Check-out Station: OreShura eps12 & 13 (Love is a battlefield – and so is your face!)
There are many things I’ve said I will never do again. Things like putting soy sauce on rice; watch a Neon Genesis Evangelion dub; renting from a black landlord (I don’t give a sh*t if you call me racist or not); becoming a born again Christian; joining the ****; mixing light and dark rums (GEEZUS, that was a terrible experience); and being friends with females.
Some of these are easy. Don’t put the soy sauce on the rice. You can only join the **** once, kinda. Unless the people who made the DVD/Blu-ray are complete a-holes then the disc for EVA should always be set to subs first.
While others are not so easy to keep, especially the not being friends with females thing. It’s like a curse. Some guys have shallow, sex filled relationships with women by the dozens. I have rich fulfilling relationships with women that involve lots of talking and confiding and giving advice. But NO sex. I repeat, NONE. Not an ounce. Now if I was in anime like OreShura, I suppose that wouldn’t be a problem. Because someone as lame as me would have women falling all over him. This show… Wow. This show is a lesson in how it is IMPOSSIBLE to be casual friends with females. The love is too deep.
Screw you Oreshura. Screw. You.
Now I’m gonna cut to the chase with this post. There isn’t much of a need for a synopsis. It’s more about setting things up.
Basically, the Maiden Club gets their trip to the beach, and Masuzu and her slave, Eita, are left with the task of figuring out how to convince the three girls traveling with them that they’re a real couple. HA! Good luck! The very fact that they found themselves in this situation is proof that they couldn’t convince an alien that they enjoyed contact with each other. At one point, Masuzu is directly confronted about their relationship by one of the girls. She even guesses her motivation and reasoning behind everything she’s done. Masuzu’s plan is to to stage a kiss in front of the girls to crush their spirits and repair the reputation of their faux relationship. It fails. Horribly. But spawns a beautiful scene where the girls give her and Eita a present to represent their bond through the club. It’s basically the harem killing Masuzu with kindness. And it pretty well works. She’s so touched that tells Eita that he’ll be released from his bondage to her once she loses the contest thingy that his aunt is hosting tomorrow. A very effective cliffhanger for the last episode. The next morning, she’s generally unavailable as the other girls go on ahead to the contest. While lamenting on the beach, Eita (literally) runs into Masuzu’s sister. Who turns out to be a bit less of a b*tch than first impressions gave. She ends up being the key to Eita getting through to Masuzu. But that’s best left for the last episode.
By the end of this episode, I was genuinely impressed by the set up. Though my opinion of Eita and Masuzu as a couple was damn near at an all time low when it started. You saw the cracks in Masuzu’s armor. And in a way, her gift was what cracked it all the way through. Hell, it even made me wish the four girls could just stop fighting and be friends. But this is a harem anime, so that bullsh*t just isn’t gonna fly. Hell there’s out in the open talk about “battlefield” and “harem” routes, as if they’re characters in a dating sim. There can only be war at this point. So here we go! The FINAL episode (until season 2 is green-lit)!
The contest is on as Eita arrives with his special weapon from Masuzu’s sister, and Chiwa takes the stage. She gives her heartfelt speech (nice). Then Hime has a really nice moment with Eita that ends up getting broadcast to everyone at the beach. Ai goes too, but like Hime I think she ended up coming off to the crowd as a freak. The real fireworks come at the end of the contest when Masuzu shows up as the last contestant. Gorgeous as ever, she’s still giving off a melancholy air.
What happens next is a grand, embarrassing display that’s only meant to be seen in theater, or in a soap opera. Masuzu lies about “her boyfriend” breaking up with her, and talks about how she has no right to be in the contest (then just get off the stage lady). Eita’s fed up with her moping and rushes the stage to reassure her, confess his feelings for her (he’s enjoyed the abuse and scheming all along), and a titanic (in terms of plot) kiss is exchanged! Then there’s some rather poignant cinematography with all three girls shown from behind as they watch, none of their faces showing. The next morning we see Eita asleep on his hotel bed. He’s woken up by Masuzu in her nightie (NICE!), and they exchange some really weird lovey-dovey pillow talk that borders on a shared loved of masochism. It’s still adorable though.
Eita then has a talk with his aunt who is worried for the eventual hellstorm that awaits him when his harem gets their faculties back together. She gives him a third option aside from the battle field route he’s taken, and the harem option that she now believes is closed off. She advises him to make the other three girls hate him. All attempts fail horribly, but most badly with Chiwa who actually steals a damn good kiss from Eita. Masuzu actually shows up just in time for that exchange and we get another really good moment where they exchange banter and stare each other down. In short, the series may be over, but the war has just begun!
For a last episode, it sure as hell did the trick for taking the viewer on a ride. And I would have been perfectly fine with the series ending in that hotel room with Eita and Masuzu lying in bed. But money has to be made, and more seasons have to be animated. And I’ll begrudgingly admit that the last half of this episode may have been somewhat unnecessary for me, but it was damn entertaining. And Chiwa’s final scene was superb.
I will say that like with Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, this series did well despite being short. Though I did wish for some stuff that never really blossomed. I was hoping to see things like a meaner Masuzu. And I was hoping her relationship with Eita would run deeper and be more conflicted. I suppose that it made enough sense that the very fact that Eita was going through all these hoops for Masuzu should have been enough evidence to show he cared about her. But that doesn’t really work for me considering he was being blackmailed over ninety percent of the series. It was harder for me to determine what he was doing for her because he was blackmailed, than it was for me to determine if Masuzu actually cared about him. Honestly, I could not tell if he did some things because of the blackmail; because he was a nice guy; or simply because he enjoyed her company and being her slave. And I believe that that does matter. It’s the reason why their melding of emotions halfway through the final episode caught me so off guard. There really wasn’t anything to make me think that she had any edge over Chiwa, who everyone has to admit at this point is the only real rival.
The series overall is something I have to give credit to. It very nearly had one of the worst, most boring first episodes I had ever seen. Only the last third of that episode was average enough to pull it out of the stinker bin, and have me not immediately drop it. It also deserves credit for getting me to watch another harem. I didn’t realize it until too late, it’s exactly what I did. I never said I’d never watch another harem anime (or else I couldn’t watch my beloved Monogatari series), but I certainly wasn’t looking to make exceptions. It also had the strike against of starting with the word “ore”. I have a horrible track record with series that start with that word. Now that I think about it, I’ll be picking up one of those series soon, Ore no Imouto. And this show may have been the perfect warm up for it. The last post I had on that show is a good example of how my initial feelings on this show came to be.
OreShura ended up being a collection of good-natured, love obsessed idiots, and not at all the collection of mean or bitter characters I’d hope to initially find. And that’s not a bad thing at all. It played up its comedy well, though it wasn’t nearly as funny in the latter half as some of the initial episodes were. And there was definite romance and drama to be had in this series. The show never reached Toradora! or Kare Kano like levels of romance and perfection, but I never expected it from this series. And this honestly would make a good recommendation to certain people. There’s enough romance to warrant that. Any anime fan with even the slightest tolerance for the harem genre should give this a shot. It’s not gonna turn all your casual relationships into a steaming hot pile of passionate romance and love flags, but most every twenty minutes of an episode is good solid dumb fun.