A classic romantic comedy from the 1980's, telling the bittersweet story of three high school students. The series features very unique storytelling and direction, music from some of the biggest Japanese pop acts of the 1980's, and an added twist as Kyosuke and his family are ESPers, whose powers are used to tell unique stories and put the characters in unusual situations.
A Transfer Student! ‘Tis Embarassing to Say, But I’ll Fall in Love For the First Time
A Little Lemony Kiss For Her
Feelings Stirred – The Rolling First-Date
Hikaru?! A Sensational “C-Experience.”
A Secret for Two – A Problematic Part-Time Job
That Kid’s My Rival – Midterm Exam of Love
Madoka’s Private Life?! A Spark-Colored Kiss
You’re Smiling! A “Shutter-Chance” at the Beach
Kurumi, I’ll Teach You How to Date
A Foreboding Dream?! Hikaru is Dying
Don’t Ring the Wedding Bell!
Study Abroad in America! Good-bye, Madoka
I think KOR is a formatitive show for the romcom genre, and a 1980's anime staple. It ended up being one of my favorites from the decade, however, your mileage will vary vastly depending on how you feel about its episodic structure and tropes. I, for one, feel the episodic structure works in portraying a day-by-day life of a teenager, and also worked better given the ESP hijinks. This is a TV series meant for syndication and re-runs, and its plot structure feels more like Western cartoons than a typical anime series does. For the first cour, each episode begins with a short monolouge by Kyosuke that gives the series some heart, and ends with a Polaroid still from the episode... It helps gives the series a nostalgic, "coming of age" vibe, even when the series was new in the late 80's. Funny thing about the characters - My impression of the collective opinion is audiences love Madoka, want to punch Kyosuke, and would rather Hikaru just be quiet. To act like Madoka isn't the main draw to the show would be a lie. On this website, she currently has 202 "Hearts" and only 5 "Broken Hearts" - She's a cool character with a melancholic undertone, and has a great design. The only bad thing people have to say about her is she's *too* perfect. As for my opinion? I agree with the former, she's one of the most appealing characters of the genre. On that note, I admittedly like Kyosuke more than the average viewer; I sympathize with why people don't like his indecisiveness, but I find his monologues earnest and I like his voice actor's work. Finally, with Hikaru, I also like her more than others do - her bubbly personality is a good foil to Madoka's cool nature. Seiji and Hatta (The perverted supporting characters) on the other hand can go take a hike. Character designer Akemi Takada adds a well-needed Shojo touch to the original manga art. Original creator Izumi Matsumoto (RIP) was inspired by Gou Nagai's racy Harenchi Gakuen manga, and the American film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". While I respect Matsumoto a lot, his mindset when illustrating a cover was more "How can I make this cool and sexy?" while Akemi Takada's was "How can I display the melancholy in Madoka's eyes?". (By the way, I paraphrased these from actual quotes from them) The show's animation uses nice, bright colors; While mostly average, it occasionally dips into some sick well-animated moments. Look the series up on SakugaBooru to see what I mean! Particularly, the OP animation is on another level. On that note... KOR's music is the other aspect everyone agrees is amazing. A lot of younger folk are discovering this series through its soundtrack, as many are part of the "City Pop" genre that is very popular on YouTube right now. As someone who loved the OST before I even knew what City Pop even was, I can see why it caught on with so many people. Overall, my personal enjoyment for the series was a 10, but if I rate it more objectively, I'd land it at about an 8. A lot of what KOR did ended up being codified into tropes... tropes that many might feel are tired or outdated to modern viewers. But if you like what you see of the art style and music, I say give the series a chance.
Story: One of the worst written love triangles I have seen. MC is spineless which is the norm, *SPOILER? but he pretty much already made his decision right off the bat however circumstances prevent that choice so the show could happen. He also has esper powers or something. It's just there and doesn't really enhance the story, just gives some more options to make more episodes. It's an older anime and that's just how most shows operated. Animation: I enjoyed the aesthetics of the time period. Also watched this in this in 1080p I believe so that definitely gave it a boost. Again, and older anime so gotta judge by that era. Sound: Music was good. Few of those OP/ED's going to end up on my playlist. Especially first OP. Same with the BGM, a few that stood out and those all you can really hope for. Characters: MC is garbage. Love interests I feel you'll either like or dislike. The reoccuring gag characters had their charm. Designs are basic and would only be recognizable if grouped together. Overall: While not horrible, it was a bit of a chore to get through. Honestly if they condensed it to about 24 episdoes, that would improve the show drastically. If you take out the esper stuff, could even do it to about 12-13.
"Wherefore art thou, Umao-san?" "Ushiko-san--!" STORY Kyosuke and his family move to a new town, yet again, after their paranormal powers had been noticed where they previously lived. What do these said powers entail, you may wonder? From teleporting into the wrong bathrooms or hypnotizing himself accidentally to obey any command, to swapping bodies with his toddler cousin or traveling through time to fix some mistakes, there are many troublesome, and awkward, events to be had. Follow this indecisive kid as he makes new "relationships" at this new school full of perverted friends and delicious pork cutlet sandwiches! CHARACTERS Kyosuke is super indecisive, to the point that it is frustrating to watch him half-commit to his relationship with Hikaru. He obviously loves Ayukawa more, but never sorts that out and just keeps making both girls jealous, mad, or disappointed towards him. He's also slightly perverted, or at least really comes off that way because he's always getting in situations that are easily misunderstood or that he simply can't explain the true truth about because he must keep his abilities secret. If this weren't an episodic series, I don't know how he'd even still be able to live and show his face at school with some of the situations he gets himself in. Hikaru is your always cheery, always oblvious, ease-to-accept-an-excuse kinda gal. Her love for Kyosuke is almost one sided and I had hoped she'd just accept Yuusaku's unrequited feelings towards her - they were childhood friends and it's obvious he'd actually treat her much better than Kyosuke is with his constant side adventures with other girls! But no... rip Yuu my fellow single Pringle... Ayukawa was a much more interesting female lead. She isn't a pushover, gets into plenty of fights and her delinquency was an exciting addition to her self-righteous character. Like Kyosuke she has issues being forthright with her feelings, but at least she's not constantly bouncing between people like he is! Deep down she likes him back, making it feel like Hikaru was always in their way... OVERALL This series gives you a feeling of constant embarrassment for Kyosuke, coupled with the frustration that he can never make up his mind! Everyone kind of just beats around the bush all 48 episodes and I think more development needed to occur to make this worth the watch. It wasn't terrible by any means, but for even a romcom it could have been much better with just a few changes. Like, I think there's a problem if we see these background characters Umao and Ushiko for 3 seconds per episode and all they quote is Shakespeare and their relationship be looking tighter than anything Kyosuke has been able to make in all 72,000 seconds of the series!
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