As Ito Keita looks at the envelope in his hand, he is both excited and worried. Inside is the renowned "Platinum Letter", an invitation to the most esteemed boys-only high school in the country: Bell Liberty. Only the very best students are considered for this special academy, and each must display an outstanding skill or talent to be admitted. So with average grades and no special skills to speak of, why is Keita now finding himself on the bus to Bell Liberty? Will he be able to find his place among the elite, or find out why the school chairman himself issued the invitation?
Gakuen Heaven is a shonen ai anime, but there isn't much there to get scandalised about. There isn't much there. Period. It's set in an all-boys academy, Liberty Bell, "BL" for short - and they hammer it into you at the beginning of each and every episode so you'd have to be dumb not to get it. Our protagonist receives out of the blue an invitation to study in this prestigious academy, but doesn't understand why he was selected not having any particular "talent" to boast. The real plot kicks in around episode 7 or so, so more than half of the anime is basically filler dedicated to introducing the characters. Which are all very handsome boys. Similarly to in other shonen ai anime, there isn't a single female character - I always find this fact amusing. There is a plot, even if it's more like a semblance of a plot than an actual one. There's also a love story, but very mild and subdued. There are loads of sexual innuendoes. There's some comedy. There's also an ending. The animation and sound are nothing special. The cast is quite large, but all these characters are from the start and remain until the end completely and unremittingly mediocre. So don't bother to watch this if you've got something better to do with your time. Don't get me wrong: it's not terrible. The characters are likeable enough and there is - at some point - a story. But it's clichèd and unoriginal. There are better things to watch. I really like shonen ai, I watch yaoi too sometimes, but there has to be a story, some emotions must come across, something evocative or provocative. This anime is nothing of the sort.
Story: The story was good for the most part. It's your average shounen-ai anime. I found the animes' comedy rather humorous, and the storyline rather sweet, though it did get a little predictable for me. Animation:I liked the animation, though it was nothing fantastic. It definitely could've been better at some points, but it most certainly wasn't the worst I've ever seen. So over all, pretty average.Sound:Honestly, I'm not really good at judging whether or not Japanese voice acting is good. Even the crappiest Japanese voice acting pales in comparison to the unbeatable shit you call English dubs. It screwed up my judgment tremendously. But I found the opening theme very catchy for some reason, which is odd because I generally don't like music with that kind of feel, but whatever. xD The ending theme is nice, a slow paced song, but really nothing spectacular about it. Characters:I personally liked most of the characters. The main character, Ito Keita, I found absolutely adorable. I fell in love with him, because I'm a sucker for shota boys. I found Endo Kazuki weird at first, but as I began to understand him and get to know his background, I warmed up to him. I found a few characters annoying however, such as a certain pair of twins that for some reason, just agrivated the hell out of me, and Naruse Yukihiko, just because he overused the word "Honey"(Seriously, why don't you try using Keitas' name every once in awhile? People are given names for that reason, you know.) Overall, the characters were good, some better than others, but whatever.Overall:It's a good anime that I recommend to any shounen-ai/yaoi lovers, and possibly some shoujo fans! xD It had such a shoujo feel to it for me. I'd love to see if anybody else got the same vibe from it as I did. But anyway, it's not a waste of time watching it. I hope my review was helpful.
It's a very cliche BL story filled with the same annoying tropes you'd see anywhere. The villian characters are painful to watch because of how bad they are at being villians. Lots of boring and unnecessary characters. Most do not get any character development or simply exist as some one dimensional cliche. Though some side characters like the schools doctor ended up being more interesting than the main character and more complex with a deeper backstory. I could not stand the twins at all. I wish they didn't exist in the show. The "drama" in the story felt very unnecessary most of the time. I had a lot of issues with these things. There was also a confusion for me on whether or not the two main characters were actually brothers or not. Then there's the whole lack of boundaries between teachers and students. Not to mention at the very end, Kieta still doesn't know how old Kazuki is after they kissed. Too many plot holes that are never answered. The harem aspect only annoyed me here because it felt like everyone only existed to praise Kieta for existing most of the time. But this is a BL anime, most likely written by a straight person. So it's to be expected. The animation wasn't that great. A lot of still frames and lazy animation. Art was really bad at times. The sound was outright obnoxious, especially whenever the vice chairmen came onto the screen. The op and Ed songs were somewhat enjoyable, also the soft music that played whenever Kazuki and Kieta were together. Overall I'd give it a 5. I did enjoy the show enough to finish it but it's nothing new or too great.
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