I have no idea why I added this anime to my list but the concept seemed OK. Before watching this I found this on a top 10 worst anime list on youtube and the place I got it from mentioned something about a terrible ending. This didn't affect my viewing of the anime. This has a lot of fighting, some comedy and *sigh* ecchi/panty shots too.
To get the simple stuff out of the way first the sound wasn't that bad. IMO I hated the intro and outro themes, which could have been done better. I've seen some terrible animes where the intro/outro were the only redeeming factor. The rest of the sound was okay, nothing amazing.
Animation quality wasn't the best. I've seen quite a few animes from the same year and even before this one where it looked better. However it wasn't completely terrible either. I did not like the amount of ecchi or panty shots,mainly because I just don't like that stuff in general. It makes me think the intended audience for this anime were adolescent teeneagers, so it makes sense I wouldn't enjoy it. In very few cases was the ecchi justfiable such as Bob's homelife with his girlfriend.
Characterwise there is quite a bit. The first few characters introduced are Souichiro Nagi, the blonde dude that looks like a wannabe DBZ character and Bob Makihara, a dude of African descent with Dreadlocks. While the both of them are trying to be badass street punks claimmng to be the strongest fighters in the school and beating them up Bob was clearly the superior character. Nagi was just a dumb hardheaded kid, while Bob was more fleshed out as he had a girlfriend (who he sleeps with) and a more realistic outlook on things. Turned out he was one the better characters.
Next up the youngest of the Takayanagi brothers, Masataka. Initially he seems like your average wimpy, main character material character. Then you find out this dude is a strong badass character. You also find out he has a crush on Aya, which never manages to surface. He has a few awkward moments where he has dirty dreams of Aya and he even wakes up wet-dreaming when her arm is over his crotch (when she sleeps over, no sex however). I felt this character to be underwhelming and kinda pointless as he needed more development. He also does not appear in half of the anime when it would make sense for him to be around.
Bunshichi Tawara initially seemed to be a mysterious dude who only fought when absolutely required to. Turns out he's a perverted slob, very disappointing. Emi Isuzu initially seemed to come across as a pretentious antagonist. It turns out shes an OK character but some unrequired bullshit is revealed in one episode that absolutely ruined this character for me, especially as she didn't turn out to be so bad.
Aya is the youngest Natsume sibling appearing for half of the anime though with a cameo role in the other half (which makes sense storywise). Turns out she's a bitch of a character. Yeah, she has some special powers, but for the overall story this isn't focused on. She gets infatuated with Nagi due to a bullshit family tradition where a girl has to marry the first dude to see her fully nude. That's all she is and I hated it, especially as she kept it up after Nagi writes her off (ignoring her) and prefers another chick. That and she never realises Masataka's feelings. Goes to prove, most anime are shit at romance.
Onto arguably more important characters, Shin is the eldest Natsume sibling. He's character development is done well, as you really get an idea as to why he is the way he is from good backstory. He isn't a simple antagonist/protagonist. The only bad thing, was that he had a thing for his sister (disgusting), despite having a girlfriend who he never even touches.
Speaking of the devil, Maya is the middle sibling who wants to protect her brother, despite his... imperfections. She is also at the heart of a love polygon, getting infatuated with Mitsuomi while gaining the attention of both her brother and later, Nagi. She has an ability to turn into an annoying kid which is only really shown a bit at the beginning. Back story is present, partly due to Shin, maing for good character development. She's the character that gets the most screentime too.
Last but not least, Mitsuomi Takayanagi. This dude is present for most of the anime and IMO is the main character, forget that Nagi dude. You really get to see him develop go through things and develop as a person. Like Shin, he isn't black or white (metaphorically), though one could argue he is a protagonist. Up there as one of the best characters alongside Bob, who's just cool.
The story is the important part. Half of this anime takes place 2 years after the other half. Because of this it would have been so much better if they just split it up into 2 different seasons. The half represented by the intro/outro featuring Bob/Nagi and gang was the worst half. The first few episodes made me want to quit watching this anime and I had originally wrote it off as worthless. The flashback half however is a decent story and redeems this anime from being a complete piece of shit. I much prefer the flashback half, especially as the story has a (somewhat) satifying conclusion, though one bit of enmity remains unexplained. Maybe its just cos that character is stupid. The other half ends terribly and from what I've heard OVAs, a couple sequel episodes and the manga don't even have a good conclusion.
Overall, I intially hated this anime due to a shit story, some terrible characters and the ecchi aspect. However the flashback half of the stroy was actually pretty good, thereby saving this anime from my complete cynicism.
Family-friendliness Rating: 4/5 A lot of ecchi and panty shots. Large breasted chicks, sometimes almost wearing nothing. No actual nudity though (lower is better)
Overall Rating: 5/10 (higher is better)
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