While Kyosuke Kasuga is running up 100 steps, he sees something flying in the sky and thinks it’s a UFO. It does look a little like a flying saucer, but it’s actually just a hat caught up by the wind. The hat belongs to a girl named Madoka Ayukawa, and she tells him to keep it. Kyosuke might not know it then, but Madoka is about to become a major part of his life. The two middle school students will soon be involved in a love triangle that will also include Madoka’s close friend, Hikaru Hiyama.
Their triangle isn’t the stuff of heartbreak and tragedy, though. Kimagure Orange Road (also known as KOR) is a comedic manga through and through, even if it does have serious moments. It revels in the foibles of adolescent mistakes, crushes and confusions. And while it is a romance, it’s a shonen manga, not a shojo.
Did I mention that Kyosuke and his family are all ESPers? That’s important, too.
Kyosuke, his sisters and father keep having to move in order to keep their psychic abilities secret. They even have telekinetic powers. Theses powers don’t actually show up a whole lot in the manga after the very beginning, but now and then Kyosuke will be in a panicky situation and know he has to solve it without using his magic powers. He also has to deal with his family’s special powers in addition to their regular family issues (like that time his dad wants to photograph both the girls Kyosuke’s interested in as part of the dad’s freelance photographer business). So this series not only has plenty of silly humor about dating, it also has its fair share of humor about supernatural powers. Maybe that’s why Kyosuke was so quick to believe he saw a UFO?
The Kimagure Orange Road anime is available in America through Discotek, and the manga is a re-release with a new translation and new editing. Digital Manga Inc launched a successful Kickstarter for the series, and they’ll be publishing the 18 volumes in six omnibus manga, available as both print and digital versions. After an initial delay, the whole series has now been released. It’s great for fans of the anime or anyone who’d like to check out a long-awaited manga classic.
Story & Art: Izumi Matsumoto
Publisher: Digital Manga Inc.
Danica Davidson, along with Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya, is the author of Manga Art for Intermediates. In addition to showing how to draw manga character types in detail, the book describes how professional Japanese manga creators work, including common techniques and what drawing utensils they use.