Friday, December 21, 2018

Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru

The Margaret video series was a set of six shoujo OVAs released at monthly intervals in 1993. They were based on manga published in Margaret magazine and animated by Madhouse. In chronological order, they were:
Orphan has released A-Girl, Kisa wa Me ni Shite, POPS, and Singles. After a pause for station identification, we now bring you the first OVA, Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru.

Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru (The Fashion Boy Is Cool) tells the story of Fujiya Kotobuki, a precocious 14-year-old girl with a strong sense of fashion and an equally strong crush on Kushinige Hodaka, the owner and chief designer of a chic boutique, Galopin et Galopine. By creatively exaggerating her age, she wangles her way into the shop and into Hodaka's heart. However, she also comes to the attention of Hodaka's younger assistant (and, as it turns out, younger half-brother) Kujou Kazuomi. When Hodaka finds out Kotobuki's true age, he firmly rejects her, and Kazuomi tries to take his place in Kotobuki's affections. Will the complications and misunderstandings be straightened out? Will Kotobuki find the path to true love? Well, this is a shoujo romance, after all.

For an American audience, there's a certain "ick" factor in showing a relationship between an older man - Hodaka is 26 - and a middle school girl, but Japan is, or was, more tolerant of it. The age of consent is 13 in many parts of the country, although it's higher in Tokyo. That's the lowest age of consent in the developed world.

The voice cast includes:
  • Mitsuishi Kotono (Fujiya Kotobuki) has had a fabulous career, including star turns as Excel in Excel Saga, female Maze in Maze TV and OVAs, Mink in Dragon Half, Birdy in Birdy the Mighty, Katsuragi Misato in the Evangelion properties, and of course, Sailor Moon in the Sailor Moon franchise. She also appeared in Blazing Transfer Student, Nagasarete Airantou, and Yamato 2520, all Orphan releases. She is still active, appearing in 2018's Zombieland Saga.
  • Hayami Shou (Kushinige Hodaka) starred as Nanjou in Zetsuai: 1989 and Bronze: Zetsuai since 1989, both Orphan releases. He has had many featured roles, including Iason's friend Raoul in Ai no Kusabi, Hojo in Sanctuary, Pat Leivy in Starship Troopers, and Junoichi in Blazing Transfer Student, all Orphan releases.  He is still active, recently playing Popuko in Pop Team Epic
  • Nanba Keiichi (Kujou Kazuomi), starred as Eizawa in Chameleon and Hongou in Nozomi Witches, and gave an over-the-top performance as Roll the vengeful wizard in Girl from Fantasia, all Orphan releases. He also starred as Koujiro in the Fuma no Koujiro OVA series and as Momonari Junta in DNA^2.
The show was directed by the late Endou Takuji, who also helmed Zetsuai: 1989.

Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru was first translated by Tomodachi back in the VHS fansub era. Moho Kareshi did an independent translation for Orphan. I cross-correlated the two translations, and laalg corrected the result. M74 timed, and I edited and typeset (very few signs). BeeBee and Nemesis QCed. M74 encoded based on a VHS rip. The tape itself was purchased second-hand and turned out to be reasonably good.

So if you're in the mood for a little May-December romance, you can get Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on The last Margaret OVA, Oedo wa Nemurai!, is "on the slipways" but is still a ways from launch. Stay tuned.


  1. I really like how Orphan are unafraid of any genre. Be it sugary shoujo, borderline porn, creepy weird or kiddy stuff - if it's old and deserving some love, it will be preserved and shared.