I’m slowly starting to understand why so many people detest ecchi anime, and DearS is an example of just how low a typically fun genre can stoop. Now, I’m as far from a raging feminist as you can get, but I was still shocked to find that this horrendous trash was written by a pair of women. With the fairer-sex portrayed as either clueless sex objects or raging nymphomaniacs ready to rip off their clothes, the male protagonists are always feckless guys who click their fingers and can choose whichever beauty he wants for the night. Thankfully, not all ecchi is this dire.
Using the “unique premise”, the story consists of a top-heavy beauty arriving on Earth, devoting herself to a complete loser and moving in to become his housewife and lover. DearS runs with recycled off-cuts of many other ecchi shows, adding its own lousy spin. With fan-service that makes you cringe, there is at least one scene in every episode that will have you shaking your head in disbelief and wondering why you should bother continuing this tripe. From a teacher with home-made erotica as a classroom aid, to a sleazy bishounen who uses coffee to seduce his “koneko-chan”, the perversion is freaky – and not in a good way.
Jumping from the blossoming romance between two clueless lovebirds to the plans of those trying to hinder their relationship, the story includes too many characters with neglected motives thrown into the mix. Instead of using what they have, the writers rely on tried and tested quips from successful ecchi shows, such as risky sleeping arrangements and rivalry between two beautifully buxom babes. The show can’t decide if it wants to be a bondage dream or a fun-filled harem, setting itself up to be both but never fully committing to either.
The awkward scenes between the horny schoolboy and reject slave-girl-cum-alien barely manage to even raise a smile. DearS fails to exploit the humour in this potentially adorable situation, instead ending up falling flat on its face with a nonsensical plot that opens numerous avenues and inevitably explores none. I know storylines are not usually the focus of a kinky minded show, but it’s nice to actually have closure when there is attempted narration to accompany the curvaceous cleavage and plethora of panty shots.
On the plus side, you could distinguish male and female. The downsides will take much longer to list. For an anime series but 5 years old, DearS is worse than substandard. Suffering from lousy lip-synching, poorly proportioned faces and an inability to blend characters with backgrounds, the artists are sadly more interested in some mediocre costume transformation scenes and drawing boobies. The impossibly proportioned aliens have saucer shaped eyes, a very pert derriere and an overspill of cleavage all poured into an impossibly fitted spacesuit – another thing that makes me believe the writers are living in their own insular world.
Taking its cue from DearS’s repulsive portrayal of women, the opening track is full of trashy lyrics likie “I am your slave”, sung by what sounds like a pair twelve-year-old J-pop idols. Aiming for cute, and coming off as irritatingly vile, I value my quick fast-forward finger that prevents the band, UNDER17, from lamenting their submissive bile. The closing track is also performed by the same annoyingly perky childish-sounding duet and did not impress me enough for a second playing.
Populating my entire top-five list of “characters you want to kill”, none of the brazenly stereotyped cast found a place in my heart. Takeya flip-flops between stealing porn for his randy male friends and giving females the cold shoulder as he struggles with his immature emotions. Giving out signals to both alien bed buddy and best-friend Neneko, his naivety switches to idiocy as he breaks the hearts of those closest to him. Hardly worth even mentioning, Ren is a hollow shell who unquestioningly obeys her Goshujin-sama. If her personality developed even a smidgen throughout the show, she may be considered a passable character, but she unfortunately stagnates and remains unchanged throughout.
The only character with any humorous potential was the sexually aggressive teacher, Yoshimine-sensei. Completely skipping good taste, the harlot frequently strips down to practically non-existent underwear and lewdly gropes her own breasticles. Comedy gold plummets into the realms of deviant fantasy as she attempts to seduce her horrified students into punishing her for being a bad girl. And this is even before the pointless and mindless loli cat-girl prowls onto the screen, adding to the already astronomic list of atrocious characters.
No, just no. I can’t think of any section of the anime community that DearS would appeal to. With a cringingly flimsy and stereotyped plotline, the ugly animation and characters you would rather choke than befriend will give even fans of ecchi a hard time. Both the fan-service and comedy are misplaced from the get-go, leaving an overall feeling of exasperated frustration. Instead of even attempting this two bagger*, try Chobits, Girls Bravo or even Ah! My Goddess for the same story that unfolds in a successful ecchi romp. Perhaps changing the title to “DearGodWhy” would be a step in the right direction....
* A chick so ugly that you put a bag over your head just in case hers falls off – urbandictionary.com
On a day that seemed ordinary, a spaceship crash landed in Tokyo bay, filled to the brim with beautiful aliens that would come to be known as DearS. Since that day, though all of Japan seems to have gone DearS-crazy, one high school boy named Takeya it still not impressed by the phenomenon. But things change for Takeya when he finds a lone DearS girl on the side of the road, who forces herself into his apartment, and his life! Now, he must brave a plethora of complications, misunderstandings, and embarassments, when all he wants to do is be left alone!
As a not-so-closet perv, I love watching anything involving panty-shots, handfuls of cleavage and an innuendo fuelled plot. Although most of my reviews will err on the risque, I also love the obscure, the twisted and things that make you think - drop me a line if you want to discuss any of them!