Originally I wasn't going to do a review but I want others to share in my pain, and had I read the tags before watching I may have given this one a pass purely for the harem. These are seldom, if at all, done to any standard I would consider average - most are just mind-numbingly awful that make me want to fly to Japan just to punch the writers in the testicles. It came as no surprise that Oreshura didn't disappoint with regards to being absolute shite.
Good premise, terrible execution. That's the phrase that sums up this show succinctly. I was initially attracted to the unique situation of a proposed intelligent guy - not interested in love - who meets the popular girl also uninterested in love, but to get what they want they propose to pretend to be dating. Masuzu was actually the one to propose it in order to stop advances at school, while Eita was the only candidate in her mind because of his opinion on love. This could have been a good show.
Alas, it wasn't.
Within the first episode it builds up this interesting premise only to completely ruin it later on. Most of the confrontations are generally caused by Eita being either thick-headed or just plain difficult when he has no cause to be. For a supposed intellectual studying for medical school while still in high-school, Eita displays a complete lack of perception for... everything. Instead of convincing me of his supposed intelligence I was left wondering if his desire to get into medical school was a joke.
A great example of Eita's unbelieveable stupidity is a scene in which his childhood friend, Chiwa(wa), confesses with everything short of saying "I love you". The audience got it, Eita's friends got it, in fact the only person that didn't understand it was Eita... He just stood there looking dumbfounded, trying to figure out why Chiwa suddenly got all flustered, said a bunch of stuff, and then ran off - silly girl, Eita doesn't understand you, he doesn't even understand what girls are.
This is Eita, supposed medical student whom I have a hard time believing is any more intelligent than a drooling puppy, which is offensive to puppies because at least they display emotions. Which is another problem with both Eita and Masuzu: they lack emotional depth. Not once in the show did I feel myself caring for or connecting with these characters. They were one-dimensional and completely boring. When Eita wasn't busy being a total fuckwit and not understanding the basics of social interaction, Masuzu was being a preachy and vapid bitch.
Perhaps the only slice of personality Eita had was his chuunibyou persona from middle school, but unlike the show with the same name in the title, Eita's condition is bland and unfunny. Masuzu, as a form of blackmail, reads from his old diary of his time as the Burning Fighting Fighter (yeah, that lame - I imagine even a 4 year old could have come up with a better alias) to which Eita performs what I assume is meant to be an amusing reaction. Except not. This is what I don't get either: Eita, the supposed intellectual, has to be bribed into a situation that would not hinder him while it benefitted Masuzu's charade to ward off boy's advances which she'd grown tiresome of. Masuzu could have asked nicer for the favour, but Eita really had nothing to lose by agreeing, so I see no other reason to include the diary other than to exaggerate Eita's past.
The rest of the cast feel like the writers just played rock-paper-scissors with a list of tropes and happened upon the worst of them. Ai is perhaps even dumber than Eita and only causes conflict within the harem through some childish "marriage contract" that was written in crayon when she and Eita were children. Somehow a promise made as kids in the form of poorly drawn crayon is enough for Ai to regard it as an actual agreement. She zealously pursues Eita without regard for anything but the agreement (let's face it, Eita has nothing going for him).
The last girl to comprise the harem is Himeka who believes she's the reincarnation of Eita's lover in a previous life. My eyes were aching from rolling them so much at this point. I think out of all of them, Chiwa was the only person who felt marginally real, and even her development struggled a lot. Arguably she was the only one that possessed a real struggle but she did little to overcome and come to terms with it. Like the premise, Chiwa was ruined potential. The rest of the cast never had potential to begin with.
I know I've talked about Eita mostly but I just can't stress enough how much I want to fucking punch a main character for being so dreadfully boring and stupid.
Oreshura is a typical harem and really doesn't do anything to break out of the mould of cliched and one-dimensional characters. Its plot is contrived and most significant events feel forced into parts of the show they don't belong. Eita's "valiant" rescue of Chiwa was also embarrassing to watch - mostly because I just wanted the bullies to put Eita into a coma and end the anime abruptly. I cringed so much at him in that scene.
Don't waste your time, watch something worthwhile instead... like Inferno Cop.
First of all, let me say that I know this review is biased and reactionary. However, sometimes I think there should be reviews out there like this sometimes so that people know ahead of time what they are getting themselves into. The next problem with this review will be explaining why my overall rating doesn't average out with the others, without spoiling the ending. I'm going to try to do this without spoilers, but I know I won't be able to completely avoid it; I won't tell you exactly what happens and how it happens, but you will probably end up learning some clues as to how it ends. (For example, we all know a Shakespearean tragedy ends with the main characters dying; it's never a "and they lived happily-ever-after ending, but until we read the play we don't know how they die.) Therefore, if you don't want any hints at all about how this show ends, stop here, don't read any further, because I'm not promising anything!
The overall story really was good! Honestly, if the show had ended about 9 minutes and 16 seconds earlier than it did, so about 14 minutes and 9 seconds into the last episode, I would be writing a review about how it was a pretty good show! But it didn't end there, and in the last 9 minutes of the show (including the ending song), in my opinion.
I have watched this show as it aired, watching it pretty much every Saturday morning on Crunchyroll, and the story line was good enough to keep me coming back week after week. It pissed me off now-and-again, but usually redeemed itself (except the ending). While it had the essence of the typical harem, it still felt different from some other shows I've watched.
What intrigued me most about the story, was I changed who I was cheering for partway through, which is not typical of me! The only other time something like this has happened was with Kimikiss Pure Rouge. This may have had more to do with the characters and their development, but I think the story played a huge part too!
The show was funny and pleasureable to watch most of the time, but it wasn't the most creative plot ever. After my switch part way through, I had an idea as to how I really wanted it to end, and I was watching, enjoying the occassional laugh while waiting to see how/if they brought it to that conclusion. I was also interested to see if they would manage to change my mind again!
Like I've said, it was a really good story and I enjoyed the show until the very end!
I usually really only notice the animation and sound if they're either REALLY good, or REALLY bad! The animation was fine, not KyoAni quality (my favorite studio), not P.A. Works quality either, but I still enjoyed it. They did do a good job in using not just color pallete but also things like line harshness and stuff in the character designs to help complement the character's perceived personality. Chiwa was always bright and straightforward, Masuzu fluctuated back and forth between soft and harsh, just like her character. They were all drawn very well.
As for sound, nothing really stuck out. As I'm writing this, I can't really think of what the typical sound track in an episode sounded like. However, I do know that I found the opening and ending to be a little more annoying than most and would always skip over it!
Here's where I really might spoil things a bit! When the show first started, I really didn't like Masuzu at all! In fact, I almost hated her for "stealing" Eita from Chiwa! Then slowly over time as we really got to know Masuzu and Eita, I started to get a little unsure of my choice. Masuzu has amazing character development! It is so subtle but she does grow quite a bit! She has this act that she puts on, and it's so good that most of the time, she believes it herself, but as the show goes on, we see her faulter in little tiny ways here and there as time goes on; a smile instead of a smirk, the briefest moment of the lightest blushing, the quick passing of showing that she's feeling dejected. It's all so subtle. I flat out laughed when they talked about A-chan being a tsundre; because while A-chan is the stereotypical tsundre through and through! Masuzu is her own type of tsundre that is actually almost more intense than A-chan in my opinion. Masuzu is the tsundre who is in almost complete control of the visible appearance of her emotions, but you can tell that the confusion is going on under the surface. She doesn't genuinely get super excited and lovey-dovey and then turn around and act like she hates Eita most of the time. She pretends and for part of the show honestly believes she doesn't like Eita at all, but then as time goes on, you can tell it's a complex form or self-denial. Basically, she is just a super awesome and complex character!
Other than Masuzu, I liked Eita as he wasn't the stereotypical super easily embarrassed, and easily swayed male character in a harem. His character development was much like Masuzu's. He would stand up and be genuinely kind to the girls, but wouldn't be over heroic either. He was just a really nice balance. His speech in the last episode was my favorite.
Next would be Chiwa the next door neighbor and childhood friend! Originally, I wanted it to end with Eita and Chiwa together, I liked Chiwa. I still like Chiwa, but she was able to grow in a way that allowed her to make some strong female friendships, other than that though, Chiwa didn't have a lot of character development. She was a great character for Masuzu to play off of, and helped bring out different sides of Eita, but in the end, I ended up feeling that Chiwa would be fine without Eita, because the two will always be best friends, but Masuzu needed him.
As for the other two girls, honestly, I think the show would've been fine without them. I saw them as just more characters getting in the way of the ending I wanted to see! They did help add something things to the plot and character development, but honestly, they were a little annoying.
Hime bugged me, not because she had delusions or eigth-grader syndrome (to steal from Chuunibyou), but honestly because that part of her character felt lukewarm. I just watched Chuunibyou before this show, and if Hime had been like Rikka, or Rikka's side-kick (blanking on her name), I wouldn't have found her quite as annoying, but it was her reserved quiteness that just bugged me!
Then A-chan annoyed me too! I don't find tsundre characters annoying usually, well, they annoy me because I yell at them to make up their mind, but I'm not usually annoyed as in they need to just leave the show. I loved Zero no Tsukaima and Toradora, but A-chan just pissed me off! Her thing about the marriage license was just stupid! I was like really, get over it! That was kindergarten for goodness sake, how stupid can you be! She was good when she was being a friend to Chiwa and Hime, but other than that I just wanted her to leave!
Normally, I wouldn't be this biased about a show based simply on the ending, but looking back, I put up with a lot of stuff that annoyed me as I watched from week to week, that I was putting up with in hopes that I would get to see the ending I wanted. I wanted Masuzu and Eita to both realize that in course of their fake relationship, they had fallen in love; and then I wanted all of the other girls to realize that while it may have started out fake between Masuzu and Eita, that in the end those two are right for each other because they actually fully understand one another and still love each other. None of the other girls truly understood Eita. I wanted them to realize this and realize that their love for Eita was a puppy-love crush; Chiwa's might not have been quite as superficial as puppy-love, but it wasn't as complex and fully understanding as Masuzu's, and the other two were just stupid, it wasn't real love at all, it was infatuation that had been built up in their minds over time! I wanted everyone to realize all of this and then for Masuzu and Eita to end happily-ever-after! But, no the other girls remain true to their stupid infatuation to the very end, and we get a stupid wishy-washy harem ending!
On Crunchyroll, they list one of the genres as shoujo, but I really don't get it! Maybe I'm different from all of the other girls in the world (although I've always considered myself fairly typical), but who wants to end up as a member of a harem? And who likes seeing or imaging/day-dreaming about guys that can NOT 100% commit to only ONE girl, and commit on a level that all other girls back the f*** off! I certainly don't! To me, that seems more like a guy's fantasy! I think the only harem that hasn't bugged me was Clannad and that's because Tomoya's heart was always pure, and the other girls backed off once they realized he was truly in love with Nagisa.
But, seriously, what girl day-dreams about ending up in a situation even remotely like the one in this story? What girl doesn't want a happily-ever-after? What girl wants someone with a superficial infatuation to have any possible chance of winning over a girl who is growing and falling in true love with the guy, and the guy is doing the same? Eita definitely didn't have any true feelings for Hime or A-chan, I don't know how they couldn't tell he was almost patronizing them! If their feelings had been remotely real, they would've realized it. Chiwa would sometimes call Eita on the carpet for patronizing her. Chiwa was the only other person it would've be slightly okay for Eita to be with, and normally I root for the childhood friend, but in this case, I changed my mind because her love wasn't real either. To the very end, she kept thinking that if she grew more in the chest and butt, that she could win Eita back, how stupid can you be? Eita does not love Masuzu for her figure, and even if you changed, if you truly loved him, you would want him to fall in love with you for other reasons!
So, that is why this anime gets a 4 out of 10 at the very end! So, that I don't feel like I've completely wasted my time, I will probably try to forget about this show and/or pretend it ended before the last 9 minutes! Harem endings suck!
A girl extorts a guy to act as his boyfriend. Nothing final, or decisive happens, at any point. The characters are immoral and unrelateable, and the MC is just the generic anime lead. The only upside to this anime I found was Chiwas and Eitas (already having trouble remembering his name) relationship and its history. The animation had a distinct touch to it and was pleasing to the eye consistently. Overall, the show was really hard to get through, I almost dropped it multiple times and I had to fight the urge to jump forwards over the stupid bits pretty much all the time. Don't waste your time on this.
Story: It's very much your typical romance harem anime and the plot isn't that interesting enough. There's really no conflict and climax throughout the anime. It was super easy to predict how the anime would end.
Animation: The animation in this anime is amazingly beautiful. The colors are vibrant and all the characters look absolutely adorable. The OP and ED were just too much eyecandy for me that I couldn't skip past them.
Sound: OP and ED songs were nice and catchy. Background music were very well suited to each situation and good. Character voices were overall great and appealing.
Characters: Main male lead is mostly cliched Mr. nice guy to every girl but has some unique traits such as being delusional and anti-love. Female characters are cliched as well but do a good job of being cute. You have your tsundere, dandere, kuudere, and childhood "friend." Most of the cast do get some development and backstory.
Overall: I think this anime did have some potential, especially with its plot but it was wasted. Way too predictable and I did not like the ending either. Does have some funny and fun moments but that's about it. To sum up this anime in one word: Meh.
I won't get into a long diatribe about this anime, But I will tell you, it was good. Good, not great.
Most redeeming quaility - The premise is unique for a harem.
Story:This anime plunges into several cliches, but pulls them off well. I'm a bellyacher when seeing the same thing over and over in a genre. This time, I fell into the cliches without grunting or being bored.
Animation/Sound: They were just lovely. Nothing dramatic to speak of, so not a superb score.
Characters: Your standard harem line-up. However, I had ups and downs with all of the main characters, which means they were interesting.
Overall: Pretty standard harem, that somehow stands out. Worth the watch, especially if you like the genre. If you're not a fan of the genre.. maybe stay away. It's highly plausible that you won't be wow'ed.