There are some show titles that are going to draw your interest immediately.
“Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt”. Yeah, I gotta check that one out.
“My Sensitive Pornograph”. Whoops! I backed the wrong pony on this one!
“Chu-Bra!!”. I wonder if it is about undergarments……
Well, yes, it is. It tells the story of Nayu Hayama (the bespectacled one), a middle school student who is having some problems with her undergarments to the point of it being a wardrobe malfunction. Since the underwear in question is rather adult in nature, two curious students, Yako Jingūji (the brunette) and Haruka Shiraishi (the pink one) wonder if there is ‘something more’ going on, especially when a much older man comes up to Nayu to ask her questions.
We come to learn that she is a caliber of ‘beta tester’ for underwear. In fact, she is so enamored with underwear, she has made it her life’s ambition to be the greatest undergarment designer in the world, following in the footsteps of her famous (but dead) grandmother. Her aim is to make undergarments that are both pretty and designed to do what they are meant to do.
To this end, she gets a bit okatu and is not above checking out her schoolmates in the dressing room, not only clutching them, but letting them know that the bra they are wearing is not right for them. It may be too small, or lacks sufficient support, or ‘it doesn’t let your breasts breathe’ (and that is coupled with one of the funniest animes tropes I have ever seen).
Then she runs afoul of Kiyono Amahara (the blonde). The school’s rich girl, she is an exact counterpart to Nayu. Where Nayu is naïve, Kiyono is too mature for her years, wearing adult undergarments that would be better suited if she was 10 years older. Where Nayu is the Joy of Underwear, Kiyono is the Job of Underwear.
Still, the decision is made that it would be best to inform the school of the necessities and importance of such garments, so they decide to form the Underwear Appreciation Society. Wait. I count only four. I know that you need at least FIVE to start a club, so they enlist the assistance of Hiroki Komachi, a glancing male friend of Nayu and who has a one-sided rivalry with her in regards to grades.
Even though the underwear embarrasses him, he supports the group whole-heartedly. Too bad others do not share their vision. The club is under attack for being a mere pervert organization and all these external forces put a strain on friendships and the club, threatening to destroy both.
Even though this is a show about undergarments, the fan service is not as out of control as you might imagine, as they are emphasizing the emotional aspect of bras and panties. Huh? These garments are made to help you feel good about yourself, OK?
Sure, we have a trip to the lingerie shop and there is a photo shoot with Kiyono, modeling undergarments and lots and lots of girl’s locker room antics, but it is never over-bearing as you could get with some shows that AREN’T about underwear, but certainly let you know about the ladies wearing them.
I enjoyed the dynamics between Nayu and Kiyono, as each struggled with their version of what is correct. Nayu is a girl who lacks the toughness to succeed, but does not want to give up the little girl inside of her. Kiyono is asked to be an adult too soon, so is missing a lot of the emotional stability that would make her life better. Even though these are ladies, both want to be adults before they are ready for such a task.
The show ends on a kind of false note, one of those odd confluences of circumstances that occur in anime, but not that much in real life. But this is a gentle show and sometimes you need a break from giant fighting robots and zombie attacks. I liked it a lot and NO, I am not a pervert. Well, not that big of one, anyway.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (If you see ladies in underwear, it had best look good)
Plot 7 (It does feel propped up in parts)
Pacing 7 (Kind of fades at the end)
Effectiveness 8 (It works for the story it tells)
Conclusion 8 (It stops, but we reached a logical point)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagenn”)
Overall 7 (It still feels like a starter anime)
And remember, it’s first run until you see it. Say, are those Hayama brand underwear?