Shuffle! is a classic Supernatural, Harem, Romance, Comedy, Drama that feels fairly average to begin with but it’s full of surprises as you go on. My overall score may be somewhat biased but this show is just truly amazing. ^_^
The story is just your basic harem anime as it follows a male protagonist (Rin Tsuchimi) an average high school boy who lives with his childhood friend Kaede (girl). Of course to make this a harem there are more girls included into the mix (5 in total) and not to forget the all important supernatural element to the show, by adding gods and demons to the plot. As the series begins it is your typical Rom/Com with plenty of cute and hilarious moments and heaps of casual fanservice. It is until halfway into the series that the drama kicks in, bringing forth a great deal of heartfelt moments, which will get most viewers all teary eyed and plenty of character developments.
The characters themselves are compelling and fun to watch as they all have something unique about them, including the guys. It’s true that the set-up for the girls is pretty clichéd (childhood friend, eccentric, tsundere, shy girl, loli) but they all bring something special to the story. What’s more amazing is that the male protagonist also brings a great deal to the story, including deep-rooted jealously that all us guys feel whilst watching the series.
The animation quality for Shuffle! was somewhat unique, with its own style and having subtle differences with similar anime. This allows the animation aspect of the show to excel amongst others; with amazing environments, well animated character expressions/emotions and most importantly the superb character designs. One thing I noticed is how most of the characters wear around 5-10 different outfits throughout the series, which is rarely seen in your average harem. It would be perfect but there were instances when the quality of the animation degraded.
On another note the music for the series was great and went well with the mood of the situations (comedy & drama), nevertheless it became somewhat repetitive. At least there were some really good insert songs.
Overall Shuffle! is the epitome of what a harem romance anime should be; one guy + cute girls = a variety of romantic outcomes. The best thing about the show would have to be the characters because they are all developed incredibly well and their actions aren’t always questionable, seeing how it suits their personality. And because the male protagonist isn’t a worthless guy, there are numerous romances and a number of possibilities. The series managed to end well without relying on too many clichés. So in the end this is a classic series that most romance anime fans would enjoy.