Okami-san & Her 7 Companions
Long long ago, there was a girl with a fierce appearance known as Okami. A forgettable boy in the same class fell in love with her, eventually finding the courage to confess his feelings.
One day the girl had a run in with local thugs. Despite her tough exterior, she couldn't escape the trouble she'd gotten into. When the boy arrived, he declared
Later, as the two walked home together, Okami had a change of heart.
Out of all the anime girl archetypes, my favorite are the thug girls known as sukeban / yanki. Anime has a long history of the bad girl with a soft side, but I never get tired fo them. Which is why I became interested in Okami-san and Her Seven Companions, but I'm not quite sure what to make of the show as a whole.
Okami-san is a pile of anime high school stuff and characters, stuffed into a pretty generic package. The supposed selling point is taking fairytale stories and transposing it into a school romance comedy. Except that it mostly doesn't. True, it takes some oddball parts from those stories, but it's usually the most irrelevant parts, and has no relation to the story. Which makes it a bit mysterious why it bothered in the first place.
The core of the story revolves around Okami, a tough girl who is actually soft deep down. Due to trauma in her younger years, the sweet Okami put on a fierce outward appearance to protect herself. Ryoshi notices her nice side and falls in love with her. It's an oddball romance that mainly succeeds because of the depth in Okami's character. However, it doesn't get very far in the romance since the anime spends so much time doing "other stuff". Most of the show involves the club gathering "favors" through odd jobs. It then further divides its attention with Okami's ex-boyfriend. This is provides needed back story, but it mires the anime in fighting battles (perhaps appropriate considering Okami's nature). I wouldn't say the story is bad, but it doesn't accomplish much due to a lack of focus.
The unique feature of Okami-san is the narrator. This is a nod to fairy tales, but also intended as a source of comedy. If you don't like someone talking over a show, you probably won't like Okami-san for this reason alone. I think the narrator is ingenious even if annoying sometimes. It's not just anyone talking, it's a cheeky gossipy Japanese housewife who adds a lot of flavor to the dialog. During the fluff episodes, this works great, but during the more serious stuff, she gets in the way. With subtitles this causes problems tracking multiple dialogs at the same time. Which is annoying since this would be EASILY solved using different color subtitles.
The English script is tailored to American audiences with added jokes, and well written. Luci Christian does a good job as the narrator, but some of the charm is lost in the English version. It's kind of hit and miss in both versions, but for different reasons.
Just a side note: The girl who represents Little Red Riding hood is named Ringo (meaning "apple" in Japanese). She's known for having a dark heart. The girl representing Snow White has a pool accident and requires CPR - administered by Ringo. So it's a kiss from the poison apple that revives Snow White in the story. A cute twist.
Okami-san is a generic pile of "anime stuff" lacking flavor aside from the narrator - a make or break feature of the show. Okami has a good story behind her (which is good since she's the focus), but her story doesn't go very far and nothing else is really accomplished. Hard to recommend in this state, but I enjoyed it enough. It's not bad, but not in the "must see" list as it stands.
Narrator: I apologize. This bath scene is such a waste of fan service with such a flat chest.
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