Producers: Brains Base, TBS, Sentai FilmworksL
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older
Summary: The story follows high school student Hotaru Tachibana, a girl being oftenly mistaken for a boy because of her clothes and overall tomboyish personality. Through strange circumstances she finds herself drawn into the world of survival games by a host, Masamune Matsuoka. The two form a team with ero-manga artist Tooru Yukimura and aim to be the best in Japan.
Boy, Aoharu x Kikanjuu was one weird anime. It’s seriously either a hit or miss with it; if you expect something similar to Ouran High School Host Club, walk away, you won’t get it. Even if it could be, somehow, categorized as a reverse harem (depends how you look at it; at the core it’s stil about one girl surrounded by bishies that get some kind of liking to her, romantic or just simply interest), the point and story of the show is something else entirely. But I didn’t fail to miss the fujoshi fanservice going on in it, so please don’t either if you decide to check this anime out 8D
Aoharu x Kikanjuu is plain mediocre to be sincere. Nothing really happens and nothing really gets concluded, besides Mattsun’s (blondie) self-victimizing perception of himself and others, maybe and Tachibana (main girl) and Yukimura’s (black haired megane guy) developed friendship. The sketchy thing going around is the survival game part of it. Half of the show feels like some sort of Kuroko no basket-type of mechanism; inventing skills that sound like magical powers and look extraordinarily awesome, but when you come down to it, there’s nothing magical about it, it’s just “talent” and “force of will”. That looks awesome, yes, and the atmosphere at some points was unbearable and very tension-directed, but keeping it in context, however, that’s a different issue entirely. The epic tense atmospheres were a lie; they were tense, but the reasons for the tension are mostly laughable because of how seriously they are taken and too trivial to take seriously overall.
The genderbend part is also an issue; while I do appreciate that the main girl doesn’t just happen to genderbent for some specific trouble she had, but she’s just simply “boyish” and that’s really fresh, I hoped for that to cause a bit more of an issue and not be a “detail” that she was going to “forget” to mention (but always mentally point out) for the whole show only to make a semi-issue out of it later, which in the end it won’t matter in the slightest anyway. I do give it points for dragging it so far that some characters might question their sexuality though…XD *wink wink*
About the characters, there’s this type of over the top emotional exageration prevailing through the main cast and, differenty from other people, I don’t feel like completely bashing on it. I found it more than once to be funnily exagerated, but there are stuff that to some people matter more than to the rest and I feel like that was made obvious when the contrast between Toy Gun Gun (main team) and other players was made. This made me believe that it was only Toy Gun Gun and Hoshishiro (“antagonists”) that took this game so seriously and personal, both of them because of personal reasons and needs that they couldn’t get in their everyday lives. However, that was portrayed pretty badly. Mattsun’s connection and relationship with Midori was only scratched down upon, as well as their relationships with the rest of the world too. There’s not much development going on; it’s more like “take it and believe it” type of situation. While I liked Mattsun’s internal struggle in the last episode, I didn’t feel like it completely justified the events before that.
In terms of likeability, Yukimura was the one that made me go “aww” for the most part of the show. He’s totally creepy sometimes, but he accepted that creepiness despite not being commonly socially accepted for it. Development-wise, he also overall lacks, but it was sweet how in the end he found something to believe in, even if it was different from what Mattsun believed, putting a stop to his blind loyalty; seriously the most that you can get in terms of development in this show.
And I also did not sign for this when I started this anime.
The main girl has her share of badassery that I overall missed lately.
I think that the animation had a very important role when it came to the over the top exageration of the characters’ reactions, and to be able to send shivers on my spine with an overall trivial reason, there’s some skill to be praised here. Unfortunately, animation got quite bad during the last few episodes which were made of very simplistic backgrounds and flashbacks to which the characters simply spoke “upon”. The OST was fine too and went along with that. I really liked the opening song though.
Enjoyment is overall 8! Despite realizing the laughable exageration of it all, I couldnt help but fairly enjoy it. I don’t know if it was some sort of guilty pleasure or if I looked for something beyond what I actually got, but it would be a lie if I said I didn’t wait impatiently for each episode.
It could have been way better, unfortunately. After episode 12 I expected there to be an episode 13 to wrap something up, instead I feel like I was left hanging with only half story done. I hope it gets a second season or if it doesn’t at least some sort of OVA finale.