Eri KitamuraMikako KomatsuMinami TsudaRei Matsuzaki
Love To-LIE-Angle
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2018: L
Also known as: Tachibanakan to Lie Angle
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Director: Hisayoshi Hirasawa
Original creator: merryhachi
Actor: Amisa Sakuragi, Arisa Nakada, Eri Kitamura, Mikako Komatsu, Minami Tsuda, Rei Matsuzaki
Keywords: anime, boobs
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 three-minute episodes
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 3 October 2018
Love To Lie Angle
I can't see anyone getting too excited about this one. It's silly lesbian sleaze with plenty of fanservice and a bit of plot. That said, though, it's also good-natured and quite a happy show. It's nothing special, but I quite enjoyed it.
Natsuno Hanabi is our heroine. If she'd been male, this would have been a harem show. She's not, though, so it's a yuri sex comedy. (The regular cast's all-female, with the only male character I noticed being a toilet repair man in ep.4.) That said, though, it's really a love triangle, not an outright harem. The cast are divided into two groups: (a) three schoolgirls, and (b) older women who are happy to tease the schoolgirls but aren't serious about it.
The two girls who like Hanabi are her childhood friend Konomi Fujiwara (pink hair, serious crush but also kinda tsundere) and inscrutable nudist Iori Takamura (purple hair, mostly just comes across as weird rather than someone with actual feelings). Konomi calls Iori "sleaze girl". There's enough going on with Konomi-Hanabi and occasionally Iori-Hanabi to give the show a genuine emotional core. Ep.7 in particular is a full-blown love confession episode, or at least it would have been if the girls hadn't been interrupted by a wild boar. It's quite impressive, in a way. There's a lot of plot crammed into these micro-episodes and there's a proper story in the show as a whole. I think this show is adapted from a normal manga with a plot that could probably have sustained full-length episodes, although I suspect that might have been a lot more tiresome than this three-minute version.
Meanwhile the adults are Yoriko Fujiwara (busty, Konomi's mother?), Yu Tsukishiro (molester and raucous blonde party girl) and Sonoa Mitsui (brought home from the pub by Yu in ep.5 and stays, will be all over her when drunk). Yu is a loud troublemaker, but they're not part of the show's real story. When it looks misleadingly as if Sonoa-Hanabi might be a possibility in ep.9, the word "lolicon" gets thrown around.
Personally I think Iori's the story's weak link. She's not a plausible third side of the triangle, not even to the basic decoy level that's required for genre formula. It takes her three episodes to put on clothes, she'll wonder if Hanabi's in love with her on no evidence and she'll talk and react like a robot facsimile. When ep.12 tries to build up our interest in Iori-Hanabi by walking us through their date at a festival, it just doesn't work. You'll reaction is to try to watch ep.13 and be surprised when you can't because ep.12 was the season finale. Come on, really? Is that it? That's a non-ending. I don't mind the lack of closure, but that's the kind of lack of anti-conclusion that suggests someone left the real last episode on a train. Apparently the manga continues well beyond that point, though, with six volumes and still going.
I've also just noticed the wordplay in the title. "To-LIE-Angle" is the English word "triangle" in a Japanese accent.
However there's also the sleaze. No one's ever going to take this show seriously, because it keeps showing us girls with their pants down. (Remarkably little toplessness, oddly, but a slightly jarring amount of bottomlessness. There's always an object between us and the groin, though.) Ep.4 has someone wetting herself. (You could either call it comedy or attempted fetish fuel. Depends how you'd evaluate the target audience.) There's groping. There are boob flashes. Not all that many, but this is still unquestionably a show where nipples were added for the Blu-rays. (If that's your preference, ep.9 is the boob episode.) There's even a game of strip table-tennis in ep.10, followed by everyone getting into the hot spring. (The strip table-tennis was Yu's idea and everyone thought it was ridiculous, but then she offered Hanabi as a prize for the winners. Hanabi had no choice in the matter.)
Does all this work? Well, I wouldn't call it sexy, but the sex comedy does get a couple of laughs. Ep.5 shows Hanabi hiding an outrageously dressed Iori in the closet because she wants to avoid misunderstandings... which of course is inviting far more dangerously explosive misunderstandings. What an idiot. I had no sympathy, especially when Hanabi hid in the closet with her and of course things got steamier. However the punchline with Yu was worth it.
Is this show worth your time? Hell, no. It's trash with no ending. However it's also warm, quite likeable trash if you don't mind animated nudity. There's nothing mean-spirited or nasty about it. Its fanservice is cheerfully, honestly shameless and the cast are all nice, except to some extent Yu. You could call it a harem anime with a gender-switched protagonist if you liked, but I think an all-female cast is a lot less cringeworthy than a bland no-personality male hero who hasn't realised that he's the world's greatest chick magnet. It gets through a lot of plot. It manages to do character development and a coherent story in three-minute chunks. It might even have been better in this format than as a full-length adaptation. (Maybe.) That still doesn't mean I'd recommend it, though.