Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
The protagonist, Kidou Eita, is a high school freshman with excellent grades and a disdain for love. He used to live a regular school life with his childhood friend, Harusaki Chiwa, a girl who's nearly a sister to him, but then one day the school's most beautiful girl, Natsukawa Masuzu, confesses to him. However, her true desire is only to fool the eyes of other and pretend to be a couple. With a certain secret of his in Masuzu's hands, Eita is forced to play along… But a fierce battle over Eita begins as his ex-girlfriend, Himeka, and his fiancé, Ai, join the fray!!
From watching OreShura, I have come to the conclusion that anime writers must be, by and large, morons. No... perhaps that is too kind. Complete imbeciles, maybe? OreShura is a show that leaves me in complete despair when I consider it and the intelligence of its creators. What valid reason could I have for questioning the intelligence of this show's writers, you might ask? That is simple. Only someone best described as a half-wit if you were rounding up to the nearest half could bear to create a cast as stupid as Oreshura's.
Okay, I kid, but in all seriousness, the rogues gallery that make up the cast of OreShura are so unbearably moronic/insane that they make Haganai's thematic cast of misfits look as ideally functional as a 50s style suburban family. Rogue one is Kidou Eita. It is no exaggeration to say that the whole plot of this show hinges on Eita being spineless and stupid - if the boy showed an iota of backbone in the first two episodes then we could have had this show cut down to an OVA and I would be in a much better mood. Seriously, he lets himself get blackmailed over nothing whatsoever (sure, the journal is embarrassing but all he does is study so it's not like it's going to damage his social life) and still sits and does nothing even when Masuzu is tormenting his childhood friend for no reason other than her perverse amusement. The second rogue in this dramatis freak show is Masuzu. In terms of intelligence she is the winner out of everyone (since she is only moderately dense) but it is all tainted by her near constant meanness. Sure, we get the 'broken bird' back story of why she is the way she is but whether you are a bitch out of badness or a bitch out of trauma, you are still horrible to be around and that is how it is with Masuzu. That said, at least Masuzu gets character development.
Rogue three, Chiwa, is a potentially cute and interesting character who vanishes under a torrent of lame jealousy and bickering jokes. I get why she gets so jealous though, the girl has no life whatsoever! Masuzu is the only girl out of four who shows even a hint of a life outside wanting to jump Eita's bones and that shallowness of character leaves the character worthless. Rogue four is Himeka and I will surprise you by saying that I quite like Hime as a presence in the show. Note that I said 'presence' and I mean precisely what I say. Hime is not a character - she is a psychosis in human form and despite the amusement that she brings to the series, she is utterly worthless as anything more than comic relief and eye candy. Speaking of psychosis, Ai is the rogue number five and thankfully the last to show up so I only had to put up with her for half the series. To be blunt, Ai is a psycho; she is call-the-shrink nut job insane. She's a shuffle away from full stalker territory and only a hop, skip and a jump from the loony bin. The girl is blindingly obsessive, has the wildest mood swings and is just as delusional as Hime in many ways. Admittedly, she is the catalyst for some of the funniest jokes the show has to offer but they were only short moments of respite between minutes of cringing. In real life I would move house to avoid a girl like Ai and as a TV show character she made me want to move series.
Even with these criticisms, I wouldn't hate the characters so much if they weren't so blindingly bland. Haganai's cast is eccentric to the point of almost being unlikable but the show's strength is that behind every wall of larger-than-life eccentricity there is a potentially empathetic character hiding and they occasionally get a chance to shine. In OreShura there is nothing below the one-dimensional façade that make up the characters' personae. We never get a hint at how Ai became the nutter that we see on our screens or how or if that is going to change – she is just a shallow mask of madness without reason, meaning or context. This is too true for too many members of the cast and it ultimately means that no attempt at portraying anything romantic could ever be satisfying or interesting because I don't care for characters who can give themselves paper cuts with their own personalities.
What also hurts the show is that the plot is a mess. Being based on a series of light novels, the narrative moves as seamlessly through the plots of the novels as a brick through teeth and just as painfully. The plot I describe in the above synopsis might as well not exist by episode four as the premise of the fricking show ceases to be relevant to the proceedings! The arc involving the introduction of Ai into the main cast might as well have been from a different show with how relevant it was to what had gone before it and what would go on after. I never knew a show could wander so far in only thirteen episodes but OreShura manages it somehow and I never intend to find out how. The show's lack of narrative direction of course leads to problems with the relationships as well. The main relationships either fail to progress at all or come to fruition without any opportunity for the viewer to invest emotionally in proceedings. What should be moving can barely illicit a shrug because the show completely fails to do its groundwork properly.
It's not all misery though. The show and its characters look great and that is hard to deny. The bold, almost toy box, style of colouring may be off-putting for some but I personally enjoyed them and they gave the show a character of its own through its art even if not through its story. Another thing I cannot deny is that OreShura is actually pretty funny. I have already mentioned it but, for all its damning faults, this show does actually show a fair degree of competence in the quality of its jokes and the quality of the jokes' deliveries. One joke that stood out was the 'tsundere' joke involving Ai towards the end of the show. Mocking the tsundere cliché is not original but it is done so sharply and that I am forced to wonder where this talent was when the rest of the show was being made.
One of these days I will recommend a show to you guys with terrible characters and a joke of a plot but that is not today. OreShura is a bad show though rays of light, like its visuals and its humour, mean it limps over the finish line with some honour. Not too much though.
Bland, lifeless, soulless and stupid, yet it gets two stars for what entertainment it does deliver on. Still, you can do a lot better if you want to get your harem comedy fix. — Aiden Foote
Recommended Audience: This is fine for older children or older though the show pitches itself more towards a teenage audience. There is some limited fanservice (mostly swimsuits) and a warning from me that sensitive viewers might find Ai disturbing - I sure did.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital source
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru © 2013 Yuji Yuji,SoftBank Creative Corp./Oreshura Project
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