After accidentally mislabelling a folder as Ayashi no Ceres (don’t ask), I found myself wading into the untold depths of mushy, middle school romance instead of the darker angst I was hungering for. Perhaps this placed me in the wrong mindset to watch Futakoi, but this is one harem show that was definitely not for my tastes, especially not after so recently watching the sublime Shuffle.
Nozumu is the typical harem protagonist – thrust into a situation in which he is surrounded by a group of doting females, he naively ignores their feelings and breaks a few hearts along the way. His indecisive nature and complete ignorance is nothing but frustrating and does not make for an interesting storyline. The main selling point for Futakoi is the twins’ effect; a "quirk" in which you buy one and get one free on every potential love interest. Unfortunately, this duplicity is not used to its full effect, making it a pretty weak excuse to deluge the main protagonist with even more skirt. This pointless tedium continues throughout the show; although the plot is simple and "nice", the lack of excitement makes a relatively short series extremely dull, to the point where I would make mental shopping lists rather than paying attention.
The series ultimately ends where it started, and it is only as I write this review that I realise that essentially nothing happened in the 13 episodes. Sure, there are typical beach and cultural festival episodes, but the romantic central plot does absolutely sod all. No ecchi, no flirting and, most importantly for me, no decision on which girl to choose. Also, hardened perversion fans need to abandon all hope of some forbidden twincest...
Fair to middling, the animation serves its purpose without being standout. The focus of Futakoi is primarily its characters, and so the backgrounds do nothing but set the scene. Studio ufotable seem to have a stock supply of wide eyed and innocent characters, and yet again draw from the pool for this series. However, I would have expected something a little more special from a 2004 show, especially as the character movement was so awkward and more reminiscent of something from the last century.
One of the reasons I tend to dislike school drama is the unnecessary pairing of high-pitched squeakiness to at least one female character. Now, add the twins dimension and Futakoi becomes twice as irritating as other underage harem shows. Nozumu’s voice actor seems to be in a state of perpetual pain that never eases up, maybe this is because he has had enough of the self-centred and annoying whine of the Sakuragi sisters. The OP and ED are mushy, romantic ditties that fit the feel of the show perfectly – sickly sweet and easily skippable.
Nozumu is a sap with absolutely no redeeming qualities, aside from his “niceness”. As with many other mediocre harem anime, I really don’t understand why a group of diverse females feel the need to throw themselves at such a weak and indecisive character. Even hopes of a resolution to the dating issue are not answered in the finale, and each set of twins seems to come to the conclusion that they will continue the battle for their idols heart. Futakoi's characters make the show just a little too saccharin sweet for my tastes, and the adorable school crushes fell short of the mark for me – especially as the viewer is left hanging at the end.
The twins as characters would have had just as much use if they were one single entity. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but the girls are difficult to distinguish and their personalities unremarkable. KiraYura aren’t even deserving of individual dissection, as the writers really drive home the sisterly plot by giving them the same lines and irritating habits.
It’s not bad; then again, it’s not good either. Its average; nothing more, nothing less. Futakoi has a lot of potential, but neither comes to provide a gripping story for slice of life fans, nor enough panty shots to be a forbidden ecchi anime that would have made it much more interesting. Drama fans should instead try Kanon or Air for some sickly sweet romance, and ecchi fans look to Kiss x Sis for some very naughty twin eroticism that tackles the idea utterly shamelessly. However, almost everyone who has seen this claim that Futakoi Alternative is both better and more enjoyable. Only one way to find out...
After his father decided to work overseas, Nozomu moved to the town of his childhood to attend school -- but this is no ordinary town! There is a legend that twins once loved a man so much that they turned into birds and flew away, and the abundance of twins to be found is the result. For Futami, having multiple twins who like him is a dream come true, but also a lot of work since they all want his attention! Now, with jealous fan clubs, sibling rivalry and an ornery goat named Billy to handle, Nozomu must try to win the affections of his childhood friends and new faces alike!
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!