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Ookami-san (To Shichinin No Nakama-tachi) Episode 1

July 1, 2010

When I first heard about Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakama-tachi, or “Ookami-san” for short, I thought that a fairy tale parody could be a really interesting concept. But then I got to the end of the first episode was left with the feeling that concept was about as far as they got with this idea. If the opening is any indication, fairy tale parody is a very vague statement that essentially means that random mad scientist character will occasionally break out something that sort of introduces an element from a well known fairy tale.Ryouko Ookami belongs to her high school fix it club. What they fix exactly is up to the client, you name the thing or issue that needs to be fixed and they make it happen. Assisted by her own “Little Red Riding Hood”, Ringo, the two start the series by fighting off a stalker in an alley. On their way back to the club headquarters, a weak classmate named Morino gets up the nerve to confess his love to Ryouko (who promptly turns him down). Impressed, Ringo brings him into the club for a tryout and a chance to get closer to his love by completing a mission for the club.

Ryouko Looks UpIn the first few minutes, Ookami-san does a good job of building good will with the audience. The opening fight sequence is fun to watch and establishes very quickly what exactly the fix it club does. After getting that out of the way however, the first episode degenerates into an anime shaped blur of rapid character introductions. Every character in the club is forced into the episode at some point but nothing is ever really developed into anything beyond a 2 dimensional shape. I’m not asking for a fully developed narrative and cast to spell it out but is the rest of the series going to be so incredibly jam packed that these introductions couldn’t have been spaced out a bit more? Combine this with nice looking (but very standard) animation that relies on fan service way too quickly (two shower scenes within just the first half) and music that is completely lost in the background and you have a premiere that just fails to stand out. Maybe this is all intentional though. Maybe it’s all a clever ruse that is meant to be almost enough distraction to keep you from realizing how uninspired the character designs are.

Overall, Ookami-san has not completely lost me as a viewer but it is starting at a major disadvantage. If this series manages to calm down a little and find a formula for delivering its story and concept, this could still be a fun series to pick up within a couple of episodes. My first instinct however is to say that this is a complete miss that doesn’t need to be picked up right away.

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