In the northern Kanto area in Japan, there is Binan City…
At Binan High School, as per usual, the “Earth Defense Club (lol)” was a club that did nothing. The club members Kyoutarou Shuzenji, Ryouma Kirishima, Nanao Wakura, Taishi Manza, and Ichiro Dogou nonchalantly enjoyed tea while having pointless conversations that amount to nothing.
All of them have now gathered at Kurotama Bath after school. When Ryouma pulls Kyoutarou Shuzenji by his arm out of water that he claims feels too good, together with his towel comes a pretty boy in strange clothing.
These five boys are then dragged into a battle for the heir of the magical kingdom, Honila Land...
As a watcher of the original series, I initially had very high hopes for this spin-off. Seeing as the first two seasons and the special were very fun and creative, I was under the impression that this season would match, but I was disappointed in that aspect. However, stick around-- it doesn't mean it was entirely bad!
Honestly, I'm surprised by the lack of reviews. The story is by no means bad. After all, it is a parody, and it does a pretty solid job on it's own, bordering on ridiculous and funny. It's nowhere near as good of a parody as LOVE was, but
it's not terrible. A lot of the plot elements are reused from the first series (which I didn't like too much myself) but it introduces some new elements that keep it from being totally boring.
The art is beautiful as always-- honestly, it was better than it was in the first few seasons. It's a lot more colorful and prettier to look at, in my opinion. I wasn't a big fan of the skewed contrast during some of the transformation sequences (was that just me? the screen went half-darkish?). The 'magic' was also done very well and was just beautiful to look at. I really enjoyed that aspect.
The OP was alright, but the closing was really fun. I didn't really care for the other in-show songs, especially the massive group number in the last episode. I was expecting something Vepper brothers level, but I didn't really get it.
As for the characters, I felt like they were kinda cheap copies of our original boys from the first series. It was as if the main character traits and appearance traits were just set at random mix to make five 'new' characters. I still enjoyed them, but it lacked originality and made it predictable and boring at times.
Like I elaborated on earlier, this show disappoints in a lot of aspects COMPARED TO THE FIRST SERIES. If it was viewed separately (though many references might not make sense) it is still a good watch. It was fun to watch and made me laugh, though not as much as the original.
I would recommend this if you: liked the original series but are open to somewhat of a 'remix' of it, like parodies, like 'stupid' magical girl series, want something light-hearted
I would NOT recommend this if you: really really liked the original series and don't like the idea of a 'ripoff', like serious anime, want a legitimate plotline
I have watched all the seasons of Cute High Earth Defense Club
and personally this is my most favorite season.
First, since I'm a hardcore fujoshi(yaoi lover a.ka. Boys' Love
Fan), I enjoyed watching it because of the ships and this has
more fan service than the previous ones which is a good thing
for me of course.
Second ,the music. The opening and ending theme is good. I
especially liked the "Are you happy?" transformation song
because it is so catchy. I never skipped it even once. :)
Third, the animation. It is greater than the first 2 seasons. It's
more colorful and the
art style is amazing. I like their costumes
now and for me it's less cringy than the 1st one.
Fourth, the characters are still so likable cause they are have
different personalities and of course they are all bishounen so
that's a plus.
Fifth. The story is fine for me since it's a parody anime, I didn't
expect much. I just wished that they changed the plot a little
like maybe they should've added strong rivals?
What I don't like about it is they always end up in the bath. I'm
thinking, don't they have any other thing to do? But besides
that fact, I highly recommend others to watch it because it's
super enjoyable to watch. I honestly didn't get bored watching it one bit. So ENJOY!!!
This is the spin-off of binan koukou chikyuu boueibu LOVE!, they are both parody animes of the magical girl genre. You don't have to watch the original to watch this one.
Story- it's a parody at the end of the day, doesn't take itself too seriously and is quite funny. I personally really enjoy the backstories boueibu does for the characters as well, I think it gives its story some depth
Art- It's fine not amazing but not bad at all
Sound- I enjoyed both the OP and ED, both are catchy. It's nice that the characters sing both as well.
Character- At first glance, the characters seem
to be just different versions of the Love! characters; however, while watching they all come alive and seem to be quite different from their counter parts, in the main cast of the Earth Defense Club. I wouldn't really say any of the Defense club is even like their original series counterparts except for Kyoutarou with En. Though I definitely think Kyoutarou was more fleshed out and therefore different from En. The Student Council though is fairly similar to Love's. There are definitely differences but they could have been more fleshed out.
Relationships- I think the relationships of this series were pretty different from Love's.Who the boys individually are crushing on and the pairings the show gives fodder for are definitely distinguishable from Love's
Enjoyment- Really liked it by the end! Was wary at first being a Love! fan but by the end I came to really appreciate this series' story and it's characters as their own
Overall- Gave it a 10 which would be a 9 but it's votes are so low! Just because there's fanservice doesn't mean it's not enjoyable to non-fujoshis or non-bishie fangirls. (Speaking as a lesbian!)
This review will be heavily referential to the original series of Binan (I'll call it 'LOVE!' from here to differentiate it between this newer series), since it, you know, has the same name and is basically just the same story with a different cast and some new effects and designs. That original series, despite being some criminally obvious fan service pandering, is in my opinion absolutely fantastic, and not just because the cast directly caters to my tastes. I genuinely do think the writing was solid in every episode - it managed to comically deal with pertinent social issues in a mature but light
hearted way, and Yumoto's little monologues at the end of each are great. I would love to have watched it as a high school student, I think I would have gotten something out of it (beyond the fudanshi pandering, I mean). The surprising competency of its writing is probably why the original series was a bit of a surprise hit, and in turn that fanbase is probably why Happy Kiss! exists. The staff could have been content to just phone the entire show in, but the effort resulted in a rare combination of a show entirely catering to one specific demographic via excessive fan service while also being entertaining and well paced.
Turns out you can't bottle lightning! While the 2nd series of the original LOVE! suffered from a marked dip in quality writing wise, to mend this hole in the hull the writers turned to even more fan service (and an over reliance on Yumoto, probably incontestably the star of that show - notice he's the only one with a cameo proper?) and a reliance on your attachment to the cast it worked With Happy Kiss that isn't possible, because this is a whole new cast!
I think it's reasonable to focus heavily on the characters. As I mentioned in the introduction, this anime is just a retreated of LOVE!'s story - not literally but enough that you won't be watching it for its plot. That being said, the new cast is...a mixed bag. I have to respect the writers for refusing to take the easy route and try to just remake Yumoto, but the boy to fill the colossal gap he leaves, Kyotaro...Well, I think he might have ignited a hatred for the 'constantly yawning, oh-so-sleepy' archetype in me forever. I think I can see his intended role. His apathy and indifference is supposed to be cute, and perhaps he is meant to be a parody of some kind of zen master. But in practice, replacing the pure hearted and irresistible sincerity of Yumoto is an incredibly bored and indifferent guy who doesn't seem to care in the slightest for the people/monsters he is fighting with is very jarring. Maybe if his visual design appeals to you his mannerisms are less offputing - but I found myself at times pretty frustrated with the way he acted. It just did not seem in the spirit of the franchise I've grown so attached to.
On the other hand, Kyotaro's weakness as the male lead allows the rest of the cast to shine a bit more than they could in LOVE!. But...not really enough. Taishi and Ichiro's sparring seems more natural than Io and Ryuu's - mostly. Sometimes it feels as if they weren't sure whether the two were supposed to be shipped or at odds with one another. Further complicating this is Ichiro's relationship with Nanao, another character who I appreciate for his deviation from the standard (a weird, demure sadist who is also very kind, an interesting combination), and who is clearly intended to be bait for shipping with the infatuated Ichiro. But, as confused as these relationships are, they are at least that: relationships, The rest of the cast, it seems, do not have much of any! Kyotaro talks to to his incredibly bland, and I hate to say it, but completely pointless ginger friend Ryouma, and that's about it. I cannot remember a single time Ryouma spoke to anyone but Kyotaro - he may as well be his stand for all his relevancy to characters beyond Kyotaro. While not quite to the same degree as Yumoto, the incredibly cute and cheeky student council member Martha steals the show. It feels as if this was something the staff too were aware of - he is the only character, outside of Kyotaro and Ibusuki, whose rift forms a great deal of the plot, that gets any kind of episode devoted to his backstory, oddly.
Other strokes of consciousness in the writing staff seem to be in the Wom-san replacement's writing - Karl, the cute yellow otter, is really great. He adds quite a bit of energy to the show, and were he written to be more lethargic or cynical I feel like I would hate this anime. His design (as a human) is also very cute - if a little pointless, given that it only exists in transformations and in very brief scenes. I also enjoy the novelty of his backstory - I feel it melds better than LOVE!'s strange (albeit amusing) focus on aliens and the galaxy and television. It is just a shame that the writing was not brave enough to try and focus more on that setting, and instead chose to retread the same structure of season 1 (I am not exaggerating, it is ludicrously similar).
Hyonyanaland, Karl's homeland, appears in the finale and its scenes are a highlight. It provides a welcome diversion in visuals and is greatly helped by some great music, an area I have as of yet neglected to mention, but one that I feel is a clear improvement over LOVE!. The transformation music is exciting and fun, but even better is the attack music - the poppier and more upbeat melody and style are well suited to the less earnest and sincere tone established. The "attack" sequence is only really hurt by Kyotaro's voice acting. While I think the seiyuu does a fine job regularly, here...well...It is quite laughable. The voice he uses is not suited to the bellowing. "Rab is oba!!!" it is not, that's for sure.
Speaking of the transformations...They are fine. I like the kissing theme and the use of water (makes sense - Karl is an otter remember). Not so much the visual designs. While they are not terrible, the lack of deviation from the previous series is a bit disappointing, especially given that this isn't even supposed to be the 'battle lovers' anymore - so why do they look so alike? What's more disappointing is the student council costumes, the Furanui knights, which - well they ARE terrible, especially when compared to the original student council costumes, which were fantastic and better even than the main cast's'. That being said, visually Happy Kiss isn't a huge decline. There is still the eternal sidemouth which is a pet peeve, but it looks a little better than season 2 of LOVE! (although not quite as good as 1, in my opinion). It's a sugary sweet, colourful anime with a cast entirely made up of bishies: the visuals reflect it more than adequately.
The impression given by this review is probably that I hated this anime, but that's absolutely not true. I am critical of it but I still watched the whole thing and had a fun time doing so. It is only because I so enjoyed the original that the flaws in it become jarring. If they announced a follow up it's very likely I'd watch it ASAP. If you were a fan of the original show and its concept (not solely its cast) I am sure you will enjoy Happy Kiss!, but maybe not quite so much as LOVE! or even LOVE LOVE!.