Jun 28, 2011
superspats (All reviews)
Astarotte no Omocha! (or "Astarotte's Toy!" in English), is a harem, ecchi, comedy series that follows the escapades of Astarotte Ygvar, a ten year old succubus princess who is under the conviction of forming a man-harem, in order to guzzle "man juice" so as to preserve her youth and beauty. With the clear direction established, the series becomes a collection of episodic antics involving young , tsundere Astarotte and her boy-toys, all aiming towards the token "hunk of the week" and a hearty showering of baby butter to top it [and her] all off.

Have you got all that? Good. Now forget everything I just told you, because this series has -next to nothing to do with any of that-. Sadly, a large sum of people that read the plot synopsis are going to think that this series is all about a ten year old girl sucking down throat yogurt, but that isn't the case. So what should someone going into Astarotte no Omocha! expect out of it?

Well first thing's first, it's still an ecchi series. It's not going to magically cure your phobia of seeing a 10 year old girl in a sexually suggestive scenario or an overly large bosom stuffed into all too restrictive clothing. Though, in a world where the tag "ecchi" is near synonymous with "seemingly random and all-too-frequent upskirts, due to a sudden gust of wind or poor choice of panning camera angles, that only serve to have the protagonist slugged into the stratosphere", Astarotte no Omocha! dares to be different. Most of the H content comes solely from the risque and colourfully abundant array of outfits that the characters squeeze themselves into, and take it from me, the wardrobes of each character in this show are vast and vibrant. In fact, for a series with an ecchi brand there's very little direct fanservice; what that means is that, until episode 9 (obligatory beach episode), the only "fanservice" that's delivered is thinly veiled clips that cater to a specific fetish.

Though, even if the series is speckled with these "fetish-tastic" scenes, all the usual triteness you'd expect from an ecchi anime takes a backseat to story-telling and character development. If you plan to watch Astarotte no Omocha! strictly to see a loli eat a bowl of man chowder, you'll find yourself instead using adjectives like "heart-warming" or "touching"; the end of the series could even squeeze a tear from the coldest of hearts.

I mentioned before that, despite the plot synopsis, this show isn't about Astarotte forming a man-harem to gargle mayonnaise. While that theme serves as a sort of whispered guideline, it's forgettable at best; it's mentioned here and there throughout the series, but beyond episode one it's rarely ever spoken of beyond the occasional badgering of Judith. Instead, this anime is about the young princess Astarotte vainly proclaiming she's capable, and willing, to round up a troupe of men if, and only if, a human is present amongst them and the events that transpire afterward. However, only one male love interest is present, despite the calls for a harem.

Enter Naoya, the human "recruited" by Astarotte's subjects to serve as a member of her harem, and father (yes, you read that right) of Asuha, a spunky young girl around the same age as the princess. Though despite him being conscripted to sleep with Lotte, he never actually slips into her bed, unless it's to tuck her in for the night or offer her a glass of warm milk (of the bovine variety). Their relationship is more akin to a big brother and little sister than anything sexual. He also acts as one of two butlers (being labelled Astarotte's personal "toy" after her phobia of men slowly disipates, but she only mentions that title once or twice instead of constantly lawding it over the protag, unlike some choice JCStaff series) serving at the princess's castle, alongside the maid, Effie, the captain of Astarottes personal guard, Zelda, and the person responsible for dragging Naoya into their world in the first place, Judith.

A handful of other characters are also introduced as the series progresses, all of whom are unique enough to be enjoyable; none of them have especially unique personalities, sure, but they all have such colourful and unique outfits or appearances that you won't have trouble remembering any of them (for one reason or another). I suppose this is also a good time to say that, despite Lotte being voiced by Kugimiya Rie, she is the "good" type of tsundere; she actually acts in a matter befitting a 10 year old girl, of royal descent, who dislikes the male gender (and doesn't spit out an endless stream of "urusai" when angered or embarassed). See; Taiga.

Alongside Kugimiya Rie there's a handful of other well-known voice actors, including Tamura Yukari (as Asuha) and Horie Yui (as Effie) who provide the voices for Furude Rika and Hanyuu, respectively, from the Higurashi series. Satou Rina, known for her work as Misaka Mikoto from Index and Negi Springfield from Negima, plays the part of Naoya, while Saito Chiwa, who voices two of my favourite characters, Rebecca Miyamoto from Pani Poni Dash! and Francesca Lucchini from Strike Witches, performs the role of the rabbit-eared sage, Ingrid. The intro theme is your average J-rock song that's enjoyable but nothing you haven't heard before, while the ending theme is a soft and slow ballad by the artist Azusa, both of which are relatively calm. But the background music is the area where audio truly shines in this series; it plays at the right times, it fits the mood, it's not too loud, theres alot of variety, it's all very pleasent to listen to and it all rounds off this anime into one nice little package.

All in all, Astarotte no Omocha! is a show everyone should try at least once. Even if ecchi isn't something you enjoy, it's easy to look past that and see how many good things this anime has going for it. A refreshing new spin on the ecchi genre that goes above and beyond what one would expect despite being labelled with such a misleading synopsis, a story that's quirky most of the time and lovable the rest, with a cast of interesting characters, excellent voice acting and music, a budding romantic relationship and a vast repertoire of fetish coverage, all in one.

Sadly, if you're looking for an anime to sate your bukake fetish, you're going to have to look elsewhere.