From Secret Santa 2011
Story: Behind the comedy lies a serious plot, one where 2/3 of the mains try to cure their crippling flaws: one of supreme masochism and the other of androphobia. Some more serious events abound, backstory wise, and infront of all that, overshadowing it all, a tsunami earthquake of hurricane comedy on fetish fuel, cosplay, beatings, violence and righteous perversion.
The comedy it does exceptionally well, using the main schtick and character quirks without overusing the secondaries. Since it's what it is, it's slapstick oriented and verbal abuse aplenty, which I get a kick out of. And the obligatory Christmas episode and the obligatory "Last episode or two mood whiplash" was very well done and not overly serious.
Animation: I like the eyes... I like those chibis in the OP... it looked good? I got nothing.
Sound: Loved the OP/EP, with the fast beats and gratuitous English and a classical score in some parts that totally made the scene. Felt out of place at times but that just made it more hilarious.
Characters: One of the best parts is how there is no clear winner in the love triangle for some time. The two females each get time, their moments, and the pettanko isn't in the lead entirely. Some anime have them win but this... this has it be anyone's game, and I have to give it massive points for that.
Another is that their flaws are continuous; the masochism and androphobia aren't cured instantly or cured in a cheesy way. They're great character traits and it's used pretty well, as well as providing some backstory for Arashiko (The one with androphobia (Fear of men)). And that... they're just plain fun and have more depth than one would expect of an anime where the guy is smacked around every few minutes.
The secondaries do their role quite well, and are memorable, especially the manager, who pops in every so often with his fetish. Which is to say they're all messed up in some way with their own fetish/problem, and it makes for great fun character-wise.
Overall: This one was just plain fun. Laughed throughout, loved the slapstick and double for the constant verbal abuse, loved the classical score and it's a great comedy overall.
MM is the harrowing story of a man plagued by masochism who attempts to overcome his love of pain through the help of a girl two years older who runs a club that grants wishes. Together with this lovely female companion he embarks on an epic quest through the streets of Tokyo in an attempt to cure himself. Along the way he meets a girl who has a severe dislike for men and hits any man who touches her and they fall in love. It both touches your heart and warms your body with its realistic portrayals of masochism, androphobia, and human relationships.
No, I’m just screwing with you. You can only wish for an anime that good when watching this giant pile of mediocre donkey droppings. You may notice how lately I’ve been reviewing romantic comedies in the small hope I’ll find something with a decent romance, funny comedy, and likeable characters. Okay, I’m looking for something like Toradora.
This is no Toradora though. Instead it is a typically boring, rarely funny, and overly cliché anime with one redeeming characteristic. It’s kind of like Baka and Test, but not the funny first season. More like the drab, underwhelming second season.
MM! has a fairly basic make-up. A guy named Tarou Sado (Teeheehee, sadomasochism) is a total masochist and gets off to when girls beat him up and violently attempt to kill him. To cure this he goes to the Second Volunteer Club where he meets a tiny, feisty girl named Mio Isurugi. He also reacquaints himself with the girl who originally started his masochistic ways, Arashiko Yuuno. She has androphobia and beats on men who touch her, due to a near rape by a male student in her middle school years. I likened her to Lisbeth Salander, though a much, much, much more shallow version (if you don’t know who Lisbeth is, please read a book). There’s also a cross dressing friend and a loli inventor girl with no friends. But that’s not too important.
What’s more important is how Mio goes about attempting to cure Tarou’s masochism. This is the major problem with the whole show for me. We see that Tarou, unlike real people, does not have a limit to how much pain he can take. He enjoys his genitals being thoroughly destroyed, he enjoys his face getting rearranged, he enjoys eating bad food made by a girl. This guy must be like Superman or something, because he takes more pain than anyone should possibly be able to. And Mio doesn’t appear to understand that he likes it, and I guess she thinks she will eventually get him to reach a limit or something. She continually beats him and does terrible things to him but he enjoys it all. So it’s not working, maybe you should try something else?
I mean, she does. We have the classic hypnotism episode that goes in directions I wish it hadn’t. Maybe I’m just not used to crossdressing/gay humor. But I didn’t find it funny as much as I did disturbing.
So is there really a story? Can I stop this long tirade here and quit with the complaining? NO! There are two rather random episodes. One introduces the obligatory loli character, Noa. She’s an inventor and has no friends. So, she decides to invent a machine that will turn everyone in the world into perverts.
On top of that being idiotic and not even funny (maybe when I was fourteen I would have laughed my ass off but at this point in my life I find that to just be a lame excuse for a laugh) it turns into some sort of Kamen Rider/Dragon Ball Z referencing fight that is so ridiculous. I know it’s a cartoon, and I need to suspend my belief in reality, but it’s just so inconsistent with the rest of the show. The episode just felt like it didn’t belong. It came out of nowhere, it did nothing but introduce our little inventor, and it just wasn’t funny.
The problem with pretty much every episode minus maybe two or three is that it has no far-reaching consequences, does nothing to progress the story or build the characters, and this isn’t a straight up comedy. We’ve seen before that you can mix a good plot with good characters and some comedy elements. The problem here is that whatever romance is developing is undefined. Especially toward the end when you wonder whether there is a love triangle going on or Tarou likes only one girl.
I complained about this with Baka and Test and will do it here too. DEFINE THE ROMANCE! The last episode wasn’t even a good last episode, it felt like it belonged mid-way through the series. The episode before that was the only time anyone came out with their true feelings and Tarou forgets about it before he can act upon this. Thus, we’re left with what feels like an incomplete anime. Maybe they were expecting a second season?
And yes, I know it’s based off of a light novel series. But the least that we can get is a clear ending. Just admitting feelings is all I ask. It is not a romantic comedy if there is not a romance developed and defined at the end.
Now that I’ve raged over nothing, let’s talk about the animation.
It’s good. Characters and backgrounds are colorful. I especially liked the girls school uniform, it was purty. As far as smoothness goes, it’s alright in that respect. Otherwise not much to complain about.
As far as sound goes, the opening is pretty bad. Never have I heard truer words in an opening theme song than “Oh my God is Jesus Christ”. Why do the Japanese try to speak English and fail miserably? It’s like the song from Clannad, just listening to the lyrics is laughable. I mean, they make more sense than the lyrics to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, but are still awful. The ending song is not bad as much as mediocre. Music during the show is once again mediocre. Nothing that evokes emotions or you want to put on your IPod. Character’s voices are all lovely.
And while on the subject of characters, they are all fairly underdeveloped and boring. Tarou is nothing more than an oblivious teenage guy with an issue that needs to be fixed. He doesn’t seem to have any emotions besides pleasure and fear, though sometimes he does exhibit some sentimentality that could have developed his character if there had been more moments like it. Mio is like a combination of Haruhi Suzumiya and Taiga Aisaka. She believes herself a god and is a feisty little high schooler. Yuuno is the only character of any worth, though not much. She has a defined background and a reason for being the way she is, and she is the only character that seems to exhibit any kind of emotions.
All the minor characters fit their roles as either: A.)Useless or B.) Useless but for fan service. Michiru the photographer/nurse, Noa, Tarou’s mom and sister. They all seem to just be there for fan service and maybe to create some stupid plot device. One of these is the fact that Tarou’s mom and sister are fighting over Tarou because they both love him in a creepy way. Now, the sister thing I’ve kind of gotten used to, it seems to be used in comedies a lot. But the mom wanting to marry her own son? What? What about Tarou’s father? Maybe that could have used some explaining.
The only character I found to be funny was Tarou’s manager at the convenience store. He loves his body pillow and at one point has an action figure he carries around and asks what he should buy. That was funny for some sort of psychotic reason. Otherwise, the characters are all cardboard cut outs and unexciting.
I wanted to like MM!. I wanted to like Mio, who I found to be absolutely adorable. I wanted to laugh and revel in the sheer craziness. But I couldn’t. Or more precisely, I rarely could. MM! has so many conventional plot devices (club goes out to do something), characters (Mio, Noa), and settings (the obligatory beach and school festival episodes) that it just feels like it stitched together other anime in a caricature of what a romantic comedy should be.
MM!’s only redeeming factor is that it has pretty animation.
Overall, if I had the choice between ripping out my eyeballs with serrated spoons coated in poison while simultaneously being burned alive, and watching MM!, I’d probably tentatively choose watching MM!. But if I did not have to choose in such extreme circumstances, then I would not watch MM!. It’s mediocrity at its absolute finest.
MM! gets a 4/10.
yeah, MM! was pretty good but just not my kind of anime im not sure why, but still you should check it out. its a nice comedy and has some pretty funny and cute characters so check it out if you like this kind of anime.
Story: Althought MM! was entertaining to begin with, it became repetitative and predictable. It did prove to have a lot of parody and satire but the running gags seemed to get in the way. Throughout the series, there were random episodes that proved to be quite funny. They just became paired with the running gags which became tiresome. I understand that the series itself isn't supposed to be serious or have a deep plot. However, it is a comedy/parody which needs to continue to be fresh and keep you laughing. I felt that MM! wasn't as successful in that. This wasn't awful but I felt that it hindered itself with continued running gags. It's still funny, amusing and get you laughing. However, there are better comedies out there that won't get old. Also, I would consider this does have a resonable amount of ecchi. If you don't like ecchi, I wouldn't watch this.
Animation: Decent for it's time. Nothing extraordinary. Although the character designs are distinguishable from each other and attractive, they definitaly look like characters from other series I've seen. I'm not sure if that was a point. The action sequences were flashy without fluid movement. The opening and ending were disappointing along with the "serious" scenes. However, mosts scenes that were intended to be funny did their job extremely well. Overall, it was ok but nothing great.
Sound: The soundtrack and opening and ending were subpar. The seiyuus did a great job. However, that was the only good part. Everything else was mediocre at best. I don't have much to say about it.
Characters: Very little development if there is any at all. It's part of the running gags which gets annoying and old after a while. The development that exists is either happens really quickly or is predictable. I know that MM! isn't meant to be a character series but I eventually got annoyed at the characters. They were ok but I've seen these type of series with a really likable casts and I felt that MM! didn't deliver in that aspect. They have there little niches and they stay in that and don't really surprise you.
Overall: It's funny and amusing but can get old. Luckly it doesn't last too long so it won't wear you out too bad. At the very least, you will get a couple of laughs especially from about every other episode.
Toradora! for the 18+ crowd
MM! is a terrific ech com. And in short, it's because this series does everything an ech com should do. MM! certainly doesn't take itself too seriously. The premise of the story is absolutely ridiculous. The characters cover pretty much every ech com archetype you can think of: a masochist, a sadist, an androphobic, a loli supergenius, a gender bender, you name it! Not only that, but these characters really play their rolls quite impressively. There is a ton of laugh out loud interplay particularly between Mio (the sadist) and Tarou (the masochist). And let me just put it out there, I'd like to see who would win in a fight between Mio and Taiga (from Toradora! that is). As Lee Corso would put, "closer than the experts' think" (it's bowl season baby!). Moving along, there's also a great use of parody in this series. Particularly, the DBZ parody is absolutely hilarious. But MM! isn't just a great ech com, it's really a great anime period. And the reason why is that the background love story is actually pretty good. It's a classic triangle romance between Mio, Tarou, and Arashiko (the androphobic, yes quite ironic). There's an interesting contrast in Tarou's relationship with Mio and Arashiko. Arashiko is fairly open with her feelings, but is too shy to admit them to Tarou because of the fact that of course she is afraid of men. Mio on the other hand keeps her feelings concealed in order to maintain her power over Tarou. The last thing I'd like to bring up because it's something that bothered me with a lot of the Fall season anime is that the ending is very appropriate and satisfying despite the fact that there should certainly be a 2nd season. Now let me go on my mini-rant here. Just because an anime is going to have multiple seasons doesn't mean that each intermittent season shouldn't have a true ending. There should be either a minor conflict resolution or a climactic event or anything that indicates either end of season or shift to new season. And where most of the Fall season anime fell flat, MM! does this exactly right. There's enough of a heartwarming moment to make the viewer feel satisfied with what has transpired so far and at the same time look forward to what's yet to come. So in closing, I said all these good things about MM! so why no a higher overall score? Well, for the most part it's because I see it as bad practice to give something a really high score when the series is incomplete. And the ending wasn't actually great, just ok. Also, I can understand that the whole theme of MM! can be a a bit risqué for some people so in fairness I factor that in too. So, all in all, 7.5 out of 10 is my score. It's a substantial drop from my original score as unfortunately I no longer believe the series will be continued (see update).
So sad news for those who haven't already heard, Akinari Matsuno who wrote the MM! light novel has passed away. We can only hope someone carries on his legacy and that eventually a 2nd season of the anime will be produced. RIP