Keiko Online

Blog Home of D.L. Owens

1 Comment

Anime Review: Uto no Prince-Sama 1000% Love

Alternate names: UtoPrince, Uto no Prince-Sama Maji Love 1000%
Year: 2011
Episodes: 13 (Japanese-dub, English-subbed version)
Genre: Shoujo, Romance, Harem, Drama, Comedy

Reviewer’s Note: This review contains a few spoilers. Sorry about that, but I considered it necessary in order to better review this title.

This series is based on a popular Otome franchise. The story revolves around a group of musicians and composers attending the prestigious Saotome Academy. The academy is an audition for the Saotome Music Agency and is helmed by a former male idol named Shining Saotome.
When home-taught composer Haruka Nanami arrives at the academy, she has to contend with the harsh reality that simply wanting to succeed is not enough. Over time, she gains support from six idol contenders, each with their own baggage, as well as a female friend named Tomochika Shibuya and a meddling cat.

Whilst this series is a huge advertisement for King Records, it manages to be a good blend of drama and comedy. The reverse harem elements are there, but we see more of a focus on the creation of an idol group and their composer team. This makes for a compelling and sometimes humorous story. We see rivalries and the bizarre world of Saotome Academy which is heavily surveilled by the eccentric Shining Saotome. It is at-times over-the-top and silly, but it somehow works.
To the characters, there is plenty of variation in the personality and appearance of the characters. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of male love interests as in the case of that delightfully absurd series of Brothers Conflict. Brothers Conflict was made entertaining because of it. However, it was a tad silly.
To the music, which is a big part of this series, I probably enjoyed about half of the songs. It is more of a personal preference thing, and likely won’t be a big problem for most fans of J-Pop. I simply liked the tracks with more of a rock edge.
The voice acting for the Japanese dub version was reasonable. I recognized a few familiar voices in there (even if I may not be overly familiar with a lot of Japanese voice actors), which did a good job of their roles within the show.

To my rating of the guys in the series, here goes:

  1. Otoya Ittoki: Otoya is sweet and a lot more stable than the other five guys. He is cute, kind and hard-working. He is also one of the first two members of the school that Nanami meets. His character design works because it doesn’t try to be quirky for the sake of being quirky.
  2. Cecil Ajima: Whilst he only appears in human form once (Otome series periodically have shapeshifters and guardian spirits as side characters that are often tools to move the story forward), he is an ever-present guide for Nanami. His character design is attractive and his personality easily places as number two on the list.
  3. Satsuki/Natsuki Shinomiya: Satsuki is more honest than his glasses-wearing counterpart, even if prone to bouts of superhuman levels of violence. He also exudes sex appeal. Natsuki is a little over-protective and a bit of a meddler when it comes to best friend Syo. Whilst Natsuki’s attempts to help often result in trauma and/or food poisoning, both he and Satsuki are otherwise good-hearted.
  4. Ryuuya Hyuuga: Ryuuga is the teacher for Class S and a popular actor in action films and television series. Whilst not one of the wannabe idols that are the focus of the reverse harem element of this series, he is still level-headed and hard-working. His cool exterior and athletic physique give him a place on this list.
  5. Shou Kurusu: Shou is adorable, even if prone to shouting in annoyance. His lack of emotional baggage and lack of whining put him higher on the list than the likes of Ren, Masato, and Tokiya. His character design is also quite reasonable even if his hair is a bit weird.
  6. Ren Jinguuji: Whilst the hottest guy in this series, he is a bit of a whiner and tends to spend more time hitting on the ladies instead of focusing on his music. The saxophone thing is also a bit tacky.
  7. Masato Hijirikawa: Whilst good-hearted, Masato comes off as way too broody for his own good. Still, he is a lot less whiney than Ren and Tokiya. The only reason he is lower on the list than Ren is that I am not a big fan of his character design. His hair is weird. His beauty mark is also a bit distracting.
  8. Tokiya Ichinose: Whilst Hayato is the reason for Nanami wanting to become a composer in the first place, he comes off as way too whiney on account of his unwillingness to clearly and firmly convey what he is thinking. He creates most of his own problems, which places him at the bottom of this list.

So, to some points of humor, this series played around with some cliches. Whilst some of these related to character drama, we did see some amusing use of tropes to create drama. This included the following:

  • Workaholic Exhaustion: Over-work creates an immediate effect on the immune system.
  • Recharge a phone? Hell no!: After all, what better way to create drama than to have the phone go dead in the middle of a conversation?
  • Eccentric Overlord: Oh, Shining Saotome… Where would we be without this eccentric mastermind with “white devil” hair? (If you don’t get that film reference, you’ve been living under a rock.)

In conclusion, this is one of the better anime adaptations of an Otome franchise that I have also never played. Given how fun this series was, it is no wonder why it saw three more series. Whilst it may not be the most “realistic”, it was a pretty enjoyable and cute ride that I can see myself rewatching sometime again in future. I look forward to watching more in the series in the not-so-distant future.


1 Comment

Anime Review: How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Season 1

Year: 2018
Episodes: 12
Genre: Fantasy, Isekai, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, NSFW

When I first saw the manga version of this series listed online, my first thought was that it would be an Overlord. Well, it turns out that I was wrong. DEAD WRONG!!! After watching it, I do believe that it should be renamed, “How to Summon a Hot Dude with Horns” or perhaps, “How to be Summoned to Another World and Suffer from Blue Balls until the end of Time.” It all depends on your sexual preferences, I suppose.
After waking up one morning, I discovered that my husband had watched four episodes of the series and seemed to really like it. He managed to convince me to watch it and I was initially amused. By episode three, I was totally hooked. Hubby, of course, spent most of the time debating whether he preferred catgirls over elfy boobs. Important questions… The answer is 42.

Anyhoo, beware of some spoilers below.

A certain player named Takuma Sakomoto chose to solo as a “Demon Lord” called Diablo in the MMORPG Cross Reverie for years. When he is summoned to a world suspiciously similar to the game as his avatar, our sexy male protagonist learns that his magic reflection ring affected the two women that managed to summon him. Staying in character as much as he can, our socially awkward and sexually inexperienced protagonist travels with Rem and Shera in search of a way to free them from the chains of summoning and hopefully also manage to find a way to return to his own world. The player now known as Diablo quickly learns that he is one of the most powerful beings in the world.

So, where to start? Well, this series is an Isekai fantasy. The standard setup for the first few episodes is for our protagonist to learn about the world. Whilst this is true, we did manage to see the best villain in anime history beginning in the first episode. Yes, he dies a few episodes later, but our resident mage shows a gift for intimidating dialogue and evil planning that shall go down in the annals of history. May he rest in pieces…
A lot of the humor in this series is at the expense of our budding protagonist he is bombarded by attractive women. Yep, most of it is boob and butt related, with a large sprinkling of innuendo and obvious lewdness. And you know what? I do not care because I freaking loved this series.
Whilst the arc relating to Rem having the demon lord Glebsklem bound inside of her felt like it was going to be the central arc of the series altogether, we are quickly introduced to a bunch of other characters that make life difficult for our main character and his female companions. The rivalry between Rem and Shera is adorable but they quickly learn to work together now that they are both technically Diablo’s slaves.
There was also a short arc involving Shera’s brother which is pretty f’ed up. This was, however, strongly hinted at around the fourth episode. The continuation of this side arc towards the end of the season also helped form a stronger bond between Diablo and his summoners whilst also helping him deal with his trust issues.
The harem elements of this series are a little odd because Diablo doesn’t really have a romantic interest in the first season. Whilst Rem and Shera might be seen as front-runners, he is constantly restraining himself for various reasons. We don’t really see the jealousy commonly seen in harem series either. It is one of the strangest harem series I have come across so far because some of the common elements of a harem are completely absent in the first season.
I liked the art design in this series. Whilst there are slight differences from the manga, these are quite small overall. The character designs are solid even if they do reflect some common archetypes in anime.
As far as Diablo’s design was concerned, he reminded me of Gintoki from Gintama but with horns, a few markings, and fantasy garb. You also get idealized physique, a trait of many MMORPGs. This is a slight contrast from a lot of harem series where the protagonist has an average or close to an average physique. Three thumbs up for attending to the bishounen enthusiasts in the audience. I don’t know where I will get the extra thumbs but I will find one somewhere. Maybe a dumpster or something…  

My only issue with this series is in the last episode where most of the females in the cast attempt to give him magical energy. Sure, this is an ecchi series but it seemed out of character. There is no feeling of gratification in this sequence, just a weird sexless orgy thing. It was a real head-scratcher.

In conclusion, I found this series highly entertaining. Whilst it isn’t perfect, the comedic elements and drool-worthy appearance of Diablo more than made up for it. I highly recommend this series for anyone that enjoys an ample amount of comedic filth.


Anime Rewatch: Mayo Chiki

Year: 2011
Episodes: 13
Genre: Seinen, Comedy, Harem, Ecchi, School Life, Gender Bender

Back in 2016, I first watched and reviewed this series. Given that my tastes have changed a bit since then, I decided to rewatch to see if I enjoyed it as much as I did back then. Surprisingly, it held up quite well.

For those unaware, it is the story of a young man (Kinjirou Sachimachi) with gynophobia who discovers that the “prince” butler of the school (Suburu Konoe) is actually a girl. The contrived reason for disguising herself as a boy is amusing but it also means that only herself and a handful of other people know her situation. Her mistress, ridiculously rich Lady Kanade Suzutsuki, decides to mix things up a little by messing with the duo after discovering Kojiro’s condition.

Just like then, the rom-com tag seems a little bit of a stretch. However, the over-the-top, silly humor still managed to keep me entertained through the rewatch. Part of this is due to how stereotypes were amplified, as well as pointing out obvious cliches in anime and manga. We see the obsessed fan-girls of Suburu, the Rotten Girl enthusiasts shipping Suburu and Kojiro, ultra-violent girls that overreact over the slightest thing, the ultra-violent and over-protective father, host/hostess cafe culture, etcetera…
Another point of interest that I missed during the first watch of this series, was how Kojiro’s male friend effectively gets kicked to the curb as soon as Kanade gets involved in Kojiro’s life. I also overlooked the treatment of Kinjirou at the hands of the females in his life. He is a heavily mistreated figure. Instead of standing up for himself, he is nice to his tormentors due to a deathbed promise he made to his father many years before. This is a pretty standard cliche for male protagonists in harem rom-coms.
Could this series be better? Certainly. However, Mayo Chiki still manages to be highly entertaining in spite of its numerous flaws. A second viewing also didn’t hurt either. But this is, as always, my own opinion on the matter.
I know at least a few of my blogging buddies heavily disliked the series when they watched it. And this is perfectly okay because they could at least communicate why they disliked it. Knowing why you like or dislike something can help with picking new series in the future.

In conclusion, whilst it is certainly not the best series, I still like this series years after I first watched it. Feel free to go over my previous review of this series linked above for more information on the series. Anyway, I highly encourage you guys to watch an old series and let me know how or if your impressions have changed over time.

Leave a comment

Anime Review: Trinity Seven

Year: 2014
Episodes: 12
Online: Crunchyroll, MAL, Wikipedia
Genre: Shounen, Comedy, Supernatural Fantasy, Action, Supernatural, Harem, Ecchi

I apologise that it has taken me months to get around to reviewing this series in spite of completing it last year. Time to get to it!

Halfway through last year, my husband and I were looking for new anime to watch. We scoured numerous lists for something that we could both live with. Then we happened across a compilation of scenes that featured a rather amusing scene from Trinity Seven. Intrigued, we looked around for more information on the series and it noticed that it was in numerous lists across the various applicable genres. One of those just happened to be a “best harem” list. We decided to give it a run. The series is based on long-run manga series.

During a breakdown event, Arata Kasuga discovers that there is more to the world than bumming around the house or going to school . With the discovery that magic exists, Arata becomes a mage in order to protect his Grimoire, an entity that has been looking out for him since his previous world disintegrated in a previous breakdown event. At Royal Biblia Academy, he meets the other members of the Trinity Seven. He will come to understand what become of his cousin, all whilst avoiding become the Demon Lord.

To begin with, Trinity Seven is set in a rather unique universe. Given that magic is a pretty important part of the setting, we see a host of different rules and terminology for those wielding it. One of the biggest issues is the ongoing threat of Demon Lord candidates losing the plot and transforming into a Demon Lord. The series does a great job of avoiding info-dumps, offering information as it becomes relevant to the current situation. This allows the viewer to learn alongside Arata.
This series was hilarious. Whilst other harem series have a bit of a pushover for a male lead, Arata is such an awesome character. He is confident in his own “perverseness” and is eternally optimistic. Whilst the former sometimes results in physical assault by members of the opposite sex, it is also something that helps break down the social barrier between himself and those around him. The latter manages to be a game-changer as well.
The rest of the cast are based off of the typical anime and manga archetypes but they each contribute meaningfully to the story. We see solid character arcs and character development that allow for a level of gratification. There is a lot of fan service but this, oddly enough, helps move the story along.
My one annoyance for this series is the Lilith character. She is a little tiring to watch. Whilst there is a bit of a character arc for Lilith, it doesn’t have the level of gratification of most of the other female characters in the series. Compare this to Arin, the shameless figure that believes Arata to be her destined future husband. Arin might be a little odd but she feels more true to her own nature. This is my main issue with Lilith, a character more likely to lash out that address her own emotions and inclinations. Lilith just comes off as unlikeable.

Whilst I really loved this series as a whole, the end episode was annoying in that it left things open for another season without delivering. Alas, this is all too common these days, with many good shows being cancelled before they can offer sufficient closure for viewers. At least we have the manga series which is still ongoing since it began back in 2010. I recommend this series to folks looking for an example of a good harem comedy series with decent world-building.