Eita Kidou is a man on a mission: he’ll study like crazy to get into medical school, foregoing anything foolish like love along the way, much to his childhood friend Chiwa’s dismay. But when the mysterious Masuzu delivers a questionable "confession" to him one day, Eita’s studious life becomes much more complicated. For the girl equally despises love and has stolen his middle school notebook to hold him hostage as her "fake boyfriend", in an attempt to keep other men at bay! Eita must now try his best to complete his studies while Chiwa and Masuzu battle it out at every turn for his unrequited affections.
First of all, let me say that I know this review is biased and reactionary. However, sometimes I think there should be reviews out there like this sometimes so that people know ahead of time what they are getting themselves into. The next problem with this review will be explaining why my overall rating doesn't average out with the others, without spoiling the ending. I'm going to try to do this without spoilers, but I know I won't be able to completely avoid it; I won't tell you exactly what happens and how it happens, but you will probably end up learning some clues as to how it ends. (For example, we all know a Shakespearean tragedy ends with the main characters dying; it's never a "and they lived happily-ever-after ending, but until we read the play we don't know how they die.) Therefore, if you don't want any hints at all about how this show ends, stop here, don't read any further, because I'm not promising anything! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Story The overall story really was good! Honestly, if the show had ended about 9 minutes and 16 seconds earlier than it did, so about 14 minutes and 9 seconds into the last episode, I would be writing a review about how it was a pretty good show! But it didn't end there, and in the last 9 minutes of the show (including the ending song), in my opinion. I have watched this show as it aired, watching it pretty much every Saturday morning on Crunchyroll, and the story line was good enough to keep me coming back week after week. It pissed me off now-and-again, but usually redeemed itself (except the ending). While it had the essence of the typical harem, it still felt different from some other shows I've watched. What intrigued me most about the story, was I changed who I was cheering for partway through, which is not typical of me! The only other time something like this has happened was with Kimikiss Pure Rouge. This may have had more to do with the characters and their development, but I think the story played a huge part too! The show was funny and pleasureable to watch most of the time, but it wasn't the most creative plot ever. After my switch part way through, I had an idea as to how I really wanted it to end, and I was watching, enjoying the occassional laugh while waiting to see how/if they brought it to that conclusion. I was also interested to see if they would manage to change my mind again! Like I've said, it was a really good story and I enjoyed the show until the very end! Animation/Sound I usually really only notice the animation and sound if they're either REALLY good, or REALLY bad! The animation was fine, not KyoAni quality (my favorite studio), not P.A. Works quality either, but I still enjoyed it. They did do a good job in using not just color pallete but also things like line harshness and stuff in the character designs to help complement the character's perceived personality. Chiwa was always bright and straightforward, Masuzu fluctuated back and forth between soft and harsh, just like her character. They were all drawn very well. As for sound, nothing really stuck out. As I'm writing this, I can't really think of what the typical sound track in an episode sounded like. However, I do know that I found the opening and ending to be a little more annoying than most and would always skip over it! Characters Here's where I really might spoil things a bit! When the show first started, I really didn't like Masuzu at all! In fact, I almost hated her for "stealing" Eita from Chiwa! Then slowly over time as we really got to know Masuzu and Eita, I started to get a little unsure of my choice. Masuzu has amazing character development! It is so subtle but she does grow quite a bit! She has this act that she puts on, and it's so good that most of the time, she believes it herself, but as the show goes on, we see her faulter in little tiny ways here and there as time goes on; a smile instead of a smirk, the briefest moment of the lightest blushing, the quick passing of showing that she's feeling dejected. It's all so subtle. I flat out laughed when they talked about A-chan being a tsundre; because while A-chan is the stereotypical tsundre through and through! Masuzu is her own type of tsundre that is actually almost more intense than A-chan in my opinion. Masuzu is the tsundre who is in almost complete control of the visible appearance of her emotions, but you can tell that the confusion is going on under the surface. She doesn't genuinely get super excited and lovey-dovey and then turn around and act like she hates Eita most of the time. She pretends and for part of the show honestly believes she doesn't like Eita at all, but then as time goes on, you can tell it's a complex form or self-denial. Basically, she is just a super awesome and complex character! Other than Masuzu, I liked Eita as he wasn't the stereotypical super easily embarrassed, and easily swayed male character in a harem. His character development was much like Masuzu's. He would stand up and be genuinely kind to the girls, but wouldn't be over heroic either. He was just a really nice balance. His speech in the last episode was my favorite. Next would be Chiwa the next door neighbor and childhood friend! Originally, I wanted it to end with Eita and Chiwa together, I liked Chiwa. I still like Chiwa, but she was able to grow in a way that allowed her to make some strong female friendships, other than that though, Chiwa didn't have a lot of character development. She was a great character for Masuzu to play off of, and helped bring out different sides of Eita, but in the end, I ended up feeling that Chiwa would be fine without Eita, because the two will always be best friends, but Masuzu needed him. As for the other two girls, honestly, I think the show would've been fine without them. I saw them as just more characters getting in the way of the ending I wanted to see! They did help add something things to the plot and character development, but honestly, they were a little annoying. Hime bugged me, not because she had delusions or eigth-grader syndrome (to steal from Chuunibyou), but honestly because that part of her character felt lukewarm. I just watched Chuunibyou before this show, and if Hime had been like Rikka, or Rikka's side-kick (blanking on her name), I wouldn't have found her quite as annoying, but it was her reserved quiteness that just bugged me! Then A-chan annoyed me too! I don't find tsundre characters annoying usually, well, they annoy me because I yell at them to make up their mind, but I'm not usually annoyed as in they need to just leave the show. I loved Zero no Tsukaima and Toradora, but A-chan just pissed me off! Her thing about the marriage license was just stupid! I was like really, get over it! That was kindergarten for goodness sake, how stupid can you be! She was good when she was being a friend to Chiwa and Hime, but other than that I just wanted her to leave! Overall Normally, I wouldn't be this biased about a show based simply on the ending, but looking back, I put up with a lot of stuff that annoyed me as I watched from week to week, that I was putting up with in hopes that I would get to see the ending I wanted. I wanted Masuzu and Eita to both realize that in course of their fake relationship, they had fallen in love; and then I wanted all of the other girls to realize that while it may have started out fake between Masuzu and Eita, that in the end those two are right for each other because they actually fully understand one another and still love each other. None of the other girls truly understood Eita. I wanted them to realize this and realize that their love for Eita was a puppy-love crush; Chiwa's might not have been quite as superficial as puppy-love, but it wasn't as complex and fully understanding as Masuzu's, and the other two were just stupid, it wasn't real love at all, it was infatuation that had been built up in their minds over time! I wanted everyone to realize all of this and then for Masuzu and Eita to end happily-ever-after! But, no the other girls remain true to their stupid infatuation to the very end, and we get a stupid wishy-washy harem ending! On Crunchyroll, they list one of the genres as shoujo, but I really don't get it! Maybe I'm different from all of the other girls in the world (although I've always considered myself fairly typical), but who wants to end up as a member of a harem? And who likes seeing or imaging/day-dreaming about guys that can NOT 100% commit to only ONE girl, and commit on a level that all other girls back the f*** off! I certainly don't! To me, that seems more like a guy's fantasy! I think the only harem that hasn't bugged me was Clannad and that's because Tomoya's heart was always pure, and the other girls backed off once they realized he was truly in love with Nagisa. But, seriously, what girl day-dreams about ending up in a situation even remotely like the one in this story? What girl doesn't want a happily-ever-after? What girl wants someone with a superficial infatuation to have any possible chance of winning over a girl who is growing and falling in true love with the guy, and the guy is doing the same? Eita definitely didn't have any true feelings for Hime or A-chan, I don't know how they couldn't tell he was almost patronizing them! If their feelings had been remotely real, they would've realized it. Chiwa would sometimes call Eita on the carpet for patronizing her. Chiwa was the only other person it would've be slightly okay for Eita to be with, and normally I root for the childhood friend, but in this case, I changed my mind because her love wasn't real either. To the very end, she kept thinking that if she grew more in the chest and butt, that she could win Eita back, how stupid can you be? Eita does not love Masuzu for her figure, and even if you changed, if you truly loved him, you would want him to fall in love with you for other reasons! So, that is why this anime gets a 4 out of 10 at the very end! So, that I don't feel like I've completely wasted my time, I will probably try to forget about this show and/or pretend it ended before the last 9 minutes! Harem endings suck!
This, being my first review, is going to be a bit flawed, but I at least want to get my thoughts out there so no one wastes their time on this show (unless they like). I did watch this show as it was being aired, so I had to wait a week for every episode; generally I felt the show degrading itself over time, having most of its power in the beginning but slowly crumbling away to an ending that seemed under-climatic. Story Surprisingly enough, I actually recieved the impression that this was going to be a decent harem that would follow an interesting path; perhaps not the greatest but definitely interesting. My hopes were pleased in the first few episodes, where the humour, somewhat childish at times, including awkward situations, definitely was a great highlight to me watching the series. The series seemed to put itself into a purgatory. After around 5 episodes or so, I began to have feelings of deja-vu - those feelings were right. Several scenarios would be played agian and again: one of Masuza reading Eita's notebook, Masuza's sister barging in to whip herself around to create 'tension' of unknown origins, Eita getting caught in some situation where all the girls want somethign from him and he can't do 2 things at once. I realize these are some form of plot development and progression; however, they seemed to be plugged and chugged from the "Harem-Plot-Development-101". The story began with a great situation but just seemingly unlikely events unfolded. The first half episodes are the fantastic wrapping of a present that, inside being a quirky gift that you have to smile and nod and accept, you really don't want it deep down. The harem would have been much better if the final two characters were not introduced: Ai Fuyuumi and Himeko Akishino. The plot could have focused a lot more on the development of Chiwa, Eita's childhood friend, and Masuza, a newfound fake girlfriend. In fact, my interest was only with these two because of the actual deep connection they had with Eita that could be seen as plausible. Ai seemed to be a character pulled out of the producer's rear to add more tension; Himeko... she did not relatively deserve a place here. The series starts out great but soons trips over its own feet in its attempt to add more characters than necessary and create unsympathetic drama that doesn't feel too relatable. A good thing this series did not beat around the bush with too many fillers or else it would have been completely unbearable to watch; its 13 episodes are bearable. I did become detached from the characters as the show went on, so the ending was definitely not to my liking. It reminds me of "all bark no bite" in which words were said but nothing really seemed solidified to greatly wrap up the ending. If the show chopped off the final scene the last episode, it would have been a corny ending, but at least it was more pleasing than the ending they gave us. Animation Personally, there really isn't much to say about its animation style. Its nothing vividly impressing nor was it horrendous to not watch it, it just felt (slightly above) typical. Only thing to say is that is has a brighter tone, which while different, didn't strike me as spectacular, just good. I guess it adds to the lightheartedness of the series because there never was a heavy tone pressing upon me. There were times when Masuza read from Eita's notebook in which an interesting means of producing the drawings of the notebook on the screen but that glammer fades pretty fast when its repeated throughout the entire series along with that same incident. Sound Again, nothing special about the sound. My only complaint is I felt like two or three tracks played the entire series, and that became repetitive. Characters Laughable at best, a lot of these quirky teens can't be taken entirely seriously. I'm not saying the 'realistic' aspect of anime is good or bad (in fact I watch anime because it escapes the norm) but when human relations are messed up, there is a noticeable inbalance. The most balanced characters, in terms of personality, seem to be the main 3; Eita, Masuza, and Chiwa. Even then, they react to situations in a way that doesn't feel right at times; however, the great thing about these characters is that they tie together nicely in a sense of drama that is real to the series. Their weak point seems to be a lack of change. While these three characters have enough depth to make them interesting, nothing happens. Of all the situations they go through together, not a single one of them take a dramatic change that would make them seem human. I am aware that comedies often involve static characters, at least in Western culture, but for a series that wants to take itself seriously by adding depth had better have some dynamic characters. I'd give these characters a 6/10 However, the worst of all the series are both Ai and Himeko. Ai's personality is that of a preppy cheerleader on crack, to put it in mild terms, and to put the icing on the cake, she acts terribly terribly ignorant and stupid. All forms of intelligent life is void from her, I can say I despised this character. Himeko... well she appears at best to have read Eita's book somehow and is stalking him, but the anime never mentions that she read it, so I'm assuming she may just be a shy psycho. She adds no tension, no plot development, nothing more other than to take up screen time being a doll - nothing more. These characters are, respectively, 2.5/10 and 1/10. Overall Plot development and tension fall apart as the series progresses and leaves an ending that leaves a slightly bitter taste with additional characters that only cause the story to be chunky - that is my review in a sentence. It started off with a bang, but kinda felt droned on once you get used to its style. I personally can't recommend this show to any veteran anime watcher. As time goes on and as people grow older, they have less free time, and in return become more picky in what to watch; wasting time is not a luxury adults have. However, if you are a person interested in Harems and could go for a quick laugh or two, at least in the beginning, with shaky plot and alright main characters, you might enjoy this show enough.
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