In 1984 a new series by creator Izumi Matsumoto was published in the weekly magazine Shonen Jump. Like all popular series it was soon reprinted into nice volumes (No. 18 would be the last).
And then the decision was made to turn it into a TV series.
Kimagure Orange Road (Whimsical Orange Road), in my opinion, was vastly improved when artist Akemi Takada made the character designs out of Izumi Matsumoto's orginals. She also chose the pastel colors which define the look of the show.
The TV series ran for 48 episodes, with a movie following them.
The story starts with Kyosuke Kasuga, walking up a staircase and counting its steps, when suddenly he sees and catches a red straw hat. Its owner answers with "Nice catch" (in english), and after a playful argument about the number of steps (it is settled upon 99.5 ^_^), the girl departs, leaving Kyosuke with the hat, wondering about this mysterious girl.
As the story advances we get to know the rest of the Kasuga family, his father, the twin sisters Manami and Kurumi, and their cat Jingoro.
In his new school, Kyosuke makes two new friends in Hatta and Komatsu, two rather lecherous persons, who will take every opportunity to get to Kyosuke's sisters through him.
In school, he also meets again, the saxophone-playing girl from before, who turns out to be Madoka Ayukawa, a known trouble-maker, with whom nobody wants to associate... with one exception, Hikaru, her best friend. Through a series of strange incidents, Hikaru declares herself the girl-friend of Kyosuke, and will be at his side from here on, which starts Kyosuke being torn between her and Madoka. And so the love triangle begins...
KOR (as it is abbreviated by its fans) also features a "gimmick", the Kasuga-family are Espers. While this makes for some funny moments and complications, it's really the love story that is the heart of KOR.
Some pictures of artwork by Akemi Takada done for Laserdisc or CD covers, and other promotional material:
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Created Jun 23, 2000
Last updated Jun 23, 2000