Let’s see. It’s a harem romantic comedy ‘move-in’ show, with shades of drama sprinkled on top, like something you get at the ice cream store. True, this does have a nice twist into the proceedings, but at the core, it is all the aforementioned. Oh, a ‘move-in’ show, is one where the main character comes to a new town or a new school or a new dimension and ‘moves in’ to an apartment or housing complex or the slave’s quarters to start that new life, but then gets more than they bargained for. It’s just it appears this is the latest fad/plot device in anime.
“If Her Flag Breaks” (“Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara”) is also one of those prophetic shows, where everything is laid out before you, but you have to assemble the pieces, muck like putting together a bicycle on Christmas Eve using those instructions. It initially doesn’t make any sense, (“Adult must be side as of legal place of being”), but as it slowly comes together, you can make it all work…..sort of.
Our hero is Souta Hatate, the guy on the roof, who has this strange and rare gift: he sees flags. Well, they are more like pennants, but they sit atop your head. He is able to define what it is you are after or what a situation might be and he sometimes steps in to change the current reality to change the direction you go in to, in a sense, cheat fate.
This is seen in the opening sequence, where he makes a statement to change how a person feels and, thusly, saves his life, although no one really sees it. He attends Hatagaya School, which is really more of an academy, where he runs into all sorts of girls with all sorts of problems and, by understanding what the flag is atop their head, helps them. But this is also part of the prophesy, in that he needs to gather a variety of people types (a princess knight, a magician, a cleric, people like that) in order to change his fate.
Well, it is quite the capacious cast. Do you count a dozen ladies up there? (Well, only ten, as one of them is an android and the other is a very effeminate-looking man, but we’ll let it stand). They move into the Quest Dorm, which is a safety hazard and should be condemned. However, the school rallies about them and completely rebuilds the dorm in ONE DAY! Well, I’m impressed. It takes me a week just to get the building inspector to come out.
The series tells the tale as to how Souta understands how to help people, but cannot seem to understand how to help himself as he is cursed with a flag that he cannot overcome. Also, the actually ending was a bit of a cop-out for me, as it came across as a way to end the show without really having to worry about ending the show. I know that seems vague, but it is part and parcel of the plot and I don’t want to tip things, even if you decide this isn’t your cup of tea.
It still has a good balance of the sweet and the sour (but not too sour) and if you are willing to let some plotting aspects slide by without question, you will have a nice time of things, especially how he slowly assembles his harem.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Rather over-sized eyes, even for anime)
Plot 8 (Done well)
Pacing 6 (Sometimes frantic, just to be frantic)
Effectiveness 7 (Did drag in spots)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t end)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagann”)
Overall 7 (Cheap-out ending)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Welcome home.