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YMMV / Kimagure Orange Road

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  • Awesome Music:
    • With Shirou Sagisu as the head composer, you bet your ass this series has awesome music by the wazoo. Besides that inherent benefit, Kimagure Orange Road, when taken alone, has a great amount of songs that are heavily awash with purely 80's aesthetics and Japanese citypop, no doubt one of the reasons the anime is loved by the Vaporwave/Future Funk community. For further reference, the majority are preserved here.
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    • The first opening, "Night of Summer Side" by Masanori Ikeda, plunges the viewer straight into the key components of the anime's aesthetic: a lighthearted, energetic showcase of urban young love through an unapologetically late '80s lens (as the falsetto vocals and synthesized cowbells clearly reveal).
    • The second opening, "Orange Mystery" by Hideyuki Nagashima, adopts a more wistful and leisurely tone than its predecessor, dually capturing a more summer-esque atmosphere and mirroring the growth in the show's focal romance around the point of its introduction.
    • The third and final opening,"Kagami no naka no actress" by Meiko Nakahara is arguably the most full-blooded J-pop number of the three with its fast-paced tempo and searing guitar backing. It's also a tour-de-force of 2D cel animation.
    • The first ending , "Natsu no mirage" by Kanako Wada, further emphasized the breezily romanticized summer-themed aesthetic of the anime.
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    • The second ending, Wada Kanako attacks again with "Sad Heart Burning" with crazy riffs and accords that inspired a generation to mix.
    • In the final ending of the main series, "Dance in Memories" by Meiko Nakahara gains a nostalgic, but melancholic feeling to recall sweet teenage years you may never lived.
    • Some of the best soundtrack themes like Madoka many sax solos were compiled in the albums like Kimagure Orange Road Best Collection , Kimagure Orange Road Single Collection and Madoka Piano Files
    • Two of the best songs of the series are not featured in openings or endings. "Salvia no Hana no you ni" by Kanako Wada plays in a particular tense episode of conflict, setting the red string of love between the two main characters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZgY6JvVaAc). Other is the definitive last scream of the 80's Japan, the almost glam rock sounding but awesome song featured in the one of the OVAs, "Kaze no Manazashi" by Yuiko Tsubakura (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuT8T7EFGUg) will take anyone of the chair at the first synth riffs.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
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    • People could not decide on whether Kyosuke was a relatable and adorkable everyman or if he was a sexist and hypocritical idiot. Others see it as him being a not-too-bright young teen who also is a product of a conservative society like the Japan of The '80s, and who doesn't fully grow up until he becomes an Intrepid Reporter and witnesses the Yugoslavian Wars.
    • Madoka is often lauded for being a well-crafted (and one of the first) tsundere characters but some see her as an annoyingly perfect Ms. Fanservice that Matsumoto created for his Author Avatar Kyosuke to end up with.
    • Hikaru. Some fans dislike her because she gets in the way of Kyosuke/Madoka, plus acting exaggeratedly childish, clingy, and affectionate to Tastes Like Diabetes levels (especially in the anime). Other fans feel sorry for her (she deeply loves a boy who only has eyes for her best friend), and actually find her more genuine and likable than moody Tsundere Madoka.
  • Die for Our Ship: Hikaru has been bashed and hated for decades by rabid Madoka/Kyōsuke shippers.
  • Fanon: There is a great deal of fanon about Takeshi and Akemi. Fanon has it that Takeshi had at least one older brother, and Akemi's only siblings were female. Takeshi thus took on the surname Kasuga (his wife's name), and this is why Akane and Kazuya's last names are Kasuga. However, the problem is that Kazuya and Akane's surnames have NEVER been given, either in the anime or manga. It's also quite possible that this bit of lore was created by usenet discussions back in the late 80s where it would be necessary to differentiate between the Akane the poster was talking about (Ranma 1/2's or Kimagure Orange Road) hence leading to Akane being called Akane Kasuga. There is also an inherent contradiction, since if Akemi only had sisters, Akane and Kazuya would have a different last name anyway.
  • Funny Moments: Hikaru's reaction when she sees a penis for the first time. She freaks out.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Back in the day the anime was wildly popular in Italy with the title ''È Quasi Magia Johnny'', and is still regarded as a classic. In fact, the Italian counterpart of the Betty and Veronica trope is named after Madoka and Hikaru (their Italian names Sabrina E Tinetta), since Betty and Veronica themselves are not that famous in Italy. Madoka, in particular, is still regarded as one of the top "hot girls" of the 80s by anime fans, along with Lum/Lamu and Bulma.
  • Moe:
  • Narm: All of the English dialogue in the "Hawaiian Suspense" OVA.
    "We TOLD ya to bring AAAAALL of da MONEY!" "BAAT! We aa onrienjunior HIGH! We don't get, zat much, all-LOW-ance!"
    "We gonna trow you off da OCEAN... at WAI-KI-KI." "An' feed ya to da SHAAKS!"
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Older and Wiser fans, plus newer ones, have become far more sympathetic towards Hikaru.
  • Rewatch Bonus: After seeing the time-travel episodes at the end of the series, there are clues in early episodes that Madoka knows.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The situations, tropes, character arcs, etc. now common in many romantic comedy manga and anime probably originate from here. Although this anime itself borrows heavily from the American teen sex comedy. Newer audiences on anime forums express deep frustration at the episodic writing of the series where important plot progression occurs in only a handful of episodes while the rest of the series is just comedic fluff relying on such cliches.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The background music during a Superman sequence comes this close to the classic movie theme, without breaking into the good part (and breaking copyright).
  • Values Dissonance: The series was regarded as sexist even back in the 80s and it appears especially so these days.
  • The Woobie: Hikaru in the first movie. Madoka tells Kyosuke to break it off with Hikaru as soon as he can and apparently has no regards for hurting Hikaru's feelings if it means she can be with Kyosuke. However, he's even more ruthless.

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