Wow. Now this is fresh. A guy who actually actively avoids relationships instead of just being a dense idiot?1 That’s amazing! Well ok, I don’t know if some other shows might have done this before, but no harem show I’ve seen has done so to my knowledge. The point is, OreShura is looking rather promising. Just breaking away from the highly aggravating generic dense harem lead trope is already a good start. With that out of the way, let’s get to the obvious speculah. This being a harem show, the immediate question is, “who does he end up with?” A more “genuine” analysis would require us to wait until all members of the harem to show up first (the promo images show four haremettes in total), but let us jump the gun and see where the “rules of anime” take us. One such typical rule of anime is “the first girl always wins”. Basically, the first girl we see on screen in a harem anime (barring non-main characters) will be the “winner” who ends up with the harem lead. In the case of OreShura, it appears the childhood friend Chiwa takes the cake. Will she end up with Eita in the end? Well, this is where we put the rules of anime to the test.2
My impressed impression aside, it would seem that OreShura can easily be compared to two shows from last season: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! (Chuu2koi) and Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. Yes, Sakurasou is actually still airing, but that’s besides the point. The comparison to Sakurasou is rather obvious but shallow. It is undeniable that OreShura looks a lot like Sakurasou in terms of art. They both have this sort of warm, light color palette, and the character designs of OreShura are highly reminiscent of those of Sakurasou. Upon inspection of the staff lists available on MAL though, both shows don’t appear to share any staff members at all. Not to mention, Sakurasou is being adapted by J.C. Staff while OreShura is being done by A-1 Pictures. Why the visual similarity then? I honestly don’t know. Perhaps further reading and research might yield some answers, but that’s beyond the depth that I’m willing to go to for a simple comparison.
The comparison to Chuu2koi is a little more substantial, but still slightly superficial. We see that Eita used to have a severe case of chuunibyou, and he still has some tendencies, if his dreams are any indication. Of course, he decides to keep a journal of sorts of his chuunibyou escapades, which unfortunately ends up in the hands of the wrong person, and he’s now being blackmailed. Sound familiar? It isn’t taken word-for-word from Chuu2koi (not that “copying” has to be exact), but I don’t think this is enough to indict the show on charges of plagiarism or copying. It’s entirely possible that both authors came up with similar developments independently, in which case the problem here is a case of unfortunate timing. Having two shows with such similarities air in succession will obviously raise a few eye brows, but I believe that this is as far as things go, so we really shouldn’t be too concerned about OreShura being Chuu2koi all over again. It certainly seems that OreShura will be more focused on characters coming to terms with the concept of love than the now “famous” chuunibyou syndrome.
Before I leave off though, let us return once more to the topic of which girl will “win”, just so there won’t be any confusion. You might ask, “hasn’t Masuzu already won?” She technically manages to pull off becoming Eita’s girlfriend within the first episode, which is a rather impressive feat considering most harem anime. However, the point here is that Eita needs to actually share mutual feelings of love with the girl in question in order for the relationship to be truly genuine. There’s no question that what Masuzu has going on with Eita right now is not so much a relationship as it is a (one-sided) contract, so for now the title of “harem winner” is still up for grabs.
Masuzu is the devil in disguise. She plays the two-faced girl who hides her manipulative side behind a refined exterior fit for a school idol. I’m sure she will start warming up to Eita soon enough though (beyond just using him as a tool for her convenience), or this won’t be much of a harem anime. I would certainly feel terrible for Chiwa if she were to lose out to a girl who doesn’t even truly love the guy Chiwa has her eyes on.
1Note the end where he reveals that he is actually aware of Chiwa’s feelings towards him, yet consciously chooses not to address the issue because of his aversion to love. My guess is, his thinking is “if she won’t come out and say it, I won’t bring it up”.
2If you’re savvy you’ll be aware that this rule (and probably most rules of anime) comes with the corollary “except when it doesn’t”; of course, with the appropriate phrasing for the rule in question. In this case, it would be “the first girl always wins, except when she doesn’t”. This being the case, the rule would always be true (and also pointless). But this is boring, so let’s forget about the corollary for a moment.