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Interview: Kimagure Orange Road's Izumi Matsumoto

Darius Washington:

Since its debut in 1987, anime fans have enjoyed the adaptation of writer Izumi Matsumoto’s manga, Kimagure Orange Road. This story contains elements of romance, drama and the supernatural as it focuses on a teenage love triangle.

Our initial protagonist, Kyosuke, is a young man with some interesting psychic powers, which also run in his rather extensive family. He moves to a new city and winds up falling for Madoka, who acts rather strangely with him at times. She’s friendly when they’re alone, but very rough toward him in the presence of others. She contemplates returning Kyosuke’s feelings but doesn’t want to hurt her best friend Hikaru, who fell strongly for Kyosuke after seeing him make a very tough basketball shot. Adding to Kyosuke’s woes is his family, who likes to show their powers off a bit even as Kyosuke wants to desperately keep them a secret.

With character designs by Akemi Takada (Urusei Yatsura, Patlabor The Movie), the anime produced at Studio Pierrot (Bleach, Naruto) ran for 48 episodes, 8 OVAs and 2 movies. The majority of these were brought to the U.S. during the late 90s by AnimEigo and ADV Films. The U.S. rights to these works have since lapsed, but American anime fans who’ve experienced them have enjoyed the romance and characters a good bit. We caught up to Mr. Matsumoto during Anime Expo and had a chance to learn why his series has remained so popular after over 2 decades.

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