Caught Between A Sister And A Hot Sensei – ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Full Season Review

Caught Between A Sister And A Hot Sensei – A Full Season Review for ‘Domestic Girlfriend’



What’s the show? Domestic Girlfriend.

And what’s it about? It rapidly becomes a very convoluted series so I’ll try and surmise the essential points. Natsuo is at a mixer, when a quietly spoken but assertive girl named Rui offers herself to him sexually. He agrees (because he’s a guy and she’s cute) but his heart lies with his teacher Hina whom he has an unrequited love for. Natsuo’s widowed father announces that he has met someone and they’re getting married. Turns out he’s marrying a woman who is mother to both Rui and Hina. They’re sisters, they’re about to become his step-sisters and they’re all going to live under the same roof!

Yep, sex in an anime, it’s rare but it happens!

Well that’s certainly a lot of coincidences for sake of dramatic potential, isn’t it? And that’s only the first episode! The number of plot convolutions that this show throws at its audience is tantamount to long-running soap opera! But it never (at least for me) wades into the cheesy, trashy depths of pure soap opera because of the level of restraint this show has with regards to its overall execution. Yes it has a few comedic moments that elicit an eye roll or two, but these feel like real human characters going through an unreal situation.

Hot for teacher (To be fair she is very hot).

And about the characters? They’re mostly very good, despite the questionable things they do to one another and get caught up in you can never hate them for it and in some instances they’re even more relatable for their flaws and poor relationship decisions. Rui is best girl though—there’s no denying that!

And what’s something that you didn’t like about the show? As I mentioned both in my first and second episode reviews there’s a noticeable difference in emotional maturity between the episodes that could initially turn some viewers off as I almost was with episode one. Also, as with any show where the protagonist is making relationship choices that most people would view as counter-intuitive it can get a bit frustrating sometimes but never enough to make it unpleasant to watch.

*tongue kissing sounds intensify*

Anything else to add? Yes, actually. This series actually has a lot of fan-service–it’s just none of it really made it into the series–sure there’s the requisite cleavage shots, beach bikini shots and bath shots that make it into almost every anime. But the manga has nudity, likewise there’s ‘deleted scenes’ that have found their way onto the internet which are ~extremely~ steamy and show in detail Rui and Natsuo’s first time together.

I don’t really know why you felt the need to mention that– So I can show pictures of course!

Nope! Not gonna happen! There’s no way you can justify putting images that aren’t even from the actual season. If you want to post pictures of that put it in a separate post on the subject! Fine, maybe I’ll do just that!

Ugh, you’re the worst, you know that? Anyway, final recommendation and score for ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ please… Know what you’re getting into before watching this, having a certain frame of mind can help overcome what i’ll label as ~problematic~ elements of the show. Also don’t expect Shakespeare from what is clearly just soap-inspired frivolity with an emphasis on character drama. Just watch it and enjoy it for what it is, I know I did! 86 out of 100.

Anyone else need a shower?

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!



To Catch A Cheater – ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Episode 4 Review

To Catch A Cheater – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Episode 4


What’s the show? Domestic Girlfriend, Episode 4.

So how’s this episode? So last episode Natuso and Rui ‘teamed up’ to try and break-up Hina and the married man she’s having an affair with and through a series of awkward (but failed) meddlings they come up short but by some measure of a coincidence Hina and her boyfriend Shuu show up at the cafe they happen to be at (it’s not really that outlandish that they’d appear as it’s known information that they frequent the cafe) and so a showdown ensues!

Come here often?

A showdown? Well, I mean Natsuo gets angry at the dude for having a family and sleeping around, he’s a bit of smooth talker and explains the situation but it’s Rui who ends up silencing the dude by throwing a glass of water in his face and running away. Natsuo gives chase and comforts her, meanwhile Hina has to make the decision of her family or her lover.

Rui used ‘Splash’, it’s super effective!

And which decision does she make? Well she tells Hina and Natsuo that she chooses them over him but let’s face it, ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ so I’m not convinced that she isn’t lying to them for the sake of the family harmony. But then again I’m not approaching this like a conventional shonen manga–which it mostly is–and this being the end of the arc it could very well never come up again and this ‘affair’ could ~actually~ be over for good for all I know!


Anything else you wanted to add? I don’t like the way Natuso and Rui went about their whole “plan” especially the stealing of Hina’s phone and having Rui ‘pretend’ to be her sister in an attempt to break them up (it didn’t work because of Rui’s “social awkwardness). I mean I know these are teenagers and their ideas can’t exactly be expected to be stellar, but this was like something a 10 year-old would come up with! But I am at least glad the final decision for the break-up came from Hina and not any kind of forced ultimatum.

It’s not all black and white, kid.

Overall thoughts on the episode? It was probably the weakest one so far for me but at this point I’m pretty heavily invested in the series and its characters so I doubt anything it could do would make me jump ship at this point. Overall though this episode does more good than bad and that’s always a plus.


Previous ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Reviews:

Putting The F In Family – Episode 1 Review
Bathed In Secrets – Episode 2 Review
A Family Affair – Episode 3 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!



A Family Affair – ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Episode 3 Review

A Family Affair – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Episode 3


What’s the show? Domestic Girlfriend, Episode 3.

How’s this episode? This episode worried me a little as it veered headlong into soap territory with one of its plot developments but deftly managed to correct itself by delivering a compelling and emotionally charged series of dramatic set pieces infused with substantial character development.

Pain, frustration, regret. All rolled into one expression.

Wow. Okay then, that’s certainly substantial praise. I made a tweet after watching this episode saying something along the lines of “if you’d told me last year that this show would have been in my Top 3 anime of the season (so far) I wouldn’t have believed you.” Which is as much a comment on the quality of the show as it is the unexpectedness of it considering the zero interest I had in it and the fact it’s continued high quality outshines it’s initial impression.

Sounds like a… plan.

Okay, so what happens in this episode then? Well through a roundabout way (Natsuo’s friend overhears it while working at the cafe) we discover that the relationship troubles his teacher and new sister Hina has been having is that she’s in a relationship with a married man. He confronts her about it and is again rebuffed with the similar phrase “these are adult problems that don’t concern children”. Then in what can only be described as ‘a very bad idea’ he kisses her. She doesn’t pull away at first, but ~eventually~ does, giving him a slap for his actions—only to be pushed onto the bed where she kisses him.

The initial kiss.

Oh boy. And he’s taken off-guard by this action on her part, to the point where she’s perched above him and the only thing he can do is look on, shellshocked. She again remarks about him being a “child” and he returns to his room to think on what exactly happened. The next morning his father finds a note saying he’s going to stay with a friend for a while as he needs space and the parents naturally assume it’s because of their hasty remarriage and go into damage control meanwhile Hina knows the truth and the look of guilt on her face clues Rui into the situation too. Rui goes after Natsuo and eventually (and conveniently) finds him, the two are both unhappy with Hina’s actions (the dating a married man thing, not the kissing a minor) and so resolve to get her to change her ways. They return home to the sight of their parents sitting in the dark, contemplating divorce for the sake of their children which they are quick to clarify isn’t the reason for them running away from home. Hina comes downstairs and collapses to her knees in tears.

Words cut deep.

Sounds very dramatic. It is, and it’s told in a way that doesn’t pander to the audience, there’s no excessive rumination via internal monologues, no amateurish handling of feelings and no dodging difficult questions. I respect this show for its restraint on what could be mishandled into trashy drama but more so I respect the show for just being so compelling on an entertainment level too.

Plenty of powerful moments throughout.

Previous ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Reviews:

Putting The F In Family – Episode 1 Review
Bathed In Secrets – Episode 2 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!



Bathed In Secrets – ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Episode 2 Review

Bathed In Secrets – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Episode 2


What’s the show? Domestic Girlfriend, Episode 2.

So how’s this episode? There’s a line any given trashy drama can cross where it becomes more than just the surface level exploration of its topic and dives deeper. I call it, ‘When A Soap Drama Becomes A Real Drama’.

Uh-huh… What?

You speak with such authority but truth is you don’t really know anything, right? I mean if you’re going to be like that sure, but let’s just pretend I do for a minute for the sake of getting this review out, aight?

Well when you put it like that

Sure okay. So what did this show do that was so good? I don’t know…

Wow, so much for pretending like you knew what you were talking about? I think this is a ‘Goblin Slayer’ situation (yep, there’s a show I bet you didn’t think I’d be bringing up in these reviews) where the first episode had to entice with the ~big messy angsty stuff~ and then it’s left for the rest of the episodes to calm things down and put things in context and flesh out the characters. So while the first episode of ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ sought to entice through soap opera stylings to grab the audience, the subsequent episode brings things down to earth and as a result feels more realistic and humanistic as a result.

Yeah… she’s gonna cause Natsuo lots of trouble, I can pretty much predict that for certain.

Okay that I understood. Why didn’t you just say that from the start? You mean why did I go for a messy opening instead of just getting to the point right away? Almost like I did it on purpose…

You didn’t though, did you. No, it was a happy accident, but here we are!

Problematic line of the episode. I’ll discuss it in depth if it becomes a ~thing~ later on.

So what happens in the episode anyway? So in true anime style Rui transfers into Natsuo’s school and immediately fails the whole ‘making friends’ thing by speaking her mind rather than being polite. Natsuo schools her in the ways of being “sociable” only for that to escalate into a full blown quip-fest between Rui and Natsuo right in the middle of class which ends up doing double duty and endearing her classmates to Rui anyway. I really liked this scene, it showed strong writing and voice acting and managed to show a different side to both of these characters. More of this please!

Smiling assassin.

And the rest of the episode? There’s an intimate scene where Natsuo walks in on Rui having a bath, but rather than admonish him she invites him in and the two have a talk with the bit of information being dropped that Hina is having relationship troubles with her boyfriend. The next day Akihito and Tokiko (their parents, in case I didn’t mention their names) decide to get married at city hall and have dinner at a restaurant afterwards, meaning that it falls to eldest sibling Hina to cook. Or rather that’s what Natsuo presumes, given that she’s the oldest–turns out Hina can’t cook at all and Rui ended up dishing out the delicious meal. More points in Rui’s favour it would seem–not that Natsuo seems to notice, he’s too concerned with wanting to be the shoulder for her to cry on. But Hina’s too committed to playing the sensei/big sister role to offload her “adult” problems onto him. She gets a call on her phone, its her boyfriend, he’s outside and wants to talk to her. An hour later she comes back in on the verge of tears, clearly something happened but before he can get any information out of her their parents return from dinner.

*daijobu intensifies*

And that’s it? More or less. And this is probably what I meant when I said this show has gone from a ‘soap drama’ to a ‘real drama’–it’s not that anything presented here is suddenly more drama-filled or high-stakes–rather it’s that there’s a restraint and added sense of maturity to the proceedings that the first episode was lacking. And if the series can keep this balancing act up, being ~occasionally~ salacious while telling a compelling story with interesting and well-rounded characters, then I’m all for it!

Gotta include obligatory sexy Rui bath pic, people want those nude anime fan service screencaps!  (That oughta be enough keywords to ping this into image some search results!)

Previous ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Reviews:

Putting The F In Family – 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!



Putting The F In Family – ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Episode 1 Review

Putting The F In Family – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Episode 1


What’s the show? Domestic Girlfriend, Episode 1.

So how’s this episode? So this show wasn’t on my initial Winter 2019 Watch List because of stupid reasons (I only saw the Japanese title and confused it with another show) so when some murmurings around this show started to surface under its English title I was like “oh yeah, I’ve heard of that manga! I should watch the show!” Thus ends the exciting tale of why I’m watching this even though it wasn’t on my watch list.

Nobody cares, get to the review already! Okay fine! So diluted to its simplest this is a show about a guy who sleeps with a girl he has no feelings for (and vice versa) all the while crushing on his young and attractive teacher. Next minute his father announces he is getting remarried to a woman with two daughters and guess what his soon-to-be stepsisters are the girl he had sex with and the teacher he has a crush on! What are the odds?!

That’s the show.

That seems… Unlikely? Contrived? Ridiculous? Fanciful? Juvenile? Yes it is, all of the above! But since when has that stopped anime from indulging in the realm of the ~never gonna happen~.

So you’re okay with the premise? The premise is something out of a soap opera but whatever I’m not going to disparage a show for being ridiculous with its general conceit. What I can and will disparage is its execution! Despite framing itself as something of a ~serious~ romantic drama (what with the somewhat dull colour palette, minimalist design and emphasis on full face closeups) this is handled with all the subtlety and restraint and pace as a toddler eating spaghetti with a mallet. The entire episode felt like it was in such a rush to get to the place in the story where everyone was living together that it became almost comical to behold. And as such I couldn’t take any of it seriously because the show itself was so impatient.

Yes. Oh wait, you weren’t talking to me? Sorry… (the answer is still yes btw).

Maybe that was intentional though? Regardless of intent it came off as flimsy. But for me the worst thing about the show was that it felt like it was pandering to a very juvenile teenage boy fantasy, the idea of your sexy teacher and the girl you slept with once suddenly living in the same house as yours. And as I said the idea itself isn’t essentially flawed but framing it in such a try hard serious way came across as obnoxious.

Excuse me? Is Mr. Harem Anime trying to shame a series for pandering to teenage boys? I’m not shonen shaming, some of my favourite anime are shonens! The difference is 99% of the shows that I watch that “pander” are either self-aware enough to know that harems are ridiculous and unrealistic and play up to the idea with comic-relief or other kind of shenanigans to offset the “relationship” aspect of the series. Like if there was a bonafide, ‘multiple girls going after the same guy’ harem anime that took itself as serious as this show does I’d have the ~exact~ same complaints as I do with this show.

The bra on/no panties combo is a winner in my book. Wait, what do you mean I’m just putting this in for the sake of getting fan service hits on my site?!

Okay… I think I see what you’re getting at, you don’t like the show because it tries to hard to be serious when its not serious. Did I say I didn’t like it?

Oh, uh, well I just assumed given all the– No, I mean for whatever reason as much as this show has its problems, I still enjoyed the experience. That might seem unexpected but I legitimately did. Well, right up until the end…

Gotta love those close ups where anime characters suddenly have lips.

What happened at the end? Well his teacher is sleeping opposite him on the couch and she’s passed out drunk and lookin’ real sexy with her short little shorts and cleavage spiling top. And Mr protagonist has decided now that the family situation is the way it is, he’s never going to get a short at any kind of romantic relationship with her so he leans in, intent to steal a kiss–one first and final kiss from her unconscious lips… and then other girl walks in catching him mere moments from the deed. END CREDITS!

It’s easy. DON’T RAPE.

Oof~ the problematic rears its head again I see! Did you just “oof”? Anyway yes, problematic is one word for it, so is attempted sexual assault. Here’s a lesson for you kids, don’t try and kiss and unconscious person! Even if they don’t know it happened, it’s still assault! And yes, it’s no doubt going to be the catalyst for juicy messy ~drama~ but boy do I hate a male protagonist who only thinks of himself and not the women around him.

So you dislike the show now? I’m confused… No, as it is now the show itself hasn’t glorified, endorsed or even pardoned his actions–we won’t know the show’s stance on what ~almost~ happened until next episode. That said I’m not at all in a place where I could say I even like the main character now so that’s going to be a steep hill (among many) this show has to climb.

Get ’em girl!

…Okay. So overall thoughts on the first episode and a recommendation? Messy, messy, messy in every respect. It’s messily paced, messily handled, with messy characterisation and a very messy protagonist. Also, did you see I went the whole review without actually naming any of the characters? I think that goes a way to telling you exactly how I felt about most of the characters on the show–thoroughly disconnect. Just about the only character I did gravitate towards was the dad and that’s only because he’s shown to be the most endearing out of all of them! As for who I recommend it too… I don’t know, I suppose anyone with messy tastes in anime…

The end.

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!