Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai Review

“May peace prevail in the world.”

That is the motto used by the main characters of Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai, Takashi, Hayato, and Shuusuke. Its meaning is clear, but its significance is kept shrouded in mystery.

The thing that first drew me to OreTsuba were the character designs, which were done by one of my favourite artists, Aoi Nishimata. A lot of Nishmata’s work is for eroge, and OreTsuba happens to be one of them, so before the anime even aired, I knew to expect a lot of fanservice. If you can’t handle dirty talk, panty shots, or accidental exposures, then I can tell you right now that you won’t like OreTsuba. Beneath all of that fanservice, however, there is a story about the struggle to restore  peace to a fragmented world.

One of the downfalls of OreTsuba is that the first few episodes failed to deliver any semblance of a plot. The viewer is overloaded with a wave of characters by following the daily lives of 3 distinct men with seemingly no relation to each other. It becomes rather cumbersome trying to keep track of who’s whom and what exactly is happening. Admittedly, if it were not for Nishimata’s character designs, I would have dismissed this anime as trash and stopped at the first episode.

It’s not until the 4th episode that we see the method to the madness. At this point we discover that Takashi, Hayato, and Shuusuke are in fact the split personalities of the same person (whom I’ll refer to as Haneda). Things start to get interesting from there as the actions of one personality can affect the daily life of another. OreTsuba also has an interesting take on how split personalities work, with some of them able to communicate with each other, some that are unaware of other personalities, and some that are so dormant that no one knows if they exist or not. The fantasy world of Gretagard, within the mind of Haneda, also brings into question the mental stability of some of the personalities.

While I liked the idea of Haneda’s different personalities interacting with each other, I thought it lacked some elements that would’ve made it believable. First of all, one of Haneda’s personalities is always active, no matter that time of day it is. The human brain does run non-stop, but that does not apply to the body. Haneda is split between Takashi during the day, Shuusuke in the afternoon/evening, and Hayato at night, all of whom are out and about when they are in control. I am surprised that the body did not collapse from fatigue. Secondly, it is impossible to figure out how each personality came to be. There were no hints as to what kind of trauma caused Haneda’s mind to split. The amount of time spent on the activities of each character (Hayato looking for Kobato’s bike, for example) could have been better utilized explaining the complex history of Haneda rather than condensing it all into the last episode.

With regards to the fanservice, most of the time it’s just some panty flashing, but there are some more extreme moments. X-ray vision and the need for “keep out” signs is present in most of the episodes. The most adult scene was when one of the girls “extracted” some poison from Takashi (I’ll leave it to you to figure out what that means). I guess one of the ways this series increases the number of girls that they can include in the cast is by giving each personality their own mini-harem. In essence, you have 3 harems worth of girls all in one anime.

In the end, OreTsuba felt like it was an anime being pulled in two drastically different directions. At times, it seems like nothing more than some near-nude anime girls playing around, but the next instance it seems like a probe into the depths of the human psyche. The result is a series with a great idea that failed to deliver. If you like Aoi Nishimata’s designs and some fanservice to go with it, then I don’t think you would be disappointed with OreTsuba, but for the average viewer, you’re better off with a different series.

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  1. I admit that the idea behind this show is interesting, but what the producers did with the show turned out horrible such a badly told and paced story, even the fanservice couldn’t save it for me :(
    A funny thing was that I disliked nearly all the fremale characters aside from the crepe lady, their personalities and voices were so annoying to me XD
    At least I liked Hayato with his delinquent language, the episode where he took Takashi’s role was hilarous.

  2. I actually really liked We Without Wings. I found the story to be fragmented enough to allow for speculation and interesting enough to want to come back week after week to adjust or confirm my theories. I’ll admit the conclusion was rather flat in the end and the plot riddled with implausibilities, but still an enjoyable series overall. Around episode 3 was when the whole thing clicked for me. I wouldn’t mind giving the VN a go now having watched the anime.

    I think the huge character cast works better for the VN since some characters hardly got any screen time. Naru was my favourite, she had some of the funniest scenes with Dora.

    Fan service was good, OVA even better. I liked how random it was as well, you never really knew what would be the next yellow tape scene.

    Even though I liked OreTsuba I’ll agree this one isn’t worth recommending unless you’re a fan.

  3. @Fabienne:
    I actually didn’t think the characters were that bad. My favourites were Asuka and Naru. The times when Hayato and Shuusuke were forced into school were indeed funny.

    Agreed with you about episode 3, before that it just seemed like one big mess. I think if they had more episodes, the number of characters wouldn’t have been so overwhelming; it took me more than half of the series just to remember everyone’s names.

    The OVA was more revealing than I thought it would be, but that was what they were advertising, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

  4. I find it surprising with the way people talked about this show I had a different impression of it, something more serious, I don’t think it was fanservicy. Interesting concept though with the split personalities though.

  5. @Miette-chan:
    I think they tried to be serious in some parts, but they had a lot of random fanservice just for the heck of it.

    They really should have gone with one or the other. That way, everyone would know what to expect from it and not be disappointed.

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  8. I didn’t like the first episode. In fact, I stopped 5 minutes after the opening theme. Too many characters in one episode! But the split personality idea seems interesting…maybe I should give it another go?

  9. @dreaming Artemis:
    Sadly (or maybe not), that’s true. Sometimes I wonder what the world of anime would be like if there was no fanservice.

    From what people have said, it doesn’t seem to have captured everything in the VN, but it gave it a good shot.

    The number of characters was overwhelming. I think they should have spaced out the introductions a bit more, but I guess that would’ve made the first few episodes even more confusing since it’ll take longer to figure out what’s going on. If you like Aoi Nishimata’s design and some fanservice, then give it another shot.

  10. It’s not so often we see split personality being tackled in anime, so that by itself, is already interesting. It’s a bit disappointing to hear that Oretachi failed to execute it really well though, but I guess it is a hard subject to explore in the way they wanted to.

    Anyway, yes, Aoi Nishimata is super lovely! Love the artworks.

  11. I think it would have been too depressing to sell itself without the fan service. Okay, maybe they put too much of it, but still, with non at all, I would probably have hanged myself after watching the twelve episodes.

    But the message isn’t so miss-delivered. I mean, if you watch it all, you get the concept, and I like the fact that at first, it gets so confusing and also that the pace was sometimes hard to follow. It makes it even more psycho. Creepy people will understand why it’s just so well-made.

    • Perhaps removing all of the fanservice would be a bit much, but it definitely could have done with less. I think the focus on the girls drew away from the psychological battle that should have been the main focus of the series.