Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 9

Irina and I review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 9


This is a part of an ongoing collaboration of ‘To Love-Ru’ reviews between myself and Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime, the links to the other reviews can be found at the bottom of this post. My words are in bold, while Irina’s are in plain text.

The Episode Review:

‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 9 title card.

Episode 9… gotta be honest with you Irina, I didn’t remember any of this episode so watching it again almost felt like the first time watching. Which I guess could be a good thing or a bad thing. Anyway, the episode opens with a rocket man landing in the middle of nowhere, he’s a suave, blue-eyed blonde-haired space man who manages to charm women just by looking at them. Already I know he’s up to no good. For a second I thought maybe I had started the wrong show. I did not expect that at all!

Pikari the Kiararan.

Meanwhile, in the oddly translated “health room” (the blu-ray version correctly calls it “infirmary” but I guess streaming service translators were being lazy and did a literal translation) we’re introduced to Dr. Mikado one of the very few adult female characters in the show! She’s a busty, confident woman who knows how to avoid the advances of the horny principal with ease. What were your first impressions of this character, Irina? I thought she was the school nurse. I didn’t realize she was a doctor. I sort of compare all anime doctors to Tae from Persona 5 so that’s not fair for them. Damn, now you got me thinking of Tae… she’s one of my Top 3 from that series! Seriously though, she didn’t really register at first. I only really started paying attention later on in the episode when it turned out she had a bit more of a role to play. I guess I had just sort of decided she would be there for one scene and we’d never see her again. That wasn’t very nice of me.

Our introduction to Dr Mikado.

After repeated failed attempts at finding Lala, the rocketman Pikari (of the Kiararan race–but that’s not really important) finally does locate her and it turns out he’s another suitor intent on taking the Deviluke princess’ hand in marriage–despite all her objections. She sure has a lot of those! Run/Ren is my favourite so far. Same, but probably for different reasons…

I like Ren, he’s a good boy.

I enjoyed the first ‘kidnapping’ scene where he takes her, flies up into the sky, only to have his rocket control system broken by Lala. I like it when Lala takes matters into her own hands and solves stuff using her gadgets!

There’s a lot of repetition in this episode, a lot of it is used for comedic effect and works–like when Pikari crashes into the ground and has a dog pees on him, whereas a lot of it feels like padding such as the flashbacks to Pikari’s homeworld. I’m sort of the opposite on this. The dog peeing on someone is such a huge trope in American children’s movies. Honestly, why does that happen in like all of them? That it seemed really played out to me. While the homeworld scenes at least had some character-building potential. 

Don’t worry, we’ll never see any of these people again.

This episode is a prime example of what people complained about as ‘filler’ as there’s a lot of repeated animation like when Rito sneezes and then shivers, they reuse the same animation 5 times. It’s not bad, it’s just kinda lazy. I noticed those reused scenes as well. They didn’t bother me much but I admit there were way more than usual.

Anyway turns out Dr. Mikado has two jobs the second one is working at an underground hospital for aliens, also she’s an alien too though they don’t bother to name her particular race. Did you like this addition to the show’s world-building, Irina? I actually did like that a lot. I think it expands the universe nicely and adds a lot of potential and context to the storytelling. I hope we get to learn more, not only about her but about incognito aliens living on earth in general. It seems like a great bit of side story for us to sink our teeth into.

You gotta wonder how, it’s not like they’re subtle about being aliens…

This is when I started paying attention to the character by the way. I like her. She’s no Tae but who is? 

So Dr. Mikado, not knowing any better and of course being someone who helps aliens in need assists Pikari in repairing his rocket suit which he in turn uses to kidnap Lala. Using what I can only describe as a ‘date rape laser’ it literally knocks her unconcious and removes her clothes. Rito is bound and cannot help and just as it seems Pikari is about to succeed in his kidnapping attempt Dr. Mikado saves the day using bandages with extreme skill to apprehend the kidnapper! To be fair Lala gets naked whenever she trips so maybe the laser just knocked her out. This is not a good sentence…

Pikari is a bad guy.

I liked that none of the male characters were the ones taking action and it was the female characters (first Lala, then Mikado) who were doing all the proverbial butt-kicking! Did you prefer this element of the show rather than Rito coming to the rescue? Sure, but isn’t that always the case? I mean Lala always saves the day so far. Rito tries but the poor kid needs help. Lala saved herself at the beginning with her vacuum thingy, she at least helped saved Haruna and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been so easy without her, she “saved” the blonde girl. Sure, most of the time she’s the one that put them in danger too but the girl does come through in a pinch. 

Dr Mikado saves the day!

Unfortunately the episode kind of doesn’t know how to end properly with two half-baked endings, one where Pikari returns home to a neutral(?) response from his family and a shoe-horned joke where Zastin comes to Dr. Mikado to get a dog removed from his suit of armor. Speaking of Zastin, we see both him and Ren in brief cameos, probably unnecessary but I’m glad the show is using its large cast of side-characters to some effect. I really enjoyed both cameos. With a large ensemble cast, I think it’s a very good idea to show that the characters do continue existing even when the story isn’t focused on them. With all the new characters getting introduced, it’s nice to see familiar faces.

Anyway, I think I know why I completely forgot this episode’s existence–segue to the fan service section of the review!

The Fan Service Review:

So, yeah…there really wasn’t much fan service this episode. Wanna share your thoughts on that Matt? Try to keep it PG. You know, for all the kids reading your ecchi reviews. Dr Mikado is sexy, I want to **** her **** and then **** with those *****. Is that what you meant by PG?


You can remove this if you want I’m just genuinely curious. At the very beginning, the cowgirl had her fly open. Is not being able to button your jeans fan service? If so it’s hilarious and should be used way more! I don’t think it’s not that she couldn’t it’s probably that she was woken up by the sound of Pikari crashing into the ground, pulled on some jeans and hurried out without doing up the button. On a side note, I’ve seen this type of ‘service’ come up a lot in various ecchi anime and if you’ll go back to our Episode 1 review where I showed off my Lala figure you’ll see she’s rocking the open fly look too!

I’m into this kind of service.

Ok let me try to come up with something. Oh, Lala had sexy nurse cosplay! So personally I think it was less sexy than her normal school uniform but tell me why I’m wrong! Nurse outfits belong to that sort of cliche costume service trope, though for me personally nurse outfits belong at the bottom of the barrel, they don’t do anything for me. I’m pretty sure sexy school girl uniform is also part of that trope….

More cute than sexy.

The Conclusion:

All things considered I still really liked this episode despite it being a) mostly filler, and b) not that funny. Pikari and some aspects of his interactions with random people reminded me of David Bowie’s character from the movie ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ which was enjoyable to draw visual comparisons to. Dr. Mikado is a fun (and come later seasons, important) addition to the cast and taken on its own this episode was perfectly enjoyable if nothing remarkable–and sorely lacking in fan service. Though watching and reviewing this show week-to-week rather than binge watching (like I did the first time) is definitely shining a light on the deficiencies of the series and just how much filler is here. What are your overall thoughts on the episode, Irina? Well, that depends. By itself, I would call it mostly harmless. If Pikari or his perceived engagement to Lala play a big role later on, then I think this was a pretty good introduction episode. We got a decent idea of who he is and what his deal is. They also gave us a pretty good set up for his race, home planet and technology without it feeling like an exposition dump so that’s really good. 

If Pikari turns out to be a bit side character with no real impact, then I’m going to feel like it was a waste of time. We didn’t even get much time with Rito or Lala this episode. Hopefully you don’t think this is a spoiler, but spoiler alert Pikari was never mentioned in the original manga and never shows up in the show again. Guess that adds another reason into why I completely forgot about this episode!

Anyway, time for final scores, the episode itself I give an 86/100 but the fan-service only scores a 65/100.

Previous To Love-Ru’ Reviews:

Solo Episode 1 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1
Solo Episode 2 Review
Solo Episode 3 Review
Solo Episode 4 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episodes 2, 3 and 4
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 7

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!



Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 8

Irina and I review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 8


This is a part of an ongoing collaboration of ‘To Love-Ru’ reviews between myself and Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime, the links to the other reviews can be found at the bottom of this post. My words are in bold, while Irina’s are in plain text.

The Episode Review:

‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 8 Title Card.

And now we continue to Episode 8 and before this episode started I honestly couldn’t remember a thing about it. Which was good because I didn’t have any expectations–well other than it was the introduction of a new character, but we’ll get to that in a minute… It’s a jam-packed first few minutes of the episode, as we’re re-introduced to Run (from Episode 7) and rich girl Saki (from Episode 5). Were you glad to see these characters back and interfering in Rito’s life after their debuts? I was confused by Run. Her personality and/or IQ also really changes a lot. I sort of forgot who she was supposed to be. I was relieved the blonde girl was ok.

See Irina, Saki is fine!

Were you at all confused about why Run was so enamoured with Rito and wanting to give him a kiss after they shared barely a sentence together the previous episode? I really was. I thought I had skipped an episode for a second there. I figured she would have been in love with Lala, like her counterpart. Maybe it’s a trick to separate him from Lala? It’s not really properly explained but the blink and you’ll miss it moment in Episode 7 where Run (in boy form as Ren) accidentally kisses Rito was enough for her to fall in love with Rito. Ren and Run are two separate consciousnesses and personalities sharing the one body (well that’s not strictly true either since their bodies change)… this got more confusing than I intended it to be! 

I like how supportively Lala is looking on considering yet another girl is wanting of her fiance’s attention.

Saki’s still up to her old tricks, trying her best to win Rito away from Lala the only way she knows how, with skimpy outfits! (We’ll talk more about that in the fan service section of this review though!) Wasn’t Saki just doing that cause she was jealous of the attention Lala was getting? Is that still a thing or did she also fall in love with Rito at the same time as Run? That’s correct, she doesn’t have feelings for Rito at all, in fact she ends up falling in love with someone else but I won’t ruin the surprise!

And finally we’re introduced to this episode’s star and new girl on the harem scene, Yui Kotegawa–a no-nonsense, proper girl with a proverbial hard-on for formality, morals and order. So in other words, the fun-police for a harem series. In the first half of the episode she institutes a strict code-of-conduct for the students in a bid to stamp out any ~shenanigans~. What did you think of Yui? I really liked her voice actress. She distinguishes in pitch and tone from the other characters which is nice. I generally prefer when voices aren’t too high pitched although there are some exceptions. I was happy they had someone closer to an alto for contrast.

“This is my introduction!”

I don’t know if this will surprise you or not, Irina, but Yui is in my Top 3 ‘To Love-Ru’ waifus! I hadn’t really thought about it but she does have the most classical design and I notice you go for those fairly often. So Now that you mention it, I guess it makes perfect sense. If she was flat-chested, that would be a real surprise! Hey! I like flat-chested girls too! Prove it.

Yui has a very skewed mental image of Rito.

In episode, Yui decides that Rito is the cause of the moral degeneration of the female student population and gets the principal to ban him from talking to girls. It was at this point that I actually remembered the episode and also how surprisingly emotional and character driven the latter half of the episode was. Seeing Rito, a victim of circumstance, be punished like that made me empathise with him a lot–I seem to recall this being the moment the irlwaifu started to really warm up to Rito as a character too. Hum, I always liked Rito. I actually felt a lot more sorry for him when Lala is destroying his life. I guess I can see why you would like him in this episode. Personally I tend t be less interested in “perfect” characters and in that second half Rito was basically a hero angel that could do no wrong so to me he seemed a lot more like a parody than he usually does. Like I said, I liked Rito from episode 1 and I still like him now.

I must have had this sign around my neck in high-school and just not realised…

And even through this cruel and unusual punishment he still manages to show how much of a ‘nice guy’ he is by performing random acts of kindness to strangers on his way home–not limited to even giving a person CPR after they were hit by a car! Thankfully (for Rito) Yui has been following the whole time and has a change of heart as to Rito’s true nature. Ooops I guess I jumped the gun with my comment above. It’s an escalating series of humorously selfless and impressive acts. It was pretty funny. Mimicking a cheesy shoujo hero. I think they could have pushed it further, maybe have him donate a kidney to a stranger and save a baby in a carriage that had rolled in the path of oncoming traffic. Maybe it would have made it too obvious though. It was a good sequence.

Anyway, just as there’s something of an ~almost~ tender moment between Yui and Rito one of Lala’s gadgets activates, causing Rito to be drawn like a magnet towards Lala–all the while carrying Yui through increasingly ridiculous situations. Very slapstick and very funny. Did you enjoy this scene Irina? Sure. It was kind of like the Lala riding a whale in the aquarium episode.

This whole sequence was absurdly fun.

Speaking of gadgets Lala featured a few in this episode including inventing one on the fly that changed her classmates school uniforms, and what a better not-at-all forced segway into the fan service portion of this review!

At least Rito had a soft landing.

The Fan Service Review:

I may have missed this but Lala gets naked every time she trips? Was that always the case? It’s to do with her talking hair brooch wardrobe assistant Peke (the little white thing with eyes) if that comes off she gets naked. You see it fall off her hair in the couple of scenes she gets naked this episode.

Good angle.

I was surprised by how tame the magical girl costumes were. I’ve seen more revealing in shows that weren’t ecchi at all. Was it disappointing to you? Yeah it was a bit odd, I still thought they were sexy outfits but that’s probably just because I’m in love with all the female characters on this show so I was just pleased to see them in something a bit more racy than their school uniforms. 

These should be the uniforms all the time.

There were a couple of repeated fanservice exhibitions this episode. Run acting very childish and doing the cute slightly horny girl bit, random girls having their school uniform turn into magical girl outfits, Lala falling and being suddenly naked, blonde girl s&m and Rito falling headfirst into someone’s breasts. Which was your favourite and why? (Is this like trying to pick one of your children?) I liked the sheer quantity of fan service in this episode, even if the quality was reduced (not a nipple in sight!) I liked it all but I’ll always be a fan of the slow pan over Saki’s body, where the art quality gets ~super~ detailed.

I love the pointless absurdity of Saki forcing her two hench women into dressing sexy too.

Who has the best body? Why? If you’re asking me from just the girls we’ve seen so far (and not out of the entire series) it’s a bit difficult because ‘To Love-Ru’ doesn’t have the same attention to detail and full-frontal nude scenes for each girl like ‘To Love-Ru Darkness’ has.

Isn’t science wonderful?

The Conclusion:

Unlike some previous episodes this episode was surprisingly down-to-earth–at least as far as sci-fi shenanigans go–but where it did impress was in its manic energy (in the first half) and its sincerity and unexpected comedic moments in the second-half. It didn’t waste time with overly long gags or spending too much time with any-one character and it tied itself to Rito a lot better than some other character introduction episodes did. This episode is a lot more in line with what ‘To Love-Ru’ becomes in its second season with shenanigans turned up to high and being mostly set at school. I really enjoyed this episode a lot, how about you Irina?

Nobody needs to see little Rito so early in the morning.

I enjoyed it too. I’m a little sad though because I really like the at-home scenes with Rito and friends. Those are sort of my favourites and I’ll miss them. I find Rito’s sister and Zastin really fun especially when they are all together. Then again, we haven’t gotten the chance to get to know a lot of the student characters yet. They’ve been introduced but there hasn’t been much time for development so I’m sure they’ll turn out just as fun. Don’t worry if we ever get to watching ‘To Love-Ru Darkness’ almost all the episodes take place at home! (I should probably stop mentioning that show, we might not even get there!)

As for scores I give the episode a 94/100 while I give the fan service an 80/100.

I didn’t have anywhere in the review to place this image so here it is. This is their school’s principal FYI.

Previous To Love-Ru’ Reviews:

Solo Episode 1 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1
Solo Episode 2 Review
Solo Episode 3 Review
Solo Episode 4 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episodes 2, 3 and 4
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 7

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!



Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 7

Irina and I review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 7


This is a part of an ongoing collaboration of ‘To Love-Ru’ reviews between myself and Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime, the links to the other reviews can be found at the bottom of this post. My words are in bold, while Irina’s are in plain text.

The Episode Review:

‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 7 Title Card.

And here we are with Episode 7 and once again it’s a case of my memories of an episode being ever-so slightly out of balance with the reality of the re-watch. In this case I remembered this episode being a hilarious and wholly entertaining episode that introduces two(?) new characters. I even sold it to Irina as such when we were Twitter DM’ing after the previous episode, but I think I may have oversold it a bit! I wouldn’t say it was a bad episode but I’d be lying if I said it’s the one I’ve enjoyed the most so far (still the cooking episode – it’s hard to beat that one!) Actually Matt, now that you are rewatching them, which one has been your favourite so far? Probably episode 3 or 4, my opinions have changed a bit it seems but I think that’s more a case of getting character moments confused with one’s that occur in later seasons. You think I’d be better at this by now!

Anyway, right off the bat we’re introduced ever so-briefly to a cute mint-haired girl wearing the boys school uniform for Sainan high. It’s an ambiguous sort of introduction that’s almost completely forgotten after the credits roll. Knowing what I know about this character I thought her introduction was kind-of obvious, but did you guess the ‘twist’ of this character on your first time watching, Irina? Yup – not my first anime 🙂 Also Ranma ½ rules. Just saying…

C’mon Rito, a girl can where a boy’s uniform if she wants to!

If you’re not familiar with this show or this episode; spoilers (obviously), Oh wait, uhm…forget that Ranma comment it as just random…hahaha… but her name is Run and she’s an alien but from a shape-shifting race known as the Memorze and whenever she sneezes she transforms into a boy named Ren. 99% of this episode is spent with the character as the boy, Ren as he seeks to assert his “manliness” in an attempt to woo Lala–whom he was a childhood friend of. “Friend” being used rather loosely here. Brilliant exploration of stockholm syndrome in this episode!

Cute is what it is.

This episode, or rather, Ren has a preoccupation with proving his “manliness” and while the ideals of manliness this show has Ren focus on are pretty outdated in the grand scheme of things, I kinda love how this show never had any of our female protagonists particularly insistent on the importance of stereotypical perceptions of manliness and instead have their own unique and personal ideas on what’s “manly” (i.e. what appeals to them in the opposite gender). The old school gender normative standards of manliness were really played for laughs which is a touch ironic from a show that really insists on traditional standards of femininity. What was a bit funny to me is that Ren is originally presented as very popular with girls is not manly enough by his own standards and wishes to outdo Rito for Lala’s attention but the two are pretty much identical. He could just have died his hair brown and called it a day.

You’d think Rito would be happy about this.

And then we get to what is arguably the ‘make-or-break’ part of the episode, which is basically an over-the-top ‘Rocky’ parody with Ren training in increasingly ludicrous ways to become “manly” and I think I appreciated the absurdity of this more the first time I watched it–on a second viewing it lost some of its comedic appeal. How did it fall for you, Irina? I liked it. I have a soft spot for boxing references in anime. However, I also did think it went on a bit too long though. Eventually it got a bit played out and my attention started to waver. I may have gone to the kitchen to get a drink…

Best boxing anime I’ve ever watched. Also only.

Are you a fan of parody-style comedy in general? I am a fan of most types of comedy, parody being way up there (my favourite form of deconstruction). I think I prefer surrealism and absurdism a little, hence my appreciation for the cooking episode, but in general I like a good tongue in cheek parody. They can be tricky and really rely on your audience being familiar with what you’re parodying so it’s a gamble but when it pays off, it can be delightful.

He really did. Just to prove how much of a “man” he was.

There’s a lot of weird moments where it feels like the show has gotten away from its main characters just for the sake of introducing a new one. Episode 5 did this as well, Rito, Lala, Haruna and Mikan all felt like side-characters in their own show. It felt more obvious to me the second time watching it. Definitely. To be honest, it sort of felt like a filler episode to me. I don’t know how important Run/Ren is but they could easily have introduced the character in 5 minutes or so. A lot of it seemed like padded for time. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable just sort of not crucial, if you know what I mean.

And by the end, just as Ren’s about to have his dream realised of having Lala call him “manly” a fly lands on his nose and he transforms into half naked Run. Half?

Ren’s transformation into Run.

One thing I thought was lazy about the episode though was how they had the explanation of who and what Ren/Run is appear as just text at the end of the episode. I feel like they could have cut down all the training shenanigans by at least a minute and just have had a scene where Ren/Run explains to the others their race and the lore behind it. See, I thought that was part of the joke. Put all this time in a somewhat random personal quest just to have all the relevant information thrown at you like an old school PSA or something. I didn’t hate it.  It did contribute to the filler feel of the episode though.

It kinda reminded me of the “poochy” ending from ‘The Simpsons’.

The Fan Service Review:

The fanservice in this episode was pretty lazy. There was the naked Run traumatized in front of an auditorium full of people. To Love-Ru loves the set up of having the ladies find themselves naked in public settings. I guess it’s pretty standard for the genre? You really seem to think the worst of this show for those scenes, huh? I think traumatised is going a bit far, it’d be a shock for anyone to end up half-naked in front of a group of strangers but her character in the manga is an exhibitionist so maybe this was the start of that tendency (we won’t get to see her like that until ‘To Love-Ru Darkness’ however.) Not really. You suggested I give the counterpoint when we started the collab so I figured I would. The counterpoint I see is that such situations are portrayed as embarrassing and to the characters in the anime and then just laughed at which is a bit mean to the ladies. I’ve been watching a few ecchi lately and I noticed that a few of them show some consequences which I appreciate. This said, it’s the sort of thing that happens in these shows, I get it. I also know that people that have had harassment situations (which is a lot of people) may be uncomfortable watching these scenes, which is also fair enough. True, I should probably remember what I say because I don’t half the time…

Our first (of many to come) views of naked Run.

The rest of the fanservice were just censored still shots of Lala, Mikan and Haruna taking showers, that were ranput in at random moments without it having anything to do with the plot. It was actually pretty funny. Did you enjoy it? Interrupting a would-be action scene with Lala and Mikan having a shower, pretty much the best kind of interruption. Also I don’t know why you keep calling it censored, there’s clearly a nipple in the first scene (well not clearly, it’s quite foggy but that’s because of all the steam in the bathroom…) Oh, it was just for readers that haven’t seen the show, so that they don’t expect full frontal or something like that. Uncensored?

I think some of these bath shots were reused ones from a previous episode. Not that I’m complaining!

Still, the fanservice aspect seemed a little thin in this episode, don’t you think? It was centered around two or three brief moments, not ideal unfortunately but I guess you can’t win them all!

The Conclusion:

My memories of this episode conflated it into a much more dynamic and entertaining episode than it was in reality. Granted, I still had a fun time and found most of the jokes held up, I think it’s just my love for this particular character–and specifically how Ren/Run’s arc “ends” in ‘To Love-Ru Darkness–must have influenced my memories of it a bit. Still, a very good episode in my opinion and absolutely an improvement of the previous. What are your final thoughts on the episode, Irina? It was mostly a set-up episode, I guess(?). On it’s own it felt a little aimless. Why are we following yet another character when we haven’t developed any of the ones we have already been introduced to? I assume it’s just the old school narrative where every week we get another new person to follow around until we have our full cast. Reminds me of early Sailor Moon episodes.  These are sort of difficult to judge in the moment . Usually you only get to appreciate them once you get to know the character a little better.

That’s the show.

Hate to break it to you, Irina, but we’ve got at least 3 whole episodes (though not in succession) that are going to introduce even more characters to the show! Yup just like Sailor Moon. Love it.

My final score for the episode is 88/100 and my score for the fan-service is 70/100.

100/100 manly.

Previous To Love-Ru’ Reviews:

Solo Episode 1 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1
Solo Episode 2 Review
Solo Episode 3 Review
Solo Episode 4 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episodes 2, 3 and 4
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6

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!



Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6

Irina and I review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6


This is a part of an ongoing collaboration of ‘To Love-Ru’ reviews between myself and Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime, the links to the other reviews can be found at the bottom of this post.

The Episode Review:

‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6 title card.

Here we are with the episode 6 review and I was kinda dreading this one! I recall not being a fan of this episode on the first watch and well, my thoughts haven’t changed too much on that one… but we’ll get to that later. Well, now I’m curious!

So the episode opens with Zastin, in his patrol ship orbiting Earth as one of his officers notes an entity entering Earth’s atmosphere. They ask whether he wants to intercept it but he decides to let it pass saying it will be a good test for ‘groom-to-be’ Rito and its a strong opening. What did you think of it? I thought – how weird to see Zatsin so efficient! I liked it. Zatsin usually means some goofball antics are afoot and I think To Love Ru really handles that type of humour well. I was hoping for more GLORIOUS DEATH IN BATTLE wordplay with Rito. One of my favourite gags so far!

We’re introduced to the ‘entity’ in question, a grotesque shape-shifting alien assassin by the name of Ghi Blee, he’s there to take Lala’s hand in marriage–by any means necessary. The early scenes with him watching over the shenanigans in biology class were very sinister and set a good atmosphere of tension and mystery that contrasted with the silliness going on in the classroom. I actually didn’t hate the design of the alien. I found it interesting and the having to go to the bathroom joke was pretty good. The idea they forgot to put a toilet on the spaceship or it was clogged or defective like in a plane was a nice touch. I giggled, even if it was pretty juvenile.

Side note, they’re dissecting frogs in biology class, we never did that in Australia (at least not in my school) and I’m glad we didn’t–it’s gross. Did you ever have to do that in your school? Well, I went to med school so I dissected cadavers and a lot of other critters but never anything alive. This said I’m not sure what the standards are for Canadian high schools.

What’d you think of Lala’s comedic ~bit~ this episode, with her trying to “dissect” Rito because she wanted to get to know him better. It was cute for a minute but I think the joke ran out of steam fast. I thought it was kind of stupid. As you said, it worked for a second but the execution was off. I’m not sure if it was on purpose or just because of the pink hair but it did give me Yuno vibes. If that was the joke it was decently tongue in cheek but it went on way too long and I really wished they would stop bringing it back.

The alien shape-shifts into the form of their principal and takes Haruna captive in the P.E. storage shed and this is about where I was done with the episode. Now, I’m all for tentacle scenes, we only just had one in Episode 4 after all–but my one stipulation is that they’re comedically over-the-top in nature. This one wasn’t, it was predatory–which I’ll cut the show some slack–it’s not like they were painting this as fun. The music, the lighting, the entire situation was shown to be a sinister, very bad thing that was happening to Haruna. That said, it still didn’t make for an enjoyable time and like a lot of things in this episode dragged out too long. I’m interested in what you thought about this Irina considering your aversion to the tone and situations of certain scenes in the previous episode? We had one in ep 5 too. I liked that they acknowledged that the situation would be horrible for the girl involved and not something to just laugh at. I can’t say I enjoyed it but I prefer this to how the last episode ended for sure. If I had any complaint it’s mostly that it clashed with the tone of the series so far. The rest, I’m going to save for the fanservice section.

Sidenote, the blonde girl wasn’t in school this week. Is she in the hospital or police station? I know you’re obsessed with the idea that something terrible happened to her but she’s in the grade above Rito, Haruna and Lala and we didn’t see her class that’s why Saki wasn’t in the episode.

So Lala tracks Rito (who has since found Haruna and the aforementioned situation) and discovers them all, turns out she’s very familiar with Ghi Blee as he’s proposed to her before and she’s rejected him plenty of times too. And I like how assertive Lala is here, she’s not about to take this dude’s shit but Rito being Rito he wants to save Haruna himself and decides to fight Ghi Blee, a creepy alien dude who’s now grown to being twice the size of him. Assertive? She said he was ugly so she didn’t want to marry him. I guess that counts. Lala seemed super unfazed by the situation, I wonder if it’s happened before? Since Lala is very ok with nudity and tentacles she may not have realized how traumatizing the situation was for the humans.

Maybe a reference?

As Rito readies a punch Ghi Blee shrieks and cowers, turns out he’s a cowardly wimp and his true form is diminutive weakling. Also turns out Ghi Blee has wives and children from multiple alien races who all show up for some reason. This reminded me of that episode of ‘Futurama’ where Leela meets that one-eyed alien who claims to be the last of their species but turns out to be a shape-shifter with multiple partners too. Except a lot worse than that.

I don’t like that Ghi Blee got off so easy for what he did to Haruna, thankfully for Haruna she was unconscious throughout the entire thing so she doesn’t have to know what happened to her but it still happened to her. Why was she unconscious by the way? I thought the cowardly alien bit was funny. Well to me it was the funniest bit in the episode at least. And he did get punished which is better than nothing.

My favourite moment (aside from Rito’s friend Saruyama volunteering to be “dissected” by Lala) was the nice moment in the infirmary where Lala hugs Haruna and is glad she’s alright. I love that there’s zero rivalry between these two girls and they can be friends despite ostensibly being love-rivals. What was your favourite moment? The OP! It was great! I’m not being a smart ass, it’s a fun OP. Possibly the Zatsin scene, back to that in a minute. I’m glad it’s finally grown on you!

The Fan Service Review:

(feel free to ask me some questions here, but I have a feeling there’s not much to talk about in this episode on the subject) I’m hoping Matt leaves his comment in, because I disagree. There was quite a bit of fanservice this episode and I think it would be interesting to talk about it as it’s different from the fanservice we’ve seen so far.

First, although you’re right that the Haruna hostage situation was not presented as fun for her, it was still clearly fanservice. The camera lovingly zoomed in and stayed on cleavage or tentacles going up her skirt. For some reason, she was out so you didn’t have to deal with the uncomfortable reality of Haruna crying or begging for her life. Put some sexy music behind that and it could have been a love scene. For a second, even Rito blushes and reacts as if the situation is alluring instead of being completely disgusted. He even leaves at the end because before Haruna comes to because the situation is embarrassing (for both of them). It’s respectful on one level but he is still more aware of her body than her safety or health at that moment. I mean sure, but he is still a 15 year old boy. They are idiot hormone machines–I should know I was one.

How do you take in a scene like that? How do you reconcile the fact that it is created to both repulse and attract the viewer? Like anything in anime this kind of fan service (and you’re right it is 100% fan service) has its audience—you only have to look on pixiv to find thousands of images like this or worse. There’s people who find public humiliation stuff sexy which is what you could call the final scene in Episode 5. I think an Ecchi series of this size and caliber is going to try its hand at every type and genre of fan service—some of it will be in line with mainstream tastes (and I’m using that in looser terms) and some of it will push boundaries. But what did you think? I mean if you’re asking my tastes in fan-service this type of scene is not for me personally, it ranks very low on my preferred types of anime fan service but I’d be lying if I didn’t say they still draw Haruna’s body in a sexy and alluring way.

With most of the fanservice super uncomfortable this episode, weren’t you happy we at least got some good old bath time antics? We actually got Zatsin fanservice and you pretend like it didn’t happen? For shame! Let’s talk about it in great detail, go! I knew you’d bring it up, that’s why I didn’t have to! I mean what’s there to say, Zastin is a tall, buff good-looking dude and he’s in a bath… see Irina I’m not good at reviewing man-service. I think it’s great. You did a great job in Dakaichi as well.

The Conclusion:

This episode felt like filler, a complaint a lot of die-hard fans of the original manga had about this entire first season in general (FYI Irina, the manga version is very different in nearly every episode of this season, so much so that there were enough fan complaints that every subsequent season adheres strictly to the source material). While there were a couple of brief laugh-out-loud moments, some fun stuff in the classroom and a few flashes of interesting character development the majority of scenes with Ghi Blee were pointless and ugly. What did you think overall?

I’m so relieved to hear that. I was watching it and thinking that you would tell me this was the bestest episode and I got a little depressed. I didn’t like it. I found it less disturbing than the last one but honestly, a lot of it was just kind of boring. The alien dude wasn’t really interesting and the dissection and masochist jokes were super repetitive so it didn’t live up to the episodes so far at all. The ‘To Love-Ru’ series may be my favourite of all time but this first season isn’t without its fair share of mediocre experiences, it’s not until ‘To Love-Ru Darkness Season 1 and 2’ that the show becomes pretty much perfect (in my opinion). I give this episode a score of 71/100, and the fan service a score of 50/100.

Previous To Love-Ru’ Reviews:

Solo Episode 1 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1
Solo Episode 2 Review
Solo Episode 3 Review
Solo Episode 4 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episodes 2, 3 and 4
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5

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!



Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5

Irina and I review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5


Hello everyone (all 5 of you who read these reviews) first an announcement, going forward all the episodic ‘To Love-Ru’ reviews will be single episode collaborations with Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime. Why? Because I felt I was spreading myself too thin by doing solo reviews and collab reviews of the same episodes, plus I felt the writing in the collab portions hasn’t been up to scratch which wasn’t really fair on Irina (or the readers). Anyway, basically all that means is we’ll be getting through the show a lot quicker than originally scheduled which is good for everyone! Announcement over!

The Episode Review:

‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5 Title Card

Hello Irina! Here we are with episode 5 and almost immediately we’re introduced to a new girl! ~the harem expands~ Her name is Saki Tenjouin, and she fits pretty well into the cackling rich-girl archetype. What’s your opinion on this type of girl in anime? It’s one of those silly tropes that doesn’t seem to exist at all in real life. You see it a lot in older shows but its been a while since I’ve seen a new one pop up except as a punch line. Maybe it’s out of style?

One look at those drill curls and you know she’s a spoilt rich girl.

I like these types of girls (but then again I like pretty much every type of anime girl) so no surprise I like Saki. What did you think of her introduction into the narrative, being annoyed that her spot as ‘most adored by the male students’ has been taken by newcomer Lala? I have to admit this just seemed like another sort of standard anime trope. It’s not my favourite cliche but you see it so much that it just blends into the background for me. I think my favourite part about her whole character is how willing she is to ‘lewd’ herself to get attention. I mean sure that behaviour in real life might be more the result of some deep-seated issues but in a comedic ecchi it works!

Yas queen!

 One of my favourite throw-away jokes is about midway through the episode when Saki has started the ‘Miss Sainan’ competition in order to lure Lala out and have them compete and one of Saki’s flunkies (her name is Ayako but I don’t know if the show bothers to name her this early on) picks up Rito with a crane in order to use him as bait. Rito exclaims–much like the audience might–why is there a crane here, and Ayako gives a deadpan reply about having gotten the proper permits. I don’t know why but that kind of ‘logical’ explanation in a series that’s pretty far-fetched always strikes me as inherently funny. It was really nice dead pan joke. They have a lot of those absurdist moments in the series so far and it’s a very fun aspect. I hope they keep it up.

Rito, always asking the important questions.

That aside did you enjoy that Lala stayed obliviously ambivalent to Saki’s desire to compete? Lala didn’t really do anything this episode. It would have been nice to see her a bit more. Actually we didn’t really get any development for the established characters and just concentrated on the new girl so I guess it makes sense. This episode could have easily devolved into a 20 minute swimsuit competition but instead decided to take a more high-concept finale!

That’s a flower garden I’d like to pollinate.

Zastin, fearing that Saki’s attempts to ‘get’ Lala are akin to an assassination attempt decides to increase security at the Yuki household, outfitting their yard with laser tripwires, machine-guns and pitfalls filled with tentacle monsters (of course) all which Saki, Ayako and third flunky Rin fall into while attempting to sneak into Rito’s house to get some “dirt” on Lala. This segment is very slapstick and cuts back and forth between the would-be intruders hardships and Lala and Mikan having a bath for the sake of comedic contrast. Did you find this series of events fun, Irina? It sort of looked like an excuse to make a tentacle rape allusion for viewers that might be familiar with hentai. I think it would have worked better if we had established the characters more. All I knew about two of them is that they are highschool girls. For me the joke didn’t quite land because I started to just associate them with 13 year olds I know and then it was a bit uncomfortable. Well I mean they’re second year high schoolers, so 16 years old, but fair enough. I stand corrected. I do have a friend with a 16 year old daughter I can use that as reference material – much better!

Somehow Saki manages to find herself directly inside Rito’s room and so hides under his desk when Lala walks in from her bath, hoping to get some info she can use on her. Instead, things escalate again and the Saki inadvertently hits a switch which sends the entire room “ejecting” into space–another security measure installed by Zastin without anyone’s consent or knowledge! Did you expect this level of shenanigans to transpire when the episode started so down-to-earth? Yes. I actually thought there would be more. This is the most down to earth (pardon the pun) episode so far. I mean we had a naked fish riding Lala flood an aquarium, a better version of the tentacle monster joke in the cooking episode, the pretty crazy intro and I know I’m forgetting one. Anywho this seemed sort of tame on the zaniness scale but still fun!

This is tame for Irina!

Anyway Zastin mobilises the Deviluke fleet to rescue Lala and Saki who are hurtling through the sky in Rito’s bedroom and it’s a surprisingly well-animated sequence! Saki falls out of the flying room and begins falling back to Earth–all seems lost–until Lala swoops in to save her, there’s a touching moment as their fingers miss a few times but then finally touch and she holds her in her arms. I almost ‘shipped them for a moment there.

Lala’s a hero I can get behind. Ahem.

But, this being a comedy Saki awakens on the street, in the nude, surrounded by onlookers as Lala accidentally dropped her at some point, leaving her stranded and Saki vows revenge! The End. I felt so bad for that poor blonde girl. Second time she is forcibly stripped in public and humiliated. And those onlookers were all men and all leering at her very suggestively as the scene cut. No one even tried to help her a little. It was a scary scene, I hope she’s o.k. I’m guessing we don’t hear about anything bad because it’s a comedy but you never know. Sometimes they go *dark*.

One of the (unintentional?) running gags is that every boy is completely in love with Lala based on how cute she is but all the female characters use the same model with hair and clothes swaps so it just comes off surreal. She probably has secret space pheromones or something. Or the pink hair makes her seem exotic or something!

I think Crunchyroll is censored. There were no nipples this episode despite a few times where there clearly should have been some. It’s a little eerie seeing breasts as smooth lumps like that. Is the original anatomically correct? I fired up the VPN and checked Canadian Crunchyroll and it’s the same version as the “uncensored” version on Australian AnimeLab. I showed Irina this screenshot and she’s still not convinced we had a whole discussion about it through Twitter DM’s I mean, sure its a bit foggy but there’s definitely nipples on Lala there! Speaking of… time to move onto the Fan-Service portion of the review! I’m a little worried Matt has never seen nipples…..

(I took screenshots from both versions, Lala has nipples damn it! Back me up readers!)

The Fan Service Review:

The tables have turned! Since my brand of pervy is different from Matt’s brand of surprisingly chaste, fog covered pervy, I’m going to be doing the interrogation this time around! Interrogation huh? Wait, what are you doing with those handcuffs?!

We had a little DM conversation about the nipple question and one thing that came out is that apparently Mikan is confirmed nipple-less until season 4, when she miraculously grows some! I have no actual question here, I just thought it was delightfully weird, so I wanted to share. There’s a proper reason for it! She was/is a fan favourite and drawing out her ‘nipple debut’ in the manga is apparently a tactic in Japan to prolong sales—not especially romantic or sexy reason but it’s still a reason! But we see her full breasts already! It’s nutso – why am I enjoying this so much?

This picture is unrelated to the above discussion I just felt like putting it in.

I mentioned in the review proper that the character models all look alike. Body-wise – would you agree? Maybe in this first season but come ‘To Love-Ru Darkness’ there’s painstaking attention to detail to make all the girls look different. Where this season most the money went into the sci-fi elements, in future seasons all the money goes into the fan-service! Curses, I was hoping you would disagree. I had this whole elaborate set up planned! You win this round Mr. Matt, but you won’t be so lucky next time!

Naughty bow-wow doggie-kun!

So far, the fanservice in the five first episodes, tends to be variations of the same 4 scenes or so. I kind of like that. The audience knows what to expect and the production gets to hone its skills into a fine mastery. What are your views on fanservice diversity? A fine mastery is a pretty good way to put it, it knows what works and sticks to it, it will increase in more outlandish scenarios as it goes along though even within the space of the first season!



I know you are a lover of Lala, but she really had to share the spotlight with Blonde girl this time. More specifically, it was the latter that was suddenly stripped instead. Any strong feelings on that? More girls nude = more better!

Countdown to fun.

 Up until now, I thought the fanservice in To Love-Ru was a lot of fun, but the last scene of this episode really freaked me out. Any thoughts on it? Obviously, you’re not going to put yourself in that girl’s place like I did, so the impact is probably way different. I know what you’re talking about but I guess I know what kind of show this is and know that despite the lecherous looks of onlookers no girls in this series are ever in any real danger. Kind of like the tentacle scenes, it’s the equivalent of walking through a spider-web—unpleasant in the moment but ultimately harmless. (P.S. I’m not minimising the emotional impact a scene like this would have on a person in real life I’m simply stating it’s different in a show like this)

The Conclusion:

I remember liking this episode in my first watching but I loved in this second-time through, though I was surprised how much I forgot, I didn’t even remember any of the stuff that happens in the second-half and yet it was my favourite thing about the episode now. I feel like it was a lot more heavily comedic than the show had been–Haruna barely got a mention–but it worked for the sake of the show, it allowed a full character introduction of a new character and integrated them into the series very well. How did you find the episode overall, Irina? I thought it was the weakest one yet. Then again I am still chuckling about the cooking scene. It was a hard act to follow. The character they introduced and spend most of the episode on just seemed a bit boring and 2 dimensional compared to everyone we’ve met so far so I would have liked to get more development on the existing characters instead.

An artistic rendering of Irina after this episode perhaps?

And this episode did make me uncomfortable at several points so I didn’t enjoy it as much. I look forward to going back to absurdist, nudist fun. For the sake of completionism, I’ll give my scores for the episode and the fan-service, for the episode I give it 89/100 and for the fan service I give it an 80/100.

I love that 1 frame of nude Lala.



And that’s Episode 5 done, hopefully this came out a bit better than the previous reviews, I certainly enjoyed writing this without the added strain of not repeating myself from the solo reviews so expect this format to continue going forward for each episode. Thanks for reading!

Previous To Love-Ru’ Reviews:

Solo Episode 1 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1
Solo Episode 2 Review
Solo Episode 3 Review
Solo Episode 4 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episodes 2, 3 and 4

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!



Virtual NTR – ‘My Sister, My Writer’ OVA 1 Review

Virtual NTR – An Anime QandA Review of ‘My Sister, My Writer’ OVA 1 Review


This post contains some NSFW imagery.

What’s the show? My Sister, My Writer. OVA 1 (Episode 11) Review.

Wait. I thought you were taking a hiatus from seasonal anime reviews, and hasn’t this god-awful abomination of a show already ended?! What’s going on here?! Calm down buddy, I thought I’d make an exception and review the 11th episode (it’s not the 11th episode, it’s an OVA, but whatever) of ‘My Sister, My Writer’ since Crunchyroll decided to stream it.

Yep, that about sums up the show.

That’s kind of rare in of itself, isn’t it? Crunchyroll doesn’t usually put OVA’s up on their service, do they? You’re oddly well-informed in this regard, and yes, that’s true they usually don’t. And what’s more remarkable is they’ve put up the uncensored version of the episode!

Mai putting up a good case for a new ‘best girl’ from this show.

Ah… and now we come to the real reason you’ve come out of semi-retirement–the pursuit of anime nipples! Do you really think I’m that shallow?

*cough*, *ahem*, *mumbles* Okay fine, you got me. But obviously I wouldn’t be talking about this episode unless it had something noteworthy about it, would I? Something I felt compelled to share with my lovely readers.

“I love the power glove, it’s so bad”.

Oh yeah? And what’s that… It’s ~really~ funny, both ironically and unironically.

Okay, so what’s the OVA about? Right, so the gang is all gathered at a non-descript meeting room because Double Peace Sensei has asked them there. Turns out the “company” she works for has developed an ultra realistic deep VR game that they want to beta-test on Yu and the girls. Turns out the game is a ‘GNTR’ or ‘Gender switched Netorare’ which for the innocent among you basically means Yu’s going to act out being a married man at the center of a cucking harem. That’s not a typo by the way, ‘Netorare’ is a genre of fiction and eroge that deals with a married person (usually a wife, but in this case husband–hence the “gender switched” bit–who is sexually pursued by others with a modicum of consent on the part of their partner).

Asking all the tough questions, Suzuka.

I’m already confused and annoyed. Shut up, it gets better. So basically the whole episode is each of the girls interrupting sexual encounters that Yu has with each other girl in a kind of knock-out round situation. So after Double Peace Sensei (who “luckily” rolls the role of Yu’s wife) tries to get Yu to enter her back entrance Mai crashes the scene with a more powerful ‘card’ and so the shenanigans continue with each girl getting a chance to get their boobs out and generally be sexy for no apparent reason but to give the audience the fan-service they deserve after sitting through 10 mostly mediocre episodes of the show!

Send this pic to someone who doesn’t watch anime and show me their reaction. I dare you.

Aside from pandering to your perverted proclivities I fail to see how this episode is entertaining. Listen, it’s a genuinely funny and occasionally well-written episode and it’s a darn sight more self-aware and tongue-in-cheek than the series was. I wish the rest of this series had this level of playfulness and frivolity!

“Fever time” huh?

Right. So you’re settling on? This is probably the best episode of the series from a sheer entertainment perspective (assuming you have no issue with excessive fan service and nudity). The animation is passable and never dips to the horrendous levels it did during the show’s run which I know for some people who watched this show as a spectacle train-wreck rather than appreciating it for what it is will be disappointing. But for the rest of us who genuinely enjoyed this amateurish exercise in anime–punctuated with professional level fan service–this is about as good as it gets for ‘My Sister, My Writer’.

Jiggles + nipples through shirt. What a time to be alive.

Previous My Sister, My Writer Reviews:

Family Matters – Episode 1 Review
“I’m Not Bad, I’m Just Drawn That Way” – Episode 2 Review
Schrodinger’s Panty Shot – Episode 3 Review
All Roads Lead To Bikini Fan Service – Episode 4 Review
A Sister’s All You Nude – Episode 5 Review
Sibling Bondage – Episode 6 Review
Lewding From The Heart – Episode 7 Review
The Best Offence Is A Good Incest – Episode 8 Review
Keeping Face – Episode 9 Review
Sis-Confession – Episode 10 (Finale) 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!



To LOVE-Ru Darkness Volume One – 20 Question Manga Review

A 20 Question Manga Review for To LOVE-Ru Darkness Volume One.

What’s the manga? To LOVE-Ru Darkness, Volume One.

Uh-huh, and what’s that mean? Stop asking me what titles mean, sometimes things don’t need to mean anything!

It says here on Reddit that the title is a pun? Please, get off Reddit. Also fine yes it’s a pun, it’s “To-Ra-Bu-Ru” which if you’re speaking Japanese kinda sounds like “Trouble” but also sounds like “To Love You”—remember the Japanese have trouble with their L-sounds. Also they like to add extra vowels to English words to fit their alphabet.

First world problems?

‘Kay. So “love”, huh? Is it a romance manga? I mean maybe… if you’re idea of romance is a 3+ person harem involving alien girls who look exactly like normal (anime) girls and who frequently disrobe in front of the protagonist for seemingly no discernible reason.

Oh, so it’s one of those kinds of manga, yeah? I’m not sure quite what you’re insinuating but it is a fan-service heavy harem manga, yes.

It’s happened to everyone, right?!

*sigh* why are we reviewing this? What’s there to say about this that hasn’t been said a hundred times before in similar reviews of this kind of content? Not exactly reinventing the wheel here! Did I mention this manga is actually a sequel of a series that ran 18 previous volumes and that not only have I read precisely ~zero~ of the previous manga series’ I’d also seen only TWO episodes of the anime adaptation when I read this.

That’s uh… that’s… why did you do that?! That seems just insane?! I can tell you the “why” of the matter later, the more interesting point to me is how I kept up with a plot I’d barely touched upon all these many books later.

Not the jealous type though.

I know you’re trying to bait me so fine…  GOLLY, HOW ON EARTH DID YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON? It’s literally the same as it was in those first two episodes just with added girls and a bit of backstory. There, I saved you from reading 18 volumes or 30+ episode of the anime adaptation of To LOVE-Ru.

Can you be sure though? Oh I’m sure there’s some To LOVE-Ru aficionado out there tearing his hair out at my sacrilegious statements but really I didn’t feel like I missed anything at all by skipping from the very first episodes of the original to the very first pages of this “sequel”.

Childhood friends ftw.

I suppose it could be argued that a good sequel allows a viewer (or in this case reader) to go in and still follow the story without the need for copious recaps. Yeah, maybe—if this was a 2 hour movie—but an 18 volume manga series? I can’t imagine reading all that and feeling fulfilled by the experience, especially when it seems like so little has changed since the beginning. With the exception of the forging of some relationships of course.

So we’ve just badmouthed the previous series for half the blog without so much as discussing the content itself! What’s it about? Rito is a very ordinary high-school boy who suddenly finds himself as the top candidate to be the King of planet Deviluke (and by extension King of the universe) and with his newly bequeathed position comes a beautiful fiance by the name of Lala, not to mention a bunch of other girls who are keen to win his affections.

She can reform me anytime…

Of course it does. So what actually happens in Volume 1 of this sequel series, can we have a fair and balanced review perhaps? Well this volume starts by vaguely recounting the events of the previous chapter, namely that Rito confessed his feelings to his long-time childhood crush Haruna, only to immediately backpedal because he’s an idiot and this series has to keep going.

What happened to ‘fair and balanced’? I never agreed to that. But fine. So basically there’s three main girls in Rito’s life, the aforementioned childhood crush Haruna, his alien fiance Lala and Lala’s little sister Momo. Rito—being a typical male and hormonal teenager can’t decide if he wants to be with Haurna or Lala. But here’s where things get ~interesting~, Momo’s fallen for Rito and fallen hard. So knowing full well she’s third pick at best at being his best girl she decides rather than directly compete with these girls for his sole attention to build a harem around him in the hopes she’ll get just a little bit of Rito’s affection.

Sounds like a plan?

That’s… that’s awful! I mean, yeah… if you’re approaching this with the idea that any of this is even supposed to be taken vaguely seriously. But it’s not, it’s a sitcom plot, albeit a sitcom with the nudity cranked up to HBO standards.

I shudder to ask you to elaborate but do elaborate, please. It’s impeccably drawn soft core pornography, so much so that it got the attention of the Japanese government for being too explicit. Though they ultimately decided, while revealing didn’t ~actually~ break any laws…

Priorities, amirite?

Right… so this is basically just a girl trying to tempt a guy into having more women in his life so she gets to be a small part of his love life? Well when you put it like that it sounds bad. But it’s really not.

You keep protesting but I’ve yet to see as much as a hint that this series is anything other than pandering to an absurd male fantasy. Rito may be a pretty dull protagonist but he’s still acutely aware of his actions, and he may not understand why he’s suddenly so desirable to so many attractive women but he at least knows not to take advantage of them or treat them wrong.

Smells like the ocean.

Why are you defending this guy? Why are you defending this series? I feel like all you do is bring up more and more issues with it only to brush them aside for facile reasons. If the genders were reversed and we were dealing with a kind of air-headed but well-meaning female protagonist surrounded by sexy shirtless men who dote on her unquestioningly we wouldn’t nearly be as critical of the series? Or maybe I’m just speaking now to the female portion of my readers who’ve sat rolling their eyes at my approval of this manga. I’m not going to pretend like this is some high-art or even top-notch quality entertainment, this is soft core pornography with vaguely interesting characters.

A truly ringing endorsement if ever I’ve seen one *rolls eyes* You mock but for some people this is all they need out of their manga.

An anaconda or an earth-worm?

Ugh. Okay, whatever. “Benefit of the doubt” and all that. So final score and recommendation? Reading To LOVE-Ru Darkness felt like being a high-schooler again and discovering Internet pornography for the first time. No, it’s nowhere near as explicit as all that, but what it is is teenage escapism, it’s (mostly) harmless nonsense. Yes it instills some sense of depth but really it’s just an excuse to look at attractive, willing girls in various states of undress. There’s plenty of harem-centric anime and manga that have a story to tell or characters to develop or allegory to… allegor? But this series seems content to tell a superficial story but tell it well. Throw in some likeable characters, humorous scenarios and sexy shenanigans and what you have is a rollicking good time for anyone willing to submit to its shallow charms.

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Elfen Lied – 20 Question Anime Review

A 20 Question Anime Review for Elfen Lied.

What’s the show? Elfen Lied (2004).

And what’s that mean? I had to look this up, apparently it’s German or Dutch (or both) and it roughly means ‘Elves Song’.

I’m guessing since you had to look it up the show is not about elves then? Indeed, the Wikipedia synopsis is pretty spoiler heavy so I’ll just sum it up from how it presents itself in the first few episodes. It’s about a crazy naked girl with invisible arms who breaks out of a testing facility she was being held in and ends up staying with university student Kouta and his cousin Yuka, who look after her and try and discover what her deal is.

Pictured: Me, having to be restrained from buying everything when shopping in Akihabara.

Okay, sounds interesting. What’s ‘crazy naked girl’s’ name? Lucy, or Nyu, depending on who you’re talking to.

Huh? Let’s just say you’re better off talking to the child-like persona Nyu, you won’t like her when she’s Lucy.

Is that a Hulk reference? Yes, basically she’s crazy violent when she’s Lucy, this show doesn’t shy away from the violence and gore by the way.

Mona Lisa Smile.

And nudity, I assume? Well yeah, but I’m not complaining.

Right. So what are your complaints, I’m assuming you have some? Unfortunately yes, first 4 or so episodes I was not enjoying myself. Sure, it’s got an interesting plot and some nice animation, but aside from that I couldn’t get into the characters and I didn’t appreciate the jarring tone, between the violent and serious parts which comprise ‘the plot’ and the lighter moments when Nyu’s getting into all kinds of “misunderstandings” because she doesn’t understand cultural and societal norms.

The art is gorgeous sometimes.

So it was tonally jarring going between the serious scenes and the jokey scenes, but were the scenes on their own at least good? The serious stuff was good enough, it was suitably grim and sinister and mysterious but the light-hearted stuff was almost unwatchable, except for well you know… the fan service, I’m still a guy after all…

Aha, so when you said before you weren’t complaining about the nudity, you meant on a surface level. Yes, the nudity is fine, it is what it is, but the ‘comical’ scenes at home like where Kouta has to dress her and then his female cousin walks in and it’s just so obvious and lazy, it feels like it’s from a completely different show. It’s not funny enough to make up for the intrusion to the tone and simultaneously its not subtle or nuanced enough to seamlessly integrate with the rest of the show.

“I love donuts!” #GuessTheReference

Explain it to me like I’m, well… me. Right, it’s like your watching Terminator the original one, you know ultra violent sci-fi and then suddenly there’s comic relief courtesy of American Pie, or worse one of the direct to video sequels.

Yikes! Really sounds like you don’t like this show… No I actually do, if you skip to the bottom you’ll see I end up giving it a 76 out of 100.

Wait, what? Huh?! I was just about to write this show off completely and praise you for doing your first negative review on this website! How does what you just said end up with a show scoring 76 out of 100? Pretty sure, I said that that was just the first 4 episodes that were like that. And considering there’s 13 episodes, even if those episodes were total bottom of the barrel turkey trash, if the remaining 9 were flawless that could still technically be a 76 I mean if we’re talking averages. Though the first 4 aren’t complete trash, they’re high 50’s at worst.

So what happens in the remaining nine episodes?! Oh? So suddenly you want spoilers, weren’t you just the other day cajoling me into keeping these reviews “spoiler free”?

I… can’t come up with a funny caption.

Ugh, fine, without spoilers, explain how this show makes such a turn around? Character development, back story, emotional revelations, genuinely clever writing, believe it or not all these things are in this show, it just takes a quarter of the season to start showing the signs of promise

Wouldn’t you say that’s too little too late? For some people maybe, but I’m generally not in the habit of dropping shows.

‘Dropping shows’? It’s a common term in the anime community, when you watch a show and then get to a point however many episodes in and then decide not to continue. I don’t do it personally because even the worst shows have some redeeming qualities, plus I can’t give something a score unless I’ve watched all of it. But that’s just a personal rule, I can understand why people do it, there’s a lot of anime out there and only so many hours in a day!

There really aren’t enough good quality pictures of this show on Google. But it beats having to screencap shows myself!

Fair enough. So how do you go about recommending a show like this? Well it’s a classic series, I remember watching it about a decade ago and liking it a lot more than when I re-watched it a year ago. Maybe it hasn’t aged as well or maybe my tastes have changed, or maybe there’s just so much other stuff out there that it’s less special then it was back then. But if you haven’t seen the show I still recommend it, but there’s about a hundred shows I’d recommend before it.

Well okay then, final sc- No wait a second, I change my mind on that, if you’ve never watched anime before and you want something very dark and very violent and a little perverted but not like FULL pervert, then it’s probably a good place to start.

Nobody reading this has never watched anime, they’re all like you. True, and then for them I say if you haven’t watched it, and you’re not feeling it, at least try and give it ‘til episode 8. I know that’s a big ask in our fast paced world, but I think it’s worth it for how good it gets, even if it’s a tough slog at first. Final score, 76 out of 100.