Tsundere action girls, nervous high school boys and fairytale plots ~
Ookami-san to Shichinin Nakama-tachi is a school life action-comedy with a touch of romance. It’s proven to be one of the popular choices out there as far as humour is concerned this season and today we’ll take a look at why!
The series is set at Otogi High School where the main characters are part of ‘Otogi Bank,’ a group or club not unlike the Student Council, which exists to help fix the problems of others in exchange for a promise to someday return the favour.
We get the main character in Ookami Ryouko, a boxing badass, tomboyish and apparently manly character. It soon becomes obvious that there are several people out there that are quite attracted to her ‘type’ as she gets… ‘interest’ from both genders. I don’t suppose her sexy looks and tsundere personality do too badly for her either
Her token side-kick slash best friend is tiny loli high school girl Akai Ringo and her love interest, or rather the guy who’s lovingly interested in her is Morino Ryoushi.
Ryouko’s ‘Nakama-tachi’ come in the form of a strong supporting cast who each take care of an aspect of Otogi Bank’s affairs. These range from administration through to surveillance, research and even the creation of new costumes and gadgets. While Ryouko’s team usually takes care of the physical side of things, I was happy to note the supporting characters also pull up their sleeves and jump in once in a while.
Each episode is comically narrated by … the narrator… who is voiced by Satomi Arai (Kuroko <3). She pretty much comments throughout each episode as she very well pleases, throwing in pieces of relevant information here and there whenever she feels like it.
Episode six starts more seriously than the previous five have which pretty much immediately states that this is going to be one of those episodes where the characters sigh as much as they speak. Basically the episode runs as a background portrayal on the three main characters so even though we’ve got toned down humour, we get a lot of insight on the relationship that has built up between Ryouko and Ringo over the years as well as a reminder of how serious Ryoushi’s feelings for Ryouko actually are.
The episode begins at Ryoushi’s boarding house where he’s brooding over the creepy, stalker-type student council president of Onigashima high school who is somehow connected to Ryouko. The previous one-on-one meeting between the two of them hinted that whatever their relationship is, he’s clearly the one behind some of her most traumatic experiences.
After the OP theme, the seriousness of the episode is confirmed when both Ryouko and Ryoushi continue to act depressed. Ryoushi’s brooding is coupled with some flashbacks from episode one where he has a terrible time confessing his feelings to our increasingly annoyed she-wolf heroine, while Ringo immediately realises that there’s something odd is going on with her roommate when Ryouko’s mood doesn’t pick up even when hamburgers are mentioned.
At the end of his riverside session, Ryoushi calls Ringo out to a family restaurant to have a chat about Ryouko and her past relationship with the oni student council president, Hitsujikai Shirou since Ryouko herself is letting off steam at the boxing gym she regularly attends.
Ringo agrees that though Ryouko is acting the same as she usually does that she’s probably worried about suddenly meeting Hitsujikai again also. In response to Ryoushi’s questions however she replies that she can’t answer because she thinks he should ask Ryouko directly for such important issues.
Meanwhile, the info-tech member of Otogi Bank, Kiriki Alice is also doing some digging of her own to see what she can find out about Hitsujikai. As to be expected from a creepy and majorly creepy character, her test searches on him come up blank.
While Ryoushi and the Bank members are on their quests, Ringo takes the time to reminisce over an old photo album with pictures of herself and Ryouko from their younger days.
After the halfway break we catch up with Ryouko at the boxing gym as she has her own flash back of her younger days with Ringo.
Ryouko’s flashback continues to show how Ringo saw her gentle personality hidden behind the layers of pretend strength and aggression she build up around herself because of past experiences with Hitsujikai the Oni.
Returning to present time, Ringo tells Ryoushi to work as hard as he can to become a real man in order to gain Ryouko’s trust, which is sound advice but part of me just wanted to tell him to get strong enough so he could destroy Hitsujikai because that man, needs to be destroyed. ;d
I’ve really enjoyed Ookami-san so far since it’s pretty humour oriented with enough action to give each episode something substantial to bite into. The use of a huge supporting cast helps keeps things interesting especially since they’re based off fairytale characters. You can spend quite a lot of time trying to figure out which characters are from which fairytales though Ryouko, Ringo and Ryoushi are easy as the wolf, red riding hood and the hunter from Little Red Riding Hood.
I realise it wasn’t supposed to be funny but I had a laugh quietly to myself moment when Ryoushi was brooding by the riverside on his own while Ryouko was destroying gym boxing bags like nobody’s business. Silly silly Ryoushi. I think the poor guy should train with her and get in some more quality time, or at the very least get some toned muscles!
I enjoyed the scenes from the past that showed Ringo and Ryouko’s first meeting, which is probably partly to do with the loli and tsundere dynamic which was kind of cute and partly to do with the fact that Ryouko’s seiyuu actually made her sound like she was growling at Ringo at times, very fitting for the young wolf-lady.
Another aspect of this episode I enjoyed was the training slash life tips the boxing gym trainer gave the young Ryouko. “Strength is something you build up slowly over time. Strength built up in a day snaps like a twig.” It’s great advice to give, especially to Ryouko who probably would have tried to push herself into exhaustion if she was allowed to.
There was huge narrator absence for most of this episode which made me miss Kuroko, err the narrator as well as the humour but I completely loved Ryoushi’s latest confession so that made up for it. It was delivered with his head held high and staring right into Ryouko’s eyes which is a huge improvement from the first.
Ryoushi definitely has his moments, I’ll give him that much at least. Even though he’s all weak most of the time, he’s got an underlying sweetness and determination that makes you believe he’ll be able to become proper match for Ryouko in the future. In fact he seems to have made a promise to himself at the end of this episode and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gains a level in badass during the next couple of weeks.
Overall, the series has some good points to sell (dare I call them morals?) like it’s what’s on the inside that matters, don’t judge a book by its cover, hard work pays off etc but it’s not at all heavy handed in the delivery making it generally upbeat though it’s got a good bit of heart and soul at its core.
Not much is given away in terms of previews for the next episode as all the narrator offers us is the title which is ‘Ookami-san goes on a double date with Jizou-san’ and a bonus shot. Judging by that alone though, it’s probably safe enough to say that we’re going to be back to humour next episode. I’ve enjoyed the slow down we got this week but I feel like I need to purge the angst, seeing Ryouko so stressed out made me sad