Initial Thoughts on Softenni, SKET Dance, Hen Zemi TV, and Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai

I first want to start off with an apology to SKET Dance for being grouped together like this with the other three anime.  While SKET Dance is none too fantastic itself as of yet, the other three are ABYSMAL.

No words can aptly describe my horror at this scene.

Softenni (Ep. 1)
The Cart Driver makes some hilarious observations of his own, and I’m not sure why I’m writing anything about this since I have pretty much nothing good to say about it.  First time for a negative review, I guess.

This anime supposedly is about girls who play tennis, but in reality, Sofuteni follows the ridiculous antics of horrible representations of females who deign to play the sport.  The main girl thinks about sex 24/7 and misinterprets everything her coach says as sexual innuendos.  The green-haired girl shown in the above image is a complete airhead who eats unending amounts of food.  I chose her scene where she dives for the rice bun mouth-first as my topic banner because I admit to laughing at the part.  Though she couldn’t smack a tennis ball despite large quantity and slow velocity, the instant a rice bun was thrown, she turned into a tiger.

Interest level: 0%, dropped immediately.  I felt 100x stupider after watching this stupidity.

Goggles in this day and age?

SKET Dance (Ep. 1)
I went into this show with thoughts of the anime Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi and its “Otogi Bank.”  In SKET Dance, a similar club called SKET-dan exists with the purpose of aiding students.  However, I found the ulterior motives of Ookami-san‘s Otogi Bank more appealing; in exchange for helping students, the requester is then in debt to the club and must repay an equal favor at any given time.  Despite the potential of that show, the overall feeling of the anime was pretty lackluster.  I’m afraid the same thing may happen to SKET Dance, which similarly caught my interest with its first episode, but had a general feeling of “nothing special.”  It lacks the loan system of Ookami-san, with SKET-dan instead doing others good out of their own desires to better campus life.  *blaurgh*  Obviously, this anime will follow several cases which may each have their own episodes, or span several, where SKET-dan will proceed to aid others.

The club gets its first case in this starting episode, when transfer student Sugihara Teppei becomes “victim” to a bucketful of red paint tossed by an unknown attacker.  I was reminded of the various mysteries of GOSICK, and Victorique’s reconstructions of the shards of chaos.  Much like in GOSICK, the mystery and resolution in SKET Dance‘s first episode is fairly predictable.  Substitute Japanese school life and shounen patterns in place of GOSICK’s Victorian-era France, and you have SKET Dance.  Instead of the implacable Victorique, we have the three members of the club: an overly loud leader who runs around in a strange red cap with oni-points sticking up out of it, an energetic girl who gives off vibes of an ex-biker gang member, and a computer whiz-otaku who refuses to use his vocal cords and instead speaks everything through a voice-simulation program on his laptop.  The strange characters make for a hopeful start, but the boring plot of this episode worries me.

Interest level: 65%, I’m hoping the characters become even more interesting and are able to liven up the plot.  Ready, steady, GO!

This girl breeds flies inside her own ear canal?! No. Just. No.

Hen Zemi TV (Ep. 1)
I don’t know what in the world I was thinking when I decided to give this episode a whirl.  Open-mindedness? Sure, I’m open-minded about different types of people in real life, but the setting in this anime is a bit too bizarre for weekly watching even for my tastes.  The premise of this show is what caught my attention in the first place.  It sets up our female protagonist, Matsutaka Nanako (humorously voiced by Hanazawa Kana), as an overall innocent young woman who enrolls in a Abnormal Physiology seminar class.  Basically, it’s a class focusing on abnormal bodily functions and parts.  I overlooked what would obviously include the explicit, and overestimated my strong stomach.  Nanako embarks on mission to find a topic that will gain the professor’s approval, and encounters the most “out there” in her peers’ own projects.  To succeed, Nanako must get over her misgivings and push past her boundaries.

I found the art less than likable and the suggestions for public sexual harassment unacceptable.  I know it’s supposed to be funny, but I can’t laugh at condoned harassment.  I don’t recommend this show for the weak-stomached, or for the conservative viewers out there.

Interest level: 0%, dropped immediately.

This 10-year-old then proceeds to ask the guy if he'd like to stick his monster into her kitty.

Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai (Ep. 1)
I should have been warned when I heard this was by the makers of Shuffle!, an anime which I found absolutely dreadful.  But no, no, I ignored that fact and jumped right on in.  The ONE interesting thing about this show is that instead of one storyline, we follow three separate male protagonists who each have their assortments of possible females.

  1. Haneda Takeshi–High schooler with a harem.  Supposedly he has some connection with another world, but stays in this one due to certain feelings he shares for several females.  While completely generic, the show acknowledges the harem plot with a humorous nod.
  2. Chitose Shuusuke–A guy who mooches off of everyone around him and jumps from part-time job to part-time job.  In this first episode, we see him chilling at a cafe attempting to arrange a group date with the cafe’s male owner, another “cool” male customer by the name of Ootori Kakeru, and a few of the cafe’s waitresses.
  3. Narita Hayato–A day-time loner who picks up various “back breaking” jobs and at night mingles with strangers and friends alike, be they respectable or shady.

My beef with this show? Very similar to the other two sexually explicit anime, Oretachi treats women as sex-crazy airheads.  The men are either complete jerks for the sake of humor, or again, idiots.  Despite the interesting try of multiple plots, the attempt fails due to the dis-interesting and/or intellectually offensive individual plots.

Interest level: 0%, dropped immediately.

5 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts on Softenni, SKET Dance, Hen Zemi TV, and Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai

  1. I laughed at the caption “This girl breeds flies inside her own ear canal?! No. Just. No.” with the picture. As an orphaned image, I can’t help but wonder about its parents.

    Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai sounds like a fantastic fantasy/release anime for shy/closed-in males.

    I wonder what Animes you might recommend that do have sexual overtones. Love Hina? Elfen Lied? Chobits? Slayers (Okay, maybe just sex jokes)? DMC? I wonder because it seems your biggest gripes with these shows had to deal with sexual portrayal.

    To throw it back to a previous post you had about the female Otaku, are there equivalents of harem animes with female protagonists surrounded by males? Or is this a viewpoint that may be considerably lacking in Anime?

    Phew. I just kept on typing, didn’t I?

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    • Considering your sense of humor, I would definitely recommend you try out Hen Zemi. I’m really looking forward to hearing your impressions on it.

      Oretachi just fails the organizational department; it has none. If you’re looking for a generic harem/romantic comedy anime, I’d instead recommend you try out the other airing anime, Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi. I plan to try out the first episode soon and then shortly discuss it here.

      And you’re right, I’m not too big on sexual humor in anime, as I usually just find it offensive to the females. Off the top of my head, I can only think of Maria Holic and Highschool of the Dead as anime that presented plenty of sexual humor that I actually found amusing. There are quite a few “reverse harem” anime out there, and I have seen some: Hakuouki, Ouran High School Host Club, Fruits Basket, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, and Miracle Train.

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  2. I was also expecting Softenni to be more about the sport, but I don’t mind if it goes to a more slice-of-life route. did find the characters ninteresting, and don’t mind the fanservice.

    I tend to like comedy shows that focus in sex jokes so Hen Zemi was fun. It’s true it can be quite gross sometimes, and while I don’t like the gross part, I’m very resistant to it so I can take it. All in all the first episode wasn so-so to me, but I also felt that about the first episode of the OVA and end up liking the next ep more, so I’m still not discouraged about the show.

    I also liked the first episode of Oretachi. At least the male leads 2 and specially 3 were interesting, and so was the characters they interacted with. Also that revelation at the end of the episode may make 1 more interesting than he seemed at first. Also liked the fanservice in this one. I end up getting a big spoiler on it by mistake, and if it’s true it feels very… weird.

    I also felt that Sket Dance first episode was nothing special. Hopefully it can get better later. I’m a bit dissapointed the character that seemed like the main character (the episode was mostly in his pov) is actually just a “character of the week”. While he was a wimp, in this kind of show, I tend to prefer characters that start as nothing much, and grows as the story goes.

    I gues this time our opinions were very different for most of the show😄

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    • But differing opinions is what makes discussing anime so FUN, right? :p

      Like I told Sweet Tooth, I think Hoshizora will definitely take the cake on Spring 2011’s better harem option, but I won’t know for sure until I try it out. Oretachi felt too random.

      You’ll definitely have to let me know how you feel about Hen Zemi later on in the season. While I acknowledge the awesome fact that it highlights an area of human functions that very rarely get spotlight, I just can’t enjoy an anime where 99% of the time I’m sitting there either wincing or gagging. I respect its intentions, but don’t like the overall presentation.

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      • I have yet to watch Hoshizora, but at least from looking at the charts, it did feel to me to be the generic harem of the season… well I will discover it soon enough.
        And sure I will tell you what I feel about hen zemi later on the season.

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