Jun 30, 2011
8thSin (All reviews)
This review exists within the internet, authored by a SHAFT fanboi.
It functions only as a test ground for me. It is also a spoiler zone in this page.

Under the current assessment of the series, it is a "9/10".
This was determined by my reaction to audio-visual investigation of the SHAFT seishun anime.
Patience is the closest thing viewers have to salvation.
However, accelerated exposure could amplify the viewing experience of a class-2 audience.

A collective of readers that has forgotten it is a collective of voters... That is you.
Members of the self-unaware, clueless MAL users under aliases are not permitted to vote "Not Helpful" on this review.
Injection of corrective program to opinionated haters with inflated pessimism and distaste!

I would write the entire review in Denpanese, but I used up my esper mana for speaking an alien language.

The word "denpa" (lit. "electromagnetic waves") is used to refer to people with overly-active imaginations who appear to live in their own world. In other words, delusional psychopaths.
The word "seishun" (lit. "blue spring") means "adolescent" or "puberty". However, the term often implies the joys and challenges of overcoming immaturity, and youthful romance, as per usage in "seishun points".

'Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko'(loosely translated to "Psychopathic Girl and Adolescent Boy") begins with the the protagonist Niwa Makoto moving into a new city, known as the "the City Watched Over by Aliens". He's in his aunt Meme's care, whose daughter Erio is a denpa hikikomori wrapped in futon.

The story begins with Makoto getting to know Erio. She's got a serious case of denpa, believing herself to be an alien who came to Earth to investigate the mankind. Being a nice guy that he is, Makoto takes her out to prove she's a human being and can't fly like E.T. After that, the focus is transferred to the remaining cast, Mifune "Ryuushi-san" Ryuuko, Maekawa-san, and Hoshimiya Yashiro.
Many viewers must have felt betrayed when Erio turned from a jargon-spitting enigmatic girl in a futon to an ordinary shy girl, but ironically, Makoto and Erio are surrounded by denpa and therefore has plenty of material for comedy and accumulation of Seishun Points.

Niwa Makoto is your average protagonist in a harem setup. He even describes his own situation as a typical protagonist in school drama in the first episode. However, he does have his own unique Seishun Point system to keep track of the quality of his school life, and does actively pursue opportunities to accumulate points. He is one of the more likable protagonist around in that he has a skeptic, realistic personality, but man up when it really counts. He has a pretty good sense of humor, and we as viewers follow his narration as a guide, seeing things through his perspective almost the entire time.

Touwa Erio started out as a hopeless loner whose own mother had given up on her for becoming denpa after a traumatizing event in her childhood. She does eventually get "fixed" by Makoto, and makes a slow return into the society. Her character provided early selling point for the series, and we see her gradual change after Makoto showed up. This season ended at volume 3 of the novel series, out of 8 volumes in total. Her change in character was limited to finding a part-time job and participating group events, but there is surely more to come if a sequel is ever made.

Touwa Meme is a 40-year old aunt of Makoto, who acts like a child all the time and sputters nonsense all the time. Her role in this series is mainly MILF moe and acting as a puppet-master who influences the other main characters to get the story going. She's quite mysterious, and it's hard to know what she's thinking, but as audiences, we know she's hiding something about Elliott, who may or may not be an alien.

Ryuushi-san is probably the most interesting character in this series. She is a moeblob, but has an unique and consistent quirkiness that worked really well with Makoto. Their chemistry is excellent, and she's just one of those adorably cute hard working character that you can't help but cheer for. She is the de facto Heroine in this season, spending most time with Makoto and the only one to actively try to win him over like a character in a true seishun series. Yashiro's line in ep11 makes me wonder if they would eventually become an item. The way she blushes around Makoto was really cute, and I'll certainly be cheering for her.

Maekawa-san's personality is almost the opposite of Ryuushi-san. She's always composed and has a dark sense of humor, also seems to have analyzed every situtation and knows what's going on. However, she also seems to have a screw loose on her head, with all the strange cosplays shown in every episode. Her role in the show is mainly to tease Makoto and Ryuushi-san, but getting them together conflicts with her apparent feelings for Makoto. There could be some major character development for her if the sequel is ever made. And of course, her costumes are also there for moe to niche viewers.

Hoshimiya Yashiro made a very late appearance this season, but left a huge impact into the story. She claims to be an alien esper, which no one believes, but she has shown evidence of her super powers throughout the final few episodes. Interestingly, she says Makoto and Ryuushi both have "the potential", which was precisely what Erio said to Makoto early in the show when she was still a major denpa. Yashiro also brings a new theme to the show, that one should not limit their potential, and develop the strength to believe. This message is extremely similar to 'Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin', but it is executed far better here, with many great inspirational scenes.

Every major characters have their roles in the show, and the character headcount is very low to ensure every character gets their own spotlight. There were some pacing problems in the middle as one non-linear episode mixed in and extremely slow story development, but there are incredibly inspiring and touching moments of youth in every episode as a treat. There are also plenty of references to other manga and anime, sometimes even real life events to keep us entertained.

Art and animation is this series is generally very good. The character designs are attractive, with great cuts and camera angles (although it's almost completely devoid of the signature SHAFT animation style). There are few scenes where characters seemed deformed for budget saving purposes, possibly using Korean animators, but every single inspiring scene (and fan service scene) that actually matters is drawn to perfection. SHAFT knows how to inspire and how to best use visual support to tell a story, and it shows once again in this series.

Voice acting, with exception of Erio, is spectacular. Ryuushi-san's voice acting is what I would call 「ハマリ役」, epic casting. Her voice is so unique, yet fits the character perfectly. All the seiyuu staff in this series are extremely motivated, and their lines are filled with emotion, especially in the most critical lines.
BGM is also incredibly touching and flows extremely well. It kind of just plays in the background, but becomes really noticeable in critical scenes to improve the viewing experience... it's in total harmony with the story.
OP is a "denpa song" in a whole different way. The term is usually used to describe songs with incomprehensible lyrics. In this case, the lyrics do make sense, but BGM composition and the vocal sound absolutely retarded. This works extremely well for a series about denpa, and it's somehow addicting. Absolutely brilliant.
ED is rather dull, but cute song with fun lyrics and unique whisper vocals.

'Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko' has many classic, almost cliché seishun elements, such as screaming out corny lines in public, running towards the sun (its variation biking towards the moon was used), awkward silences between the opposite sex, working hard on sports... However, it's the execution that makes all the difference, and it really shows in this series. The main message of keeping our minds open and appreciate every moment of our lives, it really reached my heart.

This series has also given me a new level of appreciation for NisiOisiN's works. Although the series does attempt to use witty dialogs to advance the story and succeeded to some degree, it lacks the pacing and sophistication seen in similar NisiOisiN adaptations by SHAFT, 'Bakemonogatari' and 'Katanagatari'. If I had to pick, this is closest to 'Soredemo Machi wa Mawatte Iru' for being a rare authentic 'slice-of-life' anime, and also the extreme quirkiness that's hit-or-miss for its viewers. It was a definite hit for me, and I'll definitely look forward to the sequel.

'Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko' is a story full of dreams and depicts an ordinary guy in a crazy city, trying living his life to the fullest. It's brilliant, and exactly what a true seishun series is all about. If you disagree, I guess I'll just say it out loud in a clear and concise phrase...

"If you say so."