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Okamisan - Eps. 7-12

Author: Andy Hanley

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Okamisan - Eps. 7-12

FUNimation / YouTube
08 Oct 2010

For all of its likeable characters and an interesting premise, the first half of J.C. Staff's Okamisan (Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi in full) didn't really grab us as it often failed to make the most of those individuals and the occasionally fascinating dynamics between them.

In general terms, this second half of the series very much carries on where the first left off, with an almost scattershot approach that combines episodes which fit into the broader context of the series with the odd standalone story that shifts the focus away from the burgeoning relationship between Morino Ryoshi and Ryoko Okami.  Much like those earlier episodes, the latter part of the series is at its best when it keeps its eyes firmly trained on this pairing which seems to naturally work in both comedic and dramatic terms - even when it comes to a particularly clichéd episode which takes in a forced date between Ryoshi and Okami, resulting in temporary amnesia for the latter, it manages to be regularly funny while also finding time to build upon Ryoko's fragile past.

This all builds up to what should be a dramatic finale involving Ryoko's ex-boyfriend and a dire need for Ryoshi to "man up" - I say should be because after taking the best part of two episodes to set up all that tension and peril, it ultimately wastes it on a half-hearted face-off between Morino and the evil ex-boyfriend of the girl he loves.  Sure, it all ends with some slick action scenes, but beyond that the whole thing is hugely unsatisfying, made worse by then moving on to a finale that was all-but a filler episode in many ways.

This sense of wasted potential sums up Okamisan to a tee - You really, really want to like and enjoy the series, but every time it manages to draw you in it loses your interest not long after by either detracting from its central story or failing to put that story to good use.  It's a real shame, and the occasions where the series covers up those deficiencies via some sharp humour or judicious use of the show's narrator (which will either delight or infuriate you) simply aren't numerous enough to make up for that overall feeling of disappointment with the series.

Although Okamisan deserves points for effort and managing to have some fun with its premise, while also managing to feature a leading "tsundere" character who is both entertaining and fitting despite being incredibly stereotypical, the overall impression left by the series isn't a memorable one - indeed, it arguably doesn't do anywhere near as much with its premise as it perhaps should, leaving us instead with a stuttering romantic comedy that never quite finds its feet.

Okamisan can be viewed in streaming form on the FUNimation YouTube channel.


240p, 360p or 480p video resolution; Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Aside from some occasionally funny or sweet moments, Okamisan never breaks free to become anything more than just another average anime series.
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