouko and Ringo with a degree of aplomb (one does have to wonder if the casting was purposeful though). Irino Miyu gives a respectable performance as the sociophobe and prospective beau Morino Ryoushi, especially when he switches between coward and manly mode.
The rest pf the cast deliver some good all round performances but, like the rest of the series, the lack of originality means that they simply can't sink their teeth into the roles. The prime example of this is the fact that Ryouko is, yet again, quite literally the "sheep in wolf's clothing".
Now I will be honest here. I'm tired of the typical tsundere loli character and would personally like to see more variety in that department. Surprisingly, it seems as though Ookami-san has made some efforts to move away from the archetype. There are attempts to justify the persona of each character to a degree, and although the results are a bit of a mixed bag, the fact is that this makes the show more interesting than it would otherwise have been. The series takes great pains to delve into the personal history of its lead characters, and some of the resulting stories are handled rather well.
But that's all there is to it. Once their stories are told the characters go right back to how they were before, with the only real exceptions being Ryouko and Ryoushi. But that's not my main gripe where the characters are concerned, no, the real problem here is that there are no reasons or justifications, either in the story or otherwise, for the actions of Hitsujikai Shirou, and the lack of any information leaves the viewer wondering what the hell is going on.
Now, while Ookami-san isn't a truly great show, it's not actually that bad on the whole. The series has a number of interesting aspects and relationships, and is entirely watchable as long as you aren't overly critical about it. Unfortunately there are occasions where there is simply too much going on at once, and the viewer may find themselves going back over certain scenes in order to fully understand what has occurred.
One thing I did like were the cameos from ToraDora! and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun as, while they may not be my favourite shows, it made the anime into something more of a visual game (spot the reference).
It's strange how many shows these days are adaptations of other media, and it does make one wonder if anime studios have hit a creative wall. Whatever the case may be, Ookami-san is a decent attempt at adapting a novel series, and while it does have its flaws, the show is entertaining enough for at least one viewing. Granted it may not be everyone's gingerbread house, but those that like school based romantic comedies won't find themselves too disappointed.
Now can we please find a different character type as I'm tired of of all the tsundere lolis.
There’s nothing I love better then ranting about bad anime in the afternoon. Which is why I’m here to talk about Ookami-san to Shinchinin no Nakamatachi, such a long title.
Anyway, this show is like having a glass of milk after having it sit on your counter for about a whole night after your house party. All your drunken friends and standing around it and they want you to drink it and you do after all the peer pressure. At first, you’re thinking it’s a bad idea, and after listening to your friends you think that this is a chance to redeem your personless self. So you drink it and giggle before it gets in your mouth, and when it touches your tongue you’re going to spew all over the place because you had so many god damn drinks last night and rotten milk does not mix with your girly cocktails!
And if you people say I’m wrong and that this is a great show. Then you ain’t worth reading this review to see how much you’re wrong. Plus, if you think I’m wrong, you’re probably one of those Type A viewers…
This show makes me just as angry as True Tears did. It went nowhere. NO WHERE.
Let’s talk about this wretched show… Why? Because I like to cause myself pain.
I need it grab it out of my recycle bin. Hold on.
TL;DR version: needless action, stupid antagonists, antagonists with no goal, protagonists with no goal, plight, or drama, stupid romance, no character development, sudden introduction of characters, characters with typical personalities, characters whose personalities change randomly back and forth, no reason for romance, forced romance, stupid club concept, no humor, overused jokes, simple plot (if one exists), it’s a picture slideshow that moves and makes noise, and and the stupid narrator they should've cut after the first episode, show stuck in one dimension, doesn't connect with the view, you have no reason to care for the characters.
(I love your Onee-sama voice, Satomi-chan, but I can't deal with it in this show)
Himura is the best character in this show. She has depth! But she's only in it for one episode...
The antagonist is stupid too. I like how they try to make his past with Ookami dark and spooky to make you hate you him. There is no reason for what he does and what he will do. He just does them. Because he's a bad man that runs evil school in town and he's all like, "you guys are going down!!!!111!!1111! D:read more
It could have been something decent, but instead Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi reeks of mediocrity. The art work and animation was actually pretty and appealing, but the terrible story and cast of characters makes this series a pretty little scab you want to tear off. The rag tag bunch of characters have a very minor development and role so it'll feel as if most, if not all, of the characters are a side note. Even the story leaves you hanging till the last episode. At the end of the series, you will ask yourself, "That's it? What the hell was I watching this for?". I'm sorry to say this, but I felt as if the writer of the series did a half-assed job and produced a story about kids doing random things without any plot or motive. I say this series was a wild goose chase. I recommend it to those of you who have nothing to do and just want to kill time.read more
[b]Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi[/b]
The fact that this is a wasted potential is a shame, this could have been greater than what ended to be.
The story started very good i was really interested to follow it but then just started to be more of a comedy/parody without the romance that at some point you think will happen, never happens, and that was annoying, it was really interesting almost every job they did for people, so for me was good.
[b][u]Art & Sound[/u][/b]
Both were like you think will be, good character design and colorful landscape. The sound was good, it was really enjoyable, the VA was good.
This is what the anime is, they really were very good and funny, there's a great variety of characters from fantasy books and you will recognize them, the ones that i liked were Ringo and Ryoushi who at first might seem like a wuss but he shows that he can be a badass for Ryouko and Ryouko was too tsundere for me, she hides her feelings for Ryoushi and never accepts them, not even when everyone sees it, and i hated that she didn't appreciated what Ryoushi did for her other and they have backstories and almost everyone were well developed deeply.
I could have enjoyed this more, but i couldn't because of that bad ending and Ryouko being how she was so overall was good.read more