Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu is a series all about finding oneself and a direction in life... no matter how far off the beaten path it might be.
Buntarou Hojo is a high school student who has a talent for writing, but no real direction in life or any plans for the future. His classmate, Sayuki Kuroda notices his talent, decides to help him find a way to use it properly by enlisting him in her bishoujo game development group.
When Buntarou is cornered in the men's bathroom at school by Sayuki, he is surprised when he is asked out on what he thinks is a date, and even further surprised when he finds out that it's not a date, but a job interview. Reluctantly agreeing, the two start recruiting other members for their team but will they learn more about game creation, or life itself along the way?
Please don't tell me this is any indication of Romeo Tanaka's future as a writer.
It should be said that I had a lot of anticipation for Kouya when the visual novel was first announced a couple years ago. Being the first big project from Romeo in quite some time--- the man responsible for Cross Channel, arguably one of the best and most well-written visual novels-- I had expected something more than the nonsense it actually turned out to be. It seems Romeo may have gotten jealous of Maruto, a fellow, former (?) VN writer's success with Saekano, and felt the need to also get a piece of the tired 'high schoolers making eroge!!' cash-cow of a genre. Yawn.
And that normally wouldn't be such a bad thing if it was coming from someone other than Romeo, but the bigger issue is that Kouya is a hot pile of garbage even when compared to something completely run-of-the-mill like Saekano. Where to begin?
One could simply write a checklist of all the obnoxious tropes and cliches Kouya is permeated with, and you would get a pretty good idea of how brainless the show can be. For one, I am getting real sick of anime where the most beautiful girl in school is somehow, for some reason, secretly an otaku, as if only the super attractive and the super ugly can be interested in anime and eroge, while someone like Buntarou, a completely ordinary guy, is presented as the outsider for not being on one of these two extremes. Not only is this absolutely silly and insulting to anime fans, but it is a very obvious attempt to manipulate certain viewers into making them feel special and unique for identifying with Buntarou. He is just your typical high school student, after all (just like me!), and all the cute girls around him are hardcore otaku, too! Awesome! Allow me to groan.
(I also want to die every time there is an onsen scene where the female characters compare and grab each others' boobs, as if the audience is comprised solely of 11-year-old boys who just entered puberty.)
Kouya goes the extra mile in being asinine, the characters acting out eroge scenes in real life as "practice", which is probably a good indication that the they are in dire need of mental help. There is even your typical scene where the group rushes to meet the deadline for their doujin game, and succeeds with about 0.2 seconds to spare, the characters passing the game disc along like a baton and screaming at each other in encouragement ("Go, go!"). Does this stuff still appeal to people, i.e. actual human beings?
Take care to prepare for the wacky antics that ensue, as our beloved protagonist is locked in his room and forced to write an unreasonable amount of text, sleeping by accident and then being encouraged by the rest of the club, dressed in meido outfits, including Atomu who is actually a boy!! なんてこった!! Funny!! Nice joke (lol)!! I didn't laugh a single time. For a show that is primarily comedy, there being nothing that is actually funny is a bit of an issue. (I did, however, laugh at a scene later on in the episode, where Buntarou passes out in the bathtub and is later seen lying on his bed covered in bandages. What?)
None of the characters are particularly interesting or compelling, and are often defined by a single trait. Andou is a fujoshi who thinks everything in the world is gay, Atomu is a misogynist who hates the normies, Yuuka is a whiny brat, and Kuroda is your typical kuudere devoid of feeling or personality. Buntarou should, however, at least be given some credit for actually having some personality and not being just a worthless, spineless blob of nothing for viewers to self-insert into, as is the case with just about every single anime of this type. Yuuki is also an adorable little lady; it's just too bad the visual novel is planned to be all-ages, as we will not be able to see the protagonist bone her in the full game. And that may just be the greatest crime of all.
The romance-- or whatever you can call the show's half-hearted attempts at romance-- is, not surprisingly, completely juvenile. You'll regularly be witness to crap like Yuuka running away in tears, yelling "you jerk!" repeatedly, all because Buntarou had the nerve to politely respond to someone asking him a question? Or she'll run away crying like a big baby, nearly getting run-over by an oncoming train (because drama), simply due to her not being able to perfect her lines, and having to meet a time-limit just like every other damn character has, and has been struggling with, for the entire show. Someone clearly never grew up past their elementary school years.
Considering how one-dimensional most of the characters are, there is little reason to care about their struggles or the potential demise of their doujin group. It presents itself (poorly) as a comedy, and then on occasion it decides it wants to make us feel something. It doesn't quite work like that. Drama must serve some kind of purpose, and it must be built up towards gradually over the course of the story. Here it comes across as nothing but haphazard and unnecessary, and does nothing but make the anime an even bigger chore to watch. I don't give a donkey's poo-poo about some insipid melodrama, and I doubt anyone else watching this show does, either. I'll drop the words 'rival eroge group' and you can already have a good guess of where the final episodes go. And it's nowhere interesting, to be sure.
Kouya can at times feel like Romeo stroking his ego. There's a fair bit of self-referential dialogue (i.e. how becoming an eroge writer will open paths to industries such as anime and light novels), which almost felt as if he was proposing that Kouya can teach the audience how to become a Cool Successful Guy like him. Perhaps that was not his intention, but he should at least have had the hindsight to see that people familiar with his work may interpret it that way. This issue is also compounded by the lack of any of the insider knowledge and commentary you would expect from someone who has been involved in the industry for over fifteen years. Kouya is a completely banal and sometimes false interpretation of the eroge industry, and it seems Romeo is satisfied with that. This could have been the eroge equivalent of Shirobako, you know? It's been a while since I've seen such an enormous waste of potential.
The art is not quite poor enough to be firmly labelled 'bad', but it is certainly not something your eyes will take any pleasure in seeing. The whole thing feels very cheap and low-budget, lacking in any noticeable animation, and filled mostly of close-up shots of the characters making angry (:<) or sad (;_;) faces, or sitting still and talking as if they were programmed to. There were, however, some neat easter-eggs during the characters' initial trips to Akihabara, with plenty of real-life eroge (i.e. Baldr Sky Zero, Sharin no Kuni and Pretty x Cation) hiding subtly on a bookshelf. I can only wish there was more of that: something to make the whole 'otaku' thing at least feel the slightest bit authentic, and less like the sham that it actually is.
It is quite clear that Kouya's anime is little other than an advertisement for its source material, when you take into account the timing of the anime (it finishing its airing just a day before the release of the visual novel). Do you really want to watch a 12-episode long advertisement? I doubt it. Having finished reading the trial for the VN a few days ago, while I can say that the VN is a much improved experience (and with far better artwork and production values), it still wasn't anything overly-impressive. The visual novel is written and paced like it wants to be anime, and yet the actual anime-- the only exposure many people will have to this series-- is hot garbage. I really don't know what Romeo had in mind with this thing.
While it remains to be seen how much of the blame should be put on Romeo versus the anime team, the end result is still a foul, rancid mess that is just not worth anyone's time. Do yourself a favour and instead watch something like Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu-- a recent anime that doesn't completely suck. It's getting awfully hard to find ones that don't. read more
No, I'm not CRAZY over this show.
It's not the BEST show from the 2016 winter season, but it's not the WORST (I'm looking at you Aokana and Luck and Logic).
This show is an example of one of the many anime you just watch to soothe yourself if you're having a bad day. Now enough of this prologue, let's get to the review:
Yeah, it's been done before. A group of teenagers work hard to create a game (I'm seeing a lot of Saekano and Shirobako). According to the synopsis, this anime is supposed to be about "youths taking a daring step into the unknown," but if you're looking for that, this is the wrong show for you. In all honesty, this show is just a lighthearted comedy taking us through the process of these teenagers making the bishoujo game of their dreams. This show actually managed to get a few laughs out of me (the "bitch queen" scene).
Honestly, this show has some of the finest art and animation I've seen from 2016 so far. The character designs are simple, yet appealing. The animation is fluid, the characters' facial expressions aren't eyesoresConsidering this is an anime from Studio Project no.9, I wasn't expecting great animation aster seeing other anime that they've worked on.
Nothing too spectacular in this department. The OP doesn't really suit the anime, almost making it seem like this was some sort of action show, not to mention that the song was pretty generic sounding. The ED was quite nice and the background music set the correct tone for the show.
To be fair, the cast isn't great. If you're being generous, you'd be saying that this show has a good cast. In short, the characters are all stereotypes. The reason why I'm not giving this section a 3/10 is because of the way they interact with each other. It's entertaining. Let's get to the list of them:
Buntarou Hojou: Hardworking, friendly, and able to adapt to situations well, Buntarou is our typical anime protagonist. He's asked to help write the scenarios for the game because he also writes scripts for the drama club, and he's pretty darn good at it.
Sayuki Kuroda: Sayuki is Buntarou's quiet classmate. She has been investigating Buntarō and convinces herself that he is fit to be scenario writer for her upcoming game. If anything, Sayuki might be the one I like the least on this show. She's basically a long-haired-not-Shinji's-mother version Rei Ayanami in the sea of them that we have today in the anime world. To be honest, she could've been better if she was given a personality.
Yuka Kobayakawa: Yuka is Buntarou's childhood friend (at least she isn't deadpan). She is an energetic girl who is good at acting, a member of the drama club along with Buntarou. Yuka is a nice character to have around, mainly for comedy purposes. It is also speculated that she has feelings for Buntarou.
Teruha Andou: Our busty, and somewhat perverted character of the show (fujoshi alert), is another one of Buntarou's classmates. Teruha is the programmer of the game. She isn't afraid to fight with Sayuki and voice her opinions, and I could commend her for that. And let's not forget that she works at a maid cafe under the name "Luka."
Uguisu Yuuki: Uguisu is a first year student and is the artist of the show. She's rather shy and timid and she's the art director of the game. She's very talented and apparently holds a high rank on the site, "Pixi."
Atomu Kai: Atomu is Buntarou's childhood friend. Along with Yuka, they are a trio who are always seen together. Atomu was dumped by his girlfriend for being "too nice", which makes him hates 3D girls and couples. He doesn't have any special talents, but has the motivation that Sayuki needs, which makes him the Assistant Director.
Like I said in the beginning, this is a nice show to just watch and relax. Not everyone will enjoy this, but I am (mainly because I'm a sucker for shows like these).
I wouldn't strongly recommend this show to anyone, but if you feel like me about shows like these than go ahead and watch Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu.read more
Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu is a story about a group of teenagers working together to create a visual novel, and the concept is awfully other animes such as Saekano.
Simply put, the story sucks.
Really bland story. After eight episodes, there's not much progress in the story. The first six episodes showcases the problems the team faces in creating the visual novel, but those problems are always solved by the end of the episode. Halfway through the season, other then the fact that they are trying to produce a bishoujo novel, we don't know much of the content the team is trying to make, and it seems as if they haven't made much progress at all! And then there's the problem of fanservice. It's as if the writers suddenly realised all they had written was pure crap, amd they thought, "Hey, isn't there a way to glue our audience's eyes back to the screen? Why not give them some ass?" Then, they devoted one entire episode to it! Even the name of the episode was 'This is the so-called fanservice episode.' Really, man?
Fanservice is ok, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the story. In this case, it does.
The characters in this series are, well, okay. But they're dull.
The characters in this anime have average amd cliched personalities. Buntarou Hojo is a good writer and he is called up by Sayuki Kuroda to write the script for a visual novel she wants to make. Kuroda is the leader of the team and is a otaku as well. The other characters also have other personalities of their own, but they are mostly just extras. We have the guy who's devoted to two-dimensional girls, the useless but actually-has-a-crush-on-dense-MC girl (Actually Shiina Mayuri in disguise) , the loud fujoshi, and the soft-spoken artist (Actually Ero-manga sensei from a parelell universe) . In certain episodes, the other characters might be highlighted, but afterwards, they will just be thrown aside and left to frolick in the dust.
There's also not much character development at all.
The writers must have thought that putting romance as an extra plotline would capture back the attention of the watcher, but instead the romance seemed forced and instead made watching every following episode seem like a chore. Well done.
Still, the art isn't bad.
The art is the saving grace for this anime, it's really good. If you aren't watching the anime now, take a look at the promotional vid somewhere on the details page.
Then afterwards, find another anime to watch.
The sound are okay as well.
The OP and EN is fine. It's not very good and it's not very bad either.
At least it doesn't make my ears bleed.
So after reading this review, what should you do?
Of course, the obvious action is to pull this anime out of your watch list.
It's really not worth your time. Go watch something better, I'm serious.
Well here's a show that I think got a bit of a bad wrap for no real reason.
But I do have some reasons for why people wouldn't like it so much.
Firstly Saekano came before this show, and the novelty of it had already worn off for many people.
Secondly people set their expectations too high for something that never really tried to be anything special to begin with.
--Actual review: minor spoiler warning.
-Presentation(visuals & sound)
To me nothing looked visually out of place, which isn't weird considering this isn't a very action heavy show requiring lots of animation.
Sound vise I like the OP and ED, I actually think they were some of the better ones of the season, I like just how bombastic the singing was.
But even then none of the background tracks stood out to me.
I basically picked this show to just watch something that would be easy to get into without having to think about it much.
and good that I did because this is certainly not a masterpiece of a plot, nor is it necessarily bad, just very average.
My biggest problem with it is how the characters would occasionally get mad at each other for no real reason.
That kind of stuff basically happens whenever a writer has to work with a very limited time left in the series or the movie they're working with, so they rush it a bit.
At least the characters realize how stupid the thing is in a pretty short amount of time.
Another thing that could be considered a nitpick is how the characters seem like they've never heard of the internet and still try to get their game to the manufacturer by disc for added drama.
There were some "romantic" scenes that didn't really go anywhere at the end, not that I
expected them to.
On a few occasions this show makes a comment about the VN industry, but not often.
Compared to Saekano Shoujo-tachi focuses more on actual creative parts of making a game, it doesn't have as much humor.
Overall this show doesn't really fail with its plot because it keeps its goals fairly grounded.
This show has very archetypal characters, and it knows it.
For example every character has a name related to one of the things that defines their archetypes, for example Kuroda's name refers to her black hair.
Also I bet all the voice actors were told to do the most typical voice for the archetype they were playing, even if it's over the top.
But not every character is completely archetypal, Buntarou actually contradicts quite a few things that make a generic harem MC, he isn't an unsociable nerd who gets uncomfortable around girls, instead he Writes plays, actually likes being helpful and is quite confident of himself.
Kuroda also subverts a typical thing for her archetype, Instead of constantly having an icy personality she is the first person to approach Buntarou about the game project.
The characters are still left mostly unexplored, though it has some decent character interaction.
Definitely not what I would consider a terrible anime, you can't judge it by premise alone.
But it's nothing amazing either, there aren't any deep characters or unconventional and interesting plots with tons of twists, and the animation while certainly decent doesn't have any moments to show off.
The best thing about this show was probably the songs.
Rarely do I see a show that was so unsurprising to me.
If I was asked to recommend either Saekano or shoujo-tachi I would tell you to just go with whichever sounds like more fun.
I would recommend this to people who already watched Saekano and want something similar and people who just want to fill time with something easy going that some story to go with it.read more