Shuffle!

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Garyuu's avatar By Garyuu on Oct 6, 2009

Usually I don't like shows like this. The harems I usually like aren't obsessive about the pantie shots like this show. I like the more serious shows, but I think this was like Chobits in a way. It has humor, but it can be serious as well.

What was up with the animation. It seemed like the animators were keep switching out. They weren't really consistent.

The way I really tell if I liked a show or not is when the show ends. I felt sad when the show was over. I got attached to the characters, and now that it is over, its like my friends are leaving

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
8/10 overall
ishmael1991's avatar By ishmael1991 on Jan 10, 2011

I will start by saying, i will be very careful to include as little spoilers as possible!

 

Story(No spoilers)

Shuffle in terms of its main theme is a very stereotypical, almost exaggeration of the school life harem genre in one sense, and totally different in another. The main basis of the show revolves around a guy who has loads of girls all over him, and has to make a choice. However a main difference from other similar shows, is that the male lead moves far away from the more common cynical antisocial nerd, or the delinquent and instead has a male lead who is smart, handsome and fairly popular. Like many other harem, It also combines a lot of super natural elements in the story.

From the very start of the show the Rin Tsuchimi is woken up by a cute girl who does everything for him.Throughout his daily routine in the first episode you continue to watch this guys ego massaged by girls, and not much else. This is very repetitive and predictable to the point that potential viewers might switch off, or keep watching soley with the hope of more boobs and panty shots in mind. The ones who keep watching however, will be pleasantly surprised to find a rather moving and emotional storyline. As it continues, the show develops well, and you get an explanation as to why all the girls are after Rin, rather than believing he's supposed to have some aura around him girls can't resist, which would be annoying and impossible to relate to. There's also lots of twists and turns which especially towards the second half of the story, will keep you gripped to the end if you've made it that far. Another aspect i really liked, without giving anything away,is how an actual relationship forms towards the end, without it being too predictable Who he'll go for. Towards the end also, were quite a few tear jerking moments that i expect will make some viewers cry.

Animation

Shuffle is one of the better looking animes iv'e seen. There's nothing amazing, but all of the characters, particularly the girls(and their boobs)are drawn very nicely. It's also nice to see how distinctly different they all look from each other thanks to their very varying and vibrant coloured hair.The backgrounds aren't amazing but aren't terrible either. The biggest dissapointment in this area, is the lack of consistency. One scene will look great, the next will look a lot worse. This is hardly unusual in anime however, and there's more to like than dislike here.

 

Sound

Overall pretty good. All of the tunes fit the mood perfectly, and most musically minded people will have at least one or two tunes which will stick in their mind. All of the voice acting if your watching the dub, is pretty good too, except Primula who for some reason they've decided to give a bizzare accent which comes and goes depending on the scene.

 

Characters

Very stereotypical for this type of show in almost every area. In terms of the female lead, we have the dependable and kind childhood friend, The sexually overt tomboy, the fiery redhead, the quiet humble one and the naive childlike young one. The very generic character structure continues with the Sexy TILF(like MILF except teacher for anyone who doesn't know the phrase) the chauvinistic sexually frustrated jealous friend who tries too hard, and the few impossibly kind mom's.However there all very likeable and have their place. In other words, there's no 'non- characters' who have no purpose in the show.

Overall

Overall I would definitely recommend to anyone who likes haranime and in fact  anyone who enjoys romance anime of any type. I also think its a great show to watch as an introduction to the genre, as it's very easy to follow, and emotional enough to keep you hooked but not so emotional that nearly all of the viewers will be close to tears(unlike a few others). I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is unmoved by romance in stories, or anyone who's watched a lot of anime and hasn't liked the romance, but that pretty much goes without saying, and I doubt they'd even be reading this review .

7/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
RabidMonk's avatar By RabidMonk on Oct 7, 2009

Shuffle! is one of those animes that I can't really pinpoint why I didn't rate it higher, but for some reason I also can't get myself to change my score.

Positives: A really easy to watch show with a whole lot of upside.  The premise is perhaps nothing all that original or even that interesting, but somehow it comes together nicely and feels if not somewhat original at least not old and stale.

I don't remember that many laugh out loud moments with Shuffle!, but I was always enjoying the show and I didn't find myself wishing to return to another arc or character because all of them are interesting and unique in their own ways.

I was also nice to see that the "one" wasn't clear from the get go.  Early on you get a full episode which explores each of the relationships with the protagonist and you can clearly see how each has merit and is both believable and something you could root for.  When you finally find out his choice it's almost a surprise but the show doesn't just die there which is a great relief.

The art in Shuffle! is also really well done and the pacing seems to carry things from scene to scene well.  I'm always appreciative of an anime that doesn't make me wish I could skip the current episode.

Negatives: So what's the main issue with Shuffle!  I guess the only real gripe I have is that when it's all said and done I didn't really feel sad to let it go.  Sure I wish there was more time to dig deeper into things, but you really feel that the show is more or less finished and there's no need to explore the relationships any more.

Now if there was a second season would I watch it?  Sure, but unlike some anime I didn't feel any real sense of loss knowing that things had come to a close.  That's probably not a good thing.

My second complaint with Shuffle! would be the excessive fan service that drips from it.  It's so over the top that at times it's more distracting than anything.  Now I'm a guy so I can understand why men like their ecchi and all, but when it feels like a game to see how many panty shots you can fit into an episode everything else seems to take a back seat.  Perhaps that was the goal, but it just seemed to detract from the series as a whole.  I'm sure there's someone doing the math on just how much of this and that works best given your target audience, but I can't think of many anime that were this full of such things.

Anyhow, a fun show, good characters, and I enjoyed it all.  Hopefully if there's more on the horizon a few revisions have been made and we'll see a few changes in emphasis.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
6/10 overall
Azndragon's avatar By Azndragon on Sep 14, 2010

Great love story, lots of twists, mystery and some heart hurting moments.Really a good watch, just wish it was a bit longer and there were OVAs which the protagonist would date all the other females.

The music, especially the song played in episode 23 at the hospital, was pretty good.

If you're into romance and a bit of ecchi, this is the anime for you.If you like this type of romance anime, make sure to check out Kanon!

9.5/10 story
10/10 animation
9.8/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
KiraRin's avatar By KiraRin on Oct 17, 2009

Story

Harem anime shows are frequently like Marmite – you either love or hate them; there is no middle ground. The lingering bitter aftertaste of DearS and Ichigo 100% had sufficiently raised my skepticism of the harem genre, giving expectations that Shuffle! would be another droll fap-fest for the ecchi loving sheeple. I was taken gently by the hand to witness an alluring love pentagle unfold before my eyes. Featuring a plethora of panty shots and packed to the rafters with romantic drama, the series ultimately offers 24 episodes of illicit pleasure.

“It’s based on an eroge”, thinks I. “It’s going to be mindless bimbos throwing themselves at an otaku loser”. Setting the scene in the first episode, Shuffle! certainly follows the tried and tested recipe of the typical harem; introducing Rin as the inevitable lucky boy that the girls worship, his one woman devotee soon accrues company. Things become a little stranger as Nerine and Sia are brought in as the princesses of the demon and god realms – and they are both intent on marrying the clueless boy. Sadly, this otherworldly aspect is used as a rather convoluted plotline that didn’t sit comfortably in the overall high school romance. However the show pulls itself back together by focusing on each female and gathering momentum via small arcs that succinctly explain the motives and reasoning for their undying feelings towards Rin. But what is this? The human side of these people giving emotional attachment to characters in an ecchi show? Unheard of!

My initial gripe with the show was that the girls appeared strangely cool about all sharing the same guy. My complaint is swiftly addressed in the second half as jealousy takes hold of one female, and the shock fallout as she goes postal certainly makes the viewer sit up to pay attention. What makes Shuffle! so different to other shows in the same genre is the fearless use of realistic and dark feelings; if we’re honest here, females are fearsome creatures that can unleash their hellcat side when faced with competition.

Ecchi anime rarely comes with a convincing storyline, and Shuffle! sits on the fence in the matter. On one hand, the romance, personalities and reactions are believable and watchable; on the other, the demonic Yggdrasil project is a little bit silly and permeates into too much of the story. There are other, more creative ways, to write a backstory and give a girl a mystery illness without resorting to wishy-washy fantasy. Ignoring the minor craziness, the score would have been much higher, and the stark contrast between the first and second halves of the show done seamlessly. The brief moments of fan service fit well into the overall ambiance, raising naughty smirks as virgin crotches "accidentally" press themselves against Rin's face for the umpteenth time. It never intends to be a high brow, intellectual series, but Shuffle! certainly manages to surprise those viewers only out for a bit of fun.


Animation

With the artists seeming to work on a shift pattern, the standout moments of animated brilliance are tarnished by those built on pure ugliness. The first few episodes feature poorly proportioned characters with misshapen faces loosely tacked on to drab, lifeless backdrops. This is in stark contrast to the allure of lovingly sketched faces during emotional scenes, and the glistening presence of spectacular ample breasts. And not just boobs – Shuffle! breaks the censorship mould and tops the mammary mountains with perfect pink nipples. Then again, most eroge fans look for the visual quality of the fan-service, and the panties and underwear featured in the lingerie shopping episode is certainly varied and tantalisingly sexy.


Sound

Accompanying the opening credits, the typically romantic tune will stay with you long after watching. As someone who usually dislikes this kind of audio assault, I surprisingly found myself humming along with the melody each time. Although the closing track isn’t as memorable or impressive, the emotional lullaby fits the tone of Shuffle! very well.

DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW DUBBED. Now that we have the formalities out of the way, the Japanese voice acting is excellent. Rin’s rich, syrupy tones will have any right-minded female turn weak at the knees, as the vocal talents of Haruhi Suzumiya’s Kyon are put to use once more. High pitched girlyness suits Kaede and Sia, whilst loli-idol Primula's performance is much more reserved, verging on comically robotic, which fits her character perfectly. Even buxom Beni-sensei delivers a deep feminine growl that will set most groins a stirring.


Characters

Packed to the rafters with cliché female love interests, the show even provides colour coordinated hair to make your favourite buxom babe easier to identify. Although initially lacking in depth, there is something to the diverse group of females that gives them a magnetic attraction and appeal to most panty-hungry perverts. From the lolicon’s dream to the cleavage-tastic teacher, Shuffle! also manages to cover the shy “childhood friend” and "back slapping tsundere" fetishes. Playing the part of the typical harem, the female cast step it up a gear as jealousy, anger and dark histories creep into the fray and each character develops through their own mini-arc. Cute girlishness is tossed by the wayside as the show unleashes a no-holds barred bitch-fight.

But wait, not only do we have seven stereotyped females to choose from, but act now, and you’ll also receive the clueless male protagonist for half price! My dislike of harem shows usually stem from a feckless guy who wouldn’t have a chance of bedding one female in the real world, let alone six or seven. Breaking the mould, Rin Tsuchimi is a genuinely nice guy who easily deserves the company of girls who would drop their panties for him. With a sensitive and understanding side, his unassuming attitude is often exploited by Asa-sempai as she whips out her boobs to take perverse pleasure in grossly embarrassing the object of her affections.

7/10 story
4/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall