Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review of Okamisan and her Otogi Bank Companions

Okami (pronounced: oh-kah-me) means wolf but for this anime its more rhetorical in the meaning to play off of Fairytale characters.

Okami-San started as a (light) novel series by Masashi Okita, with illustrations by Unaji, that first started being released in August of 2006, tilted Okamisan and her Seven Companions. With only twelve volumes being published by ASCII Media Works under the Dengeki Bunko imprint name since January 2011.

It was soon followed by a manga (Japanese comic) adaptation by Kurumi Suzushiro in April 2010 by ASCII Media Works shonen manga magazine, Dengeki Daioh, and a twelve episode TV anime (Japanese cartoon) that aired in Japan between July first and September sixteenth of 2010. Oh! One more thing: Funimation Entertainment, an American company in Fort Worth Texas since 1994 that releases anime, manga, and other Japanese pop culture items, has licensed Okamisan for production in the U.S.

Keep in mind that this is a personal interpretation, I am not paid for this, and I only review what I like. Now that all of the background information is out of the way, here's what I thought.

This anime is a romantic comedy, making light jokes at fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Ant and the Grasshopper. Ryoko Okami the tomboyish "fake" high school girl had a horrible past,involving betrayal, so she puts on this strong front to pretend that shes okay, and she really dislikes cute things... Which is a lie, considering she hides light romance novels at the back of her bookshelf.

Ryoko Okami, the "wolf", doesn't trust anyone, except for the friends she works for at Otogi High School Bank; where an eclectic bunch take job requests from other students and sometimes rich families to stock up on "favors". Her partner, Ringo Akai (Little Red Riding Hood), and a boy that declared his love to her, Ryoshi Morino, are her companions when they are fulfilling said requests.

While Ringo is more behind the scenes, such as computer hacking or surveillance, Ryoko is more fists forward, using "neko neko gloves" (neko = cat) to fight her opponents, and Ryoshi hides in the shadows where he becomes more "manly" by using a sling shot and pachinko balls to help Ryoko. Other characters include a President, a Maid, a "magic scientist", and a secretary... Making the Otogi High School Bank (a club) seem like a rich families security company.

Now, to be honest, I thought it was your average "narrator gives the story while the first scenes play out" anime, but this narrator has a personality all her own. With insights in to the characters, the story line, even the scenery inside the story. Sort of like a story being read to you by a very opinionated friend that makes you laugh. She draws you in as if you are following them along in their own world on each job request and even through the characters own trials of personal life.

While a lot of supporting characters are unseen or even unfelt, this anime makes sure that each character seems to have their own episode or their own moment in an episode that gives them their own individual life. The president of the Otogi High School Bank is a good worker who even cross dresses to get information, while the secretary is more president like in her serious work skills. Theres even a maid who has a fear of never paying back a favor, a mad scientist with a bunny-eared-witch hat, a princess who fights her prince to have him to herself, a prince who hits on every girl while keeping said princess happy. Even if this bunch of people, actors if you will, sound out of place, they aren't. They oddly fit right in, as if this has gone on for years!

In America, not a lot of books move on to TV shows or movies this well. Some are wonderful, some are horrible, and some are half and half. Some even get canceled the first week they air on television or fall to last place in ticket sales. I don't think Okamisan does this. The narrator holds the audiences attention, while the characters follow through with the storyline and enough ad libbing with the narrator to actually make it work.

While the show does have some sexual innuendos and a few cuss words, the show is all in the Japanese language with English subtitles, so I think it's suited to people at least fifteen and older; I'm not so sure about the light novels or mangas. To purchase the books or the episodes on DVD, you would have to find for yourselves, unfortunately. Since Funimation Entertainment licensed Okamisan and her Seven Companions the title of this show has changed to, Okami-san and Her Otogi Bank Companions and has not yet been put in to DVDs for sale, let alone the books. However, I did find some merchandise on, in the "shopping" section, for sale. So, where you can find it, I would purchase it!

I give this anime (only) ten out of ten nekos! It's funny, heroic, action, adventure, surprise, and of course, romantic all rolled in to one. If you are bored this coming break, give it a try! It should only take you a day or so to finish this series, since there is only twelve episodes, that you can watch on or funimation's website.

Since this is my first review, I hope it was helpful, understood, and I got my point across.

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu! (please take care of me)



kristan123 said...

Very well thought out and a lot of information. You should really thinl about being a movie or book reviewer one day.

musicchairscomealive said...

I was a little lost...Maybe you could add photos of manga covers and characters.

MaseWall720 said...

I would have never guessed you were this into anime. I know next to nothing about anime but after reading your first blog post I feel like I know a little bit more. A friend told me that anime is designed to be read from the back of the book to the front of the book, is this true? If so then that's pretty interesting. Glad that Okamisan has finally
made her way to the U.S.!