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!

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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!


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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

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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.

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Rivals For Affection – ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Full Season Review

Rivals For Affection – An Full Season Review for ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’

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What’s the show? The Quintessential Quintuplets.

And what’s it about? Futaro Uesugi is a genius high-schooler who comes from a poor family, in order to help pay for the families bills he takes a job as a tutor to five flunking sisters–quintuplets to be precise–whose father demands they all get a passing grade otherwise his job will be no more. It’s a romantic comedy series that’s bookended with the ‘revelation’ that Futaro’s going to marry one of the girls but that’s a long way off narratively speaking as this season is about the comedic hijinks that ensue as he tries to get them all to study while dealing with their various character differences and emotions.

“Quintessential” is certainly boastful.

A harem about quintuplets huh? You must have loved this show! It was my third least favourite anime of the season.

Oh, well that’s unexpected… you’re usually “all in” on this kind of stuff? What went wrong? Nothing “went wrong” so to speak. I ended up giving the series a total score 74 out of 100. So it’s still firmly in “it’s good, I like it” territory–it’s just compared to the hype that surrounded (and still surrounds) this show and compared to almost every other harem anime I’ve watched, it’s just so underwhelming by comparison.

I think I made Miku mad.

Okay then. So can you pinpoint exactly what it is about the series that’s so “underwhelming”? I thought on this for a while–why, despite having five beautiful and interesting girls as a part of this ‘harem/romantic/comedy’ did I not connect with the show the same way I almost instantly do to other series of this ilk. And you know what answer I ~initially~ came up with? Not enough fan service.

I think I embarrassed Miku.

*facepalm* Why am I not surprised. Settle down, that was my “initial” answer, one born out of finding an easy answer to the problem. After some more thought what I realised was it’s a more broader problem in that this anime is too ‘safe’, and ‘mainstream’–compared to the harem anime I like. It’s very Western, to the point where I’d not even bother to call this a harem anymore but rather a sitcom. That’s not to disparage US sitcoms–I’ve enjoyed some in my times–but I feel like ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ bares more in common with a show like ‘How I Met Your Mother’ than it does literally any other harem anime. And that’s a problem–at least for me it is.

*ba-dump*

Don’t like ‘How I Met Your Mother’? No, it’s good, I like it. But harem anime–as I’ve discussed in the past–exists in a world of entertainment outside the norm and some of the best anime subverts what is societally acceptable and makes it larger than life entertainment. Being comparable to a US sitcom on the other hand, is almost the opposite.

I mean, I think I understand what you’re saying. Doesn’t mean I agree with it, but I at least understand it. So what were your favourite things about the series? The girls. They were the bright, shining spotlight that shone from the dimmest places. Yotsuba was my favourite–gotta love a genki girl–but all of them had such character and life to them. Also the show was funny on occasion, even if a lot of its comedy came from predictable places. Also, the OP and ED both featured high in my lists of best anime songs from the Winter 2019 season so there’s that.

Yotsuba is such a dork, I love her.

And the things you didn’t like? More specific than the general ~feeling~ of the anime. To start with I didn’t like our protagonist Futaro, and while I still don’t understand what (most) of the girls see in him, I’ve at least come to appreciate him as a character. One thing I found odd was the show’s multi-episode arcs for events that really didn’t seem like they needed multiple episodes. The fireworks festival and final ski-trip arc being especially egregious examples–their pace was at times so slow I sometimes wondered if I’d accidentally put the same episode on twice. Also, and this is probably a nitpick–but the show had occasional animation issues with characters appearing off-model and soft to a distracting but not destructive degree.

Ichika is second best girl.

Okay then. So how do you recommend ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’? If you don’t like your “run-of-the-mill” (a.k.a my preferred) harem anime, you may in fact find more to like about this show than I did. It’s proven itself plenty popular amongst your average anime viewer so there’s always that chance. For me–with the exception of the titular (pun-intended) quintuplets themselves, this was a pleasant but not very memorable experience. 74 out of 100.

When you stand up and forget you’re in a snow cave.

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Trial Run – ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Episode 3 Review

Trial Run – An Anime QandA Review for ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Episode 3

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What’s the show? The Quintessential Quintuplets, Episode 3.

How’s this episode? I feel like I can never form a concrete opinion of this show in my mind. Actually never mind, just as I typed that I thought of exactly my opinion on this show.

Then why don’t you just go back and dele– Never! Don’t interrupt my process!

Fine~, so have at it then… This show is simply ‘good’.

Harsh.

Wow. What an exceptional revelation. You joke, but it is a revelation for me. I kept thinking “why is it that I can’t really connect with this show?” and “why aren’t I having as much fun as other people seem to be while watching it?” but the same time I was like “these girls are really good characters” and “gee this show is nice to look at and well voice acted, so obviously I don’t have major issues with the show”. And yeah, revelation this show is like a solid 7, it’s all round ‘good’ but nothing about it is exceptional or makes it stand out.

Well it’s faint praise but it could be worse. It makes my job harder though. Simply being ‘good’ isn’t interesting enough to make compelling weekly reviews of!

 

Sibling rivalry.

I’m sure you’ll think of something. Tell me what happens in this episode in the meantime? Uesugi wants to tutor the girls, so far he has Miku and Yotsuba on his side with Ichika and Itsuki sort of begrudgingly participating/actively observing. The big problem is Nino–the girl who went to such lengths as drugging him in Episode 1 to get out of having to be tutored. She stubbornly refuses to participate and goes as far as orchestrating scenarios/firmly suggesting reasons the other girls should leave. And they do, all but Miku who at this point has got a pretty big crush on Uesugi (not that she’ll admit it) and won’t leave his side for any reason. It’s a stalemate and so Uesugi leaves for the evening but not before realising he’s forgotten his study notes. Miku buzzes him back into the building, warning him that she’s in the shower, he enters the apartment and sees Miku blow-drying her hair and sitting in nothing but a towel. He passes by tentatively and she doesn’t even flinch, only he realises it isn’t Miku but his nemesis Nino! She doesn’t notice that it’s him though as she’s got terrible eyesight without her contact lens. Some shenanigans ensue and while attempting to save her from a falling pile of books ends up on top of her in a compromising situation just as the other girls are returning home.

Oof~.

Oh? And what happens after that? In any other harem anime Uesugi would either get a scolding or a slap–regardless of the fact that it wasn’t really his fault and he was just trying to shield her from the falling books. But not in this show, instead we have a mock trial with Ichika acting as judge and the others (minus Yotsuba, who didn’t get home in time) deliberating on whether he intentionally assaulted her or it was an accident. And it was right about at this point I was wishing I was watching ~literally~ any other harem anime.

The courtroom setting appeared for all of like 5 seconds in (someone’s) imagination.

Didn’t enjoy this part of the episode then? It was such a waste of time. And more so than that it falls into a particular trope I hate, the whole “if you just explained the situation you wouldn’t need to go through all this!” but rather Uesugi just sits there not even bothering to explain anything and rather have the girls figure out the eventual truth on their own. But what’s the point of doing the scene like that? Maybe I’m missing something but the whole thing felt drawn out and pointless.

So they tried to bait the audience into thinking Ichika has a shady job but I’m not buying this for a second.

So much for being “good”, huh? Well it gets back to that point there’s some good character development between Uesugi and Nino after she storms off from the mock trial. Turns out one of the reasons she “hates” him is because she loves her sisters so much and doesn’t want anyone to upset the balance of their household. And all the other sister’s get little moments of interest too (like with Yotsuba being asked to join the basketball club). Yes, it’s mostly all ‘good’ and at the end of the day that’s all I really have to say about the show at the moment until it does something more interesting than being ‘good’.

This episode had a few perks though.

Previous ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Reviews:

Five Flunking Sisters – Episode 1 Review
Five Girls, One Brain – Episode 2 Review


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Five Girls, One Brain – ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Episode 2 Review

Five Girls, One Brain – An Anime QandA Review for ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Episode 2

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What’s the show? The Quintessential Quintuplets, Episode 2.

So how’s this episode? I don’t know if anyone else felt this but it seemed like this episode went on forever.

Uh-oh, that doesn’t sound like a good sign… I mean it is what it is. This wasn’t a boring episode it just wasn’t all that exciting, but then again what do you expect from an episode that focuses on the most dull (personality wise) of the five sisters and is about her fascination with Sengoku period warlords…

Uh-huh, how interesting~…

Excuse me? Yeah, so it turns out Miku–the shy sister–is way into Sengoku period warlords like the same way other girls get obsessed with boy bands and models. It’s an endearing personality trait but I wonder if we ~really~ needed 15 minutes of this to get to the overall point of the episode.

My expression most of the episode.

And that is? That all of the quintuplets each separately have one subject in school that they’re interested in and so he’s going to use this knowledge to get them to ‘combine forces’ in order to earn them all a passing grade. And I mean, yeah, it’s a cute idea but I’m still not sure I’m on board with this show’s concept rather I’m more focused on the girls themselves.

And one of you got none of them right!

Right… Wait, what’s the problem exactly? Put succinctly, I’m still not sold on our protagonist Fuutarou and romance harems are far less interesting to me than straightforward fan service heavy harems. I feel like this show over-compensates its lack of physical, sexual fan service for a different far more distracting and obnoxious kind of fan service (at least in my opinion).

More obnoxious than “sexual fan service”, boy this oughta be good… The show heavily relies on flashy visuals, brief cutaways and words appearing beside or behind the characters and it’s kind of something I find annoying (in some cases, not all cases). I’ve thought so during the likes of such cinematic abominations as ‘Scott Pilgrim vs The World’ and likewise I feel the same now. Its a flashy distraction that screams a lack of confidence in the narrative and seeks to obfuscate rather than illuminate.

Nothing to be proud about.

Wow, this certainly seems like a turnaround from last week. You seemed all on board with the show then. What happened? I’ve just come to realise that my anime interests largely fall out of line with the popular majority and that’s fine, I’ve just got to be more honest with what I like and what I don’t like and stop being afraid to step on people’s toes.

Me too.

Okay, settle down there cowboy. What?

You’re still reviewing a harem anime, I’d hardly say this show represents the ‘mainstream’ collective opinion on the genre. Maybe, but it is already highly acclaimed compared to other anime of its genre, and aside from a commitment to a very appealing set of core female characters it’s not doing anything more remarkable than the most standard of harem anime.

I can at least appreciate the view…

Fine then, so what does this mean going forward? Nothing? I’ll keep watching it and commenting on it afterwards. My opinions may swing closer to adulation or further away as the particular episode in question sees fit. But as it stands now, this show isn’t anything remarkable and I’ll await the next episode with a begrudging caution. Hoping it lives up to the adulation that so many are already showering with it online.


Previous ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Reviews:

Five Flunking Sisters – Episode 1 Review


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Five Flunking Sisters – ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Episode 1 Review

Five Flunking Sisters – An Anime QandA Review for ‘The Quintessential Quintuplets’ Episode 1

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What’s the show? The Quintessential Quintuplets, Episode 1.

So how’s this episode? What’s that sound? It’s the harem alarm! Everybody to your stations!

Oh dear… why am I not surprised you’re reviewing another one of these? Now now, you don’t even know what this show is about! You can’t criticise right off the bat!

Give up, you’re surrounded!

Fine, what’s it about? It’s about Uesugi Fuutarou, a genius high school student living it tough because of his father’s debt. One day he gets the offer to tutor the new exchange student at five times the rate tutoring normally pays, he’s overjoyed–as is his little sister–who is doing her best to keep the family together through their hardships. He’s less overjoyed when he finds out that it’s not exactly as simple as he thought as it’s in fact five girls–quintuplet sisters–whom he’ll be tutoring who all have very different opinions on the boy.

Don’t kabedon on the first day!

Well okay, I admit that sounds less immediately obnoxious as some of the harem shows you watch. Though a harem of five sisters is causing me to raise an eyebrow… Well it is what it is, though they are all very committed to the idea of not studying they even drug his water and send him away in a taxi on the first day he comes to tutor them. But regardless of the circumstance a harem anime lives and dies by the quality of its characters.

The water on the other hand…

Fair enough, so how are these characters? Absolutely flawless. And by that I don’t mean they don’t have flaws, they have plenty of flaws but this show does an impeccable job at not only introducing five very different girls but in imbuing them all with traits that succinctly but effectively get you to relate to them in unique and personal ways. Not only that they’re all absolutely gorgeously designed, I’d gladly “tutor” these girls any day.

Look at these bright girls!

Gross. But what about the male protagonist, that’s an important part of a harem, is it not? It’s important they aren’t self-entitled jerks, or if they are, that they can pull it off with charisma and wit. Uesugi straddles a line, his home life makes him very endearing as does his intelligence but I just hope he doesn’t end up lording his intelligence over the girls because that’d be a problem for me as a viewer. As it stands, I like him but I’m also wary.

Ouch.

Anything else you wanted to add? A part from how the characters are written and drawn the voice performances also go a long way to making them as endearing as they are, the girls are (mostly) a top-notch voice cast and further endear me to their characters. One thing I did not like however was the ‘wedding’ bookends that hint at that as a conclusion for this series–mostly because this is an ongoing manga series and that seems like a tease of something that’ll never come–unless of course this series becomes absurdly popular and lucrative and they adapt it all.

The hair colour kinda gives away who it’s going to be, does it not?

Overall thoughts on the first episode and recommendation? This is an extremely solid start to what will hopefully be a fun but also deeper than usual harem series. The protagonist’s monetary problems and the wealth/class divide between the quintuplets and Uesugi could mine a lot of drama and social commentary if well written. The fact that this show seems relatively mild on fan service means that its appeal could be broadened to those who usually avoid ecchi harems (this isn’t an ecchi for the record) and so unless you are vehemently against harems I can pretty much recommend this to anyone.

Oh no miss, you have my complete undivided attention I assure you!

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True Harem Ending – ‘Conception’ Episode 12 (Finale) Review

True Harem Ending – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Conception’ Episode 12 (Finale)

What’s the show? Conception, Episode 12 (Finale).

So how’s this episode? It’s utter perfection.

What?! I mean for this show… it’s gives us the ultimate in stupid/sexy/trash ending and I hate it and love it all at once! Man this show was a trip!

I’ll take it that’s a good thing.

Okay, before you get into summation mode let’s talk about what happens. A lot happens, too much in-fact, in a more reasonably paced anime the events of this episode would have taken place over two episodes and less time over the previous episodes would have been spent on Alfie. Anyway, Itsuki ventures into the 13th labyrinth to defeat the 13th phantom by sacrificing himself—except he changes his mind and doesn’t want to. Meanwhile the star maidens have assembled to do their part of the ritual but Maihiru decides she can’t bare to lose Itsuki so she and the other Maidens rush over to help him. There’s some nonsense, the star children transform into a couple of mecha, Alfie takes a laser beam for Itsuki and turns into star dust, the star maidens start glowing and give power to Itsuki who merges with the mecha children to create an ultimate mech and he defeats the 13th impurity.

Budget mechs.

…okay. And that’s the condensed version! And that’s not even the whole episode! Itsuki and Maihiru are about to enter the portal to return home when the star maidens arrive to see him off and give him some parting gifts. But they decide they can’t bare to live without him so they all jump in the portal too including Alfie who’s miraculously alive and Mana who now has the body of a teenage girl dressed in a tanuki onesie.

I, uhh… I have so many questions… ask away!

I mean… that’s exactly how I imagined she’d look as a real girl, so kudos for that.

Well obviously how is Alfie alive for one?! Don’t know. It’s a total cop-out if you ask me, her sacrifice and death scene was actually pretty touching. But she’s alive because no sad endings here. Actually I take back what I said about it being a cop-out, it’s totally on brand for this show. I wouldn’t expect anything less!

Alfie takes a shot for Itsuki.

Uh-huh and Mana being a “real girl” now? Mana says it’s because of the “night they spent together” turning her into a “real woman” but let’s face it, it was because the show wanted to add another to this already absurd harem.

Speaking of which do they actually address what they’re all going to do presumably living with Itsuki in his world? There’s an amusing montage of all the girls going about their new lives, which then ends with all of them in wedding dresses at a church altar waiting for Itsuki to show up, he then asks them all to give birth to his child which they all respond with a resounding “yes!”

Harem ending! (P.S. I didn’t make this stitch, stole it from Reddit).

Right… overall thoughts on the final episode? For the kind of show Conception is, this was a fitting end. For some people that will be an endorsement and for others a warning. I enjoyed it for what it’s worth but then again I’ve always had questionable taste when it comes to… well everything. Stupid, sexy, trash indeed.


Previous Conception Reviews:

Sexy/Trash/Anime – Episode 1 Review
Holding Hands Counts As Making Babies – Episode 2 Review
Faking It – Episode 3 Review
My Coffin Waifu – Episode 4 Review
Power Bottom – Episode 5 Review
Visitor, Baker, Stockholm Syndrome Maker – Episode 6 Review
Bun In The Oven – Episode 7 Review
Reality Check – Episode 8 Review
Playing It Straight – Episode 9 Review
Retrosexual – Episode 10 Review
But Is It Bestiality? – Episode 11 Review


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But Is It Bestiality? – ‘Conception’ Episode 11 Review

But Is It Bestiality? – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Conception’ Episode 11

What’s the show? Conception, Episode 11.

So how’s this episode? I’m kind of at a loss for words. And not because it’s so bad it’s beyond description and obviously not because it’s done anything so good it’s left me speechless, I’m just kind of in disbelief that something like this exists.

As are we all, week after week. So what happens in this episode? A lot, and very little of it makes sense and tonally it’s all over the place but I’ll try and make sense of it all. So Itsuki and Alfie have a star child together and immediately people notice that there’s something different about this one. Namely it just looks like a normal kid and not a kid in a Halloween costume like the others. Alfie falls sick and is bedridden so Itsuki goes to a Christmas market to find a gift for her and the other maidens. Meanwhile, it’s revealed that the only way for Itsuki to seal the 13th labyrinth is to sacrifice himself—which raises way more questions than it answers!

Also Mana’s apparently been playing an unspoken game with the audience all season.

Like what? Like what was even the point of him creating star children in the first place if this series was just going to end with him needing to sacrifice himself? And he’s surprisingly okay with it?! Like I know he’s been a bit of a passive and agreeable protagonist all the way through the series but he took more convincing to sleep with a guy then he did needing convincing to be a sacrifice! Speaking of which…

Speaking of what? Itsuki sleeps with Mana.

Not sure if bestiality…

What?! As in Mana the annoying flying tanuki thing?! Yes, and to the show’s credit it was funny and I mean, Mana was practically begging for it these last few episodes so I shouldn’t really be surprised…

Mana has a human girl’s shadow here, nice little touch.

Right… anything else you need to add? Alfie is 30 years old. I know that’s not a big deal but the show makes a big song and dance about it (literally) so I figure it’s worth at least mentioning. What is a big deal (probably not) is that Alfie herself is actually a star child, one who lost her powers and more or less became a normal woman. Hence why his and Itsuki’s star child is different. Maybe this will play a part in the finale somehow and Itsuki won’t need to be sacrificed? Or maybe it’s just more random backstory from the game.

There were a lot of weird references to 80’s J-drama that went over a lot of people’s heads, mine and Itsuki’s included.

Uh-huh… so overall thoughts on the episode? With the exception of a few lackluster episodes Conception still manages to surprise me in the three areas that I first honed in during the first episode. In the stupid department, in the sexy department and in the trash department. There’s an air of sincerity around this episode too which is less surprising since I know it’s capable of it from time-to-time but it was appreciated at least. And regardless of my feelings on the plot developments here (and at this point I’m not sure why I should even bother caring about that aspect) the show remains entertaining and I can’t fault it on that.

And even Mahiru got some attention too.

Previous Conception Reviews:

Sexy/Trash/Anime – Episode 1 Review
Holding Hands Counts As Making Babies – Episode 2 Review
Faking It – Episode 3 Review
My Coffin Waifu – Episode 4 Review
Power Bottom – Episode 5 Review
Visitor, Baker, Stockholm Syndrome Maker – Episode 6 Review
Bun In The Oven – Episode 7 Review
Reality Check – Episode 8 Review
Playing It Straight – Episode 9 Review
Retrosexual – Episode 10 Review


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Retrosexual – ‘Conception’ Episode 10 Review

Retrosexual – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Conception’ Episode 10

What’s the show? Conception, Episode 10.

So how’s this episode? It’s pretty bad.

Oh? And how’s that different from previous weeks? It’s very different many of the previous weeks either had just enough heart and sentimentality to carry them through or were stupid and comedic enough to be entertaining on that side of things. This episode tries to do both but fails miserably at both.

That bad huh? It’s not like I hated it though, I was just indifferent—which sometimes can be even worse a crime for an episode of an anime!

Being “fat” is the least of Mana’s problems.

Okay so what’s it about? So as surprise to absolutely no-one the 13th maiden isn’t a guy, it’s actually Alfie the daycare worker/trainer who has been looking after all of Itsuki’s star children. And in this episodes favour she’s a great girl and fun to watch—unfortunately they have zero chemistry together which I think is more to do with this show’s gradually worsening production values than anything else. The two of them “dating” and getting to know each other is either uninteresting, poorly paced or just plain cringe-worthy like the scene where she’s about to kiss Itsuki and succumbs to diarrhea from eating too much paper (I’m not even going to bother to explain the reason).

Alfie’s whole ~thing~ is that she’s into retro stuff.

That does sound particularly lackluster. Are there any bright points to the episode? Anything at all? Aside from seeing more of Alfie (I love her design, if I hadn’t already fallen for Yuzuha, Alfie would be best girl) the episode did at least have a scene in the dungeons which is appreciated since that’s kinda the point of the show. Though I’m not so attached to the story that I missed it in previous episode. But yeah not much positive to say here, Mana was at her overbearing worst and everything else was just awkward and flat. We can only hope that things will improve from here!

Attack of the chibi’s!

Previous Conception Reviews:

Sexy/Trash/Anime – Episode 1 Review
Holding Hands Counts As Making Babies – Episode 2 Review
Faking It – Episode 3 Review
My Coffin Waifu – Episode 4 Review
Power Bottom – Episode 5 Review
Visitor, Baker, Stockholm Syndrome Maker – Episode 6 Review
Bun In The Oven – Episode 7 Review
Reality Check – Episode 8 Review
Playing It Straight – Episode 9 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