a.k.a. Whimsical Orange Road
Meet Kasuga Kyosuke, a fifteen-year-old junior high school student who just moved to a new town with his family. Within a short time of starting at his new school, Kyosuke finds himself in a love triangle with the fiercely independent Ayukawa Madoka and her best friend, the ever-cheerful Hiyama Hikaru. Add to that the fact that Kyosukealso has to hide the secret of his family’s psychic powers, and he manages to get himself into some very sticky situations. Will Kyosuke be able to hide his secret, and will he ever make up his mind without hurting both Madoka and Hikaru?
summary by Madoka
Highs:Heartwarming romance combined with comedy; excellent vocal songs
Lows: Animation dated; slightly repetitive episodes
This anime is well over a decade in age, and while the animation may begin to show it, the story and romance are ageless. Even with the slightly muted colors and unsophisticated animation, Kimagure Orange Road tells a timeless story of youth and relationships that any fan of romance will love.
The love triangle between Kyosuke, Madoka and Hikaru is expertly played. The story conveys a sense of Kyosuke’s indecision while also allowing the viewer to recognize where it comes from. If done incorrectly, he would become an unsympathetic and shallow character, but Kimagure Orange Road never allows that to happen. As Kyosuke blunders time and time again as he juggles his secret and his uncertainty, some of the episodes seem a bit repetitive. Yet almost all of the episodes provide some development for each character; even the family’s cat Jingoro has a small side story dedicated to him. As the story progresses, the relationships deepen, and some delightful moments of romance begin to shine through.
Mixed with the romance is great comedy, including the longest running gag I have ever seen, animated or otherwise. The characters of Ushiko and Umao make an appearance in almost every episode of the series to poke fun at relationships that take themselves too seriously. Also keep an eye out for hilarious parodies of the Terminator, Top Gun and other popular icons from the ’80s.
The first thing that today’s viewers will notice is that from the vocal songs to the wardrobe of its characters, everything is done in the ’80s style. Older viewers will definitely feel a sense of nostalgia! The songs themselves are one of the highlights of the show; catchy and upbeat, they continue to entertain to this very day. Kimagure Orange Road remains one of the most endearing and timeless romantic comedies ever made, inviting you to dance in the sweet memories of a simpler time and budding romance.
Kimagure Orange Road can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.