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Chris Reed 10.0
Kasuga Kyosuke is a young man who you’d think you would want to be. Just moved to a new town, meets a beautiful young girl named Ayakawa Madoka, and decides that here’s where he wants to stay. However, Madoka’s best friend Hikaru falls madly in love with Kyosuke, and Kyosuke’s so indecisive that he can’t figure out who he really wants, although he leans towards Madoka. Madoka is also falling for Kyosuke, but can’t bear to see her best friend hurt so she keeps her feelings inside.
Oh, did I forget to mention that Kyosuke has paranormal abilities? He can teleport, time travel, is telekinetic, and has some other “ESP” abilities. His sisters can do it all to, as well as a couple of cousins and his grandparents (who are very strong). And he wants it kept secret, so that his family doesn’t have to move an 8th time.
A fascinating love triangle develops, and doesn’t resolve until the first movie, and then opens up again in the second. This story has a lot of heart, is very funny, and occasionally quite surreal. Like the episode that Kyosuke relives the same Christmas four times.
Hikaru has an admirer named Yuusaku, a black-belt in Karate who hates Kyosuke but can’t bring himself to express his feelings to Hikaru directly. There’s the sisters of Manami and Kurumi, and the class perverts, Hatta and Komatsu, who will do anything to get to Kyosuke’s sisters, Jingaro, the Kasuga family’s long suffering cat, Kazuya, Kyosuke’s extremely powerful ESPer of a cousin (there’s another cousin, Akane, who only shows up in the OAVs) and my own favorite character, Master, the owner of a coffee shop called ABCB, who understands immediately about the love triangle and the problems it causes for the three main characters, and tries to help out any way he can.
Some episodes are light-hearted, such as when Kurumi accidentally turns every mushroom on a mountain into a magical one. Some get a bit violent, as Madoka is basically a reformed gang-banger with a lot of street-sense, and she’s perhaps the strongest fighter in the whole cast. Some are serious, as when in mid- series Kyosuke’s two pervert friends see him use his power. Some are downright surreal, like and episode where the whole gang forms a band and it turns into a referendum about how Kyosuke really feels about Hikaru. Some are unbelievably funny, as in an episode where the entire cast goes out of character to do a “Top Gun meets Godzilla” episode, with Jingaro the cat as the monster.
This series is from the mid 80’s and it shows it the quality of the animation (a 7 in my book) although the OAVS and the movies are better. For the second movie the characters were redesigned a bit and the animation updated for the 90’s and the job is superb.
The music is typical Japanese pop. Good, but you might be expecting better considering that Madoka is a musician.
10, although I admit to being biased. I learned Japanese thanks to this show.
A fun little aside about the casting: Kyosuke is acted by the same actor who played Tuxedo Kamen in the Sailor Moon series. Picture Tuxedo Kamen sounding younger and you get the idea. The voice of cousin Kazuya is done by the same actress who did the voice of Nuriko for Fushigi Yuugi. Kimagure Orange Road is based on the Manga by Matsumoto Izumi. The Manga is brilliant, and contains about a dozen more characters than the TV show (isn’t it always the way?) Great translations of the entire Manga series can be found on-line at several locations.