Posted by psgels on 11 November 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




It’s strange: you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen in this movie if you watched the TV-series and the OVAs. They just kept building up and up to this bubble, which finally bursts in “I want to return to that day”. But heck, this is one of the closest things you’ll see to a perfect movie: anything more or less and it would only have made the movie less memorable. Kimagure Orange Road already set a number of standards in the romance genre that have not been matched ever since, but this movie really is brilliant: it’s one of the best, if not THE best romance movies I’ve seen.

The TV-series were incredibly annoying: the movie is anything but. Gone are the silly hijinks and the annoying teenaged antics. Instead, this movie fleshes out its cast with some really realistic dialogue. I’m really amazed: I already thought that the TV-series was down to earth when it wasn’t annoying, but the movie just adds in a whole new layer of realism, which really allows the characters to shine.

Most romances tend to get a little cheesy because they want to try to be too dramatic and do too much in too little time, but this movie is completely different from that. The characters act subtly and don’t try to create more drama than what’s necessary. Because of that it has a full hour to develop the relatively simple premise of his movie, and it really results into a wonderful conclusion to the Kimagure Orange Road franchise. It should be noted though that you really need to have watched the TV-series if you want to touch this thing: otherwise you’ll just be left in the dark.

This movie can be compared to Tenchi Muyo In Love 2, but even with that kind of a movie, expect even more realism and less forced drama here. The pacing of this movie is slow, but if you managed to sit through the TV-series, then patience shouldn’t be an issue here. It’s really been a while since I watched a teenaged romance that was this grounded in realism.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Grounded in realism, both the quiet and the dramatic parts. Simple, yet extremely effective, with a wonderful ending.
Characters: 9/10 – Uses the main characters from the tv-series brilliantly, and gives them a very satisfying conclusion that many, many modern romances can learn a lot from.
Production-Values: 8/10 – The best animation from Kimagure Orange Road so far.
Setting: 8/10 – Do note: the telekinesis from the TV-series is completely gone. But then again, it has no point in this movie anyway and would only have ended up as an annoying cock-block.

Suggestions:
Umi ga Kikoeru
Anne no Nikki – The Diary of Anne Frank
Bokura ga Ita

7 Responses

  1. Cerrian says:

    It’s too bad that the viewers had to suffer through the tv series to get the full impact of the movie which provided a very satisfying conclusion.

    If I remember correctly, there was some mild controversy because the movie broke the love triangle.

  2. Souther says:

    One of my favorite anime movies. Glad to see you enjoyed it so much.

    @Cerrian:

    The last two episodes of the TV series had already made transparently clear that the love triangle was on its way out…aside from the fact the rest of show was almost always slanted in favor of Madoka herself.

    In other words, anyone who saw the TV ending and thought Hikaru still had any chance would have been fooling themselves.

    What the movie does is go one step further and actually resolve the remaining tension proactively in a serious and dramatic fashion, but it wasn’t exactly a surprising twist or anything similar. I would call it a more or less natural outcome of what had come before.

    There is a second movie though, but I’d argue it’s more about nostalgia and teasing than actually turning back the clock. It’s also not nearly as good as this one, in my opinion.

  3. Charles S. says:

    This is a pretty brilliant film. Hikaru, who is often annoying in the series, really shines as a character in this movie.

    You’re also dead on, I think, in comparing it to the third Tenchi Muyo! movie. The tones are very similar, as is the shift in tone. I Want to Return to That Day is a much better film, of course. TMiL 2 felt out of place, good as it was. Neither did it carry the weight of this film.

    Ahhh, thanks for the reminder of maybe the best part of one of my favorite series!

  4. AlexS says:

    I watched the movie, and it’s the first thing I watch about Kimagure Orange Road. Have I really missed that much by not watching the tv series or the OVA before?

    The situation is pretty clear, but perhaps you lack a bit of attachment to the characters?

    Also, I wonder how I should advice this franchise to others. I hated the length of Maison Ikoku(?), so perhaps I should tell people to watch the OVA and the first movie?

  5. AlexS says:

    Ok, I watched the two first episodes of the OVA, and I just couldn’t stand any more of it: super powers (WTF?) the cheesiness of the characters, the fan service… It’s like a completely different series from the movie, some bad cross of Maison Ikkoku with Ranma1/2.

    So I get the point, a very loooong series where the characters are frozen and the situation remains stuck, the whole thing peppered with gags and side stories, just like Maison Ikkoku. Unwatchable for me.

    But I understand that the movie is a powerful end for those that went through the series + OVA, it’s a bit like seeing Tom finally eating Jerry after 3000 episodes, bringing decisive resolution to a pending issue that lasted far too long. I guess that for readers of the manga, the movie was really a kind of poignant coming of age type of experience, having probably read it in their teens, and watched the movie while working or going to the university.

    Still, I liked the movie by itself, specially the lovely description of the eighties, I was actually more interested in the little details of the setting than in the main story of the characters.

  6. psgels psgels says:

    AlexS: that’s indeed the big problem with Kimagure Orange Road: it is incredibly annoying. I really had to force myself through some of its parts.

    It’s not as shallow as you sketch it to be, though, because the TV-series did have its merits. The cast does grow gradually, and especially Madoka is pretty much one of the best romantic interests out there. But yeah, if you couldn’t even sit through two episodes of the OVA, then the entire TV-series is going to be impossible for you.

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 10:51 PM)
    But seriously I only watched this sequel because I was told to. From now on if I don’t like something at a glance of its plot summary/promo material I won’t watch it.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 10:48 PM)
    And I also want to added to what I said about the latest psycho pass episode by mentioning that ridiculous fight scene with shisui, arrows vs guns.
  • Mikey
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 10:47 PM)
    Psycho Pass: So basically there is no season 2 of Psycho Pass.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:59 PM)
    @Bam, Visionary? Ain’t exactly seeing anything new here. fanservice is bad, anime is making people mindless drones. Been there done that.
    You are giving Anno too much credit man. I honestly think he just fires this shit out and laughs as fans try to find an “interpretation”
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:57 PM)
    It took me a little longer to start shaking my head a Mika’s role in the series in comparison to other viewers and I thought there may have been something salvagable, but no such luck there.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:55 PM)
    At the beginning I saw some potential in this sequel, although it was kind of slow going at first. Initially I was able to get behind the silly gore as dumb entertainment, at the start I liked kamui more than Makishima and I liked the way they had Akane as a stronger character too here.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:51 PM)
    And Kamui’s final moment, that shot was pure fujoshi baiting I don’t care what anyone says, add to his last stand being fairly underwhelming. Another unmistakable Mika moment too later on in this episode. This is the kind of thing that leaves me depressed at it whereas previous episodes I could just laugh, raise an eyebrow or stop caring.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:51 PM)
    Really Togane, is this all you come down to and amount to, an oedipus complex mess, the last nail in the coffin after you spend the show dragging out the buildup around him and killing the intrigue around him. Then giving him those silly flashbacks, now in this episode giving him a ridiculously cartoonish performance.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:01 PM)
    @Bam: Well put together it is and I actually like the music, the last three minutes stood out for me particularly.
    I also noticed the Eva reference slipped into the video.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 02:14 PM)
    This is the gratuitous fan-service done for a purpose that people argued for Kill la Kill, which quite frankly just wasn’t there, but there is no denying that even in this music video some value of the fan-service is sheerly the eye-candy.

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