October 11, 2011

MajiKoi ep 2

The first episode of Maji de watashi ni Koi Shinasai was pretty amazing. Unfortunately, with the second episode it descended into idiocy.

The first episode held out the possibility that the show was going to be a pretty cool fighting anime. With the second episode it's clear that it's going to be a classic fan-service harem comedy.

And several of the characters are revealed as being utter loons. One of the girls seems to think she's a dog. Another one has an animated toy as a strap on her cell phone, and thinks it's possessed by a spirit. It talks... or is she doing the talking for it?

Yamato turns out to be the romantic target for five different girls. And the story this episode? Yamato takes a job assignment from one of the teachers to find a lost dog. Most of the episode is Yamato and the five girls chasing the mutt.

I got about two thirds of the way through it and was ready to stop, but I felt I should keep going, just on general principle. I probably would have been better off if I had stopped, though; the end of the show approached the incoherent.

Basically they laid the groundwork for what looks to be a series-level plot, but it's a stupid one.

I described the first episode as BakaTest fought using Dog Days rules. And secretly I hoped that it would continue to borrow from BakaTest, and that the main story would be about rival school groups competing with one another.

But there wasn't any sign of that this time.

A lot of people praised the first episode for not spending much time dwelling on the figures of the girls. But in this episode they made up for lost time, up to and including a (censored) bathing scene of the five girls, which presumably will be uncensored once the BD comes out.

They borrowed a gag from AsoIku with an emergency coming up while the girls are bathing, resulting in the girls engaging in combat while stark naked. It all felt terribly derivative.

I'm completely unimpressed. Very disappointing.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 03:26 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 356 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I don't get your complaint.  You're upset that it's derivative of something else rather than being derivative of Dog Days?

(I had more to say, but it would involve possible derailing, so I'm moving it to Bridgebunnies.)

Posted by: ubu at October 11, 2011 06:40 PM (GfCSm)

2 I'm disappointed that it's not derivative of BakaTest.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 11, 2011 06:59 PM (+rSRq)

3

What's really disappointing me is that I'm getting a "been there, done that, and didn't even enjoy it the last time" feeling from it all.

It's possible for a harem show to feel fresh. AsoIku started seemingly stale, but it soon became clear there was more to it than just the tropes. Daimaou never really felt stale to me at all.

It just now occurred to me that Yamato feels like a Marty-Stu -- and that's not good.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 11, 2011 08:22 PM (+rSRq)

4

Yeah, and that's a lot of the problem. Look at him: all the girls want him. All the other guys acknowledge him as the alpha male. Everyone respects him. Everyone constantly praises him.

The only significant weakness he has is that he isn't as strong a fighter as the others. But that's OK; when he's in danger, the girls will protect him. (Usually with marshmallow hell.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 11, 2011 08:36 PM (+rSRq)

5 Yeah, he's a little too perfect.  But what really bothers me is that they're telegraphing Momoyo as not just the alpha female, but the only possible outcome.  His mind is made up, and has been for ten years.  She's just not agreed yet.

Even in Daimou the other girls have a shot.  In AsoIku, it's obvious that the lead female is aiming for a harem ending that includes her rivals.  In Infinite Stratos, there's any number of possibilities, and in Kampfer, it's impossible to figure out what what sex the harem center is going to be, never mind which girl(s) he gets.

In MajiKoi, all the girls besides Momoyo are coming across as also-rans, and unless they each get some quality on-screen time alone with Yamato, that's not going to change. Especially not with Momoyo trying to block the other girls.

But I'd rather a Marty-Stu than what we got in Horizon.  Blargh, I don't know why the whole class doesn't write this guy off.

Posted by: ubu at October 11, 2011 09:32 PM (GfCSm)

6 Sacred cow harems are nothing new. Ai yori Aoshi is classic of this approach, but it's far from the only one. Usually there's a slight twist on the theme. In RahXephon it's unclear who she is (and I think Love Hina was similar). ZnT has external force that excludes everyone else. In Mahoraba alts are one. In Hanaukyo Maid Tai there's a mystery. In Toradora the man ostensibly has the initiative. But one way or the other there is no need to guess who that is. And yet all of them found a measure of success.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 12, 2011 09:59 AM (9KseV)

7 Kampher?

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 12, 2011 10:03 AM (9KseV)

8 She's a cousin. In Japan that's considered OK.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 12, 2011 10:10 AM (+rSRq)

9 Since when was "too screwed up" a total disqualifier?  Taiga was screwed up by her home life (albeit getting over it)   And the "main target" is the enemy, the one that wants him to be a her?

Posted by: ubu at October 12, 2011 10:19 AM (GfCSm)

10 All I'm saying, predestined harems are nothing new and may be quite nicely done, depending on the skills and budget involved.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 12, 2011 11:56 AM (9KseV)

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