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OKAMISAN #10 -- Watch & Learn

With strange comparisons to SHREK and 19th century French theater!

Anime Expo’s a couple months away, and if this series proves popular enough to inspire some cosplay there (and why wouldn’t it? Funi’s been putting it on every banner in sight,) I want to believe that Ringo’s going to be Costume Choice #1. Realistically, we’re probably going to be seeing more attendees running around with Ryoko’s “kitty klubber” boxing gloves, but Ringo’s been the scene-stealer as far as I’m concerned. She’s got this very appealing mix of innocence and precociousness that allows her to embody cuteness while almost goofing on it at the same time - - sort of the anima to the animus of characters like Kamina from GURREN LAGANN. Also, the notion of her being so eager to get her friends’ lives in order because her life’s had such a tragic tinge is always a reliably-likeable personality trait, no?

Maybe she should get her own spin-off? If Puss in Boots can get out of playing second fiddle to Shrek, why can’t she?

See, I can’t help but bring those flicks up because SHREK has so thoroughly co-opted fairy tales in the collective headspace that I can’t see the Puss in Boots analog in this episode without my thoughts turning to Dreamworks SKG. This is at least the second (and possibly third) time I’ve been compelled to bring draw that comparison... and it's not my fault!

However, it’s worth saying that, not until I saw the story of the cat and his extravagant footwear played out through the sakura-hued lens of high school anime, I never realized how many similarities it shares with CYRANO DE BERGERAC. A dashing (more than likely French) gentlemen with an unsightly disfigurement (big nose or cat-ness) volunteers himself as the life coach to an awkward boy? The connection’s there! I’m seriously not going to go through the trouble of finding out which one came first, but the connection’s there!

Once again, I’m out of space due to my own bizarre tangents. I do want to say that this cliffhanger really ratcheted the tension, dropping the school council into disaster with an absolutely diabolical net of double-crosses (never trust a girl who waves her “fan-service” around so blatantly!) Suddenly - - almost jarringly - - this series got epic.

Watch this episode, "Okami-san and the Otogi Bank's Really Long Day” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

zaldaron April 30, 2012 at 2:57 p.m.

Interesting never thought about the connections between puss and boots and Cyrano. I wish they gave you more space so you could go off more on these comparative literature tangents. Most interesting part of your posts really.

FoxxFireArt moderator on April 30, 2012 at 3:29 p.m.

Ryoko Kokonoh is another example in the fairy-tale naming conventions. Reiko's family name 九尾 can also be translated literally as "kyuubi", a term NARUTO fans are well familiar with. It's the nine-tailed fox. Basically, a kitsune spirit. They're famous in Japanese mythology as being shape shifters. More often possessing people or turning into beautiful women and have been blamed for the downfall of various kingdoms. That's kind of called on in this series when Alice talks about how Reiko's personality shifts to the kind of person she's involved with.

I've been drawing comparisons between this series and SHREK since episode one. I'm not sure what grabs cosplayers about this series. Maybe because the costumes aren't too complicated.

As the series is coming to a close, it's only natural you'd want to ratchet up the tension.

Dig Deeper into Okami-san and her Seven Companions

Okami-san and her Seven Companions is the fairy-tale themed series by Masashi Okita. Ryoko Okami and her friends from the Otogi Bank take on the requests of any student for the price of a favor at a later date.

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