Yuji UedaNobuyuki HiyamaKaori NazukaHaruka Tomatsu
Medium: series
Year: 2007
Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Writer: Saki Hasemi
Actor: Eri Nakao, Haruka Tomatsu, Kaori Nazuka, Masaya Onosaka, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Rika Morinaga, Tomoko Kaneda, Yuji Ueda, Yukari Tamura
Keywords: anime, rubbish
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 14 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=8034
Website category: Anime late 00s
Review date: 23 July 2022
I'd heard that it was appalling, so I was keen to watch it. Unfortunately, I hated it.
This show manages to be both disgusting and bland. Sometimes I loathed what it was doing, sometimes I quite enjoyed the show and at other times I found myself just losing interest and falling asleep.
Bizarrely, it's an adaptation of a series of English language study aids. I've never heard of anything like that before. The original books were aimed at otaku and had a high school student (Nao-kun) learning English with the help of a magical girl (Ink-chan) who taught him English phrases from games and anime.
That still happens here and it's refreshing for this kind of empty-headed hero to be quite good academically. However, there's one big twist. Nao and Ink are in their last year of high school and soon they'll have university entrance exams, but Ink looks like a ten-year-old. On one level, this is engaging and funny. She fancies Nao, but she's trapped in a juvenile body. This is oddly relatable. Furthermore, her childhood friend (Sumi) also fancies Nao, but has the same physique as Ink. Sumi's a tsundere who calls Ink her rival and claims to hate her, but in unguarded moments she'll forget this and will reveal herself as a concerned friend after all. She also has a sadistic maid who does horrible things to her for laughs.
Unfortunately, the show thinks it's a fanservice show. There's a really jarring bit at the end where the anime staff discuss the show and someone comments that it was all smut and no content. No, it's not. It doesn't have any smut. It has repellent not-smut. It has nude transformation sequences for Ink and Sumi, who are No No Not Ten-Year-Olds Really. Anyone who calls that "smut" should be dragged away and locked up. That said, though, this is as sexy as being stabbed in the face and so I could have ignored it as merely pointless and meaningless... if it weren't for the characters who openly drool when witnessing it, or get nosebleeds.
Let's put it in plain terms. This show is trying to normalise paedophilia. It presents a world where everyone is aroused by girls who look pre-pubescent and is actively put off by big boobs. Well, almost everyone. Aa-kun the duck (who's really an adult man). Kaa-kun the cat (ditto). Dandy the king. Nao, maybe, although it's not explicitly confirmed until the silly OVA ep.13. (In that episode, a small girl drools at one of those transformation sequences.) Even sodding Rem clearly has a thing for young-looking girls... and she's the most adult-looking of the schoolgirls.
I hated Aa-kun. Really, really hated him. The best ending for this show would have been for Aa-kun to get cooked and eaten by his cellmate while doing twenty years in prison.
Apart from that, though, the show's amusing. Ink is likeable and you'll hope everything goes well for her. The show has some good jokes. It's funny to see, for instance, a melodramatic villain conversation between a duck and a cute ickle pussy cat. Sumi's sadistic, violent maid can sometimes be a laugh. Dandy is a parody of the Tuxedo Kamen archetype. There's a surprise pseudo-finale in ep.10 that would normally mark the end of the season, so ep.11 has the girls dressing up as magical girls anyway and paying off some delayed-action jokes because they don't have their magical powers any more. Yes, you would get cold in that costume.
On the other hand, though, the show drifts downhill. More than once, I started watching one of the later episodes only to stop and go to sleep because I wasn't interested. There are things the show doesn't follow up on. Why exactly did Sumi come to hate Ink so much? What about that ghost character? (A ghost appears to become a member of the regular cast at the end of ep.3, but then is never seen again except briefly as a cameo in ep.7.)
The OVA ep.13 is silly and has a post-apocalypse alt-universe, Ink getting casually killed and fourth wall breaking. Nao becomes a supervillain whose plan for evil is to make the world drool by turning all B+ cups into A-cups.
This show should be burned. It's hateful... but it's also a gentle, likeable magical girl parody that thinks it's harmless fun. You could make it innocuous with a few fairly light edits and it's not actually showing anything. (When a booby adult gets naked, for instance, you'll notice that this is one of those plastic Barbie anime in which no one has nipples. You know, in order to make the show child-friendly. The weird thing is that it actually is, sort of.)