Secret Santa Review
A bevy of young, buxom schoolgirls wearing minimal amounts of clothing? A generic male self-insert who has the romantic attention of multiple female paramours? Yessir, it’s a harem series alright.
Ecchi series like these are likely to appeal to the fan who wants to see bountiful bouncing anime mammaries, but for those seeking more complex fare, they tend to be poor choices. Heaven’s Lost Property does not buck that trend. A paucity of plot is occasionally meted out between various voyeuristic shots of the heroines. It’s no mystery what the real focus is here. The plot basically just serves as a premise to hold together what is, in reality, an episodic series of fan service vignettes tinged with lowbrow humor. It’s unapologetically sophomoric and simplistic. The story experiences such laconic development that it is barely even relevant until the season is ready to finish with a scene that is satisfying at a certain level, but concludes only a moment, not a narrative.
The show’s characters are typical harem stock. You have a childhood friend, a mischievous rich girl, a flat-chested mildly tsundere character (sure to appease any who would consider Rie Kugimiya their favorite seiyuu) and a servile, heavily dependent girl. Such is the point of the harem series, after all: Offer a menu of common fantasy girls for the viewer to choose between. Wish fulfillment at its most basic. It’s only to be expected that the male main character is so plain and generic, having little personality beyond being a hapless pervert and a nice guy who isn’t popular with the ladies, only suddenly now he totally is because that’s what the viewer wants to be their own reality. The male main character is simultaneously just enough like them that they can relate, but also so basic that they can imagine themselves as him. All of that comes out to be kind of boring if the viewer is not interested in indulging in that sort of fantasy, however.
The animation is just rather so-so. There’s no glaring faults with it, but never does it stand out. Most scenes only utilize rather basic animation which is not all that interesting to watch. It simply gets the job done. Background art is typically minimally detailed. The show never seems to be making an effort to be artistically interesting. Moving on to sound, seiyuu deliver performances that mostly capture the characters, with Mikako’s voice lacking just a bit of that traditional mischievous anime character mirth and Nymph’s lacking a bit of the haughtiness so endemic to tsundere characters. The background music is fairly generic fodder, never really pleasant nor annoying, and largely forgettable.
Heaven’s Lost Property is a boilerplate harem series offering nothing special. Thoroughly average for its own genre and in many respects for anime as a whole, it earns a 5. Fans of the genre will likely appreciate it, but should not consider it a top priority. Those who do not watch anime for titillation will find small chuckles if they enjoy simple, lowbrow humor and some small trappings of a plot, but nothing that is genuinely worth their time compared to other series. And those who simply want pretty girls to fawn over might be pleased to know that all the characters appear in various states of undress, but those fans have probably skipped straight to doujins.
(Overall score is not meant to represent an arithmetic mean.)
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