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Studio NAZ/Magia Doraglier’s 2018/2019 harem romcom is set in that peculiar world where idiotic teenagers write bestselling light novels. The one saving grace for this nonsense is that it is built around a surprisingly good core idea – it depicts siblings where the boy Yuu Nagami wants to be an author but is unsuccessful. His sister (Suzuka Nagami), on the other hand, is a genius and writes a bestselling novel much to her brother’s shock and envy. She is concerned that their father wouldn’t like her writing so they agree that Yuu will pretend that he wrote the book. So far so good. However, from this point onwards in becomes quite a generic tale of a girl with a massive brother complex. Yuu’s sudden unearnt fame lands him with a group of female followers who throw themselves at him sexually. Like all such male protagonists in harem stories he appears to be terrified of girls – a state made worse by the fact that one of these romantic groupies is his own sister. Well into episode two the show has ditched any pretension of being a serious comedy drama about sibling rivalries in the publishing industry. Instead, it just works over its single gag with all the expected tropes and cliches. It is not without its entertainment value and, given the limited ambition it set itself, it makes a decent attempt at covering the whole brother-sister incest theme. Where-else other than in Japanese manga/light novel/anime would such a story line ever see the light of day? Thankfully season one was only ten episodes long yet there is a two episode OVA that in 2023 Crunchyroll had packaged with the season. It is these two episodes that earns the show it adult rating. The first ten episodes have a pretty toned down ecchi content consisting of a few panty shots and other adult references. The OVA pushes the boat out to include full frontal female nudity and a whole bunch lewd references that make it so cringeworthy we fast-forwarded through most of it. Unwatchable rubbish. “Eromanga Sensei” (A-1 Pictures 2017) did it so much better and that isn’t saying much. Brain dead and weird. If you thought it was a massive disappointment you would not be alone. The critics panned it with it being described as “one of the most notable production disaster of 2018”. Ow, harsh. Criticism was specifically levelled at the animation quality suffering degradation at the hands of a sub-contractor. To be fair most casual observers would not notice this. It really was the least of this show’s problems. It just ruins a good idea. An opportunity lost.
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