Haneda Takashi has a secret he cannot speak of. To leave his dull school-life, he was supposed to have escaped to another world. However, he is reeled in by certain ties on his heart. One of these is Kobato, his awkward younger sister. The other is Watarai Asuka, his negligent girlfriend.
Chitose Shuusuke is a poor freeloader. He passes his days working at various part-time jobs. One day, he has a disastrous first encounter with Tamaizumi Hiyoko. The next time they meet, Shuusuke discovers that they are fellow employees at his part-time job.
Narita Hayato sees himself as a "hard-boiled" person. Back-breaking jobs are nothing to him. Hayato shuns normal human contact, but, during the nights, he would get together with delinquents and other denizens of the night. One such night, he meets the cheerful and oblivious Otori Naru.
The relationships with these girls will greatly affect these 3 young men. But what, exactly, is the relationship these young men have with each other?
I know it's unjustifiable to give an 8 to an anime that has a GOD DAMN AWFUL FIRST EPISODE but before you hover that mouse pointer on top of the "Not Helpful" vote, please do take the time in actually reading this first.
Harem would probably be my least favored genre as this includes the generic moe/ecchi or whatever fanservice they could come up. I might also disfavor the said genre because of the fans which consists mainly of the typical perverted otaku who faps to his 2D waifu. Nonetheless, I still push myself to watch anime of the harem genre in hopes of finding something
different. Though skeptical at first, I was amazed on how Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai turned to be.
First and foremost, Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai or simply OreTsuba, is nothing more of your typical harem. It is idiotic. It doesn’t make sense. It leaps from scene to scene. It is filled with generic tropes and stereotypes. It is overloaded with panty shots. It has a cast filled with idiots and perverts. It is absurd. Now most people would jump the gun and say it is nothing out of the generic harem and moe crap we see everyday and drop it at episode 1. That is undeniably true, given the first episode had a huge cast filled with cute girls or moe-blobs so to speak. However, OreTsuba is not one anime that presents its real facet in its premise. It needs a distinct amount of time for a viewer to understand what it’s all about. The outside generic harem appearance is only a means to fool the viewer to think that OreTsuba is one harem badly done but no, there is something much more to it.
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai is based off a visual novel which was developed by the company Navel. Having a visual novel as a source material would mean cute girls that could either range from lolis to the older sister type. Unlike other harem/ecchi anime that won’t mind the appearance of the characters as long as there are panty shots or the so called fanservice to render, OreTsuba is quite more attracting as it had its visuals done neatly and it probably is its selling point. The character designs were very appealing and the backgrounds were fluid. It somehow incorporates real-world scenes to the 2D world of OreTsuba making it have a 3D feel of the background which is quite nice. As for the production value of this anime, I believe it is quite high seeing that the characters and backgrounds were something much more than the usual; even the design of the school uniform was obviously done with effort.
Along with the clean and cutesy character designs would be the truckload of fanservice scenes. There would be no 5 minute that would pass by without a decent amount of panty shots. For having cute and adorable character designs, the fanservice were not as distracting as some might think, in fact it blends in pretty well. I know majority of those who’ve dropped this might be because of the ridiculous fanservice but by all means, try to give it one more chance and if you can see pass through that you’ll see the fruits of it afterwards. As for the pervs who continued watching this, I’m a 100% sure by now that you’ve realized that it actually has a worthwhile plot.
Though it may contain tons of it, this is not an anime about panty shots, it is the story of 3 young gentlemen namely: Takashi Haneda, Shuusuke Chitose and Hayato Narita. Having 3 male leads led to an ef - a tale of memories reminiscence and it is actually how the story goes; 3 young male characters paired with 3 young female characters only in OreTsuba, it is quite less serious, random and perverted.
First off, Takashi Haneda is paired with Asuka Watarai. Asuka is basically the typical campus crush who has no personality or whatsoever only that she acts like a respected princess. As for Takashi, he’s the typical school boy who actually has no personality too except that he’s a good boy and the somewhat cowardly lead. Basically they are cardboard cut-outs which is undoubtedly one of the weakest asset that OreTsuba could display affecting their chemistry which is rather poor.
One of the better couples would be Hayato Narita’s pair with Naru Ootori. Hayato Narita is a delinquent whose friends are gang members and the like. He works exclusively at night doing what other people would tell him to do. As for Naru, she’s the younger sister of a gang leader. She’s a somewhat shy little girl who took interest in Hayato after helping her in finding a lost bike. As the story goes, Hayato and Naru’s pair would look like the cutest with their cutesy and lovely interactions, with Hayato protecting Naru from other people although at the same time the weirdest of the bunch as it is a delinquent paired up with a loli.
The third pair and the best in my opinion would be the pair-up of Shuusuke Chitose and Hiyoko Tamaizumi. Shuusuke works as an article reviewer for a local magazine. He’s the typical boisterous and jolly happy-go-lucky pervert. Hiyoko on the other hand is the serious type of girl who writes novels. As for why they are the best; the anime focused more on their development and as well as for their relationship to enhance. Shuusuke helps Hiyoko achieve her dream of being a successful novelist while at the same time, the feelings of Hiyoko develop more and more for Shuusuke. Watching them both mature, though stupid and nonsensical at times, is really a treat.
Aside from the 3 pairs, there are a lot more characters in OreTsuba. However, not all are of importance as some only serve their roles as mere plot devices. Some if not plot devices serve as a part of the mindless comic relief the anime has. Although it has mindless comedy, that is only for itself, the comedy. As it is backed with stupidity and senselessness, it is deceiving. The plot is actually well thought out or so to say ingenious that needs well analyzing to place in the correct pieces.
As aforementioned, the story rotates around the 3 pairs. There is something much more and this something is very unusual for an anime of this type. As harems are very predictable, throw any expectations in the gutter as this isn’t. Aside from the genre tags which include: Drama, Ecchi, Romance, and Harem; it is missing one more, and this genre is Psychological. First impressions might conclude that it is very predictable. Wait until you’ve reached episode 4 which includes a sudden plot twist and you’ll know what you’re getting. However after that, seeing the first scene at episode 1, some will say that they already know where this is leading but I would suggest keeping your thoughts to yourself because I know the outcome of this anime will leave you in awe because of its unpredictability. It does well in disguising itself as a harem and an idiotic one at that to deceive its viewers in thinking that this is their run-of-the-mill rom-com.
Having started as maybe one of the stupidest anime I have seen, I’m amazed with how it turned the tables with a single deus ex machina done amazingly near the end making everything fall into place. With just one snap and then boom, everything was revealed, everything was answered, everything makes sense. It answered everything completely without any cliffhangers that would require millions of hypotheses to answer.
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai might not be your generic harem but accompanying it is the somewhat generic music. Although generic, they are still highly likeable. The opening song entitled “Spread Wings” by Aki Misato which is cute and lovely which perfectly fits a harem setting. The first ending song entitled “PARANoiA” by the same songstress, accompanied by a video of knights, beasts and RPG-like adventure has quite an easy feel to it while the second ending song “NEVERLAND” is well, just the same as usual which is expected from a harem.
As for the voice actors, some sounded really annoying. Some sounded like someone who’s wearing a nose clip. Some were screechy. As for the remaining others, they were good which is somewhat above average or if not, just average. Along with the voices were the soundtracks. Well, for a loud and crazy anime, it is expected that the soundtracks used were loud and funky as well, which suits the lively and energetic atmosphere albeit sometimes as well as it had its fun moments, it also contains boring and “unfunny” scenes.
It had its dull moments, there are times when it tries too hard to be funny, and there are those times when it’s just plain downright stupid. Looking past through that, this light and fluffy feathery ride which is called Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai is one unique experience. Predictable and stupid as some might dub harem to be; stupid is true but predictable was nowhere near. A definite must watch for harem fans. Now they have something to brag about harem; that it’s not all about ecchi/moe or anything in between. And as for those who are not into harems (including me), I guess I could safely say that Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai is a “Do not judge the book by its cover” or more like “Harems although of the same feather, do not always flock together… because some of them don’t have wings.” (Yeah it's that random)
Once upon a time the world considered mental illness to be a taboo subject, so much so that those who suffered were often shunned or locked away, and it was often the case that stories dealing with the issue were thought of as ... controversial. Nowadays there is greater understanding of the ailments of the mind, and with that has come a rise in the number of tales featuring the subject as a central theme. That said, there is a tendency to focus on clinical depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, and other well known illnesses, which may seem a little odd until one realises that the most
commonly fictionalised ailments have one underlying connection - they all made the national news. The press is rife with tales of psychopaths, suicides, serial killers and more, and while there are stories that are based on one (or more), of the lesser known mental illnesses, the majority of authors and screenwriters will immediately utilise those that the public finds familiar.
Based on the eroge of the same name by Navel, Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai (We Without Wings) – Under the Innocent Sky (or OreTsuba as it's more commonly known), follows the daily lives of Haneda Takashi, Chitose Shuusuke and Narita Hayato, three young men living in the city of Yanagihara. Each leads a life that is very different to the other two, and at first they seem to have no connection to one another ...
And that's about as clear as things get for quite a few episodes.
From the outset there's no apparent direction or focus to the plot, and this continues until late in the series, at which point the shape of a storyline begins to appear. Now given the ultimate focus of the narrative one might argue that the somewhat dizzying sequence of events during the first half of OreTsuba are a purposeful attempt to elicit a sympathetic reaction from the audience by making them confused and uncomfortable. Unfortunately that sort of reasoning is a bit too far fetched in the cold light of day as the story appears to have been written by someone with little to no knowledge of mental illness whatsoever. In addition to that one does have to question the sanity of the person who decided an ecchi, harem romantic comedy was the best vehicle for a narrative where the core themes are not only being mentally ill, but also how it affects those around you.
Speaking of harems ...
OreTsuba features an array of characters who are paraded across the screen like pedigrees at a dog show, and the sheer number can initially seem impressive until one realises that the majority of them are nothing more than window dressing. There's little in the way of actual development going on, which wouldn't be a bad thing if some effort had been put into defining the characters from the start, so it's unfortunate that this is yet another anime populated by cardboard cutouts. Even worse is that almost every opportunity for growth or added definition during the first half of the series is wasted on stock events that grace many an ecchi harem tale, and while the latter portion of the story does present a few interesting scenarios, these are not enough to raise the show from mediocrity.
If nothing else, OreTsuba is consistent in that the generic characters and plot tokens are very clearly reflected in the acting, and unrealistic voices abound in this series. The lead roles seem to lose interest in the project after the first episode and appear to perform little more than lines by rote for the rest of the series, but maybe it's not the fault of the seiyuu as the dialogue is sorely lacking in originality and imagination.
This apparent lack of creativity also extends to the music, and many of the background tracks are of the type that one might find in just about every other ecchi harem romantic comedy, including the pieces used in Gretagard. The opening and ending themes are no better, and OreTsuba manages to uphold the best traditions of eroge and dating sim adaptations by finding the most generic J-pop tracks it can for the series OP and ED.
Now given that this is an adaptation there's an inherent limitation placed on design, and while that isn't necessarily a bad thing for some shows, viewers should remember what the source material actually is. The problem is that OreTsuba, like so many other eroge and datings sims, uses a stock set of character designs that have gone beyond a simple stereotype, and are now more of a hallmark for these types of story. In addition to this the animation is workman-like, and that blandness is most prominent when the character are undertaking some sort of frenetic activity.
In all honesty Nomad, like so many studios before them, appear to have been unable to muster the effort to produce a good looking series.
On a side note, one of the most annoying things about OreTsuba is that the visuals sometimes show a few flashes of original thinking, but these moments are often derailed or buried completely by the sudden and pointless introduction of fanservice. There are far too many occasions where events are progressing in an interesting manner when all of a sudden the screen is covered with underwear or jiggling ... things.
So is OreTsuba enjoyable?
Well, the story lacks any real charm or grace and the core theme has been handled in a far more sensitive manner by Mahoraba ~Heartful Days~. In addition to that, the seemingly mindless adherence to the stereotypical production methods of eroge and datings sim adaptations and the overabundance of pointless fanservice actually detract from any efforts to move the plot in a more meaningful direction. The simple fact is that OreTsuba is about as subtle and sensitive as a hammer to the face, and one event in particular highlights this as there's nothing in the series up to that point to justify the sudden revelation that one of the characters had an imaginary little brother.
OreTsuba is a singular example of pretty much everything that's wrong with the anime industry these days, which is actually the only good thing about it. Watching the series is far more work than it should be, and while the source material appears to have been written and designed by people who like to wear jackets with lots of straps and really long sleeves, that's no excuse for a poorly executed adaptation. There are many ways the series could have been handled (as Tears To Tiara proved), but it looks like nobody really cared enough about this anime to make the effort.
So the only question left is why on earth was it made in the first place?
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai, simply put, is probably the most confusing anime I have ever watched. The one weird thing for me, is that this is kind of my “guilty pleasure” anime. I know it’s horrible, but I enjoyed it for some reason despite not knowing what the fuck was going on for over half of the 12 episodes. I give it a 9/10 on my list simply because there I rate things based on enjoyment, but I’ll be more critical in this review.
Plot – 5/10
What Oretachi attempts to do is to put a twist on the usual “harem” genre where three or more
girls fall in love with one guy. I won’t explain much of the plot because, honestly, I don’t necessarily understand much of it myself.
Art – 8/10
I thought the characters designs were pretty good. It’s kind of a mix between seinen and shounen so it’s not too much of either. The only problem is maybe some odd colors for school clothes and some weird gang member in the earlier episodes with a bizarre design. The art of the city they live in which I suppose is Tokyo is fine though it doesn’t stand out as being exceptional.
Music – 8/10
I don’t count Openings and Endings in reviews but I just want to mention that I really like this show’s opening since it was what initially convinced me to watch this show. But the music during the episodes isn’t anything remarkable, just kind of average like the art so not much to talk about.
Characters – 7/10
The characters are interesting, but pretty stereotypical. There’s girls working in a maid café, a loli or two, and the main personality-split guy. There are three main characters and one not-as-important character. The problem here being that the not-as-important one is one the most hilarious and amazing minor characters I’ve ever seen. He only really gets an appearance in one episode (I believe 7) but it makes it the best episode of the series. You could honestly just watch that episode, laugh, and go on to watch something better as far as I’m concerned if you don’t want to be extremely confused.
Enjoyment – 9/10
I did enjoy this show. As much as I was confused and noticed how bad it was, I liked it for no reason that I can explain. Hey, we all have some show like that don’t we, something we know we shouldn’t like but still do? This isn’t one of my favorite shows by a long shot, but I’m glad I watched it. Still I wouldn’t recommend it, since I doubt many other people would feel the same weird feelings about this show that I did, but if you want to go for it. At least try episode 7, it had me laughing non-stop and it’s basically a filler episode so not too much problem in getting caught up on the events of the story.
No matter how much you may want to escape, you cannot fly without wings. Even if you try to deny who you are, you can't change exactly who you are. That being said, this anime came to me as a surprise. I first discovered it from an English-dubbed trailer released by Funimation, and because of it, I expected it to be a nonsensical ecchi. I came for the ecchi and ended up staying for the amazing story that blew my initial expectations right out of the window.
Adapted from the visual novel created by Navel (the company that created Shuffle and Soul Link, two eroge that
also got anime adaptations), We Without Wings, known in Japanese as Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai: Under The Innocent Sky (or Oretsuba), is the anime which I will be reviewing today.
We Without Wings centers around three young men. The first one is Takashi Haneda, a high school student who is known in another world (which he frequently "escapes" to) as a hero named Lord Hawk. The second is Shuusuke Chitose, a freeloader who works several part-time jobs. The third is Hayato Narita, a man who only hangs around at night and is nicknamed "Drac" as a result. The anime focuses on the relationships between these three boys and the girls they respectively encounter..... and we find out later that they have a lot more in common than you would think.
The story is probably the best part of the whole anime. I'll admit that the first few episodes don't make the best impression, but once you really get into the story, it really grips you and refuses to let go. Without trying to spoil anything, I'll just say that it's a wonderful story with a good amount of character development. Speaking of which, there is quite a variety of characters in this anime. While not all of them are completely likable, there are a lot of great characters that really make you feel like you want to know what happens to them.
The animation, done by Nomad, was very solid. Although it wasn't anything too groundbreaking, it was very nice animation. I watched the English dub, and I can say that the voice actors did a pretty good job. What do you expect, though? After all, it WAS Funimation that dubbed it! The opening and ending themes, which respectively are "Spread Wings" by Aki Misato and "NEVERLAND" by Miyuki Hashimoto, were also quite nice to listen to.
Overall, We Without Wings is a pretty good anime. If you can have some patience for the first few episodes, I suggest you watch it for the great story it has. I can only hope this way that the world may know peace!