Obviously, this title is really long. Thus, it is also known as Oreshura. I have been reviewing a lot of things that have surprised me because I wasn’t the biggest fan of this past anime season when I was checking out the lineup. However, when we decided to divide up the series from the 2012-2013 Winter Anime Season in order to cover them all, I had to use my first pick on this series from A-1 Pictures. Why would I use my first pick on a harem? It isn’t like the genre is lacking in members and I definitely wasn’t worried that this series was going to be picked early on my either Bryan or Daniel. However, the title of this series has a trigger word in it and that word is osananajimi. For those of you that do not know what that means, it is Japanese for childhood friend. The childhood friend just so happens to be the type of character that I normally root for the a romantic struggle between multiple individuals. I know, you can laugh at me now for liking the type of girl who normally gets her heart-broken, but that will not make me falter. The bond between childhood friends is without rival. Well, I guess I shouldn’t use absolutes when describing things.
You know that girl who is way too beautiful for her own good? Well, she gets plenty of attention. All of the guy are after and she basically has her pick of the lot. A lot of people would consider that the ideal situation. Everyone loves you and you could be with the greatest guy in the school. However, that line of thinking is about as shallow as the affection that the guys have for this school idol. She can’t really get any peace. Constantly bombarded by unwanted attention and stares that you know have some perverse minds behind them. The girls resent you because of your popularity. When you lose the ability to trust both men and women there is no one left to be your friend. You are fed up with it all. All you want is a way out. A way to avoid the stares, stop the shallow confessions, and have someone who doesn’t hang around you with improper motivation. Well, how about blackmailing the only boy in the school that is as fed up with love as you are into becoming your fake boyfriend? Masuzu luckily found a very embarrassing notebook that gives her power over Eita. The concept sounds fine. Masuzu can avoid s great deal of the unwanted attention that she has been getting and Eita gets the reputation that comes along with dating the most sought after girl in the school. Things would be going so well if it wasn’t for the fact that Eita is the protagonist in a harem anime. How long can these two keep up this charade when girls that actually love Eita are out get what they want in life?
Well, this is a harem that is pretty protagonist centric. It is because of that this series really only has five important characters. Eita Kidou is our main character. For once I actually liked the harem protagonist. The guy isn’t too dense to notice the love that others feel for him. Eita just doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Both of his parents cheated on each other and walked out on him to be with new people who left him to have to rely on one of his aunts for support. I wouldn’t feel like getting into a relationship after all of that either. Add that to the fact that he is just getting over a bad case of chuunibyou as Burning Fighting Fighter and dedicating his time to studying in order to become a doctor and this is a man who has no time for the ladies. Although he seems serious, Eita is very kind and great at housework. Finally, a guy that warrants attention from multiple ladies. Masuzu Natsukawa is the extremely beautiful girl from overseas. The attention that she gets has become a burden and she is looking for a way. Resorting to blackmail and putting up and act are some warning flags that should have told Eita to run. However, blackmail is strong enough to bind you to a girl who refers to herself as a manipulative bitch. The thing is, Masuzu puts on so many acts that even she has forgotten who she is. Chiwa Harusaki is Eita’s childhood friend. The only thing that she loves more than meat is Eita and they actually have quite the backstory to support the love. Chiwa received a career ending injury that took her kendo away from her. Eita’s desire to become a doctor stems from his promise to heal Chiwa. If you only want to focus on aesthetics, then you would notice that Chiwa doesn’t really loo like she belongs in high school. Himeka Akishino is a young girl who is still stuck in her chuunibyou phase. After hearing an impromptu performance by Burning Fighting Fighter, the self-proclaimed Burning Pudding Princess claims joins the fray. Although she is very quiet, Hime is extremely daring when it comes to her “ex-boyfriend” Eita. Ai Fuyuumi is a very serious hall monitor, or at least it seems that way. Ai is actually a head over heels tsundere that is ready to take what is hers. Eita’s “fiance” and childhood friend may be the most assertive member of the harem, even though she has to vent her delight by going on an impromptu jog. We meet a few other characters along the way including Eita’s best friend and his aunt, but Eita and his harem are the major focus of the story.
When you make a slice of life series, your success relies heavily upon the characters. This becomes even more important when your slice of life series is a harem because the story would have to be extremely innovative to make up for sub par characters. Luckily, Oreshura may be one of the strongest harems that I have ever watched. Not because of the story itself, but because of the strength of the characters. Let’s be honest, everyone has a girl that they root for when you watch a show like this one. More often than not, they start to fit a pattern. I root for childhood friends, but some people like reverse traps. Hi Bryan. Not only do I actually like the protagonist in this series, but all of the girls are very likable. Honestly, if you split them up and put them into average harems, then I would root for all of them most likely. However, we live in a world where there are winners, so there must also be losers. Even though I am a fan of childhood friends, I found it hard to root for Chiwa. This is because Masuzu and Ai just did it for me. I will be honest that Ai is probably my favorite, but I could never really say that Masuzu wasn’t still in the back of my mind. Watching this series was quite fun because of the characters, but it did get tough to watch at times. Honestly, the intensely embarrassing moments that Eita’s chuunibyou gave us got a little intense at times. Some people may enjoy all of that, but I would have liked it toned down a bit.
Slice of life series kind of get lost in a sea of their compatriots at times. How many series can you base in a Japanese high school? Come on now, we could use a change of pace every once in a while. I will say that the defining part of this series Can be a little subjective. I do believe that from a quality standpoint, the characters in Oreshura are pretty damn good. However, people could argue otherwise. I don’t know how much anime you actually watch if you don’t like at least one of the characters, but I am guessing that harems aren’t really your thing if you are put off by this series. Although the chuunibyou moments can get a little intense at times, I don’t think that it hurts the quality of the series. They like to do things that are unexpected, but every time I got hit with an odd concept, I felt like it was done right. Overall, this was a very fun harem anime that left itself open for continuation.