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Directed by Osamu Kobayashi
Studio Studio Pierrot
Network Nippon Television
Original run April 6, 1987 – March 7, 1988
Kimagure Orange Road (???????????? Kimagure Orenji Rodo?), usually abbreviated as KOR, is a popular shonen romantic comedy manga and anime series from the 1980s.
Written by Izumi Matsumoto and serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, it was later adapted into an anime series broadcast on Nippon Television,
animated by Studio Pierrot and directed by veteran animator Osamu Kobayashi with character designs by Akemi Takada and scripts by Kenji Terada,
with Narumi Kakinouchi adding design work to the anime, as well as the opening and ending credits for episodes 1–8.
Teenage romance meets fantasy in this series as a love triangle develops between the main character, an indecisive esper named Kyosuke Kasuga, Madoka Ayukawa, a mercurial and enigmatic girl with a tough past, and Hikaru Hiyama, Madoka's ditzy and energetic best friend. Kyosuke falls in love with Madoka, and Madoka wants to return those feelings, but can not because of Hikaru's involvement with Kyosuke.
The series exists in manga, anime, novel, and radio drama incarnations. Originally a manga consisting of 18 volumes, it was necessary for Izumi to create an extended ending in the wideban release because the original run had been canceled. The anime consists of one pilot TV episode, 48 TV anime episodes, eight OVAs, and two animated movies. Three novels published as Shin KOR (New Kimagure Orange Road) written by Matsumoto and Terada also exist. Translations of the manga and novels exist in several languages, including Chinese and French. The Shin KOR novels have not officially been translated into English. In addition, there is a five volume "cinema" radio drama set on compact disc. It has a slightly different storyline than the anime or manga, but more closely resembles the anime. The CD dramas are published by Victor Entertainment.
In the United States, the TV series, OVAs, and the first movie were licensed by AnimEigo, though these licenses expired in August 2006 and they were unable to renew the license due to undisclosed reasons. The second movie, based on the first Shin KOR novel, is licensed by ADV Films.
Kyosuke Kasuga (???? Kasuga Kyosuke?, voice: Toru Furuya ?? ?)
DOB: 15/11/1969 (or 1971, according to TV)
Kyosuke is the male protagonist in the love triangle. He and his siblings have supernatural powers, referred to in the series as "The Power", and are described as espers in the series. They are forbidden from using their powers in public, lest they be discovered and exploited. In each instance where someone has seen their powers, the family has immediately relocated. Kyosuke's esper powers include teleportation, telekinesis, and "time-slipping" (a kind of time travel) while falling from heights such as stairs. He can alter mechanical devices such as elevators and traffic lights. He can direct his powers to his ears to amplify his hearing and he has also demonstrated a hypnotism power as evidenced when he hypnotized himself to be more decisive. Kyosuke is also rarely shown to use his powers to temporarily amplify his speed and strength. On very rare occasions—generally, when Madoka is directly threatened—his power has taken the form of raw energy that can shatter concrete walls or short out every light in a disco. Due to the loose manner that he and his sisters relate to each other it's a running gag early in the manga that many characters consider him a playboy and two-timing since it is believed he is dating Hikaru.
Kyosuke is a pretty gentle person and a bit of a goody-goody—when he sees Madoka smoking, he scolds her in a very nerdy way (and then uses his powers to destroy her cigarette). It is his indecisiveness that leads to the love triangle with Hikaru and Madoka. He is initially unable to decide between his feelings for Hikaru and Madoka. As the story progresses however, he find himself unable to end the relationship with Hikaru for fear of hurting her feelings and destroying her friendship with Madoka.
Madoka Ayukawa (????? Ayukawa Madoka?, voice: Hiromi Tsuru ????)
DOB: 25/5/1969 (or 1971)
The archetypical "kimagure" (whimsical) character, Madoka is secretly in love with Kyosuke, and is best friends with Hikaru Hiyama (who is also in love with Kyosuke). Madoka is described as having an adult allure despite being in junior high school.
When she first meets Kyosuke, she appears to be a pretty and sweet girl. This, however, is in stark contrast to her personality at school, where she is aloof and feared by both the male and female students as a sukeban or a reputed juvenile delinquent. In the TV series she is nicknamed "Madoka the Pick" due to her ability to wield a guitar pick like a shuriken. Despite her "punk" reputation, Madoka is also shown to excel at various activities both scholarly and athletic. She is able to earn high marks in school and still work part-time at Cafe ABCB (pronounced "ah-ba kah-bu").
Madoka's parents are kind-hearted but workaholic professional musicians often touring outside Japan, so she lives in a large house with her older sister. After her sister gets married and goes to live abroad with her husband, Madoka lives there alone. The story involves the eventual shedding of her tough exterior after she becomes Kyosuke's friend, as evidenced by the changes in her life after she meets him. She gives up smoking because of him, and in the manga other characters note that she becomes friendlier and does better academically following Kyosuke's arrival.
As revealed in the last episode of the anime (which occurred near the end of the manga run), Madoka also holds a special place in her heart for a mysterious man whom she met under a tree in the past. Madoka drastically changed her appearance starting 6 years ago after her encounter with present-day time travelling Kyosuke, who in fact was stating his preferences based on the present-day Madoka. In the end, Madoka still did not know that Kyosuke was the mysterious man, but senses a connection to him.
Creator Izumi Matsumoto reports that his inspiration for Madoka was actress Phoebe Cates and Japanese pop singer Akina Nakamori.
Hikaru Hiyama (????? Hiyama Hikaru?, voice: Eriko Hara ????)
DOB: 15/11/1971 (or 1973)
Hikaru is initially presented as being unpleasant, a brawler, and a tougher talker than Madoka. But once she becomes friends with Kyosuke, it is revealed that she is actually very kind and energetic. She accidentally sees Kyosuke perform an impressive basketball shot using "The Power" (it was not obvious that The Power was used), and ends up falling for him quite hard. She always refers to him by the English word "Darling" (even before she knew his name). Hikaru tends to revert to a form of baby talk, which is a signal she is extremely immature and shielded. She has an unrequited love for Kyosuke, and has been Madoka's best friend for several years since she and Yusaku Hino were the only ones who were never afraid of her.
Hikaru is two years younger than Madoka and Kyosuke, and has the same birthday as Kyosuke.