Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai Review — B+

In the biggest surprise of the spring season, I actually enjoyed Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai (We Don’t have Wings). In my initial preview, I called it “terrible even by the already low standards of perverted harem shows.” I decided to drop it after a little girl started making dirty jokes and showing people her underwear. A few weeks later, I decided to give the second episode a shot, and I was hooked. So what happened?

The first episode was indeed terrible, and my opinion of that hasn’t changed. I was a misguided attempt to hook the viewer and introduce all of the characters at once, through heavy use of fanservice. But from the second episode on, things really get going.

First of all, the dialogue, scripting and pacing in this series is spectacular. It doesn’t feel like a moment is wasted, and the conversations are always witty, informative and non-repetitive. This show just has a ton of energy behind it which transfers over to the viewers. The excellent dialogue in turn results in strong characterizations, especially the male leads. The supporting cast is extensive and well-developed as well. Also, the fanservice in this show is quite creative and random. This is the kind of fanservice I can live with.

Many shows of this ilk suffer from the weak male protagonist syndrome, where the male lead is a loser who is surrounded by a bunch of interesting female characters who are in love with him for no apparent reason. Oretachi does not suffer from this problem at all: in fact, I would argue that the male characters are more interesting than their female counterparts. They’re assertive, witty and suave, which is quite a change from your usual harem protagonist.

Last but not least, the creators managed to arrange a harem where the main character has mutual romantic interests with multiple girls while not being an indecisive man-whore. They deserve mad props just for this. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say that you’ll be quite confused for the first half of the show trying to figure out what’s going on, until everything just clicks. Interestingly, one of the main characters doesn’t even make an appearance until the fifth episode. In this regard the creators managed to introduce some element of a mystery into the show as well.

Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai comes highly recommended for its intense and original script, its strong characters and its all-around uniqueness and creativity in the rather stagnant harem / galge adaptation genre. Don’t be put off by the first episode like I was (actually, you might want to just skip it).

  • Plot / Script – 10 / 10 – Fast-paced and witty.
  • Characters – 9 / 10 – Superb male leads in a genre dominated by terrible ones.
  • Production – 8 / 10 – Nothing that really stands out, either positive or negative.
  • Overall – B+

Recommendations – Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, Durarara

13 thoughts on “Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai Review — B+

  1. If I had to describe this series in one word, I’d probably go with “messy.”

    So many points you make about the characters and the story hold true, but there is so much other stuff that gets in the way and ruins a series that had so much potential.

    Personally, I feel the fanservice detracted from the overall quality of the work. I don’t think it’s possible to take the female leads seriously when they’re flaunted around so shamelessly during the openings. Could you imagine if the producers inserted a fanservice montage before every episode of Honey & Clover? Or Kanon? Or Gurren Lagann?

    The random television/radio thing, the shounen-ish medieval parts and the excessive fanservice were just too much for one anime. They probably would have been best served to cut all that out, pick one demographic and stick to it.

    1. Thanks for your comments! I can definitely see how the fanservice could get in the way of your enjoyment, as they definitely don’t hold anything back. I guess I’ve built up a tolerance for it over the years. Some things (like the little girl) were too much even for me though.

      I actually kind of liked how they combined a bunch of “genres” in the show— if they only picked one aspect, they probably would have chosen the excessive fanservice, and we can imagine how that would have turned out. *shudder* The television thing, fantasy world parody and the random gang fights helped keep my interest spiked, although it was pretty random.

      1. No problem! I don’t have many friends who like to talk about / watch as much anime as I do, so I hope you don’t mind my sudden interest in your blog!

        I could see how the genre spikes could help keep viewer interested. I’ve always preferred the classic narrative structure, so something like Oretachi probably isn’t for someone like me to begin with. I’m not sure if you’ve seen Shuffle!, but this series felt A LOT like Shuffle and Shuffle made my top ten worst series list >.<

        Anyway, I felt there were WAY too many characters in this series. I think there were three storylines and each one had something like 5-7 central characters. I try to remember names when I watch anime, but I gave that up after the first episode.

        1. I don’t mind at all, the reason I write this blog is to have conversations with fellow anime fans. šŸ™‚

          I actually did start to watch Shuffle, but couldn’t stand it either and dropped it after ten or so episodes. It just bored me. Oretachi had more energy behind it and was able to keep my attention better with a faster pace (and it probably helped that it was half as long). They do have a similar setup though.

          I have to agree with you that there are too many characters. There were two new characters in the last episode alone, for crying out loud. I couldn’t remember any of the gang members. That purple haired girl who talked too much came out of nowhere, and I’ll confess that I didn’t remember the “best friend” that he met in the last episode at all.

  2. I’ll give the series a further try I guess, but I don’t know. You have a tendency to like shows with absolutely atrocious dialogue (Overman King Gainer, Rahxephon, Katangatari, and far too many other examples I won’t name here) and considering how much I’m suffering through Sasami-san@Ganbarnai right now, if I have to hear any more “clever clever” bullshit, I don’t think I’m going to last.

    1. I don’t fully understand what you mean when you say shows have atrocious dialogue. It seems rather vague and subjective to me, although you state it as if it should be obvious. I thought Katanagatari had excellent dialogue, although I agree that Sasami-san pretends to be way more clever than it is. Oretachi is probably not everyone’s cup of tea.

      1. Well, Katangatari’s dialogue was mostly just bland in the 40 minutes I lasted. My problem was with the fact that they just wouldn’t stop speaking that bland dialogue and throw a punch (hello DBZ).

        Also, I’m not sure how dialogue isn’t on the same level as comedy or animation when it comes to judging. Okay, I can’t understand the actual language but I can read the subs. And I remember wanting to punch Tomino in the face for putting Garzey Wing-level writing in the 7 episodes I lasted in King Gainer. Could be the subber’s fault, but given that Tomino also wrote Garzey’s Wing, I kind of doubt that.

        1. I’m not saying you can’t judge things based on dialogue. I’m just saying that somehow, I see good dialogue as something completely different from what you see as good dialogue (i.e., I thought Katanagatari and Simoun had excellent dialogue). Tastes differ on comedy as well: I thought Binbougami Ga was dumb, but other people think potty humor is hilarious. Some people (horror of horrors) don’t think Milky Holmes is funny!

  3. I agree.
    Episode 1: Garbage
    Episode 2:Brilliant (Compared to Episode 1)
    Episode 3-12:Pretty great.

    I admit, the fanservice was kind of in your face. It was creative no doubt, but it could have used a little less. I hear the Visual Novel is considered one of the best in the eroge/harem genre too.

    1. I could have done with less fanservice too. Still, as far as fanservice goes, it was pretty good. I’m still amazed at how much this show turned around from that awful first episode.

  4. Wow! I’m surprised you liked this.

    If they ever translate the Visual Novel (or consequentially if you learn Japanese), I highly suggest you find some time to play it. I’m not lying when I say it is 10 times better than the anime. Honestly, the anime is actually garbage compared to it.

    1. I was surprised I liked it too. I’m learning Japanese at the moment, have been practicing reading manga and such, I think the length of a visual novel is a bit beyond me at this point though. šŸ™

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