To begin, you should all know that I hate anime where the female protagonist bends over backwards to gather whatever crumbs of affection a cold, asshole of a male lead deigns to toss her way (I'm looking at you Itazura na Kiss).
That being said, there are exceptions to every rule; and I guess I found mine in Ookami Shoujo to Kuroouji. Part of my fondness for this anime could be that there seems to be a shoujo anime drought going on. But I digress, so without further ado, let me review.
Ookami Shoujo to Kuroouji is a twelve episode romcom and a predictably predictable shoujo formula.
But I wouldn't say that it's a bad thing.
The story begins with an intro to our heroine Shinohara Erika. A typical bubbly and dense heroine who dreams of experiencing the fabled "high school life". A wrench is thrown into Erika's plans when she is separated from her best friend and they are placed in different classes. This is where Erika reveals a quirk that sets her apart from other shoujo heroines.
She is a compulsive liar. In order to fit in with her classmates, Marin and Tezuka, with whom she has little in common, Erika makes up a boyfriend to give her something to talk about with them.
Her lie unfortunately only worked short-term. Her friends are beginning to sense the truth and Erika's cried wolf (or in this case, boyfriend) a little too loud, and a little too often to backtrack now. To reinforce her lie Erika takes a picture of a hot guy on the street and passes him off as her boyfriend. Too late, Erika finds out that the hot guy is actually a student at her school, Sata Kyouya. Erika asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend, thinking he will agree because he is such a prince, or whatever. And he does. On the condition that she be his dog.
So Sata-kun turns out to be an evil sadist and Erika his hapless victim, who inevitably falls in love with him because he was nice a couple times. And if the series continued on in this vein, this review would be a lot more scathing. It turns itself around at episode 6.
Erika does the usual thing where she "works hard" to win Kyouya's love but admits she gets tired when she does all the chasing with little reciprocation, and that she gets humiliated by him time and again.
Kyouya is a bit more complicated than your average male lead in that his popular, friendly personality is a complete lie. Later in the series one realizes his personality is more like that of a bitter, introverted loner (Hachiman Hikigaya, anyone?)
The best part of this show for me was seeing the two protagonists change because of their involvement with each other. Kyouya is less sadist and more tsundere. And it's adorable to watch him struggle to express his affection for Erika (which definitely becomes more apparent) and break through the barriers he's created to keep people at bay. Erika can be a little hard to take at times, but she was strong when it counted, and refreshingly forward. In the end I understood her determination to win Kyouya. After all, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. And it was supremely satisfying watching Kyouya fall.
The art in the show is clean with nice colour and is very, very shoujo.
The sound was fine, not outstanding except for the punchy and unusual theme song. Sort of like a Japanese Avril Lavigne, I listened to it everytime, which is quite unusual for me.
This show had cringeworthy moments, but also had genuinely funny and sweet ones too.
When you're suffering from drought, any refreshment is welcome, and Ookami Shoujo to Kuroouji quenched my thirst.