Anime of Tomorrow
Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi (review)
Final impression – imaginative and fun (7/10)
Summer 2010 (12 episodes) (title literal translation – Ookami and Her Seven Companions)
Otogi Bank is a student service organization that deals in favors for the service of assisting with any problem they are asked to solve. Sometimes this involves dealing out a little pain to deserving bullies and that’s when Ryouko Ookami gets called upon to dish out some punishment. But Ookami has a secret admirer hiding in the shadows and watching her back. Ryoushi Morino is a shy young man who goes to the same school as his crush, but always manages to keep a low profile because he is overcome with fits of nervousness if he becomes the center of attention. One day when he finally manages to work up the courage to confess to Ookami, he instead finds himself being recruited by Otogi Bank. It didn’t turn out quite the way he expected, but now he gets to be close to the person he admires the most.
While vaguely referencing old children’s fairy tales in its character and story design, Ookami-san weaves a delightfully random plot that never really finds a consistent pace or tone. There’s a couple of stories that clearly reference classical literature, such as the smartly written swimsuit contest that puts a twist on the tale of “The Tortoise and the Hare” as two childhood rivals compete to see who has matured into the better woman. The main story that hides in the background for most of the series is a very convoluted redux of “Little Red Riding Hood” that sort of loses itself along the way in favor of a generic action-romance. At times it takes itself way too seriously, especially when going into the details of Ookami’s back story. But the bottom line is that it’s moderately fun and when it occasionally trips over itself it manages to do it in a way that’s endearing and comedic. With good music and a colorful style, Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi won’t wow, but it also will not waste your time.