For Me and My “Gal”

March 18th, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews by

When you were in high school, there was a ton of stuff to worry about: getting into college, being popular, seeing your name in the school newspaper. But the most important one was having a girlfriend. And if you didn’t have a girlfriend, what’s wrong with you, man? Well, I have a girlfriend, but she doesn’t know she’s my girlfriend. *sigh*. Yeah, we’ve all been there. But what if you got one of the popular ones? Such is the thought behind “Hajimete no Gal”, (“My First Girlfriend Is a Gal” orHajimete no Gyaru”).

We doggedly follow the misgivings of Junichi Hashiba (I’m sure you can find him up there). He moans and laments about not having a girlfriend, as his classmates have seemed to be pairing up everywhere. Peer pressure comes into play as his single unattached friends force him into boldly confessing his love to Yukana Yame, a beautiful gal at school. (OK, I never understood the ‘Gal [Gyaru] Movement’ in Japanese culture or what it tried to do).

Although Yukana easily determines that Junichi really just wants to lose his virginity, she agrees to be his girlfriend. Junichi soon attracts the affections of other girls who have known Junichi or Yukana for a while, including his childhood friend and neighbor Nene, Yukana’s gal pal Ranko, and the school’s madonna, Yui. Our tale is how all these divergent people interact with one another.

For a guy who had nothing, he now has too much, as everyone vies for his affection while holding the others off, although the main battle is between Yukana and Ranko, as they have been friends forever. Oh, yeah, there is tons of fan service and lots of suggestiveness, but it’s never crass or crude; more like the ladies understand what’s going on and are just pushing their ‘assets’ to the forefront to make Junichi squirm and reel from all of it.

You also come to learn that perhaps Yukana may have some genuine affection for our golden cherry boy and will defend him from the seductive charms of her rivals. Oh, yeah, it’s a rom-com, so nothing is too dangerous or out of control and we all remain friends at the end of the episode. The bigger problem is that Junichi doesn’t really know what to do or how to handle things to get what he wants, and it’s not to get boinked, but to have a real girlfriend. And since things are up in the air, assume a second season of this nonsense is lurking out there.

Oh, yeah, even though this is a very heavy fan service show, you need to see things play out better in ‘real time’, so plunk your butt into the seat and go at it, as the mayhem and overall bizarre nature of the show plays out far better than the episodic approach

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           8 (Boobs, boobs, boobs)
Plot                  8 (Rather typical, but done with charm)
Pacing              8 (Almost too hard to keep up)
Effectiveness   7 (As if this stuff really happens…..)
Conclusion      5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service     5 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)
Bingeability    9 (Have at you!)

Overall            8 (A marvelous waste of time)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Will you…..go out with me?

Short Pull Series XXVII: “Girl” Power

March 4th, 2021 in Anime, Short Run Series by

Slapstick is a harder genre to master than one thinks, as you have to balance the mayhem with the results. It doesn’t succeed as well as it should, and so “Aho-Girl “(“Aho gāru”, or “Stupid-girl”) kind of dissolves into sit-com madness. I say ‘kind of’, as it doesn’t grasp the elements correctly and comes off as more vicious than it needs to be. Let me explain….. (more…)

Attack of the OVA #20 – “Rescue” Mission

February 25th, 2021 in Anime, Short Run Series by

Untethered OVAs, for me, are a bother, in that I end up getting plunked into the middle of something and since there is not going to be anything to come home to or go on from, it is merely a way to spend a half-hour, looking at the problems of others. Such is the case with “Rescue Me”. (more…)

“Cheer”, Cheer, The Gang’s All Here

January 28th, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews by

More Japanese weirdness. OK, sure, this is another “Girls Who Save the World” tale, but what they are doing is saving their city from neglect. Huh? Wha? Eh? This is more of a way to promote the virtues of your particular city, and this is done via ‘action heroines’, some superhero girl who battles the baddies, while extolling some aspect of the city she represents. Well, everyone wants to get in on the act and Hinano City is no different. Thus we have “Action Heroines Cheer Fruits” (“Akushon Hiroin Chia Furūtsu”). (more…)

Short-Pull Series XXVII: – Your “Children” Know

January 21st, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Run Series by

In one sense, this reminded me of “Daily Lives of High School Boys”, in that it is a series of events and actions where, at the end of the day, nothing really happens. That is not a bad thing, as we see the blush of youth, trying to understand love and getting it all bass-ackwards. Welcome to “Tsurezure Children” (“Tsurezure Chirudoren”). (more…)

Such is “Life”

January 14th, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews by

This was heavily promoted at AX 17, but I could never find any episodes scheduled for viewing while I was there, so I had to wait for the Fall Release to grab it. It is, at its heart, a school rom-com, but the situation and circumstances puts the spin on it. Welcome to Sentōru no Nayami” (“A Centaur’s Life”, also known as “A Centaur’s Worries”). (more…)

“Freak” Out

December 31st, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Many of you might be going, “Wait, he’s reviewing a sports anime. He’s not a big fan of those shows.” And, yes, you are correct, but this is actually not that much of a sports anime, although I did get tired of seeing the ball in the back of the net, stretching out the meshing. However, that can be overlooked by the core craziness of “Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-ku”, (also known as “Cleanliness Boy! Aoyama-kun” or “Clean Freak! Aoyama kun”).
(more…)

Do You Want to Play a “Game”?

November 26th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

We are heaved back into the seething cauldron of uncertainty and panic, better known as high school, where the slightest misstep or errant statement can doom you to a life of abject despair. Well, that’s what it felt like for me when I attended! Anyway, this is a bit of the plotting and thought-work behind the latest student rom-com, “Gamers!” (“Gēmāzu!”). (more…)

It’s All “New” to Me

November 19th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

When the show “New Game!” came out, I had two big problems with it. The first was the overwhelming female cast in it (men were there, but certainly background at best) and the fact that for trying to put out a video game, there was a decided lack of pressure. The game would come out when it would come out. Not very realistic. With the second season of “New Game!! 2” (“Nyū Gēmu!! 2”) upon us, they have at least raised the stakes a bit. (more…)

Ne “Plus Ultra”

November 12th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Latin is a funny language, in that it is used mostly in the scientific naming of things and in any column from George Will. There are useful phrases, but you may end up having to explain them, so it loses its punch. The phrase ‘ne plus ultra’ means ‘nothing greater beyond’, so you have reached your zenith. However, for the second season of this show, it is “My Hero Academia: Plus Ultra”.

Now, if you wish, you can take in Show 13.5, as it’s a recap, but it can be missed as well. With the survivors of the attack by the League of Villains still recovering, the school decides to hold its annual Sports Festival, where all the students trot out their quirks and battle one another. The first rounds are typical events: obstacle race and cavalry battle. Then, the Top 16 students face off against one another. It is here that we see those personalities take shape and how it might predict the kind of superhero they will become.

Once the tournament is over (and did you think I would tell you who the Big Winner was? Really?) Mr. Aizawa announces that everyone has to decide a hero name for themselves, and that since many of the students have gotten multiple offers from pro heroes groups, everyone will be doing a one-week internship at a hero agency. Izuku (Oh, Mr. Green in the middle) is still not sure which agency he should join when suddenly All Might shows up. He tells Izuku that his teacher has offered an internship, and Izuku accepts it.

Now, teachers have differing styles and approaches, so it ends up being a real workout for all of them, made worse by the arrival of Stain: The Hero Killer. This ending arc puts the show on its collision course with the League of Villains for the third season.

This show has gotten better, if you can accept that. We are now defining everyone and what they can do and how events will soon overtake them all. It’s just that the villains were really cartoony and Stain came off as not much different than Syndrome from “The Incredibles” and he had a terrifying quirk. Izuku still has a long way to go, but it’s going to work out. The one tip-off is that there are moments in his narration that he references these things and events as being in the past, so the whole series is a caliber of giant flashback for him. He might even be at the end of his hero life, and is passing on salient information to his apprentice. Only time will tell.

Binging with this series has always been at crossed purposes for me. I mean, there is certainly no reason as to why you can’t link it all together, but there is just such a lot going on and needs to be unpacked and has to be addressed that binging might work against it, but that’s a difficult decision. It’s just that I like this show quite a lot, so I am not all that anxious to get through it all at once, my main argument against binging. However, if you do find yourself at home and you don’t really care what’s happening with Wendy or Maury or Ellen, fire up the barbie, mate!

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           7 (The villains can get too ridiculous)
Plot                  8 (Getting better and better)
Pacing              8 (Moves along consistently and purposely)
Effectiveness   8 (Good use of flashbacks)
Conclusion       7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability     9 (It can be done, but it’s a personal call)

Overall            8 (Let’s hope the set-up pays off)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I am here.