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Kimagure Orange Road
(Capricious Orange Road)
OAV Episode 2: Hurricane Akane, The Shape-Shifting Girl

Copyright: © 1989 TOHO / Studio Pierrot / VAP, © 1992 AnimEigo
Length: 25 minutes
Rating: NR, Parental Guidance Suggested
Format: Subtitled, Original Japanese language (VHS/LD)

Visual Concept: Izumi Matsumoto Original Character Design: Izumi Matsumoto Character Design: Takada Akemi Director: Nobita Norio Screenplay: Terada Kenji

[ plot summary ]

The long, hot summer vacation continues, and Kyosuke decides to take an early evening... when he awakens, and discovers a naked Hikaru in bed with him... well, almost. Meet Akane, the red-haired trouble-maker cousin of Kyosuke, who happens to possess the unique ability to make people succumb to the power of suggestion -- to the extent that she can make people see exactly what she wants them to see. When Akane hears from Hikaru that Kyosuke and Hikaru are an item, she of course wants to help their relationship develop as much as possible, especially considering that Akane was rescued from a not-so-nice punk by the bubbly young girl. But Akane doesn't know about Madoka yet... but when she does meet her, no one is more shocked about the results than Kyosuke... that Akane is irresistably attracted to Madoka!

[ capsule review ]

Ironically, Akane doesn't show up in the TV series or the movies, but she does show up every once in a while in the manga series. Who would have ever guessed that the reason that Akane doesn't have a boyfriend is that subconciously, she's attracted to girls? More specifically, Ayukawa Madoka. While this might seem a bit odd in North America (well, perhaps not as much these days since Ellen came 'out of the closet'), but it's not an unusual subject matter in Japan. While it might not be considered 'normal', it's still a pretty decent vehicle for a humour piece.

The story is pretty formulaic -- everthing Akane does to either get closer to Madoka, or bring Kyosuke and Hikaru closer together has just one effect -- drive a wedge between Madoka and Kyosuke. Of course, when everything goes completely wrong, Madoka has had enough, and goes to the Disco Moebius to drown her sorrows. Just when things look pretty bad for Madoka, who should appear but Kyosuke to save the day... and once again, all well...

People who see these OAV episodes will undoubtably feel like they're missing something, and they're right. So much of the background information about the KOR universe is provided by the TV series, that you have to wonder why AnimEigo even bothered releasing the OAV's. None of the OAV series is strong enough to stand on its own, and without the background info, most viewers who start with the OAV would probably lose interest very quickly. It's a shame, since the KOR series features some pretty decent material -- but unfortunately, it's all spread out across 48 episodes. If you've never seen KOR before, try to get your hands on at least the first few volumes of the TV series, otherwise, you'll be cheating yourself out of the entire experience.
- A.N., 98.03.01

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: 2 stars N/A N/A
Direction: 3 stars N/A N/A
Acting: 4 stars N/A N/A
Animation: 3 stars N/A N/A
Music: 4 stars N/A N/A
Translation: N/A N/A N/A
Overall Rating: 3 stars N/A N/A

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