M.A.ONao ToyamaTakahiro SakuraiChiaki Takahashi
Otona no Bouguya-san + Rimen
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2018: O
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Director: Jun'ichi Yamamoto
Writer: Domeshi, Jun'ichi Yamamoto
Original creator: Fumi Ayamiya
Actor: Chiaki Takahashi, Enako, M.A.O, Mark Ishii, Mikako Komatsu, Nao Toyama, Nichika Omori, Takahiro Sakurai
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 four-minute episodes + 3 OVAs in 2019
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=21450
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 30 November 2020
Otona no Bouguya san
Deservedly obscure. It's a harmless little comedy series, but also not that funny.
I'm not surprised to learn that it's based on a four-panel gag manga. It's set in a fantasy game world where an eccentric shopkeeper sells sexy armour for women. This isn't a bad premise, but...
1. They haven't managed to make it funny. Narden sells his wares to customers who want it... yes, that's nice, but where's the joke? The only person who turns even the slightest hair is the main character, Kautz. He takes a job at the shop in ep.1, but he's also an innocent who can't handle too much sexiness.
2. The sleazy armour is almost never sleazy. You wonder if these people have heard of Chris Achilleos or Boris Vallejo. Most of it would barely count as risque, especially in sword and sorcery.
3. A more genre-savvy series could have been a lot cleverer with this. You could go to town skewering high fantasy's tendencies in this regard. Do they? No. Narden's bikinis are functional armour, thanks to magic. The show's more interested in making jokes about its staff and voice cast.
4. It's going nowhere. A four-panel manga has been turned into four-minute anime episodes. Don't expect character development or a plot.
Narden's problem is that he loves sexy armour so much that he sells it at a loss. The shop's about to go under. Lilietta is a good-natured female elf with super-strength who works at the shop and happily tries on Narden's new pieces. Just having her there makes a huge difference, actually. She stops it from being creepy.
Kautz is a hapless young man who worships Lilietta and can be knocked unconscious by the presence of pretty girls.
And that's it, really. That's the show. A customer called Frealica joins the staff halfway through and there's a little girl who's a Demon Lord at the end, but they don't add much. The show tries to grow a season finale, but it's not trying particularly hard. Besides, the production values are so cheap that action scenes are liable to detract from the viewing experience, not improve it, as with the Demon Lord's tentacle attack in ep.12.
The show's fond of 1980s video games. I should probably say "1990s", but that would overstate the visual quality in your imagination. Scenes will often be rendered as one of those old 2D adventure games, while the sound effects and music are paying homage to the genre too. Footsteps will be that weird 'pachi pachi' noise you used to get. Narden paying his staff will be greeted with the 1980s home computer equivalent of trumpets. (Kautz once tries to refuse payment, because the shop can't afford it.)
GOOD THINGS
The Demon Lord, Emina, looks like a little girl. (With horns.) That's mildly amusing. Thankfully, though, Narden's clothes for her are sensible school uniforms.
I quite liked the show's in-jokes. "Did you forget the time we got flamed for overusing that scene in ep.6? The internet is gonna get mad at us again!" (I know what scene they're talking about and the internet was right.)
The three "Rimen" OVAs are slightly longer than the TV series, at 5, 5 and 7 minutes. This makes them less throwaway. Rimen ep.1 is the show's best episode, with X-ray spectacles, a demon from the spirit world and actual sleaze. (Some of it's from Narden, no less.) It also helps that the episode's sidelining the show's core concept, in favour of something more surreal and hence entertaining.
HOWEVER...
The subsequent episodes return to the show's default state of "not much cop". They all have rival shops opening up next door, which would have seemed implausible in a sword-and-sorcery economy if the show had been taking itself seriously. The first of them is a modern superstore, 194.45 metres tall with 44 stories.
The show's a weak sort of okay. I watched it. I wouldn't recommend it to people, but it didn't cause me pain or anything. Its cast are nice and it's a peaceful, inoffensive, family-friendly show. However that's arguably one of its problems.