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  • Miki-1329 September 1999
    You know for a series called 'Whimsical Orange Road' the first KOR movie 'I Want To Return To That Day' is downright depressing. The only purpose of this movie is to solve once and for all the romantic triangle of the TV and OAV series, and boy does it do it.

    I remember watching this movie for the first time in a crowded auditorium with a bunch of Otaku around me. It got to the climactic moment where Kyosuke is attempting to finally voice his feelings to Madoka and all of us were chanting 'Say it! Say it! Say it!' none of us expecting him to actually do it. And then he said it. We were stunned.

    For fans of the series be warned, this movie is very low on the humour and very high on the drama. Not once in this entire film is Kyosuke's ESP even /mentioned/. It is entirely a dramatic movie with a /very/ bittersweet ending.

    Hikaru fans may not want to watch at all.
  • Well, I cried at the end of this movie too. And I'm a guy.

    Though the 2nd movie (Shin KOR Ano Natsu ni Hajimaru/Summer's Beginning) does reconcile a lot of the situations caused in this movie, Ano hi ni kaeritai is all the ending that's necessary to this series. If you're a fan of romance stories, this is certainly one to watch, as it's beautiful, atmospheric almost to the point of unbearability, and very honest. Sure, the animation's a bit dated, but I've yet to see any American animated feature attempt this with even the least bit of seriousness.

    Well worth your time, and I guarantee you'll never resort to WB teen soaps ever again!
  • This feature was produced and set almost immediately after the end of the TV series, and released subtitled: "I Want to Return to That Day." The psychic fantasy and silly comedy elements which made the series such fun are now gone, and instead the movie goes straight for the heartstrings. Kyosuke must confront his feelings for both Hikaru and Madoka and deal with the relationship fallout as the friendly triangle at the center of the series comes apart, with jealousy, hurt feelings and recriminations flying in all directions. The familiar settings - the famous staircase, the ABCD diner, Green House, Madoka's house etc. - become emotional battlefields as the innocent fun of the series comes to its inevitable end. It is surprisingly powerful stuff coming on the heels of such a likable and rather lightweight series. As with any anime, liberal use of pathetic fallacy is made, as dramatic pauses are punctuated with gusts of wind and rainstorms break out just as tears well up in a character's eyes. Good looking and well crafted, this is one of the best and most famous post-series anime features and must viewing for fans of the series who were left wondering how things would turn out.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It seems that watching the entire _Kimagure Orange Road_ series (TV series, OVAs, and movies) is becoming a yearly summer event for me. I've just watched the TV series for the third time, and the OVAs for the second. It's unusual for me to watch ANYTHING, anime or otherwise, more than once, so there must be something unique about _KOR_, at least for me. This first movie is one reason why.

    As the other reviewers have mentioned, the basic purpose of _I Want to Return to that Day_ is resolving the romantic triangle that has persisted throughout the 48-episode TV series and the 8-episode OVA one. But it also shows the characters realizing they're outgrowing their high school sensibilities and, well, moving on. Remember how you hung out with a group of friends through high school? How you started to drift apart as graduation approached and you all decided to go to different colleges? How things simply weren't the same the summer after graduation, even though you tried to keep them that way? And how it all suddenly ended when college started, even if you DID try at first to keep in touch? I'll bet you've often wondered over the years what happened to those people--just like Kyosuke does with Madoka and Hikaru. After all these TV and OVA episodes, the _KOR_ characters are like friends, and now it's time to say goodbye to them, at least until _New Kimagure Orange Road: Summer's Beginning_. After all, an anime series doesn't last forever any more than a high school clique does. I'll bet many Japanese viewers who watched this movie back in '88 spent the next eight years pondering the fates of Madoka, Kyosuke, and Hikaru, not to mention those of the many supporting characters.

    As for the resolution of the romantic triangle, the two things Kyosuke does toward this (confessing his love for Madoka and being honest with Hikaru) come so suddenly that we realize that he is finally overcoming his capriciousness and, well, growing up. All the times that Kyosuke has to keep rebuffing Hikaru are agonizing--it's like watching a terminally ill person refuse to die, and you wonder when it will end, or IF it will ever end. But at the end of the movie, everybody moves on.

    The movie moves a little slowly during the first half hour, but this is because Kyosuke and Madoka are struggling with their feelings and realizing things are changing; the many brooding silences during this time tell us what they are thinking. And as the other reviewers have pointed out, neither Kyosuke nor his sisters use their psychic powers even once during the movie, nor is there any of the slapstick humor from the TV and OVA series--it's as if the series is growing up as well.

    The animation seems slightly better than the TV series's, but, like the movie itself, it's nothing too flashy. So why are the beginning and ending in black and white? Maybe to indicate that as they are walking to the college, Kyosuke and Madoka are now sadder (but wiser)? Maybe to emphasize the fact that, as in the TV and OVA series, these events have taken place in the past, and Kyosuke is recounting them? Or an allusion to _The Wizard of Oz_, perhaps? You'll have to decide for yourself, just as for eight years the original viewers had to conjecture what happens to the characters after this movie ends.

    At any rate, it's good to see everything finally resolved, even if this resolution does raise new questions. And be sure to watch the ending credit sequence.

    Bang!
  • simon-34910 January 2004
    After watching the whole series, and after have so many fun, I knew it wasn't to be a good end to the characters and your frienships. But in this movie, it happens to be so sad ... anyone who have some affection by the characters will certainly cry and above all you will have so much melancholy. It will mark you.
  • This is probably best seen if you've at least watched the OAV series of Kimagure Orange Road (better if you've seen the actual series). It is a very serious ending to a whimsical television series. It is very mature in how it treats the relationship. I cried.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This totally broke my heart. Ayukawa is very low key and seems out of character at some times but she still has her temper.Hikaru goes between being an immature little girl with daddy issues to wanting to be a grown woman taking care of Kyosake. I think she is the most complex character in the entire series because her falling in love with Kyosake is for me a mystery, bumping head and boom she is his forever. The story is all about Hikaru and Kyosuke and boy is it a roller coaster in emotions, you forget that it is only teenage love and the drama is over the top due to the hormones. A heavy part in the Orange Road Series, left me in tears and a lump in my stomach.
  • airhead1118530 April 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    I thought the movie was great, but I just have to wonder where is Hino Yusaku at the one time that Hikaru needs him the most? He doesn't even appear in the movie (unless that was him standing outside the telephone booth.) At the very least he could have served as a punching bag for Hikaru to vent her feelings with. Maybe he was left out so that we get the impression that Hikaru was completely and helplessly abandoned. Much sadder that way. Of course I still haven't seen the sequel, so maybe that will explain what happened to him. If not, I think that it is a very glaring oversight to exclude him, even if the many purpose of his character was for comic relief. He would have been honor-bound to confront Kasuga and try to use the situation to let Hikaru know what kind of guy he really is. I just thought it funny about Hikaru's comment to the twins on how hard it was to found the right guy, when Yusaku was probably trailing along behind her off-screen.