Well, well, well, what can I say about the first episode of Okusama Ga Seito Kaichou? Okusama Ga Seito Kaichou is a short anime series based on a Japanese manga by Yumi Nakata. The story focuses on protagonist Hayato Izumi as he attempts to become class president only to be thwarted by rival Ui Wakana on the grounds that she stands for the liberation of love. Hayato Izumi later finds out that both his and Ui Wakana’s parents arranged for both of them to wed. Oh, what a pickle Hayato finds himself in.
First off, the story gets straight the point. The synopsis of the episode is pretty much on the money and there is no boring dialogue filled with information dumps about their character traits. The character development happens as the episode progresses. By the end we know that Ui Wakana is very open minded and ready to commit to her arranged marriage, whereas Hayato is cautious, conflicted and extremely sexually repressed—or so it seems. Admittedly the stream of scenes can seem disjointed, but the timing of one scene going slap bang into the drama does contribute to some humour.
While watching I couldn’t help but notice how overly sexualised the whole episode was. Even in the credits there are the shots of breasts. It would seem the only form of romance in this episode was sexual. It does make me wonder if the sexual themes will dissolve into romance as the story progresses, however. These sexual themes could relate to female empowerment, but can equally be seen as objectifying women. Ui’s looks seem to have an overbearing power not only over her class (are her looks the reason why she was elected class president?) but even Hayato submits to them. His desire for her causes a bit of a stir at the end when things get a bit raunchy. However, Hayato refers to Ui as his president, suggesting she is higher up in the social chain than him. So I guess the sexualation could mean empowerment? This early on, it seems like it could go either way.
The episode does touch on binary opposition between being able to choose who one loves and arranged marriage. In recent years arranged marriage has been in decline and I think because of that we often forget that it is even still a thing. Okusama highlights the complications of arranged marriage as each character stands on a different side of the argument. It did make me chuckle a little when Ui makes a massive speech about liberation of love at the beginning of the episode, but is obviously pro arranged marriage. Surely forcing someone to marry her is against the right to love whoever one wants too? Hmmmm, a bit contradictory, Ui?
Okusama is a short and to the point. I am not going to lie, I thought it was going to be some lovey dovey school romance chick flick, however it turned out to be quite different to what I expected. Although conveyed very light heartedly, the anime actually has serious undertones. It is totally worth a watch if you have a few spare minutes to dedicate to this raunchy anime series. Plus, this is only the pilot, who knows what the rest of the series will entail? Will the two marry? Looks like we will have to wait ’til episode two!