This review is based on the first five episodes and will eventually be updated when the season is complete.
Aoharu x Kikanjuu is about a high school girl who dresses like a guy, and lets everyone believe he is a guy, joining up with a perverted manga artists and a host club guy in survival games. At first, it does feel really similar to Ouran High School Host Club. A girl dressed as a guy enters a place and destroys something. In return, she has to join a group to pay back the debt. However, after that, it's different. Actually, it's still different from the beginning.
Hotaru is known as a boy at his school. Apparently he is the class president at his school so it's not like he is a nobody. The students would know he was a she if that's how he identified himself. Apparently, only a friend of his knows he is a she. At the same time, he doesn't seem to be trying to hide it and does seem to identify as a girl. I hope they clear it up soon because it's rather confusing. Anyway, she goes to a host club to beat up the guy she thinks took her friends money. Instead, he challenges her to a survival game with toy guns (thinking she is a he). Hotaru loses after damaging some of the property of the host club and is forced to join Masamunes team for survival games to work off the debt. However, Masamune doesn't allow girls to join his team, so Hotaru is forced to keep the fact she is a girl secret. Later she meets the third teammate, a hentai manga artist who doesn't trust others easily. In time, the three become good friends, but Hotarus debt is paid off. She leaves the team, only to come back, this time by choice. Together the three aim to be the best team in survival games in Japan.
The anime takes a bit more serious tone than Ouran, although it's comedic at times still. It's also a continuous story, unlike Ouran where almost every episode can exist seperately or even be rearranged without losing much. Also, at least currently, the teammates don't know Hotarus secret.
The animation style is different from Ouran too. Unfortunately, I'm no expert in style so I can't really say how.
The story jumps a bit and some things don't make sense, Like Hotaru being the class president and having plenty of time to play survival games or how they seem to have so many practices but Hotaru isn't an adult like the other two and has to go to school at some point. Whether Hotaru just prefers to dress as a boy or if she prefers being identified as a boy is unclear too. She seems to be identified as a boy at school, but she used the girls changing room and she wants to tell the guys she is a girl. Of course there is plenty of time to explain all this. It's only on the fifth episode. There are supposed to be unanswered questions.
I enjoyed watching it and I'm dying for the next episode to come out. I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen for five whole episodes, partly because I had to read the subtitles, but also because it was interesting. Then again, I enjoy gender bender shows and there is actually some action in this one. It's not all action, but survival games is more action than a host club. People are shooting at each other, even if the bullets are fake. As for those thinking this is a reverse harem or will be, it's not impossible, but in my opinion, it doesn't feel like one.
The sound is fine. The characters are fun and the relationships are interesting. Overall, it's a good show so far. Hopefully it stays that way.
I am giving the story a 7.5 because the gender bender part about Hotaru is confusing and the jump in time in the beginnig was a little annoying. If Hotaru is explained more and the story continues to be just as good, I will probably give it a highter rating later on. The 7 in sound is just because it's not particulary great but it's not awful.
I enjoyed everything but what got me most upset was when she did not tell them that she was a girl they just left it at that. i makes me pissed. but overall everything else i saw in this anime. i really enjoyed it.
I dropped this anime on episode 3 for a lot of reasons and these are some:
1- its remind me of Ouran high school but in disgusting way - I adore ouran-
2- I cant stop thinking that the mangaka wanted to write an shounen ai manga but the editor said no...
3- their jokes aren't funny at all
4- when main character talks about herself as an absent she makes me angry (?)
5- THERE IS NO REASON FOR HER TO DISGUISED AS A BOY !!
6- I hate games and stories about game are even worse
Boy, Aoharu x Kikanjuu was one weird anime. It's seriously either a hit or miss with it; if you expect something similar to Ouran, walk away, you won't get it. Even if it could be, somehow, categorized as a reverse harem (depends how you look at it; at the core it's stil about one girl surrounded by bishies that get some kind of liking to her, romantic or just simply interest), the point and story of the show is something else entirely.
Story - 5
It's plain mediocre. Nothing really happens and nothing really gets concluded, besides Mattsun's self-victimizing perception of himself and others, maybe and Tachibana and Yukimura's developed friendship. The sketchy thing going around is the survival game part of it. Half of the show feels like some sort of Kuroko no basket; inventing skills that sound like magical powers and look extraordinarily awesome, but when you come down to it, there's nothing magical about it, it's just "talent" and "force of will". That looks awesome, yes, and the atmosphere at some points was unbearable and very tension-directed, but keeping it in context, however, that's a different issue entirely. The epic tense atmospheres were a lie; they were tense, but the reasons for the tension are mostly laughable because of how seriously they are taken and too trivial to take seriously overall.
The genderbend part is also an issue; while I do appreciate that the main girl doesn't just happen to genderbent for some specific trouble she had, but she's just simply "boyish" and that's really fresh, I hoped for that to cause a bit more of an issue and not be a "detail" that she was going to forget to mention for the whole show only to make a semi-issue out of it later, which in the end it won't matter in the slightest anyway. I do give it points for dragging it so far that some characters might question their sexuality though...XD
Characters - 6
There's this type of over the top emotional exageration prevailing through the main cast and, differenty from other people, I don't feel like completely bashing on it. I found it more than once to be laughable and exagerated, but there are stuff that to some people matter more than to the rest and I feel like that was made obvious when the contrast between Toy Gun Gun and other players was made. This made me believe that it was only Toy Gun Gun and Hoshishiro that took this game so seriously and personal, both of them because of personal reasons and needs that they couldn't get in their everyday lives. However, that was portrayed pretty badly. Mattsun's connection and relationship with Midori was only scratched down upon, as well as their relationships with the rest of the world too. There's not much development going on; it's more like "take it and believe it" type of situation. While I liked Mattsun's internal struggle in the last episode, I didn't feel like it completely justified the events before that.
In terms of likeability, Yukimura was the one that made me go "aww" for the most part of the show. He's totally creepy sometimes, but he accepted that creepiness despite not being commonly socially accepted for it. Development-wise, he also overall lacks, but it was sweet how in the end he found something to believe in, even if it was different from what Mattsun believed, putting a stop to his blind loyalty; seriously the most that you can get in terms of development in this show.
Art/Animation - 7
I think that the animation had a very important role when it came to the over the top exageration of the characters' reactions, and to be able to send shivers on my spine with an overall trivial reason, there's some skill to be praised here. Unfortunately, animation got quite bad during the last few episodes which were made of very simplistic backgrounds and flashbacks to which the characters simply spoke "upon".
Sound - 6
Nothing deem of worth but I liked the opening song.
Enjoyment - 8
Despite realizing the laughable exageration of it all, I couldnt help but fairly enjoy it. I don't know if it was some sort of guilty pleasure or if I looked for something beyond what I actually got, but it would be a lie if I said I didn't wait impatiently for each episode.
It could have been way better. After episode 12 I expected there to be an episode 13 to wrap something up, instead I feel like I was left hanging with only half story done. I hope it gets a second season or if it doesn't at least some sort OVA finale.
Was not sure how I would feel about this anime but actually loved the story and the characters. Do hope that they will finish the story.