|"I want to return to that day..."
Kimagure Orange Road is, for more than one reason, a cult-series. Not only because of its heroine, Madoka, and her hypnotizing eyes drawn by the worshipped Akemi Takada, but also because of an obvious charm generated by the magical mix of the story, the direction, the atmosphere and the famous soundtracks, composed by Shirô Sagisu (Megazone 23, Nadia, Macross 2, Evangelion). When the TV series ended, in 1988, Tomomi Mochizuki, specialist of romantic stories (Cynthia, Creamy...) had been proposed to direct a movie that would build a definite future for Kyôsuke-Madoka-Hikaru (in French, Max, Sabrina and Pamela), as the poor Hikaru had been forgotten by the TV series. She won't be treated in a better way here, though.
This film is based on realism. No more magical powers, Kyôsuke and his family are now people like everybody else... Incredible ! Honestly, it's as well this way. The end of the TV series is also forgotten. Kyôsuke, while undergoing his admission exams for the university, will have to definitely choose between his two friends. After he had forgotten himself in the arms of the seductive Hikaru during the first minutes (their first and last kiss, *sob*), he will finally admit his love to Madoka (who he won't kiss in front of the camera, though !) before breaking up with Hikaru. The story may seem complex, but it uses, more or less, the very same structure as the Macross movie ! Not so bad for a reference indeed, but this Orange Road adaptation is worth the comparison.
No action (at all !) here, no humor, nothing. Instead it has a very sober style which gives much importance to the sound of crickets (we're in deep summer) and of the painful - but so human - hearts of our heroes. We are far from the very speedy style of the TV series, but the producers knew what to expect when giving this task to Mochizuki. And we understand why they chose him. The fans of Orange Road have grown up a bit and have asked that their favourite characters would become a little more mature. So... With an absolutely perfect and truly expressive graphical style, with soundtracks and songs that belong to, I dare to say it, genius (Ah ! What a wonderful ending !), and with a poetic narrative style that can make one accept the cruel sayings of Kyôsuke towards Hikaru, one can only fall for this especially moving Orange Road alternative version.
PS: I never had the opportunity to see the French version, released by Shuriken, but according to the reactions about it in fr.rec.anime, one would better rush on the subtitled original version released by AnimEigo. Of course, if you're reading the English version of this document (and don't tell me you aren't :) ), this may not be of your concern...
Cyber Namida was created and designed by René-Gilles Deberdt. All rights reserved.