Natsuko KuwataniWataru HatanoYuko GotoMitsuhiro Ichiki
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2006
Director: Seiji Kishi
Writer: Hideki Mitsui
Original creator: Takeaki Momose
Keywords: anime, harem, rubbish
Actor: Ai Iura, Eiji Yanagisawa, Halko Momoi, Hiroomi Sugino, Hiroya Ishimaru, Kanako Sakai, Katsuhiro Harasawa, Katsuki Murase, Kazuya Tatekabe, Kei Shindou, Mai Nakahara, Masaaki Ishikawa, Masahiro Yamanaka, Masanori Katsuragi, Megumi Nasu, Michiaki Kubota, Mitsuhiro Ichiki, Nana Inoue, Natsuko Kuwatani, Noriko Namiki, Noriko Rikimaru, Remi Kawashima, Sakura Nogawa, Satoshi Okada, Satoshi Shimizu, Shizuka Arai, Takako Uemura, Tomoko Kaneda, Wataru Hatano, Yoshiya Sakurada, Yuko Goto
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 episodes
Website category: Anime late 00s
Review date: 9 August 2018
It's painful to watch. Harem anime has never been critically esteemed to start with, but this is like its ugly death spiral. That said, there's one good episode here and I like the show's underlying idea.
As usual with harem shows, it's built around a bland male protagonist (Haruo) and an army of loud girls who fancy him. What's different here is that the girls are witches who hit you with memory-erasing hammers and the main female protagonist is evil. Her name's Ayumi Mamiya and she'd be the villain in any other show. Hell, she basically is here too. She'll talk like a street thug who's about to beat you up and she'll wage no-holds-barred war on the other girls in her goal of getting inside Haruo's pants. Quite a few episodes improve out of sight (from "unwatchable") when Mamiya shows up and starts fighting dirty.
Theoretically this is great. I love the idea of mad, out-of-control witches behaving badly and sending the plot completely apeshit with their bitch fights. These episodes do time travel, ghosts, Terminator maids and the cast turning each other into children.
The supporting cast isn't anything special, to be honest, but Maika can be funny. She's one of Haruo's three sisters and she likes him a bit too much. That's not the funny bit. She's also very, very possessive and, in later episodes, liable to turn into a green-skinned, burning-eyed reptile if she thinks you're a threat. I also quite liked Yuri Korosu, the student council president, who in this show is the normal, sensible one.
Mind you, Haruo's bland even compared with ordinary harem protagonists. It's part of the plot! He's a boring, ordinary boy who hasn't realised that he's surrounded by witches (thanks to those memory hammers) and Mamiya needs to "awaken" him. Girls call him a wuss. This has the happy effect of pushing him offscreen in most episodes, although on the downside it's more absurd than usual that he's so universally fancied.
That's a good premise. It's not Shakespeare, but it should have been funny. Unfortunately, though, the whole show's so stupid that you don't care. Everyone's behaviour is too unbelievable for you to be able to believe in it even as a comedy, even when we're watching muggles. Two male classmates in particular keep wrecking episodes by being over-the-top and pointless. Characters have their brains removed for plot convenience. The school principal might shout out embarrassing things in front of students without being forced to do so, simply because the show thinks it's funny. It's the kind of silly that looks stupid, not funny. I kept wanting to fast-forward.
The show goes through stages. The first few episodes are the worst, but they're also the best at showing an evil Mamiya at war with the rest of the cast. In later episodes, she's liable to become one of the gang.
In its later stages, though, the show grows a plot. It starts in ep.9, with Mamiya's sister dragging a culture festival school play into a land of real fairy tales. We have a villain! Ep.11 is a straightforward romantic episode between Haruo and Mamiya. You could have seen that episode in any show, once you're past the different girls' Christmas fantasies for Haruo. The finale then has a mental plot twist (that's apparently been disowned by some readers of the original manga).
Those episodes I actually found watchable. Not good, but okay. The good episode, though, is ep.10, which takes this series to awesome levels of taste. Here's the start of the "Coming Next Week" summary from the end of the previous episode. "Ayumi gets concerned about Haruo, who doesn't react at all to his own sisters' sexual charms. She becomes anxious and breaks out her cat knickers!" These are MAGICAL TALKING cat knickers, you see. Any male who sees them will fall in lust with you, but they can only be removed by your target while he's sexually aroused. (Mamiya can't have a bath now, but surely she also has an even more urgent hygiene-related problem?) Yeah... like I said, tasteful. I laughed a lot at this episode. It has some awesome facial expressions and girls turning into monsters, either metaphorically (Mamiya) or literally (Maika).
Don't watch this show. It's bad. You can try watching ep.10 if you like, but it might lose something if you go in cold without having got to know the cast first. If it works on its own, great. If it doesn't, then forget it because nothing's worth sitting through eps.1-9. Eps.11-13 aren't anything special either, to be honest, even if the show can be quite funny when Mamiya and Maika are turning into savage fanged beasts.