June 18, 2010

Mystery Meat -- Asu no Yoichi

Asu no Yoichi is nominally a harem show, but it's actually a fish out of water story, combined perhaps with a bit of man from mars. I haven't seen the movie, but it strikes me that it has a lot in common with Crocodile Dundee.

Yoichi has lived his whole life in the mountains, training in martial arts under his father, a master of a certain style. His friends have been wolves and bears, and his skill level is off the charts, to the point where he has long since passed his father.

Dad sends Yoichi to the city, a place he's never been before, to live with the family of Dad's old friend and fellow martial arts master. Problem is, the old friend and his wife are away on some sort of extended trip. It's been several years now, in fact. Left behind are their four daughters.

The eldest, Ibuki, is the same age as Yoichi, apparently 17. She's got long purple hair and really big boobs. She's also prone to violent spells. The second sister is Ayame, blonde and a bit depressed. She nurses a really huge inferiority complex relative to Ibuki, who has surpassed her in every way -- including boob size. Ayame isn't DFC but she's a lot smaller.

In fact, she's also smaller than the third sister, Chihaya, 15. Chihaya has green hair and is a bit strange. She wears glasses. She's a bit of a deadpan snarker and tends to tease Ayame. She loves books. She works on manga and is actually getting published in a main stream magazine. She uses "boku"...

Chihaya has the same speech affectation as "Stealth" Momo in Saki, interjecting excess "su" sounds into her sentences. I wonder what that's about?

The fourth sister is Kagome, 10 years old. She's a really good cook. (Yet another area in which Ayame doesn't measure up.) She's also just a bit of a cry-baby. She's kind of quiet.

This all sounds like the setup for an H-game, doesn't it? But it isn't like that, and part of the reason is that Yoichi is a very noble person. He hasn't just been taught to fight. He's also been taught to be very honorable. He's just deep-down nice, and ultimately that's what makes the show.

Given that most obvious defining characteristic of Yoichi is his martial arts training, he inevitably fights a lot, and that means there must be people for him to fight. So far there have been two. The first is a punk named Washizu. He's a gang type, and is widely feared at the school. He's also got the hots for Ibuki, but is too shy to tell her so. So once he finds out that Yoichi is living at Ibuki's home, he's consumed with jealousy.

There appears to be another enemy which we only see in shadows. Likely he's another secret admirer of Ibuki; that's my guess, but as of ep 4 they haven't revealed his identity or motivation. He also seems to be rich, and isn't himself a fighter. In the third episode he hires a girl named Tsubasa to fight and defeat Yoichi.

There's a degree of pandering but much less of it than I had expected. It's actually a tsundere show, because Ibuki (quite a lot) and Ayame (somewhat less) tend to beat up Yoichi when they misunderstand things he's done and assume the worst about him. That particular joke is getting really old, and it seems to be the foundation of the show's humor.

Fortunately, that isn't all there is to the show. Episodes in the show primarily are about someone really getting to know Yoichi and having their lives changed by his example of noble motives.

I'm not sure that there's anything here to keep me coming back, though, except for curiousity about the rich guy who hired Tsubasa. Ultimately it's a one-trick pony, and I've seen the trick several times now.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Mystery Meat at 08:48 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 It's actually a tsundere show, because Ibuki (quite a lot) and Ayame (somewhat less) tend to beat up Yoichi when they misunderstand things he's done and assume the worst about him. That particular joke is getting really old, and it seems to be the foundation of the show's humor.

Oh yeah; it got really old really fast when I was watching it.  Ibuki's hair-trigger temper pretty much ruined the show for me.

Posted by: atomic_fungus at June 19, 2010 01:53 AM (1nfJm)

Posted by: ubu at June 19, 2010 11:41 AM (A/HCH)

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