I Love You 「愛及屋烏」
Aww that was quite a good ending for a simple, straightforward shoujo anime this Autumn 2014 wasn’t it? Who can resist watching the last scene without breaking out into a smile ‘when the real thing’s right before you’? kyaaa Sakurai Takahiro-sama kyaaaa!!!!!!
I’ve really enjoyed watching Ookami and this final episode was just what was needed to top it off as one of this season’s better shows. I almost didn’t want it to end but alas, I know there’s just not enough material to cover season 2 just yet. This finale was simple and sweet but without going overboard, ending at the perfect point in the manga storyline.
It’s easy to be overdramatic and admittedly, Erika (Itou Kanae) came across that way to me with each episode from 01 – 04. But now, she’s really grown on me especially in this final episode where she wins over Kyouya’s family (good strategy Erika!), because that inane persistence from the very beginning has worked well here. I didn’t like too much that she was grovelling and pandering for love all for the sake of her high school life/reputation. But that persistence from being the black prince’s declared pet poochi paid off throughout the episodes, first with her becoming Kyouya’s girlfriend and finally this week, being just as loved back by the man who’s own family has doubts he has any emotional capacity. So I thank Erika’s persistence even when it was annoying and nonsensical to this fellow cynic. She’s melted Kyouya’s heart and icy pretence exterior because her persistence was genuine, honest and straightforward. Erika turned out to be the very type of human being Kyouya never believed existed so he’s surely not going to let her go.
As things go, Kyouya looks just like his mom and said mom’s separation from Sata-papa is the root of the present version of Kyouya as we’ve all come to know. He’s not sad because rather than feel, he’s chosen to shut himself off completely, from ALL emotions, including love and forgiveness. That leaves a highly logical (what’s the point in celebrating X’mas/Valentines’/Erika’s birthday properly remember?) and emotionally incapable teenage boy (so add in an extra dose of rebellion). This really explains why Reika-neesan laughed herself silly when Erika defended Kyouya’s ability to care for someone else – she watched this transition from playful affectionate little brother to cool, aloof sadistic prince. Unfortunately, Sata-mama (Hisakawa Aya, who voices some of my favourite maternal figures such as Bleach‘s Captain Unohana and Kyousougiga‘s Koto) knows that she’s the reason for her son’s warped idea of human relations and does indeed blame herself. They don’t have a good mother & son relation, with Sata-mama choosing to avoid any confrontation with Kyouya and him choosing to avoid going to Kobe to see her altogether. So when Erika’s persistence in finding her precious necklace pendant paid off in bringing mother and son a bit closer, you can see why I like Erika more.
If Ookami gets a second season, the focus on its supporting characters will undoubtedly take centre stage as it has in the manga. San-chan (Kayano Ai) deserves SO MUCH more airtime. I love how she blatantly ignores Nozomi (really really love how Matsuoka Yoshitsugu uses his frivolous chara-otoko voice – it’s so rarely used!) all the time and not just in school. She’s so honest and down-to-earth, bless her. I’m furiously shipping San-chan and Takeru (a most baka-voiced Hosoya Yoshimasa who really needs to do a baka-chara soon!) in the manga so if there’s a season 2, please let this ship sail!!
There’s just one thing I really have to get out there with this adaptation – it’s not done justice to “bad” friends Marin (Ise Mariya) and Tezuka (Komatsu Mikako) who from beginning to end only serve as a reflection of Erika’s insecurities. In the manga, they do bring a little more dimension to Erika as truly supporting characters do but I guess there’s really no space for it in the anime, which is unfortunate.
Overall, Ookami has been entertaining with the premise of a poochie masochistic girlfriend and how she wins over the sadistic black prince. Week after week I’ve soaked in every line Sakurai says in his most petulent tsun-tsun rebellious teen voice acting here. It’s such a rare treat considering his usual suave, cool, ikemen (good-looking) roles on one end (this season’s Donten ni Warau‘s Shirasue comes to mind) and outrageous OTT idiocy roles on the other end such as in this season’s (ironically) masochistic Inugami in Gugure Kokkuri-san. I’m going to miss Sakurai’s Kyouya but mostly, I’m going to miss the slowly blossoming sweet shoujo romance between Erika and Kyouya that wasn’t too overly sweet. I mean, just look at that end scene!