My regular readers – working on the egocentric assumption that such a species might exist – will remember my most recent review as having been commissioned via TACO by KiraRin in an attempt to offend my sensibilities. This time round, sothis herself has got in on the act, deciding to exploit my utter distaste for lolicon material and underage nudity by forcing Chu-Bra!! upon my unwilling person. Thus did I end up watching a show about young teens in underwear. At least that’s what I plan to tell the police.
In a way, Chu-Bra!! is like multiple-Oscar-winning film Rain Man. Its central protagonist is an individual lacking in the social graces and common sense that anyone would consider natural, compensating this with an outlandish talent that anyone would consider god-given. Unfortunately, that’s more or less where the similarities end because, while Raymond Babbitt had an encyclopaedic memory and the uncanny ability to count things at a glance, Nayu Hayama has an encyclopaedic knowledge of underwear and the uncanny ability to annoy me.
When summed up, the show’s plot is ridiculous. A teenage girl goes around teaching others about underwear and solving their problems, on the proviso that they relate specifically to bras and knickers. However, the real problem with Chu-Bra!! is not that it is as bad as its premise sounds - rather it is worse. There was room for humour here. There was room for nonsense, room for parody, room to make something that could be laughed with rather than laughed at. Instead, token steps are taken to create something respectable, or at least as respectable as a show about a middle school underwear club could hope to be. There are trials, tribulations, and other laughable pleas for the viewer to become emotionally involved in the recycled plot points and pointless interactions that the makers have the gall to pass off as a story.
What humour and diversion the show does manage to offer is sub-par at best. Aside from a delightfully over-the-top drama club who make an Utena-referencing cameo towards the end, the comedy can be summarised in one sentence: middle schoolers of both genders find lingerie embarrassing. While the show occasionally elaborates on the theme - for example by employing a cavalcade of blushes and nosebleeds to illustrate the idea like some kind of puerile crimson PowerPoint presentation - it would be unfair to credit Chu-Bra!! with much more than this simple observation, re-told again and again with tedious dedication.
Chu-Bra!!’s animation is both generic and lazy. Backgrounds are clean but far from striking, and they frequently exhibit a lack of detail. The character designs, meanwhile, are uninspired. Aside from a couple of touches – such as Ms. Mizuno’s constantly unkempt hair – nothing much even resembles novelty. Similarly, the show is short on visual flair, and the animated medium is never used to achieve anything more creative than an overused face fault or two.
More unfortunate still are the inconstancies which haunt the show like an unusually irksome spectre. Some of the more obvious are a teleporting tea cup, a boat which can’t decide whether it has seats or not, and the curious case of Haruka’s eyelash protrusions, whose length inexplicably varies throughout the series. These are by no means the only errors which leapt out at me, and I have no doubt that an eye sharper than my own could catch many more before succumbing to some bad-animation-induced strain of ocular cancer.
Chu-Bra!!’s assault on the ears is no gentler than its assault on the eyes or brain. Both the OP and ED fall some way short of the bouncy, energetic J-pop for to which they presumably aspired, owing to jarringly fast lyrics in the OP and an irritating melody in both. The background music is usually too loud and often too serious – the relic of an earnest but failed attempt to add some kind of drama to the insistently daft and shallow plot.
I also found myself disappointed with the voicing. Whether the actors were poorly cast or just did a bad job is open to debate, but Minori Chihara, who shone as Yuki Nagato in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, offers only cutesy blandness as Nayu. Meanwhile, Takahiro Sakurai, so engaging in the role of Mononoke’s medicine seller, is wasted as Nayu’s quiet and entirely irrelevant step-brother. Not that any of the half-baked roles on offer would have particularly suited.
As well as having nothing to offer in terms of intrigue, the main characters in Chu-Bra!! have no obvious personality outside of their attitude towards underwear. In a way, that’s about all that could be expected given the premise, but in another, equally valid way, it makes for dull viewing. There is some modicum of redemption to be found in the sparse appearances of the off-the-wall eccentricity of the drama club and the down-to-earth maturity of Kiyono, but when I found myself siding with the poisonously stereotyped, no-fun-on-my-watch headmistress in her attempts to close down the underwear club, it became clear that this was not a cast I could easily care about.
In order to give an overall picture of Chu-Bra!!, there is value in going back to the very basics. This is a show about middle-schoolers with underwear problems and, no matter how you cut it, there’s a certain wrongness to that. Confronted with such wrongness, there are two things that a successful show can do. Firstly, a show such as Kodomo no Jikan can embrace the wrongness, use it to confront the viewer and create drama and intrigue. Alternatively, a show such as Moetan is able to acknowledge the wrongness, parody it, and generally have a lot of fun. What Chu-Bra!! does is make a foolish attempt to bury it. Foolish because a lame plot and weak attempts at self-legitimisation amount to barely two shovelfuls of dirt, and the wrongness is even more apparent than if they had simply let it be.
While Chu-Bra!! may not be the sole reason for which anime fandom is generally looked down upon, it nevertheless makes an excellent case for the prosecution. The show brings neither humour nor drama to the table, and the small amount of ecchi appeal it might have is nothing more than desperate barrel scrapings. There are far better anime out there.
I'm glad I got to see this anime, because now I can beat the crap out of it. It's about a little girl who has a fascination with underwear? How could anyone who's only in it for the ecchi like this repulsive trash. I know what some are thinking, it kind of aims to be bad, but just because an anime seemingly aims to be bad on purpose doesn't make it any less of a bad anime and Chu-bra is no exception.
2 out of 10 solely because it did make me chuckle a couple of times, but really if a few chuckles is all it's good for, then just scrap this and find something else.
I'm going to be honest, I was mislead by the bio of this anime, I thought it was only a comedy. When I saw that it was about underwear and it was a comedy, I thought it would be weird. Now, it is weird.... but it's also very dirty. A scene doesn't go by without a panty shot or gigantic breasts flying around. As someone who is not attracted to women, I found these concepts really disturbing and un interesting. No, I don't want to see that stuff, please get it away. I tried being open minded and I watched the whole episode; but I am not a female ecchi fan, I do like male ecchi, but unfortunately it doesn't exist because of people.
After watching the first episode, I was pretty dirstubed by how they had to do a panty shot or a cleavage shot. So, I decided to drop it because there was no way you could get me to watch this again.
So, if you don't like breasts and female butts flying around every second, it's not for you. But if you like breasts and female butts flying every where, you may like it.
Story - CONTAINS SPOILERS
ChuBra!! is a anime about a girl named Nayu who has what some would call an osession with underwear, not specifically panties but Bras as well, she starts off having no friends at the middle school which she just started at but ends up having 2 best friends (Yako & Haruka) A Potential Love Interest (Hiroki) and another female friend (Kiyono). As the story progresses Nayu's obsession with underwear becomes less and less obscure, she tries to form a underwear club but the idea is shot down due to Hiroki unintentionally causing a scene by busting up a peeping tom session by some of the other boys, instead of a club they form a society since societies dont directly connect to the school but is watched over by one of the young school teachers (Tamaki Mizuno ) Nayus brother is a underwear designer and also a former schoolmate to Mizuno, Mizuno and Nayu's brother (Keigo) are shown to have love interests in each other but never take the feelings and act upon them, same is the situation between Nayu and Hiroki, because these love interests were never acted upon it left you feeling somewhat empty by the end, like an episode was missing,thefore earning the story A 7 Out Of 10
I find the animation in this anime to be very well done but the lighting in some scenes is sometimes too much therefore earning A 8 Out Of 10
The sound quality was consistent and very good but lacked slightly in the musical area therefore earning sound A 9 Out Of 10
All the characters are very good but because of the unexplored love lines the characters earn A 7 Out Of 10
i liked this anime and i wanted to love it but because the characters couldnt love each other, i couldnt love this, Overall Score - 7Out Of 10
Every show needs to have something that makes it different than all the others in its category, otherwise it will be forgotten immediately. This one had a very original idea of sorts but still failed. The reason is simple; its premise was retarded and not interesting enough for long.
The show tries to pass for educational, which is what makes it both smarter and dumber than the average of its kind. Smarter because it has lots of rather taboo info on what makes a bra comfortable or how a girl’s body matures; I actually learned a couple of things myself. And dumber because IT’S ECCHI FOR PETE’S SAKE; who will watch it to be educated?
First of all let me make clear that I am not into the pantsu fetish. I never say no to some flash here and there but having a show dedicated just to underwear is simply too much. The ecchi genre has gone so closer to hentai these days and when most erotic comedies try to have as many fetishes as possible to keep us interested as much as they can, Chu Bra mysteriously chose to focus on just one fetish, that of underwear and anything else girls may wear; not hard to see how it will be underwhelming when it comes to fan service. So yeah, although I was interested in the first couple of episodes with its weird take on the subject, I soon lost almost all interest afterwards because the secrets of underwear weren’t that many or complicated for long and the series just went on doing random gags with a joke that was already getting old.
Down to it, its lack of variety is what eventually makes this show bad. Ok, if you are disgusted with men getting horny on soiled pants is a reason too; but seriously the biggest mistake is its lack of variety in fetishes. This is no longer the 80’s where you can tolerate plotless stories with a few innocent pantsu shots; we got greedy and fed up and now demand ten times more things going on at the same time. So this show with practically nothing for an ultimate objective and characters who hardly feel different by the end of the show is just too boring. I mean at first it was eye-catchy on what is going on with the lead girl; most thought she was turned to a child prostitute by her father. She was just obsessed with underwear though, trying to help the girls in her class who had trouble talking to someone about their bodies growing up and needing teen clothes. Three episodes later this misunderstanding was over and so were all the basics of a good underwear. After that I DIDN’T CARE. There wasn’t even an interesting romance going on and everybody was the same 2D stereotype all the way. And seriously, seeing people having nosebleeds over panty shots STOPPED BEING FUNNY A DECADE AGO.
I admit it gave lots of focus on how uncomfortable a girl feels with such a subject and how it is an important part of her life to wear the proper underwear in order to feel more liberal in her actions. The thing is I AM GUY who watches an anime that is supposed to ENTERTAIN ME and not show me how bad girls feel about the subject. As if having a period every month is not nearly as important or as if I should know so I will care more about them. Well I don’t.
Some actually debate on if this show is even erotic in the first place or if it should be seen purely as an interesting take on a girl’s private life. Seriously guys, I will never show this thing to little girls in order to teach them how to wear proper pantsu. The target audience is clearly male-oriented; most girls would be offended with all that. Which is also what makes its educational part laughable; guys don’t care if the girls wear proper bra size or have comfortable panties. They just want to do the jiggy-wiggy with them, getting turned on by them before taking them off. And sure as hell I won’t ever try to give advises to a girl on this subject. I mean, what will I say? “Trust me girl; I watched this ecchi comedy and I know your bra feels wrong; here let me touch it and show you how to do it right; I will teach you all about it.”
Add to that the average production values. Simplistic character designs and lots of chibi deformity, the animation is poor, the coloring is typical, voice acting and soundtrack have nothing great to listen to. So what is there to look forward to? Nothing really.
I really wonder what the producers were thinking when making this. I bet they had money to waste and nobody cared of how boring it would obviously become right away and just went on with it. Well sorry you guys but most people watching such anime are not so easily pleased. You thought flashing as much dirty underwear as possible was all it took to keep us horny for more? We can find more of that in Agent Aika or Queen’s Blade. They may not be so educational but sure are more entertaining than this. Hell, if I so much need to mention education, we can get far more variable and useful info in those charts used all the time in the Futari Ecchi manga.
Anyways, this is aiming at the wrong audience. Not even cross dressers will find something interesting in it. Not recommended.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (average)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (generic)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 1/4 (no reason to remember)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 3/10
I had some fun with the misunderstandings but that is all.