Amnesia Review

Rating: 3/10

Plot: A girl loses her memory after bumping into a fairy named Orion. She tries to get through her regular activities without alerting anyone, but soon finds out that she has a boyfriend, and hiding the secret from him proves difficult. She spends about a month with him before suffering from an accident which suddenly causes her to appear at the beginning of the same month, in a different world with a different boyfriend. The pattern keeps repeating over and over, reliving the same month with different boyfriends in slightly different worlds suffering from a terrible accident before repeating the pattern again. Will she regain her memory and find her real world?

Breakdown: I was going to review this show, but I FORGOT what I was gonna say! 😀

Oh fine.

Amnesia is simultaneously terrible and perfect.

Not a perfect show – oh god no, I mean a perfect adaptation of an otome game….to a degree.

Amnesia is indeed based on an otome or reverse harem dating sim game of the same name with a very similar plot. Like most dating sims, the player chooses who they end up dating by a series of choices. The story is tailored to your selections. When you do this, you choose a specific ‘route’ in the game and, after a certain point, this route can’t really be changed much.

There’s a severe problem in adapting dating sims to anime. Because the player can freely choose which guy or girl they go after, there’s usually no one you’re ‘supposed’ to be choosing – no specific route you’re ‘meant’ to take. That’s kinda the point. The player chooses who they want based on their own preferences.

Because of this, most dating sim adaptations go down one of two routes; Have the main character, IE The Player, go after all of them equally and turn out to be a cheating douchenozzle because of it (EX: White Album and School Days) or you can force a main relationship, pre-select a mixed ‘route’ if you will, and have the main character get into all sorts of wacky accidental-romantic situations that you won’t care about because you know the person will go with the guy or girl that was obviously selected from the get-go.

This show is ‘perfect’ in a way as an adaptation because they allow the main character to date all of the eligible bachelors without cheating or seeming like a whore. This is achieved through the magic of alternate realities.

The main character – and I know I’m avoiding saying her name, trust me, I’ll get to that in a minute – is bumped into by a fairy named Orion. The contact ends up giving her amnesia of her entire life. She deals with this for a bit and finds out that she’s dating a guy, but after a month goes by she nearly dies and ends up waking up in an entirely new reality, back at the start of the same month, where she’s dating a different guy. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So, it’s not cheating, because she’s living an entirely new life in an alternate reality! Yay space/time continuum!

That being said, this show really is just consecutive ‘routes’ played out and all of them are purely about the guy with a little peppering of how the main character affected their lives. At least until we get to Toma and Ukyo anyway.

On that note, we really have to address the characters and the various ‘routes’, but before we do I need to address the art because I’ll be including pictures.

The art is fairly unique, beautifully detailed and very pretty, but when it comes to the character designs, it’s almost too pretty. The eyes all have this weird thing going on where the colors are glaringly bright, and many characters have gradients in their eyes that make them two completely different (insanely bright) colors. It, in no way, looks natural and it’s incredibly distracting.

Then there’s the little light gradients of colors like pink and purple that usually go into the hair and clothes. I feel like most of these people are made of leaking highlighters.

One thing anime has taught me is tolerance for insanely stupid and illogical clothing choices. While the clothing isn’t too bad a lot of the time, there are some characters here and there that look more suited to be in an MMORPG than a mystery/reverse harem anime. A lot of black, bright neon colors like yellow, lime green and orange, lots of horizontal and vertical black stripes (on top of the neon colors, of course) and checker patterns for whatever reason. One character is quite literally covered in belts from head to toe.

LOOK AT HIM! How long does it take him to get dressed in the morning!? I counted, he has 25 BELTS ON HIS CLOTHES! And that’s not counting the latches on his boots which may or may not be belts as well. And there’s 10 belts merely on his left arm. I think there actually may be more hidden on his back! And this is the character most known for being incredibly logical!

Shin also wears two belts on his neck while one of the female characters wears at least six on her clothes as well.

At least Orion is supernatural, so he has an excuse for looking like a court jester’s LSD chugging nephew, but wow. Did the Joker open a Hot Topic or did the Shuffle Alliance lose their minds?

*cough* On that note, let’s get to the characters.

This is our main character. She starts out–…..Oh sorry hang on.

Uhm, I’m getting word that I put up a picture of a cardboard box instead of the main character. I’m almost certain that’s her….No?….Seriously? You’re right, the box is far more interesting. Sorry.

THIS is our main character. And she…..is the biggest….most obvious Mary Sue….I have ever seen in my entire life. You wanna know how I know that?

She has.…

 

 

 

No.…

 

 

 

 

 

Name.

You heard me. She is never given a name ever in the series. She also doesn’t have any in the game. She’s known only as ‘the heroine’ or ‘Heroine’ to make it more personal. She has a couple of fan names, but not an official one, and over the series she’s either called ‘Senpai’ or a pronoun.

She has quite literally no personality. She’s incredibly quiet and when she does speak she never raises her voice or puts any personality into her words. I get it, she has amnesia. Thus she wouldn’t be able to project as much of her original personality, but that doesn’t mean she should have zero personality whatsoever, and it doesn’t make her anymore enjoyable to watch. It gets unbelievably old really fast.

Watching paint dry on an unsalted cracker narrated by Ben Stein would be far more interesting than watching this chick for more than five minutes. I never thought lack of character would be so irritating, but Heroine pulls it off without a hitch. Bravo.

She has varying personalities and backstories in the different realities. However, the one we see has the same annoying as crap non-personality of barely ever speaking a complete sentence or speaking at all, never changing her tone, never getting angry or emotional, always speaking in such a soft and barely audible voice while hardly ever changing expression.

That very situation is why she gets an out in regards to the question of ‘Why do all of these guys like this completely boring and generic girl?’ It’s simply because they know her as someone who’s supposedly interesting.

I get annoyed by bitchy characters and jerks. I get annoyed by characters who act like idiots and think they’re funny, but I can usually ignore characters who have no personality. The main problem here is that the personality-less person is not usually the main friggin’ character. How can you even give a shit about what’s happening to her or who she really is or what her true memories really are when she doesn’t even seem to really care? How do you care about someone who, by all means, is just nothing? How do you care about her relationships with these guys if she shows no actual interest in any of them? If she just instantly ignores her previous reality’s boyfriend for the next? If she even thinks of anything at all. It is by far the biggest issue in this series.

For a rantier rant on Heroine, see my entry on her for The Salty Anime Challenge.

The guys in the series are based on card suits. In fact, their specific routes are labeled as such; diamond, hearts, spade, clubs/clovers and joker. Why?

The first boyfriend is arguably the most boring with Shin, the heart route. Shin’s somewhat abrasive and a bit closed off, but he’s still a kind person who is childhood friends with Heroine. The Heroine in the hearts reality is apparently a nice girl who joined a band and liked to sing, though apparently she wasn’t good at it and only recently got somewhat decent.

I’d like to point out that the Wiki notes that as her only skill. Something she’s only passable at and only exists in one reality is her character’s only notable skill. Geez, her blandness might be affecting her alter personalities.

Shin’s big backstory is that his dad killed a man when Shin was a kid. Because of that, he was bullied and most kids kept away from him either on their own or because of their parents. Only Heroine and his other childhood friend, Toma, stuck by him. Eventually Heroine and Shin started dating a few months prior to the start of the hearts route.

That’s pretty much it. I honestly don’t know why he’s seen as the most canon choice outside of Ukyo.

The second boyfriend is a little more interesting with Ikki, the spade route. Ikki is the resident bishie god that every girl adores. In fact, one of the few plot lines that runs through most of the stories is Ikki’s batshit insane ‘fan club’ who bully Heroine quite often either because she’s friends with Ikki or because she’s dating him, depending on the route. They do all sorts of awful things to her and she just takes it instead of confronting them or trying to retaliate or telling anyone because that would require her actually doing something.

Ikki’s story is that he wished on a star as a child that girls would love him and he soon found that his wish came true. He could instantly gain the heart of any woman that he wanted if they looked into his eyes. In fact, he wears sunglasses in his route sometimes to combat this ‘condition.’

Because of this ‘power’ he found he couldn’t get close to people either due to his popularity and rabid fangirls or because he figured anyone who did love him would just be under the power of his charms. He eventually just decided to screw it and dated a bunch of different girls, gaining the reputation of a playboy.

The Heroine in this route didn’t fall for his charms, which peaked Ikki’s interest as he’d never been rejected by a girl. He decided he’d do his damnedest to get her to love him. In the visual novel, this is apparently because she had a playboy father and didn’t like that attitude, but this is never stated in the anime.

Ikki’s personality is pretty bland. He’s a nice guy, polite and really calm, but that’s about it.

The third boyfriend is more interesting in terms of their actual relationship, which was a surprise, with Kent, the clubs. Kent is a very intelligent mathematics major who is pretty damn robotic, yet he still has eons more personality than Heroine. That is just amazing.

In my opinion, he’s actually the most interesting and entertaining characters in the show.

He’s very logical, blunt and cold, yet is still fairly kind and caring when he wants to be. His relationship with Heroine almost seems to be like a training session for Kent to be more human as he’s slowly learning how to act more normally and warmly to people the longer he’s with her.

He is completely clueless when it comes to their relationship, and he frequently does awkward things like constantly text her ‘good night’ and ‘good morning’ by her wishes without ever including any other messages, or sitting in complete silence in his office with Heroine for hours at a time while he studiously works because he noted she wanted to spend more time together. It’s not that he’s an asshole, he just legitimately doesn’t know what to do.

Sometimes this awkwardness is cute and funny, but other times it’s just awkward.

Heroine, in this reality, isn’t really well-explored. What a shock. She’s apparently not very upfront with her wishes in their relationship, and they frequently argued mostly in regards to his awkward and cold nature. Oddly enough, the amnesiac Heroine’s kindness or lack of yelling gives Kent hope that he can have a good relationship with the other Heroine as well when she jumps to another reality.

 

*exasperated sigh*…..Ahhhh…Tomaaaa….

Toma is the fourth ‘boyfriend’ and the prompt of the diamond route. Toma’s a pretty cool character in the few other times you see him in other realities, mostly the heart route, as he’s a pretty easy going and fun loving character. In fact, I was really looking forward to his reality, and he was in the front running for my favorite character. In this route, he’s still basically like that…for a bit.

In this route, Ikki’s fan club is out in full force because they don’t like how nice he is to Heroine. It’s hinted throughout the route that this reality’s Heroine is cheating on Toma with Ikki in secret and his fan club is getting agitated with her. They start pulling a bunch of awful pranks on her like filling her mailbox with garbage everyday and giving out her personal information online to shady people who seem to think she’s an escort or something. Toma has been protecting her from these pranks, but there’s a few issues here.

First of all, he is not really her boyfriend in this reality. Neither is Ikki. She just assumed Toma was her boyfriend here because she’s gotten used to the shtick and Toma rolled with it because he was in love with her, subsequently taking advantage of her amnesia. The Heroine in this reality is again childhood friends with Shin and Toma but liked Toma more because of how much he cared for her. In fact, she’d cry on purpose to get Toma to pay attention to her. However, she didn’t like the fact that he always seemed to like her as a friend or sister and never saw her as a woman, so she was asking Ikki in secret for advice on the matter.

Second, Toma becomes completely obsessed with ‘protecting’ her and keeping her away from Ikki.

How obsessed? Well, let’s see – he steals her cell phone and makes her believe that she broke it, takes advantage of her amnesia to pretend that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend, practically needs to be where she is at all times, makes several comments in a rapey vein about how, since he’s a man, he can’t control himself around her, practically demands that they be together 24/7, drugs her regularly to make her sleep so she’ll stay with him, oh and there’s that little thing about KEEPING HER IN A DAMN CAGE AGAINST HER WILL FOR DAYS! An actual cage! Look!

EMOTE, YOU REACTIONLESS SACK OF BRAN FLAKES!

This just….what the hell?! Oh and if that’s not bad enough, in addition to Heroine being so stupid that she hears Orion warning her about Toma drugging her and not to eat or drink anything he gives her and just decides to do it anyway without a thought, because she’s a massive dumbass, her response to all of this is just ‘aw, but he just wants to protect me. I’ll forgive him for everything even though he probably would’ve imprisoned me forever and maybe raped me if he never found the diary.’

He actually says lines like this:

“If I take all of you by force, will you see nothing but me? Or will you break?

If I can’t protect you, should I break you?”

But of course little miss ‘dumb as a brick with about as much personality’ doesn’t get angry at this at all. She doesn’t even seem scared. She has the same reaction that she does to everyfuckingthing. ‘Well, this is happening now.’

And you wanna know something else? Something really creepy? Toma is a fan favorite character….BECAUSE OF THIS. I thought it was in spite of this, but no, you can find all sorts of ‘Toma: The Obsessed’ fan stuff out there. What is wrong with you people!? I liked Toma a lot too, but that was before all of this stuff. Seek help!

I just realized that hat makes him look like a taxi driver.

WARNING: We’re touching upon stuff that actually matters to the plot now. While everything else is completely inconsequential to the overall story, this one actually does tie into everything. Spoilers, is what I’m getting at.

Ukyo is the final boyfriend and supposedly her original and ‘real’ world lover. He’s also the Joker of the suits. Ukyo is another string in all of the realities because he approaches the Heroine in all of them seemingly knowing that she’s jumping between realities. The final route takes place in his reality where he is dating her, but there’s a catch.

The reason for the reality jumping was that she was Ukyo’s lover but she died in Ukyo’s world. He wished to see her live past her death on August 26th, and his wish was granted by a passing god named Neil.

It’s really not entirely clear, but apparently she hops from world to world and lives out the month of August in another reality. Ukyo is allowed to jump as well with Neil’s help to watch her for that month, which grants his wish.

The problem here is that she still ‘dies’ in every reality…as does he? I honestly don’t get it. The point it is that they can’t coincide in the same reality. If they’re in a reality where Ukyo doesn’t belong, the world kills him and if they’re in Ukyo’s world, where Heroine doesn’t belong, the world tries to kill her….I think.

He spends the entire month warning her of the various dangers in his reality because he’s seen her die in those ways. He wants to keep her alive past midnight on August 26th because she’ll stop being killed by the world, but since she doesn’t belong there, Ukyo has to die and…he does, but he also lives past midnight and he dies and turns into light and that stops the jumping and–

Ukyo has another problem. Because of the jumping between realities and being killed so many times as well as seeing Heroine get killed over and over, he’s developed two personalities; the good or normal one and a murderous psychopath.

Ukyo’s pretty likable but it’s disappointing that the guy who is supposed to be Heroine’s actual lover in her original reality doesn’t get explored much. Ukyo’s a very kind and gentle person, who has a bit of Heroine fever in that he frequently frowns and apologizes a lot.

Because the Heroine does jack squat in terms of everything, our main plot doesn’t move in the least until episode 11, and we don’t get much information on what’s really going on until the huge exposition dump that is episode 12. And let me remind you of how useless she is by pointing out that she spends at least a month with each guy in each reality. Meaning a good four months go by and she still does absolutely nothing to regain her memories, figure out what’s causing the jumps or anything at all. She is the most benign, stagnant main character, or character period, I’ve ever seen.

That’s partially why I’m still so confused. Episode 12 slams you with all sorts of exposition, backstory and trying to tie up as many ends as possible that it’s overwhelming. It’s like they compressed what would’ve been the linear storyline and jammed it into one episode.

If there’s one final character we need to address, it’s Orion.

Orion is a fairy or spirit who bumped into Heroine, causing her to lose her memories. While he does his best to help her out in terms of regaining her memories and dealing with the various worlds that she visits, he spends much of the show being absent because he keeps being forced out of the worlds for reasons never revealed.

Orion’s a pretty likable kid, and he has to practically babysit Heroine in the various worlds because, again, she’s useless….and stupid. And as stupid as the outfits in this show are, I really like Orion’s for some reason. It’s just fun.

Art and animation: While the colors are bizarre to say the least and the clothes are just baffling, they are extremely well detailed and stylized. The backgrounds and various set pieces are also very well detailed. Practically everything is a pleasure to look at. The animation is good, but given that there’s little movement needed, it’s hard to see it really tested.

Music: The music was pretty good. While not horribly memorable, it was still nice to listen to and there are some BG tracks that are memorable.

Voice Acting: Japanese – Heroine’s VA got on my nerves because of how light and breathy she was probably directed to sound like the entire time. It’s not an awful voice, it’s how it’s presented. Everyone else was pretty good, especially Ukyo’s VA who bounces quite well between his two personalities.

Bottomline: Have no question, this is just pure indulgence for anyone who likes anime guy eye candy and wants an experience of a dating sim without that pesky game to get in the way. The plot itself is interesting but they do nothing with it until the very end. The majority of the show is just getting to know the stories of the various guys and sometimes it will touch upon the Heroine’s personality in that reality.

However, it’s not like that even really matters. It’s established that the characters are somewhat or drastically different between the realities so even if we know the various Heroines, they’re still not her in her reality and neither are the other guys. I guess, in a way, that’s good because that means Toma might not be a rapey dungeon lord, but that means that most of the episodes are completely pointless besides pasting your picture on Mary Sue McPaperpersonality and imagining you’re the one all these guys are pining after.

In the end, the story still doesn’t make much sense to me either way because of the horrific pacing with the actual plot.

Heroine makes this show a massive chore to watch. She is downright infuriating with how zero dimensional she is. And I swear if I see that dumb expression that she wears 99% of the time again, the only memory she’ll need to worry about is remembering the number for emergency services when I beat her in the face with a rock…..A rock that probably also has more personality and is much more interesting than her.

Guilty as charged, if it wasn’t for the eye candy I would’ve dropped it purely because of her.

Additional Information and Notes: Amnesia was directed by Yoshimitsu Ohashi, who barely does any directorial work, but directed some episodes of Code Geass R2, Trigun and the entirety of Witchblade.

It was written by Touko Machida, who also wrote Allison and Lillia, Boku wa Imouto—wha, really?! I can’t escape that damn show. Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru, and Lucky Star.

Animation was produced by Brain’s Base, and it is currently licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks.

Year: 2013

Episodes: 12

Recommended Audience: There’s some self-harm and one instance of suicide, some kinda dark moments, but no nudity, no sex though there are allusions to it, no real swearing, some minor violence. 10+

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The Salty Anime Challenge Day 15: What is Something that You Find Yourself Avoiding?

This entry stumped me for quite a while. My approach to anime is usually to give everything a decent chance. Unless it’s just seriously not clicking with me as a whole, I don’t tend to avoid something due to one factor. I’ll even give harem anime the benefit of the doubt by throwing it at least one episode watch.

I guess if there’s something that keeps rubbing me the wrong way though, it’s probably ultra drama romances in anime. Whether the romance is the main focus or not, I just tend to roll my eyes and resist the urge to fast forward when these soap-opera level romances spring up.

And I don’t….really mean the super corny romances like Renton and Eureka from Eureka 7, because they can still be very sweet…..but seriously, I can’t stand the cheese in that show. Wisconsin would tell them to tone down the cheese. I mean the ones that have to constantly include misunderstandings and relationship-ending drama all the time, usually making at least a few people look like complete assholes.

“I should probably tell her I’ve been banging her manager….and kissed a close friend….and another close friend….and slept with her too…and made out with another friend……But she might put out tonight sooooo….” —-”I wonder if I should tell him that I care way more about my best friend and my career than I do my relationship with him. But he might put out tonight sooooo…”

Inuyasha, Fushigi Yuugi, Gundam SEED, Vampire Knight, I’’s, and just to cheat a little, even The Legend of Korra’s first and second seasons suffered because of romance drama, whether these shows are objectively good without the romance or not.

I still never forgave either of them for this. Korra for kissing another guy while on a date with Bolin (You can’t convince me she didn’t realize Bolin was taking that as a real date. She’s not that dumb.) Korra for kissing Mako when he’s dating Asami. Mako for kissing back. Note: He was forced into being kissed, but he clearly reciprocated after. Mako for being a lying bag of dicks who tries to pass the buck after Asami finds out. Blah blah. This whole love triangle BS marred a really great season plot concept otherwise.

I’m not an idiot, I know no relationship is perfect. I wouldn’t want it to be, either. Those overly saccharine ‘love conquers all’ romances are almost as bad. I just prefer realistic romances with likable characters who encounter hiccups that they actually work through, not ones that are forgotten or swept under the rug. Romances where being with the other actually makes the characters grow and mature not stagnate and worsen.

I don’t want couples that do terrible things and act like asstards then end up together because ehhh the series is wrapping up, chop chop kissy kissy. I want them to work for the happily ever after. I don’t want either of them to get together because the writers said so or one or the other is a prize or, god forbid, because the fans demanded it.

I’m not even going to touch upon shipping wars because fuck that mess, especially after the stupidity that was the Darling in the Franxx death threat fiasco – And I’ve never even watched that show! These things can get scarily out of hand. I’m all for shipping whatever you want for any series, but guys, calm down. They are characters, they are drawings – as much as you care about them, they literally do not possess the ability to care about you. You’re barking at a tree.

Also, this isn’t to say I technically avoid shows that have overly dramatic or terrible romances. I either tune them out if they’re on the side or I use them as handy-dandy rant fodder because, dear god, the kinds of ridiculousness this can spawn. You want to see the dark side of people? You don’t need to go to some dark, gory horror anime – You can find them in the romance section. There’s something depressingly poetic in that.

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.

Boku wa Imouto ni koi wo Suru (Manga) Volume 5 Review

boku-wa-imouto-ni-koi-o-suru-vol 5
I would pay money to see Iku legit punch Yori.

Plot: The ‘war’ for Iku’s affections between Yano and Yori is on with Tomoka looking on from the shadows, waiting for her chance to strike.

Breakdown: The first chapter starts with Iku and Yori’s first official date in his town. They make an effort at making them cutesey and couple-y, but there is still a heavy vibe of creepiness and unease. Every time Iku responds to nearly everything Yori does, it makes it seem like she’s less full of love and excitement and more like she’s scared to death, embarrassed and about to throw up.

Iku shows off that she’s using the cell phone charm Yano bought for her. She believes she’s making him happy because Yano lied and said Yori bought it for her during his visit. He is trapped in the lie because he doesn’t want to make Iku upset for falling for Yano’s trickery, which is a double-edged sword because now Yori has to put up with her flaunting a gift from Yano in his face.

boku-wa-imouto-ni-koi-o-suru-vol5 1

Yori gets her ‘alone’ in a park and tells her to kiss him like he did to her before. He refuses to not kiss her despite her telling him to wait because rapey. She eventually does, but she is entirely focused on how embarrassed she is to kiss him instead of how much she loves Yori or how nice it is to kiss him. At this point, they should really be putting more effort into making this supposed romantic relationship seem more consensual. Rarely is there a moment when Iku actually seems like she’s in love with Yori or even likes him romantically.

Yori, being an ass, tells her that she did it wrong and that nobody would kiss like that. Then he has the nerve to immediately say they should go to a hotel to have sex.

We then get this line exchange:

Iku: “Yori, you really are a pervert!”

Yori: “That’s because I’m a man.”

Iku: “What kind of excuse is that!?”

Yori: “It’s a perfectly good reason. Iku, you’re still a child.”

It is incredibly difficult for me to tell when the characters in this series are legitimately joking, and it seems like Yori never is. Yori’s seriously excusing his perversion by saying he’s a man so it’s to be expected? I’m getting premonitions of him sexually assaulting Iku and him going ‘well, boys will be boys.’ And Iku’s a child for thinking him having a penis is a bad excuse for being a pervert? Iku is indeed immature, but if you want to get down to it, Yori seems like he’s more childish than Iku is.

Think about it. He’s incredibly possessive, and when he doesn’t get what he wants, he has a temper tantrum. He thinks being an adult is all about not expressing happy, healthy emotions and focusing a lot of energy on sex. When someone threatens to take something he wants, he either tries to physically fight them (Nakamura) or turn it into a competition (Yano). He’s a very childish person.

boku-wa-imouto-ni-koi-o-suru-vol5 2
Flawless transition.

Iku keeps trying to refuse Yori’s request to go have sex, and he grabs the collar of her shirt, revealing a bite mark. She says Yano bit her to prevent her and Yori from having sex.

Of course he did…

Of….course…he…did.

sigh

Of course he did.

It’s official now. No character in this series is likable at all. Yano BIT Iku against her will just so he could mark her in an effort to keep Iku from having sex with Yori. That’s incredibly creepy and flatout assault. He might edge out Yori in the creepiness tournament with this. Holy crap.

The chapter ends with Yori saying the mark isn’t enough to prevent them from having sex, and he’s not going to let her go home.

Aw, well, surely this creepy declaration and kidnapping will lead into a romantic ‘love will conquer all’ love-making scene, eh?

…..So the next chapter starts with Yori forcing Iku into the men’s bathroom to hide her since he can’t miss attendance and he still won’t let her go home…..Because no one will ever enter the men’s bathroom in a school, right?

Iku hears a bunch of guys talking about sex in a fairly graphic tone and she has to keep herself quiet and hidden for hours. She probably went in there in the late afternoon and it’s past 11 o’clock before Yori finally goes to get her. What…the…hell. If he has a job, wouldn’t it have been easier to just give her money for a hotel room? They were going to go to one anyway. He’d rather have her hidden away in a stinky school bathroom (the men’s room no less) for hours upon hours?

When Yori finally gets Iku they have a sweet-ish (?) moment, but they’re interrupted by a ringtone on Iku’s phone going “It’s me! Please pick up.” It’s Yano, who has changed Iku’s ringtone for his calls without her knowledge or consent. More creeps.

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Yori picks up the phone and Yano acts really creepy talking about him and Iku. He hated how she seemed annoyed when he gave her the cell phone charm and was forced to lie and say Yori got it for her. He was also upset that Iku thought he was making fun of her when he said he had feelings for her. He finishes off the conversation by telling Yori to treat Iku nicely because, and I quote, he can’t be sweet to her. He can only be mean. Well, at least the creepy prick admits it.

He says he doesn’t need to tell him that, because he’ll be treating her nicely anyw—pbbbbttthahahaha! Sure. I totally believe that, Yori. After he forcibly sniffs her hair again—Hey! We haven’t had one of those in while!

Update the tally!

Hair sniffs: 8

Iku and Yori go back to his dorm room to have sex, even though Yori has a roommate and he sleeps on the top bunk. Being fair, Iku suggested this and was willing to risk his roommate seeing them.

Sexual tension as they prepare themselves and the roommate is listening to everything they’re doing. Nothing kinkier or uncomfortable than that.

Yori and Iku start making out and preparing to release the hounds when we get this confusing page.

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On one hand, I commend Yori for controlling himself, and the reasons are pretty noble, but….also kinda sexist. “I’m a guy, so it’s fine if I’m seen porking a girl in my room. But Iku’s a girl. This would be awful for her.” Then again…..he has a point. That’s just a very sad fact about our culture. It’s high fives for the guy and the walk of shame for the girl.

And, yes, Yori, it’s so hard being a guy. Do you need a vacation after taming your dick for a minute?

Yori apologizes for his behavior, proclaiming his roommate won’t wake up either way. His roommate goes to get the dorm president, Takuma, to bust him, but Yori reveals that the only other being in his bed is Inu!Yori. Whamp whamp.

End chapter.

The next chapter starts almost immediately after the last one ended. Everyone’s still talking about Yori supposedly having a girl in his room, but they seem fine to just brush it off as being the dog. Iku sneaked away out the window or something with Yori promising to call her later to find out where she hid. Two other students find her sneaking around campus and bring her to where everyone’s talking.

Just when you think he might still get away with it by pretending he doesn’t know her, he can’t help but be insanely possessive and yanks Iku out of their grasp to say ‘Don’t you dare touch my stuff!’ Yup. He didn’t say ‘Don’t touch my Iku’ or ‘Don’t touch my girlfriend’ or even ‘Don’t touch my sister!’ He straight out calls her his property.

As if that’s not bad enough, look just a few pages later where they describe her as Yori’s loyal dog.

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Anyone want to make the female dog=bitch observation?

The boys want to investigate and kick her out, but Takuma says they’re just jealous that they don’t bring girls back to the dorms. He decides to show some leniency and heads to the girls’ dorm to discuss having Iku sleep there with their dorm president until she can leave in the morning. After Takuma has some sexual tension with the girls’ dorm president, Mayu, she reluctantly agrees.

The next morning after a surprisingly tender and sincere farewell, complete with goodbye kiss, Tomoka ambushes Yori to show that she’s taken pictures of them kissing. Even though he slaps the phone away from her, she states that she’s already sent them to her home computer.

And you know what that means. Bababababaaaaa-Blackmail!

Tomoka, now with Yori under her thumb, forces him to kiss her. Because Yori’s such a damn catch.

End chapter.

The next chapter has more followup with Tomoka’s blackmail before we cut back to Iku at school where we learn that she saw Tomoka and Yori kissing as she left. OoooooooOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooohhhh…….*sigh* I’m starting to remember why I don’t like romance manga and anime. The angst and drama just files my brain stem down.

After a heated phone call with Yano, Yori decides enough is enough and ominously asks Tomoka if he can come to her house. It’s so ominous, I sincerely think he’s planning on killing her, dismembering her body and burying her in her own backyard.

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Yano tries to cheer Iku up in a sweet but still kinda creepy and intimidating way. As they take a bike ride home, Yano decides he likes Iku too much to truly take this opportunity for everything it’s worth and tells her to keep believing in Yori. He loves her too much to do such a thing without a legitimate reason.

End chapter.

Our ‘final’ chapter starts with Yano enjoying himself at Iku’s house and chatting with her mom. He pretends that he’s her boyfriend because her mom just assumes the situation. She, surprisingly, admits that she thought Iku and Yori were getting so close that they might be in love with each other. But then Iku freaks out when her mom points out that not only does Iku ‘have’ Yano, but Yori ‘has’ Tomoka. I’m not sure if she somehow knows about him and Tomoka currently or if she’s saying this based on the fact that they used to date.

Iku goes to her room and Yano follows. Iku’s dad bursts into her room ranting about how he won’t let Yano date her. Yano wins him over incredibly easily through a quick and silver-tongued speech.

Meanwhile, back at Yori’s school, the dean has found out about Iku infiltrating the dorms and he’s pissed. So much so that not only is Yori set to be rightfully punished, but he also states that he wants to punish Iku. How that would ever work, I don’t know. She’s not a student at that school and she didn’t do anything illegal, so what punishment is he planning there? Mayu and Takuma are there as well, debating the situation, and when tensions run too high, Takuma keels over in some sort of attack.

In the nurse’s office, he tells Mayu that he faked it, but confesses to Yori that it was real since he was born with some sort of condition. He asks what sort of secret he keeps that forces him to put up such a cold and unfriendly exterior, especially since just smiling more and being more ‘normal’ would put focus away from him. He doesn’t have an answer.

Later, Yori goes to Tomoka’s house and instantly goes to her bedroom to find her computer. It’s password protected and Tomoka asks what he’d do to get the password from her as our volume cliffhanger.

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If she was smart, she’d have the pictures on an external hard drive or a flash drive or a CD or something too. Make him be always guessing if she has more copies. Don’t read too much into me knowing these things…..*cough*

This volume, we’re ‘treated’ to a bonus half-chapter. It’s literally just Yori blackmailing Iku into a morning kiss by saying he won’t let her cheat off of his homework if she doesn’t. Whoo. Roman…tic.

——————————————

I honestly don’t know what to make of this volume because the story doesn’t go forward that much. Yori and Yano both treat Iku like trash some more and Iku just takes it because she’s infuriating. Iku gets caught in Yori’s dorm and they never make it clear what the consequences of that will be, if there will be any. We get some kinda interesting development in two new characters of Takuma and Mayu, and that’s still way more interesting than any of the pairings we’ve been presented with so far. Tomoka blackmails Yori, but, being honest, I saw this coming way back when they showed that she was going to Yori’s school.

There’s not as many creepy moments, but there are still plenty to go around.

Plus, the ending cliffhanger is…uninteresting. Gee, will Yori sleep with Tomoka to get the password?….Who cares? Will he hurt her to get it?….Don’t care. What about Iku? Couldn’t care less.

Next time on ‘Healthy Romantic Relationships are for Pussies’ things between Tomoka and Yori happen. Stuff happens with Yano and Iku. Events occur between Iku and Yori. And everyone’s still horrible.

Episode One-derland: Ajimu ~Beach Story~

Plot: See body of document.

Breakdown: Narrator: “There once was an anime blogger named FiddleTwix. She watched anything from magical girl shows to gritty war dramas, shounen tournament fighters and psychological thrillers. Her watch list was insanely long and unorganized, but she was far too lazy to get any sort of rational system together, so she just watched whatever fell into her lap most of the time.”

FiddleTwix: “Oh boy, let’s see what fell into my lap today! Ajimu: ~Beach Story~, eh? Well, golly, I sure haven’t watched a romance in a while. It’s not usually my forte, but let’s see what’s up.”

Narrator: “Twix was used to seeing blasé and cliché plots before, but even this plot description threw her for a loop.”

Twix: “’Seventeen year old Nakaido Hirosuke is just your average high school student.’ Oh….Oh God…..Oh no.” She proclaimed in a strained but hushed voice.

“’One morning as he arrives at the train station on his way to school, he catches sight of a beautiful girl, Ajimu Yasuna, and immediately falls for her.’” Her voice grew louder and increasingly panicked. “Ssssssssssssssss nope. Nope. I don’t accept this. Nope.”

“’The two of them get to know each other and become friends, but he can’t confess his feelings and she is unsure of hers. As events and other people present obstacles for the potential couple to clear, their relationship begins to develop and their feelings become clear.’ There is no way.” She stated in a much calmer tone. “There is no way this anime is this cliché. This boring. This by-the-book. It can’t be. It just can’t.”

Narrator: “Twix had not even pressed ‘play’ yet on the first episode, but was so distraught by the description that she spent the next four hours praying to the anime gods that such a bland show could not exist. For its plot was so cliché even someone who has never seen anime could write that on the first try.”

Twix: “I am not one to quit before I even start……except on twenty or eighty things, but this anime will not best me before I even watch a frame. Maybe the writer was lazy or was just about to get off work and wanted to watch whatever he DVR’d at home.”

Narrator: “And so, Twix pressed play – determined to not let this description taint her view of a show that could possibly be quite enjoyable. The next half hour was filled with….”

*Twenty-Eight Minutes Later*

Twix: “Gee willikers, it was bland, cliché, poorly written AND creepy all at once! Just when you think the world’s playing a big trick on you, it decides to punch you in the kidney instead. Boy howdy.”

Narrator: “Twix gnawed on her water bottle for a minute before starting the actual review, knowing she had wasted enough of the reader’s time in this fake storybook thing she liked to call a ‘joke’.”

So I won’t waste much more of your time explaining why this show is bad.

In addition to the unsalted cracker of a plot, the actual story is insanely contrived and creepy. Hirosuke falls head over heels for a girl he sees at the train station. It’s love at first sight, and they never share a line of dialogue.

For days, he ogles her from afar each day on the train until he gets up the nerve to talk to her. But, uh oh, crazy anime-reality shenanigans! The train suddenly gets incredibly full and they’re smushed up against each other front to back. Some guy’s tennis racket pokes into her ass and she yells out that he’s a molester.

Shockingly, no one bats an eye, and more people are jammed into the train. Ajimu turns around because why not, and now the racket is poking into her crotch and one swift push later Hirosuke is “accidentally” kissing Ajimu. I say “accidentally” because there’s no way an accidental kiss could’ve occurred the way they presented it. He is substantially taller than her. He has to duck down in order to kiss her and nothing caused him to do that. Not to mention, even if someone did bump him, he lingered for about 20 seconds.

I don’t know why, but it took her until she was about to leave the train to finally slap him silly.

Hirosuke then keeps pestering her and following her trying to clear up the misunderstanding, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Well, no shit. The best way to convince someone that you’re not a molester is not by stalking them.

He gets fed up and calls her stubborn, admits he fell in love with her at first sight, (excuse me, he specifically says her figure was one of the main reasons he liked her so much, which makes sense because these two haven’t had a full conversation nearly 7/8 into the episode) and got embarrassed by the misunderstanding on the train. They’re about to patch things up when he topples on top of her because he fainted due to a cold (She had it firstit doesn’t matter. Also, nice to know fainting is an epidemic with men in Japan too) and she remembers all the good times they had together like him standing in a hallway and him pestering her. She’s about to kiss him while he lays in a clinic bed, I guess and that’s it.

Also, she’s a singer because we need to check off that cliché. Oh, but let’s make her unique by having her play the ukulele! Ukulele’s a beach thing so it’s justified, hooray!

Add in the typical perv best friend for good measure, too.

Just, why? Why? This is a four episode long series and I usually go the extra mile and just grin and bear it for series so short, and I just don’t want to go any further. It is nearly any anime love story executed with absolutely no effort in nearly any regard. Hirosuke doesn’t even like her as a person because he doesn’t know her as a person. He just thinks she’s hot and has a nice singing voice…….Oh my God, he’s somehow a less interesting Eric from the Little Mermaid.

The art is…..not the worst I’ve seen, but it’s up there. Top….twenty maybe. Animation is hella cheap. Again, not the worst I’ve seen, but on the low end of the list.

The music is, admittedly, a slight breath of fresh air given the ukulele, but if ukulele is your hook, you have major problems.

Final Verdict:

750spsl

This series, as I mentioned, is a very short four episodes with each episode clocking in at around 28 minutes. However, romance lovers probably won’t enjoy it for the vapid and somewhat creepy coupling and fanservice hounds won’t get into it much because the fanservice is low-key and kept fairly minimum. There’s way better stuff out there for both aspects, guys. Move on.

Narrator: “And so, Twix closed out her less than satisfying review on this completely unsatisfying anime, hoping she had saved at least one person from wasting their time on it. With a small smile and a click of the save button, she wondered if anyone had figured out that she had been the narrator the whole time.”

Boku wa Imouto Ni Koi wo Suru Volume 4 (Manga) Review

Rating: 4/10

Plot: Iku and Yori start high school apart, and that’s not all that’s changing. Tomoka has somehow managed to get accepted to Yori’s school, and she has every intention on winning Yori’s heart. Iku and Yano have started new jobs as wait staff at a restaurant, despite Iku’s inability to do anything without destroying everything. Iku is doing her best to save money for trips to see Yori, but a new problem has emerged. Yano has fallen in love with Iku and declares war on Yori for Iku’s heart.

Breakdown: I will admit that the first chapter starts out fairly well. In a sitcom manner, Iku goes to where Yori lives to visit him just as Yori goes back home to visit Iku for their birthday. The comedic back and forth between both Yori and Iku and Yano and Yori is nice, but it’s quickly ruined.

Iku, the easily lead dumbass she is, goes to a hotel room with Yano under the excuse of them getting something to eat, which they can’t do in a restaurant with Inu!Yori. She chows down then passes out in his bed because of course she does. I should mention that Yano was teasing Yori on the phone by saying if he didn’t get there soon he’d start doing perverted things with her. This seemed like innocent teasing between friends until he lead her to his room….where he proceeded to lick her ear as she was sleeping.

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“I’m not dumb!” *proceeds to be dumb*

 

Knowing this series, I can bet if Yori hadn’t burst into the room shortly after, he’d probably molest her much further. Looks like my predictions on his character being ruined from subtle hints in the OVA may have been correct. So far, he is the most likable character, though, outside of Nakamura. I don’t know what that says about the quality of this series.

When Yori arrives, he puts the ring on Iku, but they can’t even do that simple gesture without making Yori into a possessive creepy jackoff. The instant he puts it on her, he calls the ring a ‘collar’ and says he bought it so that other men would stay away from her. He even seems to state that Iku is so dense that she probably doesn’t realize their relationship is incestuous…..

Well, that was a chapter alright……oh, yeah, it ends with Yori pretending to start to rape Iku as she pretends to sleep. Aw, how romanticreepy.

The next chapter, thankfully, doesn’t go any further than him licking, sucking on and biting her finger. We’ve gotten to the point where that’s restraint…They have some nice banter again, this time about the gifts. She loves her ring, though feels guilty that all she got him were some miscellaneous items you could buy at a drug store like a shampoo hat and an ear cleaning kit….Though, again, they even have to make that creepy, because we then see Yori getting a hard on because Iku’s cleaning his ears. I know there are many fetishes out there, to each his own, have at it….but none of them, zero, should involve ear wax.

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I think you’re far too filthy to be cleaned at this point, Yori.

Surprisingly, again, though, despite the temptation, the chapter just ends with the two sleeping on the floor.

The next chapter opens with Yori and Iku showing each other how they look in their new school uniforms through email and Yori fumbles with trying to take a picture of himself with his phone. Ah, the good ol’ days when ‘selfies’ weren’t a thing.

Again, starting out cute and innocent enough. Iku is attending a high school with basically everyone else she was with in junior high such as Yano and Nakamura. Meanwhile, we get a twist in Yori’s story when Tomoka suddenly shows up stating her father transferred to the area recently and, using her connections to Yori, somehow (since he’s the only one who passed the entrance exams) she was accepted into the academy.

She quickly tries to get her mitts all over him, though Yori wants none of that. A blackened text bubble indicates that Tomoka’s not giving up so quickly, though…..

….Okay, Tomoka was a bit bitchy before and undoubtedly possessive….but this whole job transfer is fishy as all hell. If I wanted to be this paranoid, it sounds like Tomoka somehow coerced her parents to move there when she found out about Yori’s decision, somehow screwed with the exams to get her entrance, then she could take advantage of her close proximity to Yori to rip him from Iku.

If that’s even slightly true….holy shit….that is some soap opera level insanity.

 

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Yori in the top left has one of the most real and severe condescending expressions I’ve ever seen. It’s like he’s telling her through his eyes that’s she’s trash to him.

 

The rest of the chapter is pretty benign. Iku has conflicted feelings about Tomoka not going to her school, but she’s unaware Tomoka is at Yori’s. They meet a new girl named Mori, though I haven’t gotten a good hold on her as a character yet. They note her strong personality, but if anything she comes on a bit too strong for me. Finally, we get more indication that Yano is romantically interested in Iku.

Next chapter……You remember what I quoted in volume three? ‘Iku, who cannot do anything.’? I always thought, despite evidence to the contrary, that such a statement couldn’t be completely true. Iku has to be competent at something. She doesn’t get great grades, she’s needy and dependent to the point of a vague mental disorder, she’s clumsy, she’s incredibly naive, she has no backbone, she doesn’t seem to have any talents – but she has to be competent somehow.

No, no, not really.

The start of this chapter has Iku getting a job as a waitress at the restaurant Yano works at. I assume he pulled strings to get her hired because she….cannot do….a God. Damn. Thing. She can’t take orders, listing off tons of foods when the customer merely ordered one thing. She can’t carry a tray of food without dropping it because it’s heavy and hot. She can’t bus a table without breaking every dish on it. She can’t wash dishes without breaking them. She cannot complete a single waitressy task without a complete disaster.

She, rightfully, gets fired, but Yano saves her job since their boss is desperate for the girls that Yano is attracting to the place and he threatens to quit if she goes.

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She’s great at being terrible.

Despite getting her a job and saving her from getting fired, Iku treats Yano like crap just because he playfully teases her every now and then (She doesn’t know about his true creeper-ness at this point) She tells him to go away and says she’ll ignore him, except when he asks about Yori because Yori is the moon, sun, stars and earth beneath thine feet. You’re kinda lead to believe Yano’s being a bit pushy here, but apparently Yori actually asked him to escort her home because she’s just too much of a naive dunderhead to come home on her own too.

Iku has gotten this job because she’s trying to save money to pay for the train fare for her and Inu!Yori to visit Yori, despite him saying he’d pay her travel expenses.

The chapter actually goes fairly well for the most part. Yori longs for Iku, Iku tries her best to work hard to get to Yori on her own and Yano’s not being a creeper either….but of course we can’t end the chapter without something creepy and terrible happening.

Iku tries her best at her job when, of course, a fat, disgusting, sweaty pervert comes in. He purposely spills his water so Iku will lean over the table to clean it up, and, when she does, he gropes her boob. Iku freaks out, spilling food all over him. He pretends he didn’t do anything and becomes outraged that his supposedly expensive clothes are ruined. Yano tries to intimidate the man and defend Iku, but Iku’s boss believes the customer and demands Iku pay for his clothes and apologize or else she’ll get fired.

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Everything about this page makes me angry.

She gives in because she has to keep the job to visit Yori, and she ends up losing all of the money she saved, making her start all over again. Even though, again, Yori said he’d be more than happy to pay for her travel expenses. After the incident, Iku starts crying and calling herself an idiot, and Yano suddenly hugs her, much to Iku’s surprise.

End chapter.

Let me be clear and state that I don’t blame Iku for what happened nor am I mad that she didn’t stand up for herself and tell this pervert and her unsympathetic boss to fuck off. I am, however, annoyed at why she buckled.

Other than some sort of weird sense of pride or something, Iku has no reason to want to keep saving her own money to visit Yori if he’s financially capable of paying her way. Her paying the pervert and apologizing is basically her saying she’s fine with coping with the random groping pervert and doing horribly at this job to save money that she doesn’t really need just so she can snort a couple hits of Yori to get her fix.

The next chapter starts with the continuation of the hug, which is brushed off rather quickly as Yano cheers her up and then gives her some playful ribbing. Yori suspects that Iku is starting to like Yano since she brings him up in conversation more and more, which makes sense considering they both go to school and work together. Iku completely denies it, however. Yori is fed up with Iku trying to work and get the money to visit him, so he decides he’ll get a job and visit her instead….

Wait, I thought he had no money troubles, which is why he offered to pay for Iku’s travel fare whenever she wanted. He didn’t seem to have trouble buying that seemingly expensive ring or visiting home at the start of the volume. Now he needs a job?

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I do love the back and forth between Yano and Yori when they’re not being creepy assholes.

He tricks Iku into believing he’ll get a job as a host. When Yano visits him to see what’s up, he discovers Yori’s actually a gas station attendant. They spend the rest of the day on amusement park rides and teasing each other when, on the Ferris wheel, Yano drops the bomb on Yori that he likes Iku. The rest of the conversation is not shown, but Yori doesn’t seem to react much and the next page doesn’t show a newspaper headline of ‘Teenage Boy Viciously Murdered in Ferris Wheel’

The next day, Yano gives Iku a bracelet he got at the amusement park that has a little Inu!Yori-esque charm on it and tells her Yori got it for her, when that’s not true. He’s about to tell her what they talked about and the chapter ends.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……This volume has gone on way too long without something horribly creepy and borderline rapey happening. Oh whatever will I do if this volume ends without me feeling the pure darkness of hatred in my soul?

The final volume starts with a continuation of Yano and Yori’s conversation. Yori takes his confession extremely well. He doesn’t get mad, he doesn’t even react much at all. Yano says he’s not backing down and he’ll declare war on Yori for Iku’s heart, and Yori accepts his challenge with a non-threatening smile. Half of this scene is done in comedic chibi-style, by the way. Quite the contrast between this and how he acted around Nakamura.

Back with Yano and Iku, Yano drops the bomb on Iku that Yori told him that their relationship is incestuous. Iku flips out in panic, worried she won’t be able to be with Yori anymore, but Yano says he’ll keep her secret.

He’ll keep her secret……

Under one condition……….

She has to love Yano. She has to be his. She has to give all of her love to him.

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Why do so many guys want this girl so badly? I can’t wrap my head around it.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally broken out into creepy sexual abuse blackmail!

Yano is completely serious about this threat, physically intimidates her and even licks her neck to get her to agree to it.

Do I need to replace the hair sniff counter with a lick counter?

To Iku’s credit, she does slap him, refuses his advances, says she hates him and storms off into the house without agreeing to his terms. It seems Iku does have a backbone if you threaten her Stockholm syndrome.

And that’s the end of volume four. Final thoughts?

——————————–

It’s actually the most tolerable volume so far, and that’s probably because Yori’s away from Iku for most of it so he can’t be a creepy pseudo-rapist. However, Yano, despite being the most fun character, is pushing the gas pedal on his creepiness, peaking with, of course, the blackmail.

Iku continues to be a huge ball of dependency issues, now compounded by an unwilling dependence on Yano since she literally cannot do a damn thing for herself, but she impressed me in the finale a tiny bit.

Story-wise, this volume doesn’t advance much. Iku and Yano get jobs, they all start high school, we get a brief glimpse at Tomoka who seems to have gone rogue, but the only important progressions are Yano admitting to Yori that he likes Iku and the blackmail. By the way, I know all’s fair in love and war and stuff, but blackmailing Iku into a relationship isn’t fair in this little competition they have going. If she ever does show affection for him or start dating him, it will be because of the blackmail not because she legit loves him.

Plus, having a competition for Iku’s heart just further trivializes this whole situation and turns Iku into a prized possession……and she is actually described as a possession in the final chapter. Lovely.

It’s a damn shame is all. Yano and Iku would actually make a fairly good couple if Yano didn’t devolve into this creepy son of a bitch. I almost feel like this competition is less for Iku’s heart and more to see who can be the creepiest asshole.

So, how will this blackmail go? Will Tomoka turn out to be an even bigger major bitch? With Yano out-Yori Yori? Will I ever figure out why anyone would be attracted to anyone in this story? Find out next time on the manga I wish I weren’t reading!

I”s Pure Review

Rating: 4/10

Plot: Seto Ichitaka has been in love with a girl named Iori for a long time, but he could never get up the nerve to tell her how he feels. This six episode OVA follows Seto and Iori through various trials in their relationship. Will Seto ever get his dream girl?

Breakdown: Well, let’s just get this out of the way, this OVA is based on an H-game. Okay? Okay. That being said, there’s no sex….so there’s that.

I realize that this OVA proceeds another OVA called From I’s, but I’ve yet to see that. It doesn’t seem like this OVA is really a sequel or a situation where you need to do homework, so I’m taking this at face value.
The relationship toggles between a crush and borderline stalkery. Seto is very much stalkery and creepy in his adoration of Iori. He truly does love her, yes, but he’s creepy. He’s also a bit of a jerk and this gets progressively worse as the episodes go on. Want an example? Okay. He finds out that his childhood friend Itsuki’s house has gone up in flames and Itsuki’s gone missing, but he decides that he wants to stay on his date with Iori instead of seeing if she’s not a smoldering pile of side character.

The plot is also fairly Three’s Company-ish and predictable. For example, Teratani, Seto’s best friend and cool guy/pervert, gives Seto a picture of a naked girl that’s digitally manipulated to have Iori’s face on it. Instead of ripping it up, he accepts it and guess what happens. She finds it. Oh and finding out that he had it (In his schoolbook, no less) made her quite perturbed.

Episode five is just damn annoying. It introduces us to Iori’s manager, some chick whose name I’ve forgotten, and the instant, and I mean instant, that you see her you know she’s a Yayoi-esque villain. She’s a bitch and she only wants Seto to stay away from her star. I should point out that they’re not even dating at this point – she just wants Iori to have no friends whatsoever, I guess.

Iori’s not much better. She’s one of those characters who never sees what’s blatantly obvious (even when, at one point, it is made as obvious as humanly possible) She’s not very likable after a few episodes. She’s not hatable, really, but there’s not much to like about her.

SUPER SPOILER ALERT. MOVE ON TO BOTTOM LINE TO AVOID SPOILERS. THANK YOU.

In the final episode Seto decides to actually listen to the manager and coldly break up with Iori to save her career that was never in any danger. Seto has a brief moment of slight scariness in saying that he’ll always love her from afar as his face is mostly in shadow….okay….*shudders*…

I guess their other friend or Teratani’s brother randomly finds a website called The Marionette King and all it says on it is that he’ll take Iori’s soul. This freaks Seto right the hell out even though celebrities (she is vaguely one at this point) always get vague threats and whatnot especially over the Internet. He decides he’ll be her secret bodyguard. And by ‘secret bodyguard’ I mean ‘stalker’. He starts training himself through martial arts books and camps out in front of her studio in a hoodie with a pair of binoculars watching Iori all day…..I checked, this isn’t a horror anime.

The Marionette King actually does show up. I won’t explain who he is, but his appearance and motive make no sense. He should be targeting Seto, not Iori. He gets the jump on Seto and slams his head into the wall. They fight some more and Seto knocks him off of the roof where Iori’s bodyguards grab him after he spouts psycho nonsense. Seto then plops onto the roof in a small puddle of blood from his head wound.

Cut to the hospital, Seto is in a coma and the doctors can’t figure out why. Ya know, I’m not Dr. House or anything, but I think it might have something to do with the severe concussion he got from his head slamming into the wall.

They say his life will be in danger if he doesn’t wake up soon, so Teratani and his friends decide to go see Iori at the big important play she’s putting on. They beg Iori to go with them, explaining everything that happened because of her manager, that Seto still loves her with all of his heart and that he really needs her right now. Yayoi (She’s given no real name that I know of and she’s basically the same as her, so I’m calling her Yayoi.) gives the same stupid grin she’s been giving since her debut and basically shoos them away even after hearing that someone’s life is in danger.

What’s even worse is that after she hears that Seto got hurt while trying to protect Iori from the psycho, she smiles and says her bodyguards were the ones who caught the guy, so his efforts were pointless. Which they weren’t. They never would’ve known about the Marionette King if Seto hadn’t gone after him. Though I do have to say that Seto got friggin lucky. All that was said on that webpage was that he’d take Iori’s soul. He didn’t specify a time or a place, yet he seemed to know exactly when and where he’d strike. He also targeted the first creepy-looking guy that he saw and got lucky there too.

Iori actually doesn’t go with them despite their pleas and hearing that the man she loves and risked his life for hers is dying because of her. Wow. That was actually unexpected. Unexpected and ungodly horrible.

Later, back at the hospital, Iori calls the hospital and decides to talk to Seto that way. Apparently her reasoning was that she didn’t want to disappoint the people in the play or the audience by leaving.

Boy, way to have your priorities straight. Your loved one is in a coma, dying, for trying to protect you from a psychopath and you can’t even ditch a play to see him? Who cares about the people at the play?! Don’t you have an understudy? That’ll be a great story to tell your kids. “Mommy, tell us again about how you ditched Daddy for a stupid play as he was dying after saving your life.”

Oh and get this, she even said that after this play that she’d quit acting. If you’re gonna give it up anyway, why not leave the damn play!?

And before you can say “Don’t you wake up, you damn bastard. That’s way too cliche, way too overdone, way too corny, way too lame” he wakes up after hearing Iori’s voice on the phone. I was seriously rooting for him to either not wake up or flatline right there just to slap Iori in the face for not going to him personally.

END OF SPOILERS

The main couple’s okay, but they’re not very likable, I was never rooting for them (I liked him with Itsuki. And it would’ve been much more interesting if we started out with SetoxIori but moved to SetoxItsuki. It would also be more realistic and not computer-chair-gnawingly cliche.)

The plot’s very convoluted and stupid at times, and in other times it’s a chore to sit through.

Art:
The art and animation are a high point for the series. It’s all very clean and fluid. The art is also very nice to look at, but nothing very awe inspiring.

Music: The music was decent. The OP was okay and the BG music was alright.

Voice acting: Japanese Version: The voice acting was fairly well done. I had no real complaints.

Bottomline: Like there are turn-your-brain-off action movies, this is a turn-your-brain-off romance/drama series. However, even then, it’s nothing to write home about. Also, I still feel uneasy about how stalker-y he is sometimes, and that ending is just rrrrghhhhh.

Additional Information and Notes: I”s Pure is the sequel to From I”s. It was based on a manga written by Masakazu Katsura, who has also written Zetman, DNA2 and the Video Girl series. It was directed by Mamoru Kanbe, who has also directed numerous episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura and Elfen Lied. It was produced by Studio Pierrot.

Episodes: 6

Year: 2005 – 2006

Recommended Audience: There’s some sexual themes, but no one even kisses. Some fanservice, one sexual assault scene, no swearing, no gore or anything. 13+

 

AniManga Clash! Boku wa Imouto Ni Koi o Suru Volume 3 (Finale)

Boku wa vol 3 clash banner

Plot: Iku and Yori arrive at a love hotel and after much preparation, the two have sex. Despite this, Yori still decides to go to the school in another prefecture.

Breakdown: I’d like to start out this part by quoting something on the cover;

“Yori, who can do anything, and Iku, who can’t do anything.”

I know it wasn’t the intention of the writer to interpret that like this, especially seeing as how later on in the synopsis she says that they both feel the same way about each other, but, to me, that line just reinforces everything that I’ve suspected about this relationship. Iku is a dependent and submissive little baby deer and Yori is independent and dominant. Iku “can’t do anything” without her big brother who “can do anything” there to prop her up. Without him, Iku feels like she’d be helpless.

Now onto the story. We’re finally here; the actual sex scene. This scene in the anime was pretty uncomfortable, but not horribly so, mostly because it was done and over with in a fairly short amount of time. Iku was very much scared, uncomfortable and embarrassed in it, but at the very least it didn’t seem too rapey like many of their other encounters.

Manga’s version? It feels like it’s quite a bit longer, and it technically is because there’s more here to go over. In the manga, the two have a bath together after a very very long scene of an incredibly embarrassed and nervous Iku trying to undress. Yori tries to do it for her, but she takes forever and a day to take off her panties and bra by herself, at first letting Yori watch and then forcing him to shut his eyes.

When they’re in the bathtub, a scene not present in the OVA, we get this unbelievably creepy exchange.

Iku: “Yori, when was the last time we ever took a bath together?”

Yori: “Around fifth grade, right?”

Iku: “Ah, really?”

Yori: “Cause that’s when you got your first period.”

Iku: “!!!!! Re-re-re-really?!” “I don’t remember that.”

..Yori remembers when Iku got her first period better than Iku…….ughghghghghghghghghgqqoeooierigqehiodiosdjklldsklpbbbbbbbbbbbttttttttttttt. Ya know, it’s not even so much that he knew that and moreso….considering how creepy we know he is in all things related to Iku…..and the creepy things he tends to do….……the creepy things he could’ve done….with…her….feminine….hygiene…..prod – NopenopenopenopenopenopeNOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPENOPENOPENONOPENOPENOPE NOPE.

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They start making out and as we get into the next chapter, we start off with Iku remembering when she first got her special monthly friend….ya know, the friend who punches you in the gut, eats all your food and passively-aggressively rips at you for a week before leaving. Iku asks her mom why this is happening to her and not Yori and she explains that such a thing can’t happen because she’s a girl and he’s a boy. And immediately after that flashback comes this weird stupidity.

Iku: “For the two of us who always did everything together, this was the first change to happen. I understand. That everything, everything….was for the sake of falling in love. Because Yori is a boy. And I am a girl.”

…………….This manga is giving me a headache. I must be missing something. I have to be missing something. Is she seriously saying that, biologically, her period was the tipping point of their love for each other because it forced her to understand that she and Yori were different? And on top of all of that….is she saying that they were destined to fall in love purely because one of them is a boy and the other is a girl? Boy, it sure is a good thing homosexuality doesn’t exist or no twin pairing or close in age siblings would be able to get through life without porking each other.

So, again, despite Iku asking him to stop a few times, Yori continues on with the kissing and the heavy petting and the other stuff you learned in that 1950’s film reel in health class. The sex goes on and….it’s fairly consensual barring the inner monologue from the two with Yori saying he’s fooling Iku and Iku supposedly saying she’s easily fooled. I think so anyway. They don’t do anything to the font of the inner monologue to know when one or the other is thinking.

Yori: “We committed a taboo.” Since I used up all my sarcasm in the anime version of this line, I’ll just give you a cut and dry ‘Well, no shit.’

As Yori wakes up, he finds Iku’s sleeping face all pure and seemingly oblivious to the weight of what they just did. Yori is struck with intense guilt, determined to beg God for all of the weight to be on his shoulders and for Iku to be free of any of it. He then apologizes for falling in love with her………MmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…..Mmmmmm No.

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Look, if they had handled this romance A LOT better, this would be a very touching scene. I’m happy that Yori is understanding, at least to some degree, what a huge piece of fecal matter he’s been as of late…..but Yori has been almost nothing but an incredibly creepy sexual predator. This is really too little much too late. Hindsight may be 20/20, but I’m not going to act like him being sexually frustrated, especially when he had an outlet, was his excuse for being like that. Never have I looked at this story so far and thought, “Aw, what a tragic romance.” I have, however, thought, “Yori needs a serious intervention before he rapes his sister.”

Iku wakes up in pain from being de-virginized, and then we get kinda awkwardness because Iku and Yori instantly revert to just acting like brother and sister again.

Some time passes and we get to Yori and Iku’s graduation ceremony where we get the most despicable fact about Yori so far; He SMOKES.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lXdyD2Yzls

After his graduation ceremony, he talks to his friend, Yano, on the roof and explains that he’s in an incestuous relationship with his sister. And, like before, Yano doesn’t really react much at all. He asks him why he told him his secret, though, an–

Yori: “There are times…..When I feel that my wanting to protect everything about me, and my feelings of wanting to destroy everything…have crossed paths.” Well, nice to know yet another insanely creepy red flag line crosses between manga to OVA.

Iku rushes in and we learn that Yori is still planning to go to the fancy boarding school in the other prefecture, despite his new relationship to Iku. After Iku has a temper tantrum at home, Yori gets her to calm down a bit by showing that he convinced their parents to buy her a puppy so she won’t be lonely when he’s gone. I will give him points for that; it’s a very nice gesture.

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As Iku and Yori talk, he explains that he still plans on leaving because he can’t be a couple with Iku where they live now. Too many people know them and recognize them. They can’t do anything couple-related in public for fear of being judged and persecuted. In this new prefecture, however, fewer, if any, people know who they are. They can eventually start over and be a real couple.

That still doesn’t make much sense. So, what, they move to this new place after a few years, become a real couple and somehow no one will ever discover that they’re twins? They’ll never visit their parents or friends? They’ll never get married? Have kids? They’ll change their last names?

He could stay where he is now, keep up this charade, and then when they’re college age they can run away and get new identities and leave everything behind to really be a true couple…Oh yeah, I forgot, he can’t control himself….

Iku suddenly decides that the dog’s name will be Yori. Because what else would it be? As she tries to get the dog to do some tricks, Yori grabs her by the hair and commands her to come see him…..well, that was a record of about eight pages without Yori being a creepy fuck. Congratulations.

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Also, doesn’t her visiting there kinda make this whole move moot? Are you going to introduce her to the people at school as your girlfriend? Are your parents never going to come see you at school?

They make out on the park bench as the puppy watches…..because….yeah, do that in public. It’s a great way to cap off a conversation that was explaining why Yori has to move because they can’t safely do any PDA in the area they currently live in. Make sure you’re under that street light so if anyone you know walks by they can see you clearly.

The next chapter skips ahead to Yori leaving for high school. Iku does her best to keep him from leaving and Yori’s thoughts also state that he lied to her before about the real reason for his leaving; making my previous rant somewhat pointless…..*cough* He brushes her off when she tries to hug his arm because he believes their parents will think there’s something weird about it, something I still don’t understand.

As Yori is about to leave, Iku struggles internally with watching him go, knowing there’s nothing she can do to stop him. Just as she’s about to try and tell Yori to stay, Tomoka comes out of nowhere and runs into his arms begging him to stay, all the while lightly smirking at Iku. As she paws at him trying to get him to stay, Iku starts to suffer greatly over the fact that she can’t say or do the things Tomoka is doing to try and get him to stay since it would be odd coming from her.

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Knowing that Iku is suffering, Yori decides that the only thing he can do to resolve the situation is to push Tomoka away and tell her to not get in the way of his last day with his family. In order to create a cover up, Yori hugs his dad, then gives his mom a hug and a kiss on the cheek and finally he hugs Iku and kisses her on the cheek. Despite Iku’s happiness at being able to hold him one more time, she recoils at the fact that this isn’t enough to really make her happy.

Yori leaves, and Iku sits in her room alone with only Inu-Yori keeping her company. She starts sobbing into her pillow and finds a note from Yori begging her not to cry.

Back with Yori, he slightly laughs at the fact that, despite him telling her not to cry, she probably will anyway. She’ll also probably say she’ll die of loneliness, which she does indeed say. Then he says he’s spoiled Iku a lot……uh….huh. He knows that they will meet again, so he tells himself again and again that he won’t be lonely like Iku. However, he starts crying realizing how much pain Iku must be in to be crying as much as she probably is.

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I don’t have much to note about this chapter, because it’s probably the best chapter so far. Yori’s being a bit bastardly in his telling Iku not to hug his arm and laughing at the thought of her crying and saying she’ll die, but both instances were made up for when Yori went out of his way to finally give her a hug and kiss and cries at the thought of her crying.

This might be too little too late, but this was the first chapter when I legitimately thought that they may actually be in love. I still think Iku’s just a bit confused, but there might be something within both of them that is legitimate love.

Tomoka’s scene was good but just seemed a little….OOC. Well, I have to assume anyway. I’ve never seen Tomoka possessive up until this point and her giving Iku smirks as she cuddled Yori and begged him not to leave, seemingly knowing that Iku was the one he was in love with, was a complete bitch move. I mean, she is a little too preoccupied with Yori, but if you offer yourself up to someone as a replacement for someone they love, how can you really be such a petty and possessive bitch?

What did she expect would happen anyway? Yori broke up with her ages ago and was never romantically interested anyway. Plus, like she knows, Yori already loves someone else. Did she expect him to just start shoving his tongue down her throat and agreeing to stay?

It’s at this point where the OVA ends. It only covers volumes 1-3 and technically it only covers half of three since there are still two chapters left in this volume. I’ll finish off volume three here since, well, might as well. However, the other seven volumes, yes, there are seven more volumes of this to go, will be regular manga reviews.

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At the start of the next chapter, we see that Yori is settling in to his new abode at his new school. Everyone’s clamoring over the new kid, praising him for being the only out-of-prefecture student to make it into their prestigious school. Tons of people are trying to be friendly to him, but Yori being Yori results in him being a dick to everyone, including his new roommate.

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As everyone quickly recoils away from this asshole, Yori gets a call in the lobby. It’s Iku, and she’s jonesin’ for her Yori fix. Not just to hear his voice but also to get a kiss on the lips through the phone, which is really just making kissing faces and pretending they’re kissing. This would be kinda sweet if not for the fact that Yori yells at her that she’s doing it wrong, especially with no way of seeing her.

After they play that stupid ‘I won’t hang up, you hang up’ crap, they finally end the call. However, Iku decides that she wants to keep talking to Yori so she calls him incessantly until Yori tells her to give the phone to their dad. He asks his dad to buy him a cell phone for his birthday since he can’t be running to the lobby every five seconds to answer her calls. Plus, that has to be insanely annoying for the other students to listen to since every call is announced over the PA system. He tells him to buy one for Iku as well and they finally end the call barrage.

As he hangs up, he looks behind him to see his dorm manager teasing him about his phone calls asking if he’s talking to his girlfriend then revising this to knowing he’s talking to his sister since he called her by name and apparently her information is in his file, which also makes this moving thing moot again. I’m not sure if this means he knows that Yori’s dating Iku, but it’s possible.

Later, Yori decides to call Iku despite the dorm manager telling him he’s not allowed to receive anymore calls unless it’s an emergency.

The final chapter of the volume starts Yori and Iku’s birthday. We get some kinda cute flashbacks of Yori being really caring and over protective of his sister, all leading up to a birthday picture where it seems like Yori and Iku started to not get along as well as they used to as children….and the reason why is….oh god.

Iku got her first period on their 11th birthday. And I’m really disturbed that I have to keep talking about Iku’s first departure into the red sea. This prompted their mother to not only announce that Iku’s now a woman, but that she’s ready for marriage. This makes Yori incredibly angry. When Iku walks out of the bathroom after having that special talk of ultimate awkwardness with her mother, Yori blows the fuck up at her asking how she could do such a thing and yelling that he doesn’t like Iku like this.

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After that, Yori started treating her differently, more coldly, picking on her more often and basically seeming to carry a grudge over simple biology that is entirely outside of her control. I guess because she ‘became a woman’ Yori started looking at her differently, though in such a way that made him angry for some reason. Maybe because this may seem like the start of her pursuing romantic relationships with guys that don’t share her DNA? After this, 11 year old Yori internally proclaims that once he turns 16 he’ll be able to ‘take Iku with (him)” whatever that’s supposed to insinuate.

I get that he’s an 11 year old boy who doesn’t understand what’s happening to her, but Iku is clearly freaked the hell out by this event and all Yori can think about is a completely irrational fear or betrayal or whatever is going on in his screwed up brain that feels like Iku is doing this on purpose to hurt his feelings. I’m sure the one thing every girl wants to hear from their close-knit brother when they’re going through the confusing time of getting their first visit from that special friend from hell is “HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN!? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! I DON’T LIKE YOU LIKE THIS!” *proceeds to be a putrid dickwad for five years*

Ya know….this might actually be telling. Maybe it was this insane reaction and Yori’s subsequent emotional separation from Iku after this that made her not want to explore anything romantic or sexual, essentially making her ripe for the picking when Yori started to do those things with her. Iku, subconsciously or not, took her ‘becoming a woman’ as a bad event that happened in her life since it caused her to basically lose Yori more or less. Now, with him caught up physically, he actually likes the woman aspect of her and has accepted her with open arms (and more). So she might be using that to her advantage in keeping her brother with her as much as possible since she’s so scared to death of losing him…..

Don’t mind me, just trying to get some mileage out of my psych degree…..

Anyway, Iku is awoken to birthday wishes from her family and they present her with the phone that Yori told them to get. Jeez, he tells them to her a puppy, they do so without question. He tells them to get her and him cell phones for their birthday and they do so without question. Do they just do whatever Yori wants or do they have so much money that they just don’t care?

She’s unable to reach Yori’s cell phone, however, since he probably hasn’t gotten it through the mail yet. Her parents leave for work and she instantly decides to take all of her savings and go to visit Yori, through her paltry piggy bank money….and yes, she used legit piggy bank money. There’s just barely enough to take the long way with Inu-Yori. As she’s on her way, she bumps into Yano who buys her some chocolate to give to Yori as a birthday present since she spent too much of her money to get one herself. He decides that he’s going to tag along to visit Yori as well.

Meanwhile, Yori, after buying his dorm manager cigarettes and teaching him how to smoke (Yori, you’re a big enough douche without creating more smokers in the world) buys a diamond ring with clover designs as Iku’s birthday present since diamonds are the gemstones of Aries and clovers because of that stupid wordplay Yori mentioned in volume two. Though I’m more certain he bought this diamond ring because such rings are, you guessed it, meant for marriage. He buys it and puts it in a special box that reads “Only heart”.

Meanwhile, with Yori and Iku’s dad, his colleagues are clamoring over pictures of the twins stating that they seem nothing alike, which is odd for two people born under the same astrological sign. As our big cliffhanger of the volume, their dad reveals that the reason for their differences is because they don’t share the same astrological sign. They were born on different dates.

Dun….dun….dunn?

Ya know, technically, twins can be born on separate dates. Labor takes a long time. It’s possible for Yori to be born one day and Iku the next, especially if the delivery took place late at night. I know the real reason behind this revelation, but the reader wouldn’t know at this point.

Overall:

ROUND THREE AND OVERALL ANIMANGA CLASH WINNER: ANIME

Yup, the anime managed to knock out the manga in all three rounds. Congrats, OVA! You’re not quite as creepy and “get my rape-whistle”-y as the manga.

In regards to this volume in particular, the sex scene was much less uncomfortable in the OVA. They don’t include the bath scene or the talks about Iku’s bloody Sunday, thank you very much, and the scenes of Iku scared out of her mind while preparing for the act also seem much shorter in the OVA.

This is the tipping point because almost everything else that the OVA included was the same. I will admit that Iku’s inner turmoil at Tomoka’s teasing BS was better in the manga and the comedic reactions to Yori leaving weren’t so far out of left field in the manga since comedic moments have been long since established here when they never were in the anime. However, that doesn’t make up for much.

Final tally:

What the manga does better:

Establishes comedy as a facet of the series instead of chucking it in at the very end.

……Uhhhh….wow, is that it?

I guess the manga also includes more in regards to story and development, but almost all of these scenes should be taken as negatives because they either make Yori look like a creepy as hell near-rapist even more than he already did in the anime, or they simply don’t add anything of worth to the overall story.

What the anime does better:

Yori’s much less creepy and frightening (he still is as such, but not as much).

The uncomfortable scenes feel much shorter than the manga’s.

The arrangement of the timeline is much better (we’re not suddenly thrown into bro on sis tongue battle)

In the art department, the art is damn near identical, and the OVA has many scenes that are basically taken beat by beat from the manga. I guess we can call this a plus for the OVA, though there are some glaring animation errors that nearly cost it this mention.

Boku wa vol 3 clash banner WINNER

In the end, the OVA may still be an awful sewage smoothie, but I’d gladly watch that five times over than read these three volumes of manga ever again. I am just amazed at how horrible of a person Yori is and just how creepy and unhealthy this relationship really is. It’s like it’s nearly impossible for writers to write an incestuous relationship without one or the other being a complete asshole who is obviously toxic.

Then again, I can’t take a sigh of relief. I still have seven volumes of this crap to review.

Next volume, Iku and Yano arrive at Yori’s place. And what is the true impact behind Yori and Iku not sharing the same birthday? Why do their parents pretend like they do?

AniManga Clash! Boku Wa Imouto Ni Koi o Suru (Volume 2)

Boku wa vol 2 title

Plot: Yori and Iku have a falling out after Iku learns that Yori has slept with her friend Tomoka, who was being a stand-in for Iku in order for Yori to have a sexual outlet for his feelings. Iku starts dating a guy that has had a crush on her, Nakamura, in retaliation, but Yori won’t stand for another guy touching Iku. When the tensions come to a boil, Iku forces Yori to a love motel in order to know him in the same way that Tomoka got to, but will they really let this taboo reach a head?

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I obviously ran into some trouble designing this week’s poster. I’m actually a little ashamed of it. See, I figured with clashes that went volume by volume I’d use the starter pic of each volume for the poster and find a matching or similar shot from the anime to go with it. I figured Yori and Iku never go to a summer festival, use fireworks or have this pose in either the manga’s canon or the OVA, but surely I can find a picture of the two of them smiling right next to each other……No. No I can’t.

I know I’ve already gone on and on about how miserable this show/manga is, but I never realized that there is an insane lack of any shots involving Yori and Iku smiling in the OVA, let alone smiling together in the same shot. They laugh once in the train, but I couldn’t use that because it’s a closeup panning shot. That was the only time they ever seemed happy together.

How horribly mismanaged is a romance anime where the main characters are never shown being happy together? Even in tragic romances there are plenty of moments where the main characters are smiling and laughing together. Even in the Star Wars prequels, with the most chemistry-less couple of Anakin and Padme, there were several shots of them smiling and being happy together.

All of the shots of them have their expressions in one of two modes: angry or crying. Or Yori’s default expression – the angry rapist pout.

Because of this, I had to settle for one of the few shots that at least has them in a similar pose. I hope I have better luck in volume three.

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Nice to know that really stupid thing with the ‘Clover=c-lover=She is a lover’ thing is also in the original manga.

 

This volume starts out with Yori and Iku actually deciding to be lovers. Iku can’t stand the thought of losing Yori, so she decides to give into his feelings, which Yori gladly accepts. They’re enjoying the sights of the church that their parents got married in and they decide, hoo boy, what a great spot to have incestuous sex. I know this is in the OVA too, but holy crap is that a stupid decision.

Also nice that the pretentious and overbearing ‘God is watching us through the angel statues’ scene is kept. So, yeah, Iku calls it all off since God is watching them do it and Yori accepts her decision. However, his intense jealousy starts coming out when a long time classmate, Nakamura, expresses interest in Iku.

Hair sniffs: 7

Iku doesn’t pay him much mind, and actually seems to be increasingly lusting after Yori as well when he initiates more foreplay. Their advances continue to get jilted by the presence of their parents, but Yori stays insistent on sealing the deal with Iku and suggests they find a place, even a love hotel, to go to soon. She’s still very shaken by the close call, however, and worries that their parents ever finding out will mean them being separated forever. Tensions are very uneasy between the two the next day, and they come to a head when she discovers that Yori has slept with his girlfriend, Iku’s friend Tomoka. Enraged, she later decides to start dating Nakamura.

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A couple of things to note so far; to a degree, Yori does admit that he’s a terrible person…..but that doesn’t stop him from continuing to be terrible.

Yori is really violent when people even get a little close to Iku or if they make the slightest crude comment in her direction. He is more than adamant about not letting any guy ever be her boyfriend or, worse, having sex with her. They dedicate a whole splash page to him yelling internally that it would be completely unforgivable for such a thing to happen.

We get a flashback of why Yori is dating Tomoka in the first place. She had a crush on Yori for a long time and continuously tried to get him to accept her feelings, but he wouldn’t. When she finally realized that he liked another girl, she decided to offer herself up as a substitute. Yori, filled with sexual tension and no outlet besides his handy dandy hand, decides to accept Tomoka’s offer and they go to a love hotel to have sex. The whole time, Yori is imagining doing everything to Iku and sadly admits that doing it with a substitute isn’t enough nor is trying to love someone else in Iku’s place. But he continued to date her for release and possibly to keep up appearances.

He doesn’t even get through this sex scene without being creepy. He clasps his hand over Tomoka’s mouth to prevent her from making noise since he knows hearing her voice and not Iku’s will ruin the illusion. Tomoka’s doing this of her own free will, so to each his own, but still.

Back to the present, Nakamura and Tomoka decide to have lunch with Iku and start talking about the physical stuff Tomoka and Yori have been doing. Yori interrupts them just as Tomoka starts explaining what Yori’s like in bed. Ya know, even if they weren’t romantically involved, who wants to talk to their lover’s sister about how good their brother is in bed? He tells her to knock it off since he broke up with her and that he has a girl he likes, one that is the only one for him.

He turns his attention to Nakamura, who has done absolutely nothing, and grabs him by the shirt. Nakamura calls Yori ‘Big brother’ I guess because he either sees him that way as a long time classmate or because he’s dating Iku, and Yori tells him if he ever calls him that again, he’ll kill him. I have no doubt he would really keep that promise. Yori grasps Iku’s hand so hard when he’s yelling at Nakamura that he visibly hurts her.

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After this, he drags her into the science room, plops her on the floor with her begging him to stop and he just tells her to shut up and starts forcibly kissing her again.

Possible continued emotional manipulation; Yori says he can’t and won’t stop pursuing her, because if he let her go, he’d die. Like I mentioned before, on an emotional level, Iku’s main role in this relationship is fueled by her fear of losing Yori if she doesn’t respond to his advances. Saying he’ll die if he can’t be with Iku is a really extreme way of instilling that fear even further.

Also, is he even really serious? Because going to a faraway school and planning on likely never seeing Iku again is basically purposely ‘letting go’ of her. Unless he was going off to some fancy school to die.

After Yori and Iku talk some more, they make up and Iku even starts initiating some of the kissing before they nearly get caught and stop.

Oh, by the way, for anyone patting Iku on the back for dating someone else after all this, she was only pretending to date Nakamura for the sake of pissing off Yori as retaliation for him dating Tomoka. She is such a passive sack of useless.

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Yori, I really think you have a problem.

Oh goody, now we’re getting to some Iku creepiness. We see Iku giggling and learn that she’s super excited because Yori said he’d die without her and only her, then she flips because the same can be said of her.

Being reminded of Tomoka, she drags Yori away to a love hotel and begs him to have sex with her, to make him hers, and to allow her to know him in a way that Tomoka knows him. Yori actually doesn’t want to have sex in the love hotel because he wants their first time to be in some place romantic and special…..Pbbbbbbtttttt Yori, what are you smoking? You delusional liar. He’s damn near had sex with her in –

  • a church,
  • their bunk beds
  • the shower
  • their bunk beds again
  • a train
  • the bathroom
  • a science lab.

I’m pretty sure he’d plow her behind a dumpster at a Taco Bell up until this point. NOW he’s all picky and worried about making it special for her?

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To be fair, she is actually the one initiating everything and Yori does ask her many times if she wants him to stop and she keeps saying ‘no.’….However, I am still very uneasy about this scene. She’s still very scared, which I suppose is normal for any soon-to-be-not-virgin, but I still feel like she’s just doing this to stake a claim on Yori. Like she still feels threatened by Tomoka possibly taking Yori away because they’ve had sex and Iku hasn’t done it with Yori yet. She likely sees it as Tomoka having a higher claim on Yori than she does, and she won’t have that. I’m not even reading too much into that either because she basically admits that as the reason. She’s jealous that Tomoka had sex with Yori so she wants to have sex in the same type of location doing the same things they did. That’s not having sex for love, that’s having sex for possessiveness.

In the end:

ROUND TWO WINNER: ANIME

I was really on the fence about this volume’s winner. The only major point of difference is the inclusion of Nakamura. Iku never gave a crap about Nakamura and was purely using him for the sake of making Yori jealous so that went nowhere. The whole thing with Yori and Tomoka and Iku and Nakamura at this point really just seems to be accentuating how frighteningly possessive Yori is, which just makes him look worse.

Yori really was bad enough in the OVA, but he cannot go one chapter without either thinking something incredibly creepy, doing something frightening or forcibly molesting his sister. He only had a couple of these instances in the OVA due to time constraints, so, by all means, the anime wins this round.

Next volume, do Yori and Iku do the do at the love hotel?

Episode One-Derland: Cosmic Baton Girl Comet-San

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Plot: Comet is the princess of Harmonica star-world of the Triangle Nebula; one of three star-worlds, the other two being Castanet and Tambourine. In order to secure the future of their worlds, the kingdoms hope to bring Comet together with the prince of Tambourine star-world. However, on the day of the dance party in which they were supposed to meet, the prince runs away.

Comet’s parents send her on a mission to earth, where they believe he is heading, to find the prince, even in spite of not knowing his name or what he looks like. Comet, intrigued by the concept of an adventure on earth, a planet on which her mother had various adventures, agrees, but soon finds herself unable to do much without money and suffering from the culture gap. To top it all off, she is having no luck so far in finding the prince even with her companion, a small dog creature named Rababou who is able to detect the ‘twinkle’ she’s meant to be guided by.

She meets two kind twins, a boy named Tsuyoshi and a girl named Nene, who find her to be a troubled girl and decide to lend their assistance to her. In her most desperate hour, homeless, penniless and hungry, Nene and Tsuyoshi lead their mother to Comet who inquires about her situation.

Breakdown: Yay, magical girl anime! But it’s not really traditional magical girl. It’s moreso just a girl with magical powers and nifty cutesy outfits.

This episode did a good job of introducing us to Comet as well as the main plot and world they live in, but the episode as a whole feels a little hollow.

Comet is pretty par for the course so far. She’s a rebel in not really being interested in her princessly duties and is more enamored with the concept of adventure and exploring as well as possibly falling in love. She seems to have a good attitude, but she’s still a little naive, both with and without culture gaps.

The whole ‘star-world’ thing is pretty plain so far too. It’s basically every other royalty set up just with star-worlds and nebulas in place of countries. I don’t know why these places are named after musical instruments, either.

The fish out of water story is nothing to write home about. She plays on a playground at a kindergarten because she doesn’t know any better. She tries to get food without money. She mimics an American’s weird and rude sounding Japanese (by the by, this guy is like 30 and was taking a picture of her as she woke up in the park…..) and she believes she can sleep anywhere.

The only part of this that really works is when she realizes that she doesn’t really always have the open line of communication with her parents that she thought she had. They gave her some sort of ball that is meant to log her happy memories on her adventure, and they told her whenever she felt scared or alone to look to the stars as they’d always be able to see her. But as she’s stuck homeless out in the rain without much food, she looks to the sky to see nothing but clouds. Her mother actually gets a signal on her little ball thing that conveys troubled feelings by Comet, but she decides not to act on it since the signal seems minor and she wants Comet to learn about the twinkle of light that is always visible on earth, hope, which is when Nene and Tsuyoshi’s mom shows up.

But, I gotta say….that’s a pretty bitch move, Comet’s mom. Actually, this whole journey is a bitch move. They send her to earth instead of sending somewhere else or going themselves because they hope that Comet traveling across the galaxy for a boy she’s never met in order to drag him back home will make him fall in love with her.

That’s all fine and dandy because they don’t force her to go, she goes on her own volition when she remembers her mother recalling her adventures on earth, including falling in love. But they didn’t even bother giving her any money or telling her anything about earth in order to fit in. They just gave her regular clothes, taught her a few words of Japanese, which is weird considering she’s speaking Japanese the whole time, so when she switches to ‘I’m just now learning Japanese’ mode it becomes confusing, and sent her on her way.

Granted, yes, she has magic powers that can do….pbbbbbtttttt…..anything? There is never any explanation about what her powers are or what they do. They do stuff like create rocket boots and make her one dumpling to eat so far. All I got is that she has a finite amount of star power considering that she says she was saving it up. What star power is and how you accumulate it, I don’t know. But since it seems like she’s low on star power near the end for some reason, all she can do is make a dumpling to eat.

Nene and Tsuyoshi are very kind kids, but their manner of speech is a little annoying. They tend to repeat the other’s words and speak in third person.

There’s someone else I feel I should bring up named Meteo. She’s the princess of Castanet star-world. Even though she has barely two lines in this episode, from the next episode preview and her short screen time here, it seems like she’ll be the antagonist, at least for a short while, sabotaging Comet’s pursuit of the prince in hopes of getting him for herself, so there will be legit conflict in the future. Also, I assume her name’s derived from the word meteor.

The one thing that kinda drags the whole show down is that the series doesn’t really give a legit reason to care about Comet’s mission. We never see the prince, they have no connection, the Triangle nebula’s not in danger of war or anything should the Tambourine and Harmonica star-worlds not unite, at least from all I know, so why is the mission so important?

Art and animation wise, it’s pretty average magical girl fare. Simplistic designs with a lot of girly additions and pastel colors. Comet’s hair is kinda weird, but I love what they did with her star hair clip. They styled the hair that it’s holding up into the star’s tail to make a comet. I thought that was neat.

Music-wise……eh. It’s average bordering on bad. It’s very poppy and girly and absolutely none of it is memorable.

In the voice acting department, Japanese, everyone was pretty good in their roles with the bearded guy whose name escapes me doing a particularly good job. However, Comet’s mom sounds downright terrible. Her voice is just so weird and low pitched that it kinda put me off.

Final verdict:

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Despite these gripes, it’s a magical girl anime. I can’t resist. It’s not really that bad of an opening episode, but there’s not really a whole lot to leave you thirsty for more. Shoujo Step-By-Step, here I come.

Recommended Audience: Beheadings, graphic sex scenes, swearing like a sailor—….if you think I’m serious, please seek help. E for everyone.