Marmalade Boy

Title:Marmalade Boy
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: HISAKAWA Aya
INOUE Kikuko
KOUDA Mariko
Music - Ali Project
Original Concept - YOSHIZUMI Wataru
TANGE Sakura
Marmalade Boy begins when Miki Koishikawa's parents decided to go to Hawaii. They fell in love again with another couple by the name of "Matsuura" and decided to exchange partners with them. Miki was informed by her parents that they would be getting a divorce and marry again. She also learned that the couple her parents were intending to exchange partners with had a son named Yuu Matsuura. Now, not only does Miki have to deal with two sets of parents but her sudden feelings for Yuu... (Synopsis is provided courtesy of

Animation by Toei Animation & Yoshizumi Wataru.
R1 Licensed TOKYOPOP.
Distributed under the Funimation banner
For more info see - Wikipedia Entry.
ANN article - Buried Treasure
76 TV Episodes.

Also see movie prequel - Marmalade Boy (1995)
Episode Details 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 5 6 5 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:25#1552]
Marmalade Boy is one of those mid-90s shoujo romantic melodramas that were popular with older fans and this one particularly stuck out due to the complicated romance angles it played with throughout much of its run. Through the bizarre marital mix-arounds that their parents make, Miki and Yuu find themselves living together under the same roof and try to adjust to their bizarre predicament while slowly finding themselves falling for one another. With their developing relationship, however, comes a number of characters who each take their own romantic interests in one of our two leads, often conspiring to break the two apart so they they can have the one that interests them to themselves. For the first 20+ episodes, this involved close friends of the two leads which did make this aspect of the series work well at first. But when Miki and Yuu become an official couple later on, characters with no past ties to them are added to the mix just to create melodrama out of the predicaments and slowly led my tolerance of the series to start getting pushed when the slightest suspicion of activity lead Miki or Yuu's emotions (in many cases, the former) to get overblown, their relationship being strained and then getting patched up again upon realizing any misunderstanding that they got in was blown out of proportion. This regularly made me question why I should care for Miki and Yuu as a pairing after the first 25 episodes in the series with how unbelievably dense Miki's character could be at the slightest of misunderstandings involving Yuu.

At least up until the American arc of the series, the supporting cast to Marmalade Boy were perhaps the most engaging element to the series to check out as the series would focus on the romantic developments of Yuu and Miki's friends once the two become an official couple. The most engaging of these developments for me came in the form of the student-teacher relationship developing with Miki's friend Meiko and her English teacher Namura. While occasionally dabbling into melodrama, this development in the series doesn't get anywhere as overblown as the romantic predicaments faced by Yuu and Miki. The couple believably face a great deal of scrutiny and difficulty in having their relationship acknowledged in a positive light by others throughout much of the series, said events causing their relationship to be strained for a good period of time in the series. Had this series focused entirely on Meiko and Namura's relationship and shortened it to a quarter or half year long anime, this could have made for engaging drama for a romance title. Instead, we get stuck with Miki and Yuu as the main pairing. Once the American arc begins, any focus on the supporting cast is shafted to a great extent in favor of the new American characters that Yuu comes to know, one of whom being a culprit in another of the show's overblown misunderstandings that get tossed in for melodrama.

Visually, Marmalade Boy isn't winning any awards for artistic quality as the series has drab colors and simple details for scenery and character designs. The series often recycles animated frames, has occasions of off-model character designs and resorts to flashbacks in order to cover up any shortcomings that the series would have for its visuals. The music offers up a mix of upbeat and dramatic musical pieces used to accompany the title's situations, notably the J-Pop tracks sticking out, and not in a good way, as the show is known to feature the same obnoxious J-Pop song ("Moment") whenever some sort of plot twist develops with any of the show's characters and this tends to get repetitive very quick.

Overall, Marmalade Boy isn't much different from mid-90s shoujo titles Fushigi Yuugi TV and Hana Yori Dango in being very overblown and obnoxious in the romantic predicaments faced by the main pairings of their titles. While the supporting characters help to provide some sanity to the series with their romantic developments, they get shafted later on in favor of greater focus on the main couple I least care for in the form of Miki and Yuu. Unless you're a sap for 90s romance melodramas, this is one title sure to increasingly test your tolerance as it progresses thanks to its heaping load of melodrama.

Last updated Tuesday, September 24 2013. Created Tuesday, September 24 2013.
Rent 7 8 7 7 7 7 Jan-Chan [series:25#967]
This is a fun story of two married couples who decide to swap partners, and then they decide to move into one large collective house together. And in the process, two high school teenagers find themselves instantly related by merit of their parents new marriages, and are having to live together under one roof together. But there are a few minor problems, to start with, Miki finds her new brother(?) to be very attractive, and Yuu seems to pay close attention to Miki, and somehow manages to charm his new sister... (might Yuu have feelings for Miki, too?) Now that they are sharing parents, are (kind-of ) related, how are these two teenagers to behave and relate to each other? Miki is the central character of the story-line. She is an energetic and creative teenager who has to contend with not only a change in her family and her parents, but also with her feelings for an attractive, but solemn, new brother-housemate, Yuu.
The story line is one in which the bubbly and outgoing Miki has to accept and become friends with the attractive, but reserved Yuu. She wants to like Yuu, or maybe she really likes him, or perhaps she is really attracted to Yuu, but how does Yuu feel about her? . Through the course of some eighty episodes, the two new siblings try to get closer to each other, and have to work through all sorts of difficulties and problems. While Yuu is always kind and attentive to his new sister Miki, he is not open in how he feels about her, which causes problems. Miki has to contend with not only her mixed feelings for Yuu, but also with rival attentions from her fellow female students, who think the Yuu is the coolest catch in the unattached boy-fish pool.
Sounds like a great story line eh? This series works to be entertaining, but only at half speed .my complaint is .h can you drag the story line along, before it becomes tedious? An event that might be told in one episode, some how gets stretched into three episodes. There is a lot of charm of this story, but it does not move far .. or . fast but if you like a teenage romance story, then you might just want to sit ..(and sit) (and sit). through this series, because it does have its distinctive charm and appeal.
I do like this series, but I think that if you want to watch a story of romance, then please consider <Kodomo no Omocha> (Toy Story) , or perhaps the series Maison Ikkoku (these stories move along a bit faster, and they are as or more entertaining than MB,) but in any case, this series is worth the watch, if one can find the long..slow .. afternoons to.. enjoy the ..entire series (what?, was I alseep?)
Did I mention that this series is about eighty episodes in length? (that is about 30+ hours of anime ......please pass the no-doze, but I did enjoy this series.)

Last updated Sunday, March 28 2004. Created Saturday, March 27 2004.
Buy 8 7 8 9 8 Ka-chan [series:25#1100]
Well, MB should be out before the summer of '04 from Tokyopop. The story is Shoujo and runs like a soap. You get a rollercoaster ride in the love life of Miki and her friends. I actually bought a rocket meno and it included a chart of all the various triangles in the series. There is Miki and Yuu, Miki and Ginta, Arimi and Yuu, Arimi and Ginta, Arimi and Rotanda, Meiko and Na-chan, Suzu and Yuu, Yuu and .... You can see that this can get messy. It goes go into why Yuu is the way he is once you meet Yuu childhood friend and another love triangle for Miki, An. It gets even worse when Yuu goes to America. Not sure I really appreciate the America episodes but the triangles just keep coming. But that part of the fun of an anime like this. So is the melodramatic reaction of Miki to Yuu's kiss and then Ginta's. Then there is the problem of keeping her home life a secret in school. Miki is just to proper and all these improper things seem to happen to here. You do get a look into some areas of Japan as when they go to Hokkido and to the shrine near Hiroshima. Those places do look like that. So does the shinkansen (bullet train). And since there tends to be less flights, they to use 747's. I guess my favorite episode is the year's one. Where Rotanda finally meets a girlfriend but forgets to ask her name, phone number, address, or even where she goes to school. I guess that fortune he got was true. Besides, the girls look cute in kimonos.
If you want to see an anime that's a soap opera or is a soap opera that's an anime, Mamalade Boy is for you. BTW, episode 2 is where you find out why the series is called Mamalade Boy and think it could have been called Mustard (hot and spicy) Girl.

Last updated Saturday, December 13 2003. Created Saturday, December 13 2003.
Watch 7 7 7 9 8 6 kakyuu_prince [series:25#404]
Marmalade Boy has a bit originality going for it. I like the idea because there's nothing quite like it. But the Marmalade Boy anime obsessively spirals into its melodrama. I've seen about thirteen episodes or so and I've heard that there was a lot of the series that just shouldn't have happened. The animation isn't very good, and there's a LOT of cel recycling. Recycling is for everything except anime. There's too much flashback footage and plenty of stills of Miki or whatever just standing around and thinking. The music is good. I liked the opening and closing themes a lot but I didn't like the BGM much except for 'Moment'. I'm already fed up with Miki's indecicivesnes, I really don't think that's fair to just keep Ginta hanging and I don't think Ginta should have accepted the offer from Arimi. If he really loved her, I don't think he should be trying to make her jealous and confuse her even MORE. Arimi was pretty cool though, she knows what she wants and she's going to work to get it while Miki just fumbles around and can't make up her mind. Yuu's blank emotions aren't very appealing either. Since the manga is a lot shorter (I think 10 volumes) I'm just going to get the story like it was supposed to be in the first place, and I'm enjoying the manga more so far.

Last updated Sunday, October 20 2002. Created Sunday, October 20 2002.
Rent 7 7 7 8 8 8 Leilani [series:25#159]
I have not seen the whole series (about 1/3 of it), but so far it's been pretty entertaining. It's a classic shoujo anime title that is just good at what it does. There are crazy twists and turns as far as love triangles, parents swapping partners, affairs with teachers, and so on.
It will definately make you laugh. This is just a show about everyday high school life, so if you're looking for one of those shows with action, magic, or some deep plot, you'll be disappointed. It can get somewhat overdramatic, but it does have one crazy storyline and is something all shoujo fans must see. I personally would buy this, the only problem is it isn't available (legitimately).

Last updated Wednesday, March 21 2001. Created Wednesday, March 21 2001.
Watch 7 7 6 9 8 Anonymous #130 [series:25#130]
Story was lots of love triangles but I think it was good. Me being the King of Shoujo I am! Anyway, it's pretty good, sometimes gets annoying, but series is something you should try out.

Last updated Thursday, January 25 2001. Created Thursday, January 25 2001.
Rent 5 3 8 7 8 8 Bryan [series:25#14]
*After Seeing the Whole Darn Thing*

I guess I really have a weakness for shoujo anime. In fact, I think my favorite anime involves people NOT turning into magical girls, NOT fighting boring-looking pan-dimensional monsters and NOT running on batteries. However, I like to think that I can separate myself from just about any sub-genera and objectively rate anything, and I love Lain, and the Tenchi OAVs and even Macross (Plus, that is).

So, onto MB. The standard introduction to the series goes something like this: Miki Koishikawa discovers, upon her parents' return form Hawaii, that they have decided to swap partners with another couple whom they met on the trip. The four of them will live together, un-wed, until 6 months after their respective divorces. The other couple have a son, Haya-- uhm, I mean Yuu, about the same age as Miki. She is smitten, though his feelings and motivations are inscrutable -- at least to Miki. Over the course of the series, they try to work out their problems at home, while their social lives make triple integrals look easy. I have seen all 76 episodes and the movie. I even bought the first two seasons on LD thanks to the MB mailing list. Obviously I like the show, though it has some serious technical issues.

For example, this series may recycle more old scenes than any anime I've ever seen. If you add up all the time spent showing what has already been shown before, I bet it would run longer than a 13 episode TV series. However, I found a few of these instances to serve a purpose. For example, in one Miki is running home from school -again- after something "terribly traumatic" has happened. The background is a collage of pictures from her past. We can see her life sort of flashing before her, and our, eyes. The animation quality is pretty much abysmal. Cell counts stink, and occasionally the character designs wander (every now and then everyone has huge Jay Leno-like chins). The art is competent but not exceptional with fair looking backgrounds. The colors are vibrant and my favorite technical aspect of the series, though primary colors take a back seat to pastels and other light colors. As for character designs, well, I actually bought a cell from this series to give you an example. I shouldn't give it an 8, I know, but I just can't help it.

The music is way over the top, but I like the orchestration; in fact, I like it quite a bit, though I wouldn't go out and buy it. Besides, this is about a 9th or 10th grade girl, so the melodrama is quite fitting. There was a time when life was like that for us (well, I'm 28 so it has been about 10 years!)

What the series lacks on the technical side, it really delivers in the human interest department. I simply loved the characters. Episodes 10 and 11 deal with Miki and Yuu at home when their parents go to Hawaii - again (two months between trips to Hawaii, whatever). The two episodes boil down to Miki baking a cake for Yuu's birthday. Yup, action fans would likely try to suck their brains out with a straw if told they had watch this series, but there is something very engaging about these folks and I like it! The plot lines have a sort of Murphy's law gone horribly, horribly wrong feel to them. In the MB universe, in walking a couple blocks down the street for a bagel, you would meet: 2 old girlfriends (who hated your guts), your real father, your real mother, you best friend's real father and that dog which ran away from home when you were four.

The humor isn't on the same level as Kodocha, though I love Miki's facial expressions. The 10 minute tennis matches get a little redundant and I still can't figure out where all these schools are located. For example, Miki's classmates take a 747 to Hakkaido, where Arimi, from a rival school, just happens to show up. Maybe she took a train. Yet she, Arimi, is constantly showing up at Miki's school. Something about if A=B and B=C then A SHOULD = C but it doesn't. Oh well, who needs temporal and spatial continuity, this is anime afterall!!

I would give it a buy, but I understand this is really the sort of thing you need to see before making a decision. I sure can't see passing around copies of this to the guys at work for example!

There are some rather adult situations in this show which make it really difficult I think to recommend to anyone under 12. Plus, there is the occasional expletive which really didn't have to be there.

Last updated Wednesday, September 06 2000. Created Wednesday, September 06 2000.

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