Nana & Kaoru OVA

What’s it about ?

Softcore bondage porn… without any actual porn.


Nana, the female lead. Over-achieving high-school student, extremely popular, nearly top of the class… especially since she’s recently found a new way to relieve her stress.

Kaoru, the male lead. He’s an ugly runt with a face that perpetually looks creepy. Very impopular, with a reputation of perversion. In contrast, his voice sounds perfectly normal and reassuring, which is essential when guiding Nana through her new experiences… i.e. bondage and S&M play.

Production Values

Very cheap. There’s no OP or ED animation, and the animation doesn’t hesitate to cut corners. It tries a bit too much to ape the original manga’s artstyle, which sometimes looks a bit awkward when animated (especially when cross-hatching shading is involved). Still, it does the job.

The soundtrack is firmly stuck into porno synth mode, although not to the point of being distracting.

Overall Impression

Well, it’s a very faithful adaptation of a borderline-hentai manga. You know the drill.

Still, I like the choice of focusing entirely on Nana’s viewpoint. This episode is entirely about her and how she discovers she actually likes this perverted stuff. Kaoru is just a catalyst, someone who gives her access to this new world and challenges her when she’s not being honest with herself. If you pay attention to the flashback early on about their first session, you’ll notice that it’s Nana herself who initiated it all by stumbling on a fetish outfit of his and trying it on. (You might wonder why he happened to possess expensive leather clothes that fit her perfectly. Good question.)

Now, the corresponding manga chapters had a much deeper look into Kaoru’s thoughts and motivations during all this, but this first episode isn’t interested in that angle at all, keeping it firmly in the background (you might get hints from how his reaction shots contrast with his perfectly calm and in-control voice, though).

Overall, it’s an interesting adaptation that gets to the emotional core of Nana’s character. On that plan, it’s a success.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 4.

Without Wings -under the innocent sky- (Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Fuck if I know ; I can’t make head nor tails of the plot. I’ll say “fanservice-heavy harem comedy with a dash of heroic fantasy” to err on the safe side, but even that fails to accurately describe it.


Takashi Haneda is the protagonist of a ridiculously cliché harem, with various girls (his little sister cousin, the aggressive one, the athletic one who lets her mind wander, and a fourth one I can’t quite get a hold of yet) fighting over him before he’s even stepped five feet towards school. Also, we get numerous panty shots and even naked shots of their breasts when they push themselves onto him. And he’s got whiny narration by Hiro Shimono (when did his career devolve into “cliché harem lead” ?). But the lot of them only get 5 minutes of screentime.

The rest of the episode is dedicated to a trio of loser dudes unlucky in love, and desperately trying to set up a drinking party with whatever girls they find. One of them is 35 and owns the bar they hang around at ; the other two look high-school/college-aged. Anyway, the only girls who accept the invite are the part-time waitresses. Overall, it’s a very pathetic scene that makes me loathe everyone involved.

But wait ! Just before and during the ending credits, we see all of them in a heroic-fantasy setting, fighting monsters and the like ! Is this a MMORPG or an actual parallel world they’re escaping into ? I have no clue ! (And why would Haneda need escaping anyway ?)

There’s also a bizarre framing device with radio/TV shows (including an outrageous American-accented DJ) shown in a rapid succession… and I’ve got no clue why they’re doing this.

Production Values

Decent, I suppose. The very heavy fanservice whenever a girl’s on screen is quite annoying, though.

Overall Impression

What the heck is this shit ?

Now, I can understand trying to be a bit creative when adapting yet another harem dating sim. But this is just incoherent crap, with three different narratives that completely fail to coalesce into any coherent whole. It’s probably trying for the “self-parody” angle, but that just makes it more obnoxious.

I hate every single character and it makes no sense whatsoever : avoid like the plague.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 4.

Winter 2011 capsules

A few words on the first episode of the second season of Kimi ni Todoke… Well, it’s actually “Episode 0”, for an obvious reason : it’s a recap of the first season.

Now, there was a truly awful recap episode in the middle of the first season, bringing nothing new to the table and saddled with a tedious and downright bizarre Greek chorus. But this is different : after all, it’s been nearly a year since I watched all this, so I don’t mind the plot refresher.

And moreover, the whole thing is from the point of view of Ume “Kurumi” Kurumizawa, Sawako’s unlucky bitchy rival for Kazehaya’s affections. While I don’t think we learn anything new here, it’s a nice change from Sawako’s viewpoint. And I admit I loved the gag around Kurumi’s Death Note.

On the other hand, there is the slight issue that Kurumi’s such an egotist that we barely get any insight into any of the other characters… and moreover, it completely skips the whole Chizuru/Ryuu thing, in which she had no involvement. But presumably all this is going to be covered in the series proper if needed.

The new OP & ED are nothing to write home about, and certainly less epic than the originals. I did get a chuckle out of the implication of Ayane/Pin in the OP, though.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 4.

I’m not going to do a full review of the Supernatural – The Animation series of OVAs, but here are my thoughts on the first episode : it’s perfectly okay, but I’m not sure I’m going to keep watching. You can really see the “standard American TV series” setup (two brothers on a road trip investigating weird stuff in a new location each episode). The two leads have good chemistry, it’s got a decent sense of style, and it’s pretty good at what it does (paranormal thriller). On the other hand, the open-endedness of the premise (it adapts “the first two seasons of the TV show”, plus various original stuff) makes it clear there’ll be no real resolution in those OVAs.

Still, if I was more interested in the genre, I’d probably give it more of a chance, but I’m already watching too much stuff.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 28.


I’m horribly late as is on most of this stuff, so I’ll keep it brief.

Hen Zemi #1 (of 2) (“Abnormal Physiology Seminar”) is a prelude (or whatever) to a full TV series airing next spring. The premise is that a normal college girl attends a special course about “sexual perversion” (for credit, I presume), and gets tons of ludicrously embarrassing assignments from it. And that’s without going into the six other weirdoes attending the class or the very creepy teacher supervising it.

It’s actually better than it sounds – the fanservice could be much worse, Kana Hanazawa is as adorable as ever as the lead, and I’m all for a series that doesn’t demonize bizarre sexual quirks as long as they’re consensual (in other words, it’s miles better than MM!).

The problem is that it’s “nearly funny”, which doesn’t quite cut it. I did smile here and there, but that’s it. It may yet improve, so I’ll try getting the other OVA (out within a couple of weeks) and keep an open mind for the TV series, but I’m not too optimistic.

Mirai Nikki (“Future Diary”) is a 9-minute-long trailer testing waters for a potential future series. The gimmick is that our high school protagonist finds on his cell phone a detailed diary of his next 90 days (given by enigmatic paranormal entities). Various other people were given the same thing, and the whole thing is a game, won by the last person standing.

On these grounds, I’m sold. It’s an interesting premise, the atmosphere is built appropriately (it definitely feels very creepy), and I loved how dysfunctionally the relationship with the obligatory love-interest-with-a-diary-too started off. This reminds me of the best aspects of Death Note, although it’s different enough to be its own thing.

Yuri Seijin Naoko-san (“Lesbian Citizen Naoko-san”) is a 6-minute-long adaptation of a gag manga about… I’m not sure, actually. An sarcastic alien maid stalking a high-school girl and sniffing the skirts of any passing girl because she claims that’s the only way to get good reception from the stars. Also, she can randomly summon trains in the middle of a little street.

This is a very baffling short indeed. The key thing, though, is that it’s not funny at all, and that’s what kills it for me.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu: Matsuri #1 (of 2) is a bridge OVA before a proper second season next summer. It’s basically the same as ever, with a “cultural festival” backdrop to riff on the usual recurring jokes. It’s good fun, and I loved the multiple endings, but don’t bother with this unless you watched and liked the first season.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 29.

Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!

(Approximative translation : “I’m totally not in love with my brother, okay ?!“)

What’s it about ?

Incest bait. Lots of it.


Nao, our protagonist. She’s head over heels her brother, but she plays hard to get : she teases him a lot with “innocent” innuendo, then pulls out at the last moment while calling him a pervert for even thinking about it. Two thirds of the way through the episode, she learns she was adopted ; while this kills her fantasies of “forbidden love”, it does open some possibilities…

Shuusuke, the brother. Let’s just say that his hormones are in perfect working order, and leave it as that. He’s got an impressive porn collection, by the way.

The parents are very generic : Mom is concerned, while Dad is trying to snatch Shuusuke’s BDSM magazines for future perusal.

Nao has a couple of bland friends that are mostly rolling their eyes at her transparent behaviour.

The OP/ED and next episode preview suggest that two more girls are going to compete for Shuusuke’s attention. First off is his long-lost twin-tailed childhood friend…

Production Values

Wow, this looks horrible. I’m usually fairly tolerant of non-standard artstyles, but those elongated limbs are deep into uncanny valley and make everyone look like they’re anorexic. The animation is quite limited, too.

OP & ED are chirpy crap. Urgh.

Overall Impression

Well, I think we reached the nadir of the season. I reached my “please gods, let it stop already !” threshold before the opening credits, but I endured until the end of the episode for your sake. This is terrible on every level, and it sickens me that there’s an audience for this crap.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011 – Page 10.

Starry Sky

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Reverse harem setup : formerly exclusively male academy is now co-ed, although there’s only one female student right now. Each episode focuses on a different male student, with a parallel to the zodiac constellations (although they’ve introduced a 13rd one for some reason). Apparently this school only teaches astronomy- or astrology-related fields.

Characters :

Tsukiko Yahisa, our female lead. Nearly no screentime so far.

Yoh Tomoe, Capricorn. This is a pseudonym : his actual name’s Henri Samuel Jean Aimee (sic). Half-French, choosing to go back to Japan in order to find a girl he fell in love with a decade ago. His parents approve (it’s implied his father did something similar way back when).

There are other various classmates, including a very enthusiastic Mr Exposition, but none of them got any names yet.

Production Values :

Low. It’s a net anime, and the animation is quite minimal (not to the degree of Nyaruani, though). It doesn’t look particularly good, but this could be my personal distaste for standard shojo character designs. Also, the episodes are only 11-minute-long.

Overall Impression :

Dull, dull, dull. There’s no real conflict yet, and the plot barely gets started at all. I can’t sympathize with Capricorn-guy, and the girl is a non-entity so far. Frankly, I doubt I’d manage to watch another episode without falling asleep.

But then, I clearly don’t care for the genre ; if you’re more into it than me, you could find some value to this show (it’s got a pretty impressive voice cast, for example).

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2010-2011.