Kimagure Orange Road

September 21, 2013

Blast from the past. It is that time again to go pick another retro anime. Since I am not into those tokusatsu or sentai kind of animes whereby you ride ‘futuristic’ planes and fight with ‘futuristic’ weapons against monsters and other invaders of Earth, I decided that my type of going retro would be romance. More precisely teen romance. After my stints with such genres in the past like Marmalade Boy and even Maison Ikkoku, the thought of how similar Kimagure Orange Road may be to this led me into watching this title. At first I wasn’t really putting much hope in this anime in the sense that it is quite old school. You know, 1987 production. That is a very, very, very, very, very long time ago. Like how a month in the world of iPads, iPhones and Tablets are equivalent to 7 centuries old (in terms of obsolete), animes that are 3 decades old and beyond feel like a century old. After all, if I had too much expectation in the first place, it is the very source of getting disappointed in the end. Okay, so I’m being bias here but I’m giving this series a shot. Hey, I’m watching it, right? Well, more like watched since I’m done with it and already blogging about it.

The plot for this series is simple (it’s back in the late 80’s, things were not very complicated back then). A simple teen romance and love triangle. But to add a little twist and spice, one of them have supernatural powers. Yes, you read that right. High school kid Kyosuke Kasuga and his family recently moved into this new city. The reason they have been hopping from places to places their entire lives is that the family possesses supernatural powers. Well, only the kids as they took after their late mother. Kyosuke and his twin sisters Manami and Kurumi have them and those said powers range from telekinesis to teleportation. I guess when we live in a time where information is scarce, having others learn your supernatural power means a great risk. Your neighbourhood won’t accept you. So you have to go. Well, this is purely my speculation why they had to leave. And in the recent city they’ve just settled in, Kyosuke falls in love at first sight with the beautiful Madoka Ayukawa after climbing up and counting the 100 steps up the stairs. A little ‘argument’ ensues because she was sure there were only 99 of them. She finds him interesting and lets him keep the red hat that he caught and was blown away by the wind. And so Kyosuke decides that he will no longer move and will do what it takes to settle down here and win her heart. If it only was that simple. He’s got to deal with what other teens go through that age. Love triangles, tested friendships, annoying classmates are all part of growing up. Aren’t they? Just how far would he go for the sake of love?

Despite the TV series having 48 episodes, several OVAs and a couple of movies to its name, I find it hard to get more information of what I want about it over the internet. Wikipedia covers just the very basic of what this series has to offer and nothing deeper. The very short and incomplete episode summary at TV.com didn’t help much either. I’m sure the series has got its own fan base but I suspect that it won’t be as big and popular as Rumiko Takahashi’s works like Ranma 1/2 or Maison Ikkoku. Or maybe it is just me being bias that if I don’t see many fan sites dedicated to this series, it means that it isn’t as popular as I think it is. You have got to be an old person or someone who loves retro stuffs and perhaps it is just a coincidence that fans of this show don’t put up their devotion and dedication to this series online. So with another excuse of my failing brain memories, it is a reason why this series’ blog is kept short and maybe missing lots of other stuffs (because I can’t remember). Should have taken notes while I was watching… (Edit: I later found out this fan site with very short summary of the episodes. But it’s better than nothing).

Kyosuke Kasuga – As the main character, his most notable trait is his indecisiveness. Yeah, even his friends admit this is his most standout trait. Well, at least it shows he isn’t perfect. But still… Do girls really like their guy indecisive? Thus the reason he gets into and cannot get out of the love triangle. He knows he is in love with Madoka but yet his pervy little self somehow make him unable to resist other girls in some situations. That’s why he is so indecisive…

Madoka Ayukawa – Might be the girl Kyosuke falls for at first sight and is glad to know is also in the same school and class. However she has this delinquent status and is known as The Pick (she plays the saxophone, by the way). Even groups of gangster guys are no match for her if they all take on her. Shame on them. Of course as the series progresses, you’ll notice her secret crush on him.

Hikaru Hiyama – Madoka’s best friend and also another tough talking chick. She is the other girl that completes the love triangle between the main trio of characters. She first fell in love with him when she accidentally saw him using his powers (although she might not think so) shooting a basketball perfectly into the hoop. Is that what it takes for her to fall for him? She calls him “Darling” and annoyingly clings to him whenever she gets the chance. Even if it is right in public. There is this annoying bit of her. Because she is so lovey-dovey with him (at least in her own head), the slightest little ‘scandal’ that her darling might be cheating on her sends her into weeping heart break frenzy. This does not happen once or twice but many times! And almost every time! Doesn’t she have faith in her own man?

Manami and Kurumi – Kyosuke’s twin sisters who are a year junior than him and go to the same school. While Manami is more reserved and her role is like the family’s homemaker, it is Kurumi that is the livelier and air-headed one. She often forgets about not using her power to the point it will let others almost find out despite being numerously reminded by big brother not to use it. Here’s the catch: Kyosuke ends up as a hypocrite himself because I noticed he uses them for his own benefit in certain times he is in a pinch. It really makes no difference, eh?

Jingoro – Kasuga’s fat pet cat. May be the series’ mascot but is always seen trying to run away from the household. Can you blame the feline for doing so when he is often the target of Kurumi’s magic power abuse? He can never leave… I don’t think 9 lives are even enough to save this cat’s skin as sometimes the accidental accidents he gets into Kyosuke gives him the very fright of his life.

Yuusaku Hino – This petite tanned karate kid is Madoka and Hikaru’s childhood friend. He has a secret crush on Hikaru but is never reciprocated. Definitely only one way. I know it’s good to persevere and not give up but the rate things are going, she is never going to look at him. Look at it this way. The reason why he is always willing to bend and do whatever Hikaru says is his own naive thought it might get into her good books. Unfortunately, Hikaru always and I mean ALWAYS orders him to do things for Kyosuke’s sake. He has no right to say no and when she raises her mean tone, it’s a sign he must do it. Can you blame this guy for wanting to beat up Kyosuke all the time? But he can’t because Hikaru has got her eyes on him… Patience…

Seiji Komatsu and Kazuya Hatta – Kyosuke’s troublemaking and perverted classmates. Your typical ‘best friends’ when they get you into trouble, leave you in the lurch in times when you need help the most and even spread rumours. Yeah, best friends alright. Besides, the duo seems to be targeting Manami and Kurumi to become their girlfriends. Not that the girls notice. Not that they are successful. Losers. Comic relief of the series.

Ushiko and Umao – This pair of lovers seem to be a running gag of the series. Almost in every episode they will make a short cameo in different scenes, outfits and themes while declaring their love for each other. “Oh Ushiko, wherefore art thou?” and then you have the same reply “Oh Umao, wherefore art thou?”. Do we really care if their relationship goes anywhere or not?

ABCB – Pronounced as “a-bu-ka-bu” and is a cafe where Madoka works part time along with the friendly owner known as Master. He knows about Kyosuke and Madoka’s feelings for each other and sometimes tries to smoothen their relationship. I remember that high school students are not supposed to hold part time jobs and thus Madoka wants this to be kept a secret when Kyosuke discovers this. However when the rest of the main characters start streaming in and treating this like their own place (it’s a good place to hold personal events like parties too), I just thought that rule doesn’t seem so important anymore. Unless the school staffs do not patron or pass by this cafe or our friends do keep a very perfect secret about this.

It’s like he’s her father – You know, Kyosuke seems to be very concerned when he hears even rumours that Madoka is seeing another guy. So he goes all out his way trying to ascertain that and even tries to stop it discreetly. So what is he? Her father? It’s not like they are dating, right? And he can’t stand the thought that she is going out with another guy. If there is ever one. What is he? Her father?! In the end, it is the case of jumping the gun too soon and he often blunders and messes up to his embarrassment.

Takashi the father – Speaking of dads, Takashi is Kyosuke and the twins’ dad. He lacks any power and is a photographer. There is one point he hires Hikaru to be her model and theme for his photo exhibition and even employs Komatsu and Hatta as his assistants. We know what their intentions are. Fooling around.

Hikaru dies – Apparently Kyosuke also has this power of premonition in his dreams. He saw a vision of Hikaru dying and goes all out to date her. I mean, doesn’t anybody really confirm first if she is really dying? Yeah, they even ‘booked’ the entire park just to be so lovey-dovey with each other and when everything is exposed that Hikaru isn’t going to die, they were just poured cold water. What? Just like that?

Breaking up is hard to do – Kyosuke dreams of another premonition that he and Madoka will break up. And they’re not even a couple. As usual, he does everything he can to prevent that from happening and when nothing bad happens, he later finds out that his premonition is played backwards if he sleeps upside down. This means if he dreams of something bad, it actually means it is something good. WTF?! I guess this is how the line of getting up on the wrong side of bed came about. Sort of.

Madoka gets hitched – And so that is what Kyosuke thinks after seeing with his own eyes a wedding ring on her finger. You know the vow of speak now or forever hold your peace? Yeah, once more he goes all out to try and stop the wedding. And of course another jump-to-conclusion scenario as it turns out Madoka was just helping out to stand in for her sister’s wedding in a mock rehearsal. Phew. Relief or what?

Madoka leaves for America – Apparently Madoka’s parents are famous musicians and they plan to settle down in America. That explains why she is good in sax. The saxophone. So once more, can Kyosuke stop the love of his life from leaving? Otherwise his existence in this city would be meaningless, right? In the end, Madoka stays back and only her family went. Kyosuke is happy again. Say, I just noticed something. If her parents are famous musicians and Madoka’s status as a delinquent, shouldn’t everybody or the media know about this? There would be some sort of scandal, right? Unless people in this part of town don’t really listen to that kind of music.

Hikaru all dressed up – Get this. In her attempts to attract Kyosuke, Hikaru dresses up like a mature woman. Wearing makeup and mature women clothing. Not only the entire school went ga-ga over her but Kyosuke thinks he could be falling for her too! This is how strong his love for Madoka is? I’m thinking if any sexy lady comes up to seduce him, there is a high chance he might agree to go date her. Dangerous. That’s how dangerous his indecisiveness is.

It’s… A UFO!!! – Yes, Kyosuke and the gang saw those UFO bright lights in the sky even though Kyosuke knows it is a prank played by Kurumi and attempt to capture it on film as proof (so as to hide the fact she used her magic power). They never really did and we are left to imagine whether the UFO exists or not because we ambiguously have a glimpse of those real lights. Why not? If Kyosuke’s power exists in this anime’s context, what are the chances that aliens and UFOs will?

Double date – How can a man be at 2 places at one time? Kyosuke is trying to prove that is possible when in the same day he has got this rare chance to study with Madoka in the library and go to the pool with Hikaru. Teleporting between both places must be very tiring. This irks Madoka very much (because he had to go missing in between) and after seeing him so tired, she calls off everything. Feeling guilty, Kyosuke puts all his effort in his homework to prove to Madoka that he was serious.

Surf’s up – The gang are staying at the beach and heard of a legend that some big wave appears once in a while. And that time is now. So big this wave that it scared the sh*t of all the other surfers and they leave. Except for one lady who is determined to ride the wave and get over her boyfriend’s death (the wave claimed his life when he was riding it). Because she became injured the night before, Madoka takes up the challenge. Just when she is about to fail, Kyosuke uses all the power to save her from drowning.

Stranded – Kyosuke and Madoka got stranded alone on an uninhabited island after the strong current sweeps away their boat. Lots of moments together and the best part in the end is of course ruined (they almost got to kiss) when a helicopter rescue team finds them.

The Prince Of Tennis – Kyosuke and the gang end up participating in the tennis club’s field trip. Kitakata the popular club captain is a hit with the girls. The kind of handsome guy whom girls will die for. Because Madoka coaches tennis to Kyosuke, Hikaru misinterprets this scene and becomes upset girl again. Kitakata uses this chance to date Hikaru in her darkest moment and she agrees out of jealousy. But when a rowing outing goes awry, Kitakata’s true colour is seen. He can’t swim. Kyosuke becomes the hero. A little peck as a reward. Everything is forgiven. Kitakata tries to hit on Madoka but gets all his teeth punched out.

Things that go bump in the woods – Kyosuke happens to bump into this girl wandering around in the woods, Kumiko. In short, she likes him. Guess what? They went frolicking in the mountain plains! Then the rain starts to pour and they take refuge in an abandoned cabin. What is the best way to dry the wet clothes? Take them off! She tries to seduce him and his very unconvincing answer to say no feels very weak. It’s like a few more push and he’ll give in to his temptation. When the rain stops, Madoka comes looking for that guy who never returned. And what is the first thing she sees in the cabin? A pair of close to naked teens. Slap! Kumiko did all the explaining that it is her fault. She will be undergoing a dangerous operation and thus became desperate (sex was the way?). They gave her enough encouragement to face surgery. She undergoes it and it was a success. All’s well, ends well. I just thought Kyosuke was a spineless chicken…

Two timing? – Because Kyosuke spotted Madoka going out with an elderly man, again he goes into his save-Madoka-from-any-guys-who-wants-to-date-her mode. However he finds himself ending up spending time with his lady called Yukari who seemingly took over Madoka’s job at ABCB. Thought he saw Madoka going into a love hotel? Yeah, he himself entered one with Yukari though nothing happened. Is this his way of getting back at Madoka? For what?! Then it turns out the man Madoka was with, Shu is her cousin and part of a rock band and Yukari is his bandmate-cum-girlfriend (they were having a little lover’s quarrel). Madoka became a new member of the band and due to practice thus her frequent ‘sightings’ with him.

Kazuya – Kyosuke and the twins’ cousin who came to visit. Just think of this cheeky brat as a mini version of Kyosuke. Yeah, they really look alike. Kazuya also has secret powers and that would be mind reading. Furthermore, nobody can accuse of a 5 year old when he gets pervy, right? Kazuya takes advantage of that like touching Madoka’s breasts! Much to Kyosuke’s chagrin. Things get a little out of hand when Kazuya tells Hikaru that Kyosuke likes Madoka instead. If she easily believes this kid’s words, then I’m sure she’ll easily believe Kyosuke’s rebuff. Yeah. That. Hikaru’s problem may be solved for now but it’s not over with Madoka yet since she is jealous that Hikaru hugs him. Kazuya tries to further help Kyosuke get closer to Madoka but unfortunately his indecisiveness… You can guess what happen. Oh, Kazuya’s family has moved in next door. Looks like he’ll be staying around a lot longer than usual.

Hypnotism – Kyosuke is such a weak wuss that he can actually hypnotize himself! One such event is when he turns himself into such a popular hunk that all the girls start vying for his affection. Really. A loser suddenly becomes big winner? Besides, he is no more his indecisive self! How would this sit with Madoka and Hikaru? Not good of course. In the end, Madoka still likes him for his indecisive self and this returns Kyosuke to who he was. Really. It was better when he is indecisive? Yeah, we’ve grown used to that Kyosuke. And Kyosuke still has this problem of shooing away all the girls. I bet they’ll go away in time once they know he is back to his indecisive self. There is another case whereby he got hypnotized by Kurumi and becomes a mindless robot to do anything as anyone orders. This includes Komatsu and Hatta’s order of stealing female lingerie for them! Can you believe it he is doing all this for them?! The ultimate order came when he is supposed to take nude photos of Madoka. Well, she thought she would gladly play along with his prank till she realizes he is doing it for real! He returns back to normal when a set of confusing orders from different people snaps him out. Another episode whereby Kyosuke isn’t the one who got hypnotized but Madoka! To his surprise, Madoka becomes his servant and does anything that he tells her. Even to a point of getting naughty. Hikaru nearly catches him with his pants down. Then it turns out that Madoka was just putting up an act. Wow. That was very ‘brave’ of her. She sure did a convincing job to fool everyone including us viewers that she was under the hypnotism spell. So she really did let him get a little ecchi on her…

Body swap – And apparently we also discover Kazuya has this mind boggling ability to swap bodies. Just knock each other hard on the head! Kazuya and Kyosuke switch bodies. Hikaru thinks she has the swell time of her life dating ‘Kyosuke’ but Kazuya in his body being a kid becomes a jerk. Meanwhile Kyosuke in Kazuya’s body experiences things he would never have had he been in his normal body. Bathing with Madoka… Ah, the age of innocence.

Manami’s day out – I guess Manami has been so stressed lately that she tries to dress up and attract her own boyfriend. Had not Kyosuke realize this pretty babe is her sister, I bet that he would have dated her this instant. Of course Manami gets into trouble with delinquent girls so it’s up to Madoka and Kyosuke to come to her rescue. This event led Kyosuke to appreciate her sister more. Be thankful for it.

Kurumi’s turn – Now it’s Kurumi’s turn to have a boyfriend. It’s true, she is in love with a cool popular football club guy, Hayami. Worse, Kyosuke thinks Hayami likes Madoka. So to stop that two timing guy, he has Manami dress up as Kurumi and ‘ruin’ the date. They’re twins, right? Can’t tell the difference when they switch. In the end, it is heart break for Kurumi because she learns he will be leaving the city. Because of that, Madoka asked Hayami to date Kurumi to make her feel better. Though Kurumi throws her tantrum, she has to let things go when they see off Hayami at the port.

Cat in heat? – When Jingoro acts strangely, could it be that he is in love with another cat? It turns out that he was just longing for his mother and thought the cat he saw was mommy. A sad end because Jingoro got scratched all over his face. Looks close like his mom but actually not. Case of mistaken identity? Besides, doesn’t he remember his mom’s smell? Unless the scent is also very familiar.

Madoka x Yuusaku? – What’s this? Madoka and Yuusaku eloping? What’s more, they are going on a lover’s suicide? You know what this means for Kyosuke, right? Please get your facts right first before…. Oh, too late. Turns out Madoka was just helping Yuusaku do his karate training for an upcoming tournament. And at the tournament, Yuusaku isn’t doing well and needs to hear the voice of beloved Hikaru to ‘power up’. Upon Kyosuke’s request, I’m sure Hikaru goes on about to cheer for him. It seems Yuusaku is heading to win the tournament but when he sees Hikaru and Kyosuke so close to each other, he loses spirit and loses the fight. This is how flimsy his love for Hikaru is?

Going back in time – Now, here is a new discovery. Kyosuke discovers a new power. He can travel back in time if he falls down the steps! Painfully. Serious. Don’t even ask how. He is quite upset nobody remembers his birthday. So when he finds out everyone was going to throw him a surprise party, he tries to stop his other self (earlier in the day he hypnotized himself to not trust anyone and almost raped Madoka!). I don’t know about the time paradox of this series. It was like it wasn’t given much thought. I mean, Kyosuke interacting with himself so casually? That didn’t happen in the past and the way it seems, I feel it’s more like he is thrown into an alternate world. So when everything is fixed, there can’t be 2 Kyosukes, right? One of them has to go. Which one? At first they want to be the hero but realize how scary falling down the steps might be. And they both tumble… Back in real time when everyone celebrates Kyosuke’s birthday, here is the mind boggling part. The other Kyosuke comes in and surprises everyone! So how will they get out of this fix? You don’t. Because it ends here. And we are left to wonder if this ever took place because subsequent episodes do not show the effect and outcome of this. What a big letdown.

Going back in time 2 – This time it is a Christmas event. The good part of playing a multi-branching arc dating simulations is that you get to date different women, right? And with this concept, Kyosuke goes back in time so as not to disappoint the girl he is going out with for the Christmas party. Be it Hikaru or Madoka, if he favours one, the other won’t be happy and miserable. Bad end. So how? Aim for a harem ending! Get both girls to come with him to the party! Good ending. But it is ruined when grandpa and grandma pass by showing off their magic and turning it into white Christmas (complete with flying reindeer and all). Kyosuke’s desperate attempt to stop them has him fall down the steps again. And he ends up right at the beginning of everything. So is he going to redo everything again?

Love mushrooms – The gang are hiking the mountains apparently after hearing there is some legendary blue mushrooms when eaten makes the person reveals the truth about his/her heart. I’m sure there is a reason why the young ones want to get their hands on it. Of course when Kurumi pulls off her prank again by turning all the mushrooms blue. Hikaru throws her tantrum again when she misinterpret the close proximity between Kyosuke and Madoka (he had to save her from a snake’s bite). This time so ‘awesome’ her tantrum that she endangers her own life by crossing a rundown bridge. Could have almost died! In the midst of the life and death situation, she can still tell him to eat the mushroom?! I guess if he doesn’t love her, it’s the end of the world for her. And she is saved and Kyosuke doesn’t need to eat the mushroom because his act of saving her is proof that he loves her. Or so she thinks. Just when Kurumi’s magic wears off and everybody didn’t find any blue mushrooms, there are a couple of them hidden right beneath the tree roots.

Grandparents – Living near the mountains are Kyosuke and the twins’ grandparents. Because they have no qualms in using their magic freely (who is going to watch them? The bears? The birds?), Kyosuke had to tell them to be reserved. It’s hard when you are so used in using them. Grandpa also reveals how Takashi and his daughter, Akemi met and fell in love. Takashi was photographing in the woods and helped a pet eagle that belonged to Akemi. She was touched by his kindness and they fell in love but grandpa opposed their union because she had powers unlike ordinary people. To prove his love for her, Takashi had to climb the mountain to get pure snow ice for his whiskey. Takashi successfully did so (albeit with a little help from Akemi) and grandpa had no choice but to hand his daughter’s hand to him. Grandpa and grandma know their grandson likes both the girls. Grandpa vouches for Madoka while grandma thinks it is Hikaru. If Kyosuke is already this indecisive, this makes things even worse, right?

Exposed! – While filming their own movie, Komatsu and Hatta thought they saw Kyosuke using his power of teleporting when he fell down the stairs. They go all out trying to record this proof. I mean, they were really cock sure that Kyosuke is an esper despite many refutes from the guy himself. Not that convincing, eh? They even convince Hikaru to act the part in a dangerous stunt so that Kyosuke could use his power. In the life and death situation, Komatsu can really be an ass because he cares more about filming the proof rather than saving Hikaru and Kyosuke who are falling to their deaths. In the end, he had to use his power to teleport them to safety. On the big day they are going to show their video proof to everyone (and they really believed it), Manami uses all her power to ruin the tape’s screening so everyone gets back at them for cheating. Phew. Safe. I can’t believe on the screening day, Kyosuke was just ‘calm’ despite knowing he can kiss this life of his goodbye. Why the heck is he still even in school? I can’t believe Takashi too had been counting his chickens because he was already packing up and ready to move to another town. Thank goodness he doesn’t have to now.

Tap Gun – This is what happens when you blend that famous Tom Cruise’s naval aviation action film with Godzilla. In this haphazard film by Komatsu, Jingoro the giant cat monster terrorizing the city while Madoka and Kyosuke are rival jet fighter pilots from different countries trying to take down the monster. There is action, there is drama, there is love, there is suspense, there is even some comedy. There is even a little heart wrenching scene when Madoka dies due to the stray missile she shot but was backfired by Jingoro and Kyosuke sacrificing himself to avenge her. Because we can’t end this as a tragedy, they ejected from their seats before their jets got destroyed. Turns out Jingoro the lonely pet came to the city in search for the twins and they gladly leave with him in the end. This ‘movie’ could have ended with Kyosuke and Madoka kissing (because that’s what the hero and heroine should do at the end) but was stopped by Hikaru who demands the script to be rewritten. Nobody else can kiss her darling.

Stopping time – Apparently another power that Kyosuke makes use of but this one isn’t really his own. Grandpa gave him a watch to stop time and he uses it to his advantage for his tennis match and perhaps to get a little naughty with Madoka. So when the watch needs to be rewinded, he uses it again and he himself freezes. It was supposed to set up a kissing scene in which the ‘princess’ kisses the ‘prince’ awake. Madoka was in the lead to do it till Hikaru had to show up and do the honours. Remember when Kyosuke slept upside down he will experience the opposite dreams? So here, if he rewinds the opposite, he himself will have his time stopped. What… The…?

Another love rival – There’s another love rival for Madoka: Sumire Hoshi. Yes, she is a girl. Sumire is clingy to Madoka to a point she is annoying. But Madoka can’t do anything about it since she threatens to kill herself because life will have no meaning if she doesn’t have her. Some logic she’s got there. All this trouble just because Madoka saved her from delinquents. This girl is bold enough to frame Kyosuke for rape just to break them up. Hikaru suggests to get Sumire off the hook, Kyosuke and Madoka need to put up an act to confess each other. Can they act the part? I mean, can they? Stammering… Hesitating… Eventually Hikaru thought it was really a bad idea and tried to stop them. In the end, Sumire now chases after Hikaru. Was her love this flimsy?

Love, chocolates and body swap – Yes, once more Kyosuke becomes the unfortunate victim of Kazuya’s body swap on Valentine’s Day. Plus, Kazuya is having tooth cavity and passes the buck to Kyosuke when they swap. This makes Kyosuke looks bad because he had to miss an appointment with Madoka. Things sort of revert back to normal when all sides meet, Kyosuke and Kazuya finally banging their heads to revert back and Kazuya’s tooth cavity drops out. I know it’s silly, Kyosuke still gets punished for standing up Madoka and ruining her borrowed scarf but she still saves him some hot chocolate drink at the end of the day. Not everything is lost.

OMG! What’s that?! – There’s this very long OOoohhh! AAAaaahhhh!!! Hhhhhuuuuhhh?! EEEeeehhhhh?! Woooooooooweeeeeeee! expression from Hikaru because she saw Kazuya’s little dick!!! Never seen one before? I guess so. By the way, it was Kyosuke in Kazuya’s body then. He got his naked butt seen by Hikaru and Madoka…

Hikaru dies… Again – You know you are watching some sort of exaggerated premonition of Kyosuke when you see that Hikaru’s death affects the entire nation! Just because Hikaru had a little sneeze and nobody got concerned about it, suddenly it’s like she was like some grand celebrity with the entire nation in mourning. Digging up her grave won’t bring her back, Kyosuke. But you can’t blame this guy when this dream is just part of grandpa’s manipulation on him (his sisters thought of teaching him a lesson after hearing he wasn’t really that concerned with Hikaru’s health). So lesson learnt, he rushes down to the bridge to see Hikaru. Thinking she is going to drown herself, he soon discovers she was just drifting her teddy bear away, a symbol of leaving behind her childhood. So, this show he still cares for Hikaru, eh? But will it sit well with Madoka?

On a snowy mountain together – A trip to the snow mountains has Kyosuke and Madoka trapped in a gondola for the night due to a slacking operator staff thinking nobody is out there. God, he doesn’t check, doesn’t he? Kyosuke discreetly tries to use his power but it turns awry and they could have died but I don’t know how Kazuya came to rescue them. Even if Kyosuke did telepathically communicated with him (who was somewhat sleeping then), how did that little kid bring them back when all their friends passed out in the disco?

Double first kiss – Kyosuke napping under a tree was woken up by Madoka. The words he said made Madoka remember a promise she made 6 years ago to wait here. This was the place she got her first kiss. That should sound the alarm for Kyosuke. And so courtesy of grandpa, he gets thrown into yet another time slip back to 6 years ago whereby he meets young Madoka whom he thought was a boy. The person Kyosuke saw was Madoka’s sister kissing her boyfriend then. Young Madoka got into trouble with some football bullies. Kyosuke saves her by using his powers to avoid her from plunging to death. Because he thought she should be more feminine, she takes up his advice. Once more, trouble comes looking for young Madoka. Do bullies always like to pick on young girls? Kyosuke uses his power once more and so angry he was that his power powered up and scared away those bullies. Later he buys her a familiar red hat. Before they part, she kisses him and makes a promise to meet at this tree 6 years later. Then he is surprised to see the current Madoka. Back in real time? Apparently not. Grandpa did his prank again and somehow sent Madoka back in time since she was looking for him. Kyosuke reveals he has powers to her and apologizes for keeping it from her. However, she finds it cool. She also admits the first person she loves is an esper. Also, she will be leaving for America soon as her father is ill. When Kyosuke goes to get something to eat, he had to fall down the stairs to go into another time trip. But this time he enters a parallel world where he doesn’t exist. He gets into trouble with his pals who think he’s some sort of troublemaker (Hatta and Komatsu as police? Unthinkable). Despite parallel world Madoka doesn’t even like him, she stills help him out from trouble. He too reciprocates by helping her out in her time of need. He goes into another time slip when he falls off her bike. On the other hand, Madoka meets her younger self. The young one wonders if the older one likes Kyosuke because she would like to grow up to be his bride one day. When Kyosuke reunites with Madoka, the odd part is how Kazuya comes into this time slip to bring them back. How? What? Huh? Just like that? Back under that tree, Kyosuke and Madoka hug and kiss. So there you have it, his double first kiss.

OVAs – 8 more episodes after the TV series. Kyosuke and Madoka got trapped in a cave after a ski accident and battled a bitter love ghost to free her; Hikaru got mistaken as a daughter of a millionaire in Hawaii and gets kidnapped so Kyosuke and Madoka goes to her rescue; Kyosuke switches body with a goldfish first and then Jingoro; Kyosuke’s cousin Akane visits him and she has the power of making others see illusion. She tries to break up Kyosuke and Madoka but gets infatuated with Madoka instead; Kyosuke switches body with a famous idol, Mitsuru Hayakawa. How is it feel to be the attention of girls now?; While Madoka replaces Yukari as the lead singer of Shu’s band in a singing competition, Mitsuru uses this platform to state his intentions of quitting being an idol and confess the girlfriend he has due to that life changing experience; Akane forces Kyosuke to become her boyfriend just to convince her friends she has one; Madoka suspects her father is having an affair with one of his orchestra staffs so she prematurely runs away from home and stays with Kyosuke for the night till she realizes it was just a misunderstanding on her part. Hey! I noticed something. All the OVAs do not feature Yuusaku!!! Where did that guy go? No need for an angry guy like him, eh? Hey! Kazuya is missing too!

Whimsical Love…
Uhm… How shall I put it? Let me be blunt. It wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it was to be. No doubt that this is old school anime and animes at that era are ‘like that’ but I can’t feel annoyed by the many characters. I suppose they are the main reason why I didn’t enjoy this show. For example, take Kyosuke. His indecisiveness is already so annoying. It makes him sound so sissy. Really. And then he had to sometimes go play the hypocrite because he firmly tells his sisters not to use them but he himself uses them for his own convenient. It may look like the dire situation calls for the need for it but looking back at some of them, I don’t think they were that dire. Like when he played stalker on Madoka just to find out if she is really with some guy, he constantly uses his teleport to get from one place to one place.  Another big boo-boo is his indecisive love for either Madoka or Hikaru. Lots of indication points that he likes Madoka. No doubt about that. But yet, he is unable to tell Hikaru that otherwise. Maybe he doesn’t want to break her heart. Doesn’t that just make him weak? Maybe Hikaru won’t listen. Doesn’t that just make him not assertive enough? Maybe he wants a harem of his own. Yeah, maybe that feels like it. Had he broke her heart by telling her he wasn’t interested in the first place, there wouldn’t have been this love triangle. He wouldn’t be in this dilemma. Where would the fun be then? It might risk his relationship with Madoka too. And it goes to show that if there is another pretty girl daring enough to seduce him, he might just swing her way. He is that indecisive, right? Annoying.

Another annoying character is Hikaru. Sure, her lively and energetic squeals may make her appealing to some but that is also what makes her annoying. Sometimes it feels like she is an airhead, a bully and a very emotional unstable girl. An airhead because it seems she is quite carefree with her surroundings. A bully because she always makes Yuusaku do her bidding although it is partly that boy to blame for being so submissive to her following his blind love. Being a very emotional unstable girl seems to describe her best and the most annoying trait of all. You see, just the slight rumour that Kyosuke may be two-timing her, she goes into some shock tantrum mode. She hates him. Then when it’s not, all is forgiven. She loves her darling again. I mean, come on. Have some faith in the guy you love! This doesn’t happen just a few times but as I remember, all the time! The mushroom seeking trip was the ‘ultimate’ one. She is going so far as to die just because she thinks Kyosuke doesn’t love her? Where’s the proof in that? You thought that after a while, she might learn something or two to be patient but noooo. Somewhere towards the end of the TV series, you see her kicking up her usual and furious tantrum again because there were rumours Kyosuke hang out with Yukari. Once more, Yukari and Shu had a quarrel so Yukari had Kyosuke hang out with him the entire night in her room. Doing nothing. NOTHING! So he had to go all the way to show her that it wasn’t so and regain her faith in him. So where’s her trust all this time? Thus it boils down to me thinking that if the Hikaru and her best friend Madoka were to ever have a showdown between their love over Kyosuke, it might just end up ugly and bloody. Imagine, best friends turning against each other because of a guy. For now their friendship seems safe.

Madoka is perhaps the level headed and coolest character in the series but also the most whimsical or unpredictable one. Though she acts quite mature and like an adult among the rest of the characters, her whimsical attitude stems from her treatment to Kyosuke. In today’s terms, she might be considered a tsundere. Sometimes she’s nice to him, sometimes she is just a little cold. But as the series progresses, she warms up a lot to him. Because of wanting to preserve her friendship with Hikaru and her ex-delinquent status, she doesn’t necessarily show her true feelings in front of everybody. Meeting Kyosuke is a blessing since she gets to stop her delinquent habits like smoking and cutting class. But the one thing that bugs me still is how everyone doesn’t fear her anymore as the series goes on. When it started, everyone feared her. Like she has some sort of monstrous reputation. So when we get to know her more, that delinquent status seems to have vanished along with it. Don’t Komatsu and Hatta, the ones who told Kyosuke the delinquent Madoka is and to stay away from her, now act like they are part of the circle of friends? But Madoka’s delinquent past is hard to shake off and there are still delinquents who want to pick a fight with her, regardless of boy or girl. They think they can best her. Think again. Hope they learn their lesson but what are the chances if a guy has no qualms grouping up to beat up a girl?

The other characters are okay too. Some annoying, some not making much impact and one just pitiful. Komatsu and Hatta are annoying bunch of friends and their loser status means they go around heaping more trouble on Kyosuke with their irresponsible and perverted schemes. If his life wasn’t this complicated already. Friends from hell you really don’t want to have. They’re the kind of losers who would try to hit on any nice babe walking past them on the street. Thank goodness they never give them much attention. Kurumi is the biggest airhead of all but she is less annoying than Hikaru since she doesn’t take up that much screen time. Manami fares better but again, she doesn’t have that much screen time. One or two their name doesn’t necessarily equate to such ‘justice’. Yuusaku is also another character experiencing various high-lows in emotions. He got lots of angst especially towards Kyosuke for getting to close to Hikaru. The slightest thing he wants to pound him but Hikaru’s “NO! You stop it!” makes him totally chicken out. Several times he tries to confess to Hikaru but ends up being a nervous blob. Even Kazuya once tried to help him out but was just too nervous for his own good. Can you blame the kid for giving up? If he isn’t man enough to do this, he can forget about ever getting Hikaru to look his way. Ever. He’ll always be her lackey. Kazuya is just a cheeky brat while Takashi is seen almost half of his time blowing his top telling of his kids not to use their power. Master is an understanding and supportive character. But as usual, lack of screen time. He is only confined mainly to ABCB. The most pitiful character is Jingoro due to the constant ‘abuses’ he gets from Kurumi. Any cat would have got a heart attack each time if somebody forcefully soars them through the air and slamming him into somebody else or something. Cats don’t fly. He sometimes sleeps in Kyosuke’s bed and if that guy ever wakes up on the wrong side, you can say the cat can get another fright of his life. And as the series continues, you will notice how Jingoro doesn’t try to run away anymore. Given up? If you can’t beat them, stay with them. After all, where has this feline got to go if he runs?

To sum up the romance, drama and comedy factor, I would say they are just mediocre. The love triangle isn’t that complicated as it is mainly just between Kyosuke-Madoka-Hikaru. We know Yuusaku will never get Hikaru unless it’s a dream likewise Komatsu and Hatta will never get their hands on Kurumi and Manami. What happened to Sumire anyway? The drama and things started out slowly in the beginning but I guess that is okay to build things up. However because it is more of the same thing, I can’t help find myself to find it a big bore. It was really hard to stay focus and at many times I caught myself being distracted with something else. Something else that was happening in reality instead of the anime! That’s a bad sign. My feelings are exactly summed up like Jingoro’s actions for the mid-intermission. Yes, the place where the family cat is featured most prominently. It was quite boring that I wanted to let out a big yawn just like what Jingoro did for the first mid-intermission. Somehow I had insomnia so I didn’t fall asleep as I watch. Because there was no improvement like I was hoping for and the boring-ness of everything continued, I wanted to turn my back to the series just like how Jingoro did when he faced his back to us viewers for the second mid-intermission. Finally I thought that the rate that this anime is going, I thought all my bones and muscles were tensed up for sitting too long and would just slip and fall off my chair, just like what Jingoro did for the third mid-intermission when he tumbled on his side. I believe it wasn’t his weight that caused the imbalance. There are still some decent smiles to the funny bits but they won’t make you turn into a laughing riot. Sometimes it is because of the silliness of the circumstances that causes you to laugh at it all.

So as I persevered till the end only to get our main duo to hug, kiss and somewhat a sign that they confess to each other, was it the reward that I have been waiting for? At least Hikaru wasn’t in it because who knows what might have happened if she sees this scene. It’s good she and the rest of the other characters were kept out of the final 2 episodes of the TV series so as to focus on them as the series closes. Speaking of the final arc of time travelling, I guess the time paradox thingy was rather okay but also felt ‘cheap’. Kyosuke was the one who determined the encountered fate with Madoka. She could’ve died but he saved her. They promise to meet again later but how come Madoka doesn’t remember him? Sure, he never said his name but don’t you think he would have looked awfully familiar then when Madoka meets him for the first time at the steps? She remembers the promise, she remembers the kiss but she can’t remember his face… How odd. What is even odder is that Madoka met her young self and by some theory that I don’t understand, they should’ve vanished from the face of the Earth? Okay, so they didn’t touch and come into contact. But still, when Madoka grows up she should have memories of meeting herself back then, right? So such loopholes, some accounts that don’t make sense and certain episode endings that never made sense (especially the one that involves 2 Kyosukes) made it a mind boggling watch.

There are many moments that hinted it would be Kyosuke and Madoka but something had to happen and it won’t go through. Like the final OVA episode, I thought that was the closest you would ever get to see the duo together. Madoka was drunk and could have easily been taken advantage of but we know Kyosuke is such an indecisive guy and also such a good guy, he doesn’t want to do this when she is at her weakest moment. He could have achieved his dream but that would make him (and her) hate himself for the rest of his life. (On a side note, the last OVA seems to indicate that Kyosuke may be right – there were 100 steps as counted by Madoka herself). The Hawaiian trip OVA was the best episode among the series. Simply it felt different. Because there were gun shots and car chases in it! Yeah. Really different and refreshing after the usual bored-to-death love romance comedy with some magic powers. Besides, the thugs who spoke English really sounded like Americans instead of some Japanese doing their ‘Engrish’ accent. I also thought the OVA episode of Kyosuke switching bodies with the goldfish and Jingoro was interesting too. Nobody knew where he was and ironically he became into the possession of Madoka and Hikaru. They like the fish and cat because it reminded them so much of Kyosuke. His indecisiveness. The best part was when Kyosuke the cat saved sleeping Madoka from her closed up house filled with gas, she wanted to kiss the cat as reward but their bodies switched back to their original. So Kyosuke kissed his sister Kurumi instead and got beaten up. Best timing ever. His first kiss went to his sister apparently.

Another mind boggling thing that I have been wondering ever since early in the series is about the effects of the Kasuga family’s powers. Think about it, each time the family has to move into a new place each time their power is discovered. I do not know how many times they have moved but from what I understand or believe, it is a lot. Which brings me to this question. In that case wouldn’t lots of people or at least a handful of them who discover it will know them? I don’t recall them having mind erasing powers but maybe they were hypnotized into forgetting. Assuming that those other normal people didn’t get their minds altered or whatsoever, shouldn’t they have made a big deal out of it? So big that it spreads throughout entire Japan. Well, perhaps having supernatural powers back then is a big deal but don’t you think after having moving around a lot, the rumours might have spread and the Kasuga family would have been ‘famous’? Grandpa sure didn’t hold back using his magic in public. What do they think? Some CGI effect? Was it so advanced then? Assuming the people who discovered their power aren’t the kind who would just sell them out for 15 minutes of fame, then don’t you think the Kasuga family wouldn’t really have moved away on a constant basis? That is why it is mind boggling about their moving if their power is really found out. Unless they already make preparations to move out when they think their power is about to be discovered. Maybe. We saw once how they almost jump the gun, right? Now that Madoka has known Kyosuke’s family power, she’s not going to rant about and tell everybody, right? It’s more like a so-what to her. If it’s Komatsu and Hatta, then it’s a different story.

The drawing and art is of course, wait for it, from that era so the old school anime style drawing makes it no difference that many characters look ‘like that’. Sometimes even thinking that how the characters look like those from other series. Like Kyosuke and Madoka look like teenage versions of Maison Ikkoku’s Godai and Kyoko respectively. Or even the main characters in Ranma 1/2. Other character types are stereotyped too because delinquents have this one kind look that you can tell from a mile. Super famous idols to have this one kind look too. And plain unimportant extra background characters are as plain as day. There is a tinsy bit of fanservice too but it is nothing very provoking. Whether it is Madoka changing, bathing or coming out of the shower, it is considered quite mild. Maybe in that era would it be considered as bold? The most fanservice-y episode ll must be the Hawaiian adventure. I thought a big chunk in the front of it was to dedicate in seeing Madoka and Hikaru in their swimsuits as they have fun on the beach. There might be others but perhaps I have forgotten. Not that appealing… ;p.

All is not lost for this series as I find that some of the music is quite good although they are 80’s kind of music. Night Of Summer Side by Masanori Ikeda serves as the first opening theme but it is the least favourite of mine among all the themes. Instead, the second opening theme, Orange Mystery by Hideyuki Nagashima is considered the best among the songs. I won’t say that this moderate rock song will even enter my top 100 all-time favourite anime songs but at least it sounds pleasant. The rock outfit, Kagami No Naka No Actress by Meiko Nakahara serves as the third opening theme and I feel funny seeing the animation of mostly Jingoro running away from something. Running and running and running… Where to? Don’t know (to escape his torturers of course). But just like my sentiments like Jingoro, I feel like I want to run away from this series… 80’s style pop Natsu No Mirage is the first ending theme while the disco beat second ending theme, Kanashii Heart Wa Moete-iru are both sung by Kanako Wada. The interesting thing about the second ending animation is the sand art-like animation as it changes from one shape to another. Finally, Dance in the Memories by Meiko Nakahara, I find this the third ending theme’s lyrics to be very repetitious. Imagine the chorus lines just going “I just dance in the sweet memories…”. For the OVAs, the opening theme is the pop rock Choose Me by Yuiko Tsubokura while the ending themes are the pop rock Tokidoki Blue by Yuka Tachibana and the sultry jazzy Mou Hitotsu No Yesterday by Kanako Wada. There are several insert songs too but I don’t find them as appealing.

They say the true ending for this series lies in the movie but I by the time I reached the end of all the OVAs, I was already tired. Coupled in with my weird prejudice as never having watched an anime movie in my life made it more difficult to catch it. However I won’t say I regret watching this series and despite things not up to my expectations or they fail to impress me, it is still an okay watch since, you know, it is an old anime from that era. Romantic comedy from that era. Why should I use my ‘superior’ expectations to complain about this retro? Yeah, use that excuse to blame or support everything I have for this anime. Plus, many of the reviews I read online, they had lots of good things to say and praise it so much that my blog for this series my sound like blasphemy. Either they are golden oldies type of people who love anything old and classic or there is something wrong with me. It goes to show I’m not really the retro kind of person. As usual, the over used line of power and responsibility, Kyosuke needs to take control of that if he wants to need a normal life. Using it a little bit sometimes doesn’t hurt but still, of all the powers that we see, I suppose it is the power of love that our main characters that gives into. So whether you have powers or not, a different type of species, old or new, the notion of people falling in love and traversing all obstacles along their way will always be a timeless classic. You don’t need to use magic to get love. Love itself is already magic!