Anime Vice News

OKAMISAN #2 -- Watch & Learn

Does she look afraid to you?

Here’s another show I’m picking up a whole year later. I didn’t even realize I was doing so, at first, because the box art on the DVD set conveys a totally different show that what you actually get. (Considering how the heroine’s visually conflated with a red fox, I was weary that I was in store for something like SPICE & WOLF.) If circumstances permitted, I’d definitely watch more of this and my reasons would be the same as they were when I was listing positives for the first episode. Seriously, this might have one of the most appealing romances I’ve come across in any of these shows because the guy and the girl are presented as equals with complementary strengths and weaknesses. Relationships tend to get a little lopsided in this milieu, as I'm sure you'll mostly agree, and, frankly, this is a much more appealing narrative.

That said, for the hell of it, I happened to give the first episode commentary a listen and it was reaffirming to find that the dub cast even had some of the same issues with the story that I did. That is, it presents a strong female character while, at the same time, it presents one that still needs rescuing. I don’t give two shits about whether a show like this has a positive role model, but I do get a little annoyed about protagonists with such a vague and contradictory inner conflicts. Like, our gal’s a big ass kicker, right? But she’s secretly very scared, right? So she’s got open up to her boyfriend about how afraid she really is, right?

Again, putting aside any potentially insulting politic statements therein, I’ve always found such character conflicts to be real eye-rollers - - or at least in need of more specific phrasing. You’re seriously going to try to get me to buy that a character who goes out and clubs the shit out of bad guys every day is afraid? Or more afraid than her friends who back away from such challenges? If she needs to show her vulnerable side to her boyfriend or something, fine, but she’s definitely not “a’scared” in the way they’re making such a fuss about. Let’s clarify the issue. Please.

I had more to say about other elements of the show, but now I’m out of space. That speaks well to the show being a little provocative, no? Maybe I'll cover episode three. Stay tuned.

Watch this episode, "Okami-san the Liar and Ryoshi" below 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 March 23, 2012 at 5:33 p.m.

I would say it is akin to bullies really having low self esteem and having to bully others to make themselves feel good. Haven't seen this show though so can't say more about it in particular. The story type I have seen work though examples allude me right now.

metalsnakezeroon March 23, 2012 at 6:26 p.m.

This series isn't meant to be taken seriously so if you just look at it from that perspective than it wouldn't be too much of a problem.

FoxxFireArt moderator on March 24, 2012 at 1:09 a.m.

If there was something that never felt right about this series as I was watching it during FUNimation's official streaming. It was everyone treating Ryoko as this bad ass, but you rarely got to see her being one. You'll find that a lot of animes based on light-novels, such as this one, are often geared toward sappy love stories. I don't mean that in the negative.

Ryoko isn't based on a red fox. She's based on a wolf. In fact, all these character are based off fairy-tale characters from Western and Japanese cultures. Okami is the Japanese word for "wolf". Ryoko Okami is the Big Bad Wolf. Ringo Akai is Little Red Riding Hood (also the red apple from Snow White. Her name means "red apple"), and Ryoshi Morino is the hunter from the Little Red Ridinghood story. Ryoshi's name literally means "hunter" in Japanese.

If you actually read Ryoshi's name in it's Japanese format, Morino Ryoshi. This sounds like "Mori no Ryoshi". This translates to mean "forest hunter".

The school, Onigashima High School. Onigashima literally translates to "island of demons". It's a mythological island that was thought to be the home of demons. I think it was used in the story of Momotaro. It's the same for the series setting. Otogibana City in Japanese is pronounced as "Otogibana-shi". The 市 (shi) kanji used to mean "city". When you say it all together as "otogibanashi", it means "fairy-tale".

I enjoy the anime a lot, and I even wrote reviews for each episode. This is my review of this episode HERE

Marshal Victoryon March 25, 2012 at 7:42 p.m.
Ahh but Tom to not have fears in battle or life one would have no soul.After watching the 1st episode dubed then watched the entire series subed i have to say its a amazing anime.It breaks the 4th wall so well an flawless. It has heart an its in the right place an not on its sleeve.
Already book marked the series on amazon.Seriously hope theirs a 2nd season.Thank you for showing me this anime i would not have otherwise seen.

Dig Deeper into Okamisan

Okami-san and her Seven Companions is based upon a series of light-novels, Ryoko Okami and her roommate Ringo Akai are part of the school club called the Otogi Bank. The club helps students out with problems in return for a favor at a later date.

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