(Originally published on Livejournal on 7/29/10)
Anime Review in a Minute:
Ookami-san Episode 2
Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about.
About the Series: Ookami Ryouko is the member of the ‘Otogi Bank’, an organization at the Otogi Academy that helps other students with special favors or requests in exchange for requesting favors from them. Along with her best-friend Ringo (always dressed like Little Red Riding Hood), she is joined by Ryoushi (who has a paralyzing fear of being looked at and a professed crush on Ookami) and the rest of her friends in the Otogi Bank. Together, they try to solve the problems of their classmates, always seeming to get into trouble themselves along the way.
ep.2 tl;dr review: Ookami-san is kidnapped; Ryoushi mans-up and comes to the rescue.
In this episode: Ookami may be tough as nails on the outside, but ‘dere’ side of her tsundere personality comes to the forefront when she comes across two cute dogs outside a convenience store…only to be embarrassed when she learns they are actually Ryoushi’s dogs. The next day, when everyone else is away Ookami and Ryoushi get a special request at the Otogi Bank which leads them into a trap set up by the goons that accosted Ookami in the first episode. Outnumbered, Ookami is kidnapped and Ryoushi returns beaten up to rally the rest of the members of the Otogi Bank to rescue her. Tied up and helpless, Ookami exhibits a tough demeanor on the outside but is absolutely terrified on the inside — until her kidnappers are suddenly attacked from the shadows. Using a powerful slingshot with deadly aim, Ryoushi picks them off one by one as the cavalry charges in; Ringo and Ryoushi’s two tracking/hunting dogs slip in to release Ookami and give her her Neko-Neko Knuckle Gloves (souped up with electrifying power) and the tide has turned in the Otogi Bank’s favor. Ookami is surprised and immobilized by her captor, giving Ryoushi a chance to show his manly side, rush in, declare himself a ‘Hunter’ and deck the bad guy with a well-placed upper-cut. In the end, Ookami realized that despite his appearance and timid personality, Ryoushi truly does have her back and that she can rely upon him.
My Thoughts: This episode was all about showing how Ryoushi is not such a bum after all, and Ookami is not such a toughie either. Following the introductory episode, I was sighing that the male lead was going to be the tired old cliche of the wimpy male lead, but I am glad to see he has a bit of a spine hidden in that skulking, withdrawn body of his. Modeled after ‘The Hunter’, Ryoushi really shines when he’s not in the spotlight, able to attack from the shadows, and shows he will go to any length Ookami’s sake. Awww, isn’t that sweet…in a stalker-esque sort of way.
Ookami, on the other hand, fits the true definition of the tsundere character type to a tee. She never lets her tough exterior crack, always trying to maintain her image of self-reliance even in the face of extreme adversity. Yet she’s not so tough on the inside and she *knows* it (from a brief inner-dialogue sequence shown while she was unconscious), and there is that soft nougaty interior hidden away under that cold, hardened shell. In fact, it takes the unexpected encounter with Ryoushi’s two hunting dogs for her to let down her guard and crack a smile. But even as she is aware of her own hidden soft side, she is unwilling to *ever* admit it or show it in public, and it looks like the balancing out of the extreme polar opposites of the ‘tsun’ and ‘dere’ sides of Ookami is going to be a big-time theme of this show, using Ryoushi as the lever.
Oh, and I’m warming up to Ringo as well, at first I simply tagged as the cliche loli sidekick character and Ookami’s foil. But she has a head on her shoulders and may be what is needed to keep Ookami grounded and facing in the right direction.
Ookami-the-Wolf: Tsundere Cliche Personified
The one thing I dislike about this series the most is the omniscient narrator, voiced by one of the most annoying voice actors in anime, who also voiced one of the most annoying characters in recent anime. Now she has taken to voicing *over* the character dialogue. Not nice.
For more info:
Random Curiosity Anime Review: http://randomc.net/2010/07/07/ookami-san-to-shichinin-no-nakama-tachi-02/
Ookami-san and Folklore: http://www.major-arcana.net/zanaikin/2010/07/ookami-san-impressions-and-character-folklore-origins/
Opening theme: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcZFPkKFUtE
The Verdict: – Better than the bland introductory episode.
Second episodes up for review next: Highschool of the Dead, Mitsudomoe, The Occult Academy, Black Butler II