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I'm mostly thinking of the recently-debuted Tatsu Yukinobu's Dandadan. It's not mind blowing but it's pretty graphically enticing.

The Jump of my own youth (when Naruto and Bleach were huge and HxH wasn't really running) seems really sanitary by comparison to some of the stuff coming out these days.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Viz Media is finally releasing all of Ranma 1/2 digitally! I'm sure this won't stop everyone from relying on bad scanlations but at least I won't have to break the spines of my books when I want a good scan :D

(And it means I don't have any more excuses not to do the livetweet read-through and literary analysis I've been planning since 2019.)

They're also going to catch up very quickly, as they're the first four volumes of the 2-in-1s simultaneously on July 27, so we're getting a whopping eight volumes of manga on day one. There's no further listings yet, but since they don't have to match a physical release (like the UY, MI, and Mermaid books do), I expect them to quickly catch up to monthly releases afterwards.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
(And it means I don't have any more excuses not to do the livetweet read-through and literary analysis I've been planning since 2019.)

I'd love to see this, and if you decide to do it, I'd put your tweets on notification so I can see all of it.
 
My Hero Academia just hit a new phase in the comic where everything has gone to shit and Deku has gone full vigilante. There's a LOT of Batman imagery being used here in these first few chapters. It's cool but it's also weird. It also feels like we're nearing some kind of endgame, so I wouldn't be surprised if the comic wraps up in the next few years. Unless it just keeps printing money and Shueisha doesn't let Horikoshi stop, which is entirely possible.

Dr Stone also just wrapped up a big long arc, and is entering a new phase of the comic. This one I have no idea where it's going to go, but wild shit just happened. Like, wilder than normal for this comic. This last week's issue hit hard in the ole feels since Suika - secret best character - is now all alone in the entire world and has to figure out science by herself to recreate the depetrification formula, which had some pretty sad and touching moments. Which I expect will involve a time skip and her aging up as she does it. But this is already throwing off the timeline of the comic by a lot. It felt like maybe the comic was making gains towards its endgame, but this is such a big setback it feels like intentional obfuscation to help draw out the planned story.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
The sheer volume of most manga has put me off from ever really getting into a series. I bought the first volume of Hunter X Hunter, because the 2011 anime possibly changed my life, and learned that there are over thirty volumes! One Punch Man is over twenty! So many of my American and European comic series only go to ,maybe, ten volumes. Bone fits in one giant book.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
You might consider a Shonen Jump digital subscription; you get access to a huge back catalog and don't have to buy a ton of volumes that way. And the time commitment varies a lot by series; OPM is a fast read, without a ton of dialogue and a lot of splashy spreads for fights.
 
It's a blessing and a curse. But on the whole, I prefer that model to the American comic model. Stories go on for way longer, but they're also allowed to do so before unfortunate tie-ins, or editorial shakeups happen that pretty much derail the vast majority of runs. There's also a lot more stability in the writing and art versus a lot of your American comics that seem to take glee in shuffling those duties around between creators. And while there's certainly lots of pacing issues with weekly comics that can happen from things being poorly planned or from writers burning out, I'd rather get 20 pages a week, or even a worst case scenario 50 pages a month, versus only 20 pages a month. It just sucks because collecting manga is basically a no-go outside of a handful of very special exceptions on account of how little space I can afford for this stuff.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
My brother lives in a house where he's dedicated two full walls for shelving manga, and he still has to cull heavily. I think anybody who wants to keep a dead tree collection of any sort runs into these issues, no matter how much space they have!
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
I've been working my way through Kimagure Orange Road for the first time, and just finished up the third mega volume out of six. Most of my thoughts so far can be summed up as follows:
  • Wow that is a lot of underage drinking holy shit Hikaru you are twelve.
  • WOW THAT IS A LOT OF SKEEVY DUDES HOLY SHIT HIKARU AND MADOKA ARE TWELVE AND FOURTEEN.
 
I'm watching the TV show right now, they age them up unto high schoolers in that but it's still eliciting the same reactions like god damn. The show could work really well if you just made the characters college kids instead, but that's not the target demo/fulfills the artists fantasies.
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
Okay fine; some elaboration.

Matsumoto can write a pretty convincing dumbass junior high dude, but completely misjudges what appropriate settings for junior high kids actually are. The visits to night clubs, unchaperoned vacations to entirely different parts of the country, repeated heavy reliance on alcohol as a plot device would be much closer within the bounds of plausibility if the cast were bumped up a bit to at least late high school. I know as soon as you do that though, Kasuga's fourteen year old dumbassery becomes less "endearing" understandable and more "Dude seriously?" He really really needs the benefit of some time to mature, so I understand the need to start the story with everyone as young as they are. Seeing these kids jumping to conclusions and being so emotionally naive / inexperienced really drives home the idea of how young they actually are. The fact that birthdays have shown up gives me much relief that actual time is passing, and the cast is in fact getting older with (hopefully) opportunities to grow into themselves a bit. Just...man, Matsumoto, we gotta work on the sort of scenarios you keep dropping these kids into. Which, speaking of...

Damn y'all. The amount of open ogling, coming on to, groping, and straight up sexual assault that Hikaru and Madoka go through is outright uncomfortable. (Not to mention some of the title page pin-ups.) Continually putting underage girls in compromising situations is gross, full stop. I almost continued that last sentence with "for the sake of a conflict that's just gonna get resolved at the end of the chapter." but no, I don't need to put a qualifier on that statement even if it is depressingly true. For example, one of the more recent chapters involved two college dudes posing as surf instructors physically restraining Madoka with the clear spoken intent of stripping her out of her bathing suit. Kasuga teleports in at the nick of time, the dudes get caught, day is saved, and then the group vacation continues on for another chapter like a very traumatic event didn't just happen. Excuse me??? No????? It's really odd to me that I haven't seen much about this mentioned over the years when this series gets talked about. (Or if it has, none of it has stuck... If there are good examples, point 'em out to me.) I really hope the objectification and damsel in distress plots lessen in the back half, but I don't have my hopes up.

Also gonna toss out that just because the whole story is framed from Kasuga's POV, doesn't mean that treating the female characters as prizes to be won instead of letting them exist outside of their relationship to him is in any way not bad. Even then, you see Kasuga basically stringing Hikaru along and it's just flat out not fair. Somewhere in the first volume I had the thought of "This is less love triangle, and more eventual relationship with a speed bump." Yes, I'm well aware that as soon as you write Kasuga with a spine, the main conflict of the whole story goes out the window, but that doesn't make it any less of an awful thing. Besides, there's plenty of opportunity for plot that deals with how the trio navigate the post-triangle dynamic. Doesn't I Want to Remember That Day get into that a little bit?

Other stray thoughts that I don't have much to elaborate on:
  • Kazuya and Crayon Shin-chan would get along like a house on fire and I desperately want to see a crossover special.
  • The art here is great. It's like a little 80's fashion time capsule and I adore it.
  • Madoka somewhere in an early volume: "Don't tell anyone I have a part time job since our school doesn't allow it!" And then Kyosuke's friends wind up hanging out at ABCB and the restriction is never brought up again.
  • Akane has shown up a few times now. She has not made a good impression on me.
I'm gonna stick with it partially out of wanting to see the conflict finally resolve itself, but mostly due to the long standing #you'll like orange road tagged to the old anime thread.
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
Hey so that hope I had about pumping the breaks on all the objectification? Good news: Omnibus 4 opens with an alternate reality Madoka getting beat with a whip and then nearly molested. 80 or so pages later we get a full view of her in the shower.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
It's really odd to me that I haven't seen much about this mentioned over the years when this series gets talked about. (Or if it has, none of it has stuck... If there are good examples, point 'em out to me.) I really hope the objectification and damsel in distress plots lessen in the back half, but I don't have my hopes up.

The series and its anime adaptation hold sort of a legendary status based on a sense of aesthetics, but critical assessment beyond those qualities don't usually turn up as for most it's more of a formative set of iconography than an active, closely read series today. Frankly, I don't think wider fandom in the past or the audiences it crossed even had the capability to scrutinize it in the ways you're doing now, which affects what parts of its reputation remain pre-eminent. It's much more common for people revisiting the series now, or coming to it for the first time, to glean all the bad along with the good.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
I've read the first two of those behemoth editions and agree with Ixo on every point. It's mentioned often that Madoka, Kasuga, et al. are too young to drink, but they still frequently end up in situations that I'd find more appropriate for college-aged kids, like night clubs and discos.

This is the mini-review I wrote for v. 2: "This is about as far as I got with the fan translations of this manga, years ago, and, well, the me of nearly 30 years ago didn't feel much differently about it than I do now. The idea that these two super cute girls would constantly be fawning over this useless, amoral creep, with accompanying "accidental" groping, compromising situations, and sleazy "camera angles" gets to be viscerally unpleasant after a while."

I really wonder if the whole 18 volumes were more or less riding on the very nice nostalgic feeling of the first few episodes, and it kept skeevily rolling downhill from there. The art's great and keeps getting better--and the girls are straight up adorable, its fans aren't wrong about that--but I've been avoiding reading past the second omnibus, and unless things markedly improve (which Ixo's posts make me doubt) I won't keep any of this but the first volume, if that. This one hasn't improved with age!
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
WOW THAT IS A LOT OF SKEEVY DUDES HOLY SHIT HIKARU AND MADOKA ARE TWELVE AND FOURTEEN.

They're how old?!??!????? ??????!!?!?

I'm watching the TV show right now, they age them up unto high schoolers in that but it's still eliciting the same reactions like god damn

Ohhh, okay. I've never actually read the manga. But yeah, still.

I'm gonna stick with it partially out of wanting to see the conflict finally resolve itself, but mostly due to the long standing #you'll like orange road tagged to the old anime thread.

Hahaha, I'm pretty sure that tag was put there by Dr. Jones just because it was an in-joke from our old university anime club.
But yeah, I think what Peklo pointed out is spot on - the nostalgia for this series is based purely on aesthetics and a visceral sense of time and place, and not at all on what actually goes on in the story.
 
I miss Dr. Jones. And AmpVig. No opinions on Orange Road though, I'm surprised to see anyone discussing it at all, honestly
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
I miss Dr. Jones. And AmpVig. No opinions on Orange Road though, I'm surprised to see anyone discussing it at all, honestly

Its having an official English edition in the last year or two provided an opportunity to revisit it. Largely to our regret!
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
It's maybe something to mention that Izumi Matsumoto, Orange Road's author, died last October, presumably from severe, long-suffered complications of a particularly serious medical condition. Because the over thirty-year-old manga was his only work of great visibility or wide success, his passing wasn't "relevant" in the same way someone like Kentaro Miura's was, but they were of the same generation of artists who'd both struggled with their health for a long time.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
That link eventually led to me following a link to the second KOR movie, which I don't think I really knew existed, and which *does* finally age the characters up to where all the boozing and groping would be perfectly fine, but also is just very weird.

Plot Summary: It's been several years and Kyosuke Kasuga is now 19. A mysterious phone call warns him of oncoming cars but he doesn't listen. Ironically, he gets hit by a car and because of his telepathic abilities, gets sent three years into the future. His 22 year old future self is now a photographer who is lost in Bosnia and believed to be dead. Kyosuke must find his 22 year old future self and restore himself, the 19 year old, to his correct time. Along the way he reunites with Hikaru who is now a professional and famous dancer. Madoka is also there, distraught over both Kyosuke, the 22 year old, going missing in Bosnia and Kyosuke, the 19 year old, getting hit by a car.
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
HI! I'M BACK TO YELL ABOUT THE REST OF ORANGE ROAD!

image0.jpg


THINGS DID NOT IMPROVE!

So volumes 4, 5, and a huge portion of 6 (before the ending kicks into gear) reuse a lot of the same plot points. A lot. Birthdays, Hinamatsuri, Christmas, New Year's, Kyosuke bein' a big weirdo about Valentine's chocolate, new school class promotions, body swapping with Kazuya, bodily harm causing psychic misalignment, teleporting in and out of two dates at the same time, avoiding getting caught in a compromising position involving Madoka in nothing but a towel, etc etc etc. I get it, this series ran for years n' years and the same life events being included more than once helps solidify the passage of time while adding some realism. I'm sure reading it over the span of a couple months vs as it was published exacerbated the issue, but it still seemed real egregious. Multiple stories involving holidays is fine, but reusing the same real specific plot beats is a little... "That's not a lot of nickels, but it's weird that it happened twice." territory. Out of two and a half 600 page volumes, five stories (each no longer than two or three chapters) were unique enough to stand out. And not entirely for good reasons either!

Volume 4's Opening Chapters: Kyosuke has a psychic misfunction via rollercoaster and finds himself in what I can only describe as Matsumoto trying his best to channel Akira's atmosphere. The characters are all repurposed into delinquent counterparts of themselves, there's punk kids on bikes, gangs HQ'd in empty school houses. Anyway, excuse plot happens, Madoka gets kidnapped by a gang and then:
Hey so that hope I had about pumping the breaks on all the objectification? Good news: Omnibus 4 opens with an alternate reality Madoka getting beat with a whip and then nearly molested. 80 or so pages later we get a full view of her in the shower.
Neither of the two dudes quite literally on top of her tied up on a bed actually manage to do anything because they get in a fight over who gets to go first, then Kyosuke kicks down the door in the nick of time and is the big damn hero for it with all the other female characters in awe of his heroics. Then he smacks his head again and we're back in the story proper. Gross gross gross no stop it why did these chapters need to happen.

Mr. Matsumoto Takes a Holiday: It's literally the author's avatar (some kind of cat thing?) hijacking the story for a chapter. He goes on vacation, calls up a friend and they proceed to fail at finding suitable beach parties while cat Matsumoto Catsumoto complains about wanting to see babes. The main cast appear as background characters. It's....weird.

Orange Road's Got Talent: Famous idol is gonna host a televised talent search with a record deal as prize! Shenanigans lead to Kyosuke psychically swapping places with the guy. Kyosuke as Idol manages to connect with a lost love, while Idol as Kyosuke just manages to be a big perv. They swap back, the idol goes on to host the talent show the next day. Cousin Shuu's band has entered and wouldn't ya know it, Madoka has to fill in on lead vocals, completely bringing the house down and winning the contest in the process. Thanks to some shoehorned nonsense, the band never accepts the prize and the status quo resets itself, with the exception of a shifting perception of Madoka by her classmates. Yay?

The Time Traveller's Tsundere: Visiting Grampa decides he wants lunch at a particular restaurant and takes Kyosuke with him. Turns out the place exists a couple years in the past, and oblivious Kyosuke wanders off to accidentally create a stable time loop with both younger Madoka and Hikaru fundamentally changing them both in the process. I don't have much to say about it other than "It's the Time Traveller's Wife, but condensed." and "Gawdammit why are the two girls literally not allowed agency outside of how Kyosuke interacts with them???"

So I forget where exactly, but Matsumoto decided that two girls just wasn't enough and tossed Sayuri into the mix. This girl's entire personality revolves around "Tell me I'm pretty." She has a book of dudes that have asked her out, whomst she turns down with a sadist sort of glee. She gets off on her own superiority complex. Kasuga is the first to not just fall all over himself trying to impress her, so of course this makes him her Prime Target. (You ever seen The Disastrous Life of Saiki K? Sayuri and Teruhashi share the same anime cliche DNA.) This did not need to happen. There is no point for her to be here. The love triangle is already flimsy enough, we know this isn't going anywhere. She adds nothing to the plot overall except for maybe one domino effect thing at the very end. She's the driving force behind a few individual chapters though, such as...

Kimagure Blue Hawaii: Madoka's goin' solo to Hawaii for a few days, which of course gets Kyosuke's underwear in a wad. While out to fast food lunch with Sayuri, she pulls the winning piece in the current promotion, Deus Ex McDonalds-ing an all expense paid trip for two to Hawaii. So off the two go, inevitably running into Madoka. Sayuri's mission to prove she's the Alpha Female and get a confession out of Kyosuke in front of Madoka just falls flat on its face, and she actually gets written out of the plot she started. Yes really. She straight up goes missing long enough for Kasuga and Madoka to take an entire (accidental) romantic overnight cruise before she shows back up. I am not kidding. This story sticks out because of the change of scenery, the pointless catalyst that is Sayuri, and the sheer audacious frequency of Matsumoto pulling plot conveniences out of his ass.

Were there some other specific plots I remember? Yeah, sure. (Grampa's watch, Akane needs a fake boyfriend, the extended Kasugas scare the shit out of Madoka for fun, Kasuga gets turned into a cat and into a goldfish) But did they stand out as different from a lot of the same ground that had been covered already? ...no, not really. The same problems plaguing the first half of the story continue on in the back half, with additional bonus of an older and more hormone laden protagonist. The frequency of intrusive horny daydream sequences, and "accidental" groping only increases. There's even a panel where he's showering and addresses the boner he's currently having with an off handed "Well you were happy to see Madoka too I see." That's a paraphrase, I forget which volume it's in, and I'm not going back to look for it.

ETA: Also gonna mention that Kasuga is the genius who went on an accidental date with his sister whom he did not recognize without her glasses but thought was "pretty cute", and continually thinks his cousin is hitting on him. Can we....can we please not do this.

Okay, so moving onto the back half of Volume 6.

I dunno about anyone else who's read it, but I consider the visit to Gramma and Grampa's place, with the trip to the island and the necklace, to be the beginning of the end of the story. (I groaned out loud at Peeping Tom Grampa; Matsumoto plz.) Hikaru is physically there on the trip, but just absent through the whole thing. You get Kasuga taking Madoka to the island with the framing device of Grampa telling Manami about the familial significance of doing exactly that. The subtext is all but text at this point. After Gramma attempts homicide via magic lightning, she takes the two to visit Momma Akemi's gravestone. Madoka realizing the significance of the situation she was in and immediately hurrying off to find flowers so she wouldn't be introducing herself empty handed is my favorite moment for her in the entire series.

However, I made a mental note as I was reading... There were roughly 100 pages from this point to the end of the volume. The topic of "Hey, so where's your mom?" has apparently never come up in conversation between Kasuga and Madoka before now. This story has taken place over the span of at least three years are you freaking kidding me.

After all that, Madoka can read the subtext on the wall. Feeling obligated to be a good older sister figure and not get in the way of Hikaru's happiness while simultaneously being smitten with this absolute plain baloney sandwich of a guy somehow, she decides the best thing to do is
ad88f9d5ccb7234f2540bd0502fd39cb3ab15ea4v2_hq.jpg

She drops out of school and decides to head off to the States, which goes over as well as you'd figure. The sheer amount of people pestering the school administration to un-suspend her was pretty eyerolling. Or at least the presentation of it. "Suspend me too!" "I was at the talent show too!" "I'll close my entire cafe on behalf of this kid!" "And my axe!" Just, whoa where the hell is all this support coming from? Weren't half of you kids still convinced she was a delinquent not but a month ago? Was that talent show performance that good? It hit me as a real "And everyone on the bus clapped." moment.

This is the point where the plot starts to just drive it home into Hikaru. Sayuri finally says the quiet part out loud, kicking off the chain of events leading up to the heavy realization that the investment she's put into her years long relationship with Kasuga has ultimately been in vain. Y'all this sequence succckkkkkkeddd to read. Like, you know it's coming. You're braced for it. And it still sucked! The page where she calls him from the phonebooth will hit you like a mack truck and that's all there is to it. I guess the coincidence of Yuusaku and the other dude coming by right after is supposed to be reassuring but in a bad way? It read to me like Matsumoto was going "Yeah don't worry about Hikaru, she's got other options, she'll be fine." and then shoving her out of the way. I dunno, it just sat weird.

Not as weird as the actual confession though! You'd think after literal thousands of pages of romantic tension, the actual release would feel so cathartic! Boy howdy does it not! It's the pacing of it that gets me. Seventeen pages between Hikaru's "I've been dumped" and Kasuga telling Madoka he loves her. That's it. That's nothing! You're still processing the discomfort of watching Hikaru's whole world get turned upside down. That is not good emotional primer for a tender romantic moment. If anything, the real catharsis came watching Kasuga get the snot slapped out of him in the airport. It just needed more time to breathe. I'm unfamiliar with the publication history of the series: was it cancelled, or did Matsumoto get to end it on his own terms? I ask because the final two chapters just read like a cancelled series that's scrambling to wrap its plot up.

Before I finally shut up, two potentially Hot Takes:
1. MVP of the whole series goes to Manami, the only member of the Kasuga family with their head on straight.
2. Hikaru is the more accurately written portrayal of a pre-teen / teen girl and did not deserve the treatment she got in the end.

I still have some scattered thoughts about the series, but this is already a novel of a post. So yeah. Orange Road. Reading it as an early 30-something dude in 2021, the best summary of my feelings here is I kinda feel like the old ladies in the Wendy's commercial:
DownrightAnxiousCornsnake-size_restricted.gif


Would I recommend it? Uhhhh.... Probably not! Not without some major asterisks involved. Definitely not to anyone unaware of the tropes and problems that come along with an older series like this. There's too much here that aged really badly. Not to say that it isn't without it's charming moments, but the ratio of charm to repetition to horny is just too off balance to ignore.
 
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Hikaru is the more accurately written portrayal of a pre-teen / teen girl and did not deserve the treatment she got in the end.
I'm still early in the TV show, but from what I've read - if the worst that happens to her is that her tool of a high school crush finally stopped leading her along and kicked her to the curb, then I'd say she had the best ending? It's always funny to me to see a love triangle finally resolve and the thing you're reading/watching wants you to feel bad for the "loser" - except they totally dodged a massive bullet because there's no way she would have had a happy/fulfilling life with such a massive tool/jerk. Also, it's... high school! P.sure if this was all happening IRL, the overwhelming odds are that Kyosuke and Madoka break up in a few months years anyways. Good to learn these lessons now, it'll make ya a better adjusted adult a lot quicker.

Also, I've greatly enjoyed reading your recaps Ixo, thanks a bundle for biting the bullet on this one.
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
Thank you to whoever put “don’t trust the tags” up there.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
Thanks for the in-depth look into the "classic" KOR, Ixo. A great '80s soundtrack, a much shorter version of the "story," and Akemi Takada's character designs did a lot for this title among U.S. fans, I guess. (Like MI, the fact that it was a romance [very loosely defined, in this case] made it a good sell as a non-action title, also, I'm sure.) Since I paid actual money for omnibuses 3 and 4, I suppose I'll get around to them eventually, but I won't expect any actual development except in the art.
 
A great '80s soundtrack, a much shorter version of the "story," and Akemi Takada's character designs did a lot for this title among U.S. fans, I guess.
It's got the mood/pacing of other great 80s 'romance' shows down pat tho. Coming to it way after the fact, it feels like a discount store version of Ranma/Maison Ikkoku and that's kinda good enough to keep me going for now. Most shows these days just don't let a scene breathe like these shows do, or let a gag play out in slow motion, or take the time to just really soak in a melancholic/mono no aware feeling.
 

Ixo

"This is not my beautiful forum!" - David Byrne
(Hi Guy)
I'm still early in the TV show, but from what I've read - if the worst that happens to her is that her tool of a high school crush finally stopped leading her along and kicked her to the curb, then I'd say she had the best ending? It's always funny to me to see a love triangle finally resolve and the thing you're reading/watching wants you to feel bad for the "loser" - except they totally dodged a massive bullet because there's no way she would have had a happy/fulfilling life with such a massive tool/jerk. Also, it's... high school! P.sure if this was all happening IRL, the overwhelming odds are that Kyosuke and Madoka break up in a few months years anyways. Good to learn these lessons now, it'll make ya a better adjusted adult a lot quicker.

Also, I've greatly enjoyed reading your recaps Ixo, thanks a bundle for biting the bullet on this one.
Y'know what? Completely fair. I think Hikaru's whole getting caught up in crushing on the older guy without having the emotional maturity or experience to take a step back to ask herself "why tho?" is a very realistic character trait for someone her age. Most of my "did not deserve that" is in regards to story pacing. It was just amazingly jarring to go from Hikaru crying in a phone booth to big series ending love confession as quickly as it did. Really hammered in this feeling of "Oh yeah, she's been a roadblock the entire time, but not any more! Ain't that great? Huzzah!" and it just... eugh. Don't do that! I've read the synopsis for the I Want to Return to that Day movie, and it sounds like it's nearly nothing but Hikaru dealing with the heartbreak that came after and I've been wondering if it does her more justice. Maybe I should give it a watch? Dare I put myself through more of this?

Thanks for the in-depth look into the "classic" KOR, Ixo. A great '80s soundtrack, a much shorter version of the "story," and Akemi Takada's character designs did a lot for this title among U.S. fans, I guess. (Like MI, the fact that it was a romance [very loosely defined, in this case] made it a good sell as a non-action title, also, I'm sure.) Since I paid actual money for omnibuses 3 and 4, I suppose I'll get around to them eventually, but I won't expect any actual development except in the art.
You're welcome! I haven't looked through the TV show / OVAs to see which stories got included, but I'd be curious to see the ratio of how many got pulled from each omnibus. It honestly feels like you could adapt a lot from Omnibus 1, skip a whole ton, drop in the stories that introduce new characters in that appear later, and then adapt the ending and it'd be no worse for wear.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
I know exactly what you mean, WH. Call me an old curmudgeon, but as somebody who walks past somebody watching anime far more than they watch it themselves, a lot of present-day anime feels like it doesn't ever want to take a breather from people manically flailing around and shouting at each other.

That said, even though it may be a better version of KOR I've never made it past ep. 24 or so, whereas I made it all the way through MI, Dirty Pair, Macross, Tylor, et al. with no difficulty.

Ixo, my relationship with the KOR OAV/movie has been through its ups and downs.

Hikaru is seeing KxM coming, and gets much more codependent/clingy. Kyosuke--in "has a smidgen of conscience, maybe" mode--avoids the issue for a time, but eventually loses his temper. He tells her to buzz off in no uncertain terms, and hares off to do smoochies with Madoka, who is partly triumphant, partly uncomfortable hearing the news. Hikaru is quite literally (in an example of the weather reflecting a character's emotions) left out in the rain, but a post-credits stinger shows her bouncing back. Does the writing sympathize with Hikaru? That's up to each individual viewer to decide.
 
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