With Ryoshi now in the group, he's starting to get to know everyone and become more involved in everything, much to Ryoko's displeasure.
What They Say
Ryoko gets a request while the rest of Otogi Bank is out shopping. When gangsters from a rival high school ambush her, Ryoshi gathers the guts to show he's no chump in the face of danger.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The opening episode of Okamisan set up the series well enough with the basics about the Otogi Bank and the lead characters, particularly in Ryoko and Ryoshi while touching on Ringo a bit. The concept behind the club itself was pretty basic and we did see them deal in a request, but the main focus is on watching the introduction of Ryoshi to the group and the way he's very interested in Ryoko and how he's stalked her for a bit now. It's actually kind of cute, even if relatively creepy, because it's just taking a normal practice by some to admire from afar and has him make a move to actually admit his feelings, which most never do.
This episode spends the first half doing little bits of character exploration as we see them going about their school lives. Ringo is rather up front about asking Ryoshi why he's interested in her and he gives a rather surprising by interesting answer in that he sees the two sides of her and is curious about it. We see this a few times in general but there's a scene in here where she softens up to pet some dogs outside a convenience store but hardens the minute Ryoshi appears, since it turns out that they're his dogs he brought from his home in the countryside. The about face she does is no surprise but it solidifies the reason that Ryoshi has and lets us see Ryoko open up a bit as well, though she's quick to turn on the defenses.
This episode has a fair bit of action to it as a gang of low level thugs from another school come into Otogi Bank territory and they set up for a fight to try and take down Ryoko since she has such a badass reputation. So much so that they send something like seven guys after her. Ryoshi serves poorly as a shield in a situation like this and the gang has no interest in him, so they shuffle him off after capturing her. Unlike the first episode which was mild and silly in its request, this one has a decent bit of action as the club comes to rescue her and Ryoko gets to go wild. What doesn't work is the big upbeat music playing along with the internal monologue and the narration. If it was just instrumental music, it would have worked better. Playing the pop vocals in the background just makes it all too awkward and distracting, as well as very out of place.
While I enjoyed the first episode of the series well enough, aspects of this one set it back some. I came away from it still liking Ryoko and Ryoshi and the way their relationship is coming together, particularly with how Ryoshi has a different than usual reason for being into her beyond her attractive looks. I like the character designs overall and I like the overall manning up of Ryoshi as the episode plays on. I disliked the music stylings in the second half which was really out of place in the scenes and some of the club characters are just a bit too out there in their attire, which takes me out of it just a bit. But they haven't been explored yet so I'm willing to give on that for a bit. The action is choreographed well but it doesn't stand out all that strongly and the whole thing felt a little ill-defined in a way I can't put my finger on. The show kind of balances out here and I'm still interested to see what it will do as it progresses, but it doesn't come across as a must-see show yet.
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.