Hotaru Tachibana has a strong sense of justice and just cannot help confronting those who choose to perform malicious acts. Furthermore, Hotaru is actually a girl who likes to disguise herself as a boy. After hearing rumors that her best friend was tricked by the popular host of a local club, Hotaru seeks to punish the evildoer. Upon arriving at the club, however, she is challenged to a so-called "survival game" by the host Masamune Matsuoka, where the first person hit by the bullet of a toy gun will lose.
After a destructive fight which results in Hotaru's loss, Masamune forces the young "boy" to join his survival game team named Toy Gun Gun, in order to repay the cost of the damages that "he" has caused inside the club. Although she is initially unhappy with this turn of events, Hotaru quickly begins to enjoy what survival games have to offer and is determined to pay off her debt, much to the dismay of Tooru Yukimura, the other member of Toy Gun Gun. As time goes on, Hotaru begins to develop a close friendship with the rest of the team and hopes to take part in realizing their dream of winning the Top Combat Game (TCG), a tournament to decide the best survival game team in Japan.
Although Hotaru tries her best, there are just two little problems: she is absolutely terrible at the game, and Toy Gun Gun doesn't allow female members on their team!
I don't think I've ever seen an anime with as many blatant plot holes and as much inconsistent writing as Aoharu x Kikanjuu. Now that doesn't mean it's the worst anime ever made (it definitely isn't), but it has a huge amount of wasted potential due to its weak story, horrendous characterization, and the fact that the author is seemingly completely clueless about how airsoft works.
Initially the anime feels like something quite similar to Ouran Koukou Host Club as the protagonist is a girl (Tachibana Hotaru) crossdressing as a boy who ends up becoming indebted to a popular guy (Matsuoka Masamune) who works as a
host in the city. This notion is then quickly proven highly inaccurate as Matsuoka forces Tachibana to come join his "survival game" team and participate alongside him in an upcoming tournament. I say survival game, but that in and of itself is completely wrong; it's actually just competitive airsoft that we're talking about here. I don't know if it's a mistranslation or whatnot but either way if you're expecting some sort of thrilling life-or-death drama here you're going to be sorely disappointed because there is absolutely nothing lethal in this anime.
So what exactly is it that makes Aoharu x Kikanjuu such a trainwreck then? Well there are many reasons but they can be roughly divided into three categories:
1. The plot
The writing for this anime is bad. Terribly bad. The games themselves make no sense whatsoever (more on that later), but even ignoring that part the overall plot progression is simply all over the place. Initially, Tachibana thinks the airsoft games are childish and stupid. Then after playing *one* game she suddenly thinks they're the greatest thing ever and has become a full-blown addict. Sounds believable, right? Oh and you know how she originally joined the team because of a debt? Yeah that plot element is just handwaved away in a split second as if it never existed to begin with, completely ruining the entire premise of the story, yet it just keeps on going as if nothing ever happened.
There are also all kinds of forced drama which feel completely unnecessary, totally out of place, and oftentimes insanely predictable. Time skips are pulled haphazardly which renders the pacing very inconsistent, and above all, there seems to be no semblance of coherence in the writing whatsoever. Let me just describe a certain scene from episode two here in order to make an example (minor spoilers I guess, but certainly nothing important): there is a segment where Tachibana is surrounded by her three opponents at only a few meters range. Then in the next second they're suddenly all standing on the same side of her, yelling "corner her!", as if implying that they hadn't already cornered her a second ago? Immediately thereafter, Tachibana's teammate suddenly appears next to her and they have a loud conversation for about two minutes. What happened to their opponents? They were standing right next to her just a moment ago! How could they possibly have lost track of her, let alone be outside hearing range? I mean seriously just what happened here, did the producers accidentally put the scenes in the wrong order or something? These kinds of elementary mistakes should be impossible to make. It's so blatantly illogical it feels like it was written by a 12-year-old.
2. The characters
Aoharu x Kikanjuu is pretty blatant fujoshi bait; that much is obvious from the get-go, but even so the character cast is still a disaster. First of all, we have our main character Tachibana Hotaru. Mother of god is she annoying. About once per minute she has to remind the audience that despite her appearance she's actually a girl, she's always referring to herself in third-person and her sole personality trait is seemingly that she firmly believes in "justice". Yeah justice; hence why she goes completely berserk when playing airsoft and behaves like an uncontrollable animal; sounds just like a knight in shining armor, doesn't she? In the first place what does justice have to do with playing games? Are your opponents supposed to be "evil" just because they're playing or something? In that case Tachibana is obviously equally guilty of that crime. There's also the obnoxious truth that despite being a really bad player, Tachibana always ends up spontaneously gaining super powers whenever the plot feels like it, solely for the sake of convenience. The anime never shuts up about her so-called "bloodlust" which is the ability she uses to magically paralyze her opponents just by looking at them and make them cower in fear, as well as enable her to run faster than a speeding bullet. But there's nothing supernatural about this or anything, it's just her "talent".
As far as the rest of the characters in this show goes (essentially all male), they're basically all cardboard cutouts as well. Matsuoka is the typical noble bishounen with a "dark past", Yukimura (the third team member) is quiet, depressive and honestly kind of creepy, and then there's the overly-generic villain Midori who's just an all-round douchebag that enjoys hurting people. They all feel like they're solely there for the sake of being there, but without much thought put into it whatsoever. And the way they behave towards each other is completely unnatural. At one moment Matsuoka is almost pissing himself with fear just by looking at Midori, and in the next he's being super cocky and confident. Again, consistency please. There are also quite a lot of soft Yaoi vibes every here and there throughout the show, which I guess is to be expected given the fujoshi pandering but it still feels very out of place story-wise.
3. The "survival games"
Everything I've stated above is certainly problematic, but without a doubt the nail in the coffin is the execution of the so-called "survival games" themselves. Honestly I don't think the author has ever played airsoft before, or even studied up on how it works properly. I'm going to be very direct here: airsoft is primarily a game of tactics, stealth and precision. It's a game where you attempt to predict the opposing team's moves ahead of time, try to hide and ambush them by sniping them from the shadows, etcetera. I don't even think you need to have played the game before to understand that much. So what does Aoharu x Kikanjuu do then? Well... it basically treats airsoft like a battle shounen.
Do you know what you do with guns? You shoot each other with them. Yeah right, not in this anime; here you avoid using them, charge straight down the barrel of your opponent's rifle, *paralyze* him with fear just by looking at him and thus render him incapable of pulling the trigger, then run into melee range and finally bludgeon the guy by using your submachine gun as a club. Excellent work Tachibana; you were even able to outplay the guy using a freaking minigun by using this incredible strategy! Truly a job well done. While we're at it we should start teaching the military that there's no need for guerilla warfare any longer; simply running up to your enemies and punching them in the face sounds like a much more humane way of fighting.
Of course that's far from the only problem when it comes to how these games play out. People refusing to shoot when they have their opponents in their sights for no apparent reason, people having to hold cliché speeches and punchlines before pulling the trigger, people revealing their positions completely needlessly in order to have a "fair fight" with their opponent instead of just shooting them from cover, etcetera. The list goes on. Even more disturbing though, these games are seemingly completely unmonitored. Despite playing in a high stakes tournament, there are no cameras or anything inside the woodland battlefield. In other words there's barely even any point of having rules for this game; you could basically cheat as much as you'd like and no one will ever know. But I guess that's just another plot hole which we shouldn't think too much about and instead just pretend it isn't there.
So with all that said, is there anything good thing about this show? Well if there's one thing it'd be that despite everything it at least isn't boring. Incredibly annoying yes, but twenty minutes of Aoharu x Kikanjuu per week was not really a problem. It's kind of like watching a very low level football game; even if the content itself is lackluster, you can still probably find some enjoyment in it just by being a football fan to begin with. In the same way, despite the cringeworthy execution, Aoharu x Kikanjuu is so far the only anime I've ever seen about airsoft, so it gets some plus points for originality and for having a fun concept at least. But even with that taken into account it doesn't change the fact that it is still a very sub-par anime at best, and not one I would particularly recommend to very many people.
Aoharu x Kikanjuu is a action, comedy, shounen genre anime about a girl named Tachibana Hotaru mistaken for a boy. This anime has personally exceeded my original expectations since the first episode. Just a quick warning this is my first review.
The story mainly follows Tachibana Hotaru's point of view. The episodes have a smooth flow in them, it always kept me on my toes(engaged) and loves making me scream at the screen for another episode. As everyone might know this anime is being compared to 'Ouran High School Host Club’ and I have to say I agree. Aoharu x Kikanjuu really does have
that Ouran feel but since there two complete different anime’s don’t expect the same storyline. The storyline is very easy to understand because as the story begins to unravel you can tell where the story will be headed, it was very predictable at times but even so it was still very enjoyable to watch. There is a bit of a rush in some episodes but the story really recovers from those rushes. As you all know this anime is also a comedy anime, this scenes always seemed to make me laugh a lot and it really made my day a whole better.
The animation is very not that realistic but it very good to the extent that you can see everything clearly. The animation is unique because it really achieve certain moods throughout the series. I personally think this is the animation that would be the best for Aoharu x Kikanjuu i wouldn’t ask for a better animator. The character designs are very fitting, for example Matsuoka, Masamune is a host they have deliberity made him really hot and his friend Yukimura a very indoors looking character.
The voice acting of the characters were really good they all matched up perfectly. Tachibana Hotaru’s voice actor was really amazing personally because her voice really did sound a lot like a boy’s voice at some points and it really made the character fit in to her role perfectly. The opening to Aoharu x Kikanjuu is great especially how the actual characters are actually singing the opening which makes the voice actors and opening in this anime the more better. If this were to be dubbed I think it wouldn’t be to the standard of the original voice actors. During the scenes that unfolded during the anime, OST’s were played and they all absolutely fitted into the scene and mood and the soundtracks was also one the aspects the exceeded my expectations for this anime, I would love to list to the OST’s if they are released soon. I loved both opening and ending because I just liked the songs that played especially the opening because the voice actors actually sang it.
As every anime has are characters. The characters in Aoharu x Kikanjuu were really well-rounded they all had their strengths and weakness. The characters had the right reaction to every problem that popped up in a realistic way. I can really relate some characters from this anime to other anime’s as well and I have to say they really had some character development, you won’t notice it at first but you will. I would remember all the main characters in this anime because they all had their different personality’s and it was very enjoyable to see them slowly change.
I’ve already recommended this anime to many of my friends and it’s been positive feedback from them, how can you not enjoy a anime like this? It keeps you engaged, it makes you laugh and even makes you scream at the screen sometimes. Non-anime fans would probably enjoy this anime and as well as manga fans, anyone any age would. In future I am going to re-watch this anime again because it really makes my day watching it I would skip certain parts but not all of it. It was unique I don’t get this engaged with some anime’s most of the time.
Overall I give this anime a 9. To summarise the story is very engaging it keeps you on your toes. The animation really fits in with this anime because it pictures the characters with their personalities really well. The voice actors are just perfect they even sang the opening theme to the anime and you don’t see that much with most anime. The characters really develop during the series at first its not clear but at the end you can see they definitely changed a bit. I enjoyed this very much my friends did too so I think everyone in the whole world basically would too.
Aoharu x Kikanjuu is those stories that may be hit or miss, for some it might be annoying, for others it may be the start of something good.
I fall in the later category.
It may be annoying because there's no development of characters, for me Tachibana Hotaru is a promising main character, but there is a lack of background story, or intentions, that make her character quite annoying or plain. For example her sense of justice would be enjoyable if there would be a reason behind it, a story to tell us why this character think that way, but, as the story progress, it tell us
that her sense of justice is not what we all think of, hence the lack of explanation. But, Tachibana is also someone who stick to her ideals, values friendship and inspires others to go on; which makes her someone to admire, in some kind of way.
But, not every character lack a past of some kind, Yukimura is an example, you can watch him grow as a person and actually be fond of him as he helps each of the main characters to do what is right for the team, he has a background that explains his insecurities. Though sometimes his character might be annoying because of the unnecessary ero-anime love he has.
As for the story, it needs a second season, definitely. There's some parts of it left open that needed explanations. But, for twelve episodes, there's a rush in the story that kills it a bit, Tachibana's love for survival game is an example of it, since it grows from "I hate this, I just want to pay my debt" to "I need to play this game forever, I'm never going to stop" from one episode to another; also, there's quite the plot hole going on with the antagonists, since there's no reason behind their behaviour. However it also has points to love, for example the friendship between the protagonists that grows with every episode and, also, it kind of surprise that some characters are not what they seem, there's more than meet the eye!
The art is great, the colors from certain scenes left me breathless! there's nothing to complain there; also the OST is quite nice, I'm loving the opening song!
Overall, I recommend watching it because you may enjoy it, is not an anime for everyone, that's for sure, but you need to be patient with it, also the whole idea of survival game is really refreshing and unique, the art is well done, and the story is not so bad, so why not give it a try?
I first started watching Aoharu x Kikanjuu simply because I thought the art was beautiful. I had no idea what it was about at all.
And thus, I can easily say that the art is one of the best points of the series (in my opinion), along with the soundtrack.
After the first (few) episodes, I was surprised to see that I actually enjoy a series with 'survival games' as its theme/plot/however to call it.
In my opinion, the story itself could be much better if the pace were slower. If the actions, games and such were more detailed, with more depth.
Still, I liked the
general idea of the survival games and tournaments and such.
Like I've mentioned above, the art is the reason I actually started the series and of course, there are many animes with outstanding art, but in my opinion, Aoharu x Kikanjuu is one of them.
There were a few scenes where I just sit there, stare at the screen and think 'wow, that's drawn so beautifully'.
I liked the soundtrack - whether we talk about the opening/ending or in-between. It matched whatever was happening and yeah, I simply enjoyed the music.
It would have easily gotten a '10/10' from me if one actually got to know more about all the protagonist (and of course, the other characters as well). I am pretty sure that the characters could have an interesting past, relationship to each other and who-knows-what, but apparently, it's not shown.
There are many interesting ones and, in my opinion, also quite a few really likable/lovely ones.
Some might turn out weird or the 'development' is kind of... unnatural/too fast, but overall if I thought about 'why did they do that?' the answer/reasoning usually comes to me rather quickly.
Although I am sure if one doesn't give much thought about the 'why', the characters might just appear as 'ridiculous'.
I'm pretty sure that I would have marathoned the series if all episodes were out already when I started watching the anime.
There were still times where it was kind of 'normal'/'slow' compared to the usual pace of the series and some episodes were full of excitement.
It was funny, sometimes you might even get goosebumps or just excited/anticipating to see what would happen next.
Most of the time, I thought that it was amusing and enjoyable.
The part which I'm disappointed about is the fact that there was not enough 'character development' and 'story depth'.
Also, if the series had a few more episodes to spare, I think it would have gotten a lot better (more time for the events, games, characters etc.).
But apart from that, I still adore most of the characters shown, even the antagonist(s) are fascinating and the mixture of different personalities is interesting.
A mind-bending list of 15 anime series where gender-bending is the main plot or a recurring theme. Most of these are comedy series because, well, when was cross-dressing, body-swapping, or whatever not the source of hilarity? Get ready to dive into the unique world of gender-bender anime!
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