Misato FukuenHiro ShimonoMinori ChiharaKaori Ishihara
So I Can't Play H!
Also known as: Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2012
Director: Takeo Takahashi
Writer: Naruhisa Arakawa
Original creator: Pan Tachibana
Actor: Arisa Nishiguchi, Aya Endo, Aya Hisakawa, Hiro Shimono, Kaori Ishihara, Minori Chihara, Misato Fukuen, Shinobu Matsumoto
Keywords: anime, boobs, harem
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes + a 13th OVA episode
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=13947
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 20 March 2023
dakara boku ha H ga dekinai
It's a fanservice fest or softcore porn with a plot, but it's not bad. It's okay. It doesn't disgrace itself and I watched its thirteen episodes peacefully enough.
It's a light novel adaptation with a male protagonist (Ryousuke) and lots of hot girls who can't tear themselves away from him. Shocking, I know. Anime's never done that before. This one goes further than most, though, in nudity and nipples. The main heroine, Lisara, gets her battle outfit shredded in almost every fight. There are close-up adult nude transformation sequences. The closing title sequence will you want to stand and applaud its shamelessness (or else never watch anime again). It's trash. It knows it's trash. It's successfully achieved that goal.
That aside, the plot's reasonable. Our hero, Ryousuke, has a personality (!), being a gallant lecher who adores women but has a habit of unwittingly saying his innermost thoughts aloud. This works better than you'd think. He's a goofball, not a creep. The whole world knows what he is and his only crime is to keep looking like a cretin.
Similarly, the girls are okay. They're superpowered and have fantasy battles, which is semi-justified by them being shinigami (death gods), albeit in a slightly modified form that's more about sucking energy from our world. I'm in two minds about how successful this is. The shinigami thing is crucial for the plot. Lisara tells Ryousuke at the end of ep.1 that he's going to die, then unsurprisingly that's what the finale's built around. The baddie's plan is built around a weird, sinister shinigami viewpoint of the world. All that works. That said, though, the girls never felt even remotely shinigami-ish and I soon forgot that that was part of the show's worldbuilding, despite the energy-sucking plot mechanic. (Dalnia Earheart trying to harvest Ryousuke in the finale is a big exception to that, but she's a guest character, not a regular.)
Lisara is a small-breasted tsundere who keeps shouting at Ryousuke. (She's also a hypocrite. "I'd never get naked" in ep.10 made me snort.) Mina is the only human girl, being Ryousuke's gentle, soft-spoken childhood friend and absolutely lovely. Quele and Iria are functionally the same character, being enemies who drift into becoming allies. (Quele's antagonist phase is shorter and less significant, though.)
My main niggle with the girls involves Mina. She's always been in love with Ryousuke, confessed to him early on in the series and is good-natured about his personality issues (unlike basically everyone else in the universe). She's also adorable. If you put 100 boys in Ryousuke's position, 101 of them would choose Mina. The show's official reason for him not having done so is as dumb as hell. Lisara is the show's Official Girl, you see, even though she's prickly, rude and hates Ryousuke's perviness. They're fated to end up together, which is actually done quite well and I have no problem with their romance... but, that said, Mina. Gyaaaah. Mina, Mina, Mina.
A much less important problem concerns bust size. Absurdly, Lisara gets called "flat-chested". Whenever it comes to boobs, the artists will be adding a couple of cup sizes to whatever's in the script.
Oh, and Ryousuke is show-breakingly stupid in ep.7, running off to fight the baddie on his own and getting nearly killed, even though everyone had been telling him not to. Later, he's shocked when Lisara and Iria go off to fight the baddies together.
There's also a minor headscratcher with Iria. The shinigami girls can take a human partner, to supply them with energy. (Lisara chose Ryousuke, whose libido makes him a superhuman energy source.) Towards the end, Iria chooses a dog. This is mildly amusing, but in ep.3 she found a girl with an energy level of a million. What the hell? My unsubstantiated theory is that Iria's been performing sex acts on the dog, because its libido rivals Ryousuke's.
Most of the show is light and entertaining. Ryousuke's mum is cheerfully appalling in ep.6, which is funny. The (Not So) Extraordinary Eight and their "superpowers" made me laugh. The sexual content is brazen, but not offensive. Towards the end, though, the show decides to get oppressive and unsettling, with Ryousuke having allegedly caused thousands or millions of deaths while the girls hide him away and try to stop him from finding out the truth. When he goes on a date with Mina, the depopulated world is disturbing. This isn't depressing since we all know the show will pull a happy ending from its arse (complete with a slightly tiresome sub-harem ending and a fanservice-riddled OVA episode), but it does stop those last few episodes from matching the rest of the show's tone. They're a downer.
I wouldn't tell anyone not to watch this. If you like nudity, knock yourself out. Compared with similar fanservice light novel harem anime, it's reasonably okay. It's watchable. I didn't find it off-putting or distasteful. I don't think I'll ever rewatch it, though, partly due to that closing run of episodes.