Kimagure Orange Road: Shonen Jump Special
Kyosuke Kasuga is a teenager who is embroiled in a love triangle with two girls: Madoka and Hikaru. On a trip to Okinawa, Hikaru's admirer, Yusaku, tries to set Madoka up by using Kyosuke's cousin, Kazuya, to get Hikaru to see something between Kyosuke and Madoka (so Yusuke can get Hikaru, end game). But even the best laid plans can be laid to waste ... and these plans aren't even well-laid to begin with.
Wow, this was weird.
First off, the voice cast is completely different from the cast that was eventually selected for the television series. Obviously, the three leads don't sound the same as we're used to, and that's going to raise a few warning flags with fans of the series.
Secondly, it's a pilot loosely based on the manga, so the scenarists basically throw you into the mix while assuming you already know the characters.
Thirdly, the plot is rather absurd, with a lot of coincidences and psychic hijinks and rivalries that are just played off so much better in the actual series. There's no seriousness at all in this, and while it fits well with the early parts of the TV series, it's going to feel strange to established KOR fans who last remember their favorite characters through the OAVs and movies. The characters even seem a bit too one-dimensional here, which is just really unsettling.
And where's all the music we're used to hearing? Well, there *might* have been a song or two I recognized, but most of the music (like the voice acting) is different from what ended up on the finished product. And not a hint of Kanako Wada in sight.
Granted, there are a few scenes here that do actually foreshadow the TV series well, like the beach walk in the moonlight, but as a standalone title, this is pretty forgettable stuff. The Shonen Jump Special is an interesting, but average harbinger of a far more distinguished series, and I only see it appealing to fans who want to see the prototypes of what ultimately became the archetypal anime love triangle of all time.
Not a necessary part of the anime fan's diet. It's not bad, but when placed next to the 48-episode series, it's no surprise that it wasn't deemed worth licensing. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Nothing too risque here. It's best for teens and up, though the only *true* audience for this bit of trivia is the handful of Kimagure Orange Road completists who will find this interesting.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Kimagure Orange Road: Shonen Jump Special © 1986 Izumi Matsumoto / Jump Video
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