Friday, July 9, 2010

Impressions: Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi

Before I write about my thoughts about Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi I have to admit that I probably ended up going overboard with my episode preview/guide.  I'll probably end up doing shorter summaries in the future.  Well, let's get down to business to defeat the huns and get to my impressions on the show right after the jump.

The first thing I noticed when watching Ookami is how she looks strikingly like Taiga from Toradora.  This is probably because J.C. Staff worked on both series; they somehow decided to use a redesigned version of her and transformed a tiger into a wolf.  I may have to research that some time in the future to see what really happened.  Some of the other characters in this show reminded me of other series' characters as well, such as Ringo being a baby version of Minorin from Torada, and Ryoushi being a wimpy version of Koyomi Araragi from Bakemonogatari.  I kind of wonder why they decided to use the character designs they're using, but I can't complain, since I really enjoy how the characters look so far.  I especially like what they did with Ookami's look; she really does like the human personification of a wolf minus the "furry" features.  I'm really glad they didn't take a page from Strike Witches and add a wolf's tail and ears to Ookami.

Knowing that Ōkami was going to parody fairy tales, I immediately tried to look for clues on which fairy tales they would be covering with hopes that the ones covered would be mostly, if not all, be English fairy tales instead of what could be considered a Japanese fairy tale.  That way, I would actually be able to understand what they were trying to do with the parody.

The first obvious fairy tale parody is "Little Red Riding Hood."  Ringo obviously is Little Red Riding Hood and Ookami, which actually means wolf in Japanese, is our wolf in the form of a typical tsundere trope.  It only hit me later on that Ryoushi was suppose to be the hunter that saves Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf, at least depending on what version of the fairy tale you read.  It's kind of interesting to see the wolf being best friends with the girl she was suppose to eat, and the hunter being in love with the beast he's suppose to kill.  Maybe Ryoushi will kill Ookami's wolf like tendencies and they can live happily ever after.  I know I'm reading too much into things, but it's kind of fun to look at the symbolic aspects of things.

While watching the show, I was reminded of "The Taming the Shrew" by Shakespeare for some reason; in this classic comedy we have a strong, independent woman that is uninterested in men, but ends up falling madly in love with her suitor through various psychological torture.  It's kind of funny to think that Shakespeare created tsunderes before Japan thought of the concept.  I wonder if Ryoushi will tame his shrew by the end of the series.  He's at a decent start so far.  On a side note, when I say tame, I'm thinking of Ookami actually opening up like the typical tsundere archetype, but not actually be subservient like in "The Taming of the Shrew."

Another minor parody I've noticed is hinted in the title, which is roughly translated as wolf and the seven friends.  I'm guessing this is somehow related to "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."  We do have our  seven friends already represented by the Otogo Bank.  I'm not quite sure if this is what the writers are going for, but it should be interesting to see what they do in the subsequent episodes. 

The last parody is fairly obvious and it's Cinderella.  We have the pumpkin carriage, a prince (of tennis), and a shoe left by a girl in her haste to get away.  The part I loved about the Cinderella parody is how Akihiri decided to find the girl that kicked him was to have every girl in the school kick him.  That definitely got some chuckles from me and I'm sure other people will love that part as well.

One last thing I want to talk about before I wrap up my thoughts is the narrator.  I'm really glad they decided to have a voice narrating the anime.  It really does make the series feel more like a fairy tale.  The best part of the narration is how the narrator makes fun of the characters forcing them to break the fourth wall as seen above.

To sum up things, I would have to say that I really enjoyed the series and I will definitely be following the rest of the episodes.  Great characters, funny parodies, and fair tales - how could I not watch the series.  Rather than give the episode some arbitrary score, I'll just recommend the series to anybody that likes romantic comedies and/or fairy tales.

I recommend Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi.

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