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.
At first, I didn't know how to start this mini-review. I kept writing a line, promptly deleted it and started anew. I'm mainly writing this small review because I felt that many of the other reviewers expected way too much from a series, which is best watched with certain expectations.
Chu-Bra!! is a down-to-earth anime about friendship, young teenagers, a little bit of love and most importantly: underwear. If you start watching this anime with the presumption that it's going to be a deep, plot-filled anime or a nosebleed-starter of dimensions, then you'll be disappoint, son.
The show features a lot of different subjects related to puberty: boys witnessing girls maturing, girls wanting to be adults, crushes (the love related ones), taboo-subjects and more from the same drawer.
The main theme focus is maturing/puberty and underwear. It has a twist of ecchi humor, but still manages to take a serious approach to the underwear theme.
The anime has a relaxed, happy feeling to it. It's an easy, "giggle'ish" watch, so don't expect anything more than that.
The main story is the main character is a underware expert, everyone finds out she likes to wear "adult panties" and she goes around trying to look at panties and feel ppl up.... whats not to like.
I don't normally bother with these reviews unless I really liked a show, or had some realy problems with it. While I do have a thing for loli characters, and normally like the harem and etchi anime that most people rate really low, I actually regret watching this. It was really a waste of time for me.
The story crammed a few "brilliant lines" down our throats the whole time. none of which made much sense. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong here, but underwear doesn't really do much to protect you... Also, "Love is intertwined with panties", which didn't make much sense to begin with, let alone the fact that there was no major love interest at all. There was one man whom only ever came up for maybe 30 seconds, and you couldnt even see his face. It was also implied for half of an episode that Shiori liked Komachi, but this never went anywhere at all. The most promising of all, Mizuno sensei, seemed more like a side character, and still she hardly ever talked with Keigo at all, and that went absolutely nowhere. All in all, the story seemed like nothing more than an oppurtunity to flash loli pantsu.
Even before the horrendous story began, I was already left a bad impression by the animation. Im no expert, and can't really explain why, but it just looked... off. I don't expect it to be on Clannad's level, but I was very displeased with the art.
The sound was.. meh. It wasn't terrible, but It really wasn't anything special either.
The characters, to me, were very unlikable. I can't say that I specifically dislike any of them, but they all seemed really dull. Even as a lolicon, I came out of this show without any real concern for any of their problems, and am likely to completely forget all of them very soon.
Overall, the show was boring, uneventful, and I found myself getting distracted by the thousandth showing of Ace Ventura in the other room. I really wish I had spent my time with another show.
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.