You may wonder why I seldom give bad reviews. Well, if an anime is really bad or unlikeable, I usually don’t finish watching it, therefore it cannot be considered to be one of “my” anime series!
Anohana-The Flower We Saw That Day—Six childhood friends have grown apart since one of them met an untimely death. But now that girl, Menma, is back, appearing only to Jintan in a physical form. She eats, she sleeps, she picks up things.
Jintan was the leader of two other boys and three girls going by the name of Super Peace Busters. Besides Menma, the girls in the group are Anaru and Tsuruko. The other boys are Poppo and Yukiatsu. The old gang comes together again to help Jintan help Menma, but not being able to see her, there are strong doubts and angry accusations.
At first, I thought everyone was obnoxious and I doubted I would finish watching. That changed as I grew into viewing the misadventures of a band of friends trapped in a bittersweet ghost story.
Another character that I found interesting was Jintan’s father. He is easy going to a fault. If Jintan wants to stay home from school day after day and do nothing but play video games, well, that’s okay with him! He doesn’t really move the plot along; I just found him intriguing.
Cute High Earth Defense Club Love—Five students at an all-boys high school are recruited by an alien wombat to be “battle lovers”, magical boys who use the power of love to defeat evil. He gives them ridiculous outfits, catch phrases, and everything. What the boys don’t know is that an alien hedgehog has given powers to the student council president and two of his underlings to take over the world. Uh, as soon as they manage to take over the high school.
One of the battle lover boys talks to unseen girls on his cell phone, but otherwise girls are absent for the entire series. This allows bromance to blossom without romance getting in the way. Oh, and how romance gets in the way of friendship! Sometimes I can dig a friendship story along with a romance or two—take Trigun, where I am both into Vash’s and Wolfwood’s friendship, but also into the spark of romance between Vash and Meryl, and between Wolfwood and Milly. But other times it doesn’t work, like in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, where Bill and Ted marry princesses and have babies. How I loathe that movie! Anyway, back to Cute High. Romance is not needed; it would only get in the way.
This series is quite silly at times. It’s like a male harem show--without the girl, of course. The feminine magical boy outfits are quite off putting, though. They are too girlish to fully accept. I didn’t find the boys’ faces all that cute, but they have lots of bath house scenes revealing the boys’ torsos, so that fan service satisfied me. Just accept that this show is unbelievable in its humor and you’ll do fine.
Brothers Conflict—It seems to be a trope in Japanese anime and manga that one’s stepbrother is not off limits in the romance department. After all, you share no blood. Your babies aren’t going to be deformed due to incest. Boy, would The Brady Bunch have been different if it had been made in Japan!
Brothers Conflict is one of the latest to explore the possibility of romance between a girl and her stepbrothers—all thirteen of them! And each one of them is in love with her, to varying degrees. The girl, nicknamed Chii, just stands there like an idiot while the brothers help themselves to hugs and kisses. It’s up to her pet squirrel, Juli, and the possibly gay stepbrother, Louis, to save her from their advances.
This was an interesting show, but without a conclusive ending. When I told a friend about my disappointment in the ending, she said it was like a story that ends with the hero/heroine waking up to realize it was all a dream. All that happened before was for naught. Oh, well, I’ve watched other anime like that. La Corda d’Oro comes to mind.