Sloppy Seconds – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 2 Review

Sloppy Seconds – An Anime QandA Review for ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 2

Ep2banner

The Episode Review

What’s the show? To Love-Ru, Episode 2.

!?

And how’s this episode? Remember how in the previous episode review I made the comment that after my very first watch I was “intrigued but not blown away” by the show?

Let’s pretend I remember anything you say, so why do you bring that up? Well I think in hindsight Episode 2 may have been the true source of the problem.

Who could say no to this face?!

Oh? I don’t know if this is just ~modern day~ me being influenced by ~modern day~ harem/ecchi anime standards but ‘To Love-Ru’ spends a long time (at least in this episode) elaborating on concepts which are pretty standard. Rito is suddenly engaged to Lala, an alien princess, but he doesn’t want to be because he’s in love with his classmate Haruna. But he can’t break up his engagement because it will upset Lala and in turn her father, who would probably destroy Earth in revenge for this slight against their name. Seems to me by Episode 2 most harem anime would have covered these ‘basic’ plot points and be already on to introducing girl 3 and 4 to the harem.

It’s a very good excuse for Lala to be naked a lot.

So what you’re saying is… I’m saying this episode is slow to get to the ‘status quo’–i.e. The harem shenanigans and sci-fi action silliness which is going to maintain the series going forward. That’s not to say I’m not glad (in hindsight) the show takes its time to get a look into Lala’s personal feelings on this engagement and why she’s so gung-ho and ‘all-in’ on such a “bland” human like Rito. The problem is that the road getting Rito to this point feels like padding to fill up 20ish minutes–not bad padding per-se, just somewhat unnecessary.

I love how matter-of-fact and accepting Mikan is of this sudden change.

Wow, this kind of feels almost like a semi-negative review for a show you’ve called your “favourite of all time”? As far as the series as a whole goes, Episode 2 is probably among the Top 5 Weakest Episodes and even the best shows out there have less than stellar experiences, it’s just a shame that ‘To Love-Ru’ has an episode like this at such a make-or-break time. And bear in mind when I say ‘Weakest’ this episode is still going to score an 82/100 this is by no means a disaster. But for viewers who aren’t as enamoured as I am with this series going from a 93 for episode 1 to an 82 for episode 2 could very well be the difference between continuing a show and dropping a show.

I ~almost~ feel sorry for Rito.

Why do I have a feeling you’re about to regale me with a story of your first viewing again? Not me, specifically but rather the irlwaifu–we watched these first two episodes and after the second she shrugged and said “I don’t think this show is for me”. I was saddened but not undeterred–I took a month break from the show before returning to watch Episode 3. I won’t get into too many spoilers but Episode 3 was such a fantastically fun experience that over the course of a week or so I goaded her into resuming the show and it was if the previous episode was just a speed-bump in the journey rather than the brick wall it could have potentially been. ‘To Love-Ru’ is now one of her favourite shows too and it almost never happened because of Episode 2.

Ouch! Sister burn!

I mean, that’s certainly a ringing endorsement of the ‘3 Episode Rule’ if nothing else. Also I can’t help but be bothered that you’re getting ahead of yourself again–you’re supposed to be reviewing this episode not the next one! Hey, this is the first time I’ve reviewed a show after it’s out–I’m used to seasonal episodic reviews or full season reviews–it’s hard to not talk about the ‘whole’ when just reviewing a ‘piece’.

Things just got (even more) messy for Rito!

The Fanservice Review

Right and so how does the fan-service fare in this episode, does it also take a quality hit? More accurately a quantity hit, there’s very little, what there is is mostly flashbacks to the previous episode–though we do get our first (and second) scenes of Rito waking up next to a naked Lala–which is just about a dream come true (for me at least!).

Rise and shine!

Oh, so is this going to be a shorter “fan service review” section? Unfortunately, yes. The scenes with Lala waking up beside Rito are beautifully framed, then there’s a bit of teleportation shenanigans when Rito has to escape an angry mob of his peers who learn about his engagement to Lala. She uses one of her gadgets to have them “warp” away, but of course her device doesn’t teleport clothes so they end up naked and in the girl’s changing room in front of Haruna!

I mean of course, clothes are hard to teleport!

Classic. Anything else? We get a brief shower scene that kind of goes nowhere and also there’s a clothed ‘jiggle’ compilation that’s pretty nice but aside from that things remain pretty tame comparatively throughout.

Boing boing boing.

You must be so disappointed. Devastated.

The Conclusion

Final thoughts and score for ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 2? This second episode, while more flawed than the first (and most to come) does still warrant its existence, not just because of the aforementioned scenes which help establish Lala’s ‘instant’ connection to Rito but some genuinely funny comedic moments between Mikan (Rito’s little sister) and Zastin (the commander of Lala’s royal guard). Episode 2 works as a part of a committed binge watch, it somewhat falls apart though as viewed as an episode by itself. My score for the episode is 82 out of 100, my score for the fan service is 70 out of 100.

*slam*

Previous ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode Reviews:

Making A Splash – Episode 1 Review


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1

Irina and I review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1, because forcing your friends to watch your favourite shows is the best!

toloveruirina1

Hello everyone and welcome to a collaborative review series I’m imaginatively calling ‘Irina and Matt Review To Love-Ru’! And as the name suggests I’ll be joined throughout these reviews by Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime—say hello, Irina! Hello Irina! …I’m sorry, please don’t lock me in the closet again. I’ll do better…

Before we get into the review proper what were your thoughts when I brought up the idea about collaborating on an older series? (for those of you unaware Irina and I almost exclusively collaborate on currently airing seasonal anime and usually female driven sports anime). We have a very specific niche. I don’t think anyone else shares it… I like older anime but I think what I liked best was that you invited me to share my thoughts on an ecchi harem show. A lot of bloggers like the genres (I’m very surprised you’re not part of that new Ecchi Hunter blog to be honest) but I didn’t think I would ever get in on the action! For some reason I never get asked about my thoughts on naked girls. I need to rebrand. I’ll make sure to keep you ~abreast~ of ecchi in the future! (See what I did there?!)

No, but my pants are all of a sudden.

And what preconceptions or familiarity did you have with the To Love-Ru franchise? (Wow this is beginning to sound like a job interview…) It is… and none. I hadn’t heard of it before you told me about it, Matt. And since you said it was your favourite series I figure it’s lighthearted, funny a bit lewd and there’s no abusing the girls. Do those count as preconceptions?

Sounds about right! So with that out of the way it’s onto the review itself! These reviews won’t be recapping the events of the episode—for that content you can check out my solo reviews—the first of which is here. Were you surprised how “sci-fi” the prologue was? Very much, it snapped me at attention in fact. I was quite happy to see that. Is it just me though or did the opening tag look more “classic” than the rest of the episode? Like as soon as I saw it I thought, oh this is an OLD show but later on I was like nah, it’s just an oldish show… Am I making any sense? I never considered that (as I don’t have much experience with a lot of old anime–especially action sci-fi based ones) but now that you point it out the art style in the opening could very well have been a nod to older shows.

It’s a classic style.

As a fan of OP’s as I am too, what did you think of this one? I’m so sorry Matt, I don’t remember it. No please, the closet is dark and scary… I think I just got swept up by the episode and it got pushed out of my mind. I do remember the ED – it was cute. I pay better attention next time. Personally it’s one of my favourite of all time. Not only the song (“Forever We Can Make It” by Thyme) but the visuals—while simple I find very sexy.

How could you forget this?!

The first half of the episode introduces to our protagonist Rito and the fact that he’s extremely shy around girls—not especially unique for a harem protagonist but it also means he doesn’t spend his time ogling them. What did you think of Rito? This may sound bad but I mean it in a good way. As I was watching the first half I thought well this is an anime. For me, it embodied all the stereotypes I think people associate with generic anime. Like it’s exactly what you think of when you think anime. But I really liked that about it. It was comforting and fun. Rito is that nice but slightly awkward kid, who’s just enough of a loser to be relatable but still cool enough to cheer for. A very good audience surrogate and I’ll be happy to watch him. He was a bit on the pleasantly bland side for the first episode but that can be said about most shows.

You here that Rito? Even Irina thinks you’re bland!

Also established early on is his infatuation with Haruna—an infatuation started after a middle school incident wrongly painted him as destroying a school garden—and Haruna being the only one believing his innocence. What did u think of Haruna as a character and did you buy into this ‘connection’ of theirs? I actually like the connection. I make fun of anime characters for falling in love over the silliest things but honestly, that happens all the time. Heck, sometimes we fall in love over nothing at all. It’s believable to me. As for Haruna herself, I kept trying to figure out why she was giving me major deja vu all episode. I thought maybe I had seen her on promotional material but she looked so much more familiar than anyone else. It was only towards the end of the episode that I realized that she reminds me of Yukino from Kare Kano. Long story short, I got distracted. I like her, but I need to see where the character goes!

She can talk to me any day…

And then of course there’s the elephant in the room—or rather the pink haired alien in the bath tub. Lala; who is the embodiment of pure joy and life, makes her introduction. What are your first impressions of her? She’s the one that really made the show feel like Tenchi Muyo for me. That’s a good thing! I like her transformation but it seems painful for her.

I think my opinions of Lala are pretty clear given I just referred to her as “the embodiment of pure joy and life” and not to spoil too much but she only gets better from episode 3 onwards. And then we get a surprisingly good-looking action scene as Lala summons one of her “inventions” to combat her pursuers (who are actually just employees of the royal palace wanting her to go home—as she’s just a teenage runaway). Sometimes 3D can look jarring against 2D, especially with a series of this age but I thought her octopus vacuum looked perfect. What did you think of this whole segment of the episode? Agreed, it was integrated well and fun to watch. It is impressively fluid for an older show. Mind you this thing may have had a BUDGET. Seems the manga did really well so the studio may have secured decent funding. If so they made good use of it, if not, then those are truly impressive visuals.

Who doesn’t have access to a giant robotic vacuum cleaner octopus?

And then finally the end of the episode which has Haruna confronting Rito only for him to decide this is the moment to confess his “true feelings” for her. Which—of course—backfired horribly as Lala appears and assumes he’s talking to her! Oh no a love triangle through misunderstanding! How bizarre! Joking aside, the first episode was fun. Taken separately a lot of the elements and characters are pretty stereotypical but they are put together well and somehow it’s just a bit left of expectations. You know, just unusual enough to keep you interested while being comfortably familiar. The only thing I would have liked is for Lala to be just a little less helpless. But you really can’t tell much from just the first episode. It’s a strong start. I would have watched more if I didn’t want to avoid confusing the episodes before we review them.

My thoughts on the episode as a whole can be found in the link previously mentioned, but what about you Irina, what were your thoughts on this as a first episode? Anything else you wanted to add? I should really read ahead when we do these things… I already put down my thoughts. As for “add”, how about you share with us a piece of your To Love-Ru merch?

Sure, that oughta spice up these reviews! Probably one of my favourite things I picked up on my most recent trip to Japan was this Lala ⅙ scale bishoujo figure made by Alter. Obviously her “normal” outfit, as seen after her transformation scene is more striking but I just found this figure so sexy that I had to have it. The detail on it is so good, even something as inconsequential as the tread on her sneakers has such fine details, I love it!

The lighting isn’t the best in my office, sadly.

Also – I disagree with your review about the breast physics. Some scenes are great but others really could use some more jiggle. Just saying. Just wait ‘til we get to ‘To Love-Ru Darkness’ the amount of jiggles will give you whiplash!

Irina’s face if she ever gets to watching ‘To Love Ru-Darkness’.

And that’s the first episode done! From here on out we’ll be releasing these collaborative reviews covering 3 episodes at a time every month. However, you’ll still be getting my single episode QandA reviews every week! Thanks for reading!


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

Making A Splash – ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1 Review

An Introduction and Review Schedule for the ‘To Love-Ru’ Anime QandA Special Series of Reviews

Ep1banner

The Episode Review

What’s the show? To Love-Ru Episode 1.

Episode 1 Title Card. Perhaps a Nicolas Roeg reference?

So tell me about this show you’ve decided to commit 2 years of your life reviewing every single episode (because that’s how long its going to take)? Wow, straight in their with the big questions, huh?

I mean nows a good a time as any, is it not? Sure. I mean, I love everything about this show and if you care to follow me over the next two years you’ll find out exactly why. What follows is an absolutely biased look at a series I’ve deified in my mind for about a year now so don’t go expecting nuanced critique–but likewise expect a lot of references to things that have yet to happen in the series. In other words, this is pretty much for fans of the series only. Or those who don’t mind spoilers for future episodes.

It’ll be a while before we meet him.

But it’s an ecchi series, how many spoilers can it contain anyway?! I thought this too, until I sat down to watch Episode 1 again for the first time in… maybe like 9 months? Either way, To Love-Ru’s first episode is an impressive piece of art that’s almost hard to quantify and even harder to compare against the rest of the series that is to come.

And why’s that? Because Episode 1 is emblematic of everything that made this series inherently bingeable in the first place, it’s fast paced and frenetic and fun and… not really anything like the other subsequent 3 seasons of To Love-Ru that come after.

Best OP visuals ever.

 

Okay, I think you’re getting ahead of yourself. Let’s just focus on this episode and this season, yeah? Fair point. So the series starts with Lala, in space, in her spaceship being pursued by a convoy of “attackers” insistent on reclaiming her. And already a more action heavy tone is being set to a series which will ostensibly become an Earth bound, slice of life centric ecchi.

We get jiggle physics 30 seconds into the show. Good stuff!

What did I say about reviewing this episode, not what’s to come?! Sorry. I’ll try and restrain myself on that part.

Sure sure, so what happens next? Well to cut a long story short, Lala’s spaceship crashes into the school of our male protagonist Rito Yuuki–who himself is already preoccupied with courting the girl of his dream, classmate Haruna Sairenji. A wholesome, very good-girl who you should probably not get too attached to if you intend to follow this series unto its fruition…

Cute from any angle.

Please. Please stop with the not so subtle future spoilers, it’s doing me a harm. Okay, I promise that’s the last time! (Spoilers; it’s not the last time).

Okay so what happens next then. So after another failed attempt for Rito confessing his feelings for Haruna he returns home to lick his wounds when his peaceful bathtime is interrupted by Lala’s sudden (naked) appearance in front of him. From here things quickly progress as Lala introduces herself, her robotic costume maker ‘Peke’ and her general situation which basically amounts to the fact that she’s a teenage runaway who’s sick of being told who she should marry by her father. In short; Lala is an alien princess and genius inventor who is somewhat indifferent to the human race but she’s put her trust in a “bland” human because he was too much of a ‘good guy’ to let her get captured by the royal guards of her home planet–shenanigans ensue.

Lala changing into her trademark costume. Love it!

“Shenanigans” Why do I get the feeling I’m not going to like where this is going? I don’t know what you’re inferring, sir…

Don’t play dumb with me, I can literally scroll down the page and see you have a segment of this review called “The Fanservice Review”… While I’ll go to my grave defending how good the characterisation is in this series, I fully admit that the majority of people who clicked this review are just here for ~dem anime tiddies~ and yeah, that’s where this review will soon pivot. But I’m not quite done yet.

*squeeze*

Okay what happens next? Well Rito is walking to school the next morning, lamenting having intervened with Lala when Haruna approaches him, she wants to talk about what he was doing running across the roof with a strange girl last night (she caught a glimpse of him while walking her dog) but he interrupts taking this as the opportunity to confess his feelings for her. He pours out his feelings, all the while bowing his head only for Lala to have appeared between the two of them. Lala misunderstands and thinks he’s talking to her and reciprocates his feelings, further upping the ante by suggesting they get married!

Well that escalated quickly!

Oh boy, you weren’t wrong about shenanigans. Anything else you wanted to add before we get to the other kind of “shenanigans”? Well if you’ll allow me to get meta for just a moment I’d like to speak about how different my first viewing vs this viewing was.

So Japanese of Rito to be worrying about people wearing shoes in his room.

Go on then. The first time I watched ‘To Love-Ru’ I was intrigued but not blown away, a part of that may have been how much the first episode was trying to impart while simultaneously give gratuitous air-time to its ecchi moments. Likewise I was enamoured with Haruna (Rito’s “since middle school” crush) but kind of annoyed by Lala–despite her good points. Now, with hindsight clouding my objectivity I can say Lala steals the show, even though this Lala isn’t really indicative of the Lala who will come to consume the screen time of the coming 25 episodes. Episode 1 Lala is far more measured and calculated than true Lala which will rear her awesome insanity in its full come Episode 3. But I suppose it’s something of a blessing we weren’t inundated with Lala’s full ‘Lala’ right off the bat. Which leads us too…

The Fanservice Review

Is there any particular reason I have to be here? I have no interest in discussing fan service? Because I like to see you suffer.

 

Wow, not even pretending now? Okay fine, let’s get this over with… how is the fan service in the first episode? It’s kind of remarkable in how right they get it and how quickly too. I’ve mentioned in various places before that I think Kentaro Yabuki (the original mangaka) is probably my favourite artist in terms of how he draws the female body and while the animation and art style of the everyday scenes is ~good~ but nothing mind-blowing the same can not be said for the fan service. It’s clear that the show knew it needed to execute that particular part of the series flawlessly if it was to be well-received and while I can’t speak for its reception in Japan at the time I can say at least for me I was impressed.

 

Showin’ some tail.

Uh-huh and what about it makes it so impressive? It’s kind of hard to put into words, you kind of need to see it in motion–thankfully that’s what gifs are for!

Oh boy… There’s a weight to the animation of the breast physics, when Rito’s hands cup Lala’s breasts in the bath its like you could almost touch them yourself they seem so real. And this isn’t even the best the show gets in terms of animation quality and attention to detail.

Yep, finished. #TMI

 

And what about Lala herself? She’s beautiful, she’s cute, she’s sexy–she’s basically the perfect (anime) woman–well except for a certain black haired goddess but we’ll talk more about her when she appears later in the series. Plus her openness and liberated attitude about her body is very refreshing, it’s something that makes Lala so endearing as a character.

Lala’s appears in the bath before Rito. Good technology!

And the other girls? Well the only fan service we get from Haruna is a fantasy sequence in which Rito’s best friend Saruyama goads him into fantasising about her in a bikini–it’s a brief pan over a still image but it’s still well drawn. Haruna’s a very sweet girl who I have some minor issues with but I won’t bring them up until they are more relevant to the episode in discussion. And then of course there’s the girl that is the Internet perverts favourite for lewding (at least if the sheer number of fan-art and doujin’s are anything to go by)–Rito’s little sister Mikan.

Always imagining.

“Little sister” should I have the FBI on speed dial? Jokes aside Mikan is something of a grounding force for the series, especially as it progresses into seasons 3 and 4 (getting ahead of myself again, I know) but even in her two brief scenes her character is already solidified–in her wry sense of humour and almost parental authority over Rito. In any other series a character as “normal” as Mikan could be a detriment but here she’s a delightful antidote to the craziness. But the show doesn’t feel the need to lewd her (yet lol)

Mikan is Sassy AF.

The Conclusion

So final thoughts and score for Episode 1 of ‘To Love-Ru’? Unable as I am to really give a first impression of the series as this is the second time watching it all I can say is that this first episode was even better than I remembered. Obviously a lot of that will be because of the fondness I’ve acquired for these characters over the 80 subsequent episodes I watched after but it’s also an expertly crafted 24 minutes of comedy, romance, sci-fi action, ecchi and even a bit of intrigue. It’s already done a great job at establishing Rito’s personality (his almost comical embarrassment in the face of any kind of nudity) as well as the connection between him and Haruna. If I were to complain about anything it was the aforementioned characterisation of Lala which feels out of step with the rest of the series but I think it can be excused given the tone it was trying to strike with the whole seriousness of “being pursued by bad-guys” shtick. My score for the episode is 93 out of 100, while my score for the fan service is 80 out of 100.

Good guy Rito.

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

Getting Some Strange – ‘Interspecies Reviewers’ Volume 1 Manga Review

A QandA Manga Review for ‘Interspecies Reviewers’ Volume 1

Interspecies Reviewers Manga Review

What’s the manga? Interspecies Reviewers, Volume 1.

Hmm, okay, and what’s it about? Guess.

Sorry, what? You want me to “guess” what this manga is about? I mean, this is you we’re talking about so something perverted no doubt… is it about reviewing the attractiveness of monster girls? Good guess, and pretty close to the correct answer. Specifically its a fantasy series about a group of guys who go around to the various red-light districts in this fantasy world and partake in the pleasures of the flesh and then post their ‘reviews’ of the unique girls they sleep with on a bulletin board. Basically, its trip advisor for a fantasy brothels with an emphasis on the particulars of the girls employed in said brothels.

Paradise.

That’s somehow more perverted than I could have imagined. You musn’t have much of an imagination then…

Wait, isn’t “reviewing” women kinda, pretty sexist? I mean that’s a surface level interpretation. All the women who get “reviewed” are prostitutes who are providing a service, are being paid for it and benefit from being “reviewed” not only by exposure but by getting a more tailored clientele as the result of said reviews. It’s not like this is scummy classroom ranking list of the ‘hottest girls in class’, our reviewers take their job seriously!

Gives a new spin on “tentacle play”.

Right. So what’s the appeal of this manga then? Is it just a smorgasbord of fan-service related to non-human looking women? You’d think so but visually this series is pretty tame, all things considered. I mean sure it’s got a smattering of nudity (mostly towards the end of the volume) but the majority of the ‘erotic’ content comes in the form of the dialogue and situations. Our protagonists aren’t afraid to talk about sex and the various physical differences between humanoids and the various fantasy inspired women (and sometimes men) they sleep with. Truth be told this series is a lot denser than I expected both in the sheer volume of content per manga volume and the elaborate detail and world-building it employs. I’ve read full-blown Isekai that don’t commit this much time to character building and that in-of-itself is impressive.

One eyed people do it differently, apparently.

I… I’ve got so many questions, I don’t know where to begin… Well try because I’m willing to answer any and all.

Okay. So what about the protagonists then? We have a sort of rotating roster of male protagonists who journey together to one particular establishment per chapter usually four at a time. Though the three prominent figures in the series are the human Stunk, the elf, Zel and the angel Crimvael. Stunk being the human acts as the audience analogue to terrific comedic effect, especially early on as we see him exit an elf brothel having slept with a cute and spritely elf girl, only for his friend Zel to admonish him for sleeping with “an old hag”. It’s at this point we learn the differences between priorities when it comes to desirability in a sexual partner. Stunk (and the audience) sees a cute elf girl as a cute girl and therefore desirable but Zel, a fellow elf sees that she’s actually 500 years old and therefore stinks of “rotten mana” and instead preferences a 50 year old human woman, remarking how “humans are the best because you’re never going to find one over a hundred [years old]”.

An example of the review format. Lots of these in the first volume, lots of reading.

So it’s a comedy then? Didn’t I make that clear? It’s absolutely a comedy first and an ecchi (or whatever) second. I’m not the first to make this comparison but it’s got more than a little bit in common with the anime ‘Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt’ in that its main characters are perverted and crude and obsessed with sex. The only difference is that ‘Interspecies Reviewers’ 100% commits to format and contains pages and pages of detailed descriptions that almost makes it feel like overkill.

I wanna meet these Limim.

Do I sense a negative incoming? Not a “negative” but rather an ‘unexpected’–in that I didn’t expect to be reading so much in a sex-comedy series. It’s all good stuff, it’s all interesting and entertaining but there’s a lot of it so just prepare yourself for it. That’s all i’m saying…

Anything else you wanted to add? For me the most interesting character is Crimvael the angel–not just because of the idea of a fallen angel frequenting fantasy brothels is inherently funny to me–but because this character actually possess both genders (something the other two protagonists don’t know about) and so his experience with sex is very different to the almost painfully heterosexual Stunk and Zel. There’s a great scene where the three of them go to a brothel that has a spell that turns its customers into the opposite gender and while Stunk and Zel decide to go for purey lesbian experiences, Crimvael picks a hyena woman who we later learn are a species who have penises (and ones larger than hyena men for that matter!)

Who knew “chub” could be a sound effect!

Right, so a bisexual trap character? I mean, sure, if you want to put it that way.

What? What’s wrong with that I said? Probably a lot, but what I mean is that this series highlights just how ridiculous the fact that gender and sexuality is something some people consider to be absolutely binary. It’s not, and the sooner people realise that gender and sexuality is fluid the sooner we can get rid of pointless labels that are used to persecute and minimise those who are perceived as “different”.

Some women have dicks, deal with it!

Well this review took a turn… Yeah, they tend to when I’m involved…

Anyway, final review and recommendation for ‘Interspecies Reviewers’ Volume 1? While almost entirely focused on sex, its presented in such a cartoon-y and “rounded” visual style that I think even people who aren’t traditionally “into” ecchi manga could enjoy this. Yes it’s still sexy but it’s also silly and funny but with an exhaustive attention to detail that draws the reader into the world. Certainly not for prudes, as there’s discussions of genitals and orgasms and sexual fluids aplenty but likewise it’s never truly gross–it’s just honest. But then maybe I’ve spent a bit too much time reading actual hentai doujins so this just seems quaint by comparison…

I want to learn more about this ragtag trio of snake person, fairy and sentient lobster who all enjoy orgies.

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

The Most “Isekai” Isekai Anime Ever Made – ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ Episode 1 and 2 Review

The Most “Isekai” Isekai Anime Ever Made – An Anime QandA Review for ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ Episode 1 and 2

wisemansgrand1n2

What’s the show? Wise Man’s Grandchild, Episode 1 and 2.

And what’s it about? It’s just about the most “isekai” isekai anime ever made. Take the ‘overworked salaryman living in Tokyo’ trope, add the ‘tragic death that leads to a reincarnation in another world’ trope, throw in a splash of ‘reincarnated protagonist has abilites far-exceeding the ~normal~ people of their new world’ and let’s not forget ‘new world is a typical fantasy world with monsters and magic’. And that’s just the basic premise–that doesn’t even begin to account for character tropes like ‘older protagonist is suddenly a young boy’, ‘protagonist has wizened mentor who was once an epic hero’, ‘protagonist meets attractive young girls by the end of the first episode’ and ‘protagonist is self aware, comments knowingly on his surroundings, etc’.

You say it like it’s a bad thing!

Sounds kind of derivative if I’m honest… you’d think so, but no this show’s actually pretty damn great!

Huh?! Yep, it’s got that trope too! But seriously, if we’re to talk about ‘isekai’ as a genre for a moment I’ve got to at least admit my stance on the genre–that being, I don’t understand why so many people have a problem with it. But then again I’m like that with most genres that are poarising within the anime community: ‘Moe’? Love it! ‘Harem’? Gimme. ‘Ecchi’? Can’t get enough. And likewise ‘Isekai’ falls favourably amongst those genres in my list of anime preferences. And while I was quick to call this “the most ‘Isekai’ Isekai anime ever made” I absolutely mean that as a compliment.

Two best girls for the price of one!

And how exactly? You have to justify that against examples, not just opinions? Okay fine. Our protagonist, Shin is a bit like Kazuma from ‘Konosuba’ except his sarcastic droll is used sparingly rather than being the defining character trait. Likewise he’s a champion of the downtrodden (as long as they are a cute girl) harking back to the likes of Subaru from ‘Re:Zero’. The fantasy world its set in evokes such recent fare as ‘Endro!’ and the magical school which serves as the base is reminiscent of ‘Little Witch Academia’ (and by extension Hogwarts from the ‘Harry Potter’ series. And of course there’s myriad comparisons both thematically and narratively to ‘That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime’ not the least the idea of an overpowered protagonist who can ~almost~ do anything.

Time for school!

Okay, but how does “evoking” other series’ make it good? Isn’t it just lazy? It’s kind of hard to explain–it’s like it takes the best elements from each series it’s inspired by and distills them down to its core components then presents them in a way which is interesting and borderline parody to the audience.

Oh… so it’s a comedy? I don’t know if I’d go that far. I mean it’s funny, but for me a “parody” doesn’t necessarily mean to lampoon or ‘make fun of’ the subject in question–it’s equally paying reverence and respect to the subject matter in question. It’s still an isekai and is beholden to the rules of said genre.

Thank goodness for subtitles!

Right, and what’s something about the series that you think is unique? Well I can’t say to have seen all the isekai out there, so maybe this isn’t unique but a continuing thread throughout the two episodes is how Shin’s immense power is both a blessing and a curse. In that he is capable of miraculous magical feats the likes no-one in this world has ever seen, but at the same rate–should his powers be made known to the general public he would be seen as a threat to world peace. Wars would be waged in order to gain his allegiance, his advanced magical abilities would upset the balance of power the world over. Basically he’s a human atomic bomb and whoever has him is the new world power and no-one wants that…

Overpowered is an understatement!

Anything else to add? I could go on and on, there’s just so much to these first two episodes that it seems like a disservice to being anything but thorough but part of the fun in this show is just experiencing it.

Sounds like you’re about to wrap up then, final recommendation for ‘Wise Man’s Grandchild’ Episode 1 and 2? I almost didn’t watch this show–it wasn’t in my ‘Spring Watch List’ and the only thing that brought it to my attention was its stellar OP that made its way to Number 2 on my list of Best Spring 2019 Anime OP’s. But not only am I glad I watched this show, I think it stands (so far) as a testament to what can be done within the confines of the “familiar”. Yes, this is an ‘isekai’ and by most measures a fairly standard one–it doesn’t strive for ‘weird’ or ‘edgy’ or ‘ultra-violent’ or ‘overtly-ecchi’ it’s just an isekai done very well and by that same measure an isekai done ‘very isekai’–which should ~never~ be a negative thing to say!

Actual best girl. She has like 1 minute screen time but I want more of her please!

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

Getting Wet – ‘Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?’ Episode 2 Review

Getting Wet – An Anime QandA Review for ‘Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?’ Episode 2

why-the-hell-are-you-here-teacher2

What’s the show? Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!? Episode 2.

And how’s this episode? There’s a certain fear that comes from a comedy having a predictable gimmick, I mentioned it briefly in my review for the second episode of ‘Ao-chan Can’t Study!’ as well–but comedy often works most effectively when it’s unexpected. Sure some classic comedy can be funny no matter how many times you watch it but some comedy relies on ‘shock factor’ to garner laughs and ‘Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?’ walks an uneasy line between being clever enough to warrant multiple views (or just multiple turns at a joke) and being a one-trick pony banking on the lowest common denominator.

Damn if she isn’t cute as heck though…

That sounds like a criticism… It might be, but I’m just being honest. I think this show is genuinely clever with its turn-of-phrase and comedic timing and VA performances and it also happens to trade in the kind of silly/sexy shenanigans that people write off as juvenile. A “thing” can be multiple things, a “thing” can be smart ~and~ dumb.

Ultimate underboob!

Kinda sounds like you’re just making excuses to defend some horny show you like. And is that so wrong? It does what it does extremely well… it also has some surprisingly romantic moments which makes all the shenanigans almost serve a purpose beyond the facile. I mean, we go from boner jokes to having Kana-sensei meeting Kana’s kid sister and mother in the space of a few minutes! (Yes, I know there’s more to it than that but I’m trying to make a point here!)

Spoiler alert, its his dick!

So this episode is still focused on Sato and Kana–didn’t you say last week that there were four teachers and four students? Yes, and that’s still true, I just think the show is going to more or less wrap up the story for each of the characters in 3 consecutive episodes before moving onto the next pairing. In a series that obviously wants to forge a connection between the couple in question and the audience this is the smartest narrative strategy–even if it makes for a slightly more repetitive experience overall. Personally I’m just excited to meet the tanned teacher in the swimsuit, I already know she’s best girl based on looks alone!

I uh, I um… I’ve got nothing witty to say here…

Previous ‘Why the Hell are You Here, Teacher!?’ Reviews:

Learning Love The Hard Way – Episode 1 Review


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

Laying Down The Law – ‘Amazing Stranger’ Episode 2 Review

Laying Down The Law – An Anime QandA Review for ‘Amazing Stranger’ Episode 2

amazingstranger2

What’s the show? Amazing Stranger, Episode 2.

And how’s this episode? You know what, kudos where kudos is due–this show is pretty unpredictable.

Oh yeah, how so? Well I haven’t seen a lot (a.k.a, any) of these ‘toys that come alive’ anime but I didn’t expect things to escalate as quickly as they did. The first episode had our male protagonist seemingly hellbent on making sure Nona not realise she was a “fictional” character in his favourite anime and a part of me thought it was going to keep up that farce until at least episode 9, but nope, episode 2 drops the bombshell on Nona that she’s a fictional character and, uh… she takes it surprisingly well! Or surprisingly sexist… I’m not quite sure…

*existential crisis intensifies*

Oh dear… what happens? Well after spending the majority of her free days watching television she comes to the conclusion that she needs to marry Haruto–why? Well because being a housewife means she can sit home, eat chocolate and watch more television all day without any guilt!

I’ve eaten those chocolates before! They’re okay…

Oof. But it’s okay because she’s savvy and self-aware and finds his “thin book” collection (a.k.a. Porn doujin’s of her) and decides to punish him for being an otaku pervert and… Yeah that’s all a lot of silly fun but uh…

What’s this “Uh…” what’s wrong? I called this show “unpredictable” earlier–which I stand by–but it’s also something else that I almost dare not say…

Best part of the episode.

What? What is it?! It’s kind of sitcom-y.

Oh no, that’s the same complaint you had about ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ isn’t it? Yeah… and I know it’s a kind of facile complaint, annoyed that something is “good” because it evokes a familiar Western sentiment. But I don’t watch anime for the familiar, of even the “unpredictable” familiar–I watch it for its’ subversiveness. And while this show has plenty of the requisite subversiveness I crave (I mean all the otaku references are an absolute goldmine!) the show feels a bit too safe for my liking. This isn’t an ecchi, it’s hardly even ecchi-adjacent–just because Nona wears a skimpy outfit doesn’t qualify it by default as “ecchi”. And much like the aforementioned show, I enjoy this show quite a lot but it’s yet to position itself as something truly subversive. And until it does I’ll just be left smiling politely and then promptly forgetting it once it’s over.

And she means with a real woman or fictional ones! She’s a strict one!

If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

Sizing Things Up – ‘Ao-chan Can’t Study!’ Episode 2 Review

Sizing Things Up – An Anime QandA Review for ‘Ao-chan Can’t Study!’ Episode 2

aochan2

What’s the show? Ao-chan Can’t Study! Episode 2.

And how’s this episode? They might as well have titled this episode ‘Comedic Misunderstandings’ because it’s a gradual compounding of more and more misunderstandings both on the part of Ao and Takumi to the point I’m surprised they fit so much in in such a short running time!

You won’t know ’til you try!

And are they funny? Yes and no. It’s a sort of inundation of the same type of joke (albeit with different outcomes) and while they are separately funny just the sheer number of them concurrently makes the experience feel a bit samesy. Which is a shame, because there’s good comedic writing here and with voice performances to back it up–plus the fact that the start of the episode revolves around a legitimately interesting concept as ‘Ao being afraid Takumi’s penis will be too big for her’ only for it to seemingly forgotten by the end of it.

I love her eyes.

Excuse me?! Oh, she overhears some classmates talking about how big Takumi’s penis is and so begins to worry, first confirming with her father that a big penis can be painful for the woman then trying to determine how big he is by sneaking a peek. She doesn’t get that far mind you, only getting as far as his hands which are also big, much to her concern. And I like that this is being discussed in an anime (even if it is mostly for laughs) I think in general these types of things should be talked about when it comes to relationships–it’s only natural after all.

10 minutes into “anime and chill” and she gives you this look.

Uh-huh, anything else you want to add? Ao’s father comes off as less belligerent and juvenile in this episode–which was good to see a different side of his character–makes him less 1 dimensional like he kind of came off as last week.

No comment.

So overall? Bit of a mixed bag, the comedy wasn’t as diverse as last week, but there was still an effort to grow both Ao’s character and the budding relationship between her and Takumi–which was nice. The shorter format almost seems more conducive to comedy so I appreciate when time is spent on character development, hoping for more in future episodes!

I’m not sure I get the reference but I still laughed.

Previous ‘Ao-chan Can’t Study!’ Reviews:

Study Buddies – Episode 1 Review


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

Time For Change – ‘YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World’ Episode 2 Review

Time For Change – An Anime QandA Review for ‘YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World’ Episode 2

yu-no2

What’s the show? YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World, Episode 2.

And how’s this episode? As you may recall from my last episode review I was intrigued by the premise and execution of the show. I was, however, less than impressed with the perverted antics of our protagonist who himself felt like a relic from an earlier age of anime where these kinds of antics were excused as “boys will be boys” rather than being called out in such behaviour as he would in a modern anime.

Steins;Gate reference!

Uh-huh, I recall… so what about it? Well the opening minutes of this episode has our protagonist discovering the function of the device his father left for him. It can manipulate timelines, allowing him to make an action then go back and make a different action resulting in a divergent timeline. And immediately I was worried about what kind of shenanigans he would get involved in considering he had a blank check for (further) sexually related consequence free mischief.

Blue haired girl whose name I’ve forgotten is best girl (so far).

Oh no. Indeed, but turns out those fears were (for now) unjustified as he only uses it to attempt the rescue of his step-mother from the hands of thugs who are trying to get their hands on her father’s research papers. He first tries a diplomatic approach–fails. Changes timelines and tries a violent approach–fails. Changes timelines again with a borderline suicidal approach–and fails at which point one of his step mother’s colleagues shows up to “save the day” and the episode kind of ends on a weird tonally ambiguous cliffhanger.

He’s pretty heroic (with the ability to turn back time up his sleeve).

Right. And is that all that happens in the episode? No, there’s some stuff early on that’s ~probably~ important but is more just half filler/half laying groundwork for future stuff. Compared to the first episode this one was kind of dull but likewise a bit more subdued and less ‘throwing everything at the screen to try and grab people’s attention’ which helps establish a more consistent tone and narrative pace–though at the pace we’re currently going I’m glad this is a 26 episode series as it’s going to need the time to get to what it wants to do (whatever that may be).

As many times as it takes!

I see. Anything else you want to add? A lot of time in science-fiction, especially when discussing things as complicated as alternate universes’ and branching actions causing new realities–things can get bogged down in a lot of techno-babble. That’s why I appreciated this show’s straightforward visual approach to explaining and then demonstrating the specifics of this show’s alternate reality theories. It’s nothing particularly unique but it was easy to grasp the basics of after a single viewing.

What a terrible world…

And how’s your recommendation stand from last week? If you were put off by how ‘ecchi-adjacent’ some of the scenes were and the actions of the protagonist this episode tones things down considerably–that’s not to say it won’t return to last week’s ~shenanigans~ but for the time being the focus seems to be on the story and the characters.

Nerd!

Previous YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World’ Reviews:

Blast From The Past – Episode 1 Review


If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2