Kimagure Orange Road

Rating: 2 Rampages Kyosuke, Madoka...and Hikaru.

Synopsis:
Kyosuke's just your average high-school kid -- except that he and his whole family are CURSED with psychic powers. It goes without saying that the last thing they want is for anyone to find out about the family secret. The jig would be up, and they'd have to leave town -- so they'll go to extremes to keep everyone in the dark.

Meanwhile, Kyosuke has a problem that most teenagers would pay to have: two pretty girls are in love with him. Hikaru knows she loves Kyosuke, and she's made sure everyone knows it. On the other hand, the mysterious and beautiful Madoka thinks that she loves Kyosuke, but she doesn't want anyone to know it -- even Kyosuke!

Poor Kyosuke can't decide who he really loves, and his psychic powers are much better at getting him into trouble than they are at getting him out of it! Which means that things are never dull on Kimagure (Whimsical) Orange Road.

Review:
Sorry folks, but no matter how many people insist that his show be rated as one of the best TV series ever, I just couldn't put up with it. Marmalade Boy was pretty bad in taking 26 episodes to get the main couple actually together, but KOR takes that to new heights with the way it deals with Madoka and Kyosuke...we get to sit through 48 frikkin' episodes before they both admit their feelings to each other, and that's the end of the series. ARGH!!! Romance-Drama fans be warned, I have NO tolerance for overly dramatic, insufferably drawn-out romance stories. You honestly expect me to put up with 48 episodes of "Do I love her? Does she love me? Oh, what should I do?" and ENJOY IT? What is it with these writers that convinces them that the minute the main couple gets together, the story is over? Hell, look at Arima and Yukino in KareKano; They're a couple by episode four, the real story is the crap they have to deal with to stay together, and that is INFINITELY more interesting than the laughable excuse for dramatic/romantic tension we get handed in shows like KOR and Marmalade Boy.

The art is painfully bad, even for 1986 (if they could do Akira back then, then they sure as hell could have done better than this) and looks like a crappy Takahashi ripoff...one more reason why I can't take anyone seriously in this show, they all look like kids. Probably the most irritating thing about the show is the fact that it becomes very obvious early on that the whole "family of ESPers" shtick was just some gimmick they tossed in there to grab a few more fans (by the second half of the story they pay no attention to it at all). Sorry guys, but pulling tricks like that is gonna cost you in my book. While Kyosuke and Madoka are pretty realistically portrayed, the secondary characters, and certainly Hikaru, add nothing with their rather lax attempt at character development (Hikaru beats out Miaka and Miki for useless-annoying-whiner of the year by a factor of ten).

Fans go and rave about the realistic story...it's a soap opera folks, and though it may have it's funny moments, it is still an irritatingly melodramatic and drawn-out soap opera. Poor art, painfully cheesy 80's romance music, and a typical romantic-drama soap opera storyline land Kimagure Orange Road pretty far down in my book. If you're a sucker for syrupy romantic-dramas, you might like KOR a lot, but if you want something original and truly entertaining that doesn't take forever to get to its goal, go watch Karekano. Not particularly recommended.

Availability:
Available subbed or dubbed through AnimEigo.



New Kimagure Orange Road: Summer's Beginning

cover for the box

Rating: 2 Rampages

Episodes seen: 1 of 1

Synopsis:
Kyosuke Kasuga awakens after a traffic accident to discover that his soul has been sent 3 years into the future, and his entire life seems to be falling apart. Kyosuke must find the Kyosuke of this time to be sent back to his proper time but it seems that this Kyosuke has gone missing while doing war photography in Bosnia. When an old paramour (Hikaru) returns, and his relationship with Madoka teeters on the brink, Kyosuke finds himself at the center of an emotional maelstrom, and if he doesn't get home soon, his body will die...

Review:
Deso says: Ok, I'll say this straight out to avoid wasting your time. If you didn't like the T.V. series, you're not going to care for the OVA. Though the art is nice and the music appropriate (if forgettable), the story seems to be a little contrived. What I enjoyed about this OVA was getting to see how the characters had matured over the 5 years since the ending of the T.V. series. I liked the new Hikaru especially. She's always been cute, but in an annoying way. Now, she's just adorable. Madoka seems to have mellowed somewhat and when we finally meet the 22 year old Kyosuke, we get some hope that he'll grow out of being such a doink (note: the 19 year old version still is). Recommended for K.O.R. fans. If you're not one than forget it.

Availability:
Available subbed or dubbed from ADV Films.