Once upon a time, long, long ago, far, far away. Oh wait. It wasn’t that long ago that Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakamatachi came out (July 2010, that is) and it isn’t that far away either (production made in Japan or if you want to look at this way, those fantasies right in our heads). When we were young, I’m sure our parents must have read us fables, folklores and children’s fairytales that delighted us. In this series, some of the familiar characters of those stories are given the anime treatment that parodies those fairytales, turning it into a romance comedy with some drama and action.

Set in the fictitious city called Otogibana City, there is a high school called Otogi Academy. Within it, an organization named Otogi Bank that accepts requests from students to ‘fix’ their problems (like a loan) in exchange for their help later on (like a repayment). As many of the characters are based on a fairytale character, it may take some time to identify them since it isn’t like ‘cut and paste’ thingy. For instance, our lead heroine and part of the Otogi Bank, Ryouko Ookami as many would guess it right at first go, would be the wolf in sheep’s clothing. No, she isn’t a villain hiding underneath a heroine skin nor does she have split personality, but rather she is someone who isn’t honest with her feelings. You’ll understand what I mean after watching this series. Oh wait a minute. How come Ryouko suspiciously looks like a grown up version of Toradora’s Taiga? Yeah, I can see that same flatness there too. Oh sh*t! Don’t hit me! Then there are some characters that are a fusion between several characters such as Ryouko’s friend-cum-roommate-cum-Otogi Bank colleague, Ringo Akai. Yeah, this loli is the Red Riding Hood that we all know but due to her manipulative nature (in a good way), she’s akin to that ‘poison apple’ you see in Snow White.

Episode 1
We see Ryouko taking on a delinquent but some interrupting force causes the delinquent to go off pace and ensures Ryouko to knock him out. She returns back to Otogi Bank with Ringo and we are introduced to the other members like its president Listz Kiriki (based on the grasshopper in The Grasshopper and the Ant fame), the vice president and his cousin Alice (the ant), the maid Otsuu Tsurugaya (the crane in the Japanese folklore Tsurugu No Ongaeshi), flirtatious Tarou Urashima (that Japanese folklore of the same name), his ever clinging girlfriend Otohime Ryuugu (also from that Tarou Urashima story) and the quirky scientist Majolica le Fay (sorceress Morgan). On the way home, Ryouko bumps into a guy, Ryoushi Morino. Though nervy, he gets to the point straight. He confesses he likes her. Not that she’s interested anyway. Ringo decides to play mother-in-law and scoop more info on this guy. Ryoushi has very good hunter skills (thus based from the hunter in Red Riding Hood) and thus Ringo brings him to Otogi Bank in hopes of recruiting him. He also has fears of people staring at him. I guess that’s why he prefers to stay out of the spotlight. As Ryoushi reveals he was the one who helped Ryouko with that delinquent back then, the rest are eager to employ him but Ryouko isn’t because she felt he was just watching while she was being attacked. Ryoushi has got to use this chance to prove himself to Ryouko. Besides, it’s a great way for him to stay by her side instead like a stalker hiding in the dark.

A girl named Kakari Haibara comes to Otogi Bank for a request. She has a crush on a tennis club member, Ooji who is quitting due to his injury. She wants to do something before he hands in his club resignation. The gang goes into full swing as Ryoushi volunteers to observe Ooji. But due to his phobia and suspicious action, things don’t seem to go well. D-Day arrives as Ooji is limping his way to hand in his resignation. As a last ditch attempt, they are going to stop him via bicycle-powered pumpkin carriage courtesy of Majolica. Ryoushi takes up the challenge of peddling it even if it means attracting an awful lot of stares from others (who wouldn’t? I mean, look at this weird transportation). How to counter this problem? Wear a blindfold. How to see? That’s another problem. Since there are no brakes, Ryoushi starts panicking when he takes off his blindfold. Kakari is sent flying and accidentally her right foot right into Ooji’s face. The momentum really sent him flying and knocked out. With that, they take his resignation and go off but Kakari left behind her sports shoe (doesn’t this seem familiar?). Ryouko and Ringo on their way home, encounter that delinquent who brought some pals for revenge. Ryoushi uses his body as shield as Ryouko beats them all up. And though it may still be a long way, at least Ryoushi takes the first step into becoming part of the Otogi Bank. Meanwhile Ooji is doing a Cinderella-thingy by searching for the girl whose not foot only fits into that sports shoe, but whose impactful kick to give him that same pain. Who else but Kakari fits that bill like a glove. I hope he doesn’t become a masochist because he wants Kakari to kick him more before offering her to play tennis with her.

Episode 2
It’s been a week that Ryoushi has been part of the Otogi Bank. Though he has gotten used to it, there are some things that still doesn’t change. His phobia. He hopes he can be a useful companion and be by Ryouko’s side. Ringo listens to Ryoushi’s reasons why he likes Ryouko. Something like her insides and outsides don’t match, she looks strong but also weak. Ryoushi spots Ryouko trying to get friendly with his hunting dogs. She tries to give excuses but he notices how the dogs are attached to her when they usually don’t to other people. A girl comes looking for Ryouko for a request but she’s out so Urashima decides to take her request in her stead. Unfortunately, he got too flirty and this prompts Otohime to do something to him that producers would like us all to leave it to our imagination. Ryouko comes back then and hears her out. Seems she is being threatened by her violent ex-boyfriend and wants to avoid seeing him. Ryouko and Ryoushi head to the park, where they’re supposed to meet. However they are set upon by a group of delinquents from the Onigashima territory. Their numbers were overwhelming but bloodied Ryoushi managed to return back to Otogi Bank to alert the others while Ryouko was captured and taken to an abandoned warehouse tied up. She put up a brave face but in fact deep down she is scared. Luckily reinforcements arrive as the Otogi Bank members help take out the menace and Ryoushi supporting and covering everyone’s backs from the shadows with his slingshot. The delinquent boss takes Ryouko hostage so Ryoushi faces him in a fist battle that eventually has him emerge victorious thanks to his determination to protect Ryouko. Though he collapses in the end, everyone happily heads home.

Episode 3
A short flashback that shows Otohime as a chubby and slow kid. In present, she seems to be facing off with an eternal rival, Mimi Usami. She challenges for them to take part in next week’s Miss Otogi Academy Contest and if Usami wins, Otohime will continued to be called ‘turtle’ (oh yeah, this is turning out to be like the tortoise and the hare). Otohime requests the Otogi Bank members to help her win the contest. Ryoushi learns Listz was last year’s mysterious winner (?!) and his cross-dressing ability allowed him to gather info. So what is the best way to secure your popularity fast? Why, condemn the other party with false lies! Oh, the treachery! Both Usami and Otohime went all out against each other with such low dirty tactic while the other girls in Otogi Bank also participate in this contest. The heated dirt throwing, mudslinging contest reaches boiling point when both girls spew profanity and lose support so much so their ratings drops close to 0%! Flashback reveals how Otohime was bullied and left to do chores by other kids but Urashima was the only one who treated her equally. Thus she decided to grow up beautiful so that he could be proud of her. The day of the contest arrives as the girls parade in their swimsuits (except Ryouko in her normal clothes). At the end of the votes, it seems that the winner is Himeno Shirayuki (of Snow White fame) with the most votes followed by the disciplinary committee member Momoko Kibitsu (of Momotarou fame). The highest Otogi Bank member was Otsuu coming in at 10th place. Usami and Otohime weren’t even ranked. Usami starts crying and blames it on the overlapping loli appeal on Ringo and yeah, another quarrel on the cards. In the end, Otohime learns that it was part of Listz’s plan to have her ratings drop because all she wanted was just Urashima’s vote. And that’s the only vote she got from. Both of them reconcile and the battle between the tortoise and the hare ended. Looks like Ryouko too got a vote. From Ryoushi. Not the kind to express her true feelings out loud, she punches him as usual.

Episode 4
Ryouko sneakily tries to buy some girl’s romance novel from released by her favourite author Yuki-sensei. In school, Ryoushi saves Otsuu from an incoming baseball. Because of that, she tries to repay him by becoming his maid in his home. It’s great that somebody is willing to serve you in anyway, but it gets creepy after a while. At least in Ryoushi’s case. Ah, the jealousy of being served by a maid 24/7. Ryouko and Ringo follow Ryoushi back to his apartment where he lives and run by his aunt Yukime. Ryoushi learns of Ryouko being a fan of Yuki-sensei, which is actually Yukime’s penname. During dinner, Otsuu suddenly collapses from fatigue and sleep deprivation (she was really serving the rest without stop). Otsuu is still adamant of returning favours so Yukime puts down her foot that her selfishness has caused trouble to everyone. Flashback reveals why she is so obsessed on returning favours. Apparently she was saved by a boy from getting hit by a vehicle while crossing the road. However she was unable to repay her debt when he died in hospital. Thus her fears of never ever repaying her debt surfaced. To help Otsuu out, the Otogi Bank members decide to become her maid and serve her. That means, wearing a maid outfit too. Otsuu feels indebted and wishes to repay them but as Ringo says, everyone did lots for her and her favours will keep piling up. In short, since they are friends, these little kind of favours of helping each other out need not be counted. Otsuu realized their kindness and from now on will treat them as irreplaceable companions rather than strangers. And to celebrate, everyone throws a party in Ryoushi’s room. Man, it’s going to be a long night. Next day, Otsuu continues to return the favour to Ryoushi and Ringo. As companions, that is. Whether she really changed or not is a different story.

Episode 5
Listz meets the Director of Otogi Bank, Araragi Lamp (Genie of the Lamp fame) to report the weekly affairs. Since he’s a dirty old man, I guess that’s why Listz was smooth enough to provide his Otogi Bank with lots of luxurious facilities. Momoko comes to see Ryouko (partly she is fond of her too) and meets the boy who has a crush on her (apparently, she’s a bi too). Back to business, Momoko wants to visit Onigashima High School since they have a new student council president and wants them to accompany her. Since there have been malicious reports of Onigashima students, Momoko thought of having a ‘chat’ with her counterpart. The Otogi Bank members with Momoko and her underlings (parody of the dog, pheasant and monkey in that story of course) arrive outside Onigashima High School. As a delinquent school, it sure lives up to its name because the delinquents start attacking our heroes. Thankfully they came prepared as they advance through the dark and graffiti-filled walls of the school. They enter the student council president’s room and Ryouko freezes upon seeing who the new president is. He is Shirou Hitsujikai and someone she fearfully knows. Momoko warns him if he causes anymore problems or else they won’t let this pass so he assures them that he will try his best to send this message to his unheeding students since he is new. However the rest are suspicious because he seems to be in command of the delinquents, giving them orders during their charge into the place. However without proof, they can’t do anything but to watch for now. Ryoushi talks to Ryouko and makes her feel a little better. But it’s just the calm before the storm because Hitsujikai is planning something malicious with his busty girlfriend, Reiko Kokonoo.

Episode 6
Ryoushi tries to seek more information about Ryouko’s past from Ringo but Ringo refuses to tell and wants him to gain her trust and ask Ryouko herself instead. Listz and Alice are trying to gather data on Hitsujikai but nothing solid while Ryouko remembers fearful flashback about Hitsujikai. Seems they were once dating. But he tried to rape her so she told her friends but they didn’t believe her and thought she made it up to get back at him for being dumped. Ryouko then transferred schools and struggled to become strong so that she won’t be betrayed again. Thus her ‘wolf’ character developed. Ringo also reminisces about how she met Ryouko. As a new unfriendly transfer student, the teacher even asked Ringo to take notes to her. She entered her messy room and saw her cute sleeping face and that’s when her interest to know more about Ryouko peaked. Ringo helped nurse ill Ryouko then as she gradually opened up her heart and that’s where their friendship began. Ryouko trains hard at the boxing gym but her trainer known as Oyassan isn’t happy the way she trains to attain ‘fragile’ strength. On their way home, they spot a bunch of delinquents mugging a helpless kid. Ryouko goes to defend him and taking them all on her own. If not for Ringo’s fake police cry, she could’ve been beaten up badly. Ringo then confronted Ryouko about lying so she assured her she’ll never betray her and be by her side no matter what. Ryoushi too thinks back how he first got attracted to Ryouko. He gets his resolved to protect her so he rushes to Ryouko (just coming out of the gym) as he promises to become a strong man who can accept everything about her. Ryouko’s trainer and his other fellows overheard the commotion and tease them both, causing unbearable embarrassment to the wolf. Back home, Ringo notices Ryouko’s little mood change and threatens not to let her eat dinner till she tells her everything.

Episode 7
Ryouko and Ryoushi are out on a double date with Hanasaki and Ami Jizou. This was how it all began. Baseball ace Hanasaki requested Otogi Bank to investigate a mysterious person who has been cleaning and preparing meals in his room. The secret surveillance reveals Jizou to be the culprit. They showed her the proof and she admitted it. It all began when Hanasaki lend shy Jizou his umbrella. Both sides meet and though she confesses, he tells her straight he doesn’t hold any romantic feelings for her. That’s when Ringo comes up with this double date plan so that Ryouko and Ryoushi could lead them both (like that would succeed perfectly) with Ringo spying behind. Even so, Hanasaki didn’t say a word. Then at a park as they set up a picnic, Ryouko went off to save a kitten on a tree but the branch broke and she fell into the river. When Ryoushi rescues her, he is shocked to find Ryouko has lost her memories and is her child self. Jizou is getting nervous by herself and rings Ringo for help so she in turn calls Ryoushi on where the heck they are. He is reluctant to explain what has happened. He is happy he gets to spend time with Ryouko as she takes him away to accompany her. Ringo spot the happy duo together and thinks she’s just tired. Haha! Like she’ll ever believe the duo could get along this fine. Eventually it rained so Hanasaki and Jizou go off as Ringo rendezvous with Ryoushi and Ryouko at the cafe. Ryouko isn’t happy that Ryoushi lied about saying he would be there for her (he was discussing with Ringo about calling her parents on this case or admit her to hospital). Along the way, Ryouko bumps into Hitsujikai. Luckily Ryoushi was following close by to pick her back. Hitsujikai tells him what happened between them, about their ‘intimacy’ and the ‘lie’ she told. He is in this city to find her. Ryoushi swiftly prepares to fire his slingshot but Hitsujikai was faster, cutting its elastic. Though Ryoushi doesn’t care about Ryouko’s past, he is adamant to protect her. Hitsujikai leaves. Soon Ryouko wakes up in hospital and her memories recovered. Sly Ringo has Ryouko wear a pair of cat ears as service for Ryoushi and that poor guy gets punched. Ah, back to normal. And as for Hanasaki and Jizou, they’re both another happy pair living together.

Episode 8
This episode begins with a weird movie-like promo of Ryoushi, Ryouko and Ringo facing off against the 3 pig Tonda Brothers. WTF?! Back to the story proper, the gang gets a request from the butler, Hammel of the Nezumi Clan. Seems he wants to find a bride for the future head of the clan, Chuutarou. They have to do it before his 12th birthday next week. Note that Mahoromatic parody between Hammel and Otsuu! With Hammel’s suggestions of an ideal bride they go meet prospective fiancees that include Alice, Jizou and Otohime. But each time Hammel comes up with a negative and messed up opinions of those girls, enough to make them blow their top or stunned. The funny part is that Chuutarou wholeheartedly believes in him! It’s like he has no backbone. One minute he agrees and goes up to the girl, wanting them to be his bride and the next, he discards them after listening to Hammel’s caveats. Heck, they even include cameo appearances of those girls from Toradora and To Aru Kagaku No Railgun (must’ve something to do with the seiyuus of the characters here)! Yeah, who’d want a tsundere and biri-biri? Then it’s Momoko’s turn (obviously her boobs lah) before shifting to flat chests like Ryouko and Ringo (that wasn’t a compliment either). I guess the ladies are ready to use violence to take it out on that disrespectful butler when suddenly Hammel changes his tone. He mentions about a bride that money or experience cannot buy: A childhood friend. Then pops up the girl who has been tailing them all the while: Uika. Chuutarou heard a rumour she liked somebody else but she says that isn’t true and only likes him. Hammel points out that Chuutarou’s mistake was listening to him and those rumours. There was no need to go on a bride search because the greatest treasure was always beside him. Chuutarou and Uika embrace. Back at Otogi Bank, the girls confront Listz because he was partially responsible for selling them out. Not so funny now, eh? As atonement, he has to treat them all to cakes. Since his wallet is a little thin, Ryoushi has to help him out. And that Tonda Brothers movie thingy? Looks like Ringo was the one who made it.

Episode 9
Ryouko and Ryoushi help Shirayuki to take care of her seven young siblings. Yeah, instead of 7 dwarves we have 7 little brothers and sisters. However Ringo seems reluctant to face Shirayuki. Back at Otogi Bank, the gang learns Shirayuki is going straight to work to support her siblings and not continue her studies due to financial reasons though she has good grades. Ryoushi learns about Ringo’s past. Ringo’s mom took her to a big mansion and that’s where she met and became close friends with Shirayuki. When Shirayuki and her mom left the mansion, Ringo asked if she would ever see her again and Shirayuki nodded she would if she became a good girl. Subsequently as Ringo and her mom started to get accustomed living in the mansion, she learned Shirayuki was her step sister of a different mother. It seemed her mom forced Shirayuki and her mom out of the house since dad was divorcing the latter. Ringo felt guilty that she stole Shirayuki’s father and home and though she came to this city, she couldn’t find the courage to face Shirayuki and avoided her. It has been 3 years since. The gang comes up with a plan for them to patch things up and that is to patron the water park (owned by Lamp of course). Everyone arrives except Ringo (who is still watching from afar). Till Shirayuki dives in to save one of her siblings drowning. Note, Shirayuki can’t swim despite the irony she won the Miss Otogi contest. After Ryoushi saves her, Ringo does CPR on her. Later they both talk things out and Shirayuki never had ill feelings towards Ringo. Instead she thanks her for being her little sister, bringing her to tears. Later Ringo confronts Lamp and wants her to grant her a single wish (as opposed to 3 wishes that they could receive) even if it is ahead of her time. Lamp agrees seeing the determination in her eyes (partly she sucked up to him like a loli). That wish is to have Shirayuki getting a special scholarship to further her studies. Lastly Ryouko wakes up from a dream of getting kissed by Prince Ryoushi. Too bad she had to give the real him her punch when she sees him. How unfair.

Episode 10
There are nasty rumours being posted everywhere about Otogi Bank. Thinking it must be the work of Hitsujikai, Listz suggests doing a promotion with 30% off special on requests. I guess it’s a deal hard to refuse so a long queue is seen lining up outside the room. So everybody has to work hard for a few days till the promotion ends in a few days time. Ryoushi comes into a guy named Saburo Nekomiya (Puss and Boots fame) who knows lots about Ryoushi, including his confession to Ryouko. He wants to help him out to bring out the real man in him. Though Ryoushi would like to give it a pass, seems he was forced into it. Meanwhile Ryouko and Ringo find injured Reiko outside their dorm. They take her in and learn that she was on the run from Hitsujikai and his delinquents. He dumped her and wanted to sell her off. This strikes a hateful chord within Ryouko as she vows to help her out and transfer Reiko to their school. As Ryoushi attends Nekomiya’s training, Ringo is still suspicious of Reiko and reports this to Listz. Otsuu helps to keep an eye on them from the opposite building. Trouble comes to some of the Otogi Bank members when Urashima has been forced by Onigashima delinquents to come follow him quietly because they have Otohime in their custody while Otsuu has been knocked out by a stun gun. Alice goes to meet Usami but finds it was a setup. However Usami realizes her friend sold her out so she takes Alice on the run with her. Ringo gets a mysterious call that puts Shirayuki in danger so when she runs all the way there and sees her and her siblings safe, she realizes it was a diversion. Ryouko comes home alone and is puzzled to see Reiko’s change in character. Next thing she knows, she is tied up in a truck being transported to somewhere.

Episode 11
Ryouko is taken to Hitsujikai as he thinks of using her as a bait to lure the other Otogi Bank members out. The remaining Otogi Bank members regroup and soon go out on a rescue mission. Listz saves Alice and Usami from the chasing delinquents, Urashima turns into his gentleman mode to beat up his captors and Otohime does the same with those girls who tried to hit on Urashima. And Majolica’s fart mechanism saves the day for Otsuu. Huh? So the entire gang arrives outside Onigashima High School. Momoko and her underlings including the Tonda Brothers are here (thanks to the promo the Otogi Bank did, this help came in handy for them). So it’s another round of charging into the school to get to where Hitsujikai is. Ryoushi learns Nekomiya’s reason of helping him out. There was a girl who helped him before but he chickened out and later realized how shameful it was that he abandoned her. That girl was Ryouko (remember that flashback in episode 6?). Even if he is filth, he decides to make that one person stronger and thus took it upon himself to train Ryoushi. He respects Ryoushi for being able to be honest with his feelings and thinks he is the only one who could protect Ryouko.

Ryoushi finally reaches the room Ryouko is held captive in. Hitsujikai is waiting for him and wants to see how hard he’ll fight for Ryouko (apart from crushing their hopes). Hitsujikai seems to have the upper hand but when Ryoushi cools his head down, he manages to land a blow into Hitsujikai’s face and make him bleed. Furious Hitsujikai is about to unleash some raging move when Listz comes in. He warns him that since he has taken the fight to Otogi Bank, he must be prepared to face their wrath (yeah, all those promos did come in handy after all). Listz tells his buddies to head home as Hitsujikai backs down (when Listz opens his eyes, I guess he really means something serious, right?). Reiko mentions how it all turned out unfavourably but Hitsujikai is more interested to crush them with his bare hands since their bonds have gotten stronger. In the aftermath, Usami and Otohime make up while Nekomiya says his farewell before parting. He notes how they both didn’t run away this time. Next morning as Ryouko takes up Ringo’s advice to be with Ryoushi, she was going to confess something important we all have been waiting for. However Ryoushi got into his phobia mode and ruins the mood, earning another punch from Ryouko. Maybe we won’t get to see another chance like this. Sighs…

Episode 12
Machiko Himura is doing her morning paper delivery part time job when she spots Ryoushi. Concluding from his ‘big house’ and his ‘expensive-looking’ dogs, she thinks of finding her happiness in him. She tries all sorts of methods to attract his attention in class (they’re classmates by the way) but I guess she can’t wait so she gets straight to the point of asking him to marry her! She even goes to the Otogi Bank to request to borrow him for tomorrow’s date. Is Ryouko okay with this? Well, since she can’t tell her their relationship and said that there is nothing in between them, you know what that means. As Ryoushi and Machiko go out dating, Ryouko and Ringo tail them. Ringo because she loves teasing and seeing the reaction of a certain somebody and Ryouko, oh you should know by now already. During the date, a couple of loan sharks confront Machiko. Seems daddy ran away with the money she left for her dad to pay his debts. So how else are the loan sharks going to recover their debts by searching for the next related kin, right? Ryoushi uses a smoke screen for them to escape. Machiko lets him know the truth as she apologizes that she dated him so as to get away from this life and find happiness. Ryoushi decides to help her as he calls Otogi Bank for information when the loan sharks return with more of their buddies. Ryoushi goes into manly mode and fights them upfront and is joined by Ryouko shortly. In the end after the police arrests the baddies, everyone throws a welcome party at Ryoushi’s dorm for Machiko as the new resident. Later Machiko talks to Ryoushi alone as Ryouko eavesdropped. Machiko really felt he was cool and was about to confess when Ryoushi changes the subject to Ryouko. She is weak inside but tries to appear to be strong to protect herself. He feels he is a bum but hopes to work hard to be strong for her. I guess in a way you can call that a rejection from Machiko’s point of view. After Ryoushi leaves, Machiko knows Ryouko eavesdropping so she confronts her about her feelings for Ryoushi. Though still hesitant and not the kind of answer we’re hoping to hear (“I don’t dislike him”), at least it made Machiko try not to steal Ryoushi. As everyone play sparklers, Ryoushi once more confesses to Ryouko that he likes her no matter what. Hey, at least she didn’t punch him.

I’m not going to cry wolf…
I guess that’s the end of the show but it will be another story for Ryouko and Ryoushi. It was pretty much fun to see familiar bedtime story characters come to light in a different way. The character development for both the main characters is quite okay. The change may not have been very drastic but at least they’ve made some progress. Even if this is fairytale, nobody is perfect. Ryoushi isn’t somebody who hides behind the shadows and at times shows that he is capable of being his own man. Except for his fear of being stared at, that may take a longer while before he gets over it. Ryouko similarly still isn’t being true to her feelings but she doesn’t pen it all up like she did at the start. Probably bit by bit she’ll shed her wolf’s clothing. Yeah, that could that a long time too. Although this series is short, I guess they take the time to flesh out some of the other characters as well albeit just a brief one. Like Ringo’s case with her estranged step sister, Otsuu’s obsession of returning favours and how the couple of Otohime and Urashima came to be. If the series was longer perhaps we could see more insights on them and the other characters. For instance I would’ve liked to know why Otsuu and Majolica are close together. Besides, I thought it would’ve been good if Majolica had more screen time rather than just short cameos or spending her time in the basement making inventions. If she ditches her witch outfit and glasses more often, I’d say Majolica does look cute. Other fairytale characters like Hansel and Gretel too made their short appearance but that’s about it.

Another amusing ‘character’ is the faceless narrator of the series. Not just your typical narrator who narrates what has happened so far to make it like a recap, she too makes sarcastic remarks and jokes (like making fun of certain flat chests) or in-your-face statements that sometimes make it like as though the show is breaking the fourth wall. Oh wait, it is. Makes me go “Darn right she is”. The only annoying thing is that during some conversations, you will hear the speeches of the characters and the narrator both together simultaneously. It felt irritating because you can’t concentrate and it’s not like you can hear both sides talk at the same time. If not for the subs, I guess I wouldn’t understand a thing as I would be pausing and reading them instead. Heck, like I would understand even without them. The one character that I couldn’t comprehend is Hitsujikai as the antagonist. Maybe it is how the series left this little business unfinished. I’m still wondering the reason why he wants to torment Ryouko. Does he love seeing her anguished face? That familiar sense of superiority that he was able to make everyone believe his lies the reason of his return? The way he said things is as though he has some grudge against the Otogi Bank. Or maybe he’s somebody who loves creating trouble and the harder it is, the tastier and hungrier he gets. Ah well, I guess I’ll have to find out if they ever come up a sequel. What are the chances since Hollywood movies and animes are banking on sequels if they are well received.

There are quite a number of well known seiyuus lending their talents. In my opinion the best has got to be Satomi Arai (Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun) as the narrator. She certainly does well in expressing the several tones and pitches during the right scenes. Others include Shizuka Itou as Ryouko (Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku), Kanae Itou as Ringo (Saten in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Miyu Irino as Ryoushi (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle series), Aki Toyosaki as Otohime (Uiharu in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Ayako Kawasumi as Otsuu (Mahoro in Mahoromatic), Yui Horie as Alice (Minori in Toradora), Kimiko Koyama as Majolica (Yukari in Rosario To Vampire), Hirofumi Nojima as Listz (Kitamura in Toradora), Shintaru Asanuma as Urashima (Takeru in Minami-ke), Rie Kugimiya as Usami (Taiga in Toradora), Yuko Kaida as Momoko (Ryoumou in Ikkitousen), Yukari Fukui as Shirayuki (Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Mikako Takahashi as Jizou (Rushuna in Grenedier), Junichi Suwabe as Hitsujikai (Atobe in Prince of Tennis) and Mai Nakahara as Reiko (Mai in Mai-HiME). The opening theme, Ready Go by May’N is a catchy pop tune while the ending theme, Akazukin-chan Goyoujin by OToGi8 (the casts of the Otogi Bank members, that is), sound more like a video game-cum-group song. On a trivial note, I find the sponsor screen right at the end of the show to be amusing. With a video game-like background music, the clip is looped several times or rewind and replayed and the effect of it seems funny.

Even if this show has characters based on fairytales, their lives here are no fairytale as they have to cope and struggle with school life and such. This might be just premature but I think this Otogibana City is filled with lots of delinquents who have no qualms of picking a fight with people younger than them. Maybe that is a secret recipe of how heroes are made? So we learn a few things like the need to be honest with our feelings, a good deed goes a long way, help those in need, not all wolves are bad and every school should have a sexy disciplinary committee. Just kidding on the last one. Well, it’s not that I’m picking up my fairytale storybooks again for old time’s sake. But sometimes when I think about it, life is one big fairytale. So surreal but yet so fake. I’m just hoping that I will have a happy one (read: watch more animes). Oh, I almost forgot. And they all lived happily ever after. I just love a good happy ending.

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