Yosuga no Sora Arc Breakdown Episodes 5 and 6 (Akira’s Arc)

YNS EP 4

Plot: Haruka and Akira develop a relationship while Haruka tries to help Akira determine her true parentage and unlock the secrets of her past.

Breakdown: Akira is my favorite character on this series and seemingly has the most interesting story, so it’s no real surprise that I liked this arc.

The relationship between Haru and Akira isn’t even really put front and center, either. In fact, if I had one real issue with this arc it’s that this romance seems even more rushed and sloppy than Kazuha’s. We do find out that Haru and Akira knew each other very briefly as children, which leads to Haru going to ridiculous lengths to fix something from that time.

Akira had lost her mother’s pendant while they were playing. They searched and searched, but couldn’t find it. Haru, realizing the importance of that pendant now, goes to great lengths to find it, even though the terrain has changed since they last time he visited. His efforts are indeed sweet, but after they search in vain for the pendant, they’re already having sex.

They don’t show the sex scene on screen, and it’s possible they didn’t even have sex, but let me break it down.

They both get completely filthy looking for the pendant. Instead of going home and taking a bath in his own house like a normal person, he is invited to bathe at Akira’s home while she washes their clothes. Akira barges in and eventually makes her way into the bathtub with him, sitting on his lap, where she not-so-subtly nudges him into sex.

The scene cuts away after they start kissing, and Haru later explains that they passed out in the bath, but Akira seems to pray for forgiveness for her impure actions and they’re both blushing, which could be due to the bath, so it’s really unclear. Still doesn’t change the fact that they were in a bath together, her sitting on him, him groping her boobs and eventually making out. Mere hours after Akira even realized she liked him romantically….

Doesn’t really help that this entire scene is made a little creepy because Akira is talking about how nice it is to hear other people in the bathroom again because she used to take baths with the old man who ran the shrine/adopted her. And she’d sit on his lap in the tub….She mentions this a minute or two before she jumps on Haru’s lap and feels his hard-on pressing into her back….

Akira takes the reigns in this relationship, which is fine and fairly fitting because she’s so affectionate and physical in her emotional expressions, commonly hugging people and putting her arms around them.

Haru is somehow more pushy than he was with Kazuha, though. In her arc, he supported her and gave her space when she needed it but also helped her out whenever he could without overstepping his bounds. Here, when he learns a secret about Akira’s parentage, he decides to go out and get a DNA test to figure it out, even though it seems like Akira doesn’t really want this, and what they learn from the test could drastically affect the lives of both Akira and Kazuha.

He bounces back and forth between being pushy about it because he feels it’s his responsibility to clear this up to try and make her happy, even though this could easily create many more problems than good outcomes, and backing off. I do appreciate that, at a certain point, he admits he went too far and seems to fully relent, letting Akira make the decision for herself.

The storyline involving her family is pretty interesting. At the end of the day, I still have a bad taste in my mouth towards Mrs. Migiwa. I’m not saying she should have taken Akira in or anything, though that would’ve been nice, but she didn’t need to act like such a cold-hearted bitch towards her. Acknowledging that you realize Akira has doesn’t have the ability to choose who her parents are doesn’t excuse treating her badly.

The finale sex scene is very….random. Haru and Akira are sitting on the porch after she resolves the stuff with her family and she proposes sex….and they do. The end. It’s not really random in the grand scheme of things, but it’s just like ‘Oh yeah we end all of these arcs with sex scenes, right. Get naked, Akira.’

Sora’s role in this arc is very minimal. She spends much of episode five brushing her teeth for some reason and really just….existing. She does explain more about the cross necklace, though – that it was a present Haru gave to her when they were kids.

In episode six, they make it a point to show Sora existing sadly at home while Akira talked about how she doesn’t want to end up alone, which was very….disturbing. Were they trying to make us feel bad about Sora in that scene? Like if Haru kept dating Akira, Sora would be lonely and betraying her or something? Why do so many people in this show think that dating someone instantly means neglecting everyone important to you?

The Motoka omakes are getting more graphic. Each one for this arc had a sex scene in some capacity – both of which with Haru and Motoka, of course. I feel like they’re treating this like an extra arc, though it’s all non-canon.

All in all, this is another arc that I could easily see being pretty good as the main arc for the series.

But it’s not, so—

At this point, I was going to make another joke about dumping a previous non-canon arc and moving onto the next one, like I did in Kazuha’s arc….but I can’t.

I thought I’d still get to enjoy a reprieve for the next few episodes considering we still have three episodes (Foundation episode and Nao’s arc) before we get into Sora’s inevitably painful arc, even though the two arcs are somewhat intertwined. I didn’t know anything about Nao’s arc since it was in an entirely different branch from Kazuha and Akira’s section, so I did a little snooping on Wiki, flipped through episode seven real quick and uhm, let’s just say my days of relaxing during this series are over.

I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say the next arc involves rape…..rape of a minor……perpetrated by a minor….*sigh*


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The Salty Anime Challenge Day 13: A Sad Anime that Made You Feel Nothing

Today’s dishonor goes to H2O: Footprints in the Sand.

This show does a lot to try and make you feel sad. One of the main characters, Hayami, is bullied so much and so harshly by all of the characters in the village, child, adult or otherwise, that it’s insane. She also has a tragic backstory ™, is an orphan (I think?) because of it, and is severely psychologically damaged by her situation.

Hirose, the main character in this dramatic harem, is blind, became blind through psychological trauma in his tragic backstory ™ in which his mother commits suicide right in front of him. He gets better but then there’s a tragic plot twist that reveals he never was better. He becomes emotionally broken and basically becomes a walking vegetable. Then he gets better. The love of his life kills herself in a manner identical to how his mother killed herself, all to….cure his…blindness….and then…he gets better….and…..she…gets…better?

Hinata has a tragic backstory ™ with her grandfather being a horrible bastard. Her life and identity aren’t even really hers – they were thrust upon her by her grandfather who basically ‘killed’ her off in order to have her take the place of the person who really died.

Otoha has a tragic backstory ™ Long story short –

Even people not in the H2O circle (Hinata, Hayami (interchangeable Hirose) and Otoha, get it?) have tragic backstories like Yui whose grandfather died because Hayami’s family refused to give him medical treatment because Yui’s family was poor.

….Did I mention this is based off of an H-game? That’s probably important. Who wants to try to get turned on while wading through a sea of tragedy and horrible circumstances? There are no hentai scenes or anything close here, so you’re just left with an overly dramatic harem anime that is unabashedly sad.

Thing is, even though I enjoyed most of the show well enough, barring the last three episodes, I never felt sad. There were a couple decent heartwarming moments, but sad? No. Not once.

I don’t know if I was just numb to it very quickly or if they were obviously doing their best to make everything as tragic as possible from the get-go while still having an unrealistically happy ending where damn near everything is fixed so I just felt like….Have you ever seen something that is obviously overly dramatic and sad to the point where your reaction is more ‘wow, what the hell?’ than it is sadness?

It’s hard for me to have a legitimately sad response to all of this soap-opera-esque tragedy. And it just snowballs as the series goes concludes until the snowball gets hit by a train.

Read my original review for the full stupid insanity of the last three episode of the series, but trust me, it’s just sad event after sad event.

And I still don’t feel remotely sad. If anything, I got pretty angry and confused as the series ended simply because I couldn’t believe the stupidity of it all.

Sad, however, no. They’re just trying way too hard.

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 8: Least Favorite Genre(s)

This one’s really a no brainer – harem anime.

I’m really slamming harem anime lately…..I might want to rephrase that.

I even wrote a while back about my distaste of the genre. Long story short, while it’s definitely not meant for me in the first place, harems are some of the laziest shows you can get your hands on. Flat, uninteresting Gary Stu main lead, meet 4-7 insanely beautiful girls you’d have a little to no chance with in real life who fill the criteria of traditional harem characters such as glasses girl, lolicon fodder, childhood friend who is most likely the main love interest, tough and loud chick, and whore.

Gasp and giggle as MC gets himself into all sorts of wacky shenanigans like accidentally groping one of them, accidentally seeing one of them naked, accidentally causing a big misunderstanding that will make main love interest probably punch him and accidentally falling in love because the writers said so.

Let’s not forget the squabbling.

‘He’s my uninteresting male protagonist!’

‘No he’s mine!’

‘Let’s settle this with a boob groping fight in the hot spring!’

…Alright, that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.

I forgot to mention the overly dramatic ones, like H2O or School Days, but that’s a whole different can of worms that still basically works on the same foundation. The same tropes still happen, but they’re surrounded by ultra-drama that is usually capped off with an insane and ridiculous ending.

Not all harems are completely lazy or irredeemable, in fact there are some that are fairly good, but I’ve found that, as a whole, the genre is a minefield of pointless, badly written pandering that I am more than glad to actively avoid.

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 4: The First Anime You Hated And/Or Dropped

Yikes. You’re going to make me trudge into ‘Goddamn, I’m old’ territory and look up…..My first reviews.

And I mean like the old old stuff that hasn’t even seen the Madhouse.

I do believe that honor goes to the dumpster fire that is School Days.

I don’t have much left to say about this series that hasn’t already been said by others or I haven’t personally said. At the bare bones, it’s a stupid harem anime with one of the worst main characters ever.

But when you really get down to it, School Days is just mean-spirited and makes you feel awful for watching it.

Admittedly, back in the day, I said I gave it some points for being so ridiculously over dramatized and stupid that it had some entertainment value in that regard. However, now that I am far more schooled (no pun intended) on anime, the series as a whole isn’t ridiculously over dramatized enough to stand out that much. It just decided to have the main character actually sleep with all of these girls as opposed to just wacky ecchi shenanigans or making out.

When you get down to it, though this show is really only remembered for the batshit ending.

Let me save you a headache for those who haven’t watched it. Sekai, Kotonoha and Makoto are in a love triangle. Makoto’s a dick to both of them and cheats on both of them without a care in the world, but ultimately chooses Kotonoha because he felt bad for emotionally breaking her through his dickishness (and she got raped by his best friend, but this doesn’t even seem like it’s a real plot point at all) Sekai is pregnant with Makoto’s kid, but maybe not. She doesn’t take being dumped well, so she viciously stabs him to death.

Kotonoha finds his body, beheads him, kills Sekai, slices up her body to prove she’s not pregnant (or maybe was?) then spends her last days on a raft in the middle of the ocean while clutching the severed head of Makoto.

Got all that? Good.

The ending catches people off guard because nothing alludes to it beforehand. It’s a brutal, bloody murder followed by another brutal, bloody murder in the tail end of a harem anime. Granted, the games have several bloody bad ends, so this might not have been a shock to people who had played the (Hentai) games before, but still.

Either that, or people were cheering their heads off that Makoto was killed at the end because he was such a massive douchewhistle. Bonus points for Sekai for some, though that might be controversial if she was indeed pregnant (they never made that clear.)

Then there’s the controversy that sprung around it back when it was first released. In many versions of the series, the blood is painted black to censor it so it looks like Makoto bleeds oil (I wouldn’t be surprised to be honest). They censored it because the ending episodes were being released right as a string of murders were happening in Japan. Upon first release, they didn’t even show the episode and instead showed some clips of boats – which is what spawned the ‘Nice boat’ meme.

If you ignore the ending, all the series is about is Makoto banging most of the cast of female characters and giving zero shits about who he hurts. You’re constantly wondering why Makoto is so highly sought after when he has absolutely no redeeming traits, and around every corner there’s someone else being a dick to someone. You root for no one. You like no one. And past me was overtly generous to give it a 2/5 score. I may have been easy on it in the original review, but I definitely believe this was the first anime I ever really hated, especially as time went on.

Episode One-Derland: Yosuga no Sora

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Plot: Sora and Haru are twins whose parents just recently passed away. They decide to sell their apartment and go back to their old house in a very small town in the country. Every female, including his sister, wants to ride Haru’s meat wagon, and that’s pretty much all you need to know.

———————-

“But FiddleTwix, you said you hate harems and actively try to avoid them!” you yell through your computer screen.

Oh yes, yes I do. But I also have a problem with reading terrible reviews on anime. On one hand, I give some of these shows a shot just to see if they have earned some form of redemption in my eyes. On the other hand, boy is it fun to watch terrible anime and then tear it a new one.

My first glimpse into this was through THEM anime reviews who basically said it was crappy soft-core hentai. They left it at a one paragraph review amounting the show to being less enjoyable to merely watching 12 episodes of blank screen. Now that is something to spur my interest.

So I got around to watching the first episode and just from this episode alone I can see all sorts of problems.

First of all, there’s no story so far. Yup. One whole episode and no story outside of the plot synopsis I just gave you, and that information is only given to us in the middle of the episode. Narrative story flow? What’s that?

Want me to give you a full synopsis of the entire episode?

Okay.

Sora and Haru arrive in the town, grocery shop, greet the neighbors, Haru goes to school (Sora can’t because she suffers from ‘wtfistheresomethinginthewaterinJapanincrediblyweakyetgivennodiagnosis-itis’ and believe it or not, Haru actually describes her problem as ‘She’s weak and whatnot.’ Thanks Doctor.), we find out that Haru and Sora kissed when they were like ten (And I mean, legit kissed, not a little peck), Sora gets mad that he was late coming home, everyone with a vagina pervs on Haru and we end the episode with Sora imagining Haru about to French her as an apology for forgetting his phone at home with the episode-ending ‘cliffhanger’ being a horny Sora taking off her clothes at Haru’s bed propositioning him for sex.

Yep, that’s it.

Second, the other characters. There are several other characters introduced here, all of which being girls because duh. I can at least give most other harems some slack for usually taking time with the interactions with the main male lead and not flying head first into ‘Every girl needs to change her panties at the sight of him’ stuff.

This show, oh god, no. Every girl, and I mean every single one, coming to a grand total of six, so far, is lusting after Haru like this is an all-girl’s school built on an aphrodisiac factory immediately after catching sight of him.

Okay, not all of them are really lusting after him at this point, but most of them are, and the ones who haven’t gotten to the point of causing moisture damage to their desk chairs whenever his name is brought up very clearly have a gigantic crush on him just by glancing at his perfect face.

Because of this, they have to give a car crash of introductions to make sure that fans of every route get a little taste of their lust for him before the episode’s over. Did I say ‘route’? Why, that would indicate that this is based on an H-game. Boy howdy, a crappy softcore hentai harem anime based off of an H-game. That never happens!

While we do get little tidbits into the personalities of each girl, I honestly couldn’t keep up enough to even get their names partway memorized. It takes some kind of talent to make the audience have difficulty keeping up with a show that has absolutely no story so far.

The only two you really need to worry about at this point are Sora and Haru. How do they fare as characters?

Haru’s fine. He’s….perfect. He’s kind, smart, caring, very responsible, sociable, hard working, overall very happy, a teenage Adonis with the light and breezes of heaven following him around in case a girl gawks at him—he’s a Gary Stu. There ya go. If there’s one negative character trait that I’ve been able to squeeze out of him so far is a very common one of Gary Stus….he’s a doormat. Otherwise known as the ‘my only flaw is that I’m too nice’ flaw.

Sora, on the other hand, is a completely unlikable little twat. It seems like they’re trying for the tsundere trope with her, but she is just a complete little grumpy bitch. Yeah, I understand that their parents died…some time ago, but she never seems to think about them nor bring them up – all of her thoughts are wet dreams about Haru.

The only way they seem to be gunning for even remotely tsundere-like qualities in regards to the other half of the equation is that when Sora is done being a bitch, she grabs onto Haru’s shirt with a few fingers. This in combination with her clinging to her stuffed rabbit and the fact that her alternate hairstyle is pigtails pretty much establish her as a loli trope above all else. Did I mention she’s 16?

She’s entitled, she likes absolutely nothing but junk food, the Internet and Haru, she rarely smiles, she’s jealous of every girl who comes near Haru, she’s very abrasive and bossy, taking stuff that doesn’t belong to her with a snide remark, and wasting their measly grocery budget on junk food (Gee, I wonder why she’s so weak.) and she’s just plain creepy with how horny she is for her twin brother.

That ending scene I mentioned? She’s not even sweetly or shyly asking Haru to ‘make love’ to her or anything. She is repeatedly asking him in a creepy voice to make her orgasm while she strips.

And let me make it clear that while the target of her affections being her brother does make the situation squickier, the way she acts would be creepy with anyone.

You like Haru because the show kinda forces you to, especially giving him the bonus sympathy angle of being an orphan, but the only other really prominent main character is so hate-worthy that you can’t stand watching any scene with her. The other girls are annoying in their own rights, mostly with their crushes on Haru, but their scenes with him are way more tolerable than any scene with her.

Oh yeah, there’s a chibi-comedy rehash of an early scene as a pre-end-credits scene in which one of the girls, lonely (apparently going to a singles group when she’s still in high school….) and recently catching a glimpse of sex incarnate himself, goes home to have a completely necessary masturbation scene. Yup.

The art, animation and music are really the only saving graces so far, and even that’s not fantastic. Some of the design choices are questionable, such as making some of the characters look too thin and sometimes having odd faces, but it’s overall pretty decent. The backgrounds are really well detailed and the environments, while not being particularly memorable, are well designed.

Final Verdict:

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Okay, I’m cheating. This decision is really for your own sake. I’ll be continuing it just to see how far the rabbit hole really goes…..I’m regretting that choice of words immediately. But yeah, it’s really not worth a look at all unless you have a thing for incest or smacking around bad anime.

White Album Season 1 Review

Rating: 6/10

Plot: Touya Fujii has been dating Yuki Morikawa since they were in high school. However, when Yuki wants to pursue her dream of becoming a singer, she puts her relationship with Touya on hold because she can’t balance her career and dating him. This leads Touya through a tough time trying to continue at least keeping in contact with Yuki, but failing numerous times. Luckily, he has plenty of ‘goddesses’ to keep him company and help him through his troubles one way or another.

Breakdown: (Spoiler warning) I haven’t had such a love/hate relationship with an anime since Fushigi Yugi.

Let me get the ‘goddess’ thing out of the way. Touya basically lists one woman a day as his ‘goddess of the day.’ Criteria for this is being female and seeing him on a day. Yuki is supposed to be special because she was his ‘everyday.’ This doesn’t matter. At all. But the show keeps pointing it out, so there ya go.

One of the reasons I was so interested in this show was that I read on Nihon anime reviews that Touya was seen as being more despicable than Makoto of School Days. Not as hated, but more despicable. That’s a pretty bold statement seeing as how Makoto was complete garbage.

I haven’t seen season two as of this initial writing, but from what I gather of season one….he’s not as bad as Makoto by a long shot. Makoto was a heartless sex fiend who cheated on about five different girls, one claiming she was pregnant, without any remorse or caring whatsoever. The only time he ever showed an iota of caring is when he got caught doing something bad and even then it wasn’t much.

Touya….is an ass. I won’t deny that. He’s an ass to Hakura for no reason even though she is nothing but nice to him, he admits his love for Misaki even though he knows his best friend likes her and he’s supposedly in love with Yuki, he makes out with and sleeps with Yayoi, Yuki’s manager, as a replacement for Yuki (even though Yayoi’s one of the main things keeping them apart) and he’s incredibly difficult to like as a main character.

However, unlike Makoto, he actually shows remorse for cheating.

….Sometimes.

He doesn’t use the girls he knows for sex beyond Yayoi. In fact, he only kisses one other girl besides Yayoi and Yuki for the entire show. And, being partially fair, Touya actually has somewhat of a reason to cheat (even though I think cheating is horrible no matter what reason, and I find it damn near impossible to forgive, personally, at least Touya had a reason beyond Makoto’s ‘I WANT SEX!’ reason.)

The anime pulls you into so many directions that it’s exhausting at times. Why? Because this anime is based off of a visual novel. More to the point – a dating sim. He has six, count ’em, six different girls to choose from. However, unlike a lot of visual novel based anime (Like Rumbling Hearts or even School Days) this anime wants to travel down every romance path possible. It wants you to root for way too many pairings. Focus on Yuki, Rina or Haruka, some mixture of those. We didn’t need Yayoi, Mana or Misaki’s relationships with him muddling it up.

In addition, their relationship is so flimsy that they should’ve just fully broken up with she became a singer. If you still want her to remain as a romantic interest, make them miss each other. Try to get back together. Keeping them together only highlights what an ass Touya is and what an idiot Yuki is. None of this would’ve happened otherwise, and I was never really rooting for him and Yuki to begin with.

Characters

Touya: He’s in love with Yuki, but is willing to cheat on her and declare his love to other women. He never seems to try very hard to see her or do stuff with her etc. He’s also a doormat. Besides Haruka, he does what everyone tells him to do with little fight.

Speaking of Haruka, I’d really like a reason as to why he’s so cold to her. She does tons of things for him, and he barely acknowledges her existence, which is odd, considering they’re supposed to be childhood friends.

Yuki: Yuki’s not terribly likable either. Her personality is fine, but she chose her career over her boyfriend, which would be fine if she actually fully chose one of the other. Things don’t always work out, and they could’ve had a very civil break. But she still tried to string him along without really trying that hard to be with him.

Lots of singers and actresses can still live their lives and have relationships. What makes Yuki so special that she can’t date Touya anymore?

Akira: He’s the token ‘best friend’ but he’s almost as annoying as Touya. He’s always angry, hardly ever smiles and his only real character point is that he likes Misaki for no given reason whatsoever.

I love this scene where he and Misaki spot Touya in a library. Touya’s just staring out the window, he sees Akira and Misaki together so he quickly waves and goes back to staring. Akira says with a snarl “What does HE want?” I think he wants to look out the window and mind his own damn business, Akira.

Even after he gets together with Misaki, he’s an angry whelp. He’s constantly making unprovoked comments about being jealous of Touya, and it’s obvious, even when he’s with Misaki, that he’s being treated as runner-up.

Rina: Rina is Yuki’s mentor and best friend. She is also a pop idol who has taken Yuki under her wing to help her career. I really liked Rina, especially towards the end, but before the actual end.

She finds out Touya’s cheating on Yuki, so she does the logical thing and asks if she can date him too….Right. I will never understand that logic. Rina doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would be in it for the sex, so why try to build a relationship with a guy who nonchalantly admitted he was bonking his girlfriend’s manager behind her back? However, she is likable, and I liked watching most of her scenes.

Haruka: Haruka is Touya’s childhood friend and is treated like crap by him. According to a line of dialogue in episode one, she had some sort of accident in tennis and we never hear of it again. Haruka is extremely quiet and softspoken, but she enjoys biking and going for walks. She frequently asks Touya to go with her, but Touya almost never goes with her. Haruka obviously likes Touya, but claims she just likes him as brother. Oh and as a final “screw you, Haruka” before the second season, Akira runs over her bike…

Misaki: Misaki is good friend of Touya because they relate to each other with books and poetry. There’s not much else to say about her besides she’s in love with Touya, but knows she can never be with him because he ‘loves’ Yuki. She knows Akira loves her, but ignores his feelings. Misaki’s likable but boring.

Yayoi: Yuki’s manager, Yayoi has an amazing character design. Seriously the colors, the design, the eyes, they’re all great. The art’s great in this show, but her character design is very well-made. I guess that’s to ensure that she’s a good seductress.

Yayoi’s a whore, essentially. She does everything in her power to keep Touya away from Yuki and vice versa because she doesn’t want anything distracting Yuki from her singing. She knows this hurts Touya, so she jumps him every chance she gets to be a replacement for Yuki. It should be noted that he does fight this at first, but not much and not for long. She hardly ever cracks a smile and she’s not likable at all.

Mana: A girl Touya happened upon at a train station, then came to be her tutor. Mana just started following Touya, even though she seemingly hated him from first sight. She started screaming “MOLESTER! PERVERT!” just because he bumped into her. She does this twice and each time she’s by a security guard or cop and each time she has her mouth covered by Touya who promptly drags her away….Good job cops. You hear and see that and don’t move a muscle. Nice.

Mana’s annoying. She’s a brat who also has a thing for Touya (School Days effect will kill you in this series.) She’s also on a crusade to find who ‘Yuki’ really is because she believes he’s simply under the delusion that he’s dating Yuki and knows Rina. Every girl he sees her with she accuses of being Yuki. It stopped being cute the first time she did it.

Art and Animation: The art and animation are really great. Nothing spectacular, but still high quality.

Voice Acting: Japanese – The voices are very well done, and none of them got on my nerves or seemed flat.

Music: Being rooted in a lot of pop idol culture, there’s obviously a focus on music in this series. The music is okay, I guess. The vocal songs in the series are forgettable except “White Album” itself. The opening and ending are bland, but fairly memorable. The background music is bland and forgettable.

Bottomline: Focusing on just season 1, it’s a confusing mess at it’s worst, keeps your attention at best. By the end of the series, you’ll feel like you went through a blender. I had no clue who I was supposed to be rooting for, and to make things worse, the season ends on a cliffhanger. There was hardly a happy moment throughout the entire show, and, when there was, it was almost always followed up by a dark cloud.

If you like a lot of possible pairings, this is a decent anime to go to. The technical quality is good, but don’t expect great things from this.

Additional Information and Notes: White Album season 1 was produced by Seven Arcs. The first season was directed by Akira Yoshimura, who also did episode directorial work on Witch Hunter Robin, Gundam 00, Rurouni Kenshin (TV) and Zegapain. It was written by Hiroaki Sato who also wrote the screenplay for….Fushigi Yugi: Eikoden….That…explains…a lot.

Episodes: 13

Year: 2009

Recommended Audience: There’s sexual situations, but no nudity. That’s about it for questionable material. However, considering the tone of this show, I’d recommend 14+

Why I Avoid Harem Anime

If you know me, you know I’m willing to review pretty much anything that I watch or read, and that I’m usually up for giving everything, no matter the genre, a try. But there’s one genre that I generally avoid in my searchings for new things to watch and read and for new stuff to review, and that is harem anime.

Now, I am fully aware that I am not the target demographic for harem anime. I am heterosexual female in her mid twenties, so anime that is basically nothing but blatant fanservice centered around girls in their mid-teens who constantly have their panties on display and have breasts that NASA should study due to constantly breaking the laws of gravity doesn’t really appeal to me. And I have done my hardest to give it a chance. I have watched various harem anime over the years, and my stance has just gotten worse.

The thing is I really don’t have a problem with the fanservice. It’s exploitation of hormones for the sake of sales, but I’m not going to be a hypocrite and say I don’t enjoy fanservice made for women. It’s not like it’s anything new. Watch any action movie and you’re likely to see an unnecessary sex scene or pointless nudity. Romantic movies also commonly have porn-y shots of shirtless guys. My problem with the genre of harems in particular is the fact that the story, plot and usually character development take a backseat to the fanservice, if there is any story, plot or character development or note in the first place.

Unless you’re making a hentai, I see no reason why fanservice has to be the main focal point of your anime. I mean, is it just for those kids out there who can’t figure out the parental blocks on their computers and need something to get their jollies off somehow? Is it for people who enjoy the mystery over the reveal? Or do people really find the same fanservice slapstick gags funny after seeing them 10,000 times?

That’s really not the only issue I have with it, either. Harem anime are some of the most predictable anime I’ve ever seen, even in story. 99% of the time you not only know who the main guy is going to go with by the time the first act of episode 1 is over with, but you also know pretty much exactly what’s going to happen in the series. It also holds some of the most common tropes in anime such as the hotsprings episode (probably coupled with the girls in the bath together comparing breast sizes), the ‘main love interest is in danger, gotta save her’ episode, the ‘serious misunderstanding’ episode (as opposed to the regular everyday misunderstanding moments, also known as the Three’s Company effect..) etc. And considering that harem anime usually only really focus on the whole ‘who will he really go with’ plot point and you know there’s no chance in hell it will be anyone else but the first girl he sees or the one who is obviously closest to him, it’s basically a moot point.

Harems also paint by numbers a lot in terms of who their token girls will be. Token glasses girl, tough girl, shy girl (who likely has the biggest chest balloons if that honor hasn’t been given to glasses girl), lolicon fodder (Who we swear is totally 16-18! Honest!), stoic one, whore, and of course the main love interest who varies somewhat, but is commonly the most ‘normal’ (and likely has a penchant for physically abusing the main lead through comic punches and slaps)

One could say similar things about other genres, perhaps gaming, fighting and magical girl anime, and I’m not sticking up for the titles in those genres who also just stick to the regular formula and do little to change it, but the fact of the matter is that the harem genre is basically saturated with titles like that whereas the other genres don’t succumb to that quite as much and usually have more going for them in some way. And not in a way that makes it seem like it’s just tacked on to make it different.

To be completely fair, I’m not saying that all harem anime are bad. Some, thankfully, try to break the mold and give us something fresh and interesting. I happen to really enjoy Zero no Tsukaima (though I think the following seasons were lackluster at best), Campione! (Though I do find the fanservice aspects to be the worst parts of that series), Ah! My Goddess! (Though the main couple was basically set in stone from episode 1 with really no other valid candidates), Ai Yori Aoshi (Though that suffers from the same thing as Ah! My Goddess!) Uhh….C3 was pretty decent,…White Album 2 was more of a love triangle….Golden Boy was more ecchi with characters of the day than harem……………………..

….The point is that harem anime can be good and fanservice can be both fitting and funny, but the fact is that so many, so so so many, in the genre just do it poorly—Actually let me rephrase that. They do it so generically to the point where I actually consciously avoid titles in the genre now unless I’ve particularly heard great things about it…or if it’s particularly awful, so I can watch it for fun. 😛

 

 

Maburaho Review

Rating: 2/10

Plot: Shikimori goes to a school filled with magicians where your worth as a magician is measured by how many times you’re allowed to use it. You see, a magician only has so many times they can use magic in their lifetime. If they use it all up, they instantly die.

Shikimori’s worth is pitiful as he can only use his magic a handful of times. Thus, he’s known throughout the school as a loser. However, one day, three girls suddenly appear and lust after him wanting to marry him. They don’t want him – however, they want his genes. Shikimori’s bloodline is incredibly powerful, but it ends with him. Girls all over the school now want to bear his child so they can claim the power of his bloodline.

Breakdown: Geez, this sounds like every guy’s dream. The underdog suddenly has every girl after him, but they only want to sleep with him no strings attached. And, hey, if you want more to your relationships, there are also several who want to marry him.

Maburaho is just bland. It’s not even really good at fanservice. I only watched two episodes and I can basically predict what’s going to happen. There will be a ton of episodes focusing on just the girls lusting after Shikimori and Three’s Company moments stemming from it. We’ll delve a bit more into the character’s backstories, but none of it will matter much. Shikimori will probably use up his magic on stupid stuff, verge on dying, big moment happens and he ends up with Yuna because obviously she’s the main love interest and it would be dumb to have him go with the girl who 100% wants nothing more to do with him than sex and the monotone samurai girl who wants the same thing.

Shikimori’s boring, the girls are boring, the side characters are boring, the art’s boring, it’s just blah.

I will admit that this series actually has somewhat of new premise with the whole limited amount of times they can use magic and if they use those shots up they die thing, but that’s not much to cheer about.

Then there’s the fact that I have to, yet again, ask the audience to switch the genders to see how creepy this really is. Imagine a bunch of guys viciously pursuing a girl just because they want her genes to bear a child for them.

Then they wag their fingers at him for blowing up at them because none of them really care about him, they only want his baby juice, but Yuna really does like him. Sure it may not be what every teenage boy would do right then, but he has every right to feel that way. No matter what gender you are, getting attention for the sheer sake of obtaining your genes must seem somewhat insulting.

It’s also pretty sexist to the girls. I know that Japanese history is littered with marriages and arrangements that are made purely for the benefit of the family name, but these girls don’t want to marry him or honor their family, they just want to bonk him so they can mother magical nukes.

Bottomline: Unless predictable and boring harems are your forte, avoid this one.

Additional Information and Notes: Maburaho was directed by Shinichiro Kimura and was produced by JC Staff.

Episodes: 24

Year: 2003-2004

Recommended Audience: Typical harem fare. 13+