Sunday, 3 March 2013

OreShura / Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

I previously mentioned this series in passing, not expecting it to exceed anything more than being average. I'm writing this post now because this programme has far exceeded my expectations to become a firm weekly favourite.

So what exactly makes Oreshura so good that it deserves a second post? First and foremost is that it's a great parody series, poking fun at the harem genre whilst also enjoying harem antics of its own. The writer is clearly aware of typical stylisms of the harem genre, which they lure the viewer into thinking will happen before slapping them in the face and doing the exact opposite.

One characters reaction to chuuni antics.
It's easy to think that Oreshura is a parody of Chuu2Koi (it isn't: the light novels predate Chuu2Koi by some time), but nevertheless the timeliness of parodying the "chuunibyou condition" right after Chuu2Koi makes this a pleasing pick up. Like Chuu2Koi, the main character of this series is a former chuunibyou embarrassed by his past behaviours and is also blackmailed by a wily woman - such is the similarity that Chuu2Koi was labelled as plagiaristic upon release (not that western viewers will be aware of this). Unlike Chuu2Koi though, this has never made any derivation into serious drama - there's always well placed humour to prevent that from ever happening, usually in the form of the one character going full chuunibyou.

Speaking of characters, those are the second great asset of the programme. I have few complaints to make about them (although a character whose personality matches Rikka from Chuu2Koi is rather pathetic), most of them are parodies of regular harem personalities: the childhood friend; the stalker; the dandere; the tsundere. The fact that none of them conform exactly to stereotypes contributes to OreShura avoid being just another seasonal harem. Even the MC isn’t a complete moron – unless if comedic effect requires him to be.

Lastly, it's probably worth noting that this series is full to the brim with JoJo references: central heroine Masuzu likes making a point of recreating scenes from that series (right down to the poses). Some understanding of what JoJo is all about will be required to fully appreciate that, in the same way that you'd need to have seen Initial D / etc to appreciate parts of Lucky Star (though OreShura is more explanatory and less obtuse).

It’s rare to find a series that gets better the more you watch it, but I seem to find myself laughing more with each passing week. It goes without saying that I strongly recommend this – though do note that the first episode takes a little while to get going, once the harem antics kick in the fun begins.