Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi – she can’t lead

As a rule of thumb (in my book anyway), classic anti-hero types often don’t make great leads. Unless the entire world is set up so that the story has to focus on him. In this case, the world is set up to supposed to focus on her – Okami Ryoko, that is. OK, to be fair, she’s not an anti-hero type. But yes, she’s not likable much, except by today’s otaku generation.

So, anyone out there that loved Louise in Zero no Tsukaima? If you did, did you like Asuka Langley in Eva? Are you also a Hinagiku fan? If you answered yes to all three, then congratulations, you’re this show’s target audience. By having the main character as the violent tsundere who could protect weak men (in the words of LaMoe, herbivores), this show aims to please the newtype otaku/fan .

Remember the days where giant robots piloted by men used to get the blood pumping in the veins of many fans? Well, these days are long gone. Today’s MALE anime lovers in Japan and some of them in other places in the world, prefer a strong woman, even violently strong lead with a bad and practically abusive temper. Even in the reinterpretation of classic franchises like Gundam (Gundam Seed, Gundam Seed Destiny, Gundam 00), women are increasingly becoming more and more powerful. Of course, that has been the trend in anime for many years now. Think Mononoke Hime, Naausica; western favorites like Bubblegum Crisis, Slayers and so on.

Violent female leads aren’t rare. One can even argue that Lina Inverse is a prototype of violent tsundere when it comes to her feelings toward Gourry. Fastforward a few years and we have Motoko in Love Hina (a shout out to Asakawa Yuu-san) and of course, Naru Narusegawa (a shout out to Horie Yui-san). However, none of them was your architypical tsundere – twintails, cute, blushes easily and make food or does something nice for the main male character, without beating the living crap out of him. Your arguments may vary, but the point is, none of these girls are as violent as Okami Ryoko. It seems like all the violence of all the prototype violent tsunderes has been distilled into one character.

That said, something inside me was screaming out: she doesn’t deserve to be the lead! She has be one of the more one dimensional characters in recent anime – violent, talks rough, flat chested. She’s not even all that shy and doesn’t exihibit that dare-dare moment often. But something is missing. Despite a good performance by Ito Shizuka, who was great as a supporting character in Hayate, there’s just something missing when she’s cast as the lead. She wanted Ryoshi, the shy stalker stereotype who can’t look people in the eyes, to prove his worthiness of being on the team, well, here, I want to see Ryoko proves her worthiness of being the lead.

I’m cautiously optimistic of this one.

What are you doing down there, Mr. LaMoe?

8 thoughts on “Ōkami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi – she can’t lead”

  1. While I agree with everything you’re saying, I must counter-point with the fact that this is still just the first episode. It would seem to me that a show like this would spend less time in character development in the first showing than time spent grabbing in fans of their target demographic. They may yet produce some more depth to the character.
    Thus far, however, you are correct – she is one-dimensional, uninteresting, and a little too tsun-tsun.
    I would also like to mention that I will pay anyone $60 if they can give me the chance to punch the crap out of the shy guy-su. I can’t stand him-su. Dai kirai-su. His stupid little phobia and mannerisms-su. Most importantly, though, I freaking hate the way he talks-su.
    Speaking of that, what does that mean/come from. The Angel in Pita-Ten does it, too, but it’s kinda cute when she says it.
    Nice article-su.

  2. She isn’t your typical tsundere. She only hits him because he flashed her, perfectly logical. In fact in the second episode you see just how different she is to those others you listed. She’s much more mature and kinder to the guy. Also the guy shows a significant backbone.

  3. You guys have valid points and I’ve watched episode 2. I will have to watch episode 3 and then rewatch 1 to 3 to form a better opinion. So far, my instincts are telling me that Ito Shizuka’s character makes a weak tsundere lead.

  4. Yeah, that did bother me, too. It’s like in Occult Academy when Maya is always intimidating Uchida, his whole story is supposed to be this tough guy from the future who kills monsters for some agency yet he repeatedly gets his ass kicked by a little girl, that really ruined the story for me. I’ve got no problem with the aggrevissive women but when it gets to that all they are is just a one-laugh ass kick, it gets old, boring and frustrating to have to watch that in episode.

  5. I’ve only seen 7 episodes of okami san and i can say that it’s better than rosario to vampire, which is my all time favorite. Maybe Okami is not quite a tsundere and might be some similarities with other animes. But what anime of this kind stand out. By plot i belive is good. It’s very funny. I haven’t laughed in years that much at a anime. it’s not boring. the 6th episode it’s a bit to filled with memories of okami and ringo but it’s good. I still don’t know hao it ends but i hope that this is not the only season. I sure would like to contribute to the mind of the one who imagined this plot for a anime. I would gladly help for a second season of okami. i’ve seen more then a hundred of comedy romance parody high school anime, so I can say i’ve seen many weaker series then this. Okami is good. No matter what anyone might find wrong with it.

    1. @Adrian Ungureanu – After finishing all the episode, I found the series decent. It’s probably difference in tastes, but I still feel that it’s rather plain in most parts and not as exciting as it could’ve turned out. I really like the 3 little pigs parody but unfortunately, that wasn’t in the real plot. I don’t remember if I said “boring” specifically but most of the time, nothing really stands out for me. I like the seiyuus and their voice acting but I found the lead couple’s chemistry lacking.

    2. Sorry this might be a stupid question but what is the English title to the anime, I watched it a long time ago but I don’t remember the English name for it.

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