I haven’t done an anime review in awhile (I’m bad with time, so I think a good generic term works best!), even though I watch anime all the time. Seriously, I love anime. Because the shows are short – 25 minutes – and most series are short – 12 to 13 episodes. Perfect for a girl with a short attention span and a desire to see a full story play out in the space of a few hours.
Enough about that, though. I’m here to discuss the romantic anime “Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji” which, in English, translates to “Wolf Girl and Black Prince.” This is the first romance anime I’ve ever watched where there were subtle (and not-so-subtle) references to the d/s lifestyle (d/s being dominance/submission). For those of you who aren’t already aware, I write d/s fiction (and fanfiction), so I was excited about the anime from the moment I read the description.
Here’s my own quick summary:
Erika is desperate to make friends at her school. She pretends to have a boyfriend because the two girls who sit near her in class are obsessed with their relationships. The two of them are constantly pressuring her to provide some form of proof. The tension mounts when Erika overhears her two new friends discussing how Erika probably doesn’t have a boyfriend, so Erika becomes desperate. Taking her phone, she walks around until she finds an attractive man and takes his picture (he catches her, but doesn’t say anything).
A few days later, Erika is confronted with the same boy she took a picture of at her school – Kyoya. He’s called the “Prince” by the rest of the students. Desperate not to be caught in a lie, Erika rushes him outside and spills her guts to him, telling him everything that he has inadvertently been caught up in. He agrees to go along with the farce, but she has to do everything he says – and the first thing he makes her do is bark like a dog. And that’s where the story really begins.
Over the course of the show, Erika and Kyoya fall in love with each other – and he is not the nicest person in the world, by any means. The relationship, however, is realistic. There are many emotional ups-and-downs. One of them is the moment Erika realizes she’s in love with Kyoya. Another is the time that Erika decides to try a relationship with someone else (because she’s not dating Kyoya at this point) who acts a lot nicer. Then she finds out at the end of the date that the man is much crueler because Kyoya shows up and reclaims Erika – the man says that he just wanted to steal Kyoya’s girlfriend the way Kyoya stole his. And that’s the first time you really see how much Kyoya cares for Erika.
Kyoya is never honest with his feelings – he struggles with them throughout the entire show, but his actions speak volumes. He is protective, loyal, and faithful even when he’s spewing horrible things at Erika. And she doesn’t just take it all in stride – she gets morose and depressed, but through it all, she never stops loving him. There are times when she wishes she didn’t love him, but as the two of them grow closer, Erika begins to understand him in a way no one else does, and she doesn’t get as upset when he says mean things. Partially because she understands Kyoya by that point, but partially because Kyoya slowly becomes less and less guarded around her. He toughens her up and she softens him.
The d/s element is blatant because their relationship starts with him essentially blackmailing her (for lying about the role he plays in her life, which is a weird balance of power that works out well) into obeying him. And then it progresses from there and becomes more of a romance with d/s undertones – he still expects her to listen to him, and she still listens (for the most part, until she’s trying to do something “for his good” which gets her into endless trouble). The story definitely does not have a 50 Shades of Grey feel to it (it’s as light-hearted as it is emotional) which is important to me, because 50 Shades of Grey highlights what an abusive d/s relationship looks like. In contrast, Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji demonstrates a HEALTHY d/s relationship, and I love it.
This is one anime that is definitely going in one of my top 10 lists – if I ever get around to making the lists, of course!