OreShura ep5: a badass medical drama is just around the corner
You had to wonder at the end of episode four how Eita was gonna handle the love letter in his foot locker. Standard Harem Operating Procedure (SHOP) dictates that when a third member of the harem is introduced, it’s done awkwardly and with great misunderstanding. Actually, that’s how every girl appears to the male protagonist. And I was greatly looking forward to seeing how this eventual misunderstanding would further screw with Eita’s life. But first, he has Masuzu and Chiwa’s substantial problems to deal with first.
Eita sees the letter he’s just received as a burden more than anything else, an awkward burden. I can tell because, like any normal guy, he puts off a decision for as long as possible, while simultaneously waiting for as convenient a solution as possible. He does so with the hope that he can hide the situation from Masuzu. Which I find unrealistic, because she’s much more sharp when it comes to people and their nuances than him. At the first sign of him shoving something in his pocket she finds a moment to confront him.
Before that though, we see Chiwa try to cozy up next to Eita at school. Masuzu is having none of it as she overhears Chiwa’s questions and slams her head into her sandwich on the table. It’s interesting to see the rivalry between these two evolve. As the two of them get to know each other better, the rivalry intensifies and gets a bit more personal. They’re strangely still friends. They may not say it, but to me they’re friends. Anyway, time for drama!
After school Masuzu attempts to confront Eita about his secret, but surprisingly Eita holds fast. An argument is about to start when we get visited by a new character. The two false lovers are interrupted by a rude little imouto who is very familiar with Masuzu. For the short time she’s on screen, she’s able to intimidate poor Masuzu terribly, and even kisses Eita right in front of her. Her name is Mana, and from the tenor of the conversation, the little brat feels that she’s entitled to anything Masuzu has. It makes me wonder if this is similar to Eita’s circumstance where she’s left out in the cold thanks to some brutal divorce, because I’m guessing (only guessing) that Mana isn’t her biological sister. It raises a flag that will keep me interested in this show later.
The next day Masuzu seems to still be suffering some of the after effects of her “sister’s ” visit. Even though their class gets to hang out at the pool, she’s wrapped under towel against the fence. Eita tries to convince her to take advantage of the situation, and I don’t know if that did it, or all the disapproving whispers from her classmates did, but hops in the pool… And drowns! Well that issue could have been avoided easily if she’d just told ANYONE that she swims like a drowning rat! The situation ends up being a little extra dicey though, because one of the male classmates fainted in the pool while watching her walk to the water, and the teach/lifeguard is busy giving him CPR! Again another situation that could have been avoided if only he’d learn to masturbate, or control his heartrate. Geez!
This leaves Eita as the only one left to save her. So after a uncomfortable amount of time watching Eita stare at everyone, and watching everyone stare at Eita, he finds the guts to save her life. Eita stays by her side afterwards, and they both agree to pass off the situation as if it was nothing… despite him saving her life. Unfortunately, the unfortunate chain of events continues. The weather had changed dramatically since they were at the pool and it was raining hard. Eita’s exploits are big news and word reaches Chiwa a she’s out and about. When she hears, she runs home in despair… without her umbrella. So we find out the next day that now she has a fever and her mother has asked Eita to watch over. Wow. I wonder how many American parents would have made that leap. You know how paranoid we are about sex here in the States. Fever or no fever, I have a feeling he wouldn’t get in without Chiwa’s help in that situation. Though we are treated to some tasteful scenes of Chiwa being cared for by her childhood crush. We even get to see her little chopstick shrine. She cherishes that moment that Eita decided to turn his life around for her at that dinner. And she’s kept those chopsticks ever since. Pretty sweet really.
Events are then thrust forward to the end of the weekend and a new school day. Eita receives another letter (I think that makes three up to this point) asking that he meet his crush on the roof of the school. The same place where Chiwa met up with Sakagami (me thinks this will be an important spot later on in the series). What he finds is a weird cross between Rikka from Chu2Koi and Keima from Kami Nomi, she’s a complete mouse who uses airy breathes to form her sentences. It turns out that she discovered him back when he fought Sakagami and his gang a couple of episodes back (and you’ll see her for sure if you look with any attention to detail). And his speech inspired her to believe his story and believe that they were soul mates in past lives. And of course this brings me back to my point at the beginning of this post. S.H.O.P.! Masuzu and Chiwa, OF COURSE, find Eita in forced embrace with the new girl, Himeka.
Good luck dude! This would be the part where I abandon my homey to his fate.
Over the course of five episodes, I’ve gone from being sure I’m going to drop this show; to intermittently threatening to drop it, to recommending it to friends and watching it with my wife. And while I’m still unsure of how high or low this show can go, it’s still given me a pretty good sample that has convinced me to keep going. OreShura has shown itself to be a consistent, entertaining watch.
As far as the presentation goes, it’s wonderfully and simply animated. Thankfully, the situation don’t require too much detail, as everyone has seen their fair share of Japanese high schools, and somewhat upscale Japanese housing after only a couple of years of anime watching. The bright colors keep everything in these plain settings interesting though. Though the music hasn’t stood out for me to this point. Somewhat on the subject, I hate the OP animation and theme; while for whatever reason I enjoy the ED animation a bit more and the ED theme a lot more.
As for the all important characters and their relationships. I’d say they’re interesting though not far above average. As I’ve probably said in at least one previous blog post, the main protagonist Eita is a good guy. A good, plain guy. Though I think he gets somewhat of a pass based on his ridiculous, but interesting journal. The C-grade student Eita was in his past certainly had no interesting future, but he would have been fun as hell (and just as embarrassing) to watch. When that comes out in Eita, he really shines. Other than that, he’s a bit of a big gray center of gravity for the cast. In essence, the cast revolves around him, but the plot and narrative revolves around the main females in the show.
And between those two main females (I’m not counting the new arrival, Himeka, yet), I find both of them to be equally engaging at this point. Masuzu is probably Eita’s equal, in spirit anyway. The difference between them seems to be that while Eita was busy pounding away at his school work, Masuzu found extra time to study people. Things were also less in her favor because she’s a gorgeous female who attracted the attention of most everyone around her. She’s pretty close to a stone cold b*tch in my opinion, but she’s also delightfully conniving and manipulative. Until the audience fully understands her backstory, I don’t think anyone will really know what she was aiming at with these little moments she shares with Eita early in the series. It seems clear that she has moments of joy watching and being around Eita, but she covers it up so well that none of it could be counted as evidence to show she has a heart.
As for her rival, Chiwa, she’s impressive just for a being a childhood friend who isn’t thrown to the wayside for being too boring or familiar. Though technically, almost every episode has been dedicated to “throwing her away” in some form or fashion. It’s clear that she’s the female with the lead on capturing his heart. Eita’s whole change of life direction and heart was dedicated to helping Chiwa, but somehow Eita has gotten some form of unspoken, unacknowledged amnesia and he doesn’t acknowledge it. It’s an incredibly stupid situation that may have made me frustrated or even quit the show if I wasn’t so used to how romances are strung out in anime. Her cruel and tragic backstory also helps you root for her, along with her steadfast dedication to Eita through anything. I think she has the potential to be one of the more impressive anime character personalities I’ve seen. And it all leads to a three way dynamic that I have found to very entertaining through five episodes.
Further Reading:Sword Fights and Past Lives-OreShura Episode 4 and 5