The term yamato nadeshiko implies an unassuming, graceful, submissive young woman – think of it as the “girl-next-door” (or wallflower) of traditional Japan. In our progressive, modern world, shoujo anime seems to be raising a vendetta against this image, grinding out one loud girl after another to shriek their way into the hearts of romance fans. There exist, however, a few specks of color amidst today’s gray mass of brazen, power-hungry female protagonists. One takes the form of Haruhi Fujioka from the seminal Ouran High School Host Club. Another is Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket. The last, and perhaps the most underappreciated, is Sunako Nakahara – the high school pariah of Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. See, Haruhi and Tohru were at least normal; Sunako, on the other hand, will resonate with what forms the core of most female otaku: the not so normal.
Superficially, it offers nothing more than your typical school-life anime: Filler-oriented plot encompasses a group of friends, who all engage in episodic antics that incites laughs from viewers. While Yamato’s over-the-top humor continually pops up to flash its assets, it frays at the edges as the series progresses. What it has in pure zaniness it lacks in style and intelligence. Yes, Sunako’s volcanic nosebleeds were amusing the first several times, and the boys’ exaggerated “dazzling” features did draw from me a few squeals of delight; there’s no need, however, to have such ploys become stale moves. Add to this the fact that Yamato squanders its shining potential. I mean, how often do we see four drool-worthy bishonen lavishing attention on a socially awkward girl? The foundation is unique and strong, but the actual construction is not; the show manages to stand only by flinging a carefully crafted comedic cover over its relatively weak plot structure.
Critical analysis aside, the show does promise some solid entertainment. Clichéd shoujo tricks are delightfully parodied, and the story does end up evolving, albeit sloppily. More importantly, Yamato holds a direct pertinence over our own lives. Not many of us blush with happiness over dead bodies, or reside in a mansion with the hottest guys in town. Too many of us, though, endure similar insecurities as Sunako: Am I normal? Am I attractive? Do I fit in? Can I make friends? Sometimes it’s just too trite to see yet another social butterfly fill up the screen. We can relish in the fact that Yamato magnifies what brews within practically everyone – and especially within us otaku. It serves as a fun, ridiculous, exaggerated reflection of our own social grappling.
Yamato unleashes its entire animating prowess within the first few episodes; by the twenties, our beloved bishies aren’t quite as beloved or bishy – actually, I’ll go so far to say that they seem to develop into trannies. Clearly, the studio’s budget dried up in the middle of production. As the series progresses, it cannot prevent its stodgy and simplistic animation from bursting from the seams, and we can see with unfortunate lucidity a retrogression in character design quality. For Sunako the animators don't even try, being apparently satisfied with her ubiquitous "diminutive stuffed animal" look.
Where Yamato is a famine to the eyes, it is a feast to the ears. On top of an absolutely stunning performance by Yukiko Takaguchi as Sunako, the boy harem retains their physical deliciousness through voice alone. I was awash in a positive symphony of male sound: Takenaga’s deep, intelligent lilt, Ranmaru’s graceful sultriness, Yuki’s charming, boyish inflections, and Kyouhei’s masculine resonance (with a distinctive “I-want-to-do-things-to-you” undertone) consistently left me in a puddle of aural ecstasy. Musical elements boast a unique ability to gather strength and familiarity with each episode, rather than becoming stale and overused. Perhaps most impressively, sound effects hold a vibrancy and a sometimes disturbing richness that props up the entire show; without such effects, the comedy would wilt. Bottom line: Instead of further deafening your ears at the next scheduled rock concert, stay at home and subject yourself to the pleasing, arousing harmonies of Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge.
The reverse harem anime genre provides plenty of open doors for good characterization. Unfortunately, this show takes a step or two inside a door, shuffles around for a bit, pops out with a small trinket, and then proceeds to shut the door in its own face. At first, I didn’t think Yamato’s characters all that lacking – as forgettable as they were, they still amused me. After happening across three Ouran episodes the other day, however, it dawned on me just how utterly pale Yamato’s male cast seemed in comparison. It is a strange, empty experience when at the end of twenty-five episodes I realize that I know about as much about the inner personalities of these characters as I had in episode one. Revelations, angsty moments, and better-than-average stereotyping? They’re all there. But where on earth is the development?
And I’m sorry, but Sunako is downright creepy. Socially awkward or not, this girl needs to visit a shrink. Period.
The best way I can sum up Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge is to liken it to a handful of sweets: It’s fun to savor and easy to digest, but ultimately unsatisfying. Look up Ouran High School Host Club if you’re searching for a main dish.
Overall, I like this anime. It was humorous without being overly campy.
Story: While at first, the characters seemed set in "pretty boy" and "that one girl" roles, the story allows them to have depth and personality beyond their looks. It goes beyond the main story of making Sunako into a "lady", and that definitely helped the overall feel of the anime. The random "Road to Womanhood" segments were hilarious breaks in the story.
Animation: Besides making the guys a little androgynous, I saw no real fault in the animation. Chibi!Sunako was used a bit much, but it made her appearances as a normal-girl all that more special.
Sound: Had no fault with the sound. Hadn't looked at the voice actors before hand and was thrown off when I heard Vic. (The fact that he appears in at least two animes like this is rather amusing to me: the other being Ouran)
Characters: Like I said, the characters are given depth, and their backstories show the reasons behind some of their particular quirks. My favorite character was Sunako and her ability to make herself a Lady without giving up her prized occult items.
I’ll be honest with you, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this anime before I started it. Although I had read the description for it on this site and another, I somehow had the feeling that four of the main characters would be winged creatures from another world, as opposed to being humans. Well, I only had to watch a few minutes of the first episode to realize that my idea would have been much more entertaining than what I was presented with. Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, or Wallflower, as it’s sometimes called, has no clear plot, a mostly unlikeable cast, and only a few moments worth a chuckle. It may not have been the worst anime I’ve ever seen, but I sure wouldn’t want to waste my time with it again.
Story? What story? Nothing happened. All I got was that four apparently handsome young men are living together in someone else’s mansion and are unable to pay their own rent. So the owner of this mansion decides that she will forgive their debt if they can teach her niece how to be a proper lady. Unfortunately for the guys, this girl is a whiney, irritating and anti-social brat who doesn’t care about anyone besides herself and her anatomical model. Where does the show go from there? I don’t know. Everything that takes place afterwards is complete and utter nonsense, and I don’t mean the funny kind of nonsense you find in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo or Ouran Highschool Host Club. No, I mean that for 99% of the time, I had to sit through the four guys showing off how “gorgeous” they were and give any nearby girl a disgustingly massive nosebleed that would cause any normal human being to die.
Terrible. Just plainly and simply terrible. All backgrounds are uninspired and lack detail. Character movements always seem so awkward. And the characters are drawn to be so ugly, but the worst offenses were Sunako and all the female background characters, most of the time they are drawn as chibis which I just hated, now don’t get me wrong, I’m a person who normally likes chibis, but the chibis of the background characters were nothing but white blobs. My repulsed reaction to the Sunako chibi may sprout from my deep dislike of her character but I just couldn’t stand to look at it. The most prominent thing about all the female characters in this show is their excessive nose bleeds, you know they’ll happen, you just don’t know when. And the most important question of all: If the four main guys are supposed to be sexy bishounen, WHY DO THEY LOOK LIKE GIRLS?!?!?!?
The opening song was okay I guess, and the first closing song was kind of catchy. The second closing song was so bad it made me miss the first.
I don’t think I have seen a more unlikeable cast! I hated almost everyone in the show! But among the crap we did get a shining star. His name is Kyohei Takano, and what he lacks in attractiveness, he well makes up for in personality. I could always count on him to make me laugh and touch my heart. If you ask me, he was the only main character who showed that he cared about others and grew out of the “typical bishounen” stereotype. Also, wait until you here about what he has to go through every day of his life, when he revealed it in the fourth episode, I felt so sorry for him, and I think that’s when I first started to really like him. But Kyohei wasn’t the only good character; I also liked Sunako’s parents. It’s too bad they only appear in one episode.
Well this was disappointing; I couldn’t give this anime a high score in any category. Honestly, I cannot believe I was able to make it to the end. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t romantic. It wasn’t interesting.
If you really want to see this anime, I would recommend just watching it for Kyohei because I don’t see how else it could be an enjoyable viewing.
I think this anime has really great humor and I love that the main character is different from most anime girls. One of the problems I have with this anime is that at some moments it's incredibly sexist. The most annoying part of this anime is that Sunako is constantly being called ugly. what?
I love wallflower. The interactions between all of the characters are never dull. The only con of this show is the lips of the male characters. It is a bit disturbing because they really look like women. If your thinking about dropping the show don't. I have no idea if I blocked it out because the story was so good or the animators might have fixed it part way through the series. Love the show.