Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Kurenai OVA - Episode 1

Has it really been too years since the rather wonderful Kurenai anime came to an end? To answer my own question, yes it has, but July and the fifth volume of the franchise's manga has brought us a one-shot OVA (there will be a second in December, incidentally) to allow us to revisit the series.

This episode splits itself into three short stories, the first of which fills any kind of required action quota by bringing Shinkurou, Muraski and company to a swimming pool in a hotel which has apparently been booked out specifically for them. Of course, there's a little more to it than that, as this hotel is also the scene of a terrorist plot in progress, with Shinkurou and his friends clearly placed there to do their part to stop a plan involving copious amounts of chlorine gas from ever being carried out. Both sides of this coin are controlled by one woman, Lucy May, who works for the Akuu company, and I can only assume that they are tied into Shinkurou's work in some way.

The rest of the OVA takes in some rather lighter topics, with the first seeing Ginko's notebook breaking down at the worst possible moment, with a time-sensitive client waiting for her input. When another laptop is offered up for her to use the problem seems to be solved, but Ginko's attachment to her prized possession threatens to ruin everything. The final part of the episode sees both Ginko and Yuuno press-ganged into helping the ever-adorable Murasaki with creating a picture diary for her homework; a diary which ends up involving vast quantities of physical activity, which suits neither girl but does serve to ramp up the obvious love rivalry between them.

I have to admit, it took a while for me to get back into the groove of Kurenai - It has been a while after all, and the huge drop in animation quality here compared to the original series (as I remember it at least) didn't help. As I haven't been following the manga I felt rather lost early on, but as things progressed I began to remember just what a rather likeable protagonist Shinkurou can be, while that aforementioned rivalry between Ginko and Yuuno seems to be a lot more blatant than I remember. This might be something of a shadow of the series I loved a couple of years ago (and I really should start reading the manga, shouldn't I?), by necessity you could say for a one-shot OVA such as this, but even as a brief reintroduction to some of its wonderful characters I at least started to rediscover some of the warm and fuzzy feelings that the spring of 2008 granted me. Perhaps the second OVA in December can go one step further and bring us another taste of Kurenai at its best.


Anonymous said...

This reminded me that I really need to dig the original series out of the archive and watch it again. While it might have been (apart from the first bit which had some foreshadowing) a bit light and plotless, it was a great reminder of the characters.

Yamie on the sunlounger, still dressed all in black.
Lin's "Accessories"!

If only these were the precursor to a second series.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for blogging this!! Not a lot of the bloggers I follow are picking up the series I'm interested in (or maybe there are just too many shows I'm not interested in...).

The animation quality is different, and it definitely doesn't have the same feel as the original Kurenai series. Shame, but at least the characters are still as lively as ever.