DISCLAIMER: Reading my reviews one will think I hate anything that has to do with ecchi. Which is not true as I am just too versed into … hem … hardcore titles that make typical ecchi to look like nothing but lame examples of lameness. It’s not like I despise erotic humor or anything like that. This show is a good example of what I mean.
The show is animated by Hal Film Maker studios, which overall have a very unimpressive roster. The only title I enjoyed from them is the super amazing Princess Tutu. The show is also directed by Yamamoto Yuusuke, who was also the one to direct the masterful Welcome to the NHK. Overall it had an interesting chemistry to work with but the end result is plain passable since the source material is not allowing much to work with.
B Gata H Kei is one of those shows that forced the Youth Ordinance Bill to come forward. It is so borderline hentai that it gets easily overboard to the point you are just not sure what to think of it. Is it ok to air on tv? Is it even allowed to be animated? I sound like some grumpy religious freak but one must think where all these exponentially bolder erotic comedies are going at. I don’t say they are the Devil’s work but allowing them to be series and not OVAs is getting harder to accept. They are supposed to be targeting a very specific audience so what the heck are they doing on television?
Anyways, the show is about a really horny girl aiming to have sex with one hundred random people. The thing is, she is still a virgin in high school and all her efforts are thrown at some indecisive idiot. Plus, despite her heat she is still chickening out herself at the last moment.
So the joke here is basically how a girl is now the hunter, when in traditional erotic comedies the male is the sleazy bastard and the girl is the shy and innocent one. Another joke is how both are equally rookies at this, and no matter how much they want to get on with it, they still have no idea what they are supposed to do. Which sounds very funny indeed… if it was happening in the 70’s.
Seriously, as much as I wanted to shut my logical thought and just enjoy the damn thing, it was simply impossible to accept the fact how ignorant they both were to sex. I mean, they have easy access to the internet, porn magazines, they probably have some sexual education at school and they are not living in some clergy-based nation were sex is a sin. How is it so damn hard to find out what they are supposed to do? Or how hard is it for Kei to just find another guy with more experience? Or for Takashi to go to some red lights district?
Ok, I understand it’s supposed to be a comedy but stretching the joke for 12 episodes where nothing much happens, still needs for the story to excuse it somehow. Yet all we see is sexual fantasies and constant cocktease that only work in theory. In practice, the two of them simply chicken out the last second, give up because they don’t know or are interrupted by random people passing by.
It is still funny and arousing to keep you interested in watching if they succeed next time (some times they get really close). All the support characters are also in the jig as well, albeit in more subtle and logical means, so there is uniformity in the entire cast. Still, none of them appear to have any real experience or the few scraps they have seem to not matter enough to help the rest in their … problem. So as I said as long as you are not frustrated as much as they are at how easy the whole mess really is, then this show will never grow old… as it did for me.
I’m probably overthinking this as usual but it is true that if this was a hentai, Kei would lose her virginity at episode one, have her first orgy at two, film her first gang rape at three and give head to random people on the street for free while dressed as a bunny at four. Which of course none of that happen, and by the end of the series she hardly gets to third base with her very first partner.
It’s not like the show feels repetitive that much. Each episode goes for a different approach at how Kei can seduce her target with various innuendoes, cosplay, locations, or plain body language. If you are versed into Japanese fetishes, Kei will most likely perform all major ones and make you think you are watching some hentai feature where the protagonist just fails to score in the end.
Also, the fan service factor is sky high and it doesn’t stop at nude. There is a lot of groping and staring and foreplaying, indirect depictions of erections and semi-orgasms, to the point where it really feels like they are doing the real thing. But as I said, this is a comedy that needs to stretch the joke without really letting the characters “finish” so every time some lame excuse will be stopping them. And I guess this is where the show fails in the end as it doesn’t deliver what it promised or it hardly offers more that in began with, besides bolder and bolder erotic scenes that have the same failed result.
In theory, a special OVA after the series’ end where we get to finally see some resolution to this problem would at least put our minds (as well as something else) at ease. Then again the open ending can work as a (cock)tease so we can yearn for a sequel but the sales or airing shares were never that good; so fat chance of that happening. Oh well, if all else fails, there is always the doujin solution. Man they have made porn features out of everything. Kid shows included. And if you have a vivid imagination, hentai features with similar premises like Sex Friend are great substitutes.
I really liked the boldest erotic humor of the show but I got frustrated at how it never went for anything other than that. Take that out and you don’t have a show at all; which means not a great feature. The characters are defined by their perverse nature, which is fine in the context of the show but hardly develop in any way. Heck, even the animation and the music are as good as the erotic factor allows them to go to. Which is at borderline hentai with a lot of funny censoring cartons; not bad but not great either.
Bottom line, it is a funny and arousing show around somewhat realistic problems all teenagers face. But everything is stretched too far and always terminated when it really gets good, so it’s not like they let you fully enjoy the menu. It’s like the animators were saying “Sorry folks, this is as far as the bus goes”. And I guess all those weird NEETs wouldn’t buy the huge pillows with Kei on top if she had lost her virginity.
Funny? Yes. Arousing? YES! Fulfilling? Heck, no.
You want something similar yet far better? Try Futari Ecchi (the manga version and not the short OVA adaptation). That was one heck of a good ecchi comedy with sex, as well as many interesting details to inform you of how something works best.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (average)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (loose)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (none)
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 0/2 (none)
VALUE SECTION: 2/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (I’d rather watch a hentai)
Memorability 2/4 (a bit memorable for its extreme premise but that is all)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10
Like sex without climax.