December 10, 2010

When was the last time I watched short ONAs (original net animation)? Anyway Kaichuu is just that and there are only 2 episodes released via webcast. Adapted from a one-shot manga that ran in a magazine back in 2006, the web release was to commemorate the second volume of this high school romantic comedy archery manga. A promotion stint, I guess.

Episode 1
The opening narration states something about Fudou, the “Child of God” (Kami No Ko) that rocked the archery world when it first made its debut. However that person who did that move suddenly vanished from the scene. At the West High Archery Dojo, there have been talks about the new transfer student. The guys think it will be a cute girl but the girls would prefer to be a handsome stud. The mystery is put to rest when the new transfer student turns out to be a girl, much to the guys’ delight. Very cute indeed. Oh yeah! However, when she introduces herself as Gonzaburou Sasaki AKA Gon, it then occurred to everyone that she is a guy! Hell, a cross-dresser!But why? Why, oh why?Gon says that she is a girl on the inside. I suppose that’s what counts, right? Hey, don’t judge a book by its cover. Why is everyone losing motivation? And yeah, notice how flat she is? For easier reference, I’ll just refer this he as a she. Because she looks cute like a girl ;p. Gon’s eye comes into contact with Tatsuya Tachikawa and the latter has a chilling feeling down his spine when Gon blushes at him! Oh sh*t… At the archery dojo, Tachikawa is also a member and it seems the captain isn’t taking practice seriously but insulting the members as a talentless bunch. Tachikawa got into an argument with the captain about this when they’re being interrupted by a new member wanting to join the club. It’s Gon. She’s so enthusiastic that she’s already in her archery gear. Not that Tachikawa is happy about it.Later Gon talks to Tachikawa about his worn out bow. Tachikawa says how the bow was passed down from his grandpa. Ever since his demise, there isn’t anyone to carry out the Eishin style. But Tachikawa promised him that he become better to inherit it and teach others this style. That’s why he wants to practice enough to be on par with the “Child of God”, though he feels that he can’t shoot that well now. Gon starts swooning over his manly dream so I guess it was freaky enough for Tachikawa to interpret those wrong signals. The next day, Tachikawa realizes his bow is missing. To his horror, Gon brings shows his broken bow she found as he wonders who would do such a despicable thing.

Episode 2
To make matters worse, the captain mocks Tachikawa for crying over a worn out bow. To add salt to injuries, he insults his grandpa for using such a lousy style. Tachikawa is infuriated and punches his face. As a result, Tachikawa got kicked out from the club. Gon walks back with Tachikawa that night and realizes the trouble and burden he is shouldering. The bow broke, he got expelled, the kind of trouble grandpa wouldn’t want him to be in.Next day, Tachikawa gets news that Gon is challenging the captain to an archery contest. If she wins, he must reinstate Tachikawa back into the club. Otherwise she herself will quit the club if she loses. Both contestants are on par with each other but the students are more impressed with Gon since she is able to evenly match the captain. Tachikawa has a feeling he has seen Gon’s bow somewhere when the club’s advisor, Murakami sensei recognizes it as the “Child of God”. He notes the way she is holding the bow and is currently in his feminine form now.After the captain learns who he is up against, his next shot is totally off the mark. The captain is still cocky and continues to mock Gon on his cross-dressing ways but Gon is unfazed and fully concentrates on her next shot. It hits bulls-eye and wins! Teach that cocky captain a good lesson he’ll never forget. Tachikawa is amazed and thanks her in his joy. He says he’ll someday he’ll pull the bow like she does. Embarrassed Gon replies that long ago it wasn’t cute to dress as a boy and it was embarrassing when people know that she was him. But because of Tachikawa’s sake, she could do her best. In short, she wants Tachikawa to kiss her as a reward!Oh sh*t! Now he’s got another set of problems to deal with.

Strike right at your heart!
Erm… Ah… Umm… What can you expect more if a web episode lasts approximately 5 minutes each? It was enjoyable in the short term sense. So yeah the legendary Fudou guy happens to be a cross-dresser but is that the major concern when it comes to archery skills? Other than that I guess it is rather freaky and disturbing if she really falls for Tachikawa. Even if she’s a girl in his heart or stuck in a guy’s body, it’s still rather weird. At least we know Tachikawa is a straight person. Imagine the confusion and rumours that will spread if they were to become a couple.

I’m not sure if there will be more episodes released in the future but the opening title did state that it was a beginning. The drawing, art and voice acting seem to be pretty decent (considering the incredibly short duration of the series so I guess it wasn’t that costly to produce either), so perhaps if the reception is good, it will turn into a full length anime series adaptation. Furthermore, I later discovered that Kaichuu was also adapted into a manga after that one-shot serialization though the story slightly differs. Though this short ONA won’t make me have any interests in archery, but if it does turn into an anime series and a romantic comedy genre, you bet that I may actually consider watching this.

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