Like any other anime among casual fans and otakus everywhere, this happens to have a massive fan base as it was based on the manga series by Ken Akamatsu. However, I know little of the harem genre of anime, aside from the fact it’s usually a guy living and/or being with a variety of girls or the opposite being the reverse harem, where it’s a bunch of guys surrounding a young lady with examples of shows like Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, Ranma ½ & Tenchi Muyo.
Keitaro Urashima is determined to be accepted into Tokyo University, the hardest Japanese University of all to get into, because of a promise he made to a girl when he was young... a girl whose name he can't even remember. After failing to get into Tokyo U twice, he is kicked out by his parents and goes to live with his Grandmother at her hotel, but it seems it has been turned into an all-girls boarding house. What's more, much to his surprise and to the tenants disgust, Keitaro is made manager of the boarding house.
So watching all the initial 25 episodes, I am the guy that usually isn’t quick to judge on an anime even before watching it but after a few episodes, my reaction to this show is pure disgust and hatred. Yeah, that’s right, I really hate this show and I mean genuinely hate it from the bottom of my heart.
Let’s start with the storyline and the romance. The show isn’t exactly episodic to an ump, mostly Keitaro trying to get into Tokyo U. just to find his true love he promised to meet but he isn’t exactly the sharpest mind and the same goes to Naru Narusegawa, a girl who looks similar to his crush and also trying to get into Tokyo U. Most of the time, it evolves around as the somewhat couple-to-be and there herein lies the problem. They are a terrible couple, much like a beaten housewife and an abusive husband, only Keitaro the former. I mean, really, Naru has got to be one of the worst female characters in all of anime and for that; I officially take back what I said about Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion. All the time when Keitaro always gets in these awkward positions, especially ones designed to be perverted, he gets the shit beaten out of him…ALL THE TIME and I mean every damn time!!! Hell, every time I think of that, the Kendrick Lamar song, “Swimming Pools (Drank)” comes to mind, only replace the word “drank” with “hit, punch, or ouch”. Hell, if you make a drinking game out of it, you’ll die for sure. Keitaro as a pervert is nowhere near the level of most characters like Desert Punk but he is quite the moron in this show as I don’t know why he has the patience of not only her but the rest of the girls living there and it’s obvious that both have a crush on each other but Naru has the nerve to tell him to be a man and say something about it, while she is definitely worse in the department when she can’t even tell the dork that she loves him, too. She kept talking about how problematic and pervy he is but she’s violent, temperamental, petty, immature and juvenile, just like this show. They are mismatched as a couple as Kim Kardashian and…….anybody stupid enough to marry her (for a couple of days).
I would speak about the other characters but what’s the point about that? Most of the plot involves around the two main characters and I can’t stand either of them (and yes, that includes Keitaro, he’s just a dense moron who often has the IQ of a weed-infused porcupine) and the other characters involve themselves into that cycle and really, that’s the whole other problem. Kitsune, the white-haired resident, is mostly the one who’s doing the meddling in their problems and does manipulate people just for a sick kick. Motoko practices the art of kendo and sometimes uses it to beat and threaten Keitaro, and just about everything, even for something out of his control, it’s “I’ma kill you, Keitaro!!!”. Shinobu is basically the poster child for “I hope Senpai notices me” meme as one of the only character that actually doesn’t rag on him, however, it is obvious that she has a crush on him. Hell, you got to have a neon sign if you’re that dense of the situation. Su basically have Ed (from Cowboy Bebop)-like similarities but the only exception to that is Ed is likable while Su just causes more trouble for everybody and as for Sara McDougal……..the less I say about her, the better as she annoys me whenever she’s on screen. Mutsumi is the ditzy girl who has a crush on Keitaro but Naru kept cock-blocking Keitaro, but we all know she’s jealous of them being together, no matter what she say. Haruka, on the other hand, is actually the only person who actually has a pleasant presence on screen as she’s the only person who’s actually enjoyable to watch but that’s not enough to favor this. As for the two best friends…….FUCK THOSE GUYS…….HARD!!!!
That’s part of the problem of this show. It thinks it’s being funny and humorous considering there is nothing funny about some defenseless dweeb getting beat up over and over again by violent women whose first response is beat the living shit out of them without any explanation. It would’ve been fine if it was some guy who deserves it a lot but apparently, FUCK THAT SHIT!, it’s all about turning the harem genre upside-down, much like Elfen Lied, but like that, it gets too damn tiring and the hype turns into disappointment but here, it goes into hatred.
Now for the animation, it is done by Xebec, a division of the acclaimed animation studio Production I.G. and they mostly do adaptations based off manga while I.G. does original content. However, I watched Kanokon this year and I have more to that about that coming up. It’s actually…..nothing special and I suspect most of it being gag-based especially with the punching Keitaro silly scenes. The character and production designs are passable but still bland compared to better shows. The opening theme is most likely the one to skip because I couldn’t stand it the first time I heard it. The ending theme is not as bad but still I wouldn’t stick around to listen to it. The BGM is alright to a full extent but is very amateurish at best with its clustered style. The dub (yes, I watched the dub with subtitles to know the direct translation) is grating in some areas but not as bad. Wendee Lee, who voices Su, directs the adaptation for this for a dubbing company that’s not Bang Zoom!, but while she’s a fantastic voice actress, she’s no Mary Elizabeth McGlynn when it comes to directing.
FINAL VERDICT: It’s no contest that I really hate this show and all it does is cater to the lowest common denominator of anime fans and what sickens me about it is that people find this to be funny. I cringed every time I watch an episode of this show. I despise the despicable characters and I know there is no deeper meaning of this but really, this is the best? I fear for those people and if I had one wish, it’s to never watch this again.