My First Girlfriend is a Gal – 20 Question Anime Review (Moderate Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for My First Girlfriend is a Gal.

What’s the show? My First Girlfriend Is A Gal (2017).

Hmm, not to get all “heteronormative” on you, as you so like to claim I constantly do, but well obviously a girlfriend is a gal, am I missing something here? It’s okay I forgive you for you for how painfully straight you are. But to answer your question, yes ‘gal’ is a Japanese term; it comes from the word ‘gyaru’ which refers to a specific type of girl.

Oh? How to explain this in the way a ‘filthy normie’ would understand. Oh right, I don’t need to I can just let the English dub do it for me. Gals are like, you know, total valley girl bitches! Like you know whatever!

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Isn’t that all high school boys think about after all?

I think I see what you’re getting at, so stereotypically shallow, wear lots of make up, love shopping and socialising? Yeah pretty much, the funny thing is…

What? Well, I don’t usually watch shows with the English dub, and it’s even rarer that I’ll bother to check out multiple episodes in both formats if I’ve decided on one or the other, but the original Japanese version and the English dub are like two completely different shows!

How so? Well the Japanese version is a romantic comedy whereas the American version is a bawdy sex comedy.

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Let me just squeeze pass here…

But isn’t the only difference the dialogue, how can it make that much of a difference? Episode 8, beach episode, one of the supporting characters enters the scene with a water pistol and shoots the main guy. In the Japanese original her subtitles read simply “I’m joining in, prepare yourself”, in the English dub she says “That’s right I’m a squirter, better watch your back”.

Huh, that’s quite the liberties taken… Which might be okay, if it weren’t nearly every line of dialogue, there’s a difference between making an adaptation relevant to a Western audience and completely re-writing the script! Every opportunity for innuendo is seized upon and none of it is in the original subtitles. It’s like, it’s like, okay I’m going to make a very specific reference here so try and follow along.

Okay. It’s like when those semi-racist TV-shows of the 90’s used to re-dub clips of foreign movies with intentionally comedic and out-of-context dialogue to get some cheap laughs.

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Don’t mess with Ranko.

I get what you’re saying, but what’s the problem? Just go back to watching the Japanese subbed version instead, like you did with Dagashi Kashi and Food Wars! *whispers* come closer, I need to tell you a secret and I don’t want the others to hear this…

Uh… okay. What is it? The English dub is really f**king funny.

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Torturing pervy virgins is fun!

So what’s the problem then? Are you kidding me? You can’t just rewrite someone’s material just because you thought of some funnier lines than the original. This isn’t a Hollywood remake, it’s an English dub, it’s supposed to be a ‘translation’ not an ‘adaptation’. Also, I don’t want to sound like I’m siding with those assholes who took down Funimation’s website because the dub decided to throw in some Trump jokes, I don’t care what the jokes are and I don’t care about politics, that’s not the issue here.

But the plot is the same surely, what’s it about anyway? It’s about virginal nerd Junichi and his desire to get a girlfriend, he decides to confess his love to busty blonde ‘gal’ Yukana, despite her being fifty seas out of his league, but to his surprise and adulation she decides to go out with him. The rest of the series is their awkward but kind of adorable courtship and the various obstacles that are thrown up along the way.

Obstacles such as? Such as her overaggressive best-friend Ranko, a fellow gal who may or may not have a thing for Yukana and Junichi—just not the two of them together. And of course there’s Nene, the ever dependable and clingy childhood friend who has the third largest set of breasts of any anime girl I’ve ever seen.

Also she’s 140cm tall, or 4ft 5in. I can’t even imagine what Nene would look like irl.

Is she your best girl then? How dare you! No, actually, in this show I’m actually torn between our main love interest Yukana just because of the seriously noteworthy amount of character development she’s given and the smart, sultry mysterious third(fourth?) girl to the burgeoning harem Yui.

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The show should be told from her perspective.

Seems like you do like this show. It’s funny I went into the review with the intention to write a negative review, at least negative for me. But the more I talked about it the more I realised how much I like it, even if it pisses me off how the English dub is both simultaneously, a travesty to ideas of authorship integrity and also much much funnier.

What were the negatives though? Oh, well Junichi even though he starts off as a ‘good guy’ has too many moments where you wonder what on Earth Yukana sees in him, especially towards the end of the season. Also, Junichi’s 3 schoolyard charms are very hit and miss when it comes to their comedy, and downright obnoxious when it comes to their ogling.

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You don’t wanna know what the chubby one’s thinking.

So how do you review a show like this? I don’t know… like this I suppose, what you’ve been reading. If you watched it in Japanese only and thought it was dull then watch the dub. If you watched it in English and thought it was crass and dumb then watch the sub. If you’ve watched neither… I don’t know, watch whatever you think will satisfy you better, an authentic but kinda dull romantic comedy or a very funny but inaccurately dubbed imitation.

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If only every episode could have been as interesting as episodes 9 & 10.

Great but that’s not what I meant, how do you review a show like this. What score do you give something that’s essentially two different things? I… I don’t know. Quick, put me on the spot and make me decide!

Final score! The worst thing that can be said for the Japanese version is that it’s frequently dull, that in of itself deserves a score of 65 out of 100. The English version, while occasionally hilarious is an inaccurate representation of the actual product, but the issues of character and plot and tone persist despite the added comedy, an appropriate but not much better 69 out of 100GalGif4

 

A Sister’s All You Need – 20 Question Anime Review (Mild Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for A Sister’s All You Need.

What’s the show? A Sister’s All You Need (2017).

And what’s it ab- this is siscon again isn’t it? Easy now Mr. Judgmental. Just because it’s an anime and it has the word sister in the title doesn’t mean it’s about someone who wants to fuck their sister, geez!

Alright, fine, sorry, what’s it about? Itsuki Hashima is a 20 year old light novelist and he is obsessed with little sisters-

Stop! You said it wasn’t about that! No I didn’t! I said it wasn’t about a guy who wants to fuck his sister, he doesn’t even have a sister!*

Okay, well continue then- wait what’s with the asterix? Don’t mind, don’t mind.

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From left to right: Itsuki, Nayuta, bowl of persimmons, Haruto and Miyako.

Fine, continue with the synopsis… So he’s obsessed with little sisters, his published novels are all about little sisters and romancing them, but it’s not really a show about that. It’s more about the relationships he has with his friends and colleagues, and his daily life as an author and the hardships of being a writer.

Okay, fine, so his ‘sister complex’ is just a facet of his personality and not a motivating plot point. I can deal with that. Well I mean it does embody the majority of his personality, but yes there’s a lot of other characters in this anime, and without them and the various interactions this show would be pretty one-note. But the supporting characters are so good, that any personality deficiencies and perversions the protagonist have almost become palatable.

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It’s research for his novel!

So who are these other characters? Well there’s busty genius Nayuta, who is a novelist herself, though her works are far more critically acclaimed than Itsuki’s. She has been a fan of his work for years and is madly in love with him and is also a complete and utter pervert. Then there’s Miyako, who is a mutual friend of the two, who previously went to college with Itsuki until he dropped out to pursue his career proper. And then there’s Haruto, another novelist and self proclaimed “cool and handsome” one. Oh and of course there’s Chihiro, Itsuki’s doting and kindly younger stepbrother.*

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He’s very popular with the ladies.

Again with the asterix?! What are you doing? Shhhh.

Ugh, I don’t like it when you keep secrets from me… so what’s it about, slice of life perhaps? Apparently it’s a ‘Romantic Comedy’ according to Wikipedia! I mean it’s not an unfair description, it has romantic elements and it is certainly funny at times. But try not to get your Western ideas of ‘Romantic Comedies’ mixed up when presuming what this show is like. Remember the protagonist is unabashed and unashamed about his sexual proclivities and the dialogue is among some of the most risqué and perverse you’ll find in a non-hentai/eroge series.

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May Contain Traces of Nuts

I see… Literally the opening scene of the anime contains some of the most outlandish sister-oriented erotica I’ve seen, yes it’s not actually happening and is just in an unpublished manuscript that Itsuki is presenting to his long suffering editor Kenjiro, but it’s a pretty good litmus test for whether you’re ready for the kind of dialogue that’s contained within.

So it’s a romantic comedy for men? It’s demographic is male, but no it’s certainly not just for men, my irl waifu was ready to quit the show after watching that opening scene but quickly she was caught up with the characters and their complex relationships and by the end she was begging for a second season.

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Totally normal behaviour, though to be fair she is astounding honest with her feelings.

High praise, well assuming she’s not a pervert like you. There are no perverts like me, only me.

Why does that quote sound familiar… anyway, I presume there’s a best girl to be had? Of course! Hmm, I mean they’re all great in their own way but if I had to pick it’d probably be Chihiro…

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Look at those bright eyes!

Okay cool… wait, wait! Didn’t you say Chihiro was his younger brother? *He’s actually a girl.

Whoa! Did you just spoil something major? I don’t know, I don’t think so. I mean he/she/they appear in episode 1 and within seconds I was like, “that’s a girl, she’s a girl.” Not to presume gender of course, but this is Japan and it’s an anime so things like gender fluidity aren’t really discussed so I mean it was pretty obvious from the get go. At least I and the irl waifu thought so, if this is a big spoiler, then sorry?

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Also research, but for her novel.

Hmm, okay, I guess I’ll let that slide… Oh and btw, I was just setting up that reveal; Chihiro’s not really my best girl. It’s definetly Kaiko, Kaiko best girl.

Wait, who? You never mentioned her either? There’s a lot of characters I’ve yet to mention, but I can’t say too much about her lest I fall into spoiler territory, let’s just say ‘panties’ and leave it at that.

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Always have a spare on hand.

*sigh* Anyone else you’re going to spring on me? Like Setsuna? I absolutely love his character design/outfit, he’s an artist working for the same company as Itsuki and they have a great dynamic. And then there’s Ashley, Itsuki’s sadistic tax accountant who may look like a loli but is actually 32 years old!

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It was hard to find an image of Setsuna’s outfit in full so I’ll have to settle for one of his less than dignified moments…

Right, let’s wrap this up otherwise I don’t think you’ll ever shut up. Final recommendation? I could keep going, I really could, I didn’t even touch upon so many of the great things about this show, like when the gang gather round to play board games or their love of alcohol. Yes! That’s another thing that’s so great about this show, the majority of them are adults and drinkers and writers, and I’m all these things! Finally characters I can relate to and not just because they’re perverts (which they are also but that’s beside the point!) I didn’t expect to like this show as much as I would but it is an instant classic, and even if hearing terms like siscon and lolicon put you off I’d still recommend this show, it’s just that good and is absolutely worth your time. Pour me another one, 93 out of 100.

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How else are you supposed to eat hard boiled eggs? If you know of a better way I’d like to hear it!

Monster Musume – 20 Question Anime Review (Mild Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Monster Musume.

What’s the show? Monster Musume: Everyday Life With Monster Girls.

Right. And what’s it about? Body positivity.

Ah, okay. Cool, what else? Sexy sexy monster ladies.

That’s what I assumed you would have said first, so harem anime then? Indeed!

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So who are these characters? Miia, is a Lamia (snake girl) and the first of protagonist Kimihito’s burgeoning harem, taking part in an interspecies cultural exchange and thus living under his roof, much to his conflicted feelings. Later joins Papi the Harpy (bird girl), Centorea the Centaur (horse girl), Suu the Slime (the blue one), Mero the Mermaid (duh) and Rachnera the Arachne (yikes a spider!) They all end up living under the one roof, vying for “darling’s” affections while trying to get along with each other and dealing with a world that’s only recently become aware of the existence of Liminals (monster girls).

Right, talk about a full house *cues Full House intro music* I don’t know what that is, but cool reference bro?

Shuddup. So, I have an awkward question, and I feel like I’m going to offend someone by saying this but I have to since it’s my job and all but… well, monster girls + harem, are these characters supposed to be sexy? Because I’m not really feeling it… OH. MY. GOD. I can’t believe you just said that! How racist do you want to be?

They aren’t real races so it’s not racist; I was just asking the question… No, stop! Don’t you dare say another bad word about my monster waifus!

So I take it that some people do find them attractive then? Yeah mate and you’re talking to one, want to fight about it?!

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Sorry, I’m not here to judge you for what you find attractive, different stokes and all that… [Crude joke about ‘stroking something’, deemed too obscene for wordpress.com].

Okay then… so let’s get back on topic. What’s the show about besides ogling monster girls? A lot actually! Well, not really with regard to plot, but when it comes to character development this show delivers! Every one of the girls has their various likes and dislikes and dissonant personalities that either clash or compliment with other girls and that of Kimihito. For some girls he almost ends up feeling more like a father figure or big brother, whereas other girls are exceedingly attracted to him because of his boundless compassion towards monster girls no matter what they look like!

I said I was sorry! I’ll forgive you once you pick one of them to be your ‘best girl’.

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What? No, I don’t do that, I’m not into anime like you are. DO IT! Or I’ll turn this blog around and no one is going to Disneyland!

Fine! Uh… ah, I mean, I guess… the mermaid? BOO! No one likes Mero, you fail, you only picked her because you’ve been preconditioned by the Disney corporation!

What’s with all these Disney references? I DON’T KNOW.

And all the shouting? I don’t know…

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Fine then, who is your best girl? Probably Papi, I mean she is a bit of a birdbrain but she has the best booty and you know I’m all about the booty. But then there’s Rachnera, yes she’s a spider, which is like a totally bad time for an arachnophobe like me, but she’s absolutely the kinkiest of the bunch into BDSM and all that. But then there’s Suu, and well yeah she’s a slime and almost kills ‘darling’ on more than a few occasions by nearly drowning him in her cleavage but being able to change her cup size on the fly has to make for some good variety. But then there’s Centorea, she’s just so noble and pure and devoted and did somebody say I-cup, yowza! Oh but then there’s Miia, she’s been there since the beginning and well if there’s anyone who is DTF amongst the monster girls it’s her!

Jesus! You didn’t even put this much thought into your entire Steins;Gate review, and that was about as something as complicated as time travel! What can I say; I take the business of ‘best girl’ very seriously.

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More like you’re a serious pervert… Hey! What did I say about kink shaming? None of that here thank you very much!

Fine, final verdict? I could talk all day about this show, and not just because I’m into monster girls, what I’m into is well rounded characters with flaws and hang ups and genuine emotions as they deal with a world that’s often less accepting of the parts of them that makes them different from other stereotypical beautiful girls out there. As a protagonist and centre of a harem anime, Kimihito is admittedly kind of bland but he’s also unfailing kind, accommodating and understanding of every monster girl he comes into contact with, not just those who live with him. It’s something that’s not only admirable but also endearing and should make whatever reservations you have about this kind of show (harem/ecchi/fan-service, etc.) feel minor. Yes he’s attracted to these girls, but he also treats and acknowledges them all as unique individuals and seeks to make each of their lives better no matter the cost to himself. A monstrous 89 out of 100.

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Highschool DxD – 20 Question Anime Review (Mild Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Highschool DxD.

What’s the show? Highschool DxD?

And what’s it about? Broadly, an uneasy three-way truce between Angels, Demons and Fallen Angels and trying to keep that truce lest all hell breaks loose and everyone on Earth is subjected to a war of biblical proportions.

Hey, that sounds kind of cool, a bit like ‘Supernatural’? ‘Supernatural’, oh you mean the one-season anime about two brothers travelling across America killing demons?

No I mean the (as of this writing) 13 season, US live-action TV show, about two brothers travelling across America killing demons. If it’s not anime, I don’t care.

Anyway, so you said that’s what the show is broadly about so what is it really about? Boobs!

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Of course it is. Is it a harem anime? Yes, and one of the best ones at that.

So what quantifies a good harem anime over a bad one? A likable male protagonist, female characters who are genuinely good friends with each other and have interests other than the protagonist. Plus having a genuinely interesting and well-developed story as a backdrop to the harem shenanigans is always a big winner.

So it’s a good story too then? Hey, it’s legitimately so good that you could make an edit of the show without any fan service or harem subplots and the show would still stand up on it’s own.

What is the plot then? Just quickly. Hyodo Issei is a bit of a loser and quite a lot of a pervert when one day he is killed by a fallen angel because he secretly possess a great powerful and ancient weapon. He is resurrected by demon, President of the occult research society and all around flawless specimen Rias Gremory who sees in him great potential and decides to train him as a part of her household.

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Would you say the harem side of the show is unnecessary? The harem side of the story contributes to the plot; it makes sense in-universe why all these powerful girls would be attracted to him and none of the girls are in love with him just because of what he is but rather non-supernatural things, like his kindness or his braveness or his determination or his compassion.

Cool, and so you mentioned something about boobs before? Oh yeah! Issei is kind of a fiend when it comes to boobs, his story arc for the first season is that he wants to touch Rias Gremory’s boobs – consensually of course.

A-ha… what was that about ‘kindness, braveness, determination and compassion’ before? Hey! You can be all those things and a pervert; they’re not mutually exclusive.

So who’s your best girl? Rias Gremory is the easy pick, just because we get so much more of her back-story than any of the other girls, though that changes as things go on. As of season one Rias is best girl but I reserve the choice to change my mind come future seasons.

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Changing best girl? Isn’t there some kind of rule about that? Is there?

I don’t know… I thought I could be cool and pretend like I knew something about anime that you didn’t. You’ll never be as cool as me.

If being ‘cool’ means owning an anime body pillow then I think I’ll pass. Don’t you talk bad about my Rize-chan!

Ahem, so you mentioned other seasons? Three seasons, soon to four come mid-2018.

That’s a lot of boobs! You’re telling me!

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Any thing else to say about Highschool DxD? Even if the idea of harem and fanservice heavy anime isn’t all that appealing to you, there are enough interesting plot points, exciting action scenes and well-developed characters to carry the show through. If however you are into fanservice and beautiful girls and the kind of humour that can come from a well-written harem, then Highschool DxD is heartily recommended. 88 out of 100.

Heh, 88 looks like two sets of boobs. Now who’s the pervert?

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