Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru (Oreshura)

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru, also known as Oreshura

It's a 2013 anime that falls under the genres of Comedy, Romance, School, and Harem. Produced by A-1 Pictures, the story comprises a decent thirteen episodes, taking the audience on a journey of deceit and disdain with our protagonist. But fear not, despite the dramatic undertones mentioned earlier, this is primarily a comedy, more specifically, a harem. Therefore, it presents a rather laid-back narrative.

The original story originates from the novel of the same name, written by Yuuji Yuuji and illustrated by LLO. This narrative lies somewhat outside my usual preferences, considering I wouldn't label myself a fan of harems. However, it possesses a set of unique elements that transform this anime into a guilty pleasure—one that I enjoy recommending to others.

What is Oreshura About?

Upon entering high school, Eita Kidou commits himself tirelessly to academics, aspiring to secure admission to the National Medical University. Following his parents' divorce, he made a solemn vow to shun anything associated with romance or love, dedicating himself entirely to his studies. However, Masuzu Natsukawa, the most stunning girl in school, unexpectedly enters his life one day. This, however, doesn't sit well with his childhood friend, Chiwa Harusaki, who has been by his side since elementary school and is determined not to let this unfold without a fight.

Joining the cast are Himeno Akishino, claiming a connection with Eita from their past lives, and Ai Fuyuumi, who shares a promise with Eita from their kindergarten days. These girls are willing to go to great lengths to remain at the side of the aloof Eita, who, with a hesitant heart, finds it challenging to fully embrace the love offered by any of them.

The Positive Aspects: Cleverly Employed Cliché and Referential Brilliance

Oreshura is an anime that, despite not aligning with my typical preferences, boasts elements that position it as a top recommendation within the harem genre. Among the highlights of this series, references stand out as a particularly noteworthy success. The relationship between Masuzu and Eita is indeed peculiar; they pretend to be a couple.

However, what truly distinguishes their dynamic is not the façade of a romantic relationship but the connection forged through the diary Masuzu discovered, manipulating Eita with it. This element gives rise to various fantasies, notably Masuzu's distinct and almost obsessive love for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Whether through poses, iconic scenes, or callbacks to the story, Masuzu seizes every opportunity to extol the virtues of this iconic franchise.

Beyond the references to JoJo’s, another commendable aspect of this series is its adept use of cliché. Harem anime often fall into familiar stereotypes, making it difficult to discern a significant divergence among them. Oreshura doesn't seek to break free from these conventions; instead, it cleverly employs them to establish the groundwork of its premise: "my girlfriend frequently clashes with my childhood friend." If taken at face value, one might think solely of Masuzu as the girlfriend and Chiwa as the childhood friend. However, a genuine harem requires more elements, and this is where Ai and Hime enter the scene. They also fulfill the role of "childhood friends," albeit in a more indirect manner than Chiwa.

The success of the cliché lies in its strategic utilization, never attempting to deviate from it, even when it appears that Eita has made a choice in the end.

Oreshura Trailer

The Downside: Poor Execution

Let's address a crucial flaw that cannot be overlooked—the lackluster execution. While the series adeptly handles clichés, it often succumbs to excessive repetition. A notable critique for this anime lies in its seemingly nonsensical progression. Despite the appearance of moving forward, there's always something that sets the story back. When it comes to character growth, it's questionable, as everyone seems determined to maintain the status quo, with no genuine effort to change their current situations.

Furthermore, the plot suffers from poor execution, and character development is lackluster. As mentioned earlier, characters show no intention of stepping out of their comfort zones, and any minor attempts are swiftly nullified. This might explain why the personal catharses of each character are easily forgotten, not just by the audience but seemingly even by the writer. The overarching issue lies in the absence of a genuine story or acceptable development, making the attempted injection of "drama" feel somewhat hollow.

Final Thoughts

Oreshura doesn't delve into intricate plot twists or mysteries; instead, it embraces its identity as a straightforward school anime immersed in romantic comedy. Despite the prevalence of clichés, the series manages to present them in a light-hearted manner, giving it an almost original feel. Despite the contradictory nature of its plot, the anime provides enjoyment and entertainment, making it suitable for a relaxing afternoon.

It operates as a harem with a well-defined power structure, where constant battles unfold to improve positions. In the end, claiming the title of girlfriend is not easily changed—not due to profound emotions, but rather due to the underlying blackmail. Consequently, the battles are more about securing the position of a true childhood friend or something similar.

Following the tradition, it's time to assign a score to this series. In my opinion, this anime deserves an 81/100. Each episode brought genuine enjoyment; the abundance of comedic elements and the delightful opening, 'Girlish Lover,' performed by the seiyuus, contributed to its appeal. Despite being a harem, I rated it high, particularly considering the apparent lack of a robust plot and the script's contradictions. However, it earns this score because it fulfills its purpose—it entertains, and quite effectively at that.

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