Huge text of random stream of thought follows. Consider yourselves warned you lazy bastards!
When I first gazed at the entry picture and read the name, I though it would be just another ecchi comedy with minimal animation and crappy storytelling. When I eventually sat down to watch it out of curiosity I realized I was wrong… But not in the sense that it turned out to be the exact opposite of what I originally thought; it really “IS” an ecchi comedy with minimal animation and crappy storytelling. The thing which makes all the difference is that… it is different.
What I mean is that a good show, being comedy or action, is supposed to surprise or excite the viewer. If you can tell what the joke will be or how the battle will end minutes before they actually occur, then you have yourself a mediocre series. The jokes and the outcomes are not supposed to be predictable if you are to be highly entertained and this is what makes this show a class above the average tale out there. It is unpredictable! Really, you just don’t know what will happen next, or even if it will be funny or tragic.
What I’m trying to say is that this show does not follow a formula, as most shows do. You know what I mean, you see the pilot episode of an average shounen adventure and you can pretty much foresee how it will play out in the next 500 episodes or even how it will end (and don’t tell me this is not the case with Naruto or One Piece ). The premise is clear, the outcome is obvious, you are just hoping to enjoy the in-between. As entertaining as that may be for some time, it ends up being dull after awhile and the thrilling finale may just find you saying “Ok, it ended as I expected; where is my pop-corn?” That effectively kills half the enjoyment you would otherwise get if you weren’t aware of how the story will unravel.
So this is why I liked this show; I couldn’t tell the outcome or predict the jokes. And if you add to this fact how the industry these days plays it safe and rarely tries to take risks, then you end up liking it more. Where others go for safe formulas by chewing the same established stereotypes and successful tropes, P&S pretty much said “Screw it, let’s just have fun.” And this is what most series of today lack you know; the feeling that you watch something its creators made with love and not with anxiety if it sells or if it ain’t goddamn moe enough to draw in the mindless consumers.
Before I move on, I must make clear that I don’t consider this show to be original or groundbreaking. It also is heavy on sexy/moe stereotypes aiming to draw in the masses, but it is also not DAMN afraid to be as extreme as it wants to be. Here is a basic example from the show: Do you know all those endless carbon-copied harem and ecchi comedies where the same shit happen in all of them, in almost the exact way, around the exact same people? Isn’t it frustrating that they always “hold-back” on the juicy parts? I mean, some dork gets to score with chicks and the chicks may want it too but something really lame always happens every time to stop it. Why? Because that is the limit. It can’t go beyond that and just offer what it is supposed to be about: SEX! The most distinctive example in recent memory would be the anime B Gata H Kei (which I reviewed as well in case you want to torture yourselves with further reading). Its selling point was to show a girl having sex in a thousand depraved ways with a thousand random dudes. Yet all it was showing were lame sex jokes and the girl chickening out or random people stopping them just because the show wasn’t willing to go beyond a certain point.
So P&S comes along and WHAM performs a Limit-break on this junk. The main heroine is not afraid to have sex with random people she just met. Sounds too simple and may not even be surprising to see such a character in real life. But in a non-hentai anime??? INCONCEIVABLE!!! It was so simple yet it was never shown (implied at best), not even in the boldest erotic shows. Because they were all chickening-out! But not THIS show. It is not afraid to show ridiculous amounts of shit, puke, semen, nudity, splattered guts, profanity and anything else all other comedies just fool around with sparks of it. It is NOT original but then again NOBODY had the guts to show it in such a degree before.
What is even funnier is that everything is shown with such minimalistic animation that manages to not be gross to the point of hating it; you might as well just find it disgustingly humorous. And speaking of the animation, it is another thing to take notice of; it again makes the show look special. In an earlier review I wrote how the American version of the Powerpuff Girls looked a lot more special than its run-of-the-mill appearance of the Japanese version (reviewed that as well; go for it you bookworms). This is a similar case with P&S, where the minimalistic western look of animation makes a huge contrast amongst other anime and thus it becomes memorable. Not only that, but the characters seem to move and act a lot more lively despite being a lot easier to draw them and animate them than an average looking anime character. Which is again a major thing most modern anime have forgotten. You don’t need to look slick and complicating in order to be likable; you just need to have the vibe and the emotion present. Many famous retro series of the 80’s have that which makes them more interesting than most other high budget cartoons of the same era. Most modern anime try too much to play it safe and end up copying one another to the point you don’t care anymore about any of them. But P&S with its vivid motions, explicit context and special animations just stands out like a singing nun in a goth brothel.
It wouldn’t be that much interesting if it was JUST the animation that stands out. The soundtrack is actually equally good on its own, full of beaty songs which are great enough to buy the CD. Really, for someone like me who doesn’t even fancy such a type of music, I ended up listening to them again and again because of the vividness of the show in general. Fly away, Chocolat, Anarchy, Fallen Angel; I find them all addictively likable and (unlike most anime OSTs) extremely memorable.
Now as far as the characters and the story go, I must again make clear that they are NOT original or special. The cast is quite stereotypical and the story hardly exists or matters. But again, both are so unpredictable and extreme that they end up being memorable or even likable if you like this sort of humor. Heck, each story lasts around 15 minutes so you don’t even have the time to be bored. I sure prefer this form to that of silly shows like Gintama, where they literally tell you when it is ok to laugh by making a reference to another show and YELLING THEY JUST MADE A REFERENCE!!!
I must also point out that it’s not as if the show is without any direction at all. Although the jokes and the stories appear to be random, down to it they all have to do with moral liberty from social norms. And yes, it may seem like I am overanalyzing something heavy around an otherwise silly ecchi comedy but it is true. All the themes revolve around guilt, lust, punishment, retribution, and catharsis, things religion and moral laws strive to uphold. It is all played for laughs but it is nice to see how the show itself is making fun of limits and constraints by having the exact elements as its mockery target… And if I am to overanalyze it even further, I say GAINAX, the production company of the show, is famous for doing this shit. Heck, it revolutionized the anime industry back in 1995 by making Neon Genesis, a show which again played around stereotypes in a way to ridicule and reconstruct the mecha genre and even indirectly criticize escapism.
For the third time I make it clear that P&S is no Neon Genesis and it doesn’t revolutionize anything. It just came out to remind the industry NOT TO CHICKEN OUT as it has been doing for the past 5 years. Hopefully the upcoming Youth Ordinance Bill will put a stop to the overdone moe and ecchi shows and finally force the companies to turn to something else, preferably artistic and stylized just like P&S. They will of course not be allowed to air on tv such ridiculous amounts of … EVERYTHING but it is still a nice example of a show which at the end of an era reminds us all NOT TO SETTLE FOR MEDIOCRITY when we can always strive for something different. The sky is the limit… and even that can be pierced by Guren Lagann.
And now for some excused scores…
ART SECTION: 10/10
General Artwork 2/2 (looks special)
Character Figures 2/2 (perky and sexy)
Backgrounds 2/2 (lots of sex innuendos)
Animation 2/2 (minimal but highly artistic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (you actually read the sounds)
SOUND SECTION: 10/10
Voice Acting 3/3 (bonus for profanity)
Music Themes 4/4 (go buy the OST)
Sound Effects 3/3 (cartoony and as I said, you also read them)
STORY SECTION: 7/10
General Scenario 2/2 (Bitch angel in a deprived city sounds uncommon to me)
Pacing 2/2 (mostly fooling around but doesn’t let you be fed up with the dead time)
Side Stories/Extra Spices 1/2 (present but rushed and superficial)
Believability/Reasoning/Realism 1/2 (the action makes little sense but its themes are constant)
Conclusion 1/2 (a cliffhanger, believe it or not)
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Presence 2/2 (Attractivene and cute)
Personality 2/2 (A bitch, a hard to get goth, a gay afro priest, a Kenny dog; sounds interesting to me)
Backdrop 0/2 (um… what?)
Development 0/2 (who?)
Catharsis 0/2 (where?)
VALUE SECTION: 8/10
Historical Value 2/3 (very special amongst other anime of its time but not all time classic)
Rewatchability 2/3 (works only the first time but still gets kicks when you show it to others)
Memorability 4/4 (extreme enough not to be forgotten)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 9/10
Some parts were not that funny for me, others were plain gross, but otherwise very enjoyable. You of course need to tolerate the type of humor it implements or it will not work at all. HATERS GONNA HATE!
The epitome of guilty pleasure.
… There; done. Now go read my other 999 reviews.